Westmont Student Piano Accompanists (2016-17)

The Music Department strives to provide appropriate piano accompanists for all regular curricular purposes including for-credit lessons, colloquia appearances, jury exams, masterclasses, and formal Junior and Senior recitals. Any student who wishes to receive Department provided accompanist services should inquire to Dr. Steve Hodson.

At times students need additional services for individual projects and outside events, the funding for which may not be provided by the Music Department. Below is a list of student pianists who are regularly employed by the Music Department, and a listing of professional accompanists that our students and faculty have successfully worked with in the past. If you need the services of an accompanist beyond what the Department has assigned to you or can provide, you may inquire with any of these individuals regarding what they will charge you to provide the services you need.

Mia Dortch  


Kaylee Hicks   kahicks@westmont.edu
Bethany Le   ble@westmont.edu
Zelin Luan   zluan@westmont.edu
Leal Makaroff   lmakaroff@westmont.edu
Jay Real   jreal@westmont.edu
Chelsie Sen   chsen@westmont.edu
Pieter Top   ptop@westmont.edu
Rhea Williams   rhwilliams@westmont.edu

Professional Accompanist Open Hours

Students are entitled to a 30-minute session, but we have indicated time slots of 15 minutes if you just need a quick run-through. (This would typically happen near the end of the semester, especially with jury preparation.) Professors may sign up for their students two weeks in advance. Students may sign up six days in advance. Walk-ins are welcome!

Paula Hatley - Wednesday 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. & Thursday 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. in Practice Room 1

Dr. Jeong-ah Ryu - Tuesdays from 1:00 p.m. - 5 p.m. in Practice Room 1

Community Piano Accompanists

Neil Di Maggio, pianist and teacher, enjoys a full and diverse dual career as an active performer and teacher and as a researcher for Westmont College. He earned a bachelor’s degree in piano performance summa cum laude from San Jose State University, where he studied with Beethoven scholar, Dr. Alfred Kanwischer. His Master of Music degree in piano performance is from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music where he studied under master teacher Mack McCray. He received a full-tuition scholarship and teaching assistantship for the graduate program at the University of California, Santa Barbara. There he earned his Master of Music in collaborative piano with renowned collaborative artist and professor, Anne Epperson. Other influential teachers are Yael Weiss and Betty Oberacker, and Laurette Goldberg (harpsichord).
Neil’s professional work has taken him from California to Phoenix to New York City and he enjoys a busy musical career of chamber and solo performances, collaborating with Westmont, City College, and UCSB faculty. Recently he partnered as harpsichordist with the faculty of Santa Barbara Strings, and served on the faculty of the Westmont Academy for Young Artists. The Santa Barbara Independent praised his “brilliant display” as soloist in Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy with the Santa Barbara Master Chorale in 2004. Neil’s students are frequent award winners with the Santa Barbara Music Club and the Performing Arts Scholarship Foundation competitions. Contact at 805-967-2289. Please visit dimaggiomusic.com.

Nancy Gilbert received a Bachelor of Arts in Music from Point Loma Nazarene University in 2007. She received a Master of Arts in Piano Pedagogy from San Diego State University in 2013. Her thesis was written on the topic of Recreational Music Making as it relates to adult beginners. She held an administrative position in the Music Department at Westmont College until 2015, and loves working with college students.She can be reached at njosephinegilbert@gmail.com.