President: Donna Messer
Donna Messer (recorder) is founder and president of the Highland Park Recorder Society (HPRS). She studied piano with Olga von Till, recorder with Bernard Krainis, Howard Vogel, Phil Levin, and Deborah Booth; Dalcroze solfege, eurhythmics and improvisation with Dr. Hilda Schuster of the Dalcroze School of Music in New York, and Early Music at Mannes College of Music. She supplemented these studies by attending music workshops and master classes with Bernard Krainis, Paul Leenhouts, Han Tol, Marion Verbruggen and Bart Spanhove.
She attended the First Biennial American Recorder Society Teaching Seminar in San Marcos, Texas, and earned recorder and music teacher certification from the American Recorder Society. She has performed as soloist with the Woodbridge Academy of Music Chamber Orchestra, with the Highland Park Recorder Society, the Garden State Sinfonia, and the College of New Jersey Choir and Choir Orchestra.
Donna currently performs with the Highland Park Recorder Society, and Musica Dolce, the Baroque ensemble of the Highland Park Recorder Society, presenting performances at the annual Guild for Early Music Festival at Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton, NJ.
Donna is a member of the American Recorder Society, Early Music America, and the Guild for Early Music.
Vice President: Russ Condon
Secretary: Janet Walker
Janet Walker (cello) began the study of piano at age four, and cello, her preferred instrument, at ten. She studied with Julianne Shaw, member of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and Professor of Music at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and with the Fine Arts Quartet. She played with the Racine Symphony (Wisconsin) for several years. Since 1992 she has been a regular player with the HPRS and GSS, and she has played with Musica Dolce since 2002. She is professor and former Graduate Director of the Program in Comparative Literature at Rutgers University.
Treasurer and Director of Marketing and Development: Dan Breau
Dan Breau is a retired advertising and marketing executive whose clients included The New York Times, Dow-Jones, The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Citibank, American Airlines, the U.S. Army Reserve, UBS Financial Services, Harvard Business Review, The World Bank, Volvo, Merrill Lynch, The Bank of America, and other leading companies.
Dan’s tastes in music listening range from the Baroque to modern. His favorite composers include Monteverdi, John Dowling, Bach, Vivaldi, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Mahler, Stravinsky, Ferde Grofé, Aaron Copeland, and John Williams among many others.
Since college, he has enjoyed choral singing and co-founded two choral groups – the Westbury Community Chorale (on Long Island) and The Highland Park Community Chorus. He currently sings tenor in his temple choir.
Director of Social Media: Lea Karpman, for many years until 2019
Lea Karpman (violin) began her violin studies in Israel as a child, continuing after moving to the United States. Her teachers have included Elliot Golub at the University of Chicago, Morris Gomberg at Chicago Musical College of Roosevelt University, and Samuel Applebaum. Over the years she has supplemented her private studies with numerous workshops, master classes, and coaching sessions. She has participated in chamber music programs at the Mannes College of Music/New School, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and has attended music programs at Music Mountain, Vassar College, and Dartmouth College.
Lea currently performs with the baroque recorder ensemble Musica Dolce, presenting annual performances at GEM’s Early Music Festival at Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton, NJ. She has also performed with the Metropolitan Orchestra of New Jersey and the Society of Musical Arts.
Lea performs as a soloist and with other musicians for weddings, anniversary and birthday celebrations, as well as charity and corporate events. She teaches violin privately at her studio, Fourelle Music, in Springfield, NJ, and is also affiliated with Musika LLC. She is a member of the American Recorder Society, Early Music America, and American String Teachers Association.
Parliamentarian: David Rogoff
Consultant on Music of the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries: John Burkhalter
John Burkhalter (recorder) studied the performance of early music at The New England Conservatory of Music with Daniel Pinkham and the performance practice of Baroque music at Harvard University with the Dutch recorder virtuoso and scholar Frans Bruggen. As The Practitioners of Musick, which he founded with the late Eugene Roan, he performs 18th century music of Great Britain, Ireland, and the Colonial and early Federal period of America. In addition, he has lectured extensively on the ancient musical cultures of the Americas and has composed and prepared music for documentary film, video and audio projects produced by the PBS, NJN, Concord Films-Mexico City, The Walters Art Museum and The University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, among many others. He was the co- curator of the acclaimed exhibition “Music from the Land of the Jaguar,” seen and heard at the Princeton University Art Museum.