College Music Faculty


Daniel Andai

Dean of Music
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Daniel Andai is concertmaster, frequent soloist and guest conductor of The Miami Symphony Orchestra. He was also concertmaster and frequent soloist of the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas in New York with whom he recorded the Billboard's highly rated SONY Classical CD and made televised solo appearances for a crowd of millions during Mexico's Bicentennial celebrations at the Angel of Independence. He has held concertmaster positions with orchestras in Mexico, Brazil, Switzerland, and France, performed in the sections of the New York Philharmonic and the Miyazaki Festival Orchestra in Japan, and worked closely with members of the Emerson, Vermeer, Cassatt, and Miami String Quartets, and the New York Philharmonic, Pittsburgh Symphony, Metropolitan Opera, Berlin Philharmonic, Vienna Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Chicago Symphony, New York City Ballet and New York City Opera, among others.

Daniel Andai is the Artistic Director of the Killington Music Festival in Vermont and former violin professor at the University of Texas Pan American where he also chaired the Marialice Shivers Endowment in Fine Arts. He has served on the faculties of Miami Dade College and New World School of the Arts, and holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Miami, Master of Music and professional studies degrees from the Manhattan School of Music, and a Bachelor of Music degree cum laude from Lynn University Conservatory of Music. He received the High School Diploma from New World School of the Arts High School.

Kayla Cardona

Assistant to the Dean
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Dr. Leslie Alan Denning

Choir Director
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

A native North Carolinian, Dr. Leslie Alan Denning completed his undergraduate studies in music at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, sponsored in part by the prestigious Bryan Scholarship and various awards for academic achievement. Dr. Denning accepted scholarships for graduate studies at the University of Miami, completing the Masters of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees with recognition by Pi Kappa Lambda for his achievements. His other studies include performance and language studies in Salzburg, Austria and master classes with prominent names in vocal music such as Eleanor Steber and Birgit Nilsson. Dr. Denning’s performance experience spans the worlds of art song as well as opera. His teaching has been recognized by faculty and staff with Teacher of the Year awards at his school sites, and by the Grammy Foundation as one of the top music educators in the United States for two consecutive years.

Susan Epstein Garcia, DMA

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

A composer, educator and author, Dr. Epstein Garcia holds an DMA in Composition from Boston University 1999 and a BM in Film Scoring from Berklee College of Music 1992. Her works have been performed by the Colorado Symphony Orchestra and at Clark, Brandeis, Boston and Florida International Universities as well as internationally at University of Trinidad and Tobago, UniRio in Rio de Janeiro, and in Rome and Spain. She is a contributing author to Women and Music Since 1900: an Encyclopedia and is actively involved in IAWM (the International Alliance for Women in Music). Dr. Epstein Garcia holds the rank of Professor and joined the faculty of New World School of the Arts in 1999. She was awarded the Mary Pond Family and Friends Endowed Teaching Chair in Memory of Karl S.E. Pond.

Jim Gasior

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Jim Gasior holds a BM (1992) in Studio Music and Jazz Performance and an MM (2002) in Jazz Pedagogy from the University of Miami. Prior to his appointment to Interim Dean in July 2009, he was NWSA's Associate Professor of Jazz and Instrumental Studies. As the director of NWSA High School Jazz Ensemble, Jim led the group to numerous national successes including performing/competing at the Essentially Ellington competition eight times. The ensemble was also selected to perform at IAJE (International Association for Jazz Education) conference in New York City, Toronto, and Los Angeles. Many of his students have been awarded Downbeat Student Music Awards as well as honors such as selections to GRAMMY High School Jazz Ensemble, Jazz Bands of America, and other nationally renowned groups. The Jazz Ensemble and Combos have recorded eleven CDs, under his production and direction.

