Board of Trustees
Brian F. Dallow
Brian Dallow, composer, studied at the Royal College of Music, the Royal Academy of Music, the London School of Economics, Brandeis University, and Rutgers University. He holds degrees in performance, composition and theory, and musicology. Brian taught music theory and composition at Rutgers University in New Jersey and at Temple University in Philadelphia. He is the co-author of “Elemental Music Craft.,” a music theory textbook published by Rutgers University Press and his compositions include chamber music, incidental music for theatre and film, as well as musical scores for four musicals. Brian is the President and Executive Director of Music For All Seasons, Inc.®, an organization created to bring the therapeutic power of live music to underserved audiences, which he and his wife, Artistic Director Rena Fruchter, founded in 1991. Brian was instrumental in launching an innovative new MFAS program, Voices of Valor®, which uses the writing of lyrics and music to address issues of trauma and stress in veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. Voices of Valor, has received major grants from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Johnson & Johnson, the Blanche & Irving Laurie Foundation, and PNC Bank. He was a founding co-chair of the Alliance for Arts and Health New Jersey, and serves on the Research Committee of the Global Alliance for Arts and Health. In addition to Music For All Seasons, Brian is the co-founder of two orchestras, the New York Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra and the Philharmonic Orchestra of New Jersey (now The Discovery Orchestra). In April of 1997 he was awarded a Certificate for “Outstanding and Invaluable Service to the Community” by the United States Congress.
Brian F. Dallow
Ms. Fruchter is a distinguished pianist, writer and educator. Her performances have taken her throughout the United States, Europe, Australia and the Far East in both solo and ensemble appearances. With long-time friend and colleague Dudley Moore, Rena toured the United States and Australia in duo-piano performances.
A Philadelphia native, she made her solo debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra at the age of six, performing the Haydn Piano Concerto in D Major. At age eleven, she gave her first performance with the Boston Pops under Arthur Fiedler at the Esplanade, later returning to perform the Schumann Piano Concerto with the Boston Pops in Symphony Hall.
A graduate of Brandeis University, Rena also holds degrees in both piano performance and pedagogy from the Royal College of Music in London, England, where she studied with Louis Kentner and Lamar Crowson.
For twelve years, Rena Fruchter was a music columnist for The New York Times/NJ Weekly, and music critic of the Central New Jersey Home News. She was also a music critic and an arts commentator for New Jersey Public Television, a critic and London Music Correspondent for the Boston Herald and a contributor to many other publications. She hosted the radio interview program, “Backstage Portraits.”
Ms. Fruchter is the author of three critically acclaimed books—two in the biographical genre—Dudley Moore—An Intimate Portrait, and I’m Chevy Chase…and you’re not. Her most recent book, The Orchestra Murders—A Cynthia Masters Mystery, was released in November of 2012.
MFAS Board of Advisors President
Acclaimed worldwide for his technique and musicianship, British cellist Steven Isserlis enjoys a distinguished career as a soloist, chamber musician and educator.
Highlights of recent seasons have included concerto performances with the Berlin Philharmonic and Alan Gilbert, the Budapest Festival Orchestra and Washington National Symphony with Iván Fischer, the Philharmonia Orchestra with Vladimir Ashkenazy, and a European tour with the Orchestre des Champs-Elysées and Philippe Herreweghe; an all-Haydn play-direct project with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra; recitals at London’s Wigmore Hall with Thomas Adès and Olli Mustonen; chamber music concerts at the Salzburg Festival, Carnegie Hall, BBC Proms and Aldeburgh Festival with collaborators including Joshua Bell, Thomas Adès, Jörg Widmann, Emily Beynon, Anthony Marwood and Denes Várjon; recitals in Washington, San Francisco, Vancouver and Milan; an Australian recital tour with Denes Várjon; and a series of concerts specially devised for the 2010 Cheltenham Festival to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Schumann’s birth.
2010/11 includes appearances with The Cleveland Orchestra and Ton Koopman, NHK Symphony and Tadaaki Otaka, the Philharmonia Orchestra and András Schiff, Vienna Symphony and Thomas Dausgaard, Swedish Radio Symphony and Daniel Harding, Washington National Symphony and Vladimir Ashkenazy, and Netherlands Radio Chamber Philharmonic and Philippe Herreweghe; the world premiere of the surviving fragment of Vaughan Williams’s Cello Concerto in a completion by David Matthews at the BBC Proms; an Italian recital tour with Olli Mustonen; recitals in London and Warsaw with Stephen Hough; a UK tour playing the Brahms Double Concerto with the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields and Joshua Bell; and chamber music concerts in Amsterdam, Budapest and Frankfurt. In addition he will be Artist in Residence at the Wigmore Hall and will take part in a number of concerts throughout the season as chamber musician and recitalist, as well as leading a series of educational events.
