Pianist...a lifetime career

Performance degrees lead to a world where winning competitions and getting concert tours are just a small part of your musical life. The myriad of opportunities to build on your successes as a pianist come in many shapes and sizes, and Madonna’s Music Program is just the place for you to grow and get involved.

Our faculty, nationally recognized and award-winning performers and teachers, are in love with making music and want to bring you into the unending circle of who you are as a musician. A strong and healthy technique is your foundation, which opens you to the great world of touch, colors, and interpretation of solo and ensemble pianistic masterpieces.

Music Performance Shot

Audition & Entrance Requirements

*REQUIRED for acceptance into all music degree programs: General Music, Church Music, Film Scoring, Music Education, or Performance: Piano, Instrumental, Voice

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Student Success

Music Alumnae Sarah Storti Sherrard

Sarah Storti Sherrard

Why did you choose Madonna University?
I chose Madonna University not only because it was one of the few colleges in Michigan to have the Music Management major, but also because my faith is very important to me and my family. I attended Catholic grade school as well as high school and saw the benefits in not only shaping me morally, but in the education as well.

What do you think makes the experience and education at Madonna special?
I think the fact that they have smaller class sizes really makes the experience special. The teachers knew my classmates and me by name and there was a real sense of camaraderie in the Madonna Music Department. This closeness helped me develop a lot of confidence in my musical skills and in myself.

What have you been doing since graduation, career wise? (graduate school, employer?)
Since graduating in 2010, I started a band that plays all over Michigan and some surrounding states. (The Sarah Sherrard Band) In 2013 the band and I had a wonderful opportunity to go down to Nashville and record an EP of four songs that we wrote with members from the band Lynyrd Skynyrd. We are now currently working on another EP in Detroit and are just having a blast playing clubs, festivals, weddings, and other various gigs. Right out of Madonna I received a job at Amerisure Insurance Co in customer service. I believe my Music Management degree allowed me to get that position because of the business classes it offered. This job allowed me to make a nice living while gigging with the band on the side.

How has your Madonna degree played a role in your current position?
Six years later and the band is still playing every single week. I think my Music Management degree gave me the basic tools I needed to have confidence in booking gigs and marketing gigs as well as asking for a fair price (the most intimidating part). I believe there was no other school or major for me. Madonna was able to let me mix practicality and my passion. I am so grateful I was able to be a part of their program.

What has been your most rewarding professional or personal experience since graduating?
My most rewarding experience has been in 2011 when I married my guitar player and welcomed a beautiful baby boy into the world in 2015. Not only did I gain an amazing husband and son from starting a band, but I gained three other brothers who I get to share the stage with who are some of the greatest, humble, funny guys I've ever met! We've been playing together for seven years now and I feel very blessed!


Performing Arts

Share your talent, have fun with new friends, and show your school spirit in our Gospel Choir, Pep Band, Lyric Theatre, Dance Team, and Chorale. Participation in some ensembles qualify you for a Performing Arts Scholarship!

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Madonna University’s unique dance programs offer a variety of components for a career path as a dancer, teacher, or multi-skilled professional.

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School of Business

Since 1975, Madonna University has been preparing highly-skilled business professionals through a values-based curriculum. 

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Broadcast and Cinema Arts

 The Broadcast and Cinema Arts Program will prepare you to enter the business of television, radio, filmmaking, and media. The program combines theory with intensive hands-on learning.

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Faculty Bios

Barbara S. WiltsieAssociate Professor, Interim Chair, Director Lyric Theatre & Summer MT/Applied Voice

M.Mus., Manhattan School of Music

B.Mus., Eastern Michigan University


734-432-5715, 1506E

Barbara S. Wiltsie

Barbara Wiltsie, mezzo-soprano, has soloed with numerous symphonies, chorale groups and opera companies throughout the Midwest; including the DSO, Southwestern Michigan Symphony, Toledo Symphony, Bach Festival of Kalamazoo, Mendelssohn Chorale of Pittsburgh, The Singers Club of Cleveland, Opera!Lenawee, Michigan Opera Theater, Des Moines Metro Opera, Fargo-Moorhead Civic Opera, and Toledo Opera. A former long-time Michigan Opera Theatre Touring Artist, she has garnered many awards—such as the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions as a two-time Regional finalist, winner of the Friedrich Schorr Memorial Performance Prize and a winner in the NOA Artist Awards. 

