Richard Aaron serves as Professor of Cello at the University of Michigan and The Juilliard School. Previously he taught at the Cleveland Institute of Music and the New England Conservatory. Mr. Aaron has given master classes around the world and across North America, including at such prominent music programs as Rice University, the Oberlin Conservatory, Eastman School of Music, Mannes College of Music, and The Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. In addition to his time at the Heifetz Institute, Mr. Aaron has been on the faculty of the Aspen Music Festival since 2003, and has taught at many other summer music institutes including the Indiana University String Academy, Calgary Music Bridge, Peter the Great Music Festival (Groningen, Holland), Chautauqua Institution (New York), the Idyllwild Summer Program (California), and the Marrowstone Music Festival in Port Townsend, Washington. Mr. Aaron was a member of the Elysian Piano Trio at Baldwin Wallace College for 14 years, and continues an active chamber music performance schedule.
Gaetano Cecere (called Gary) is on the faculty of Don Bosco Prep since 2006 as the Director of the Concert Band, String Orchestra, Guitar Ensemble, Liturgical Ensemble, and Music Teacher. In 2018, he was awarded the US Presidential Scholars’ Most Influential Teacher. Mr. Cecere came to Don Bosco Prep from Halsey Intermediate School 296, a magnet school for the arts in Bushwick, Brooklyn, where he was band teacher for twenty-five years before becoming Assistant Principal. During his tenure at Halsey IS, Mr. Cecere was nominated three consecutive years for the New York Daily News’ Principal’s Pride of Music award. This award recognized Mr. Cecere’s ability to transform students with no familiarity with an instrument or music literacy into acknowledged performers. Mr. Cecere holds a B.S. degree in Music Education from Pace University (piano and violin major), an MA in Music Education from Brooklyn College (piano major), a certificate in Administration and Supervision from City College of New York, Certifications in School Administration and Supervision, School District Administration, General Music, Orchestral Music, and a National Teacher’s Examiner’s License. During 1994-95, Mr. Cecere served on the Papal Music Committee for the visit of Saint (then Pope) John Paul II. In addition to teaching at Don Bosco Prep, Mr. Cecere maintains a private studio, teaching lessons to students of all ages.
Hannah Kim is a pianist, composer, and an educator with 25 years of experience in teaching music. She graduated from Juilliard Pre-College Division in 1994 with a major in piano and minor in organ. She received her Bachelor of Music degree in piano performance from Manhattan School of Music in 3 years with Advanced Standing. She graduated from Teacher’s College, Columbia University, in 1999 with a Master of Arts degree in Music Education. Ms. Kim’s strength is in creating interdisciplinary music lessons and implementing technology in her classroom. Ms. Kim also hosted numerous musical guest artists at her school including the Back to Bach Project in 2015. Ms. Kim’s previous employment includes working at Carnegie Hall Weill Music Institute as the Isaac Stern Education Project Director, Weill Institute Seminar Instructor, and Teaching Artist for Carnegie Hall LinkUP! Program. Ms. Kim also worked at Teacher’s College, Columbia University as a Teaching Artist for Creative Arts Laboratory as well as a music instructor for the Capstone Program, Hollingworth Science Camp, and the Action Arts Camp. In addition to writing music for her school, Ms. Kim wrote series of songs for a children’s curriculum that was published by Patmos Christian Contents Group. Ms. Kim currently lives in Ponte Vedra, FL, with her husband, two daughters, and a dog named Mochi while working in the St. Johns County school district.
Noah won 1st prize at the 2012 International Tchaikovsky Competition for Young Musicians in Switzerland and grand prize at the 2014 10th International Antonio Janigro Competition in Croatia becoming the first American cellist to be given this distinction. He is a 2016 Davidson Fellow, 2016, and award given by the Davidson Institute For Talent Development for demonstration of an extraordinary accomplishment. He was featured twice as a soloist on "From the Top", an NPR radio program. He was chosen as a 2016 Harmony for Peace Music Ambassador, and gold award recipient as a 2017 YoungArts National finalist. Moreover, he was named a 2018 US Presidential Scholar in the Arts selected by the White House Commission of Presidential Scholars. He soloed with the Princeton Symphony, Russian State Orchestra, Lausanne Sinfonietta, Ensemble 212, Bravura Philharmonic, Next Generation Festival Orchestra and Zagreb Soloists. He was a founding member and principal cellist (2015-2018) of the Heartstrings Cello Ensemble and the founder of the Back to Bach Project. Noah attended the Julliard Pre college division studying with Richard Aaron. He is currently a freshman at Harvard University.
