Teaching Artists

Emily Cooley

Instruments for Success Teaching Artist

Photo Credit Ali Doucette

Photo Credit Ali Doucette

Emily Cooley is a composer of orchestral, chamber, and vocal music. Her orchestral music has been performed by the Nashville, Cincinnati, Minnesota, Louisville, Milwaukee, Berkeley, Sioux City, and Eastern Connecticut symphony orchestras. Frequently in dialogue with works of contemporary fiction and critical theory, her music questions conventions of narrative, re-imagines emotional expression, and explores the dynamics of power and vulnerability. Also active as a concert producer and curator, Emily is a founding member and the current publicity director for Kettle Corn New Music, which produces a year-round series of new music concerts in New York City, hailed for creating “that ideal listening environment that so many institutions aim for: relaxed, yet allowing for concentration” (New York Times). She is also a frequent collaborator with incarcerated musicians at SCI-Phoenix in Pennsylvania, and she held the Community Artist Fellowship at the Curtis Institute of Music in 2017-18. Originally from Milwaukee, WI, Emily attended school at Yale, USC, and Curtis. She is currently based in Philadelphia, where she works as a freelance composer and teaches with Project 440 and the Meridee Winters School of Music.


Nozomi imamura

Doing good teaching Artist


Nozomi is a Philadelphia-based trumpeter and teaching artist. Nozomi is a teaching artist for Project 440’s curriculum “Doing Good”, and he is a second year fellow at the Curtis Institute of Music’s Community Artist Fellowship, a program that brings artistry to underserved communities in Philadelphia. As part of the fellowship, Nozomi works at South Philadelphia High School with instruction and ensemble building during and after the school day, and also works with Project HOME to teach composition and songwriting to high school students at the Honickman Learning Center in North Philadelphia.

Born in 1990, Nozomi holds a BM from the Curtis Institute of Music and a MM from the Yale School of Music where he was the recipient of the Presser Foundation Graduate Music Award. His principal teachers were Eric Schweingruber, David Bilger, and Allan Dean. An avid orchestral musician, Nozomi has performed with various orchestras around the world including Japan, China, and Germany.


Cigus Vanni

Instruments for success College Specialist

Cigus, AKA “Cigus the College Fairy”, knows stuff. Lots of stuff, particularly about the college application process. He has forty-two years of experience in college search and selection, and has worked as a college admissions counselor, and school counselor and a school psychologist, among other things. The first member of his family to attend college, he earned his BA from Swarthmore College and certification in school psychology with course work in Education and Child Development from Bryn Mawr College. Cigus “refuses to add to the stress of college search and selection” with the knowledge that there are nearly 2,250 four-year colleges and universities in the US alone from which to choose. He will NOT “get your kid into Harvard” – he will help your kid figure out what the right fit is for her. Cigus enjoys spending one-on-one counseling time with young people but he makes them pay (literally) for this. He does not want his fees paid by parents/guardians but rather by the students he serves. (You can find his unusual fee schedule at cigus.net.) Cigus is a member of the National Association for College Admissions Counseling, the New Jersey Association for College Admissions Counseling, and an associate member of the Pennsylvania Association for College Admissions Counseling. Most importantly, however, is the fact that Cigus was a five-time winner and undefeated champion on the quiz show Jeopardy! In 1988 and returned for the 1989 Tournament of Champions. That alone make him way cool.