Department of Music


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


Derison Duarte — UNC-CMS Director, Piano Faculty

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

Vera Le Bris — Piano Faculty

B.M. Piano and Flute Performance, Chamber Music, Theory, Harmony, Music History, Folklore, Marching Band and Baroque Flutes. UCLA Professor James Newton Ph.D.: Flute, University of California at Los Angeles. UCLA Professor Robert Winter: Music History. UCLA Professor Mary Ann: Da Camera Society: Chamber Music. Professor Alonso Aníbal da Fonseca Ph.D.: Piano concerto. MS Biology.

Vera Le Bris moved to North Carolina in 2017, previously she taught at her music studio in Paris, France, and Florida, USA, for over 25 years. Vera’s students perform at Carnegie Hall for the Honors Series, along with orchestras at various international summer festivals in Europe and South America. Students have also been selected to perform at prestigious national music summer programs like Julliard and Tanglewood; they also participate at All-State, Solo and Ensemble Competitions, Piano Guild Auditions, Piano-a-thonMusic Scholarship Fundraising, Auditions for Concerto competitions, Orchestra practice and Master Classes abroad. Vera leads educational trips to Japan and promotes Master Classes/Concerts, with nationally and internationally renowned artists, for her students and her community.

Esil Empig, pianoEsil Empig — Student-Teacher of Piano

Esil Empig is a first-year UNC BM in piano performance student from Irvine, California. Esil started taking piano lessons when she was 5. From 2015-18, Esil has won at the Music Teachers Association of California Baroque and Contemporary Festivals, the Southern California Junior Bach Festival, the Southwestern Youth Music Festival and at the 13thAnnual Sejong Music Competition in Chicago. In 2016, she was invited to the prestigious AVANTI International Youth Festival in Riga, Latvia. Esil attended the prestigious Orange County School of the Arts (OCSA) Pianist Program. At OCSA, Esil was part of the Chamber Music program, Vocal Collaboration program, and the Frederick Fennell Wind Studies Program. Esil has been teaching piano for 5 years. She currently has a piano studio where she teaches children and adults. She plans to be a pediatric occupational therapist utilizing music therapy and has a huge heart for teaching children with disabilities.

Inessa Fishbeyn-Reeve — Early Childhood

Inessa Fishbeyn-Reeve graduated with an M.A. in music education and early child development from Kazan University in 1985. She worked as a music teacher in Kazan and Kiev and, for 23 years, at Bnai Shalom Jewish Day School in Greensboro, N.C., where she created and taught the music curriculum for children from PS-2 to 8th grade. She holds an N.C. teaching license. She has taught piano privately and served as choral director of intergenerational and children’s choruses. She is interested in opera and music literature, has been an active member of folk and Israeli dancing groups, and has implemented a school folk dance program. She has two grown-up daughters, both UNC graduates, and lives in Chapel Hill with her husband, C.D.C. Reeve, a UNC philosophy professor.

Emily Hynes — Student-Teacher of VoEmily Ann Hynesice

Emily Hynes earned her Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance (cum laude) from St. Olaf College. Currently, Emily is a graduate student in the Musicology program at UNC, and she has research interests in 20th-century American folk song collecting and operatic performance practice. She has been teaching voice since her penultimate semester at St. Olaf and also has served as a piano tutor for the last two years. Emily has fifteen years of performance experience in musical theater but has also been performing classical voice literature for seven years. Her philosophy of teaching revolves around working with each individual singer to foster sustainable vocal techniques through knowledge of anatomy and voice production. She also hopes to help students cultivate their joy in singing and performing. A Minnesota native, Emily moved to Chapel Hill in 2018.

Aleen Pocock — Piano FacultyPocock, A. Web

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.

Billy Stewart — Guitar

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

Sierriana Terry — Student-Teacher of Piano

A native of North Carolina, Sierriana Terry is a 3rd Year Graduate Student, who received her Bachelor of Arts in Music Performance from North Carolina Central University (Summa Cum Laude). Her research interests include issues of musical characterization in Japanese Anime and American Cartoons. Her secondary interests include contemporary African American studies in Broadway, musical theater and popular music, and protest culture within music festivals held by people of color in South America, similar to America’s very own AfroPunk festival. Her Master’s Thesis focuses on the explorations of blackness and the construction of a black sonic aesthetic in Donald Glover’s most recent television series Atlanta. Sierriana looks forward to contributing to the burgeoning field of public musicology and engaging the public in discussions about popular music.