Steven Isserlis takes a strong interest in authentic performance and has played with many of the foremost period instrument orchestras including the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment with Simon Rattle, and Philharmonia Baroque with Nicholas McGegan. In 2010/11 he will tour with the Academy of Ancient Music and Richard Egarr. He is also a keen exponent of contemporary music, and has worked with many composers on new commissions since giving the world premiere of John Tavener’s The Protecting Veil at the BBC Proms in 1989. In 2006 he gave the world première of Wolfgang Rihm’s Cello Concerto at the Salzburg Festival, and at the 2009 Aldeburgh Festival he premiered Thomas Adès’s new work for cello and piano, Lieux retrouvés, together with the composer.
Writing and playing for children is another major interest. Steven Isserlis’s books for children about the lives of the great composers – Why Beethoven Threw the Stew and its sequel, Why Handel Waggled his Wig – are published by Faber and Faber, and both books have been translated into many languages. He has recorded a CD for BIS with Stephen Hough entitled Children’s Cello, and with composer Anne Dudley he has written three musical stories for children which are published by Universal Edition. As an educator, Steven Isserlis gives frequent masterclasses all around the world, and for the past thirteen years he has been Artistic Director of the International Musicians’ Seminar at Prussia Cove in Cornwall.
With an award-winning discography, Steven Isserlis’s recordings reflect his diverse interests in repertoire. His recording of the complete Solo Cello Suites by Bach for Hyperion met with the highest critical acclaim, and was Gramophone magazine’s Instrumental Disc of the Year and Critic’s Choice at the Classical Brits. Other recent releases include an all-Schumann disc for Hyperion with Denes Várjon, and a recording of works for cello and chamber orchestra entitled reVisions, for BIS.
The recipient of many honours, Steven Isserlis was awarded a CBE in 1998 in recognition of his services to music, and in 2000 he received the Schumann Prize of the City of Zwickau. He is a recipient of the Piatigorsky Award in the US and the Royal Philharmonic Society Award in the UK, while the London Magazine Time Out named him Classical Artist of the Year in 2002. Deeply committed to the work of Music For All Seasons, Mr. Isserlis assumed the Presidency of the Advisory Board in 2002.
Steven Isserlis plays the Marquis de Corberon (Nelsova) Stradivarius of 1726, kindly loaned to him by the Royal Academy of Music.
MFAS Board of Advisors President
The Hon. Thomas H. Kean
Fmr. Governor, State of New Jersey
On December 16, 2002, Tom Kean was named by President George W. Bush to head the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States. The Commission’s work culminated on July 22, 2004, with the release of the 9/11 Commission Report, which quickly became a national bestseller. Its recommendations resulted in the largest intelligence reform in the nation’s history. Kean served as the chairman of the 9/11 Public Discourse Project, a nonprofit entity created with private funds to continue the Commission’s work of guarding against future attacks.
As Governor, Kean was rated among America’s most effective state leaders by
Newsweek magazine; noted for tax cuts that spurred 750,000 new jobs; a federally
replicated welfare reform program; landmark environmental policies; and more than 30 education reforms. He delivered the keynote address at the 1988 Republican National Convention. He was re-elected for a second term by the largest margin in state history. While Governor, he served on the President’s Education Policy Advisory Committee and as chair of the Education Commission of the States and the National Governor’s Association Task Force on Teaching. He remains one of the most popular governors in New Jersey’s history.
Tom Kean served as president of Drew University from 1990 until 2005. During his 15 year tenure, he focused on shaping Drew into one of the nation’s leading small liberal arts universities by stressing the primacy of teaching, the creative use of technology in the liberal arts, and the importance of international education. During Kean’s presidency, applications to Drew increased by more than 40%; the endowment nearly tripled; and more than $60 million was committed to construction of new buildings and renovation of older buildings, principally student residence halls.
Kean served on several national committees and commissions. He headed the American delegation to the UN Conference on Youth in Thailand, served as vice chairman of the American delegation to the World Conference on Women in Beijing, and served as a member of President Clinton’s Initiative on Race. He also served on the National Endowment for Democracy. He holds more than 30 honorary degrees and numerous awards from environmental and educational organizations.
Kean currently serves as chairman of the board of Carnegie Corporation of New York.
In addition he has served on a number of corporate boards and is chair of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, co-chair of JerseyCan and is co-chairman with Congressman Lee Hamilton of the National Security Preparedness Group. He serves on the boards of the Environmental Defense Fund and the Seeing Eye and is the former chair of The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation the nation’s largest health philanthropy. He is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, American Academy of Art & Sciences and the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations.
