25 New Staffers Join the Juilliard Team

Front row: Vivian Rodriguez, Alex Milyavskiy, Cassie Corbin, Lora McComb, Fadwa Hayes, Anthony Ball, and Thomas Ongeri. Back row: Anthony Barfield, Mary Poole, Natalia Cwik, Volodymyr Hron, Tercio Bretas, Jenny Stanjeski, Emily Walsh, and Richard Girtain. Not pictured: Diane Bruessow, Lillian Dunham, Stephanie Gatton, Elizabeth Hurley, Kris Longley-Postema, Dennis Norris, Alicia Oas, Anuj Sainju, and Emily Werne.

 (Photo by Jeffrey Cuyubamba)

Always a diverse lot, the latest crop of Juilliard hires hail from as far afield as the Ukraine, Nepal, and Kenya—and as close as Manhattan. While most don’t have previous Juilliard associations, half a dozen do, including one alum, three former interns/freelancers, and two people who have freelanced for Juilliard in the past. Welcome to all of them!


Anthony Curtis Ball, the new artistic program coordinator for Educational Outreach, is a native of Salt Lake City. He has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music education from the University of Utah, where he served as a graduate teaching assistant for the School of Music, assistant conductor of the University of Utah Women’s Choir, and a representative for the student advisory committee in the College of Fine Arts. Thrilled to be at Juilliard, he looks forward to working with world-class students and faculty who are bringing artistic opportunities to young people throughout the community.

Anthony Barfield (B.M. ’08, trombone), who has joined the Recording Department as an engineer, is also a composer who has received numerous commissions and is currently working with the University of Alabama Wind Ensemble. He made his Carnegie Hall debut at the 2012 New York Wind Band Festival where his work Here We Rest was performed. At Juilliard he studied trombone with Joseph Alessi, Per Brevig, and Michael Powell, and composition with Avner Dorman and Thomas Cabaniss. Anthony, who also has a degree from the Manhattan School of Music, has taught, performed, and recorded extensively.

Tercio Bretas is one of several old hands who are joining the Juilliard staff. After 15 years as a freelancer, including several here, he has joined the electrics shop in the Production Department. Tercio graduated from American University and has been working in theater for nearly 30 years. He’s also a voiceover artist whom you can hear on commercials for everything from Advil and Ford to Hershey’s Kisses to Ponderosa Steakhouse as well as documentaries about Christopher Reeve, insects, and fish. Hear his work at terciobretas.com.

Diane Bruessow, a certified physician’s assistant, is now working part time in Health Services where she will be providing medical care. Licensed in New York and New Jersey, she has been in practice for more than 20 years and looks forward to assisting students in staying healthy, present, and productive. Her professional interests include musculoskeletal and primary care; health policy; and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender health. 

Cassie Corbin, Juilliard’s payroll coordinator, holds a B.M. in flute performance from the Catholic University of America. Her previous positions include payroll coordinator for a New York City real estate developer and circulation supervisor at the Mannes College of Music library. Cassie played the flute and piccolo for the Air Force Band of the Golden West at Travis Air Force Base, Calif., for three years. Originally from Baton Rouge, La., she enjoys following L.S.U. sports and the New Orleans Saints. Other interests include playing pool in both team and individual tournaments and attending Broadway shows.

Natalia Cwik has joined the International Advisement Office as the new international student advisor. Bilingual in Polish and English, she spends each summer in Poland and attributes her experiences abroad with shaping her affinity for language and culture; she defines the experience of cross-cultural exchange as electrifying. She received a B.A. in English, with minors in French and psychology, from the University at Albany and also studied in the south of France. In the interest of further developing her passion, she studied TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) at Columbia’s Teachers College.

Draper Lillian Dunham is thrilled to be working full-time in the costume shop after many years of, as she says, hanging around Juilliard. A proud graduate of Barnard College who also holds an M.F.A. from Boston University, she is one of several former professional interns who have returned to work on staff at Juilliard.

Joseph Durnin, who is now the receiving manager at the Juilliard Store, grew up in Freeport, L.I., and received a degree in piano/musicology at the State University at Potsdam. Before coming to Juilliard, he worked at Joseph Patelson Music House for 26 years and at Steinway Hall for the past three years.

