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Mr. Samuel Anderson

Samuel Anderson is Manager of Education and Community Engagement with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and a freelance musician in the Maryland area. He has performed with several orchestras in the Maryland area. Most notably: Mid Atlantic Symphony, Washington Opera Society, and Virginia Symphony.  He also performs in a variety of groups from big bands to chamber ensembles in the Baltimore area. He is a founding member of Cortina Brass, Charm Brass Quintet, and the Wind Collision Duo. Mr. Anderson’s chamber music career has led to performances throughout the MidWest and South Eastern USA, as well as Germany, and notably an upcoming tour in Japan for the Summer of ‘25. He earned an M.M. from Yale School of Music where he studied with Scott Hartman, and his B.M. from Vanderbilt University with Jeremy Wilson. He teaches low brass instruments. Away from his role with the BSO and freelancing, Samuel spends his free time at home watching movies, or exploring the Maryland scenery with his fiancee and their dog, Ollie. 

MS. Sara West

Ms. Sara West is an accomplished pianist, pedagogue, and researcher. She holds a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance from James Madison University, where she studied with Dr. Eric Ruple. Ms. West also holds a Master of Music in Piano Performance from the University of Wyoming, where she studied with internationally-renowned pianist and pedagogue Theresa Bogard. She is currently continuing her studies at the University of Maryland, where she is pursuing a second Master’s degree in Musicology. 

During her time at the University of Wyoming, Ms. West won the prestigious John P. Ellbogen Outstanding Graduate Assistant Teaching Award for her successful teaching of undergraduate courses, including music theory, history, and piano. She was the first music student in the university’s history to win this award. Ms. West was also hired as a Lecturer, in addition to her appointment as a Graduate Assistant, allowing her to fully design, structure, and deliver a history class to undergraduate music majors. 

Sara has performed in recitals, festivals, and competitions across Maryland, Virginia, and Wyoming, as both a soloist and a collaborative pianist. She has received several piano performance scholarships, including the Margaret Arth Music scholarship, the Cunningham Piano Scholarship, and the Townsend C. and Clydene Allen Memoral Scholarship. Ms. West has also received full assistantships from the University of Wyoming and the University of Maryland. Ms. West’s piano playing has been hailed as “breathtakingly beautiful,” “intensely musical,” and “poetic” by musicians across the country.

Ms. West is interested in the mental health of musicians and dedicates her research to best teaching practices with mental health in mind. Ms. West completed her master’s thesis on mental health struggles and injury in musicians, and she strives to apply her findings to aid her own students. Ms. West is trained in several different piano techniques, including injury prevention, allowing her to customize technical approaches for each of her students. She loves to teach musicianship and interpretation to her students, in addition to technique. Sara enjoys teaching lesser known repertoire as well. She has taught students ages 4 to 56, and is open to students of all ages and stages. Ms. West hopes to foster love for music, and for the piano, in each of her students while helping them achieve their goals. 

Mr. Keith Karasik

Mr. Keith Karasik teaches violin, viola, cello and bass. He enjoyed his first professional performance at age 10 when he play the tuba in his father’s band. He switched to the bass violin in High School where he played in the school orchestra and jazz band. Outside of school he was invited to perform and record with a local band called Daybreak.

Mr. Karasik received his Bachelors of Arts in Music Education and a Masters of Music in Performance. He has advanced training in theory, composition and improvisation. Mr. Karasik has a variety of musical experiences which include chamber groups, symphony orchestra, opera, jazz, theater and pop.

Mr. Karasik believes music is an important part of human culture. It is a form of expression and tells a story.

Mr. Karasik’s music approach includes three main parts.
1. Neuro-Mechanics: Connecting to your instrument, producing a sound you enjoy and developing muscle memory.
2. Musical Structure: Understanding the melodic, harmonic and rhythmic patterns in music and recognizing them whenever they occur.
3. Enjoy the Journey: Learning how the musical experience expands your appreciation of and sensitivity to your other pursuits.

Mr. David Lowe

Mr. David Lowe has decades of experience as a performer, writer, independent researcher, and educator in many genres of music.
For many years he has informally studied West African Styles, Brazilian Styles, Cuban and Caribbean Music, Jazz, Art Music, and Early Music. He continues to research and refine his discipline.