He is a successful jazz and commercial pianist, composer and arranger with performance credits with Kelly Clarkson, Ben Vereen, Jose Feliciano, Little Richard, Smokey Robinson, Jane Oliver, Camillo Sesto, Chita Rivera, The Platters, and The Drifters as well as jazz artists — Freddie Hubbard, Patti Austin, Benny Golson, Slide Hampton, Robin Eubanks, John Fedchock, Duffy Jackson, Jay Leonhardt, Jason Marsalis, Donald Harrison and the Jaco Pastorius Reunion Big Band. Studio recording credits include performances on albums for Grammy award winning artists Ricky Martin, Arturo Sandoval, Chayanne, Kelly Clarkson, Ed Calle and Raul Diblasio. Gasior has been serving as musical director for the new musical Cuba Libre written by Desmond Child and Davitt Sigerson. This new work has been performed in several readings in New York City (Graciella Daniel, Director) as well as at the La Jolla Playhouse in San Diego, CA.

Bryan Hayslett

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Cellist Bryan Hayslett continues to distinguish himself as a versatile solo, orchestral, and chamber music player. Dr. Hayslett made his Carnegie Hall debut in 2009 as first prize winner of the Alexander & Buono International String Competition and returned the following year as a repeat top prize laureate. He has taught as adjunct artist faculty at NYU Steinhardt and served as the cellist of contemporary performance group Juxtatonal. Dr. Hayslett is a proponent of new music, having founded and participated in the Semiosis Quartet and several new music chamber groups in the New England area. Dr. Hayslett can be heard on an Innova recording, "A Special Light," featuring music of David Macbride. As a scholar, Dr. Hayslett's research focuses on temporality in the music of Lee Hyla, and his PhD dissertation develops an analytical framework based on linguistics to analyze structure in Hyla's music. He has received several research grants and has presented his research at conferences across the United States and in Austria, Norway, and Portugal. A member of Pi Kappa Lambda music honor society, Hayslett holds degrees from NYU (Ph.D.), The Boston Conservatory (M.M., G.P.D.), and The Hartt School of Music (B.M.), and his principal teachers include Marion Feldman, Rhonda Rider, Terry King, and Yuri Anshelevich. Beyond music, Hayslett competes in triathlons and enjoys practicing yoga.

Richard Fleischman

Viola/Chamber Music
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Website link

With Bachelor of Music 1984 and Master of Music 1985 degrees from The Juilliard School and a Certificate of Study from The Curtis Institute of Music 1987, Richard Fleischman is one of today's most distinguished violists.  Formerly a member of the San Francisco Symphony, Mr. Fleischman continues to perform internationally on the viola and viola d'amore as soloist with orchestras such as the Miami Symphony, Colorado Philharmonic, Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, the Curtis Symphony Orchestra, and the San Francisco Concerto Orchestra.  Highlights of his career include a concert for the President and First Lady of Germany as conductor of New World Chamber Orchestra and for Vice-president Al Gore as viola soloist on live German television.  Further, he performed as principal violist with Leonard Bernstein conducting, at a televised performance of the 1988 Proms from Royal Albert Hall.  He spends his summers as the principal violist of the Santa Fe Opera Orchestra in New Mexico, is violist with the Delray String Quartet and was guest principal violist of the Hong Kong Philharmonic for several years. Mr. Fleischman has been the Professor of Viola at New World School of the Arts since 1999. He has recorded for Naxos, London/Decca, Sony and Poinciana labels.

Rodney Miller

Voice / Opera
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Rodney Nolan Miller received a BM in Vocal Performance from Birmingham-Southern College in 1969, an MM in Vocal Performance from the University of Illinois in 1973, and was a member of the American Opera center at Julliard School of Music in 1983-84.  He has had a distinguished national and international performance career, performing more than 45 operatic roles and 50 concert solos, ranging from Lohengrin to the Britten War Requiem. His discography includes Songs from Jewish Poetry by Shostakovich with I Musici de Montreal, Con Flor y Canto by Rodriquez, and Wagner’s Lohengrin.  His international appearances have included solo performances at the Maggio Musicale in Florence, Italy, the Holland Festival in Amsterdam, the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra, and at the Bellas Artes in Mexico City.  Nationally, Mr. Miller has been widely engaged by companies including The National Symphony, Buffalo Philharmonic, Seattle Orchestra, Baltimore Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, Honolulu Symphony, Oratorio Society of Utah, The New York Chamber Orchestra, Tanglewood, Wolf Trap Opera, Boston Opera, and Hawaii Opera. Highly regarded as an exceptional voice teacher, Rodney Nolan Miller amassed more than twenty years of outstanding voice teaching success in New York City, where he trained young singers who were then accepted into prestigious music schools such as Juilliard, Manhattan, Mannes, Roosevelt, and New England Conservatory, and who have won numerous contests and honors. His professional singers have appeared as leading artists with many of the most significant opera houses in America and Europe including City Opera, Seattle Opera, Cincinnati Opera, Houston Opera Washington Opera, Philadelphia Opera, San Francisco Opera, Dusseldorf Opera, Lucerne Opera, and Canadian Opera. Mr. Miller is a consultant to Wade Artist Management in New York, is highly regarded for his master classes on career development and has been teaching at the New World School of the Arts since 2003.

