The Atom Collective plays jazz as a trio, quartet, and quintet across Colorado’s front range. The group features Adisa Nickerson on trumpet, Todd VanSelus on bass, Tobin Munsat on drums, and Kyle Banker on piano. Kyle has studied Taubman technique with Brenna Berman for many years now. Tobin and Todd also perform in the local bands Zizania and Groove Holiday. Adisa is a sought-after jazz trumpeter in the Denver area and serves on the board of the Colorado Conservatory for the Jazz Arts.
Cordelia Zars (She/Her/Hers) Cordelia is a classically-trained pianist, vocalist, and composer. She studied piano with Alla Latchininsky as a child, Mana Tokuno at the New England Conservatory in high school, and George Lopez at Bowdoin College. She combines her passion for music with ten years of radio-broadcast journalism to create stories for the stage that explore timely social and environmental issues.
Elizabeth Mueller Grace, NCTM, enjoys a multi-faceted career as performer, teacher, clinician and adjudicator. An award-winning pianist, her performances have been praised for their “depth of sound, intelligent interpretation and fluid technique.” ~Omaha World Herald
As a collaborative pianist, Ms. Grace has been featured on the Chamber Music Tulsa Series, Upper Midwest Flute Association Conference in Minneapolis, and the Ruel Joyce Recital Series in Kansas City. She has also performed at the University of Texas/Austin, Drake University, Gustavus College and the Lawrence (WI) Conservatory, often with Barbara Leibundguth (flute) and Sally Dorer (cello) as the Capriole Trio. She has served as Keyboardist in the Houston Symphony, Topeka Symphony and as Principal Keyboardist in the Omaha Symphony. For fifteen years, she was a member of the performing artist faculty of Rocky Ridge Music Center in Estes Park, Colorado and served as the Center’s Music Director for eight years.
Ms. Grace is an MTNA nationally certified teacher and was selected as a Steinway and Sons Top Teacher in 2016 and 2021. She is also the winner of the 2014 Kansas Outstanding Teacher of the Year and has taught at Rice University, Houston, Texas and Creighton University, Omaha NE. Through the Golandsky Institute in New York City, Ms. Grace was awarded the Master Level of Certification for teaching the Taubman Approach and is renowned for teaching the principles of injury prevention and recovery. She has taught students from all over the world, and has Studios in New York City, and the Kansas City metropolitan area.
Ms. Grace graduated summa cum laude with a Master of Music degree from the Eastman School of Music (M.Mus.) and Nebraska Wesleyan University (B. Mus.). She was the first recipient of the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society Fellowship Award given for advanced musical study.
For more information on Elizabeth Grace, please visit BethGrace.com.
Susan Hong is a pianist, artist, and educator teaching in San Antonio, Texas. She specializes in group teaching and is passionate about sharing the joy of music. When not teaching, Susan loves to garden and travel.
Michelle has spent the last twenty years teaching youth of all ages in both private and public schools. She holds both a Master of Education (2009) from Pace University and a Master of Dispute Resolution from UMass Boston (2005). Michelle rekindled her love of playing classical music as an adult and realized that teaching piano was the perfect marriage between her two passions. Michelle is thrilled to be part of the teacher certification program and on the board as the vice president of EAM. Michelle currently lives in Lafayette, CO with her husband, two children Avery & Eben and their adorable dog, Charo.
Ms. Berman is a Certified Master Teacher of The Taubman Approach, Executive Director and founder of Effortless Artistry Music nonprofit, and holds an Associate Faculty position with The Golandsky Institute. She has studied with the most highly acclaimed experts in the field: Robert Durso, Edna Golandsky, John Bloomfield, and Dorothy Taubman. She holds Piano Performance degrees from Oberlin Conservatory and Hunter College.
Ms. Berman began her training with Robert Durso after she had become injured (tendonitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, and ulnar nerve damage) from the long hours of daily practice at Oberlin Conservatory. With the consistent guidance by Mr. Durso and Edna Golandsky, she recovered quickly from her injuries and began her journey to being the pianist and teacher she had hoped to become.
Ms. Berman is known for helping pianists and other instrumentalists eliminate playing-related injuries, overcome limitations, acquire the tools necessary for virtuosity and expression, and reach their artistic potential. She now mentors piano teachers pursuing Taubman Approach certification.