Board Member, Founder and President
Peter Lee is a physician educator and avid music lover. Trained in the field of pediatric emergency medicine, he has been a clinician for over 20 years. For the past 16 years, he helped create and develop a specialized unit to care for the sickest of children in a regional medical center. Duties include, but are not limited to, staff recruitment, orientation, and development. He is passionate about medical education and is an active administrator in the department of emergency medicine. He has been involved with the “Back to BACH” Project since its inception, concentrating on project expansion, website development and seeing to its financial well-being.
Board Member, Treasurer
Soo is devoted to work that combines her three loves: children, music and education. She brings her passion to Bach to Bach after more than 15 years of teaching and guiding her own children on the cello. She is committed to bringing a new level of excitement and growth to the the "Back to Bach" Project, that her son and founder, Noah, put in her leadership as he begins his undergraduate studies at Harvard University. She served as the praise worship director at Cornerstone Fellowship and the choir director at Vision Christian Fellowship. She is an examiner of the certificate advancement program at the ASTA American String Teacher Association since 2010. She has been the judicator for Cello Masterclass, Showcase Competition, and the Virtuosi Recital Competition at the National League of Performing Arts. Soo is the founding artistic director of the Heartstrings Cello Ensemble. She is on the board of directors at "From The Top", the syndicated NPR radio program and she is serving on their Alumni Leadership Committee. She has done her undergraduate and graduate studies at The Manhattan School of Music and Columbia University, respectively.
Board Member, C.E.O.
Lee, Soo Youn
Sydney Lee began cello studies at age six. Two years later, she was accepted into The Juilliard School’s Precollege Division where she studied with Richard Aaron and Clara Kim. At age fourteen, Ms. Lee debuted with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. Ms. Lee was featured as soloist on NPR’s "From the Top”, syndicated NPR radio program. Ms. Lee won first prize in 10th International Cello Competition ‘Antonio Janigro’ and debuted with Zagreb Soloists the following year. Ms. Lee was a National YoungArts finalist and 2015 U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts selected by the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars. Ms. Lee was a founding member and the principal cellist of the Heartstrings Cello Ensemble, a group dedicated to supporting local and global missions. Furthermore, she is a founding member of Back to Bach Project. Ms. Lee is studying at The Curtis Institute of Music with Carter Brey and Peter Wiley.
As the first employee at the Innocence Project, a non-profit startup, Jeremy built a curriculum to teach non-scientist law students conventional serology so that they could evaluate the cases of innocent people in prison, many of whom were eventually exonerated after years of incarceration. The Innocence Project is now an internationally-recognized organization that has freed hundreds of innocent people from prison and has a budget of over $10 MM. Jeremy trained as a molecular biologist and is now an intellectual property attorney and producer. He represents classical musicians in his role as an attorney and producer and he also has significant experience counseling non-profit and for-profit startups. He graduated Columbia University in 1990.
Board Member, Secretary
Teresa McKinney has over 20 years of experience working in arts education as a program director, grant writer, music educator and performing artist. As an administrator she has worked with Florida State School of Music, Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University and New York City Opera. Ms. McKinney is currently director of community engagement at The Juilliard School and for the first three years the primary consultant for the Back to Bach Project: Kids for Classical.
Jessica Shim is a Supervising Producer at the Wall Street Journal. She’s profiled countless entrepreneurs and sat down with some of the biggest names in business spanning every industry. She is a NetKAL (Network of Korean-American Leaders) Fellow and a member of CKA (Councile of Korean Americans). She holds a Bachelor of Arts from New York University in Broadcast Journalism & International Politics with a minor in East Asian Studies. Jessica currently resides in New York City.
Trained as a pianist and composer, Tom Vignieri has worked for many years in arts management. He served as director of the Boston University Tanglewood Institute, a summer program for talented young musicians held in conjunction with the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s Tanglewood Music Center, and as artistic administrator of the Handel and Haydn Society, a professional chorus and period instrument orchestra, working with conductors Christopher Hogwood and Grant Llewellyn. He then spent 12 years as music director of the nationally distributed NPR program From the Top, showcasing America’s best young classical musicians, and was a lead producer in the Emmy Award-winning TV series From the Top at Carnegie Hall. In recent years Tom has been commissioned to write pieces for such ensembles as the Melrose Symphony Orchestra (100th anniversary season), the Masterworks Chorale of Boston (75th anniversary season), the Sarasa Chamber Music Ensemble, the Chamber Music Connection of Columbus, Ohio, Carthage College, From the Top, the Metropolitan Chorale of Brookline, and the Handel and Haydn Society. His works have been performed and broadcast in North America, in the U.K., and featured on tour in Europe and Japan. Tom currently resides in Devon, England with his family where he is composing full-time.