He holds a B.A. from Princeton University and an M.A. from Columbia University
Teachers College and has served as a trustee of both institutions. Kean is the author ofThe Politics of Inclusion, published by The Free Press and is co-author of
Without Precedent, published by Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc.
He writes a regular column for The Star Ledger with former Governor Brendan Byrne and appears as a regular commentator on New Jersey Network News. His wife is the former Deborah Bye of Wilmington, Delaware. The Keans have twin sons, Tom and Reed, and a daughter, Alexandra, and reside in Bedminster, New Jersey.
The Hon. Thomas H. Kean
Fmr. Governor, State of New Jersey
IT Manager, Columbia University
Kirsten Thien, a resident of New York City, has been associated with MFAS as a musician facilitator since 2014, leading sessions with MFAS’ Voices of Valor and Voices of Empowerment initiatives, and presenting programs at a Women and Children’s safe haven shelter. She joined the MFAS board in 2021 and has been actively engaged in planning and fundraising. A graduate of Georgetown University Business School, she serves as a senior manager in IT at Columbia University, where she supports the research and grant-funded community through software application management, process improvement through technology, systems integration, and support for operational and strategic reporting systems. In addition, Kirsten maintains a busy schedule as a singer and songwriter. Her five albums on Screen Door Records have received wide acclaim, and she has toured the U.S., Canada, and Europe extensively as a musician. Her most recent release, “Two Sides,” took #13 in the Roots Music Report “Best of 2020” contemporary blues charts. “I’ve seen first-hand the transformative power of MFAS programs,” Kirsten noted, “– the joy on the veterans’ faces, as they perform or listen back to their own song-creations; and the vibrance and camaraderie of teens in detention as they come together to write a song about their experiences and plans for a better life. I look forward to working with an even deeper commitment to MFAS on the growth of our mission and reach.”
IT Manager, Columbia University
Nicholas Young, a resident of Philadelphia, Pa., serves full-time as a Chief Public Affairs Non-Commissioned Officer, US Army. He brings years of experience in media creation, media relations and music industry connections to his work with MFAS, where he has been a board trustee since 2015. In addition to his military service, Nick also has a burgeoning career in the recording industry with his band Epoch Failure, which is signed to North Star Media in Detroit, Michigan. The band’s music has been heard in commercials, television shows, movies, sports broadcasts, and for online promotional spots with notable uses by ESPN, NFL Network, Swisse Australia, MTV, VH1, Oxygen, NASCAR, and NBC. Nick joined the team of musician facilitators in 2022 for MFAS’ Voices of Empowerment program, working with at-risk youth in juvenile detention centers. He is pleased with the chance to take on a bigger role in the future success of MFAS, as co- chair. “Music For All Seasons is an organization built on principles that I hold dear,” Nick says, “I believe in the power of music and the therapeutic effects for all who listen and create it.”
Norman Dee, a board member since 2010, comes to Music For All Seasons with both business and music backgrounds. Norman is an Advisory Consultant specializing in performance, capacity planning, and IT finance for EMC2 Corporation, within their Global Services Division. During his business career he has worked within the Finance, Entertainment, and Publishing industries. He has been a frequent presenter at the IT Financial Management Organization as well as other industry related events. Prior to his bushiness / technology life, he was a professional flutist having played in the State Orchestra of Sao Paolo, Brazil and the New York Virtuosi. Norman is a graduate of the Juilliard School and still is actively involved in chamber music.
Bergen Medical Center
After caring for family, doing community volunteer work, and earning an undergraduate degree in psychology, Katherine Sabatino discovered the field of Horticultural Therapy (HT) twenty years ago through the Rutgers Master Gardeners Program in Union County, New Jersey. While she pursued HT activities as a volunteer, Katherine received a Certificate in Horticultural Therapy from the New York Botanical Garden, registered with the American Horticultural Therapy Association, and has been employed for fourteen years as a Horticultural Therapist at Bergen Regional Medical Center’s HT Greenhouse Program in Paramus, NJ, where she works with residents to improve their quality of life through their work with plants. She uses recorded music as a part of her therapy program. Residents have been known to break out in song. Katherine is a long-time member of the MFAS Board of Trustees.
Bergen Medical Center
Currently a resident of Lakeland, Florida and the CEO of HallMarketQuest, Gwen provides research and consulting services, focus group facilitation, brand development and product concept testing for Fortune 500 companies worldwide. She previously served as a Senior Associate with John Hall and Company, Vice President of Marketing for Constellation Bancorp, and Vice President of Marketing for Chase Manhattan Bank. A graduate of Fordham University, Gwen served as the Chairman of Music For All Seasons from 1996 until 2001.