A recipient of the 2004 Teaching of Excellence Adjunct Faculty award, her full-time duties since 2006 include Director (and founder) of Lyric Theatre and vocal-related classes. In addition to her university duties, Ms. Wiltsie is the Founder & Managing Director for the Madonna University Summer Music Theater Intensive for high school students, as well as a sought-after adjudicator for MSVMA, NATS and other musical organizations. She is Co-Director of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions - Michigan Committee. For more information about the Summer MT Intensive program, please visit http://madonnauniversitysummermt.weebly.com/.

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Tadeusz BiskupskiAdjunct Assistant Professor, Applied Cello

D.M.A., University of Michigan

M. Mus., Chopin Academy

Warsaw & Univ. of Stuttgart School of Music


Tadeusz Biskupski

Received his Master of Music degree from the Chopin Academy of Music in Warsaw, Poland, a Performer's Certificate from the Musikhochschule in Stuttgart, Germany, and a Doctorate in Cello Performance from the University of Michigan. His distinguished teachers included Antonio Janigro, Erling Blondal Bengtsson, and Janos Starker. Mr. Biskupski has performed as a recitalist and concerto soloist in Poland, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and the USA.

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Rachel BletsteinAdjunct Assistant Professor, Applied Piano

D.M.A., University of South Carolina

M. Mus., Bowling Green State University

B.Mus., Cincinnati College - Conservatory of Music


734-432-5707, Room 1506A

Rachel Bletstein

Rachel Bletstein, a native of West Bloomfield, Michigan has a passion for both playing and teaching piano. She received her Doctoral of Musical Arts degree in Piano Pedagogy at the University of South Carolina under the tutelage of Phillip Bush. While at USC she collaborated as accompanist with instrumentalists and vocalists. Additionally, she taught private piano lessons at the University of South Carolina through the Center for Piano Studies. In May 2018, Dr. Bletstein completed her dissertation, A Theoretical and Stylistic Analysis of Paul Ben-Haim’s Five Pieces for Piano, Op. 34 and Piano Sonata, Op. 49. She began her research after traveling to Israel in 2016, where she became very interested in Israeli and Middle Eastern music. Dr. Bletstein received her Master of Music degree in Piano Performance from Bowling Green State University Music where she studied with Dr. Laura Melton. At Bowling Green State University, she taught group piano to undergraduate music majors. Dr. Bletstein holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Performance from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. She also enjoys playing chamber music, as well as experimenting with improvisation, a topic with which she became particularly interested while completing her doctoral degree.

Dr. Bletstein has been active as an Officer in the collegiate chapters of the Music Teacher’s National Association. She has presented research at poster sessions at the 2015 and 2016 at SCMTA state conferences and has also presented at the MTNA National Conference in March of 2017.

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Ian BoyntonAdjunct Assistant Professor, Music Education

M.A., Central Michigan University

B.M.E., Western Michigan University


734-432-5543, Room 1506A

Ian Boynton

Ian Boynton is an adjuct assistant professor of Music. He holds a Bachelor's in Music Education from Western Michigan University, and a Master of Arts in Educational Technology from Central Michigan University. Currently he teaches elementary music to grades pre-Kindergarten through Fifth Grade for Redford Union Schools. In addition to his teaching duties, Mr. Boynton serves as the Director of Chiors for Grace Lutheran Church in Redford. He is a frequent clinician around the country speaking on integrating technology into the music classroom and integrating the arts with core subject areas.

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Ann ChenAdjunct Assistant Professor, Applied Piano, Piano Pedagogy

D.M.A., Michigan State University

M.Mus., University of Oregon

B.M., University of British Columbia


734-432-5543, Room 1506A

Ann Chen

Ann Chen, pianist and teacher is a graduate of Michigan State University where she received a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Piano Performance under the tutelage of Panayis Lyras. She also holds two Master of Music degrees from the University of Oregon, one in Piano Performace and one in Piano pedagogy where she worked with Dean Kramer and Claire Wachter. She has a special interest in piano pedagogy (the methodology of piano teaching and teacher training), that culminated with a research project focusing on graduate level piano pedagogy degrees in North America and the reconstruction of curriculum for courses at MSU.

Dr. Chen has been a teacher of piano and theory for over 12 years in both her private studio and at the college level. She has adjudicated festivals and competitions throughout the state of Michigan. She is also a member of Livonia Area Piano Teacher Association when she serves as Vice President of the organization. Dr. Chen is also an active performer, playing chamber music with her husband, Nicholas Toben, cellist.

