Meet Our New Director of Music

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Welcome Justine Langman, Our New Director of Music

Justine Welcome 2020

Justine joined our staff as Director of Music in January 2020, although she has regularly played for us on Sunday mornings since September 2019. Justine is a sought-after collaborative pianist, chamber musician and teacher in the central New Jersey area. After graduating from Rutgers University in 2016 with her B.S. in Mathematics with High Honors, she was hired as a staff accompanist at Mason Gross, becoming the first person without a music degree to do so. Her former teachers include Zitta Zohar and Elizabeth Difelice, and she currently studies with Eileen Buck. She is proud to be the pianist of choice in the studios of esteemed musicians from the New York Philharmonic, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. 

Her first musical collaborations began in her grandparents' living room: her late grandfather, Malcolm, was an excellent amateur musician, and it was he who first introduced Justine to chamber music. With her grandfather on violin or viola, her uncle Eric on cello, and her brother Andrew on violin, she sight-read chamber music at the piano for hours on end.  Since Justine also played the violin, and Andrew played piano, occasionally they would trade instruments in sight-reading sessions. Growing up with another pianist in the house, Justine also played much of the piano duet literature with her brother. She played violin in community and youth orchestras until deciding to solely devote her focus to piano when she was 16.

She accompanied her first choir when she was in fifth grade, and after that, she continued accompanying all of her school's choirs throughout middle school and high school. In college, she was the accompanist for the Voorhees Choir at Rutgers University from 2010 - 2012, and she is excited to return to that role in the Spring of 2020.

As a teenager, her love of chamber music deepened after several summers at Kinhaven Music School in Weston, VT. There, Justine found the kind of supportive and inspiring musical community that she still aspires to create today. Some of her best friends were made at Kinhaven, and she still goes back every summer, either as a visitor, as a participant of Kinhaven's Young Artist Seminar, or as a member of the Activities Staff at Kinhaven's Junior Session. It was in Justine's high school years that she began performing publicly with her younger brothers as the Langman Arts Trio. Playing with Andrew, a great violinist, and Calvin, an exceptional cellist, has been one of the greatest joys of her life. They have performed from the standard piano trio repertoire, including works of Beethoven, Dvorak, Mendelssohn, Schumann and Shostakovich, and their local performances often draw a standing-room-only crowd.
 
In her undergraduate studies at Rutgers University, Justine decided to pursue mathematics.  She graduated in 2016 magna cum laude and with a distinction of High Honors from the math department. It was in college that Justine also started tutoring math and physics, and she still is active as a tutor in these subjects.
 
After starting a Ph.D program in mathematics at Rutgers, Justine decided to make the career change to music.  She was hired as a staff pianist at Mason Gross School of the Arts in 2017, becoming the first person without a music degree to do so.  Since   joining the MGSA staff, she has become a highly sought-after collaborator and coach, and she is proud to be the pianist of choice in the studios of esteemed musicians from the New York Philharmonic, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Chamber   Music Society of Lincoln Center, and the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra.

Since September, Justine has regularly played for us during worship on Sunday mornings. We are glad to officially welcome her on board as part of our regular staff and new Director of Music.