Abby Swidler is a performer, composer, and educator. A violinist, violist, and vocalist, Abby is a passionate collaborator with a versatile performance career. She received a Bachelor in Music in Violin Performance from Eastman School of Music and a Master’s degree in Contemporary Improvisation from The New England Conservatory. Originally from Missoula, MT, she currently lives in Brooklyn, NY. She has performed across North America, Central America, and Europe and both performs her own compositions and is a thoughtful and imaginative interpreter of the music of others. She frequently performs with NYC’s Ennio Morricone inspired Italian film score band, Tredici Bacci, and performs her own compositions with a variety of ensembles in concert spaces and in collaboration with film, dance, and theater.
All P.S. 107 Teachers
Abby Swidler, Violin
Alia Kuhnert, Trumpet
Alia Kuhnert began playing trumpet at age ten in her home town of San Francisco, where she would eventually major in trumpet at the San Francisco School of the Arts High School. Alia attended the Summer Brass Institute in 2012 and 2013. As a brass fellow she collaborated with Joseph Alessi, principal trombone of the New York Philharmonic, Øystein Baadsvik, international tuba soloist, and Thomas Hooten, principal trumpet of Los Angeles Philharmonic. Alia is a graduate of the New England Conservatory where she majored in Trumpet Performance and performed with NEC’s Philharmonia, Wind Ensembles, Opera, Jazz and Chamber Orchestras. Committed to education, Alia is on the trumpet faculty at Cazadero Music Camp in California. Alia is currently pursuing her Master’s and Doctorate degrees in Trumpet Performance at Stony Brook University, studying with Kevin Cobb.
Grady Tesch, Percussion
Hailing from Utah, Grady Tesch learned about the importance of music from a young age. Throughout high school he played with some of the top ensembles in Utah including: Cresent Super Band, HYPE, and All-State Band. Following high school, he earned his Bachelor’s degree at the NYU Steinhardt Jazz Studies program under the direction of Dr. Dave Schroeder and Dave Pietro. Grady has traveled around the world playing at festivals in Europe, South America and North America such as: Umbria Jazz Festival, Montreaux Jazz Festival, Costa Rican International Jazz Festival, Salt Lake City Jazz Festival and others. He has also held renowned artist residencies with Betty Carter’s Jazz Ahead (under the direction of Jason Moran) and the Boysie Lowery Jazz Residency. In New York, he has had the opportunity to teach at Free Spirits Music, a program for young children in songwriting and musical performance. He currently freelances in New York as a musician, composer and educator.
Eric Schultz, Clarinet
Eric Schultz is currently in the final year of his doctoral studies at Stony Brook University under the guidance of Alan Kay (Juilliard, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra). He is an award-winning clarinetist, including the prestigious Rislov Foundation career grant for excellence in classical music. Eric spent this past summer in Salzburg, Austria performing with the Mozarteum Summer Orchestra and working with Andreas Schablas of the Bavarian State Orchestra and Opera. During the summer recital series, he was the only American, and the only clarinetist, chosen as a prize winner for his performance of Martinů’s Sonatina. Eric is currently serving on the faculty at East Stroudsburg University.
Patricia Billings, Clarinet
New York-based clarinetist Patricia Billings is a freelance musician and educator, having earned a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education at Western Michigan University and a Master’s degree in Clarinet Performance at New York University. An active educator, Ms. Billings serves as Intermediate Woodwind Teacher for the Harmony Program at PS 107 and as a Private Lesson Teacher for the Riverdale Country School in the Bronx. She also serves the New Jersey Performing Arts Center as a Faculty Member for the R.A.M.P. Program, M.A.N.Y Program, and as Teaching Artist for the “Orff in Your Community” Project. Ms. Billings maintains an active private teaching schedule.