Brenda Earle Stokes, B.F.A, M.Mus

     I am a pianist and vocalist skilled in the fields of classical, jazz, pop, rock, r&b and musical theater.  Not only have I trained, I have performed at the professional level in each of these styles, and each holds a special place in my heart!

     As a performer, I have worked as both pianist and vocalist as a leader and sideperson across the US and Internationally.  I have performed at the Kennedy Center, Avery Fischer Hall, The Toronto Jazz Festival, The Christchurch Arts Festival in New Zealand and at Carnegie Hall, with artists such as trombonist Wycliffe Gordon, stage legend Maurice Hines, the Desoff Symphonic Chorus and many others.  I even opened for Duran Duran once!  As a conductor, I spent 8 years directing the New York Summer Music Festival's Jazz Choir and was the Artistic Director of the Rutger's University Queen's Chorale.  I was an Episcopal Music Director and organist for several years as well!  In any given week, you might find me singing with a classical choir, playing piano in a jazz club, playing keyboard and singing backup in a top 40 band or accompanying a Broadway singer.  I love the challenge of wearing many hats and getting to express myself in different musical ways!

     Because of my diverse musical skills and interests, I attract students with a wide range of interests and goals, from professional and pre-professional to children and teens to adults wanting to learn for fun and personal development.  My students have sung on Broadway, in national commercials, have recorded solo albums and have been accepted to performing arts high schools and top conservatories in the US and Canada.  I am skilled at creating a course of study that serves each of my students unique needs and interests.

    I have served on the faculties of City College, the New York Summer Music Festival, the Grammy-winning Brooklyn Youth Chorus and the Diller-Quaile School of Music.  I currently serve on the faculty at Fordham University, where I teach piano, voice and direct a jazz ensemble.

     I have been active in music outreach and am proud to have served at NYC inner city schools through the Midori and Friends Foundation and the New York Pops Educational outreach.  I am entering my 9th year in a music residency at the Ronald McDonald House, where I make music with seriously ill children and their wonderful families!

Education

BFA in Piano, York University

M.Mus in Jazz Piano and Voice, Manhattan School of Music

RCM Grade 9 Classical Piano

Level III Certified in Somatic Voicework - the LoVetri Method(TM)

Post Graduate training in Choral Conducting, Early Childhood Music, Classical Choral Conducting and Composition.