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Meet My Music Garden Staff

Erasmia Voukelatos
Executive Director, Piano

  • Bachelor and Master of Music, Piano Performance.
  • 25+ years teaching experience, including United Nations International School, Stevens Cooperative, Mustard Seed
  • Choir Director, Far Brook School, Short Hills.
  • Accompanist/ Assistant Director of Cantigas Women’s Choir

Canadian pianist of Greek descent, Erasmia Voukelatos is active as a performer, educator, music director, choral arranger and concert presenter. Concerto appearances have included Mozart’s Concerto in A Major, K.488 with the New York City ensemble Antara and Bach’s D Minor Keyboard Concerto with the Canadian ensemble Mercredi Musique. An educator for over 25 years, she teaches music at Far Brook School in Short Hills, New Jersey, where she also curates a biennial fundraiser, Chamber Music & Chocolates. Erasmia is executive director of My Music Garden, a program serving young people in Jersey City, which recently presented the beloved opera, Amahl and the Night Visitors.

Erasmia’s ethnic heritage has fueled a life-long interest in music from many cultures, especially Greek folk music and Indian Diwali song and dance rituals. She presents workshops regularly on multicultural arts, most recently in Cyprus, and was recently selected by the National Endowment for the Humanities to participate in a research seminar on Gullah Culture of the Georgia Sea Islands. Since 2002, Erasmia has been Assistant Director and Accompanist for Cantigas Women’s Choir. Her choral arrangements of Greek folk songs have been performed by Cantigas, The Glass Menagerie in New York and Ss. Cyril & Methodios Youth Choir of Thessaloniki. In her role as Co-Founder and Artistic Director of the West-Park Chamber Society, Ms. Voukelatos attracted New York City audiences for her diverse and appealing programming and artistry.

Erasmia has Bachelor and Master degrees in Piano Performance from The University of Western Ontario and Brooklyn College respectively, and an Associate Performance Diploma from the Royal Conservatory of Music, Toronto. Her mentors have included Seymour Bernstein, Rita Bouboulidi, and Joan Isaacs Litman. She was a scholarship student at the Aspen School of Music and has completed Level III training in Kodaly and Level II in Orff.  Erasmia enjoys collaborating with her husband, violinist Ashley Horne, and her son Alexi, an aspiring young cellist and singer; together, they reside in Jersey City.

Ashley Horne

  • Bachelor of Music, Violin Performance, The Juilliard School
  • American Symphony Orchestra, Harlem Chamber Players and Broadway (The Producers, Phantom of the Opera)
  • Previously taught at the Harlem School of the Arts

Ashley Horne, violinist and native of Los Angeles, has appeared as a soloist and chamber musician around the world. A graduate of the Juilliard School, Ashley is known for his “bright tone and fine overall sense of style” (Dennis Rooney of Strad Magazine.) His artistic integrity and flexibility have placed him in a diverse range of musical experiences, from recitalist at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall to performances with Portishead, Whitney Houston, Natalie Cole, Tony Bennett, and Oliver Lake. He is a member of the American Symphony, and has performed with Brooklyn Philharmonic, Dance Theater of Harlem, and New York City Opera. Broadway credits include Carousel, Phantom of the Opera, Ragtime, Follies, Chicago, On the Town, and The Producers.

Mr. Horne performs regularly with the Harlem Chamber Players. He is known for championing works by Black composers, such as Noel DaCosta and Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson, and is the newly-appointed Music Director of the Antara Ensemble. He was featured in Le Mozart Noir, the PBS documentary about the life of violinist and composer Chevalier de Saint-Georges, and his recordings of Perkinson’s Louisiana Blues Strut (A Cakewalk), Henry Cowell’s Fiddler’s Jig and William Grant Still’s Mother and Child with the Manhattan Chamber Orchestra (Koch International) can be heard regularly on WQXR. Filmgoers can also see Mr. Horne in Eddie Murphy’s Coming to America.

Sam Westley

  • Bachelor of Music, Piano Performance, Manhattan School of Music
  • Winner of the University of Minnesota’s Mechelke Scholarship Competition (2004)
  • Staff Piano Teacher, Accompanist, and Administrative Director at the Washington Heights Choir School

New York based pianist, organist and educator Sam Westley hails originally from Minneapolis. Sam received a BM in Piano Performance from Manhattan School of Music in 2008, and has since maintained an active piano studio in the Bronx, Westchester and Fort Lee. Sam has had a long association with the Washington Heights Choir School, a free after-school community music program, where he has served as accompanist, piano instructor, and currently, administrative director. Among his many musical projects was exploring the world of church music and learning to play the pipe organ, which led to his appointment in 2015 as the new Organist and Music Director of the Church of the Mediator.

While his education is primarily classically-oriented, Sam enjoys playing and teaching in a wide variety of musical styles and traditions. Highlights include performances in local jazz clubs and recording with local singer/songwriter pop artists. Sam was the 2004 recipient of the University of Minnesota’s Mechelke Scholarship Competition. 2019 will mark his 10th year with My Music Garden!