As a composer, arranger, and performer, he is fluent in traditional writing, popular music, and Jazz. His professional training began as a self-taught electric bassist developing relationships with musicians like Koko Taylor, Albert King, and John Lee Hooker. His experience inspired him to formalize music studies and earn a degree in composition in Boston. Over the past decade, he learned to play Double Bass from Ira Gold. He devotes efforts to refining his bass soloist and writing skills and his independent research. His current projects include surveying the musical development of the North Eastern region of Brazil, African American Church Music, Early Italian Music Pedagogy, and Early European Folk Music and Dance Traditions. Additionally, he operates an experimental musicianship skills training lab. The goal is to develop customized standards-based instrumental music instruction for learners interested in learning popular music and jazz professionally.

Dr. Hee Jin Chang

Soprano, Dr. Hee Jin Chang is an active performer in Maryland. She received her Graduate Performance Diploma from the Peabody Institute in 2023. Dr. Chang completed her Doctorate, Master and Bachelor in Music Arts at the Seoul National University. 

Dr. Chang has performed major and minor roles such as Suor Angelica, Tosca, Gilda, Norina, Gretel, Annina and Giovanna at CUA, Seoul Metropolitan Opera. She was also cast in Giulia from Rossini’s Opera ‘La Scala di Seta’ for Peabody’s Opera. Dr. Chang was awarded the London Classical Voice Award and the Classical Singers Vocal Music Competition.

Dr. Chang has taught voice and intermediate piano students for over 15 years. As an instructor, her goal is to make the students feel confident and joyful with singing and playing piano. Dr. Chang believes students can grow musically with proper technique and when they enjoy their music.

Ms. Carla Ruffin

Ms. Carla Ruffin enjoys sharing the gift of music with others and helping them reach their goals. She has over 30+ years experience as a musician including a Bachelors degree in Music Education and worldwide travel as a member of the US Army Band. Ms. Ruffin looks forward to helping her students see how high they can fly!

Music is Ms. Ruffin’s passion because it can evoke every emotion and aspect of the human experience. Teaching young people and adults the skills needed to play woodwind or piano for their own pleasure, develop music proficiency for college or to perform for others gives her great satisfaction.

Mr. Peter Leon

Mr. Peter Leon is an active performer and educator. He has been professionally performing guitar and drums throughout Maryland for over 10 years. He teaches acoustic guitar, electric guitar, electric bass and drums to students of all ages! He is a former member of the Spanish rock band, Los Cuervos. 

As a teacher, Mr. Leon’s main goal is to provide a firm foundation for technique and music theory and for his students to become successful musicians. He looks forward to sharing his joy of music with students at Roberson School of Music.

Mr. Josiah Sytsma

Woodwind, brass and guitar instructor, Mr. Josiah Sytsma, biography will be added soon.

2022 Awards and Honors

Piano Guild Awards

Congratulations to RSM’s students that participated in the 2022 Howard County Chapter of Piano Guild. Our students received Superior Plus, Superior and Superior Minus ratings:

  • Superior Minus: Gabriella Kerechanin, Sanya Srenenivas
  • Superior: Xylia Wheat, Sofia Fabian, Jeremy Zhang, Taylor Jackson
  • Superior Plus: Rana Ghandi, Chloe Yan, Anisa Jackson, Sola Garmew, Veena Sellappan, Danielle Spence, Shishir Nallar, Isaiah McCray

MSMTA Music Theory Exam

Congratulations to RSM students that participated in the 2022 MSMTA Music Theory testing exam. Our Students averaged in the 95th percentile receiving superior and excellent ratings:

Superior Plus: Lucas Rosa, Jaylen Yan, Chloe Yan, Jeremy Zhang
Superior: Kim Burson
Excellent Plus: Allison Sabo, Alexandra Wu

Royal Conservatory Exam Award

Congratulations to Kai Luo for receiving First Class Honours in the 2022 Royal Conservatory practical examination.

MSMTA Keyboard Musicianship Exam – Student Achievement
Congratulations to Jeremy Zhang who participated in the MSMTA keyboard musicianship exam. Jeremy received superior ratings.

MSMTA Piano Solo Competition – Student Achievement

Congratulations to Jeremy Zhang who participated in the MSMTA piano solo competition. Jeremy received excellent ratings.

June 2022 Recital

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2022 June Recital