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Kevin CushmanAdjunct Associate Professor, Director, Madonna Chorale, Ear Training, Conducting, Secondary Methods

M.S., Madonna University

B.A., Michigan State University


734-432-5508, Room 1506G

Kevin Cushman

Kevin has been a lifelong music educator, beginning with Detroit Catholic Central H.S. and recently retiring from Redford Union Schools. In addition to private and public school education he has served as Minister of Music at churches in the Lansing Diocese, and is currently serving at St. Valentine Parish in Redford. Through the years Kevin's choirs have performed in locations including Sydney Opera House, Westminster Abbey, the U.S. Capitol, and the White House, State Capitol in Lansing, as well as the Governor's home.

Performances have given for local and state dignitaries as well as performing by invitation for the victims of the 9/11 tragedy at the White House; masses at the cathedrals in Milan and Florence, and St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. The highest honor coming when his choir performed for His Holiness Pope (St.) John Paul II during a private audience. Kevin currently serves as an active adjudicator for the Michigan School Vocal Music Association and is a member of the American Choral Directors Association.He has been serving as an adjunct associate professor in the Music Department at Madonna University since 2011.

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Brendan IgeAdjunct Instructor, Applied Low Brass 

M.Mus., University of Michigan

B.Mus., Bowling Green State University


734-432-5707, Room 1506A

Brendan Ige

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Lisa KeeneyAdjunct Assistant Professor, Applied Saxophone

M.M., University of Michigan

B.M., Grand Valley State University


734-432-5543, Room 1506A

Lisa Keeney

Saxophonist Lisa Keeney pursues new collaborations with living composers and the research and performance of existing music. She has appeared as a performer and scholar in several venues such as the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Navy Band International Saxophone Symposium, and North American Saxophone Alliance. Lisa currently serves on the faculty at Madonna University as the saxophone instructor. She earned her Master of Music Performance from the University of Michigan and Bachelor of Music Education from Grand Valley State University, and her primary mentors were Timothy McAllister, Jonathan Nichol, and musicologist Mark Clague. Lisa is also active in music editing, arranging, education, and publication: she is currently a Lead Editing Assistant and Engraver for the UM Gershwin Initiative and independently researches and presents findings about Gershwin’s relationship with the saxophone. In Summer 2018, Lisa led the production of The Classical Tenor Saxophone Resource Guide, a free educational resource for saxophone students and teachers.

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Velda KellyAdjunct Instructor, Applied Violin/Viola

M.Mus., Boston University

B.Mus., University of Cincinnati


734-432-5543, Room 1506A

Velda Kelly

Violinist Velda Kelly has been teaching and performing in metropolitan Detroit since 1983. She holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Cincinnati College - Conservatory of Music and a Master of Music degree from Boston University. Her violin teachers included Henry Meyer, Joseph Silverstein and Denes Zsigmondy. Ms. Kelly is a member of the Michigan Opera Theatre Orchestra and is co-artistic director of Chamber Music at the Scarab Club. She also performs as an extra musician with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and has a large class of private violin students.

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Kassia MartinAdjunct Instructor
Applied Flute

B.Mus., Wayne State University


734-432-5543, Room 1506A

Kassia Martin

Kassia Martin holds positions in the Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra, the Midland Symphony Orchestra, the Dearborn Symphony Orchestra, and the Livonia Symphony Orchestra. She also performs regularly as a soloist and with her husband, Sam Martin, as the Martin Wind Duo. She is also a dedicated teacher, with private students throughout southeast Michigan, and is the flute instructor at Madonna University in Livonia and the Steiner School of Ann Arbor. She is also the music director and conductor of the Flute Specialists Flute Choirs in Clawson, MI.

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Patricia Masri-FletcherAdjunct Professor, Applied Harp

M.M., Juilliard

Member, Detroit Symphony Orchestra


Patricia Masri-Fletcher

Patricia joined the Detroit Symphony as their Principal Harpist in 1988. She occupies the Winifred E. Polk chair, one of the prestigiously endowed positions in the orchestra. Since her appointment with the DSO, she has worked with virtually every current major classical music artist and has herself been a featured soloist with the DSO on numerous occasions. Ms. Masri-Fletcher holds a Master of Music Degree from The Juilliard School in New York, and a Bachelor of Music Degree from Holy Names College in Oakland, California. Her teachers include Ann Adams, Joan Axelson, Linda Wood Rollo, and Susann McDonald.

In addition to her duties with the DSO and teaching harp at Madonna University, she also maintains a private studio in the Detroit area. She has given harp master classes at Interlochen School for the Performing Arts' summer session, Michigan State University, University of Michigan in auditioning and arranging, and lecture demonstrations for composers and conductors at The Juilliard School. Ms. Masri-Fletcher resides in Novi, Michigan with her husband, Dr. Robert Fletcher, Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Lawrence Technological University.

