2017 Summer Solstice GalaBRONXsalon2016 Annual Gala2015 Annual Gala2014 Annual Gala40th Anniversary Gala - 2013

Celebrating 44 Years of BAE
June 21, 2017
5:30 to 8:30 pm
Van Cortlandt Golf Lake House – Van Cortlandt Park
Tickets: $125

We invite you to join us in support of BAE’s Live Performances and Arts-in-Education Programs


Associate Professor of Anesthesiology and Pediatrics, Columbia University Bronx Arts Ensemble Board Chair

Director, Lehman Stages

Principal, PS 83

E. Heidi Jerome, MD
The BAE happily honors Dr. Heidi Jerome for her exemplary leadership of the BAE for the past four years as Board Chair. A resident of Riverdale, Heidi is Associate Professor of Anesthesiology for pediatric patients at Columbia University – Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital there. She is also on the faculty at Columbia University’s Medical School.  Dr. Jerome is on the Medical Advisory Board of Smile Train, and has done a number of medical missions in the developing world with cleft lip and palate and burn scar revision. Born in Minneapolis, Heidi graduated from Williams College and received an MD degree from the University of Minnesota in 1978. She had a Pediatric Residency at Columbia University, as well as Anesthesiology Residency at Massachusetts General Hospital.  Her daughter Jane Arden is working as a paralegal in Minneapolis, and son Peter Arden is doing Clinical Depression Research at New York State Psychiatric Institute.  Heidi loves music, theater, cooking and playing the piano.

Dante Albertie
Dante Albertie has been friend and colleague of the BAE for over 20 years as Founder and Director of Lehman Stages, the professional performance and rehearsal facilities at Lehman College, CUNY in the Bronx. Providing ongoing instructive and hilarious musical shows for children with the BAE, such as “The Three Little Pigs”, “Cindy-Rella” and “Ferdinand the Bull”, Dante was Co-Founder and Artistic Director of the Belmont Playhouse in the Bronx’s “Little Italy”, and prior to this Administrative Director at Theater for the New City in New York.  Currently, Lehman Stages serves 70,000 annually through its rental operations, production services and artistic programming. Mr. Albertie currently serves as adjunct lecturer for the Theatre Program at Lehman, teaching classes in performing arts management. As a freelance theater director he has worked with UbU Rep, E.S.T., Cherry Lane Alternative, Seven Angels Theatre, Henry Street Settlement, Naked Angels Theater Company, Bronx Stage & Film Company and Bank Street Theatre. Dante received his BA in Drama Studies from SUNY Purchase and MA in Arts Management/Entrepreneurship from SUNY Purchase in 2016.

Brandon Muccino
The Bronx Arts Ensemble welcomes as valued honoree Brandon Muccino, who as Principal for 17 years of PS 83 in the Bronx sponsors in-school and after-school programs with BAE teaching artists, as well as a newly-formed orchestra of his students at the school, performing for the first time this year.  A graduate of the University of Rhode Island in 1995 with an undergraduate degree in Speech Communications and minor in Advertising, Brandon then went to Mercy College, earning Master’s degrees in Special Education, and School Administration and Supervision. He developed an early love for music which led to playing the recorder, violin, viola, trumpet and saxophone. Brandon’s love of music continues to this day as a strong supporter of the arts in his school.  At home, he lives with his beautiful wife Christie, an educator as well, and their four sons.

NY Philharmonic virtuoso Anthony McGill

Anthony McGill (Photo by David Finlayson)

NY Philharmonic Principal Clarinetist Anthony McGill and the BAE Piano Trio perform classical and contemporary works as part of Bronx Arts Ensemble’s Chamber Music Series in historic Bronx venues at the home of Paula Luria and Bill Caplan.

