Berkshire School of Music welcomes new faculty, staff and advisory board / iBerkshires.com
|BMS announced two new faculty members: Bing Liu on violin and Jonathan Suters.|
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Music School (BMS) announced two new faculty members: Jonathan Suters on guitar and percussion; and the return of Bing Liu to the violin.
“These are exciting times for Berkshire Music School,” said new board chair Christine Condaris. “Executive Director Natalie Neubert introduced innovative programs, pushing us in new directions.”
BMS also welcomes Jim Wojtaszek to the school staff as Director of Operations. Additionally, BMS has appointed new leaders to its Board of Directors: Professor MCLA, Christine Condaris as President; local historian Jeffry Bradway as vice president; voiceover actress and stage artist, Lisa M. Avery as secretary; and Cindy Hashim as Treasurer.
Based in Pittsfield, the Berkshire Music School is a non-profit organization which, according to a press release, encourages the love and pursuit of music for all ages through music education activities, community collaborations and performance opportunities.
“It is so satisfying to be associated with Natalie and our dynamic Board of Trustees as we pursue new goals and opportunities for Berkshire Music School,” said Vice President Jeffry Bradway.
Lisa Avery, a longtime student at the BMS Cabaret studio, is now secretary of the board. Treasurer Cindy Hashim has a unique relationship with BMS.
“Berkshire Music School has long been a big part of my family,” she said. “Thirty-five years ago, my children took piano and drum lessons. Today, my grandson takes bass lessons. I am proud to continue to serve BMS as a board member of administration and treasurer.
Additionally, Berkshire Music School announced the new position of Director of Operations in September of this year, with Jim Wojtaszek hired to fill the school’s new role. Jim still teaches as part of the guitar faculty.
“Music changes lives, and I’m honored to be part of that process,” Wojtaszek said.
In addition to these positions, the Berkshire Music School announced the new advisory board made up of three community members with specialist expertise on music in the Berkshires’ community building: social justice facilitator and performer, Otha Day; medical director and nonprofit organizer, Lacy Florentino-Consolini; and cultural and educational manager, Bridget Rigas. The advisory board will help bring a fresh perspective to keep the school engaged in the community.
Jonathan Suters joins the BMS team and Bing Liu returns to BMS as a new teacher this fall. To schedule private lessons in guitar, percussion, violin, or another instrument, please call Berkshire Music School at 413-442-1411, or visit the website for online registration at www.berkshiremusicschool.org.
About the new faculty members:
Bing Liu graduated from the Boston Conservatory of Music. Bing began his musical career in China, winning prestigious violin competitions at the age of 14. She went to the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing China and Boston University. She performed with the first China Youth Symphony Orchestra Goodwill and Friendship Tour Europe with more than 15 European legs in 1987, the first time in Chinese history and the second time in 1988. She worked at the Central Opera Theater Symphony Orchestra for ten year. In addition to BMS, Bing teaches at Miss Halls School and Suzuki Music School in Troy, New York. She is co-founder of the Berkshire Trio and plays in the Berkshire Symphony.
Jonathan Suters was surrounded by music as a child, having several older siblings who were accomplished pianists/guitarists, a father who was a semi-professional bassist, and access to a large record collection. At the age of 9, he began to study music: first the violin, then the piano, double bass, classical guitar, tuba and trombone. His guitar teachers include Ed Flower (from Ithaca College) for 4 years, Richard Provost (chairman of the guitar department at the Hartt School of Music) for 2 years, and most recently Ben Verdery (director of the Yale Guitar Masters program ) for continued study. technique and interpretation. Jon’s main instrument is the classical guitar, but with a strong secondary emphasis on double bass and electric bass. Jon has been able to branch out in virtually any musical direction: with both jazz and classical roots in his private studies, he has worked with many musicians across genres and disciplines. Artists he has performed with include James Taylor, Charles Neville, Dr. John, Paul Halley, Sonya Kitchell and many music industry giants including Ed Mann, Chad Wakerman, Horacio Hernandez, Larry Goldings and Owen Young . Jon has taught at many area schools and institutions including Berkshire Country Day School, Salisbury School, Indian Mountain School, Richmond School, Austen Riggs Center, Simons Rock College and Flying Cloud Institute. Jon has also performed with Barrington Stage Co., Albany Pro Musica, Halifax Cathedral Choir and Taft School Choir. He recently performed at the Kaufman Center Musical Storefronts series with Dashon Burton, winner of the 2021 Grammy Award for Best Classical Solo Vocal Album. Jon lives in New Marlborough with his wife, 5 kids and a bunch of pets. When he’s not playing a musical instrument, he can usually be found riding a bicycle somewhere in South Berkshires County.