Geneva Conservatory

Ms. Amber Ward

B.M. in Music Education, Baylor University

Amber Ward (P'26, '27, '29) brought her extensive experience in music performance to Geneva School in 2019. She holds a Bachelor of Music Education with vocal and choral emphasis from Baylor University. Before moving to New York City, Amber directed high school choir in Houston TX at Taylor High School, one of the most competitive choral programs in the region. Amber is also a professional Equity singer-actor in the city. Some of her favorite musical theater roles include Beth in Little Women (Engeman Theater), Dorothy in Wizard of Oz (Jenny Wiley), and Belle in Beauty and the Beast (Houston, TX). Amber and her husband, Seth Ward, have led worship at Central Presbyterian Church on the Upper East Side for the past ten years and have toured as Christian music artists with their record, Bitter Kiss. Amber also enjoys reading, seeing musicals and plays, playing the guitar, tennis, Central Park, and spending time with her family.

Dr. Julie Lawrence

Violin, Music Theory, and Chamber Music
Suzuki Teacher Certification
B.M. in Violin Performance, Manhattan School of Music
M.M. in Violin Performance, Manhattan School of Music
D.M.A. candidate in Violin Performance, Rutgers University

New York City-based violinist Julie Lawrence has performed throughout the United States and Europe. Ms. Lawrence is passionate about bringing music into non-traditional concert spaces such as psychiatric hospitals, libraries, and neighborhood centers to interact with community members around the shared experience and joy of music. She has appeared as soloist with the Ashland Symphony alongside renowned violinist Aaron Berofsky, with the Hudson Symphony, and has given solo and chamber music recitals in Steinway Hall, InterChurch Center, Columbia University, United Nations Chapel, Spanish Cultural Institute of New York, Fort Lee Library Series, Union Theological Seminary, Ashland University, The University of Akron, Rutgers University, Manhattan School of Music, and Battery Park City’s “Strings on Hudson” series. As an orchestral musician, Julie Lawrence has performed in New York’s most prestigious concert halls, including Carnegie Hall’s Stern Auditorium, Zankel Hall, Alice Tully Hall, and Symphony Space and with orchestras like the Chappaqua Symphony, Binghamton Philharmonic, Chelsea Symphony, Garden State Philharmonic, Bellayre Opera, and Dell’Arte Opera. She has been a fellow with the National Repertory Orchestra, guest artist and concertmaster for the Calvin College String Summit, and concertmaster of the MasterWorks Festival Orchestra.

Julie is a member of Leadlights, a collective of string players who are passionate about sharing both contemporary and classical music with diverse communities through interactive performances and workshops. 

Committed to promoting the works of living composers, Julie commissioned and premiered the Sonata for Violin and Piano by Kyle Werner and a piano trio entitled Zaire at Steinway Hall in New York City by Nick Marsella in 2016, and commissioned a string quartet by the latter as well. Her playing can be heard on Juan Pablo Contreras’ album Silencio en Juárez (Albany Records) and David Chesky’s Joy and Sorrow (Chesky Records). 

Her interest in early music has led Ms. Lawrence to collaborate with singers to program works like “Semelé” by Elisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre, as well as instrumental works by Albinoni, Telemann, and Vivaldi on period instruments. Her performances as a guest artist with Mango Baroque have been presented at Columbia University and Rutgers University, and her article “An In-Depth Look at the Vibrato Practices of the 17th and 18th Centuries According to Primary Sources” was published in the ASTA Journal. She recently completed her dissertation thesis on “The International Style of Georg Muffat.” 

A dedicated educator, Julie Lawrence is on faculty at The Geneva Conservatory of Music in Manhattan, where she was the director for six years. She has been violin faculty for the Rutgers University Extension Division and Harmony Program, working with at-risk youth, and cultivates a private violin studio in Washington Heights. Ms. Lawrence earned a B.M. and M.M. from Manhattan School of Music studying with Laurie Smukler and Isaac Malkin, and a Doctor of Musical Arts at Rutgers University, working with Carmit Zori. Other teachers and mentors include Amy Barlowe, Alan Bodman, Martha Caplin, the American String Quartet, and Lawrence Dutton of the Emerson Quartet. Ms. Lawrence plays a violin crafted in 2014 by Boston violin maker Benjamin Ruth. 

Ms. Hannah Cen

Piano, Suzuki violin group class accompanist
B.M. in piano performance, Manhattan School of Music
M.M. in piano performance, Manhattan School of Music
M.M. candidate in organ performance, Manhattan School of Music

Pianist and organist Hannah Lingen Cen, born in Tianjin, China, has delighted audiences in solo appearances at NYC’s Steinway Hall, St. Paul’s Chapel of Trinity Church, Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church and New Paltzin upstate New York. Her collaborative performances include chamber music recitals at the National Opera Center and Manhattan School of Music (MSM), where she serves as an accompanist in the collegiate and precollege divisions. Ms. Cen attended the PianoSummer Festival at SUNY New Paltz for four consecutive summers. She has played in masterclasses for world-renowned pianists Vladimir Ovchinnikov, Jereme Rose and Hui-Ying Liu. 