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Steven McGheeAdjunct Assistant Professor, Coaching for the Singer/Applied Piano

D.M.A. University of Michigan

M.M. University of Michigan

B.M. West Chester University of Pennsylvania


734-432-5543, Room 1506A

Steven McGhee

Dr. Steven McGhee works in the genres of art song and opera as a coach, collaborative pianist and conductor. He is the artistic director and principal conductor for Opera MODO, serving as a leader of the creative team for thirteen productions since joining the Detroit-based organization in 2014. With soprano Dr. Leann Schuering, Dr. McGhee formed The Art Song Doctors, a performing and education-focused duo focused on bringing art song to an expanded audience and helping younger singers explore the song repertoire.

Recent recital appearances include The Yale Institute for British Art, New Haven, Connecticut; St. John’s Presbyterian Church, Berkeley, California; the Casement Fund Song Series in New York, New York; the Art Song Festival at Baldwin Wallace University, Cleveland, Ohio; and two weeklong master classes at the Britten-Pears Institute in Aldeburgh, England.Dr. McGhee joined the faculty of Madonna University in 2018. He has served on the faculties of Long Island University, New York University and the University of Michigan, where he earned his masters’ and doctoral degrees in collaborative piano as a student of Martin Katz.

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Linette Popoff-ParksAdjunct Professor, Applied Piano, Humanities

M.A., Eastern Michigan University

B.Mus., Marygrove College


734-432-5709, 1506D

Linette Popoff-Parks

Professor Popoff-Parks is a performing member of the Tuesday Musicale of Detroit, performed with local and national artists, and has premiered works by local composers such as Elaine Lebenbaum. Ms. Popoff-Parks has entertained audiences at Chamber Music at the Scarab Club with works of female composers like Clara Schumann, Amy Beach, Mel Bonis, and Elfrida Andree. As a member of the College Music Society, Livonia Area Piano Teachers Guild, the Michigan Music Teachers Association and Music Teacher National Association, she serves as an adjudicator for numerous piano competitions, scholarship auditions, and has been guest speaker at State Conventions as well as local chapters meetings. She was a member of the MMTA State Board of Certification for 6 years, encouraging the certification of piano teachers. She also researches advanced literature for pianists with small hands, avoiding injuries to finger, hand, and arm.

Professor Popoff-Parks teaches applied piano, theory, and humanities, and is devoted to bringing “classical” music into non-traditional venues through the Classical Revolution Detroit Series. Professor Popoff-Parks has received three Madonna President’s Citations, and two awards for Effective and Creative Teaching. Most recently, she was nominated for a Grammy Music Educator Award for 2015.

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Lisa RaschiatoreAdjunct Associate Professor, Applied Clarinet, Chamber Music

D.M.A., University of Michigan

M.Mus., University Michigan

B.A., Pepperdine University


734-432-5706, Room 1506F

Lisa Raschiatore

Clarinetist Lisa Raschiatore is a freelance musician and teacher in the Southeastern Michigan area. She currently serves as Principal Clarinetist with the Michigan Philharmonic and Bass Clarinetist with the West Michigan Symphony Orchestra. She has appeared as a substitute musician with the Windsor, Grand Rapids, Michigan Opera Theatre, and Detroit Symphony Orchestras on clarinet, bass clarinet, contrabass clarinet, and basset horn. She has also toured the country with the New York Gilbert and Sullivan Players as principal clarinetist, and has appeared with many other regional orchestras including the Dearborn, Traverse City, Ann Arbor, Flint, Saginaw, Adrian, Oakland, Macomb, Birmingham-Bloomfield, and Warren Symphony Orchestras.As an active proponent of contemporary music, she regularly performs and commissions composers in chamber music settings, most recently with her wind trio, Protea, at Trinosophes, the Detroit Institute of Arts, and Kerrytown Concert House, and with Amphion Percussion at the DIA and Constellation in Chicago.

She has appeared with vocalist/composer Shara Worden and her band My Brightest Diamond at Art X in Detroit, the Laneway Festival at Meadowbrook, the MusicNOW Festival in Cincinnati, and with the ensemble Music at the Lincoln Center "Out of Doors" Festival in New York City. She co-founded a new-music ensemble called Warped Consort and commissioned works from composers David T. Little, Evan Chambers, Andre Myers, and Kirsten Volness. She recently worked with composer Evan Chambers in the development of his clarinet sonata, Atonement, and was a member of the commissioning consortium that sponsored the work. She has also worked with composer Michael Daugherty in the creation of his clarinet concerto, Brooklyn Bridge, and his chamber work Ladder to the Moon, recently premiering the trio version. She has premiered numerous works by young composers as a three-year member of the Aspen Contemporary Ensemble in residence at the Aspen Music Festival, and has participated in the New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival, the Eastern Music Festival in North Carolina, and the Festival de Música de Santa Catarina in Jaraguá do Sul, Brazil.

