Jeffery Meyer '96

Jeffrey MeyerJeffery Meyer ’96 received his DMA in piano from State University of New York at Stony Brook. He is now Director of Orchestras at Ithaca College and is an active adjudicator, guest clinician, and masterclass teacher.

Since 2002, he has been the Artistic Director of the St. Petersburg Chamber Philharmonic in St. Petersburg, Russia, one of St. Petersburg’s most innovative and progressive ensembles. The New York Times has described his performances with the St. PCP as “impressive”, “powerful”, “splendid”, and “blazing.” His programming has been recognized with three ASCAP Awards for Adventurous Programming, as well as the Vytautas Marijosius Memorial Award for Programming.

As a pianist, Meyer has been in residence at the Banff Centre for the Arts, and in residence at the Aspen Festival as part of the Furious Band. He performs frequently with percussionist Paul Vaillancourt as part of the piano-percussion duo Strike, which, in January 2010, released an album of world-premiere recordings of works written for the duo on Luminescence Records, Chicago.

You can preview one of Strike's albums, Convergence, here on iTunes, and visit his website here.

The five years I spent at Lawrence transformed me as a person and musician in profound ways.  When I came to Lawrence, I found myself among peers who were talented, focused, and diverse who became my close friends and later valued professional colleagues.  I felt from the moment I set foot on campus that the faculty were deeply invested in my development as a musician and a whole person, and they consistently encouraged (and expected) excellence in all areas.  My piano professor Catherine Kautsky was a true example of the kind of musician I wanted to be—intellectual, multi-faceted, and curious about all aspects of music making ... I know of very few institutions that create such a rich environment for learning and exploration.

Brent Funderburk '09

Brent Funderburk

Brent Funderburk '09 received his Masters Degree in collaborative piano from the Juilliard School in 2011 under the tutelage of Brian Zeger, Margo Garrett, and Jonathan Feldman. For two years, he was a Piano Fellow for the Juilliard Vocal Arts Department, where he served as rehearsal pianist for Juilliard operas and staff pianist for coachings and sessions with master teachers. He has been on staff at summer festivals including Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute and International Vocal Arts Institute (IVAI), as well as a fellow at SongFest.

He has been broadcast on New York’s WQXR radio with mezzo-soprano Naomi O’Connell and on Chicago’s WFMT with violinist Francesca Anderegg as part of the Dame Myra Hess Concert Series. His debut recording with Francesca Anderegg was released in 2012. He is currently working on another recording project, which will consist of all contemporary pieces written by young composers, including violin sonata by Francesca’s husband Reinaldo Moya.

You can hear some of Brent's collaborative work with Naomi O'Connell at Ravinia's Stean's Music Institute, and with Francesca Anderegg as part of their debut album.



To me, one of the greatest advantages of Lawrence is its small size and intimate, supportive environment, which allows each student to receive extremely focused, individual attention from the exemplary faculty. This also makes Lawrence the perfect place to take risks and explore beyond your comfort zone, and the teachers are willing and eager to guide you in that process. The foundation of my learning was certainly private lessons with Dmitri Novgorodsky and Catherine Kautsky, who were pivotal in helping me pursue a higher level of technical freedom as well as musical freedom ... My senior and super-senior years, Bonnie [Koestner] allowed me to be one of the musical coaches for the opera scenes program and that experience was absolutely invaluable and, as I learned later, one that very few undergraduate students have ... And all of that was possible because Lawrence is truly interested in the growth of their students and isn't afraid to entrust them with responsibilities that many other schools would consider "above the student’s head.”

Michael Smith '10

Michael Smith '10 is currently a Doctorate piano student at Stony Brook University where he holds the Gilbert Kalish Scholarship and the Head Piano Teaching Assistantship. His recent activity includes a Fellowship at the Norfolk Summer Festival, performances at Symphony Space in New York City, and work with composer Lansing McLowskey on his album Specific Gravity released on Albany records in 2013.

Smith, former student of Catherine Kautsky, has just been elected to the Ensemble ACJW, an elite group co-sponsored by Carnegie Hall, Juilliard, and the Weill Music Institute. Michael was one of only two new piano fellows chosen this year from a field of stars from Juilliard and other leading graduate schools. He'll receive support for two years, to live and perform in New York City, presenting concerts across all boroughs of the city.  He follows in the footsteps of LU piano faculty member Michael Mizrahi, who was part of the Academy, as it is known, from 2007-2009.

The piano department at Lawrence’s Conservatory of music offers a balanced, individualized musical education that few schools provide for precocious pianists. The piano department and the entire conservatory cultivate an open-minded, supportive environment held together by students and faculty alike, creating lasting personal relationships and encouraging unique personal growth. I cannot fully express my gratitude to Lawrence for the role it has played in my own development, and would urge every young musician to consider Lawrence’s wealth of pedagogical talent and musical resources while deciding on their own place of study.

Other Alumni

Drew Donica '13 is pursuing a Master of Music degree in Piano Performance and Pedagogy at the University of Colorado Boulder, where he studies with David Korevaar, Robert Spillman, and Alejandro Cremaschi, and serves as a teaching assistant for the piano department.