Brent A. Mounger

HS Wind Ensemble Director
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Brent A. Mounger received his Bachelor of Music Education degree from Stetson University. While at Stetson he began an active role in music education. During the Fall of 2004, he took on the assignment of conducting the school’s Brass Ensemble. Later in 2006, he petitioned the faculty, with the help of Dr. Bobby Adams, to create a new ensemble for woodwinds - Chamber Winds.  In 2005, Mr. Mounger was President-Elect for the Florida Collegiate Music Educator’s National Conference and served as President in 2006. While President of FCMENC, he restructured the statewide organization and was able to increase the association’s membership. A partnership program was also established where larger universities in Florida were zoned with smaller universities and community colleges to help establish links and communication between future music educators. Mr. Mounger also served on the Florida Music Educator’s Association State Board from 2005-2007.

Currently Brent Mounger is the Wind Ensemble Director at New World School of the Arts, and from 2007 until 2011 he served as Director of Bands at Coral Reef Senior High School. While at Coral Reef the Wind Ensemble received national acclaim and was invited to perform at the 2011 National Concert Band Festival. Under Mr. Mounger’s direction, the Coral Reef Senior High band program received Superior ratings at District and State Jazz and Concert Assessments. Graduates from his programs attend the New England Conservatory, Peabody Conservatory, Stetson University, University of Miami Frost School of Music, The Florida State University College of Music, Berklee College of Music and the University of Florida School of Music.

Brent Mounger is the Bass Trombonist with the Miami Wind Symphony, a professional Wind Ensemble in South Florida. His professional memberships include: the College Band Directors National Association, the National Band Association, the Music Educators’ National Conference, the Florida Music Educators’ Association, the Florida Bandmasters Association, and Phi Mu Alpha

Adjunct Faculty

Jorge Arcila


Jorge Arcila is a stage director, diction and style coach, and opera performer and educator. He studied at the José Angel Lamas Music Conservatory in Caracas, the Caracas Permanent Opera Workshop and the Teatro Teresa Carreño's Opera Training Center, simultaneously with his linguistic training at the Central University of Venezuela. After completing his studies in Modern Languages with a major in Translation, he was invited to join the Faculty of the prestigious IUDEM (University Institute of Musical Studies) and the José Angel Lamas Music Conservatory in Caracas, as Professor of Diction and Style. It was during these years that he acquired substantial knowledge in the field, and developed a keen understanding of different styles and acting techniques. Mr. Arcila worked with conductors such as Carlos Riazuelo, Theo Alcántara, Patrón de Rueda, Raúl Domínguez, Rodolfo Saglimbeni, Alfredo Rugeles, Stewart Robertson, Richard Buckley, and Pablo Castellanos. Singing lieder has been a substantial part of his work. Mr. Arcila is an accomplished recitalist. Recent appearances have included his New York recital debut at Weil Hall. He performed title roles in Nozze di Figaro, Don Pasquale, and Gianni Schicchi and with New Jersey State Repertory Opera in the role of Dulcamara. In 2008, he received his Master’s degree from the City University of New York and since 2010, taught voice a t Barry University. In 2012, he joined the voice faculty at New World School of the Arts. Jorge Arcila is the Artistic Director of The Opera Atelier.

