Serving Long Island City for 10 years Professional Faculty from:

Juilliard . Mannes Berklee . Bard and more!

(917) 548-3598

Join us for a special production of GUYS AND DOLLS Jr!

bway1This year’s class will be running a FULL YEAR program with a very special production of GUYS AND DOLLS, JR at the end of the year! This will be a fully staged production with a set, costumes and band. A consultation is required for entrance.  All students will learn the entire score with music director James Bassi from the New York Philharmonic. Mr. Bassi has accompanied many stars from the Opera and Broadway world including Jessye Norman, Kristin Chenoweth, Ute Lemper, Tovah Feldshuh and others. Every class will be preceded by 15 minutes of rigorous vocal training by LICAM director Oliver Sohngen. The show will be directed by Gregory Couba.

OPERA ESSENTIALS is a new series of classes at Long Island City Academy of Music geared towards professional and emerging professional singers.



Maestro William Hicks, who as assistant conductor at the Metropolitan Opera has had a close professional working relationships with some of the greatest singers in the world, notably Luciano Pavarotti, will conduct a 12 week course of two 1.5 hour classes weekly with each week representing one essential aspect in the preparation of repertoire, such as “Word Work”, musical content, diction, historical context, rhythmic structure, phrasing, melodic content, character study and strategies for presentation. In a supportive environment in a maximum class size of 12 singers participants of the program will have ample opportunities to present and explore their chosen repertoire. Collaborative pianist Jestin Pieper will be present to accompany at all classes. As a requirement participants of this course should possess a vocal technique that allows for efficient vocal production wherein pitch, legato, diction and dynamics can be easily produced. Consistent attendance is mandatory.
Private coachings with Mr. Hicks are also available after class time at a preferential rate at the facilities of Long Island City Academy of Music.

Class schedule:
Fridays 7-8:30pm, Sundays 3-4:30pm
October 7- January 15, 2017
(No classes on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s weekends)

$495 for the entire course of 24 group sessions

WILLIAM HICKS, Voice Coach, Pianist, and Conductor, has coached, appeared in recital, on television, and in master classes with some of the leading singers of the day, including Luciano Pavarotti, Licia Albanese, Franco Corelli, Anna Moffo, Roberta Peters, Renata Scotto, Teresa Stratas, Renee Fleming, Deborah Voigt, Regina Resnik, Marta Eggerth Kiepura, and Herolyn Blackwell. From 1990 to 1995 he collaborated as repetiteur and pianist for Luciano Pavarotti. He joined the Metropolitan Opera in 1995 as Assistant Conductor, Solo Pianist, and Assistant Chorus Master, positions he held until 2001, at which time he recorded a series of shows by Jerome Kern with the London Sinfonietta. For New World Records he recorded 127 pieces by Victor Herbert, and is currently pianist for the Victor Herbert Renaissance Live Project. He has also recorded for BMG, Sony, and Patria Records. In addition, Maestro Hicks served as Associate Conductor for The Santa Fe Opera, The Canadian Opera, The Cincinnati Opera, and The new York City Opera, as well as for Maestri Michael Tilson Thomas, Lorin Maazel, and John McGlinn. He worked for the Israel Vocal Arts Institute at their programs in Tel Aviv, Portland, Oregon, and Montreal. Maestro Hicks gives master classes in preparation and presentation to young singers throughout the world, and also has extensive training and professional experience as a singer, actor, and dancer.


OPERA ESSENTIALS welcomes renowned Stage Director Marc Verzatt. A one-time class with Marc Verzatt takes place Sunday November 20 at 1:30-3pm.

A stage director, MARC VERZATT maintains an active career directing opera, operetta, and musical theater throughout the United States, South America, and Europe. He began his theatrical career as a dancer with the Metropolitan Opera after studying drama at Rutgers University and ballet with New Jersey’s Garden State Ballet. After several seasons as a soloist with the MET Ballet, he left to continue his education in production as a stage manager with the Cincinnati Opera and Pittsburgh Opera companies.

He made his professional directing debut with a production of Offenbach’s Les contes d’Hoffmann with Opera Columbus. He has since directed productions with the Teatro Colón, Buenos Aires, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Houston Grand Opera, Florida Grand Opera, and the opera companies of Fort Worth, Lake George, Madison, Arizona, Toledo, Atlanta, Kansas City, Baltimore, Idaho, and Mississippi.

He joined the faculty of Yale University’s School of Music Graduate Opera Program, where he directs the Acting and Movement workshops. He has directed several Yale Opera productions, including Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream (in which he appeared in the role of Puck) for Orchestra Verdi in Milan, as well as the programs mainstage productions, including a new production of “I Capuleti e i Montecchi” in February 2013. In 2005 he was engaged by the Metropolitan Opera for a speaking role in Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos. In 2006 he was named Outstanding Stage Director of the Year by Classical Singer magazine.


World renowned Jazz Guitarist Costas Baltazanis has joined LICAM’s faculty!