An avid performer since the age of seven, Brenna Berman has performed extensively throughout the United States and Europe. She has won many international, national, and statewide awards and scholarships, and gave her New York debut at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall in March 2008. Ms. Berman has performed and been interviewed on several live radio broadcasts, podcasts, and has been featured in articles on MajoringInMusic.com and Bösendorfer.com.
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Barbara Banacos has studied with Robert Durso of the Golandsky Institute since 1997. She is certified at the Associate level, is adjunct faculty with the Golandsky Institute and has led their support groups for many years. She has presented lectures on piano technique at the Golandsky Institute Boston Workshops and was invited to teach at the Danilo Pérez Foundation in Panama, assisting Edna Golandsky.
Ms. Banacos has taught piano for 25 years to children and adults from beginner to advanced levels. While completing her BA and MA in music from CUNY Hunter College, she ran a private studio in Millburn/Short Hills, NJ and taught at Montclair State University Preparatory School. Since returning to the Boston area in 2003, she teaches in-home private lessons in Lexington and Winchester, MA, at her home studio in Hamilton, MA, and also remotely. Ms. Banacos has taught Charlie Banacos’ correspondence courses in composition and improvisation since 2009 in partnership with Garry Dial. She has also performed as a soloist, accompanist and in numerous piano duos with her favorite duet partner, Margaret Banacos.
Ron Stabinsky received his first musical lessons at the age of five from Michael Hoysock, his grandfather. Since 2000, Ron has been studying the Taubman Approach to piano playing with Edna Golandsky in New York City. He has also benefited greatly from additional study of classical repertoire with concert pianist Ilya Itin. His mentors in the art of free improvisation have included Bill Dixon and Joel Futterman. His study of jazz has been through the correspondence course work of Charlie Banacos. In January 2007, he began presenting a series of music performances in the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton area of Pennsylvania by local musicians and guest artists from around the world, primarily but not exclusively focused on improvisation. He received Pennsylvania Partners in the Arts Project Grants annually from 2007-2009 for this series. Ron was also the 2008 recipient of the F. Lammot Belin Arts Scholarship. Each July, Ron presents a series of workshops demonstrating to jazz pianists the practical application of the Taubman Approach to piano playing at the Golandsky Institute, an annual symposium held at Princeton University. In addition to continuing to pursue an ongoing interest in solo piano improvisation, he enjoys working on music in a stylistically diverse array of situations throughout the United States and Europe with many other musicians and ensembles, including freeimprovising saxophonist Jack Wright, bass trombone virtuoso Dave Taylor, Meat Puppets bassist Cris Kirkwood, and NEA Jazz Master David Liebman. Recent festival appearances include Newport Jazz Festival (USA), North Sea Jazz Festival (Netherlands), Moers Festival (Germany), and Jazz and More Festival Sibiu (Romania). He is currently a member of the band Mostly Other People Do the Killing, the new music ensemble Relâche, the Charles Evans Quartet, and the Peter Evans Quartet, Quintet, and Octet.
Robert Durso attended the Peabody Conservatory of Music, obtained his bachelor of music degree from Indiana University, Bloomington, and received his master of music degree from Temple University. His principal teachers were Enrica Cavallo-Gulli, Harvey Wedeen, Edna Golandsky, Dorothy Taubman, and Rosalyn Tureck.
Mr. Durso has performed extensively, including appearances at Weill Recital Hall, the Philadelphia Ethical Society, the Philadelphia Art Alliance, and in a tour of South Carolina sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts. In September 2000, Mr. Durso was invited to Caracas, Venezuela, by the U.S. Embassy to present the work of Dorothy Taubman for the first time in South America.
Mr. Durso has conducted master classes and given concerts at Mount Holyoke College, Portland State University, the Berkeley chapter of the San Francisco MTNA, Spokane Music Teachers Association, and NEPTA in Boston, Tel Aviv, and Rome. His engagements abroad have included concerts at La Chiesa della Palma in Cagliari, Sardinia, where he premiered a work by Sardinian composer Roberto Mirigliano; the Palazzo Cenci in Rome; the Ehrbarsaal in Vienna; L’Atelier in Brussels; as well as concerts in Zurich, Taiwan and Oxford, England. Mr. Durso has performed with the Yaquina Symphony Orchestra under the baton of David Ogden Stiers in a four-concert tour of the Oregon coast. He has performed and given master classes at the invitation of Paul Roberts at Castelfranc in France.