Anthony McGill, Clarinet
Adrienne Kim
, Piano
Jorge Avila
, Violin
Eliana Mendoza
, Cello


Beethoven: Trio For Clarinet, Cello and Piano in B flat, Opus 11, (1798)
Bernstein: Sonata for Clarinet and Piano (1942)
Fauré: Piano Trio, Opus 120 (1877)



The Piano Trio in B-flat major, Op. 11,[a] was composed by Ludwig van Beethoven in 1797 and published in Vienna the next year. It is one of a series of early chamber works, many involving woodwind instruments because of their popularity and novelty at the time. The trio is scored for piano, clarinet (or violin), and cello (sometimes substituted by bassoon). The key of B-flat major was probably chosen to facilitate fast passages in the B-flat clarinet, which had not yet benefited from the development of the Boehm system. Beethoven dedicated the piece to Countess Maria Wilhelmine von Thun.

Clarinetist Anthony McGill

Clarinetist Anthony McGill

Recognized as one of the world’s finest solo, chamber and orchestral musicians, ANTHONY McGILL was named Principal Clarinet of the New York Philharmonic in 2014, and was previously Principal Clarinet of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, and Associate Principal of the Cincinnati Symphony. Mr. McGill has appeared as soloist with the Met Orchestra, American Symphony and New York String Orchestra as well as the New York Philharmonic and the orchestras of Baltimore, Kansas City, New Jersey and San Diego. As a chamber musician he has appeared with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, and at such summer festivals as Tanglewood, Marlboro, Mainly Mozart and Santa Fe. In January of 2009 Mr. McGill performed with Itzhak Perlman, Yo-Yo Ma and Gabriela Montero at the inauguration of President Barack Obama. A graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music, he serves on the faculties of the Juilliard School of Music, Peabody Conservatory, Bard College Conservatory and Manhattan School of Music. [Photo by David Finlayson]

Adrienne Kim

Adrienne Kim

Pianist ADRIENNE KIM has performed as soloist with the Central Philharmonic of Beijing, Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de México, Portland Chamber Orchestra and Richmond Symphony. She was a member of Chamber Music Society Two, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s residency program for emerging young artists, and she is also a founding member of New York Chamber Music Co-op, a new creative performance collaborative based in New York. Ms. Kim has recorded the solo and chamber music of Daniel S. Godfrey with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra on the Koch label, and on the Centaur label the violin and piano sonatas of Granados, Turina and Rodrigo with BAE solo artist Jorge Ávila. Adrienne Kim is on the faculty of Mannes College, The New School where she serves as Coordinator of the Piano Department in the Prep division and Coordinator of Secondary Piano in the College division. She is as well coach for the New York Youth Symphony’s chamber music program. Her teachers were Menahem Pressler at Indiana University where she earned a Bachelor’s degree, and Leon Fleisher at the Manhattan School of Music, receiving there a Master’s degree.

Violinist Jorge Avila

Violinist Jorge Avila

Violinist JORGE ÁVILA has won attention as an outstanding performer through numerous appearances as soloist, recitalist, concertmaster and chamber musician. An Artist Performer with the Bronx Arts Ensemble, Jorge has appeared as soloist with the Ridgefield Symphony, Colonial Symphony, New Amsterdam Symphony and Riverside Orchestra, and has performed as concertmaster with the Stamford Symphony, Greenwich Symphony, Oratorio Society of New York, Musica Sacra, Jose Limon Dance Company and Gotham Opera Orchestra. On Broadway he has performed in such productions as Wicked, South Pacific and West Side Story, and with suchchamber ensembles as Simon String Quartet, Abaca String Band, Prism Ensemble and Musicians’ Accord. A native of San Pedro Sula, Honduras, Jorge began his violin studies at age 14. In New York, he received both his Bachelor of Music and Professional Studies diplomas at the Mannes College of Music. Major teachers included Jorge Corpus, David Nadien, Charles Castleman and Jose Chain-Barbot. Jorge has recorded for the Naxos, Nonesuch Records and Centaur labels. His Carnegie Hall Concerto debut with the DCINY orchestra was in 2012, and recent performances include the Beethoven Violin Concerto with the Ridgefield Symphony in 2011.

