Instructors


Jane Marsh was the first singer to win the Gold Medal in Moscow’s International Tchaikovsky Competition. Among Verdi, Strauss and Bel Canto, her repertoire includes the signature Tchaikovsky and Rimsky-Korsakov heroines. She has appeared as performer and M.C. in international and U.S. radio and television venues and since 2007, has presented Metropolitan Opera Guild lectures and master classes on Bel Canto, Verdi, Puccini, Wagner, Mozart, Strauss, and the Russian repertoire. She was awarded the New York Handel Medaille for exceptional contribution to the world of music.
 


Max Alvarez is a film historian who has been presenting multimedia cinema history courses for Sundays at JASA since the fall of 2013. He is the author of “The Cinéphile’s Guide to the Great Age of Cinema” (2020), “The Crime Films of Anthony Mann” (University Press of Mississippi 2013), and a major contributor to “Thornton Wilder/New Perspectives” (Northwestern University Press 2013).
 


James Smith was the Executive Director of an educational and cultural non-profit in Cambridge, MA for many years, and has taught in adult programs at the New School and CUNY.
 


Natan Last published his first crossword puzzle in the New York Times when he was 16, then the youngest constructor to appear in the Times. Last wrote a book of crosswords, Titled Word. He has a B.A. with honors in Economics and Literary Arts from Brown University.
 


Gregg Birnbaum is a former assistant managing editor for politics at NBCNews.com, where he supervised coverage of national politics and the 2020 presidential campaign, as well as the White House, Congress and Supreme Court. Birnbaum also previously held senior editing positions at the Miami Herald, CNN.com, the New York Daily News, Politico, and the New York Post. He teaches journalism at Baruch College and the University of Florida.
 


Leora Harpaz is an emeritus professor of constitutional law at Western New England University School of Law as well as founder of the annual Supreme Court Conference where she has been a speaker for over 20 years. Since receiving emeritus status, she has been an instructor in several senior learner programs and taught undergraduate law courses in the political science department at Hunter College. She received her B.A. from Stony Brook University, and has law degrees from both Boston University and New York University.
 


Doug Brin facilitates weekly discussion groups at the 92nd Street Y and several independent senior residences, and lectures at the JCC. He is a former feature writer for the New York Daily News, and both a history and ethics teacher at the prestigious Dalton and Ethical Culture Schools. As a visual artist, his work has been exhibited in major neighborhood galleries in Manhattan.
 


Pamela Koehler is an adjunct professor of art and art history at Adelphi University. As a teaching artist she has presented lectures, talks, and workshops at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Museum, the Morgan Library, the Whitney, and the Dahesh Museum.
 


Kim Breden is the founder and executive muse of Be Mused Productions which specializes in educational entertainment.  Be Mused Children’s Theatre Company has offered musical theatre workshops for children, preschool through teen in Westchester and Dutchess Counties. In addition to directing and producing these workshops, Kim provides music programs celebrating Broadway’s greatest hits, for museums, libraries and nearly 50 Senior Residences in the tri-state area. Kim is a volunteer teaching artist and facilitator with Rehabilitation through the Arts (RTA). For the past 16 years, she has directed full musical productions and workshops in maximum and medium security prisons in New York State.

Kim's singing career has taken her around the globe, performing in Hamburg, Leipzig and Dresden, Germany, Bloemfontein and Durban, South Africa. Featured shows include Phantom of the Opera, The Merry Widow and Irene Molloy in Hello Dolly! She has also appeared in The Sound of Music, Camelot and National Tour of Annie. She has appeared as a concert guest artist with the Charleston Symphony, Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra, Brevard Music Festival, Dallas Perspectives Concert Series and the Caramoor Music Festival.  She holds two bachelor’s degrees in voice and music education from the University of South Carolina.  Kim did her Masters’ training as a music therapist at SMU in Dallas where she earned her Master of Music in Vocal Performance.
 


Leo Schaff is an actor, singer, and songwriter. A longtime Bardolator, he also teaches at the 92nd Street Y and was NY1 New Yorker of the Week for his popular Shakespeare classes for seniors throughout the city. He co-wrote “Give Us Hope,” a song performed by the San Francisco Children’s Choir at President Obama’s first Inauguration.
 


Greg Canada serves as the assistant dean of admissions at Indiana University Maurer School of Law and is a lecturer on the philosophy of law for Indian University’s Hutton Honors program. Mr. Canada earned a BA in history and philosophy from Virginia Wesleyan College, summa cum laude, an MA in philosophy from Boston College, and a graduate certificate in higher education administration from Harvard University.
 


Jennifer Gilchrist is a veteran New Yorker who now resides in Metro Detroit. She taught literature courses at Hunter College and has published articles in Twentieth-Century Literature and Women’s Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal. In addition to her instruction at JASA, she is the review editor of Supernatural Studies: A Journal of Art, Culture, and Media. With a specialty in modernist narrative, she received her Ph.D. in twentieth-century American and British literature from Fordham University in the Bronx.
 


Lucía Hinojosa Gaxiola is an artist, poet, writer and editor whose work has taken shape across a diverse range of media. Her work explores the materiality of language, memory, sound ecology, ritual and archive through practices of expanded writing. She co-edits diSONARE, an experimental and cross-cultural editorial platform. Since 2019, she directs RIZOMA, a poet collective offering performance workshops for imprisoned women in Mexico. Her conceptual art/poetry book The Telaraña Circuit is forthcoming by Tender Buttons Press.