Stephanie Gatton, special events manager, holds a master’s in theater stage management from the University of California, San Diego, and a bachelor’s in English-creative writing from Georgetown University. Pre-Juilliard, she was associate theater manager at the Guggenheim Museum, where she oversaw performances and events, particularly the Works and Process series. As a freelance production stage manager, she’s worked at Second Stage, Playwrights Horizons, the Public, La Jolla Playhouse, Berkeley Rep, and the Shakespeare Theater Company. A native of Washington, D.C., she’s a classically trained pianist and theater lover who lives with her boyfriend, Patrick; their pit bull, Duchess; and their poodle, Marley. Stephanie enjoys traveling, baking, cooking, and frolicking in Astoria Park. 

Richard Girtain joined the Production Department as the new technical director. He received a B.A. from the University of Tennessee in theater and religious studies, and an M.F.A. in technical production from Florida State University. Prior to Juilliard, he was technical director for such organizations as the F.S.U./Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training, the Utah Shakespeare Festival, and, most recently, the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis. He recently moved to New York with his wife, Diana, and son, Jack.

Fadwa Hayes has joined the Admissions Office as the receptionist/administrative assistant. A native of northern New Jersey, she received her undergraduate degree in cello performance from Rutgers University and later moved to New York and got a master’s degree in music from Queens College. In her spare time she enjoys teaching cello, playing Bach, and catching up with friends.

Elizabeth Hurley has been named Juilliard’s new vice president for development and public affairs and as such will oversee the Development Department as well as the Concert Office and the Alumni Relations, Communications, Design Services and Publications departments. Most recently she was the vice president for museum development at the Art Institute of Chicago, and prior to that, she was the director of development for the Metropolitan Opera and held a number of positions in development, including vice president and director of development, at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. She has a master’s in English literature from the University of North Carolina and a bachelor’s in English from Rhodes College. 

Born in Kiev, Ukraine, Aleksey (Alex) Milyavskiy, who has joined the Information Technology Department as Unix/Linux specialist, speaks Russian and English and can read a bit of Hebrew. He has worked at the College of Staten Island (C.S.I. for short, though not to be confused with Crime Scene Investigation, he emphasizes) and the Borough of Manhattan Community College. He has also worked at a start-up company that was later acquired by YouTube and a few other companies before coming to Juilliard. Alex enjoys electronic music, dancing, and playing with computers and other cool technology.

Kris Longley-Postema, the new Vocal Arts production activities administrator, received his M.F.A. in stage management from the Yale School of Drama. Prior to Juilliard, he worked as a freelance stage manager with companies including Theater for a New Audience, La Jolla Playhouse, Yale Repertory Theater, Santa Fe Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, Juilliard Opera, and Production Glue. He has also toured extensively as the production stage manager with Anne Bogart’s SITI Company, and managed many SITI collaborations with companies including Martha Graham Dance Company and Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company. Originally from St. Paul, Minn., he is an avid outdoorsman, chef, and craftsman.

Lora McComb, the Concert Office’s new assistant, is another new employee who’s actually been around Juilliard for quite a while, including as a Concert Office overhire for the last five years. Originally from Carson City, Nev., she moved to New York City in the summer of 2003 to join Juilliard as a stage management intern after graduating from the University of Evansville with a B.S. in theater design and technology. After completing her internship, she worked at Putumayo World Music as an administrative assistant. Lora, who had most recently been the office manager for XL Marketing Corp., is excited to be at Juilliard full-time and is looking forward to getting married in the fall.

Dennis Norris II is the new part-time administrative assistant in the Office of Student Affairs and the Office of Residence Life. In 2012 he received an M.F.A. in creative writing (fiction) from Sarah Lawrence College, where he worked as a graduate hall director and the summer housing coordinator for the office of special programs. He also holds a B.A. in English and Africana studies from Haverford College. In a past life, Dennis was an avid violist and a competitive figure skater. Dennis has won several awards and fellowships for his short fiction, and he lives and writes in Brooklyn. 

