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Keyboard Festival Adjudicators

Frances Covalesky

Frances Covalesky, D.M.A., enjoys a vibrant career as a classical pianist, music professor and music teacher. She has performed nationally and internationally, the recipient of awards spanning performance and teaching. She earned her Doctor of Musical Arts at the University of Miami School of Music, Coral Gables, Florida and her Master of Music degree in piano performance at the Manhattan School of Music, NY. As a graduate student, Dr. Covalesky received second prize in City of Miami International Piano Competition. She received an unsolicited scholarship award for study and performance as a piano soloist and accompanist at the Mozarteum, Salzburg, Austria. She was featured piano soloist with the New Jersey Pops Orchestra under the baton of Michael Buglio. As a freshman at Rutgers University, she won the University Concerto Competition and performed Mendelssohn’s Piano Concerto in G Minor in concert. She lectured on her favorite doctoral dissertation topic, M.K. Čiurlionis at the State University of New York, Potsdam. Other special solo performances include Sugrižimai Arts Festival, Vilnius, Lithuania, the Chicago Cultural Arts Center, Illinois, Morris Country’s First Night for many years, and the Hanover Wind Symphony. Her notable teachers include Julia Rajauskas-Petrauskas, Maria Valgoczy, Ernest Ulmer, Phillip Evans, and Donn Alexandre-Feder.

Dr. Covalesky is on the music faculty at Saint Elizabeth University (Morristown, NJ) where she teaches classical piano. She is a vocal music teacher for the Dover Public School System (Dover, NJ). She has served on the music faculties of Don Bosco College (Newton, NJ), County College of Morris (Randolph, NJ) and Caldwell University (Caldwell, NJ). She has adjudicated for MENC piano competitions and was selected to Judge Lifetime Television’s Pitch Slapped, A cappella Finalists SOPAC, NJ. She can be found in Who’s Who Lithuanian Americans.

Pianist Jacob Ertl has performed extensively in the United States and throughout Canada, China, France, Israel, Mexico, Panama, Serbia, and Spain. Performance highlights include solo recital debuts at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall and Merkin Concert Hall in New York City, and Chicago radio's "Live from WFMT" concert series. As a concerto soloist, he has been featured with the Milwaukee Chamber Orchestra, New York State Ballet Orchestra, and Keystone Winds, among others. Recently, Ertl released the world premiere recording of Fisher Tull’s Piano Concerto on Klavier Records, distributed worldwide by Naxos.


A sought after performer and artist teacher, Ertl gives annual concert and masterclass tours in China, and is a regular guest artist at state/national/international conferences. Recently, he was the featured guest artist for the New York Music Teachers Association State Conference, Pennsylvania Music Teachers Association State Conference, Dakota Sky International Piano Festival (South Dakota) and the 11th World Piano Conference (Novi Sad, Serbia). Ertl is a member of two contemporary chamber music ensembles: Ensemble Alla Balena and the Eastern Standard Trio, with whom he has recorded two commercial albums, commissioned and premiered twenty new works, and presented annual tours for the past seven seasons. In addition, he has given dozens of recitals and masterclasses at universities across the United States, including the Colburn School, Penn State University, Ithaca College, Lawrence University Conservatory, and Arizona State University.


An advocate of music outreach, Ertl was the Artist-in-Residence Fellow for the PianoArts organization for eight years, where he performed hundreds of interactive outreach concerts. He was instrumental in developing their performance education programs and has mentored several new PianoArtist fellows. Ertl is also in demand as an adjudicator for international, national, and regional competitions, including the Thousand Islands International Piano Competition, Pelican International Music Competition, PianoArts North American Competition and Festival, NY State Heddy Killian Competition, NYSMTA Young Artist competitions, and the Wisconsin Youth Concerto Competition.


Ertl currently serves as Coordinator of Keyboard Studies, Associate Professor of Piano, and Performance Program Director at the Nazareth College School of Music in Rochester, NY. Ertl is also the Director of the annual Nazareth College Piano Competition and Coordinator of the annual Piano Pedagogy Workshop. In addition, he is President-Elect for NYSMTA, Chair of the PianoArts Alumni Board, and Visiting Guest Professor of Piano at Shandong Normal University in China. Ertl holds degrees from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music (BM) and the Eastman School of Music (MM, DMA). For more information, visit

Jacob Ertl - Publicity photo.jpg
Hae-Young Yoo

Acclaimed widely for her virtuosity and musicianship, pianist Hae-Young Yoo has performed with many of the most celebrated orchestras and conductors in various cities on three continents. She was featured in a Carnegie Hall series, which celebrated the bicentennial of Mozart’s death, and was part of an American-Korean Concert Tour with the New York Chamber Orchestra in 1991.

She also has toured as a soloist with orchestras such as the St. Petersburg Symphony Orchestra, the Romania National Symphony Orchestra, the Rzesew Philharmonic Orchestra in Poland, the Seoul Chamber Orchestra, the Seoul Symphony Orchestra, the KBS Orchestra, Yonsei University Symphony Orchestra, Busan City Symphony Orchestra, Indiana University Festival Orchestra, and the European Master Orchestra.


Born in Seoul, Korea, Hae-Young has been a top prize winner of several competitions, such as the Joong-Ang Music Competition, the Yook-Young Music Competition, and the Teenager Piano Competition in Korea. After graduating summa cum laude from Yonsei University, she received the Master of Music degree at Indiana University, studying with Menahem Pressler, where she won the Mozart Concerto Competition. She completed the Doctor of Musical Arts at the Shepherd School of Music in Houston, where she performed with Shepherd School Symphony Orchestra as a winner of the Shepherd School Concerto Competition.

Dr. Yoo, a former Chair of Education Subcommittee in the Piano Society of Korea and a jury member of the Music Journal Competition, has previously served as a faculty member at Yonsei University, and is currently teaching at Sookmyung Women’s University. She also has a wide range of chamber music repertoire from her experiences with a number of great musicians including duo recitals and solo recitals, and is now performing as a NWA Music Artist, as well as working as a member of operating committee of the Beautiful Mind Charity.

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