Thurnauer School of Music - Kaplen JCC on the Palisades (2022)


The JCC Thurnauer School of Music is renowned as a center of artistic and educational excellence open to all. Since 1984, the school has inspired thousands of students and families—transforming lives and sharing the joys of music. Through outstanding instruction, concerts, master classes, community events, and partnerships with local schools, Thurnauer offers opportunities for everyone in our community—from infants to senior citizens—to connect with the world of music.

Audition for 2022-23 Ensembles

Auditions available in-person and virtually.
View audition requirements.
Call 201.408.1466 to schedule an audition.

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2022-23 Guide to Programs and Registration

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Thurnauer Faculty

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Music Programming & Performances

Classes for Young Children and Introductory Instrumental Classes
Private Music Instruction
Instrumental Group Classes
Performance Ensembles
(Video) Thurnauer School of Music of the Kaplan JCC on the Palisades
The Young People’s Chorus @ Thurnauer
Adult Music Classes

Music Education Resources

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COVID-19 Safety Policies and Procedures for Faculty & Families

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About Thurnauer

Welcome From the Director

It is my great pleasure to welcome you to the JCC Thurnauer School of Music, a place where people of all ages have been enjoying exciting music experiences for more than a quarter of a century.

As a music school student, you will meet special friends with whom you can share the pleasure of making music. There are opportunities to meet, talk with, and even make music with world-renowned artists like Itzhak Perlman, Pinchas Zukerman, Richard Goode, Wynton Marsalis, Paula Robison, Paquito D’Rivera, Joshua Bell, and Alan Gilbert. We also offer performance opportunities for you every month, both at the JCC and outside the school. Our students have performed with Whoopi Goldberg and Bob McGrath on Sesame Street, and have appeared at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, Merkin Concert Hall, and bergenPAC. Music School alumni are aficianados and extraordinary performers, and all share a lifelong love for music that they credit to the their experience at the school.

For concertgoers, Thurnauer is a place where you can hear extraordinary performances from many of the greatest musicians in the world. Our Thurnauer Chamber Music Series shares its love of music with you through concerts presented in the intimacy of our beautiful Eric Brown Theater, including concerts that introduce music to the youngest children in a fun-filled, relaxed way. Our talented faculty enriches our lives with a marvelous annual recital series, and each year the Gift of Music Gala Benefit Concert brings a star of the international concert stage to our school.

At Thurnauer, our goal is to make music come alive for everyone in our community. It is all part of an environment in which we love to make music, listen to music, and be involved in music in every way. Each year brings exciting new initiatives to develop and nurture, and much to look forward to. I hope you and your family will join us in this inspiring and stimulating adventure.

Dorothy Kaplan Roffman, Founding Director

Financial Assistance

At the Thurnauer School of Music, we believe that every child deserves a quality music education. To make our program available to students from all socio-economic backgrounds, we offer financial assistance based solely on need. In fact, more than 25% of our students receive financial aid.

(Video) 2010 Winter Thurnauer Music School String Camerata Recital at the Kaplen JCC on the Palisades

To apply, fill out this downloadable form and return it along with your most recent federal tax returns and a $60 registration fee per child. The fee is completely refundable if we are unable to provide assistance. Decisions are made by a committee of volunteers who consider applications anonymously.

Families must apply each year; financial assistance is not automatically renewable. The deadline for families who are currently enrolled in the school is May 15. Families who are new to the school may apply by August 15 for the second meeting of the scholarship committee, but are strongly encouraged to apply for the first round.

Recipients of financial aid are expected to attend all classes, lessons, and ensembles and to make a commitment towards musical progress, including consistent practicing.

Financial assistance is funded in two ways. The first is through annual contributions given to the school by individuals, businesses, foundations, and government agencies. Please consider making a contribution to help sustain our school. To do so, fill out our donation form, selecting “Thurnauer School of Music” for the impact area under “Additional Questions”.

The second is through income from endowments set up by generous benefactors throughout the years. The endowments include:

Russell Berrie and Family Music School Scholarship Fund
William Thurnauer Memorial Scholarship
Florence Gross Nelson Memorial Fund for Needy Immigrant Children
Handler Family Endowment Fund
Marion Cutler Endowment
Herbert Schwarz Music Scholarship Fund
Lee Starr Piano Scholarship
Lilo Thurnauer Memorial Scholarship Fund
Samuel & Anna Cutler Memorial Scholarship Fund
Seth Himmelhoch Guitar Scholarship
Lolita Mayadas Piano Scholarship


If the parents are divorced, do both parents need to submit applications and tax forms?

The application should be submitted by the custodial parent or guardian. If parents have joint custody, then both must submit an application.

Do you offer full scholarships?

We do not offer full scholarships. As part of the application, families are asked to state how much they can afford to pay. Our goal is to make music education affordable for every family.

When will I know whether I received an award?

The scholorship committee usually meets two – three weeks after the application deadline. Awards notifications are sent out a few days after the committee meets.

Can I apply in the middle of a school year?

In most years, our financial assistance budget is used up by the time the school year begins. However, we will consider offering some financial assistance mid-year on a case by case basis.

