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 a 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).


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.


Bill Hughes is an investigative reporter who serves as program director at CUNY York College’s Journalism Program in Jamaica, Queens. Over a career that has spanned nearly 30 years, he has won numerous awards for exposing police and government corruption. His most notable case, which was featured in an episode of Dateline NBC, involved the exoneration of a man who served more than 25 years in prison for a murder he did not commit. He also currently serves as a volunteer investigator for The Jeffery Deskovic Foundation for Justice.


Jim Smith was the Executive Director of the Cambridge Center for Adult Education for 24 years, where he also taught courses in Classical Music listening. He is energized by the connections between art, psychology, current events, history, and the life of the spirit.


Joe George has worked in education, theater, music, television, voice-over, and film for over 25 years. Joe is a founding member of the theater/dance troupe Witness Relocation, which toured in the U.S. and internationally. He has performed in just about everything from Shakespeare, Commedia, Greek tragedy, rock musicals, downtown, and contemporary modern theater. He has been committed to creating new theatrical styles of performance that challenge what’s possible in the theater. He holds an M.F.A. from Harvard University and Moscow Art Theater School.


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.

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.

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.


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 Master’s training as a music therapist at SMU in Dallas where she earned her Master of Music in Vocal Performance.

Mark Tursi is an adjunct professor at several different universities including Pace University, Marist College, and the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility. He is the author of four books and is currently at work on several writing projects including a scholarly work that explores the confluence of Postmodern philosophy with Surrealism, Zen Buddhism, and notions of the sublime.


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.


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.