While a member of ACE, she was a featured performer on "Performance Today," the nationally syndicated radio show from American Public Media.She completed her undergraduate degree at Pepperdine University under the tutelage of Mary Gale, and earned both her Masters and Doctoral degrees at the University of Michigan with Fred Ormand, Dan Gilbert, and Monica Kaenzig. Dr. Raschiatore has served as the Interim Professor of Clarinet at Central Michigan University, as Instructor of Clarinet at Alma College, and as Adjunct Professor of Music Theory at Adrian College. Currently, she teaches clarinet, chamber music, and appreciation courses at Madonna University in Livonia, and maintains a private studio. This summer, she leads the Macomb Center for the Performing Arts Clarinet Workshop for middle and high school students, and is on faculty at the Performing Arts Institute of Wyoming Seminary in Pennsylvania. For more information, please visit www.lisaraschiatore.com

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Janet RomansAdjunct Instructor
Fundamentals of Acting

M.A., Eastern Michigan University

B.S., Eastern Michigan University


734-432-5543, Room 2432

Janet Romans

Janet Romans holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Eastern Michigan University with majors in Theatre, Education, and Communication. She recently retired after teaching theatre and English at Redford Union Schools as well as directing theatre at both Redford Union and South Lyon Community Schools. Janet has also worked with community theatres, including The Farmington Players and The Brass Tacks Ensemble, performing in a variety of roles on and offstage, and has presented workshops at Eastern Michigan University’s Best Practices Conference and for Center Stage Jackson.

In addition to her involvement in theatre, Jan works as a volunteer wedding gown consultant at The Brides Project, a non-profit bridal salon, the proceeds from which benefit the Cancer Support Community in Ann Arbor.

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Helene RottenbergAdjunct Professor
Applied Guitar, Humanities, Chamber Ensemble, Music Appreciation

M.A., Musicology, Univ of Michigan

B.A., Music History/Art History, Univ of Michigan


734-432-5706, Room 1506F

Helene Rottenberg

Helene Rottenberg is a Professor of Music at Madonna University in Livonia, MI, and also teaches guitar at Herb David Guitar Studio in Ann Arbor, MI. She has a Master of Musicology degree from the University of Michigan and was a student of the late Argentinean guitarist, Manuel Lopez-Ramos.

Helene has performed extensively in the Midwest, particularly in the Detroit/Ann Arbor area, since 1975. She has often played as a featured performer in chamber music concerts at the “Festival of the Lakes” in Alexandria, Minnesota, and has appeared on Minnesota Public Radio. She plays professionally in a flute/guitar duo, Divertimente, with flutist Susan Lazar, and they recently have released their first CD, featuring music by Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco, Johann Sebastian Bach, and Bela Bartok. She performs as a soloist and also enjoys playing in various ensembles. She has often played with Chamber Music at the Scarab Club, and is a regular performer with Woodward Corridor Musicians and the Detroit Concert Choir.

For the last few years she has been on the faculty of the Adult Classical Guitar Workshop at the Interlochen Music Camp, judged the International Youth Competition, and with the Guitar Foundation of America she serves on the board and conducts workshops at their conferences.

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Brandon Scott RumseyAdjunct Assistant Professor
Theory, Composition, Orchestration, Music Technology, Music Management

D.M.A., University of Michigan

M.Mus., University of Texas at Austin

B.Mus., University of Oregon


734-432-5707, Room 1506A

Brandon Scott Rumsey

Dr. Brandon Rumsey is an Ann Arbor-based composer, bassoonist, and teacher. His music emphasizes harmony, rhythm, texture and orchestrational color and frequently explore themes of love, nature, and conversation. Dr. Rumsey’s concert works have been performed across the United States, in Australia and Africa. Beyond the concert hall, he has composed music for independent film, musicals, and contemporary plays. Dr. Rumsey’s research in musicology and theory intersects with studies in gender and sexuality, tying together political advocacy, feminist theory, LGBTQ studies, and music research in order to advance performance and research of historically underrepresented musicians and their work.

In addition to teaching at Madonna University, Dr. Rumsey is a Teaching Artist with the Trade Winds Ensemble, a Senior Editorial Assistant and Copyist at the University of Michigan Gershwin Initiative, and the Artistic Director and bassoonist of the Emblems woodwind quintet, an artist collective committed to education, inclusive- and equity-conscious programming, and performing exciting overlooked repertoire.

To learn more, visit https://brandonscottrumsey.com

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