Peter Francis


Peter Francis earned a DMA in Trumpet Performance 2005 and an MM in Music Education 1997 from the University of Miami where he studied with Gilbert Johnson and Craig Morris.  He has a Bachelor's Degree in Music Education 1991 from the University of Alaska, Fairbanks.  While at the University of Miami, Dr. Francis was a teaching assistant in the Jazz/Studio Music Department and a member of the Concert Jazz Band under Whit Sidener.  He has taught trumpet at the New World School of the Arts since 2004 and in 2010, began directing the High School Jazz Ensemble.

Dr. Francis has toured with Chayanne, Celia Cruz, Issac Delgado, Tony Vega, Richie Ray & Bobby Cruz, and Jerry Rivera among others.  In South Florida he has performed with the Manhattan Transfer, the Temptations, the Four Tops, the Ojay's, Frankie Valli, Frankie Avalon, Jack Jones, the Funk Brothers, Chaka Kahn, Patti Austin, Arturo Sandoval, Clarence Clemons, Stephen Marley, Hal Linden, Ed Calle, Tito Nieves, Luis Enrique, Cheo Feliciano, Rey Ruiz, Larry Harlow, and Frankie Ruiz, among others. Dr. Francis has also performed regularly with the Miami City Ballet and Florida Grand Opera orchestras, as well as with the South Florida Symphony, the Symphony of the Americas, the Miami Symphony, and the Florida Chamber Orchestra. Dr. Francis has served as brass panelist for the National Foundation for the Advancement of the Arts Young Arts program since 2007.  In 2011, he was awarded a NWSA Professional Development grant to attend the Jazz at Lincoln Center 2011 Band Director's Academy in New York City.

Koh Kazama


Koh Kazama is a concert guitarist and educator who has performed throughout Japan and the United States. His diverse repertoire ranges from early music played on period instruments to contemporary music using electronic effects. Dr. Kazama has performed in renowned venues, festivals, and concert series, including Carnegie Hall, Long Island Guitar Festival, Symphony Space, Webster Hall, Yale Guitar Extravaganza, and WNYC New Sounds Live series. He has also premiered works by a wide range of prominent composers, including Michael White, David Lang, William Anderson, Paula Matthusen, and Kendall Williams.
Dr. Kazama holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Stony Brook University, where he was a scholarship student and teaching assistant of the guitar department. He completed his Bachelor of Arts in psychology, Master of Music, and Artist Diploma at Yale University. He received a full scholarship to attend Yale, and he was the recipient of the Eliot Fisk Prize, which was awarded to an outstanding guitarist whose artistic achievements and dedication have contributed greatly to the department. Dr. Kazama has previously taught as a guitar instructor at Yale University and Stony Brook University.

John Kricker


John Kricker is a native Floridian and has been an active freelance musician in south Florida for the past 30 years and has been teaching at the New World School of the Arts since 2002. He performs on tenor trombone, bass trombone, and tuba.  He is a graduate of the University of Miami School of Music from where he has received both his Bachelor and Master of Music degrees.  During his career, he has performed for many major stars in virtually every musical genre including Luciano Pavaroti, Placido Domingo, Jose Cararas, Sarah Brightman; Frank Sinatra, Frank Sinatra Jr., Tony Bennett, Jerry Lewis, Steve and Eydie, Jack Jones, Debbie Reynolds, Shirley Jones, Robert Goulet, Ben Vareen, Joey Bishop, Donald O’Conner, Danny Thomas, Vic Damone, Lou Rawls, Jerry Vale, Tony Martin; Linda Ronstadt, Pia Zadora, Nell Carter, Natalie Cole, Paul Anka, Johnny Mathis, Marvin Hamlisch, Wayne Newton, Burt Bacharach, Roy Clark, Kenny Rogers, Maynard Ferguson, Chuck Mangione, Boots Randolph, Hal Linden, Larry Elgart, Willie Chirino, Juan Gabriel, Nelson Ned, Arturo Sandoval, Jose Luis Rodriguez, Jon Secada, Mana, The Platters, The Spinners, The O’Jays, The Four Tops, The Temptations, The Moody Blues, The Fifth Dimension, The Smothers Brothers, Dr. John, and P Diddy.  Mr. Kricker is also a frequent performer in a variety of South Florida Orchestras, Brass Groups, Ballet and Opera Companies, Broadway and Theater Shows, Jazz and Commercial Ensembles, and Wedding Bands.  He is an active studio musician.  John is also a member of the award winning Jaco Pastorius Big Band.