Cellist Eliana Mendoza

Cellist Eliana Mendoza

Cellist, ELIANA MENDOZA has been a member of the Westchester Philharmonic for more than 15 years. She has performed extensively as soloist, chamber musician and as an orchestral player. Ms. Mendoza debuted at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall as a prizewinner of the Artists International competition in 1991. She appeared as soloist in approximately 50 concerts performing the Paganini – Lloyd Weber variations. Ms. Mendoza has been a long time member of the American Symphony Orchestra and the American Composers Orchestra. She has also recorded for movie soundtracks and commercials and is a member of “The Lion King” orchestra on Broadway.  Ms. Mendoza has recorded chamber music under labels such as New World Records, Sound Spell Productions and the Centaur Records.

BRONX ARTS ENSEMBLE ANNUAL BENEFIT to support BAE’s acclaimed arts-in-education programs in Bronx schools. Cocktails, great food, music and surprise student performances!
Saturday, April 9, 2016, 4 – 7 pm
RIVERDALE YACHT CLUB West 254th Street at Hudson River, Bronx


Former Executive Director, Bronx Council on the Arts
Composer and Former Associate Editor, Opera News and Board Member, Bronx Arts Ensemble
Principal, Bronx International High School

bill_aguadoRetired in 2011 after 33 years as Executive Director of the Bronx Council on the Arts, BILL AGUADO continues his crucial work in community and cultural activism and advocacy, lending his expertise on behalf of emerging artists, community cultural groups and community-based organizations in the Bronx. Through Mr. Aguado’s guidance, BCA saw the elevation of local arts as a valued asset of the borough, a period in which funding for Bronx arts organizations and artists increased dramatically, defining the importance of community arts and artists representing people of color. To this end, in 2003 he organized and managed the first citywide grants program, Urban Artists Initiative.

Among Mr. Aguado’s many accomplishments are the creation of Longwood Arts Gallery in 1986, the creation of BRIO, an artist fellowship program in 1988, creation of Bronx Writers’ Corp in 1994 (placing poets and writers in programs serving at-risk children), and the founding of the Bronx Tourism Council in 1991. In 2003 Bill also implemented the Bronx Culture Trolley and South Bronx Culture Corridor.

In honor of his mother and reflecting his strong belief in supporting and recognizing the sacrifices and contributions of single parents as community role models, Mr. Aguado established the Josephine Aguado Scholarship Fund at Hostos Community College. In 2015, he announced a five-year commitment to underwrite two fellowships for graduate single mother students of Puerto Rican descent for the non-profit organization El Comite de Noviembre.

A founding member of the New York City Latino Commission on AIDS, Mr. Aguado was also appointed by Governor Cuomo to serve as a Trustee of SUNY Purchase. In honor of his accomplishments, Lehman College awarded Bill an Honorary Doctorate in Arts in May, 2014. Bill Aguado received a BA in Sociology in 1971 and in 1973 an MA in Teaching, specializing in Urban Education and Sociology, from Fordham University. In 1972 as a Fordham graduate student he was hired to organize and manage the first alternative school in the Bronx.

john_freemanComposer and writer JOHN W. FREEMAN was born in Riverdale in 1928, attended Riverdale Country School, later graduating from Andover and Yale. A writer majoring in English literature, he also pursued musical studies in piano, theory and composition. At the Tanglewood Music Festival in 1948 he was a member of Darius Milhaud’s composition class. In 1950 Mr. Freeman began contributing articles to Opera News, and in 1960 joined the magazine’s staff as an associate editor, serving forty years until retirement in 2000. He has contributed to many other periodicals and is author or co-author of several books, including The Golden Horseshoe (a history of the old Metropolitan Opera), a biography of Toscanini and the two-volume Metropolitan Opera Stories of the Great Operas. John Freeman’s compositions include songs and vocal chamber music, as well as choral and instrumental pieces. The Bronx Arts Ensemble has presented premieres of many of Mr. Freeman’s works, and his Suite for Wind Orchestra (with Percussion and Organ) was recorded by the BAE at Fordham University Church in 1995. He joined the BAE right after its founding and became second Chairman of the Board, remaining a Board member to the present.