Alicia Oas has joined the Juilliard costume shop as first hand. A graduate of Bates College with a dual degree in theater and francophone cultural studies, she has previously worked for Parsons-Meares, the Broadway costume shop, and the Santa Fe Opera. As a proud representative of her hometown, Durham, N.C., Alicia travels frequently through the U.S. and Europe to compete in extreme ironing competitions.

Thomas Shalock Atandi Ongeri, the Information Technology Department’s new Web development specialist, was born in Kisii, Kenya, and raised in Nairobi until he was 7, when he and his family moved to the United States. The middle child of five, he graduated from Providence College in 2010. Before moving to Inwood, he lived in New Jersey, where he taught Microsoft Office classes at night and built microsites for Dow Jones during the day. Thomas loves all things Web- and art-related, learning new computer languages (new favorite: node.js), attending tech meet-ups, and painting portraits and inanimate objects. He also likes to run obstacle races, like the Spartan Race and the Tough Mudder. 

Mary Poole is the new administrative and ensemble manager in Historical Performance. Prior to joining the Juilliard staff, she worked at the Castleton (Va.) Festival as orchestra manager and personal assistant to Lorin Maazel, and at IMG Artists as an artist liaison. A native of south Georgia, she graduated from Interlochen Arts Academy and received a B.M. in clarinet performance from Indiana University. In her spare time, Mary enjoys watching college basketball, attending bluegrass concerts, and practicing Bikram yoga.

Vivian Rodriguez, the new foundation and corporate relations development associate, grew up in West Orange, N.J., and has lived in New York City for six years. She received her bachelor’s in communication and Spanish from Fairfield University and her master’s in international education from New York University. As a Fulbright scholar, she taught English to 10th graders in a small village in Thailand and explored Southeast Asia. Most recently, she worked as a development associate at the Wildlife Conservation Society (Bronx Zoo). Vivian, who lives with her fiancé and their two rescue dogs, Franklin and Nena, enjoys traveling, cooking, snowboarding, and anything dog-related.

Anuj Sainju, the new manager of enterprise systems in the Information Technology Department, is originally from Nepal. He earned his B.S. in computer science/mathematics from Susquehanna University, and master’s degrees in software engineering and business administration from Loyola University, Md. He’s also held developer positions at Loyola and at Ellucian, Inc. Anuj enjoys photography, watching movies, trying cuisines from various countries, and exploring New York City.

Jenny Stanjeski, scenic charge artist, earned her B.F.A. in theatrical design from Carnegie Mellon University in 1999 and then worked as a scenic artist Off Broadway while continuing her painting and figure studies at the Art Students League and the New York Academy of Art and working at the Colorado Shakespeare Festival. A member of United Scenic Artists Union 829 since 2003, she has led the paint shop for Manhattan Theater Club and worked as Bill Riley’s second at Showman Fabricators, producing sets for Broadway and television. At Juilliard, she combines her passions for painting and mentoring young artists; in her free time, she hosts an 18th-century-style art and music salon in her Greenpoint painting studio. 

Emily Walsh, assistant scenic charge artist, is a graduate of Boston University where she received a B.F.A. in scenic design. She has been a freelancing scenic artist for several years, working at the Manhattan Theater Club, Second Stage, and Playwrights Horizons, and charging at the Williamstown Theater Festival, Westport (Conn.) Country Playhouse, and several other theaters in the region. Emily is based primarily in New York City but has also worked internationally in more than 20 countries in theme parks and theaters, as well as on cruise ships. Happy to be at Juilliard, she’s looking forward to staying in one place for a while. 

Emily Werne, the administrative associate for Juilliard in Aiken, received her bachelor’s in philosophy from St. John’s College in Santa Fe, N.M., and her master’s in music from Westminster Choir College. She began her Juilliard career as an intern in the Concert Office, in 2002. Since completing that internship, she has worked at Princeton University with the graduate alumni office, the Time In Children’s Art Initiative and HiArt Kids!, Hunterdon Academy of the Arts, Bikram N.Y.C., and the New York Festival of Song. She sings regularly in the Marble Collegiate Church professional choir as well as with other area ensembles in the New York Metro area and is also a private chef.

Also new to the Juilliard staff: Volodymyr Hron, network specialist, Information Technology.

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