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Music Faculty

Hallie Wetzell

FSPA Assistant Director, Vocal Director

Hallie Wetzell holds a Bachelor of Arts in Theater from Occidental College and Master of Music degrees in Vocal Performance and Vocal Pedagogy from New England Conservatory of Music. As FSPA Vocal Director, Hallie oversees the Pro Voice program and serves as music director for all ensembles, as well as productions of the Franklin Performing Arts Company (FPAC) and Electric Youth. Hallie was the Vocal Director for the FSPA Children’s Choirs for the professional touring companies of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat in 2000 and 2005 and Evita in 2004. She has been on FSPA’s Faculty since 1998 and became Vocal Director for FPAC in 1999.  

Andres Abenante

Instructor of Guitar

Andres Abenante holds Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees from New England Conservatory.  Specializing in Jazz, Rock, Improvised, Classical and Latin styles, Andres has extensive performing experience throughout the east coast. He has recorded two albums and has served as served as Music Copyist and Transcriber for Eddie Palmieri.  Andres currently teaches at the Warren-Prescott School in Cambridge as well as the North End Music and Performing Arts Center. Andres joined the FSPA Music Faculty in 2018. 

Judy Bergesen

Instructor of Little Music School

Judy Bergesen holds a bachelor’s degree from Framingham State College. She served as an elementary school teacher at the Benjamin Franklin Classical Charter Public School in Franklin from 1995 to 2012. Prior to her time spent at BFCCPS Judy was Assistant Director at FSPA for six years, where she served as a Children’s Music, Musical Theater and Acting instructor. She returned to the FSPA Faculty in 2013. Judy has extensive performing experience and has also served on the Advisory Board for the Franklin Performing Arts Company.

Kitty Cheung-Evans

Instructor of Piano

memberphoto Kitty Cheung-Evans holds a master’s degree in Piano Performance from Longy School of Music and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Lethbridge. She joined the FSPA Music Faculty in 2007 and also teaches throughout central Massachusetts. Kitty volunteers her time at the Boys’ and Girls’ Club in Leominster, where she lectured on music appreciation and the connection between music, art, society and history in conjunction with the Fitchburg Art Museum. She is an active freelance solo pianist and has collaborated with instrumentalists, musical theater performers and choirs. Kitty’s love of extended piano techniques includes improvisations, prepared piano and various electronics music, which has led her to become a frequent participant at the LongyLab since 2012.

Irina Fainkichen

Instructor of Violin

Irina Fainkichen studied at the Rachmaninoff Music College and Leningrad State Conservatory in Russia and at the Rubin Academy of Music and Dance in Israel. She is a busy freelance violinist in the Greater Boston area. She was concertmaster of San Francisco’s Russian Chamber Orchestra for many years, appearing as soloist numerous times. Currently, Irina is a member of the Cape Cod Symphony Orchestra, assistant concertmaster of the Brockton Symphony Orchestra, and a co-founder of “Flying Hearts” duo, which performs in a number of musical genres including Jazz, Klezmer and classic American tunes. Irina joined the FSPA Music Faculty in 2009.

Carrie Furniss

Instructor of Voice

Carrie holds a degree in Studio Music and Jazz with Vocal Emphasis (University of Miami) and a graduate degree in Jazz Vocal Performance (New England Conservatory).  She has extensive experience teaching various genres including jazz, pop, rock, musical theater and classical, as well as theory, composition and songwriting. Carrie’s teachers include Dominique Eade, Anthony Coleman, Ran Blake and Kate Reid.  She joined the FSPA Faculty in 2017.

April Hall

Instructor of Voice

April Hall graduated from Berklee College of Music, where she received the prestigious Louis Armstrong Performance Award. She has done projects for Atlantic Records, under the direction of Arif Mardin, for the likes of Chaka Khan, Melissa Manchester and Bette Midler and has performed with artists such as Rosemary Clooney, Al Jarreau, Jim Ed Brown, Helen Cornelius and Dinah Shore. She regularly performs and records with New England’s finest musicians, including Gray Sargent, Tim Ray, Marshall Wood, Kenny Hadley, Les Harris Jr., Tom Hall, Joe “Sonny” Barbato, Jerry Bergonzi, John Lockwood, Marty Ballou, Mark Poniatowski and New Orleans' Amadee Castenell. April is currently Executive Producer for ImprovLive 365, a daily web series dedicated to exploring spontaneous creativity and improvisation. She is also an award-winning songwriter. Her music has been featured on Boston's "Women in Music" series, on "The Coffeehouse,” WGBH’s “Eric in the Evening” and the nationally syndicated "Jazz After Hours" with PRI's Jim Wilke. In addition to her ongoing performances, April also continues to work with students across the country, holding master classes in modern vocal techniques and on the subject of "Songwriting in a Free Society." April has served as an FSPA Vocal Coach since 2012.  

Kenny Hadley

Instructor of Drums, Director of Saturday Sessions and FSPA Percussion Ensemble

Kenny Hadley joined the FSPA Music Faculty in 1998 and has extensive teaching experience, including master classes and clinics throughout New England. He has played throughout the US, Europe and South America and has worked with many well-known musicians including Van Morrison, Dizzy Gillespie, The Count Basie Orchestra, Peter Wolf, The Drifters and Rebecca Parris, as well as with the North Shore Music Theater, Franklin Performing Arts Company and Electric Youth. He serves as orchestra contractor for the Franklin Performing Arts Company and has co-produced The Sacred Music of Duke Ellington, ‘Tis the Season! and the CD recordings of Electric Youth. His acclaimed Kenny Hadley Big Band has shared the stage with the Count Basie Orchestra, Dizzy Gillespie’s Band, and the Duke Ellington Orchestra and has hosted guest soloists including Clark Terry and Louie Bellson. The band’s recordings include Come Sunday, A Beautiful Friendship and Common Thread.

