The extraordinary experience and artistry of the Community Music School Faculty provides the critical foundation for students’ musical journeys. Our goals are to awaken and inspire the imaginative self within our students; to help students gain a profound appreciation of art and creation; to support each student in the quest to connect with music in a meaningful way; and to provide students with a vision of their inherent potential and the tools required to realize that potential.

“The point is to develop the childlike inclination for play and the childlike desire for recognition and to guide the child over to important fields for society. Such a school demands from the teacher that he be a kind of artist in his province.”

Albert Einstein

Berger WebDr. Dorita Berger – Music Therapy – Piano

Dr. Berger is a Juilliard-trained concert pianist, educator, author, Board-Certified Music Therapy clinician, and internationally renowned lecturer on music in human adaptation and music in science and medicine. She is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, New York University, and Roehampton University.  Her published books include: Music Therapy, Sensory Integration, and the Autistic ChildThe Music Affect: Music Physiology and Clinical Applications, with co-author Dr. Daniel Schneck; Toward the Zen of Performance: Music Improvisation Therapy for Developing Self-Confidence in the Performer; and Eurhythmics for Autism and Other Neurophysiologic Diagnoses: A Sensorimotor Music-based Treatment Approach (in press). Dr. Berger’s clinical work includes music-based, sensorimotor treatments for Alzheimer’s, strokes, autism, dementia, and pain management.

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Derison Duarte — UNC-CMS Director, Piano

A full bio on Mr. Duarte is available on the UNC Music Department Faculty/Staff page.

Harris WebJulie Harris — Composition

Julie Harris has combined music and community throughout her creative life. She graduated summa cum laude in Theory and Composition from Brevard College at age 18, and later finished her composition degree at Duke University, studying with Dave Maves and Iain Hamilton. She continued private composition studies with Robert Ward, Dan Locklair, and Ken Frazelle after graduation. Julie’s list of community music projects is long and varied, including creating group compositions for orchestra as a middle school composer in residence, writing and composing new music for the state-wide ComposerWorks program, co-founding the yearly Compose-A-Thon for grade school through junior high school students, and creating the annual Gratitude Concerts which take place at local hospitals, cancer wards and churches. Her composition and performance studio, Harmonia, has made a name for itself across the state, the southeast, the US, and even internationally as a magnet for creativity and prize-winning compositions. One of the most exciting current projects is her studio’s Virtual Choir which is made its debut in 2013.

Elizabeth Morgan WebElizabeth Morgan — Student-Teacher of Voice

Soprano Elizabeth Morgan is a sophomore at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill working toward a degree in music education. She has studied voice for six years and is currently a student of Dr. Louise Toppin, chair of the UNC Music Department. She has also taken two levels of piano class at UNC with professor Derison Duarte. Her focus of vocal study is classical literature, although she also has experience in musical theater. Her major roles have included Hodel in Fiddler on the Roof and Mrs. Banks in Mary Poppins, both performed with the NRCA Squire Theatre. She is entering her second year as a member of the UNC Chamber Singers under the direction of Professor Susan Klebanow and hopes to pursue a career in teaching.

Pocock, Ar. WebAriel Pocock — Jazz Piano and Voice

Ariel Pocock has received international acclaim as an equally captivating jazz pianist, vocalist, and composer. Recognized by notable institutions such as Downbeat Magazine, the Kobe-Seattle International Jazz Vocal Competition and the Essentially Ellington Competition at Lincoln Center, Ariel is steadily gaining momentum as a uniquely gifted and versatile musician with both her “true facility for…sinewy jazz piano [and] breezy, achingly plain-spoken vocal chops…” (Seattle Times). A captivating performer, Pocock has headlined at many notable venues and music festivals, including Ronnie Scott’s London Club, the Iowa City Jazz Festival, the Elkhart Jazz Festival, the Twin Cities Jazz Festival, the Stanford Jazz Festival, the Bellevue Jazz Festival and in July 2015 had the opportunity to perform at the prestigious Festival International de Jazz de Montréal. Ms. Pocock is a recent graduate of the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music.

Pocock, A. WebAleen Pocock — Piano

Aleen Pocock holds the Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees in piano performance. She has studied with Larry Graham and C. Curtis Smith, as well as James Dick at the Round Top Festival in Texas and with Anthony de Bonaventura at Colby College in Maine. Mrs. Pocock has served as staff accompanist for Butler University and the Forest Ridge School in Bellevue, Washington. She has also performed as concerto soloist with the Capriccio Chamber Orchestra, the Boise Philharmonic, and the Kalamazoo Symphony, where she also was principal pianist. Mrs. Pocock is currently on the faculty at North Carolina Central University serving as staff accompanist and the accompanies for the UNC Women’s Glee Club.

Pocock, D. WebDavid Pocock — Piano

David Pocock was a tenured Professor of Piano at Western Michigan University, and left that position to found and direct the Irving S. Gilmore International Keyboard Festival. He has performed throughout the United States and Europe as a solo and collaborative pianist, and recorded a solo CD as well as many works for the state radios of Austria, Finland, Norway, Germany, and Denmark. He has also served as Dean of the Colburn School of Music in Los Angeles, Director of Education for the Philadelphia Orchestra, Director of Institutional Relations for both Steinway and Yamaha, and Artistic Director of the American Pianists Association.

Peter Smith WebPeter Smith — Student-Teacher of Piano

Peter Smith is one of the 2016 Kenan Music Scholarship recipients, which is the Music Department’s premier scholarship, and studies piano with Dr. Clara Yang.  He attended high school at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, where he studied with Professor Eric Larsen. Peter has also worked privately with many other distinguished teachers, including faculty members of the Juilliard School and the Eastman School of Music.  He enjoys collaborative musical activities and is also an accomplished academic student; he was a 2016 National Merit Scholar Finalist, and was invited to join Honors Carolina at UNC.​

Stewart WebBilly Stewart — Guitar

A full bio on Mr. Stewart is available on the UNC Music Department Faculty/Staff page.

Julianna Tauschinger-Dempsey WebJulianna Tauschinger-Dempsey — Voice

Lyric coloratura and former professional dancer, Julianna Tauschinger-Dempsey made her operatic debut singing and dancing the role of Frasquita with the Boston Lyric Opera. As a Mozart specialist, she has sung Pamina, the Queen of the Night, Susanna, Fiordiligi and Despina all to great acclaim. Also an active concert artist, Ms. Tauschinger-Dempsey appeared as the soprano soloist in the Messiah under the direction of Duke Chapel’s Rodney WynkoopA former pianist and harpsichordist, Ms. Tauschinger-Dempsey’s passion for clear self-expression and communication as truth has led her to become a multilingual language and writing specialist. She has used these skills to instruct at institutions ranging from Brown and Harvard Universities to Rainy Institute of Music and the Zurich Opera.  She received an honors degree in Social Anthropology from Harvard University and earned a Master’s degree in voice with distinction from the Manhattan School of Music.

Special Thanks!

In addition to our fabulous faculty a very special thanks must be made to many who have made the UNC Community Music School a reality, including Mark Katz, Terry Rhodes, Jeffrey Fuchs, Ben Haas, George Huntley, Stephen Anderson, Paul Cole, Karen Michael, Tae Lerch, Susan Williams, Nivedita Sankar, and Kathryn Duarte.