Lisa Orinn: Founder/Director/Teacher
Lisa Orinn is the Founder of Music Play Studios and Director of Music Together® of Hudson County. Lisa began teaching music to children in 1995, when she was introduced to “Music Together”, the internationally renowned music program for children and their families. A year later she became a Music Together Director and has since been honored by the Center for Music & Young Children for bringing music into the homes of more than 15,000 families.
Lisa is an accomplished vocalist who began performing in elementary school. She attended Talent Unlimited High School and continued her theatre and musical studies at the New York Academy of Theatrical Arts, HB Studios and the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City. She then became one of the founding members of The Actors Annex East in New York City. Lisa was also a member of the band “Blues In Progress” and has performed her solo cabaret and nightclub acts in New York venues such as The Park Royal Hotel, Tramps, Caroline’s, Kenny’s Castaways and The Bitter End, as well as many other clubs throughout the State.
Amhara Buxton, Teacher
Amhara is a singer, multi-instrumentalist, director, conductor and music educator who has over 15 years’ experience teaching music to children of all ages. Her love of all genres of music developed from an early age when she would be literally rocked to sleep by her father’s rock band practicing in the basement, and later on when she and her grandfather would belt out golden oldies of the 30’s and 40’s on the piano. She holds Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Music Performance, and, in addition to being Youth Orchestras Director for Turtle Bay Music School, directs children in musical theatre and choirs, as well as teaching private voice/piano lessons. Amhara is passionate about having fun with music and is thrilled to share that passion with our youngest musicians as part of Music Together.
Joi Haynes: Teacher
Joi is a professional singer, actress and dancer who has appeared on Broadway in Mamma Mia! She has also appeared in the National Tours of Mamma Mia! and Ragtime, as well as in children’s theatre productions (across the country) in shows produced by New York’s renowned Theatreworks USA. Joi holds a B.F.A. in Musical Theatre performance as well as a B.A. in Communication Studies from the University of Michigan. She first picked up a violin at the age of four and has been hooked on music ever since. Joi has watched with awe as music has become an important part of her own daughter’s development. A trained Music Together teacher since July 2007, she is thrilled to be passing on the love of music to the next generation.
Leslie Kaplan: Teacher
Leslie is an accomplished vocalist who has performed in children’s theatre, musical theatre, jazz, rock and folk bands. She started singing at the tender age of 3 and at 9 became a soloist in her church choir. Leslie studied at The Manhattan School of Music and graduated from the American Musical & Dramatic Academy in New York City. In 1994 Leslie became a registered Music Together teacher and was then hired as the Music Specialist at the Chelsea Day School. She is now using her talents teaching our Infant Classes, Mixed-Aged Classes and Pre-School Classes.
Erin Lee Kelly: Teacher
Erin Lee Kelly began performing as a teenager in Kingston, Ontario, moving to New York to study at The American Musical and Dramatic Academy. Upon graduation she spent several years as an actress and choreographer, performing in musicals, plays and films before choosing to focus on music and theatre for children. Her first CD of original children’s music entitled Someone’s Gotta Wanna Play, created with Marci Appelbaum, was awarded Best Recording for Younger Children, 2005 by the Children’s Music Web. Their wry lyrics and layered harmonies garnered them widespread attention as “The Indigo Girls of childhood music” (WLUW-FM 88.7, Chicago IL.) Their follow-up, Snowdance, debuted on Rosie O’Donnell’s R Family Cruise to Alaska, and went on to win two ASCAP Awards for excellence in writing and the Family Choice Award. Erin Lee was recently elected to, and served on, The Children’s Music Network Board of Directors. She can currently be found performing family concerts fronting Erin Lee and the Up Past Bedtime Band (www.erinleemusic.com).
