Settlement 100

At the School’s Centennial in 2008, a panel of distinguished Philadelphians joined together to name 100 eclectic and diverse individuals whose experiences at Settlement Music School helped shape their lives. From orchestras to rock & roll, in class rooms, board rooms, or operating rooms, these outstanding philanthropists, prize winners, and more, discovered the best of themselves through Settlement.


Dr. George Allen
Music history professor at Cheyney University, earned his music doctorate at Temple, longtime teacher in Philadelphia public schools, Settlement parent and grandparent, and board member of Settlement’s Wynnefield Branch.

Desimond Alston
National Symphony Orchestra violinist and marathon runner, he began violin lessons at Settlement at age 9.

Dennis Alter
Former high school teacher and current CEO of Advanta. He studied clarinet at Settlement.

Joseph Anderer
Principal horn for the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, founding member of the Orchestra of St. Luke’s and frequent back up performer to KD Lang, Billy Joel and Tony Bennett, studied French horn at Settlement.

Kevin Bacon
Stage, screen and television actor and half of The Bacon Brothers rock band, Kevin Bacon took lessons at Settlement as a child.

Michael Bacon
Television and film score composer and other half of The Bacon Brothers, Michael’s musical training began at Settlement.

Lando Bartolini
Italian-born tenor, performed at the Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera and La Scala and studied at Settlement after winning the Mario Lanza Competition.

Leon Bates
Celebrated pianist and amateur body builder, began his studies at age 12 at Settlement.

Peter Benoliel
Chairman Emeritus of Quaker Chemical Company, he is the former chairman of the Central Board of Trustees at Settlement and plays violin with its Adult Chamber Players.

Carl Berky
Composer of numerous works for orchestra, chamber groups, chorus, piano, organ and solo voice; was a scholarship piano student at Settlement.

John E. Blake, Jr.*
Jazz violinist, author and native of South Philadelphia began his violin studies at Settlement.

Olga Blumenkrants
She emigrated from the Soviet Union and for more than 29 years has trained hundreds of dancers at Settlement.

Lee Bracegirdle
Associate principal horn with the Symphony Orchestra in Sydney, Australia, is a native of Bucks County and studied French horn at Settlement.

Gabriel Braverman*
Violist with the Philadelphia Orchestra, played under Stokowski and Ormandy, was among the earliest generations of students at Settlement, enrolling in 1918.

Elizabeth Burnett
Investment banker who said “no matter what the career path, the music stays with you,” studied flute for five years at Settlement and served on the Board of the Wynnefield branch.

Lorene Cary
Author, lecturer and Executive Director of Philadelphia’s Art Sanctuary who studied piano at Settlement.

Chubby Checker
Sang his way from the Italian Market to the top of the pop charts with his big hit, “The Twist”; he took piano lessons at Settlement.

Stanley Clarke 
Emmy-nominee bassist for jazz-fusion band, Return to Forever, who studied upright bass at Settlement.

Michael Cruse
World-touring jazz bassist who says his “destiny as a bass player evolved” at Settlement.

Mary Louise Curtis Bok Zimbalist*
Well known philanthropist and early supporter of Settlement; funded the branch named after her and later was inspired by Settlement’s conservatory division to establish The Curtis Institute of Music.

Sid & Shirley Curtiss
Husband and wife team who have coached ensembles and inspired hundreds of woodwind and strings students at Settlement for over 40 years.

Clamma Dale
Tony nominated soprano, began voice lessons at Settlement at age 14.

Joey DeFrancesco
Renowned organist in the jazz world for his revival of the Hammond B-3 organ, studied jazz and classical piano as a child at Settlement.

Buddy DeFranco*
One of the greatest jazz clarinetists of all time with an annual Jazz Festival in Montana named for him, Buddy studied at Settlement as a teen.

Ferdinand Del Negro*
Contrabassoon with the Philadelphia Orchestra for 41 years, and long time faculty member at Settlement.

