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Diana Melgarejo, NYYM Director


Mrs. Diana began her music studies at age 7 with pianist Edward Edson of The Original Piano Quartet. At age 11 she auditioned for and was accepted to The Juilliard School pre-college division where she studied percussion with Dr. David Fein and Jeff Milarsky while also attending Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music and Art as well as studying with Keith Aleo at Interlochen Arts Camp.  Continuing her studies at Berklee College of Music and later Mannes College of Music, studying with Barry Centanni.  After having been a part of many music institutions and orchestras and being inspired by so many talented instructors, Mrs. Diana created NYYM as a program that is set up to provide the the necessary resources to children and their families so that they can afford to nurture their musical aspirations and talents.

Raina Fiore

Raina Fiore teaches saxophone, clarinet and beginning flute at New York Youth Musicians. She began her woodwind studies with the baritone sax, as a student of Mark Twain Middle School. Upon acceptance to Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School she continued her studies in saxophone, and nurtured the desire to expand to other instruments of the woodwind family. Raina has performed at the Patchogue Theater, Radio City Music Hall, and WBGO Radio Station, and has participated in various instrumental ensembles ranging from chamber music to musical pit orchestra. She has previously taught and tutored students in their woodwind and general music studies, and is currently a full-time student of Music Education at Hunter College.

Norman Paul Edwards, Jr.

Norman Paul Edwards, Jr. teaches New York Youth Musicians' advanced drummers in a division of our PEP program.  Norman has an extensive background in music, having attended Fiorelloa H. LaGuardia High School of Music and Art (where he met NYYM Director, Diana) and continued his studies at Manhattan School of Music earning his Bachelor's and Master's Degree in Music.  Norman also directs the Manhattan School of Music Summer Camp Jazz Band.

A.J. Merlino

A.J. Merlino's intense and versatile performing style has made him a highly sought after percussionist for the past decade. His playing has taken him around the world including Scotland, Croatia, Greece, Thailand, Australia, and Argentina. He has been seen performing on the Las Vegas strip with such artists as Jay-Z, Redfoo of LMFAO and many others. Merlino holds percussion performance degrees from Kutztown University and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.  A.J. currently directs the NYYM Mexican Marimba Ensemble (senior groups) that will perform at The National Opera Center in April of 2016.

Rebecca Levy

Rebecca Levy is New York Youth Musicians' part-time executive assistant and events coordinator. Rebecca has held her part-time position for over 3 years while also studying full-time at Hunter College, majoring in English with a minor in Music Education.  Rebecca is a NYYM alumni, beginning her music studies in piano at the age of 9 and later adding guitar, percussion and flute to her studies.  

John Stapleton

John Stapleton is New York Youth Musicians' part-time administrative assistant in between his college semesters at The Boston Conservatory.  He is a NYYM alumni and spent over 6 years studying at NYYM with Mrs. Diana.  John has held his part-time position for over 3 years and also assists with NYYM's events.

Master Class Musicians


Previous Master Class Musicians have been:

Danny Mallon - faculty at Mannes College of Music

Wilson Torres - freelance percussionist

Charlie Porter - trumpeter

Jon Singer - The Xylopholks

Norman Paul Edwards Jr. - drum set clinic

Greg Giannascoli - faculty at The Juilliard School

Rumba Flamenca - guitar duo

Nico Soffiato - guitarist

Simon Boyar - faculty at NYU and founder of Boyar Music Studios

Project Trio w/ Greg Patillo - flute (beat-boxing), cello and bass

Other Musicians


When students reach an advanced level, we encourage them to explore other perspectives.   NYYM has set up and funded lessons for our students in preparation for auditions, as well as when needing that extra push of motivation, with the following musicians: 


Robert Knopper - The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra

Barry Centanni - The Orchestra of St. Luke and faculty at Montclair

Jonathan Singer - Xylopholks and faculty at Queens College, CUNY

Simon Boyar - faculty at NYU and founder of Boyar Music Studios

Minhye Ju - graduate of Mannes College of Music and faculty at Montclair

Norman Paul Edwards, Jr. - graduate of Manhattan School of Music 

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