joaquinJOAQUIN VEGA immigrated to the United States after completing high school in Colombia. He became a school aide at Manhattan International High School while still in college. With his computer science degree, he spent ten years at Manhattan International, and became a math teacher and coach of three PSAL teams. Completing two Masters’ degrees, he became Assistant Principal at Bronx International High School, and has been Principal since 2006. As part of the International Network of Schools, Bronx International focuses on reaching all recent immigrant students and preparing them for continued education after graduation. The academic structure comprises mixed level groupings, tier support, outcomes-based learning, advisory/service learning, college-now and internships for all students. Under Joaquin’s direction Bronx Arts Ensemble offers dance, visual art, drumming, guitar at Bronx International High School. Joaquin is a New York City LEAP Program Mentor and is part of the Innovation Zone.

At a school in which students are primarily of Hispanic and West African descent, Joaquin focuses on helping his students adjust to a new cultural environment, catering to individual learning needs. He has stated, “We follow the international school philosophy, which includes flexible grouping, experiential learning, language and literacy acquisition and “learning outside the four walls” including internships and service-learning.” Under Joaquin’s leadership the school is thriving in meeting the social/academic needs of his students with what he states is “the best staff in New York City”.

SATURDAY, MAY 16 * 4-7 pm
Riverdale Yacht Club 800 W. 254th St on the Hudson River
To celebrate and support BAE’s acclaimed arts-in-education programs in Bronx schools!



APRIL 12, 2014 FROM 4 – 7 PM

West 254th Street at the Hudson River
Bronx, NY

To celebrate and support BAE’s acclaimed arts-in-education programs in Bronx schools!


ben_waxmanBEN WAXMAN
Network Leader, Children First Network #534
Ben Waxman has served New York City children as an educator for 40 years. Following teaching mathematics and serving as a teacher trainer in District 18, he joined the staff of New York City Teacher Center Consortium at UFT. For the next fourteen years he served as a facilitator of school wide programs and coordinator of support for low performing schools. Following his positions of Director of Middle School Initiatives in District 4 and Restructuring Regional and Local Instructional Superintendent for Region 5, and after work at several colleges, Mr. Waxman was recruited by the UFT as Director of Operations for UFT Elementary Charter Schools. He currently serves as a PSO Network Leader for CEI-PEA CFN 534. In 2002 he received the Parent Empowerment Award for Distinguished Service to the Children and Parents of New York City Public Schools, awarded by the United Parent Associations. Thanks to his leadership, Mr. Waxman’s network of schools are currently participating in BAE’s Arts-in-Education programs for the duration of 2014.

The New York Community Trust has been a crucial lifeline making New York City a vital and secure place since its founding in 1924. The Trust ended 2012 with assets of more than $2.1 billion in more than 2000 charitable funds, and made grants totaling $136 million. Attracting a multitude of donors who are committed to feeding the hungry, educating children, protecting the environment, nourishing the arts and revitalizing neighborhoods, The Trust has been actively involved in recovery efforts following Superstorm Sandy as well as establishing a September 11th Fund with The United Way of NYC. Committed to helping cultural groups integrate arts into needy public schools, and initiate programs in schools that lack arts, The Trust played a pivotal role in starting the Center for Arts Education. The New York Community Trust has provided a $60,000 grant, awarded in 2013, which supports BAE’s Arts-in-Education programs in Children First Network #534, led by Ben Waxman.