Ms. Cen won the third prize of 2019 AGO Brooklyn chapter scholarship organ competition and a scholarship recipient of the Oregon Bach festival organ institute and E. Power Biggs Fellowship. Ms. Cen currently serves as organ scholar and pianist at Grace Episcopal Church, NYC. She previously served as pianist at Redeemer Presbyterian Church and as organist at Calvary United Methodist, both in NYC. Ms. Cen earned Bachelor and Master of Music degrees in piano performance from Manhattan School of Music, studying with Phillip Kawin. She is pursuing a Master’s degree in Organ performance at MSM with Andrew Henderson.

As a dedicated teacher, Ms. Cen has taught students from beginner to intermediate levels in the New York and New Jersey area. To maximize student learning, she works with students to connect their music making with their other interests and pursuits.

Dr. Patricia Davis

Suzuki Teacher Certification, School for Strings (NYC)
B.M. in Violin Performance, Eastman School of Music
ARCM (Performer’s Certificate), Royal College of Music (London)
M.M. & D.M.A. in Violin Performance, Stony Brook University

Violinist Patricia Davis is based in New York City where she performs with American Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra of St. Luke’s and in several Broadway show orchestras. She has participated in music festivals throughout the U.S., Europe and Canada and has collaborated with such artists as Montserrat Caballe, Diana Ross, Gladys Knight, Andrea Bocelli, The Smashing Pumpkins and rock star legend, Peter Gabriel. Recent performances include at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center and the White House. Ms. Davis has also performed with various ensembles on NPR’s Performance Today, MTV, A&E, CNN, PBS’s Great Performances, The MacNeil-Lehrer Report and on Good Morning America. She was recently featured as solo violinist on WQXR (NYC) with pianist/composer Beata Moon. Ms. Davis graduated from the Eastman School of Music, London’s Royal College of Music and SUNY Stony Brook where she received a Doctorate of Musical Arts in violin performance as a student of Joyce Robbins.

Ms Davis has served as jurist for The Juilliard School Pre College Concerto Competition, The New York String Orchestra Seminar and Columbia University’s Concerto Competition. She is on the faculty of the Geneva Conservatory (NYC) where she trains young violinists in the Suzuki Method.

Ms. E.J. Lee

Han Yang University, B.M.
Manhattan School of Music, M.M.

Violinist E.J. Lee joined The Chelsea Symphony in 2010. Two years later, in 2012, she became the acting Second Principal. She began playing the violin in Seoul, Korea at the age of four and graduated from the Manhattan School of Music with a master’s degree in 2004. At the age of seven E.J. made her first appearance as a soloist, playing the Vivaldi Violin Concerto with a full orchestra.  As a teenager she won a national violin competition in Korea, which lead her to perform Bruch Violin Concerto with the Seoul Symphony. Throughout the years, E.J. has performed in various prestigious concert venues such as Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center and Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, home of the Philadelphia Orchestra. The depth of her practice has lead to intersections with conductors, such as Charles Dutoit and Kurt Masur, and composers that include Pierre Boulez. She performed Boulez’s “Notation III” under his baton. 

E.J. has taught students privately and in schools for over twenty years. E. J. is committed to service, which she demonstrates through her role as a board member at The Chelsea Symphony, and as an advocate for musical outreach. As an advocate, she actively seeks to address a larger philanthropic goal of bringing music to audiences for whom access to music and concerts is often challenging.

Ms. Alina Lim

Cello, Chamber Music
B.M. in Cello Performance, The Juilliard School
M.M. in Cello Performance, The Juilliard School

Alina Lim, cellist of the Allant Trio, is as versatile a chamber musician as she is a performer in solo and orchestral music. Ms. Lim has appeared in various venues across North America including Carnegie Hall and Rolston Recital Hall in Banff, Canada. Her career has also brought her to halls in Australia, Germany, Korea, Norway, Poland, and the U.K., including the Royal Albert Hall and the Seoul Arts Centre. The Allant Trio was selected as a winner at the Beverly Hills Auditions in 2013, as well as being the recipient of the Jonathan Madrigal Entrepreneurship Grant from The Juilliard School. An advocate of chamber music, Ms. Lim has performed in community settings for people who have limited access to classical concerts, giving performances at the James Lenox House for Senior and the soup kitchen of Calvary-St. George’s Episcopal Church. Ms. Lim won various awards and scholarships through The Kiwanis Music Festival of the Greater Toronto Area and The Ontario Music Festivals Association. She was also a two-time winner at the national finals of The Canadian Music Competition.Recipient of the Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist Award, she has performed on the NPR show From the Top, and has been featured on ABC Classic FM in Australia and on the MBC Network in South Korea. She has been principal cellist of various orchestras throughout her career, such as the Mannes Orchestra, National Repertory Orchestra and the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra. As an orchestral musician, she has performed in venues of international recognition, including the BBC Proms in London and the Lincoln Center Festival as part of the Juilliard Orchestra Tour in the summer of 2012. Ms. Lim was an orchestral fellow at the Aspen Music Festival and School for two summers, in addition to a participant in other music festivals such as ENCORE School for Strings, Meadowmount School of Music, the Chamber Music Residency at the Banff Centre for the Arts, and the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival. Ms. Lim began her cello studies with Joowon Kim at The Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, Canada and went on to continue her studies with David Hetherington. She is a graduate of The Juilliard School, where she studied with Richard Aaron in the accelerated Bachelor of Music/ Masters of Music program. Ms. Lim also continued her studies with Marcy Rosen at the Mannes College, The New School for Music.

