Bob was born in San Diego CA, and raised in Denver CO. He earned degrees in classical piano performance from Metropolitan State University of Denver and the University of Memphis.
Bob has performed Jazz and Blues with many great artists including Jimmy Witherspoon, Phineas Newborn Jr., the Moody Blues, Smokey Robinson, the Shirelles and the Platters.
His diverse background in classical music and jazz has contributed to his success as anaccompanist to dancers, vocalists, and as a member of many ensembles; playing at some of the finest schools and best musical venues in New York.
Lyudmila Melerud was born in the former Soviet Union and trained at the Kiev and Moscow conservatories. While there Melerud conducted seminars on Mozart and Schumann. In 1979 she moved to America where she began her tenure with the dance department.
Sam Ospovat began his musical studies in Lincoln, Nebraska, playing piano and singing in a boys' choir. He graduated from UC Santa Cruz with a BA in Music and Electronic Music and earned his MFA in Percussion Performance from Mills College under William Winant. He also studied with Peter Magadini and Haitian master drummer Daniel Brevil before moving to New York City in 2013. Ospovat tours throughout the United States and Europe, and has performed and recorded with many notable musicians and ensembles including Ava Mendoza, Tune-Yards, Kim Cass, Naytronix, Enablers, The San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, members of Rova Saxophone Quartet, and poet Yusef Komunyakaa. He does regular studio work for Figure 8 Recording in Brooklyn, and currently plays in the Angelica Sanchez Nonet, Unnatural Ways, and Brandon Seabrook's Die Trommel Fatale. Ospovat has been a dance musician for over 15 years, and has worked at UC Berkeley, Mills College, NYU Tisch and Marymount Manhattan College. He joined the faculty at LaGuardia in 2016.
John Prestianni — John has been a professional pianist, composer, dance accompanist and musical director in New York for over 20 years. He is an accompanist at several universities and schools, including NYU (Steinhart), American Theater Dance Workshop, and most recently LaGuardia High School, involved in both the dance and drama departments. He is also the Musical Director for the 'Kids Company' at the West Side YMCA for 8 seasons running.
As a composer: most recently 'The Golden Contender' and 'Pie Rats' for Brooklyn Childrens Theater, 'The Black Dahlia' at the York Theater in 2008, 'The Vaudevillian' at the Lark theater in 2005. A member of BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theater Workshop (Advanced).
Eva Schwarcz-Gangel was born in the former Czechoslovakia. She received her BA and MA from Manhattan School of Music and has been accompanying classes in the dance department since 1975.
Cedric Tolley joined the dance faculty in 1997, bringing with him over 25 years’ experience as a pianist for ballet, modern, theatre dance, jazz, and tap. He has worked for such noted teachers as Margot Fonteyn and David Howard and in schools and companies as diverse as the Washington Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Dance Theatre of Harlem, and the Merce Cunningham Studio.
Stephen Weinstock is a dance musician and composer. He has worked at the Martha Graham, Alvin Ailey, Merce Cunningham, and Jose Limon studios, as well as Juilliard, UC Berkeley, Princeton, SUNY Purchase, and Marymount. Before LaGuardia, he directed and composed theater works in the Bay Area, taught and coordinated the Musical Theater Writing Program at NYU Tisch, and was a Teaching Artist for the Metropolitan Opera's Creating Original Opera program. When not improvising for modern dance classes at theFame school, he is writing a series of 11 novels called 1001, The Reincarnation Chronicles.