Laurence Dreyfus
Award-winning author, Bach scholar and viola da gambist who studied cello at Settlement.

Jacob Druckman*
Composer, conductor, teacher, advocate of new music, Fulbright scholar and Pulitzer Prize winner; studied viola at Settlement.

Renard Edwards
Violist and first African American contracted to play with the Philadelphia Orchestra, studied first at Settlement.

Albert Einstein*
Scientist, was a member of its Board of Advisors and a regular chamber music participant at Settlement in the 1950s.

Charles Engel*
Concert pianist, radio show host and beloved piano teacher for 53 years; one of the longest-tenured instructors in Settlement’s history.

Jules Eskin*
Principal cellist of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and former cellist of the Cleveland Orchestra and Dallas Symphony Orchestra began his studies at Settlement.

Kevin Eubanks
Well-known music director of the Tonight Show Band from 1995 – 2010 began his musical training playing violin, trumpet and piano at age 12 at Settlement.

Wilhelmenia Fernandez
Acclaimed international soprano and star of Diva, studied voice at Settlement.

Joseph M. Field
Founder of radio empire Entercom, studied violin at Settlement as a youngster and now plays with the Adult Chamber Players.

Eileen Folson*
Grammy nominated cellist, performed with The New York Philharmonic and on Broadway, was a scholarship student at Settlement.

Jeanette Selig Frank* & Blanche Wolf Kohn*
Founded Settlement in 1908 as volunteers at the College Settlement House where they offered piano lessons for a nickel each to newly arrived immigrant children in the Southwark section of South Philadelphia.

Marianna Paone Gabbi
Former conductor of New Mexico’s Las Cruces Symphony and first American woman invited to conduct in China; studied violin and later taught at Settlement.

Mark Gigliotti
Philadelphia Orchestra bassoonist and certified ski instructor, studied at Settlement.

Carole Gravagno
Former teacher and tireless arts supporter, is a member of Settlement’s Central Board of Trustees.

Buddy Greco*
Singer, pianist and arranger, toured the world with Benny Goodman, and studied piano at Settlement.

Adele Aron Greenspun
Writer and photographer whose creativity was sparked by her theory study at age ten at Settlement.

Johann Grolle*
Violist and member of the Philadelphia Orchestra, Settlement’s founding executive director.

Beth Haas
Attorney for a leading Philadelphia firm and first woman there to be made a partner while working part time, founded Settlement’s Young Friends Committee and studied piano as a child at Settlement’s Jenkintown branch.

Libby S. Harwitz
Writer and editor, studied violin at Settlement as a child and now sits on the Board of Directors at Settlement’s Mary Louise Curtis Branch.

Sigmund Hering*
Member of the Philadelphia Orchestra under Leopold Stokowski and was the most widely published trumpet pedagogue in the world, taught at Settlement for over twenty years.

Michael Hollinger
Noted playwright and assistant professor of Theatre at Villanova, was a violist in Settlement’s Adult Chamber Players.

Lady Alma Horton
Soul singer, songwriter and international performer recognized as the heart of Philadelphia’s soul scene, started her voice studies at Settlement.

George Howard*
Grammy nominated soprano saxophonist, released 15 albums before his death at age 41, took clarinet and bassoon lessons at Settlement.

Leonard Nelson Hubbard
Settlement alumnus, played bass guitar for the Grammy Award-winning hip-hop group, The Roots.

Emanuel S. Kardon*
Philanthropist and owner of American Packaging Corp., established Settlement’s Kardon-Northeast Branch, its Therapeutic Arts Program and was a longtime leader of its Central Board of Trustees.

Irv Kershner*
Film director of the “The Empire Strikes Back,” Episode V of the original Star Wars movie trilogy, studied violin, viola and composition at Settlement.

Gwendolyn Killebrew
Mezzo-soprano, studied voice at Settlement and has appeared with major opera companies all over the world.