norma_vegaNORMA VEGA
Principal, ELLIS Prep Academy
ELLIS Prep Academy was founded by Principal Norma Vega in 2008, and serves a 16 to 21-year old newly arrived immigrant English language learner student body, many with interrupted or limited formal education. Prior to her appointment as Principal at ELLIS Prep, Ms. Vega was Special Services Manager at Children’s First Network, as well as one of the founding members and former Principal of Bronx International High School, which opened in 2001. She joined that school as a social worker and held that position prior to becoming Principal in 2004. Ms. Vega was also a social worker at Brooklyn IHS and Legacy High School. She earned her undergraduate degree from Fordham University, MA in Social Work from Columbia University and an MA in Educational Administration from Bank Street College’s Principals Institute. The Bronx Arts Ensemble is one of several current cultural partners at ELLIS Academy.

Music by Valerie Capers and John Robinson

Tickets $125 per person [purchase tickets]

SATURDAY,  APRIL 27 at 6 pm

Pelham/Split Rock Golf Club
870 Shore Road
Bronx, NY

To celebrate and support BAE’s acclaimed arts-in-education programs in Bronx schools!


Paula Luria Caplan
BAE Board Member, Urban Planning Consultant/Community Leader

Félix V. Matos Rodríguez
President of Hostos Community College (CUNY)

William Rodriguez
Jazz Pianist and Founder/Principal, Celia Cruz High School of Music

Attire: Business Professional

Paula Luria Caplan

Paula Luria Caplan

Paula Luria Caplan
is a professional urban planner with experience in planning and economic development including program and policy formation, economic and feasibility analysis, land use, zoning, environmental issues and strategic planning. She has worked in the public and private sectors and is presently an independent consultant on urban planning and policy.  Prior to entering private practice she served as Deputy Director of Planning and Development for the Bronx Borough President.  During a career spanning over twenty-five years Ms. Caplan worked at the New York City Planning Department, the New York State Urban Development Corporation and Chase Bank.  Accredited by the American Institute of Certified Planners, she sits on the Zoning Committees of the American Planning Association’s NY Metro Chapter and the Citizens Housing and Planning Council.  She is currently a board member of the Bronx Arts Ensemble and Friends of Van Cortlandt Park, and previously of the Bronx Opera Company and Riverdale Senior Services.

Félix V. Matos Rodríguez

Félix V. Matos Rodríguez

Félix V. Matos Rodríguez
  took office as the 6th President of Eugenio María de Hostos Community College (CUNY) in 2009, following service as Secretary of the Department of the Family for the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and earlier, Senior Social Welfare and Health Advisor to the Governor of Puerto Rico. Dr. Matos Rodríguez’ undergraduate studies were at Yale University, where he graduated cum laude in Latin American Studies, and he received his PhD in history from Columbia University. While at Hostos, Dr. Matos Rodríguez is on leave from Hunter College, where he is Professor of Black and Puerto Rican/Latino Studies. He has also served as Director of the Center for Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter and is part of the History Dept. at CUNY Graduate Center.

Dr. Matos Rodríguez is currently a Board Member of the American Council on Education, as well as Bronx Chamber of Commerce, National Community College Hispanic Council and FedCap. His numerous awards include recognition for excellence in education from the New York State Senate and Assembly’s Puerto Rican/Latino Caucus in 2002, El Diario/la Prensa “El Award” in 2009 and special recognition from the National Hispanic Chamber of Commerce on Health in 2011.

William Rodriguez

William Rodriguez

William (Willie) Rodriguez
has been a fixture in Latin and Latin/Jazz music since the 70’s. He has played and recorded with several Latin and Jazz artists throughout his career. Among his many recordings notably he is on Machito’s Grammy award winning 1982 Salsa Big Band on the Timeless Label, Utrecht, Holland and on Celia Cruz’ Grammy award winning 2002 album on Sony. He has also recorded with Luis “Perico” Ortiz, Johnny Pacheco and Steve Turre. His career continues as an educator where he earned a doctorate in music education from Teachers College, Columbia University. Dr. William (Willie) Rodriguez is the founder and principal of the Celia Cruz Bronx High School of Music.

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