Heidi Iuliano

Instructor of Voice

Heidi Iuliano holds a Master’s Degree in Music Education and Vocal Performance (The Boston Conservatory), a Bachelor of Arts in Music and Communications (Assumption College) and is certified in Orff-Schulwerk Level I.   She has extensive teaching experience throughout New England and currently serves as a general music teacher in Norwood.  Heidi has sung with a number of choirs including RPM Voices of Rhode Island Gospel Choir, Central Congregational Church and Salisbury Singers and Salisbury Lyric Opera.  She joined the FSPA Faculty in 2017.

Sam Jones

Instructor of Voice

Sam Jones received both his Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies and Vocal Performance as well as his Master of Music in Contemporary Improvisation (with Honors and a Music-in-Education Concentration) from New England Conservatory of Music (NEC) in Boston. Jones won the competitive “Spark” Grant Award to launch his album, as well as NEC’s Entrepreneurial Musician Grant to direct, produce, and star in a gender-blind  production of Jason Robert Brown’s The Last 5 Years, benefiting the local Boston nonprofit BAGLY to support LGBTQ+ youth. Sam joined the FSPA Faculty in 2018. 

Shauna Martin

Instructor of Voice

memberphoto Shauna Martin joined the FSPA Music Faculty in 2006 and has more than 20 years of teaching experience. She holds a MM in Opera from University of British Columbia and a BM from Brandon University. Shauna’s performances include a wide variety of operatic and musical theater roles in works by classical as well as contemporary composers. She has performed in the Czech Republic as well as with Canada’s regional orchestras. Shauna performed several times on CBC Radio, most prominently as a soloist in Stravinsky’s Les Noces. She is a proud founding member of the humorous and popular children’s show, Opera Night in Canada, which successfully toured for four years and was featured on CBC Radio’s Arts Report.

Liz Mason

Instructor of Little Music School

Liz Mason is a Franklin native and FSPA alumna. Joining the FSPA faculty in 2017, Liz is thrilled to combine her passion for teaching young children with her love of music right here in her home town. Nurturing and guiding children's development for 25 years, she earned an AS Degree in Early Childhood Development followed by her BA Degree in Liberal Arts and Studies with a Psychology concentration. She is licensed by the MA Department of Early Education and Care as an Infant/Toddler and Preschool Lead Teacher and is also Director II Certified. Liz attended the Northeast Montessori Institute and received her American Montessori Society Teaching Credential. She is presently employed as a Montessori Preschool Teacher at Sunrise Montessori School.  

Mariko Matsumura

Instructor of Voice

Mariko Matsumura, a native of Tokyo, Japan, graduated with high honors with a BM in Vocal Performance from University of Montana and a MM in Vocal Performance from Longy School of Music. A recipient of the 2006 Penelope Davis Honorable Mention Award, she has served as assistant and accompanist for St. Francis Xavier, UM Dance and Drama Departments, and Missoula Children’s Theater. Mariko’s performance credits include Messiah, Aida, Hansel and Gretel, Der Rosenkavalier, The Magic Flute, and numerous premiere performances throughout the Boston area. Mariko has performed with Lorelei Ensemble, Tanglewood Festival Chorus, Jyugoya Ensemble, Chorus Boston, Setegaya Women’s Chorus and Opera Unmet. She currently serves as Music Director and Soloist at First Parish in Malden. Mariko joined the FSPA Music Faculty in 2002.

Kim Rezendes

FSPA Assistant Director, Director of Little Music School and Children's Music

Kim Rezendes graduated magna cum laude from Providence College with a Bachelor of Arts in Music and from Rhode Island College with a master’s degree in Teaching Music. As coordinator of Children’s Music at FSPA, she also serves as Program Director for the Little Music School and Instructor of Musical Theater. Kim serves as Associate Organist and Cantor at St. Mary Church in Franklin. One of FSPA’s first students, Kim joined the FSPA faculty in 1997.  

Maria-Regina Seidlhofer

Music Department Artistic Advisor

Maria-Regina Seidhofer was born in Sao Paolo, Brazil and began her early studies with Dinora de Carvalho. She began concertizing at the age of six, giving solo recitals and making feature performances with orchestra. From 1961-1966, she studied at the Academy of Music in Vienna with Brunco Seidlhoefer, whom she later married. She received a Diploma Speciale from the Minister of Education in Austria. Her first appearances in the United States included performances at Boston University and the New England Conservatory and in 1988, Professor Seidlhofer gave a concert in Washington D.C. at the invitation of the Organization of American States. Locally, she has performed at FSPA, the Walnut Hill School for the Arts and Dartmouth College. Since 1976, Regina has been on the Piano Faculty at the Academy of Music in Vienna. She travels extensively, teaching master courses in Finland, Germany, Brazil, Malta, Italy and the US and was decorated by the Ambassador of Brazil for outstanding service abroad. She has toured the Far East, where she also conducted master classes. Professor Seidlhofer visits the Franklin School for the Performing Arts, giving master classes to students and faculty and offering her continued guidance as Artistic Advisor.

Ida Zelman

Instructor of Piano

Ida Zelman has a bachelor’s degree from the Music Conservatory in Vilnius, Lithuania, where her studies included piano performance and music education, specializing in classical and contemporary music. Ida has extensive coaching experience in chamber music ensemble playing and accompanying. She successfully prepares many of her students for the Royal Conservatory Music Development Program.  Ida joined FSPA’s Music Faculty in 1993.    

Franklin School for the Performing Arts
 2019 FSPA