Lauren Kipphut
Dance instructor and coach of an award-winning dance troupe, took her first dance lesson at age 4 at Settlement’s Kardon-Northeast branch.

Mario Lanza*
Celebrated tenor, studied at Settlement in the 1940’s.

Judith LeClair
Principal bassoonist of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra and a faculty member at Juilliard School, a member for Settlement’s Advanced Study Woodwind Ensemble.

Matthew Levy
Saxophonist, former Settlement faculty member, executive and co-artistic director of the PRISM saxophone quartet, 

Eric Lewis
Camden native and jazz pianist, played for President Bill Clinton, with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra and appeared in a Robert DeNiro film. His training started at Settlement.

Elaine* & Sam* Lieberman
Chairs of the first black tie gala for Settlement, who enjoyed many a concert in the Samuel and Elaine Lieberman auditorium at Settlement’s Germantown branch. Sam was also the former Chairman of Settlement’s Central Board of Trustees.

G. Love
Former Settlement guitar student and blues/funk artist, G. Love and Special Sauce, became famous for their 1994 hit “Cold Beverage” and have released seven albums since.

Jerome N. Lowenthal
Pianist, recording artist and Juilliard faculty member, has performed with nearly every major world orchestra and made his Philadelphia Orchestra debut at age 13. He started his musical journey at Settlement.

Badiene Magaziner
Acclaimed soprano, opera star and vocal coach, founded the International Leukemia Organization to honor her 13 year old son Erik, began her vocal studies at Settlement.

Irving Maitin*
Architect, designed many of the region’s most prominent structures, including Settlement’s West Philadelphia Branch. He served on the school’s Jenkintown and Central Boards of Trustees.

Donald W. Maloney
Former soldier and physician, studies at the Willow Grove Branch and serves on its Board of Directors as well as on Settlement’s Education Committee.

Richard K. Marvin
Composer best know for his film and TV scores including HBO’s Six Feet Under, took piano lessons at Settlement.

Walter Burle Marx*
Brazilian native and founder of the Rio de Janeiro Philharmonic, taught theory, piano and composition at Settlement.

Louis J. Massiah
Filmmaker and founder of Scribe Video Center, former Settlement student and a 1996 recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship.

Christian McBride
A bassist who has played with Wynton Marsalis, Isaac Hayes and Sting, was a member of the Settlement Jazz Ensemble.

Leonard Mellman
Real estate entrepreneur, involved with Settlement since the 1930’s as a student, donor and board member.

Harrilese Durant Miles
Voice teacher, singer, choir director and founder of the Festival of Hymns Choir, former director of Settlement’s Mary Louise Curtis Branch.

Diane Monroe
Classical and jazz violinist and original member of the Uptown String Quartet; performed live on radio and television and with some of the world’s greatest artists. She started with piano lessons at Settlement.

Acel Moore*
Award-winning journalist and Associate Editor emeritus of the Philadelphia Inquirer, studied trumpet at Settlement.

Alex North*
Composer, went from being a Settlement student to composing scores for more than 50 films, including A Streetcar Named Desire.

Edgar Ortenberg*
Revered teacher and violinist, member of the Budapest Quartet and taught at Settlement for almost 40 years.

Eric Owens
Settlement alumnus and award-winning bass-baritone, appeared with opera companies all over the United States and Europe.

Leota Palmer*
Member of piano faculty at Settlement’s Jenkintown branch in the 1980’s and early 90’s; mother and first teacher of child prodigy pianist Natalie Hinderas.

Pieces of a Dream
All Settlement alumni, pianist James Lloyd, drummer Curtis Harmon and saxophonist Eddie Bacchus became international jazz stars whose first album was produced in 1976 while still in their teens. Their latest album came out in 2006.

Ann Hobson Pilot
Principal harpist of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, studied with acclaimed harpist Edna Phillips through a Ford Foundation scholarship program at Settlement. She also released two CDs and was the subject of a PBS documentary.

