Adam Gilbert music director-voice instructor/songwriting/piano
Adam Gilbert is the Music Director of the Arts Academy as well the Youth and Contemporary Music Director at Central Presbyterian Church. He received his BA in music from the University of Miami in media writing and composition with a focus in voice and piano, and a minor in music business. As a voice, piano, and songwriting teacher for the last 15 years, Adam has seen his students excel in their professional performing and education careers. He teaches all styles including Classical, Broadway, Pop, and Jazz. Prior to serving the Central Presbyterian Church, he was the Music Director at Vernon United Methodist Church for 8 years. His latest teaching accomplishment includes one of his long-time voice students landing the part of Fionna on the Shrek national tour.
As a performer and producer Adam has released 3 albums, 2 of them receiving 5 stars on itunes and national press with the biggest feature being on FUSE TV in 2013. His songs have been played on national radio and also has an artist channel on Pandora radio. As a producer/mixer he has a variety of works that range from mixing for a PBS documentary to engineering and mixing for Broadway star Mara Davi. (Dames as Sea, Chorus Line, Blue bloods, Smash) He is honored to be a part of Central Arts Academy as a teacher and director.
Kathryn Lang, voice instructor/beginning piano
Mezzo-Soprano Kathryn Lang has performed in opera houses and concert halls throughout the United States and Europe, including New York City Opera, Carnegie Hall, Austin Lyric Opera, Queens Symphony Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony Ballet, Waco Opera, Cedar Rapids Opera, Chatham Opera, Luxembourg, and toured nationally with San Francisco Opera. She has performed such roles as Jade Boucher in Dead Man Walking, Flora in La Traviata, Maddelena inRigoletto, Prince Orlofskyin Die Fledermaus, Dorabella in Cosí Fan Tutte, Sattirino in La Calisto, Angelina in La Cenerentola, Komponist inAriadne auf Naxos as well as a finalist in the Sylvia Getszy International Coloratura Competition in Luxembourg.
Kathryn holds a Master's of Music Degree in Vocal Performance from Indiana University and a Bachelor's Degree in Vocal Performance from Lamar University. While in Bloomington she studied voice with world renowned Soprano, CostanzaCuccaro. She continued post graduate studies on full scholarship at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow, Scotland. Additional Credits include the world premiere of The Man with the Blue Guitar with the Manhattan Contemporary Music Ensemble at Carnegie Hall and the world premiere of Gauchito and the Pony with the Queens Symphony Orchestra.
She has maintained an active voice studio since 2002. Previously, Kathryn taught as an Affiliate Artist at Drew University, Associate Instructor of Voice for Indiana University, Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child and The Armstrong School of Music. She holds memberships in the National Association of Teachers of Singing and American Guild of Musical Artists. Kathryn is dedicated to helping students build a solid vocal technique that can be applied to all genres.
Susie Wall, acting
Susie has worked extensively in Regional Theatres, Film, TV & Radio. In St Louis she has worked at The Repertory Theatre, The Shakespeare Festival, Stages, Insight Theatre, Hotcity, Stray Dog and The New Jewish Theatre. She has performed Regionally at The Cincinnati Playhouse in “Voice of the Prairie” & “Inherit the Wind”. Most recently she played Dr. Ruth Westheimer in “Becoming Dr. Ruth” in Kansas City and played Alice B. Toklas in “Gertrude Stein and a Companion” at Bluff City Theatre in Hannibal. She received a 2009 Kevin Kline Award for “Grace and Glorie” at Insight Theatre. Her film credits include Saving Shiloh, Ghost Image, Doubting Tom, Sophie and the soon to released, Grandmother’s Murder Club. For Television she has a reoccurring role as the Mayor’s Assistant on NCIS New Orleans. She has worked extensively in Voice-Overs for network /regional TV & radio. She founded her own company called PLay it Forward, an Acting Studio for kids through adults. She has been a Professor for 27 years in the Conservatory at Webster University in St. Louis. .
Val Schuszler, guitar instructor
Val began playing the guitar at age 15. He grew up on rock music, but has also studied classical and jazz styles. He earned a music degree from Appalachian State University in North Carolina, with guitar as his applied instrument. His first teaching job was a beginning guitar course in college. On weekends, Val gigged with his rock band, eventually taking the group as far southwest as Texas. After college, he toured with Young American Showcase’s “Freedom Jam”, performing music assembly shows throughout the Northern United States and Canada. Val has performed with numerous bands throughout his life. His current group, “Half Step Down”, appears in local Northern New Jersey venues. He is excited to share all he has learned over the years with his students.
Mary Berko, ukulele instructor
Mary is a recent graduate from Rutgers University with a BA in Journalism and Media Studies and minors in Music and Dance. She has been involved in the performing arts since a young age, where she studied dance and musical theatre at Broadway Bound in Lyndhurst, NJ and Visions Dance Studio in Kearny, NJ. Mary choreographed and appeared onstage throughout her time at Rutgers in productions by the Livingston Theater Company and Cabaret Theater. She began playing the ukulele a few years ago and enjoys fueling her passion for singing and covering various songs with this lovely instrument.
Erena Terakubo, saxophone and flute
Erena was born in Sapporo, Japan in 1992. She began playing the alto saxophone at the age of nine. Between the ages of 10 and 15, she participated in the Sapporo Junior Jazz Orchestra, where she had the opportunity to have jazz clinics with musicians including Herbie Hancock and Tiger Okoshi. Terakubo later attended the Berklee Five-Week Summer Performance Program, where she was rewarded a full-tuition scholarship and was selected for the Berklee Summer Jazz Workshop with Terri Lyne Carrington.
In 2010, she recorded her first album, "North Bird" with Kenny Barron, Christian McBride, Lee Pearson, and Peter Bernstein. The album was released in Japan by Japanese major record label King, reached no. 1 on the Japanese jazz charts, and was awarded Swing Journal's Gold Disc. Later that year, she performed with Ron Carter, Omar Hakim, and Will Boulware as part of the Tokyo Jazz Festival.
In 2011, Terakubo recorded her second album, "New York Attitude" with Kenny Barron, Ron Carter, Lee Pearson, and Dominick Farinacci, and she was chosen as one of just six Presidential Scholars from across the world to attend Berklee College of Music in Boston.
Her concert appearances have included Tokyo Jazz Festival, Sapporo City Jazz Festival, Jazz Week Osaka 2010 (with Michel Camilo Trio), Nagoya Jazz Festival (with Yosuke Yamashita), Kitara Hall (with Sapporo Symphony Orchestra), and D.C. Jazz Festival 2012. She has been fortunate to work with musicians such as Sadao Watanabe, Terumasa Hino, Eddie Gomez, Jimmy Cobb, and Anthony Jackson..Terakubo has been selected to perform in summer 2012, at the Playboy Jazz Festival in Los Angeles, as part of Bill Cosby's portion of the program.
In 2013, her long-awaited third album “Burkina” with Kenny Barron, Ron Carter, Lenny White & Jimmy Cobb set a high valuation on her ability. In 2014, she graduated Berklee College Of Music and moved to New York City in2015.