Costas Baltazanis has twenty-five years of teaching experience. He has taught a great number of students in private or group classes. His students are today’s professional players and teachers all over Europe and USA.

In 1991, Costas started teaching Guitar and Harmony Courses at Ph. Nakas Conservatory in Athens, Greece. Later, he taught Ear Training, Jazz Composition, Ensemble and Improvisation Courses. In 1995, he became Head Director of the Modern and Jazz Music Department. He organized a big number of festivals, contests, workshops, seminars, lectures, guest musicians’ concerts, teachers’ and students’ concerts. He supervised the Berklee College of Music “Study Abroad Program” at Ph. Nakas Conservatory, the Student Exchange Program between the two Institutions and the Four Semester Academic Program (for students who would get their first two years Berklee College credits in Athens ). He also, gave lectures and seminars at conservatories in all the major cities of Greece.

Costas has been giving lectures on topics like: ‘Jazz Improvisation’, ‘Super imposed Harmony’, ‘Triadic improvisation’,’ Modal Improvisation’, ‘Teaching Jazz’, ‘Psychology while playing and practicing music’, ‘Odd Meters in Greek and Balkan Folk and how to use them in Fusion and Jazz’.

Costas Baltazanis has written three books: ‘Music Theory and Ear Training’, ‘Jazz Harmony’ and ‘Electric Guitar’, published by Ph. Nakas Editions.

Professional Opera and Musical Theatre coaching

LICAM is home to a team of NYC’s best vocal coaches, collaborative pianists and singing teachers. Whether you need to prepare for an upcoming audition, prepare a role, work on languages, need a collaborator for a recital performance or need help with your vocal technique, we can provide outstanding help at a reasonable price. We have spacious studios ideal for singing coatings and even small recitals.


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Our team:

JamesBassiJames Bassi, collaborative pianist, music director, vocal coach:

James Bassi is a composer, pianist and music director who enjoys a diverse career. His compositions encompass vocal, choral, orchestral, chamber, and theatre music. Mr. Bassi’s works have received premieres and performances at Avery Fisher, Carnegie and Merkin Hall. His Petrarch Dances for chorus and orchestra was commissioned and premiered by Orchestra of St. Luke’s. Three of Mr. Bassi’s works were commissioned and premiered by Dennis Keene and Voices of Ascension: O Lux Beata Trinitas; Quem Pastores Laudavere; and Dialogue: Angel of Peace, Angel of War, which features a text by poet Dean Kostos. Other commissions include works for Equal Voices, Charis Vocal Ensemble, and Western Wind. His Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis for choir and organ was premiered at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London. His work has also been performed by St. Louis Symphony and Utah Symphony. Mr. Bassi has received composition grants from NEA, Meet the Composer, and New York Foundation for the Arts. His music publisher is Oxford University Press. In concerts he has collaborated as pianist/arranger with Deborah Voigt, Ute Lemper, Jessye Norman, Judy Kaye, and other renowned artists. His music direction credits include Lincoln Center and York Theatre in NYC, numerous Off-Broadway and regional theatres, and Bard Summerscape. He is frequently engaged as a classical recital accompanist, pianist/arranger for cabaret, and as rehearsal pianist for the New York Philharmonic.

JestinPieperJestin Pieper, collaborative pianist, music director, vocal coach: Jestin Pieper is a flexible and sensitive accompanist, intelligent and versatile chamber musician, and focused and dedicated Musical Director. His diverse interests range from chamber music to conducting. As a truly collaborative artist, he is willing to step outside the box to find the best expression of the music.
In addition to collaborations with chamber music groups around the country, Jestin maintains an active coaching studio in NYC, working with singers on projects ranging from accompanying lessons, to intimate salon recitals to the musical direction of full operas.
He has worked with tenor Benjamin Sloman, teachers Jean Roland-LaFond, and Gioacchino LiVigni, the Martha Cardona Opera Theater, The Manhattan Opera Studio, The American Lyric Opera, and the Opera Company of Brooklyn. He is currently studying conducting and vocal coaching with former Metropolitan Opera Assistant Conductor William Hicks.

Oliver_Low - CopyOliver Sohngen, voice teacher:  Originally from Germany, Oliver Sohngen is founder and director of Long Island City Academy of Music. He has received his formal training at The Cleveland Institute of Music and has performed as a tenor soloist in Europe and the United States. He has been teaching voice for over 20 years and has recently joined MEDITERRANEAN OPERA STUDIO INTERNATIONAL ARTIST IN RESIDENCE PROGRAM’s teaching staff under the direction of internationally acclaimed tenor and voice teacher Jack Livigni. Mr. Sohngen’s teaching is based on the tradition of Old Italian Technique along the lines of Garcia and Cotogni. Oliver has the vocal and aestetical range to demonstrate correct and efficient vocalism to male and female students alike. His students appear in leading roles in opera and musicals, solo recitals at Carnegie Hall and gain entrance to major conservatories like Mannes, Manhattan School of Music, Aaron Copeland School of Music and Berklee.