Akiko Hosoi studied violin at Toho Gakuen School in Tokyo, Purcell School of Music London, Mozarteum Summer Music Academy (Vienna) and Tanglewood; degrees from Cleveland Institute and The Juilliard School. She was awarded third-prize in the 4th Uralsk International Violin Competition in Kazakhstan. She has performed with American Virtuosi, Baroque Opera Theater, Fusion Bande, New Haven Symphony, Binghamton Symphony.

Laurie Kilgore, a resident of Sullivan County grew up in Monticello and is agraduate of SUNY New Paltz with a Bachelors degree in Art Education and a Masters in Painting. She is presently an Art Educator for the Monticello Central School District. Laurie is an active collaborator with local organizations, businesses, and Sullivan Renaissance where she has created numerous murals and signs that can be seen throughout Sullivan County.

Karen Collura  received her Bachelors and Masters in English Literature and Secondary Education from the State University of New York at New Paltz, She completed her seventeenth year as an English teacher at Monticello High School and her ninth year as head English teacher. She is currently the drama advisor and director for the high school, as well. She is an active Arts Collaborator having worked with Monticello Music department, Forestburg Playhouse, The Weekend of Chamber Music, Main Street Dance of Liberty, jazz singer Donna Singer, and Nesin Cultural Arts.

Jennifer VanEtten, trained, supervised, and performed with the teen training program at the Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance from 1994-1998. She received a scholarship to the Mary Anthony Dance Theater and soon afterwards joined her dance company. She currently owns and operates the Pilates Body studio in Monticello.




Guest Artists 

Taikoza uses the powerful rhythms of the Taiko drums to create an electrifying energy that carries audiences in a new dimension of excitement. The Taiko is a large, barrel-like drum that can fill the air with the sounds of rolling thunder. Roughly translated, Taiko means big drums-and that’s exactly what Taikoza brings. Big Drums, powerful rhythms, and electrifying, room-thumping energy. This exciting group draws from Japan’s rich tradition of music and performance to create a highly visual performance.  Drawing from Japan’s rich tradition of music and performance, Taikoza has created a new sound using a variety of traditional instruments. In addition to drums of assorted sizes, Taikoza incorporates the shakuhachi, the fue (both bamboo flutes) and the Koto (a 13 string instrument). Taikoza’s new CD has been nominated as best Asian Ethnic Album for the Just Plain Folks Music Award. Taikoza has appeared on different TV programs such as Macy’s Thanksgiving parade, the History Channel in “History vs. Hollywood” and ESPN S.U.M.O: The battle of the Giants. Taikoza is featured in the Movie: The Commute.


Taikoza presents a very popular program for schools in the New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Philadelphia and Virginia area for Young Audiences and Symphony Space. Taikoza did a tour of Birmingham, AL area schools funded with a NEA grant that the Birmingham International Festival received.


Taikoza was formed in New York City by members of Ondekoza (the group that started the renaissance of taiko in Japan in the 60s and introduced Taiko to the world).The members of Taikoza have performed in some of the most prestigious halls such as Carnegie Hall, Boston Symphony Hall, Suntory Hall, Osaka Festival Hall, Lincoln Center and many others. They have performed in Russia, Italy, Brazil, Argentina, Switzerland, Germany, France, Mexico, Republic of Georgia, etc.

Performances include corporate events for Merrill Lynch, Gillette, Ameritech, City of Los Angeles, PriceWaterhouse Coopers, Dell Computers, PepsiCo, Bloomberg, Pfizer, Merck, Diesel, Sony, etc