Carol Marder is a founding member of the Board of Trustees of Music For All Seasons. A native of Allentown, New York, Carol studied music at Syracuse University. A pianist and music educator, Carol is a resident of Pennington, New Jersey. Devoted to the mission of MFAS, Carol has been an active member of the Benefit Event Committee since 1994.
Laura Blaine uses her positive attitude and tireless energy to encourage others to be the best that they can be. She is a Human Resource Specialist with 20+ years of public service experience across a variety of settings including psychiatric hospitals, transitional housing programs for homeless Veterans, developmental centers, and nursing homes.
She was introduced the MFAS- Voices of Valor in 2013. Since then, she has been devoted to the mission of the program. For her, music is a universal language. It is a rhythm, a pulse, that brings us all together in times of good or bad.
Stephen Rodner’s practice includes transactional matters in all areas of the entertainment field involving theatre, film, television, home video, Internet and e-commerce. He has an extensive intellectual property practice, including the prosecution of trademark applications in the United States and throughout the world and representation of clients in connection with all trademark related matters. He also advises clients on issues of copyrights and copyright related matters.
Steve’s work in the area of Entertainment, Media and Communications includes counseling clients and providing advice with respect to all aspects of motion picture, television production and live theatre legal matters, as well as all matters relating to music licensing for motion pictures, television and live theatre. Steve also negotiates and drafts:
- Celebrity endorsement and sponsorship deals and merchandising, commercial tie in and licensing agreements
- Contracts for producers, creative personnel, composers, lyricists, playwrights, directors, designers and performers for live theatre productions
- Motion picture distribution agreements
- Motion picture, television and live theatre option/purchase agreements
- Motion picture, television and stage talent agreements
- Negative pick up deals
- Pilot and series television deals for writers, producers and talent
- Subsidiary rights, motion picture rights, stock and amateur productions, foreign productions and tours with respect to live theatre productions
Steve also provides counsel to clients on issues relating to:
- Errors and omissions
- Exploitation of entertainment properties across multiple platforms and media
- Financial matters, including preparation and review of offering papers and investment agreements for live theatre productions
- Union and guilds
Steve’s work in the Intellectual Property field includes:
- Advising on the proper use of trademark rights and trade names throughout the world
- Negotiating, providing advice and drafting relating to transactional matters involving copyrights and trademarks, including licensing agreements, distribution agreements and confidentiality agreements
- Providing advice in all aspects of copyright registration and protection
- Trademark selection, procurement and all aspects of trademark registration and trademark clearance
Steve is AV Peer Review Rated, Martindale Hubbell’s highest peer recognition for ethical standards and legal ability.
Michael Corbett is a retail banking Senior Vice President at PNC Bank with responsibility as the Regional Manager for the Brunswick region in New Jersey. In this role, Corbett is responsible for leading household and account growth, and overseeing retail banking teams that staff 18 PNC Branch locations in the area.
Prior to assuming his current responsibilities, Corbett held a variety of positions within PNC. He joined the bank as a branch manager, which led to roles as a sales integration manager, product manager and eventually leader of a team of Business Banking relationship managers. Before joining PNC, Corbett was a top producing loan officer and branch manager at Wachovia.
As a manager and sales professional, Corbett has received numerous awards. During his tenure as a branch manager, he was selected as a member of PNC Bank’s Circle of Excellence. This recognition is awarded to the top producing branch managers across the bank. Corbett also received several awards as a Business Banking Sales Manager. In that role, Corbett received the PNC Achievement Award based on the sales production of his team. Corbett’s leadership also led positioned this team as the Central New Jersey territory leader in business lending, treasury management and total revenue in 2010 and 2011. In addition to his achievements for sales performance, Corbett recently earned the Gallup Great Workplace Award that recognizes high achievement in building and sustaining a successful group.
Corbett is a lifelong resident of New Jersey and has two sons. His interests include soccer, running and martial arts. He is a graduate of Kean University where he received his B.A. in Political Science and earned an MBA while working at PNC.
Professor, Stevens Institute of Technology
After graduating from NYU in 1983 with a dual degree in Musicology and International Relations, Rob Harari dove straight into the music business as a recording studio intern. Harari has logged a lifelong career as musician, music producer and audio engineer, studio owner, production manager/FOH engineer for Gregory Hines and educator. In addition to touring with Gregory Hines for 18 years, Harari has worked with Savion Glover in “Bring In ‘Da Noise, Bring in ‘Da Funk (4 Tony Awards 2006), Live (Barbra Streisand), Cannes Film Festival, the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City, & the Spike Lee film “Bamboozled”. He continues to work as creative director for numerous artists and performance events.
