Pakachoag faculty member, Dr. Leah Zelnick, is appointed coordinator of Student Performance & Outreach (Submitted Photo).

Pakachoag faculty member, Dr. Leah Zelnick, is appointed coordinator of Student Performance & Outreach (Submitted Photo).

Starting this Fall, Dr. Leah Zelnick, who holds a DMA in Violin Performance from SUNY Stony Brook, will take on the logistical items connected to managing the over 25 different student performance programs hosted each year by Pakachoag Music School, both on and off-site.

Pakachoag faculty member, Dr. Leah Zelnick, is appointed coordinator of Student Performance & Outreac

The performance program at Pakachoag is one of the key foundational component’s of the School’s programming. All students enrolled in private lessons are encouraged to participate in the program, and through on-going participation throughout the year, students are challenged to set and reach for high standards, while learning, in a safe environment, how to recover when things don’t go as expected on stage.

The program has had a direct impact on the School’s reputation for excellence over many years, and sets the Pakachoag program apart from other music education offerings in the area.

Tom Ingrassia, recently retired Pakachoag board president, comments: “I was literally blown away about 6 years ago when attending a student concert as part of Wesley Methodist Church’s Music Alive series. I couldn’t believe how poised and polished the students were in this public performance setting. It was, in fact, this performance that inspired me to become involved with Pakachoag as a volunteer.”

The school also programs a number of outreach student performances during the year for civic and other special events.

Director Sarah Smongeski notes, “Leah is ideally suited for this role. As a member of our faculty now for 3 years, she is a caring, knowledgeable teacher, has significant experience in the world of student (and professional) performance, and is exceptionally well organized.”

Like many of the Pakachoag faculty, Dr. Zelnick, who also teaches violin, suzuki violin, and piano at Pakachoag, has extensive training in music education and performance. Leah holds both Masters and DMA degrees in violin performance from Stony Brook College. Her undergraduate degree is from the Cleveland Institute where she studied with William Preucil.

Leah has performed with orchestras and chamber ensembles throughout the world, including Korea, Japan, Italy, Germany and Austria, England, and Denmark. One of her greatest honors was being chosen to perform for the Crown Prince and Princess and an audience of thousands at the Opening Ceremony for the 13th World Suzuki Convention in Matsumoto, Japan in 1999. Orchestral participation also includes the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival in Salzau, Germany, the National Repertory Orchestra in Breckenridge, Colorado, the Viva-Vivaldi Orchestra in Washington D.C., and the National Youth Orchestra in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania under Leonard Slatkin. She attended Interlochen Arts Academy for several summers and was awarded the Governor’s Scholarship for the state of Iowa in 1999.

In addition to her teaching duties at Pakachoag, Leah performs regularly throughout New England. She will appear in concert in March 2015 at All Saint’s Church in Worcester presenting “Life, Death, and Heroism: Music of the Late Great Romantics”, with Pakachoag faculty member Vladimir Odinokih, Piano.