A frequent performer, Mr. Durso is a founding member of the Belmonte Trio (with Jennifer K. Lee and Glenn Fischbach). The Belmonte Trio was awarded The 2013 Global Music Award of Excellence in Ensemble Playing. “These are passionate, thoughtful and sophisticated performances” GMA. He has collaborated in chamber music performances with Stephanie Jeong, associate concertmaster of the Chicago Symphony, and several Philadelphia Orchestra members, including John Koen, cello, and Jason Depue, violin.
Mr. Durso has worked with Edna Golandsky and the late Dorothy Taubman since 1983 and was a faculty member of the former Taubman Institute. Currently, Mr. Durso is a co-founder and senior director of the Golandsky Institute, held annually at Princeton University.
He has produced several first-place and top winners in national and international competitions, including the The Bradshaw & Buono International Piano Competition 2014, Josef Suk International Competition. 2013, The Princeton Piano Competiton winner 2012, Bartok/Kabelevsky International, Artist International NYC, Ambler Symphony Young Artist Competition, the Cal Rudman Competition and the Marymount Concerto Competition, 16th International Gianluca Campochiaro Competition in Pedara, Sicily, and the International Piano Competition “Giuseppe Terracciano” Giffoni Valle Piana, Italy, 2007.
Mr. Durso specializes in audition and competition preparation. His students have been accepted and have attended several of the leading conservatories, including the Curtis Institute, Juilliard School, Oberlin Conservatory, Indiana University, New England Conservatory, and the Peabody Conservatory.
Mr. Durso maintains private studios in New York and Philadelphia and provides Taubman training in the Denver, Tampa, and Boston areas.
It is an honor to help EAM capture captivating images to help their programs and cause. Backed by over thirty years experience in both the non-profit and photographic industries, Kevin
bring to life special events and moments as well as crafts portraits and lifestyle images for websites, annual reports, grants and social media. Plus, he loves to offer his expertise in fundraising and non-profit management.
Darren Wirth was a semi-finalist in the International Piano Odyssiad Competition, a finalist in the Symphony in the Valley Concerto Competition, a winner in the International Duo Piano Competition, a Silver Medalist at the Seattle International Piano Competition Virtuoso Festival, and a winner of the Derek H. Jones, MD Piano Concerto Competition. His compositions have won awards and performances around the world, including in New York, Minnesota, Greece, Austria, the Netherlands, and Singapore. He has studied the Taubman Approach with Brenna Berman since 2015.
Nancy Seller is a dedicated professional performer and teacher with an unending lifetime obsession with the piano. She has long been on a quest for innovation, inspiration, and exhilaration. In this journey, she discovered The Taubman Approach. She further fueled her curiosity with Brenna Berman, an associate faculty member of the Golandsky Institute, and later expanded this exploration by sharing in a Taubman conference in London this past February.
After over 40 years of teaching, receiving Suzuki certification and completing her studies at Ithaca College Music Conservatory and Temple University Graduate School, this new avenue provided by The Taubman Approach ignites and invigorates her passion for all things piano.
This exciting new opportunity came at a key point in Nancy’s life, having recently added a new member to her family. Along with husband Michael, grown sons, Andrew and Levi, and two adorable Tibetan Terriers, a brand new baby was delivered to her home–that is a brand new baby grand!
Nancy is a co-founder of Effortless Artistry Music and also its secretary, while currently enrolled to become a certified Effortless Artistry teacher. By joining with others through Taubman, she envisions a plan to expand the world of piano teaching, playing, and enjoyment.
Sonja Toutenhoofd has enthusiastically studied the Taubman Approach with Brenna Berman since 2010. After attending Interlochen Arts Academy for visual arts, she studied biology and physics while taking music lessons at Carnegie-Mellon. Sonja studied medicine and received a Ph.D. in neuroscience from the Mayo Clinic. During her research years, she also rediscovered piano. She currently teaches piano and mathematics and science at her private studio and online. Sonja is a founding member of Effortless Artistry Music.