Ciro Fodere


As the First Prize winner of the XIV Bartok-Kabalevsky-Prokofieff International Competition, Ciro Fodere’s latest performances have been described as “masterful, electric, by turns fiery and lyrical” by The Post and Courier, and as featuring “technical sheen articulation, alert dynamic shading, and an imaginative approach” by The Miami Herald, which also raves, “edge-of-the-seat thrilling.”  In addition to soloing with both major orchestras in Uruguay, he has performed the Liszt and Gershwin concertos with the Charleston Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Ignat Solzhenitsyn and David Stahl. He recently performed the Rachmaninoff Variations on a Theme by Paganini with the New World Symphony (NWS) and the Rachmaninoff Third with the Carnegie Mellon Philharmonic.

Other orchestras he has performed with include the Sendai Philharmonic, Philharmonic of Extremadura, Symphony of the Americas and Florida Philharmonic.  Mr. Fodere was the First Prize winner at the Eastern Division MTNA.  He received his BM in 1998 from the College of Charleston and completed his fellowship at the New World Symphony, an organization that featured him regularly in Miami.  In addition to accompanying leading musicians like Joshua Bell and Renee Fleming, and working under Michael Tilson Thomas’s tutelage,  he participated with members of the NWS in Santa Cecilia, Rome, Perugia, and Carnegie Hall in New York.  Mr. Fodere currently teaches at the New World School of the Arts and is the pianist of the South Beach Chamber Ensemble, Miami Symphony, and the Florida Orchestra. Mr. Fodere has been with the New World School of the Arts since 2007.

Fernando Ulibarri

Music Ensemble, Technology, Jazz Guitar

Fernando Ulibarri was born in San Jose, Costa Rica.  He is an active performer, composer, and educator in the South Florida music scene.  He moved from his native country to Boston in 1998, where he graduated from Berklee College of Music with a BM in Music Synthesis.  After working professionally in the New England area, he moved to Miami to attend Florida International University where he obtained a MM degree in Jazz Performance.  Mr. Ulibarri has performed concerts at Carnegie Hall, Teatro Nacional de Costa Rica, Arturo Sandoval Jazz Club, Berklee Performance Center, The Bass Museum, and various other venues in the United States and abroad. He has given lectures at the Universidad de Costa Rica, Universidad Nacional de Costa Rica and on two separate occasions, has been a clinician for the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz.  He is currently an adjunct professor at the New World School of the Arts and is a full-time faculty member at Broward College where he teaches music technology classes as well as ensembles and jazz guitar.

Lajos Zeke


Lajos Zeke, adjunct professor of piano and musicology at the New World School of the Arts, is a native of Hungary (b. 1958, Budapest), where he spent the first three decades of his life.  A graduate of the Franz Liszt Academy of Music, Organ Performance 1981 and Musicology 1987, Dr. Zeke worked both as a traveling organist and as a musicologist.  He gave recitals in Hungary, Finland, Germany, Austria, the Ukraine, Greece, and Japan while simultaneously conducting research at the Institute for Musicology of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in diverse fields such as analytical study of F. Liszt’s music, 19th century music history, organology, and experimental music theory. In 1990, he began his doctoral studies in the United States and in 1999, received his degree from the University of Miami.  As part of his Ph.D. project, he embarked on a thorough study of certain aspects of philosophy and the history of logic, and integrated his new understanding into his approach to theoretical musicology.  In the last 17 years, church musicianship, composing, piano performance and, above all, teaching have seemingly eclipsed his musicological activities.  However, during this same period, prompted by certain crucial discoveries concerning Plato’s “Pythagorizing” musico-mathematical theories, he has launched a new project.  This project is aimed at disclosing aspects of a half-forgotten, yet alive and still unfolding, worldview: a sort of “musical metaphysics,” a participatory science of consciousness.