Encore Staff

Meet the Encore Staff


The Encore faculty is comprised of teaching artists from all across NYC, representing a range of musical instruments, genres, traditions, and professional performance experience. Several Encore faculty members teach at our local community schools in our Encore Outreach program as well. We believe in employing “positive-psychology” teaching methodologies in our private lessons and group classes, emphasizing culminating projects and performances, and drawing upon the real-word experiences that our music faculty bring to music education at every level.

Dr. Samuel Torjman Thomas

Director of Musical Arts

Dr. Samuel Torjman Thomas is the Director of Musical Arts for the Sephardic Community Center. He oversees all music programming for Encore and for Encore Outreach. In addition to his…

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Michael Catton

Composition, digital music, bass, guitar, rock band, & general music

Michael Catton is a Brooklyn-based composer with a Film Scoring degree from Berklee College of Music. Specializing in composition, Michael has accumulated knowledge and experience using a variety of different music and…

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Ty Citerman

Guitar, early education, & composition

Ty Citerman is a Brooklyn, NY-based guitarist, composer and bandleader who writes, performs and teaches music across the spectrum of jazz, rock and contemporary classical. He is a founding member…

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Levi Claiborne

Dance & creative movement

Levi Claiborne grew up in Crown Heights, Brooklyn and started dancing in the 80’s club scene. Since then he has worked with Mariah Carey, R and B singers Joe and…

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Tomer Cohen

Guitar, ukulele, early education, & audio production

Born in the US, raised in Israel, Tomer picked up the guitar at a young age. From that moment, Tomer knew that his pursuit in life is music. Tomer studied…

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Moshe Elmakias

Piano, composition, & jazz improvisation

Moshe Elmakias is an Israeli composer and pianist currently based in Boston. With a virtuosic personal style (he began studying classical piano at age 6), he is one the most…

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Hillai Govreen

Winds, piano, ukulele, & early education

Hillai Govreen is a multi-instrumentalist and composer based in New York. Born and raised in Israel, her love for music was triggered at an early age. She started playing classical…

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Pele Greenberg

Drumset, percussion, guitar, piano, & digital music production

Pele Greenberg has been a musician since before he was old enough to read. He plays the drums, as well as some hand percussion, piano and guitar and has been…

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Eddie Grupper

Keyboard, music theory, technology, & GenEd

Eddie Grupper is a professional music producer, engineer, musician, teacher, artist, inventor and entrepreneur. He has developed and ran audio departments for national music and media publications, working with artists…

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Alex Koi

Vocals, piano, musical theater, & songwriting

Alex is a vocalist, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist based in Brooklyn. She is a versatile performer of rock, pop, Jazz, musical theater and classical music, and holds a Jazz Voice BMA…

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Kushaiah Hooper

Drumset, percussion, & buckets

Kushaiah is a native to New York City, and began exploring his musical gifts on the drum set at the tender age of 8 years old. He attended Adlai E.…

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Ilan Korman

Drums, winds, early ed, & general music

Ilan has known he wanted to be a drummer since age five. Two years later he got his first drum set, and he has been obsessed with rhythm ever since.…

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Insia Malik


Insia Malik is a versatile violinist with experience in a wide array of styles and languages of artistic expression. She also earned her Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology at the Graduate Center…

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Yoni Perkins

Guitar, bass, rock ensemble, & senior therapeutic music

Known best for his performance work on the guitar and bass, Yonatan has composed music for a variety of different settings and genres, ranging from radio and Youtube commercials for…

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Ryan Powell

Piano, saxophone, and guitar

Ryan Powell is a multi-instrumentalist and composer originally from Ann Arbor, Michigan. He’s been performing in jazz and rock bands throughout southern Michigan, as well as abroad in Paris and Normandy.…

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Noam Rapoport

Piano, early education, & jazz

Noam Rapoport is an Israeli pianist and composer based in Brooklyn. An honors graduate of The New School, receiving his BFA in Jazz Performance, he has over 20 years of…

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Lindsay Rosenberg

Bass, ukulele, strings, & early education

Lindsay Rosenberg is an upright and electric bassist based in New York City. She is a versatile performer of classical, musical theater and pop. Lindsay is an adventurous, creative solo performer who is actively bringing…

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Amanda Saul

Vocal arts, piano, musical theater

Amanda Saul is a graduate of Western Illinois University with a Master of Music in Vocal Performance. While at WIU she was a student of Assistant Professor of Voice, Dr.…

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Joanne Vance

Vocals, guitar, songwriting, & early education

Joanne Vance, singer, guitarist and songwriter from Quito, Ecuador, studied music and Hispanic Literature at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, as well as Vocal and Guitar performance at…

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Frank Vitolo

Sax, clarinet, flute, piano, jazz, & general ed

Musician, educator, and composer Frank Vitolo was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. He holds a master’s in jazz studies from NYU, where he received the Steinhart Talent Award…

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