Billy Janiszewski - Artistic DirectorBilly Janiszewski is a Director, Teacher, and Songwriter in the greater New York area. In 2014, Billy founded Tapestry, a not-for-profit choir, of which he is Artistic Director. Tapestry currently operates in residence at The Church of Saint Thomas More in Manhattan. He also serves as the Program and Music Director of Basilica Voices, a children’s choir established at The Basilica of Saint Patrick’s Old Cathedral, and as Director of the Columbia University Glee Club. He has been a conductor and singer in C4: The Choral Composer Conductor Collective. From 2008-2009, he served as the Assistant Director of The Vernon Chorale in Vernon, Connecticut. As a teacher, Billy has instructed Choir, Music Theory, Songwriting, and Guitar at Highbridge Voices, Sacred Heart School in The Bronx, and The Cape Music Institute in Cape Town, South Africa. He has performed as a Tenor with The Vernon Chorale, The New York Choral Society, and The New York Choral Society Chamber Singers, where he has also been featured as a soloist. He has accompanied Highbridge Voices and The New York Choral Society Chamber Singers on guitar. In addition, Billy is an experienced songwriter and has released seven albums of original music, both as a soloist and with various bands. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Voice and a Bachelor of Science in Music Education from the University of Connecticut, and is studying for a Master of Music in Choral Conducting at Manhattan School of Music.
Chris Wasko - Assistant DirectorChristopher Wasko is a chorus and general music teacher at Eastern Middle School in Greenwich, CT, as well as the Membership Chair for the American Choral Director’s Association Connecticut state board. Christopher received his Master’s degree in Curriculum & Instruction, as well as Bachelor’s degrees (summa cum laude) in both Music and Education from the University of Connecticut, as part of the Integrated Bachelor’s/Master’s program in music education. Christopher achieved the university’s highest possible honors as an undergraduate, earning a University Scholarship in Music and an Honors Scholarship in Education. Christopher was previously the assistant conductor for the Vernon Chorale, a position he held for three years, and has been a student conductor and/or section leader for numerous other ensembles, including Vallis Musicae in Hartford and the UConn Men’s Choir. Christopher has studied choral music under the tutelage of Ehren Brown, Peter Bagley, Jamie Spillane, Craig Hella Johnson, William Weinert, Cheung Chau, and Michele Holt.
Amir Farid - Collaborative PianistWinner of the 2006 Australian National Piano Award, US born Iranian-Australian pianist Amir Farid has been described as “a highly creative musician – a pianist of great intelligence and integrity. He brings strong musical substance to all that he does, imbuing it with his own particular experience and understanding”, and who “in a well-populated field...distinguishes himself for all the right reasons”.
As one of the most versatile and loved musicians in Australia, the currently New York-based pianist has performed concerti with major orchestras, collaborating with conductors such as Christopher Hogwood, Oleg Caetani, Johannes Fritzsch, Alexander Briger, Marko Letonja and Benjamin Northey. Highlights include Rachmaninoff’s 2nd piano concerto with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra in front of a 13,000-strong crowd at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl, Mozart’s concerto No.14 with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, and “The Mozart Dances” with the Mark Morris Dance Group and West Australian Symphony Orchestra as part of the 2015 Perth Festival.
Since graduating with distinction from the Royal College of Music London in 2009 with Andrew Ball, he has performed as a solo recitalist and collaborative artist in concert halls and festivals internationally, including Carnegie Hall New York, St. Martin in the Fields London, Al-Hashemi-II Kuwait, MONA FOMA Festival Hobart, Coriole Festival SA, Huntington Festival NSW, as well as other venues in USA, Canada, Germany, Switzerland, New Zealand and China.
Recital collaborations include tenor Ian Bostridge, saxophonist Claude Delangle, violinists Arabella Steinbacher and Nikki Chooi, violist Lise Berthaud, cellists Mats Lidström, Alexander Baillie and Martin Loveday, sopranos Greta Bradman and Siobhan Stagg, baritone Wolfgang Holzmair, flautist Michel Bellavance and clarinetist Philippe Cuper. As a chamber musician, Amir is pianist of the Benaud Trio (www.benaudtrio.com), winning the Piano Trio prize at the 2005 Australian Chamber Music Competition.
His numerous highly acclaimed recordings (primarily with Move Records) are heard frequently on radio stations throughout Australia and internationally, including a solo CD of works by Persian composer Javad Maroufi, multiple albums with cellist Zoe Knighton and soprano Siobhan Stagg, and numerous releases on ABC Classics and Melba Recordings with the Benaud Trio. Several of his albums have been nominated for an Australian Independent Music Award. Amir is also a recorded artist on the Steinway & Sons Spirio catalogue, as part of the piano manufacturer’s revolutionary player-piano system.
Amir has studied under the guidance of Ronald Farren-Price, Geoffrey Tozer, Rita Reichman and Timothy Young while at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music (MCM) and the Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM). He continues to work with Farren-Price since beginning studies with him in the mid 90’s. As well as his concert career, Amir has worked as a collaborative pianist at MCM, ANAM, the Australian Children’s Choir, and the Dame Nellie Melba Opera Trust. He was the Melba Trust’s inaugural répétiteur scholar in 2013, working under the guidance of Sharolyn Kimmorley. As of 2017, Amir is a staff pianist at the Vocal Arts department of the Juilliard School, New York City.
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