Dr. Erin Bennett is Associate Professor of Piano and Pedagogy at the University of North Florida, where she teaches applied and class piano, piano accompanying, and coordinates the new degree program in Piano Pedagogy. During her summers she teaches piano and piano pedagogy at Interlochen Arts Camp in Michigan.Prior to her appointment, Dr. Bennett served as the Interim Coordinator of Secondary Piano and Piano Pedagogy at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, where she also taught piano through the University of Cincinnati’s Communiversity program. She has maintained private piano studios in Florida, Ohio, and Texas, and served as an adjunct instructor at the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University. Dr. Bennett has presented at both the national conference of Music Teacher’s National Association and the National Group Piano and Piano Pedagogy Forum (GP3). Her research has been published in Clavier Companion and American Music Teacher.As a performer, Dr. Bennett has appeared throughout the U.S. and in the Czech Republic, Belgium, France, and Spain. She has performed as a soloist with the University of Florida Symphony Orchestra and in collaboration with members of the Oregon Mozart Players. 2010-2011 engagements include chamber music performances at the Jacksonville MOCA and the Jacksonville Friday Musicale, a lecture-recital with the EMMA Concert Association, as well as solo recitals throughout Northeast Florida and Ohio and performances with her trio, Serafini Brillanti.Dr. Bennett received degrees in piano performance from Rice University, the University of Florida, and the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, where she pursued dual cognates in music history and piano pedagogy. Her principal teachers have included Eugene and Elizabeth Pridonoff, Robert Roux, Michelle Conda, and Virginia Hawley Buhn.
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Michael Mastronicola serves on the faculty of the University of North Florida where he teaches Piano Pedagogy, Collaborative Piano, and Class and Applied Piano. He also serves as Organist/Choirmaster at All Saints Episcopal Church. He has taught previously at Jacksonville University and Front Range Community College. Since moving to Florida in 2010, he has distinguished himself as an artist and educator dedicated to musical outreach. Michael has served as chair of the annual Outstanding Young Pianists Competition at Friday Musicale since 2011, and was artist-coach at the Friday Musicale Emerging Young Artist Chamber Music Festival that same year. He serves frequently as adjudicator at various music competitions and festivals throughout Florida, and has conducted Multiple Piano Festivals in Colorado and Florida. His reviews have appeared in American Music Teacher. Dr. Mastronicola performs frequently as a solo and collaborative pianist, having performed in concerts throughout the United State and Europe. Recent appearances include solo and collaborative recitals at Flagler College, Jacksonville University, Friday Musicale, the Cummer Family Concert Series, and numerous other appearances throughout the area. He has presented workshops on music education in Jacksonville and, most recently, at the 2014 Florida State Music Educator's Conference in Tallahassee, where he was also asked to perform in a public recital, representing District IV. Mastronicola has been praised for his "expressive" and "intelligent, skilled" playing (Daily Camera). While serving as collaborative pianist and vocal coach in Opera Colorado's pre-professional program, he received the Harold A. Norblom Award for "outstanding dedication and exemplary community service."As a musician who serves his community, he organizes and leads a vibrant concert series at All Saints Episcopal Church that has attracted internationally-known artists and ensembles. He oversees a vibrant and growing music ministry for all ages there as well. He continues to serve numerous community organizations, including the American Guild of Organists and the Jacksonville-Area Music Teacher's Association, having served on the Steering Committee for the Florida State Music Educator's Conference in 2013. At the University of North Florida, he oversees the Piano Pedagogy Teaching Practicum, which pairs elementary-age piano students from the community with college piano pedagogy majors so they may gain valuable experience in a pre-professional setting. Mastronicola holds degrees from the University of Colorado-Boulder (D.M.A.), the University of Wisconsin-Madison (M.M.) and Ithaca College (B.M.). He is a Colleague with the American Guild of Organists. He has received additional training in the Taubman Approach at the Golandsky Institute in Princeton, NJ.
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UNF Adjunct Professor, performer, and composer Lynne Radcliffe will begin her second year teaching Class Piano I and II. Lynne is Director of Music at St. Paul's by-the-Sea Episcopal Church in Jacksonville Beach as well as Program Coordinator and teacher at the First Coast Community Music School. She serves on the boards of the Beaches Fine Arts Series and BRASS, Beaches Residents Arising in Support of the Symphony. Having received a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance from Memphis State University and having done graduate work in Musicology at the University of Memphis recently, she was formerly a regular contributor to Encore!, the magazine of the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, as well as a former host of WJCT Presents the JSO.
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Dr. Gary Smart's career has encompassed a wide range of activities as composer, classical and jazz pianist, and teacher. Always a musician with varied interests, he may be the only pianist to have studied with Yale scholar/keyboardist Ralph Kirkpatrick, the great Cuban virtuoso Jorge Bolet, and the master jazz pianist Oscar Peterson. A true American pluralist, Dr. Smart composes and improvises a music that reflects an abiding interest in Americana, jazz, and world musics, as well as the Western classical tradition.
Dr. Smart’s work has been supported by the Guggenheim Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Music Educator's National Conference, the Music Teacher's National Association, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Dr. Smart’s music has been performed in major venues in the U.S., including the Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall, as well as venues in Europe and Asia. His "Concordia" for orchestra won the "Concordia Jazz Composition Award" and was premiered at Lincoln Center, New York.Dr. Smart’s "Song of the Holy Ground" for string quartet and piano won the "2008 John Donald Robb Musical Trust Composers’ Competition" and was premiered at the 2009 Robb Composers’ Symposium at the University of New Mexico. His compositions are published by Margun Music (G. Schirmer) and his work has been recorded on the Mastersound, Capstone and Albany labels. Several of his CDs have been released recently by Albany Records: "The Major’s Letter," songs for voice and piano, "American Beauty – a ragtime bouquet," "Hot Sonatas," third stream duo sonatas, "Turtle Dreams of Flight," third stream piano music, and “Blossoms”, a group of abstract, unedited solo piano improvisations which critics have praised as “truly a delightful concoction” and “protean music...utterly unique...defies categorization”. Dr. Smart has spent two residencies in Japan, teaching in programs at Osaka University and Kobe College. He has also taught in Indonesia as "Distinguished Lecturer in Jazz" under the auspices of the Fulbright program. From 1999-2003, he served as Chairman of the UNF Music Department (now the UNF School of Music).
Dr. Smart is currently a "Presidential Professor of Music at the University of North Florida."
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