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Coming Together Through Music

Our Variety Is Our Strength

Piano Instructors

Dragica Banic

Dragica Banic Curcic

Dragica Banic-Curcic was born in Zadar, Croatia. She graduated from the Stankovic School in Belgrade with an Associated Degree in Music and came to the United States in 1985 to study both Accordion and Composition with world-renowned classical accordionist and composer, Dr William Schimmel. Under his tutelage, she received the Neupauer Conservatory Order of the Shield diplomas both at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

She took part in performances of Pauline Oliveros‘s The Wanderer at the Whitney Museum under the conductorship of Tania Leon and at Cooper Union School of the Arts and The Brooklyn Academy of Music under the conductorship of Lukas Foss.
She returned briefly to her native country as a teacher in Zagreb. Upon returning to the United States, She became active as a teacher of Accordion and Piano in New Jersey and keeps up her accordion work as a participant in Dr William Schimmel‘s Master Class and Concert Series sponsored by the American Accordionists‘ Association.

She has performed the Hindemith Kammermusik #1 in New York under the Conductorship of Jim Stubbs dedicated to the victims of 9/11 and at The Bennington College Composers‘ Conference in Vermont.

She has composed and published many accordion works most notably Chromatic Etude.

Dragica is currently a member of the Music Educators Association of New Jersey. With the help of Sondra Tammam, Dragica has successfully been able to teach the Taubman technique to her students, resulting in the majority of them performing or having performed in various prestigious halls.

Stefani Mladenovic

Stefani Mladenovic is a student at Montclair State University majoring in Music Education with a concentration in a keyboard. Stefani has received many accolades for her scores at numerous music competitions and had the privilege to play at the famous Carnegie Hall.

Stefani's area of speciality is teaching young students in elementary and kindergarten as she possesses a lot of patience and passion for teaching children. Along with teaching beginner music, Stefani excels at teaching beginner music theory.

Krishna Lekhi

Krishna has been learning piano since he was 8 years old. Krishna has lots of experience working with and teaching children piano, having taught kids in Kindergarten all the way to early college using the proven Taubman Method and Technique. In addition, he teaches music theory, a subject area he is more than proficient in. He is an extremely talented musician, playing not just piano, but violin, guitar, and the ukulele. Krishna is also a former NJ All-State Singer and Songwriter. He has been invited to perform at prestigious halls such as Carnegie Hall, Disney World, DisneyLand, and the Lincoln Center in New York. He understands what it takes to perform at places of high calibre, and plans to give each of his students the tools they need to reach there. 

Winds Instructors

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Christopher Nadar

In the spring of 2022, Christopher Nadar will begin pursuing his masters in trombone performance at DePaul University, studying under Mark Fisher of the Lyric Opera of Chicago and Charlie Vernon, legendary bass trombonist of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. He recently received his Bachelor of Music in Instrumental Performance from the Baldwin Wallace University Conservatory of Music, graduating summa cum laude.

At BWU, he studied under Richard Stout of The Cleveland Orchestra, and was Secretary of Mu Phi Epsilon's Mu Phi Chapter and a member of the Dayton C. Miller Honors Society. Chris attended Eastern Music Festival (EMF) in 2021 as a member of their orchestra. He performed at the International Trombone Festival in Columbus, GA with the EMF Trombone Choir that summer as well, and was a finalist in the 2022 Lauria Concerto Competition in which he performed Launy Grøndahl’s “Concerto for Trombone and Orchestra.”

Chris was recently awarded an apprenticeship to participate in the National Music Festival in Charleston, MD on a full ride.

Chello Instructors

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Alonso Restrepo

Alonso Restrepo is a cellist from Cartagena, Colombia where he used to teach music to the youth of his city. He is a graduate of Northwestern State University of Louisiana where he completed his Bachelor’s degree in Music Performance and Industrial Engineering, and Louisiana State University where he completed his Master’s in Cello Performance with Dennis Parker.

He has been part of different summer programs and organizations such as Sewanee Summer Music Festival, Renova Music Festival, Youth Orquestra of Colombia, and the Orquestra Of The Americas. he also has been part of several symphony orchestras such as The Shreveport Symphony, Texarkana Symphony, Monroe Symphony, and Longview Symphony.

At the present, he will be pursuing his Artis Diploma at Montclair State University with Christine Lamprea.


I had Mrs. Dee as a piano teacher for over 10 years and have maintained a great relationship with her for even more years. I can say that she
is kind and patient but is willing to do anything to make me the best pianist I could be, always encouraging me and pushing me beyond what I
thought I could do. With her professional and expert teachings I have gone to perform and compete at Carnegie Hall and also compete in
other competitions and ended with 1st place! Overall, Mrs. Dee and her instructors will bring out the best musician in you as they did for me!