Harari has been fortunate enough to work on multiple Grammy nominated albums, Emmy Award winning programming for children educational content on PBS and musical themes for major sporting events. Composition credits include soundtracks for documentaries, and songs composed individually and collaboratively for albums ranging from rock, pop, and jazz to spoken word.
This background made him unusually well suited for his next career as Program Director and Professor of Music & Technology at Stevens Institute of Technology. Interdisciplinary collaboration at Stevens opened an entirely new world in research.
Working with the Chief of Surgery in ICU at Hackensack University Medical Center, Harari spent two years analyzing the acoustical profile of four different hospital environments to see if there is a connection to the onset of Delirium and cognitive impairment. This work resulted in a joint Conference paper presentation given at the Institute of Noise Control 2014.
For the centennial celebration of Claude Shannon at Nokia Bell Labs in 2016, serving as Artistic Director, Harari, and collaborator Dr. Paul Wilford, Senior Director of Audio-Visual Research, rekindled the E.A.T. (Experiments in Art and Technology) program to create new performance technologies with the first performance since Merce Cunningham in the 1960’s. Teams from Bell Labs and Stevens, using video analytics and accelerometers worn by live performers on stage, to create an automated production package of lighting control, projection mapping and audio spatialization, all through transcoding the artist’s movement directly to the production consoles control surfaces.
In August 2017, Harari received a $500K National Science Foundation award to develop a multimedia curriculum for high school students to inspire interest in STEM education. The outreach focused on schools that serve underrepresented minorities and girls in STEM education.
Harari currently sits on the Board of Directors for Music For All Seasons, The United Jazz Foundation and advisory boards of The Tap Legacy Foundation and African Views. He served on the Board of Directors for the United Synagogue of Hoboken for seven years before serving as President from 1997-1999.
Professor, Stevens Institute of Technology
Helen S. Paxton is director of communications for Rutgers University – Newark, home to 12,000 students in two undergraduate colleges as well as graduate and professional schools in arts and sciences, business, law, public administration, nursing and criminal justice. Paxton directs external marketing and strategic communications and is the primary spokesperson for Rutgers University – Newark. Her many projects at Rutgers University include her work as producer of the award-winning documentary film, The Once and Future Newark, which has been broadcast on New Jersey Network and WNET Thirteen public television.
Paxton has had an extensive career in communications and marketing in higher education and the non-profit arts sector. A graduate of Oberlin College (B.A.) and Columbia University (M.A.), her work in the classical music industry culminated in her position as director of marketing and communications for the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra.
Paxton’s volunteer work includes service as lead class agent for Oberlin College Annual Fund, board member and past president of The Association for Women in Communications’ New Jersey Chapter and The Newark Museum Business and Community Council; and as a longtime board member of Music For All Seasons.
She is the author of Music’s Connecticut Yankee: An Introduction to the Music of Charles Ives (Atheneum), and co-author, with Arthur Paxton, of Making Music (Atheneum-Macmillan).
Glen is a UK lawyer with more than 30 years of varied international management experience; specializing in formulating strategic plans and building teams to capture new opportunities in entertainment, retail and consumer electronics related businesses.
Based in Los Angeles, he is CEO of Valetown. He was the CEO of Casting Networks International through 2017. Founded in 2002, the company provides a unique agency management system that caters to all the casting needs of the film, TV and modeling industries throughout the world.
Glen has spent much of the past decade doing business is China and is co-founder of the Wise Up China English language schools there. Formerly, he ran a media and technology operation based in Beijing and Los Angeles facilitating the acquisition and distribution of domestic and international media content via the “triple-screen” platforms of web, mobile and IPTV.
From 1998 to 2005 Glen worked for Sir Richard Branson, launching the Virgin Megastore Online worldwide, before becoming CEO of the Virgin Entertainment Group, North America.
He spent much of the 1990’s as Head of Business Development for the HMV Media Group, the largest music and entertainment retailer in Europe, where he developed and launched HMV Direct, the first online service for purchasing entertainment product and content, fully two months prior to Amazon.
Glen’s passion for all things entertainment has also seen him involved in producing music documentaries, TV drama series, and the Tony Award winning Broadway production of “39 Steps.” He is also an Advisory Board member of the University Art Museum at CSULB; and formerly a Board member of Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy in the UK and the US; and Chairman of NARM, the American entertainment retailers’ trade association.
He is married with two sons.