The Posmontier Brothers
Orchestra leader Rich and pianist, teacher and composer Dave studied piano, percussion and trumpet at Settlement’s Kardon-Northeast branch.

Florence Quivar
Mezzo-soprano, studied at Settlement and performed in opera houses and concert halls around the world, including the Metropolitan Opera.

Eric Scott Reed
Jazz pianist studied at Settlement and began touring with Wynton Marsalis at age 18 and won the 1999 Gavin Artist of the Year Award.

Sidney Rothstein*
Conducted the Reading Symphony Orchestra for 30 years and holds the Guinness World Record for conducting 88 pianists on 44 pianos at Settlement’s 88th Anniversary Gala.

Mona Schneidman*
First woman to make her mark in the male-dominated world of commercial real estate, was a long time supporter and board member at Settlement and named the Mona Fischer Schneidman Recital Room at the West Philadelphia Branch.

Sol Schoenbach*
Philadelphia Orchestra bassoonist and former Executive Director of Settlement for 24 years.

Fredda Levin Segal
Retired high school English teacher in the Philadelphia School District, took voice lessons as a teen at Settlement, former Board member, Jenkintown Branch. Both of her sons studied at Settlement.

Ralph Shapey*
Philadelphia–born “radical traditionalist” started violin and composition at age 9 at Settlement. He received a MacArthur grant and was named to the Academy of Arts and Letters.

Marietta Simpson
Mezzo-soprano, made her Carnegie Hall debut in 1988, performs around the world and is a member of the voice faculty at Indiana University. Her talent was nurtured at Settlement as a child.

Kathy Sledge
Pop singer and member of the Sledge Sisters, who released their gold-certified hit, “We Are Family” in 1979, took voice lessons at Settlement.

Lee Snyder
Violin faculty, trained at Oberlin College and The Juilliard School, has taught at Settlement for over thirty years and has produced hundreds of violinists making careers in music.

Andy Snitzer
A former Settlement clarinet student, saxophonist and recording artist, toured with the Rolling Stones, Paul Simon, Aretha Franklin.

Fred Stein
Special events maven who produced the Philadelphia Orchestra’s centenary, the Constitution Center’s bicentenary and now Settlement’s centennial celebration, made his own music in high school as a bassoon student of fellow honoree Ferdinand Del Negro at Settlement.

Ruth Strauss*
Concert pianist, Curtis Institute and Juilliard School graduate, taught at Settlement for 60 years. She retired in her 80’s and was seen doing the twist at the Israeli Philharmonic post-concert reception at age 93.

Joe Sudler
Well known area bandleader for the Sudler Swing Machine, studied saxophone as a teen at Settlement where his son now studies.

Italo Taranta*
Music theory teacher and choir director, made learning fun for Settlement students for 30 years.

Sumi Tonooka
Pianist and composer, grew up playing classical music at Settlement. She spent the ‘70’s and ‘80’s performing with jazz luminaries Kenny Burrell, Little Jimmy Scott, Benny Golson and David “Fathead” Newman.

David Tudor*
Composer and pianist, who, when he first heard his teacher Irma Wolpe at Settlement play, spontaneously decided to become a pianist. He later championed music by Stephan Wolpe, John Cage, Morton Feldman and Earle Brown.

Laurie Wagman
Founder of American Theater Arts for Youth which brings professional theater to school and was a voice and piano student at Settlement.

John F. White, Jr.
Former Philadelphia City Councilman and Secretary of the Department of Public Welfare, studied French horn at Settlement.

Stefan Wolpe*
An avant-garde composer, he taught theory, musicianship and composition to scores of students and had two Pulitzer Prize-winning pupils.

Martha Glaze Zook
Music Workshop faculty member since 1988, is an ardent advocate for early music education often asked to present at international workshops and symposiums. She played the French horn professionally for a dozen years, including 10 with the Philadelphia Orchestra.