James Maverick '13 is pursuing a Master of Music degree in Piano Performance at Indiana University where he studies with Emile Naoumoff. Recent activities include summer study at the Zephyr Chamber Music Festival, collaborations with Indiana's University Chorale and University Orchestra, and performances of Gabriela Ortiz' newly-commissioned short opera Ana y su sombra with ROK, a non-profit outreach program that introduces opera to kids at local schools.

Leonard Hayes '12 has just been accepted to the MM program at the Eastman School of Music under Douglas Humpherys.

Hazim Suhadi '12 has just completed a MM in Piano Performance at UW-Madison under Christopher Taylor.

Anna Reiser '12 has just completed an MM in Piano Performance/Pedagogy at UW-Madison under Martha Fischer and Jessica Johnson.

David Keep '11 is pursuing the Master of Music degree in Piano Performance with a Minor in Music Theory at Indiana University's Jacobs School of Music, studying with Luba Edlina-Dubinsky, pianist of the Borodin Trio. Recent performances include solo recitals, collaborative recitals, a lecture recital on the influence of Russian fairytales in the piano music of Prokofiev, and participation in Richard Strauss's opera Der Rosenkavalier, playing the celesta. This fall, Keep began teaching as a theory instructor for the Young Pianists Program at Indiana University.

Nathan Uhl '11 received a full scholarship and graduate assistantship to pursue his Masters in Collaborative Piano at Arizona State University with Dr. Andrew Campbell.

Jesse Pieper '11 has just completed an MM in Piano Performance at University of Texas, Austin under Anton Nel.

Alex Boostrom '10 is pursuing his Masters of Music in Music Composition at the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida and participated in the Beijing International Composer's Workshop in 2011.

Ka Man (Melody) Ng '09 completed her DMA in Piano Performance and Pedagogy at the University of Wisconsin – Madison last spring and was appointed professor of piano and pedagogy at the University of Alabama in Huntsville this fall.  She has given workshops and presentations at the National Group Piano and Piano Pedagogy Forum, Piano Pedagogy Symposium, and Wisconsin Science Festival, and has presented papers at the 21st European Association for Music in Schools Conference in Belgium, the Canadian Federation of Music Teachers’ Association Biennial Convention in Nova Scotia, the 9th Asia Pacific Symposium on Music Education Research in Singapore, College Music Society’s Southern Chapter Regional Conference, and the Texas Music Teachers Association Convention. Her presentation, “Fusion: Amalgamation of Technology and Music in Class Piano,” was recently featured in the Music Teachers National Association e-Journal publication.

Katie Reimer, '03, is a New York City based pianist (, performing as a soloist and chamber musician, as well as maintaining a private piano studio.  Acclaimed by the New York Times for her 'meditative' playing, she is the founder, pianist, and Executive and Artistic Director for the Mimesis Ensemble (, a chamber ensemble dedicated to the performance of 20th and 21st century music.  She has released commercial recordings of music by Mohammed Fairouz on the Sono Luminus and Bridge labels.

Erin Grier '03, after completing her Master of Music degree in Piano Performance and Pedagogy at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2006 (where she studied with Catherine Kautsky and Jessica Johnson), co-founded Piano Pioneers, a UW scholarship program for low-income students, with Jessica Johnson and served as ProgramDirector from 2006-2008.  She also taught piano at the Arboretum Music School, Waunakee, WI, from 2004-2008, then established an independent piano studio in Madison, WI, in 2009.  She was active as a performer and collaborator with the Creative Worship Singers and Gente Nueva at Bethel Lutheran Church, Madison, WI, from 2006-2011, with Madison's Opera for the Young in their Midwest tour of The Elixir of Love in 2009; and as keyboardist with several Madison-based Latin-music ensembles including Grupo Candela, Mambo Blue, and Charanga Agoza' during 2007-2011.  In August, 2012, she finished a sabbatical year which included travel and learning in Latin America, and an exploration of choral and solo vocal music through a new lens: as singer rather than pianist.

Hillary Nordwell '03 received her MM from San Francisco Conservatory and is a free-lance pianist and violist in San Francisco. She has cello/piano duo and an active studio of piano students.

Angela Meyers '03 received an MM in piano pedagogy at Westminster Choir College  and is now completing a Ph.D. in education (piano pedagogy) at Columbia Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, N.Y.

Andrew Cashner '03 did further studies in piano at New England Conservatory and is now completing a Ph.D. in musicology at the University of Chicago.

Brooke Joyce ’95 received his Ph.D. in composition from Princeton and is now Composer-in-Residence at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa

Elizabeth Snodgrass ’93 received her MM in piano from Peabody Conservatory and is now Manager of Community Programs at Carnegie Hall, New York, N.Y.

Joe Hauer, a graduate of the Lawrence Academy pre-college division, was chosen as one of only 12 pianists to participate, cost-free, in PianoFest at the Hamptons.