Administrative Staff

Dorothy Kaplan Roffman, Founding Director
Michael Reingold, Associate Director
Emma Brondolo, Artistic Director, Young People’s Chorus at Thurnauer, Director of Early Childhood Music and Voice Studies
Dan Jatovsky, Financial Manager
Robyn Searles, Scheduling Director
Michael Phillips, Manager, Facilities, Equipment and Supplies
Lauren Sanders, Choral Manager
Stuart Klinger, Scheduling Assistant

Lay Leadership

Music School Comittee

Vivian Holzer, Chair
James C. Ackerman
Mai Abe
Craig Barnett
Roberta Paula Books
Soojin Choung
Annick Des Roches
Claude Devillers
Sandra O. Gold
Jacqueline Guttman
Andrea Klein
Angelique Phillips
Eileen Pleva
David Siegel
Rebecca Soansalur

Advisory Committee

Bruce Adolphe
Joshua Bell
Angelica Berrie
Sandra O. Gold
Joan & Alan Handler
Eva Holzer
Susan Silberman

Parents Association

Mai Abe
Annick Desroches
Soojin Choung
Rebecca Soansalur


Printable School Calendar

Concerts and Events Calendar

Start and End Dates 2022-23*

SundaysOct 2June 11
MondaysOct 3June 19
TuesdaysOct 25May 13
WednesdaysOct 12June 14
ThursdaysOct 6June 15

Early Childhood music classes and chorus will begin September 12.

Scheduled School Closings*

Rosh HaShanaSep 26-28
Yom KippurOct 4-5
SukkotOct 10-11
Shmini Atzeret and Simchat TorahOct 17-18
Thanksgiving BreakNov 23-27
Winter BreakDec 25-Jan 1
Martin Luther King, Jr. BirthdayJan 16
Presidents Week BreakFeb 20-23
Purim CarnivalMar 5
PurimMar 6-7
PassoverApril 5-13
Mother’s Day/Rubin RunMay14
ShavuotMay 25-26
Memorial Day WeekendMay 28-29

*Subject to change

(Video) Welcome to the 2020 Virtual Rubin Run - Thurnauer School of Music, Young Peoples Chorus @ Thurnauer

Closings for scheduled make-up dates to be added


I would recommend the Thurnauer School of Music because it has a profound impact on a family. Wonderful relationship are established, not just with the private lesson teacher, but with other teachers in the school who are very warm and friendly and make learning music a joy. – Ximara P.

Congratulations on the incredible work that you do helping kids achieve a solid music education. It’s always glorious to hear children performing on such a high artistic level. – Bob “Mr. Bob from Sesame Street” McGrath

I love the philosophy of the Thurnauer School of Music, the extremely accomplished teachers, and the programs and recitals, which are a constant part of the music experience. I truly believe this music experience has, and will continue to, carry over and influence all the other aspects of my children’s lives in positive, creative, and meaningful ways. – Music School parent

There is nothing that can compare to the generosity and love that the Thurnauer School of Music gave me since I was 4 years old. It is more than a home to me, and I am so happy and excited for all of the students who are so lucky to have the best teachers and environment to nurture their love for music. – cellist Chase Park, alum, graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music and current graduate student at The Juilliard School

The quality of the students that are turned out can go to the best conservatories in the country. The teachers are the highest level you can get on the East Coast, which is saying a lot. – Bruce Adolphe, composer, educator, author, and resident lecturer and director of family concerts for the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center

The Thurnauers: A Legacy in Music

William Thurnauer, who passed away in March 2006 at the age of 92, was the Music School’s beloved benefactor and friend for over twenty years. He began his acquaintance with the school in the 1980’s, when his late wife, Maria, began taking many of the tender photographs of our students that still hang in the halls. In 1987, their lifetime dedication to music led Bill and Maria to endow the JCC Music School that bears their name. Bill was a loving presence at the school, first with Maria and, more recently, with his second wife, Lilo.

William Thurnauer was a president of the North Jersey Cultural Council and the Teaneck Symphony Society (later the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra), and on the boards of the International Society of Performing Arts Administrators and the Pro Arte Chorale. Maria, who passed away in 1999, was founder and director of the Friends of Music, which provided free chamber music concerts in this area when it was still viewed by many as a “cultural wasteland.” Bill and Maria brought many world-famous artists to Bergen County, for which they were honored by the International Society of Performing Arts Administrators.

Lilo Thurnauer, to whom Bill was married for the last several years of his life, continued to express her love for the Music School in many ways, including the establishment of a Scholarship Endowment in Bill’s memory. Her devotion to the school and desire to preserve the Thurnauer legacy are characterized by her consistent interest in our activities and ongoing support in so many ways.

Thanks to Bill, Maria, and Lilo, students of all ages and backgrounds have an opportunity to receive the education essential to a lifelong understanding and enjoyment of music. The contribution of these three individuals to the life of the music school has been immeasurable: encouraging new initiatives, lending their time and talents to a wide range of projects, and being a visible presence at the School’s many events over the years. Everyone who passes through the doors of the Thurnauer School of Music is a beneficiary of all that the Thurnauers have given to us, for which we are truly grateful.

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(Video) Our Family, Our JCC Annual Campaign - Meet Zarina, Sarah & Arielle, Thurnauer School of Music Family

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Contact Thurnauer

To get more information or schedule a visit, click below.

Schedule a Consultation

Call (201) 408-1466

Meet the Team

See All JCC Staff

Dorothy Kaplan RoffmanDirector of the Thurnauer School of MusicThurnauer School of Music
Michael ReingoldAssociate Director, JCC Thurnauer School of MusicThurnauer School of Music
Emma BrondoloArtistic Director of the Young People's Chorus @ Thurnauer, Director of Early Childhood Music and Voice StudiesThurnauer School of Music
Dan JatovskyFinancial Manager, Thurnauer School of MusicThurnauer School of Music
Thurnauer School of Music - Kaplen JCC on the Palisades (32)
(Video) Kaplen JCC on the Palisades, NJ, USA


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