Dave Lambert: Teacher
Dave has wanted to be a musician and entertainer since age 10, when he first picked up a tennis racket the wrong way to strum along with Def Leppard videos in the early days of MTV. As an amateur musician, Dave fooled around with various marching bands, rock groups and even day jobs before “going pro” as a registered Music Together teacher in 2002. He has been known to play guitar, banjo, bass, tuba, mandolin, harmonica, drums and kazoo, though not all at the same time. Nowadays, in addition to teaching Music Together, Dave sings and plays lead guitar for The Fuzzy Lemons, the metro area’s hottest family-friendly rock band. He lives in Hoboken with his wife and son and a polydactyl cat named Morpheus.
Stearns Matthews: Teacher
Stearns graduated from Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey in 2008 with a BM in Music Theater. In addition to working as a singing actor in the northeast for the past several years, Stearns has also been very active in the cabaret scene in New York City. A two-time MAC Award nominee, he has performed critically acclaimed shows at famous Manhattan venues such as Don’t Tell Mama, The Duplex, the Metropolitan Room, and the Laurie Beechman Theatre. He made his Lincoln Center solo debut in 2010 at the Mabel Mercer Foundation’s Annual Cabaret Convention. Stearns has been teaching Music Together for three years and is a Certified Level I teacher.
Shona Roebuck: Teacher
Shona is a certified Music Together teacher and graduate of Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ with degrees in Theatre, Dance, Music and French. She performs in regional shows and works locally with children of all ages teaching dance, theatre, voice and musical theatre. She is also the Founder/Director of Morrow’s Musical Theatre Camp, where children entering 4th-8th grade have the opportunity to put on a whole production in one week to raise money for charity. Music has always had a huge influence on Shona’s life. As her mom says, “she came into the world singing” and she is now thrilled to pass on her love of music to all of her students.
Catherine Rubin: Teacher
Catherine Rubin has been singing professionally for the past fifteen years. She studied classical and jazz voice at Ithaca College in New York State. Upon graduation, Catherine relocated to Austin Texas for three years where she began a career as a singer/songwriter of adult contemporary music. She moved back to her home state of New Jersey in the mid-nineties and released her first album. Since then, Catherine has released three albums and has had a song featured in an Independent film. Her interest in the healing properties of music led her to study music therapy at Montclair State University. She started teaching Music Together after taking her son Max, to the classes and falling in love with the program. Catherine also performs at children’s parties doing Music Together and other popular children’s songs.
Stacie Levy, Teacher
Stacie is passionate about music and loves teaching and working with children. She is a licensed Music Together teacher and a classically trained Opera singer and multi-instrumentalist. Stacie graduated in 2004 with a BA in Music/Voice from Hartwick College in Oneonta, NY. Since college she has sung all over the NYC metro area as well as internationally. She also sings and acts regularly with “They Improv” as well as with “The Mystery Cafe”. Besides singing and acting, Stacie plays: piano, guitar, soprano ukulele, and baritone ukulele. She is also the founder and teaching artist for her own music studio ” Stacie Blair Studios.” where she teaches privately.
Erin Murray Quinlan, Teacher
Erin Murray Quinlan has been teaching music for over a decade, to students ages 0 to 85. She is a composer and writer for theater and film in New York City, Boston, and London. Erin has a degree from Berklee College of Music, and has also studied at Oxford University, and the Schola Cantorum in Paris. She is a member of the BMI Lehmen Engell Musical Theater Workshop. She is passionate about music education, and is the director of non-profit Sing2Give. Erin lives with her husband, dogs Indiana and Porthos, and cat Spot. More information can be found at www.erinmurrayquinlan.com
Molly Mesic is a singer and multi-instrumentalist originally from Maryland. After graduating from Berklee College of Music with a Bachelor of Music, Molly spent five years performing as a lead singer for various cruise lines, including Royal Caribbean. She then toured nationally with Fischer Price’s Little People Live and worked with Nickelodeon for NCL. Molly has taught, and helped develop, multiple children’s music programs in New York City and New Jersey, and after having her own child in 2015, she completed her training to become a licensed Music Together teacher. In addition to the above, Molly also currently sings for wedding and corporate events with Jerry Kravat Orchestras .