Ms. Luka Oida

Piano and Music Theory
B. M. in Piano Performance, Northwestern University
M. M. in Piano Performance, Manhattan School in Music
Artist Diploma in Piano Performance, The Hartt School

Southern California born pianist Luka Oida has made solo and chamber music appearances in major cities throughout the country, including New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles. Her talent has also taken her beyond the United States to Austria, Italy, Poland, and Japan. As a soloist, she has performed Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 20 in D Minor with Austria’s Vienna Residence Orchestra. She has also performed at Steinway Hall in New York City, the International Music Academy in Italy, the Aspen Music Festival and School, the Karol Szymanowski Academy of Music, and the New Orleans International Piano Institute, to name a few. Ms. Oida holds a Masters in Music degree at New York’s Manhattan School of Music, where she studied piano performance under Phillip Kawin. She received her Bachelor of Music degree at Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music with Alan Chow. Prior to Northwestern, Ms. Oida studied with Dr. Louise Lepley at the Colburn School in Los Angeles.

Dr. Kyle Werner

Advanced Music Theory and Ear Training, Music History, and Composition
B.M. in Composition, University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music
M.M. in Composition, Manhattan School of Music
D.M.A. in Composition, Manhattan School of Music

Kyle Werner is a composer whose interest in showcasing performers’ expressive capabilities has led to collaborations with world-class musicians and ensembles, such as the Chicago Chamber Musicians, Grand Rapids Symphony, Axiom Brass, Windscape, guitarist Jordan Dodson, and members of Eighth Blackbird. His works have been performed at the Colburn School, Hindemith Music Centre, Manhattan School of Music, Midwest Composers’ Symposium, MusicX Festival, Opera on Tap, Palais de Fontainebleau, Society for American Music Annual Conference, University of Cincinnati, University of Michigan, Redeemer Presbyterian Church, Tenth Presbyterian Church, the Yamaha Piano Salon, and Greenwich House Music School. Dr. Werner has also been composer-in-residence at Chamber Music Campania in Varano, Italy. He has completed Doctor of Musical Arts and Master of Music degrees at Manhattan School of Music, and a Bachelor of Music degree at University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, in addition to summer study at the American Conservatory in Fontainebleau, France. His primary teachers have included Joel Hoffman, Michael Fiday, Susan Botti, and J. Mark Stambaugh. A passionate music educator, Dr. Werner has taught students from middle school through graduate level and currently teaches music theory at Geneva Conservatory of Music. He previously held a doctoral teaching fellowship at Manhattan School of Music, where he coordinated the tutoring program and taught aural skills, instrumentation, and music theory to students ranging from freshman to graduate students. Also an avid sailor, he holds certifications from US Sailing and the American Sailing Association, and has sailed in the Bahamas, Cyclades (Greece), Florida Keys, Great Lakes, New York Harbor, and the San Juan Islands.

Mr. Bray Wilkins

University of Idaho, B.A. and M.M. in Vocal Performance
Music Academy of the West, Certificate of Performance

American tenor Bray Wilkins has had the pleasure of performing professionally in both Musical Theater, and Opera repertory across the country. Some of his operatic roles include Lensky (Eugene Onegin), Nemorino (L’elisir d’amore), Tamino (Die Zauberflöte), Fenton (Falstaff), Duke of Mantua (Rigoletto), Ferrando (Così fan tutte), Rinuccio (Gianni Schicchi), Alfred (Die Fledermaus), Camille (The Merry Widow), Lysander (Midsummer Night’s Dream), Don Ottavio (Don Giovanni), Aeneas (Dido and Aeneas). As a concert soloist Mr. Wilkins has performed Handle’s Messiah, Haydn‘s Creation, Vaughan Williams’ Serenade to music, Mozart’s Requiem and Missa Brevis, Bach’s Cantata No. 140, Berlioz’s L’efance du Christ, Fauré’s Requiem, and on numerous popular and operatic concert programmes. Mr. Wilkins also sings with the prestigious Metropolitan Opera extra chorus, is a three-time Fellow at the Music Academy of the West, and a former Seattle Opera Young Artist. However, his greatest accomplishment consists of somehow convincing his beautiful wife to marry him, and their two amazing children.

back to top