Danette (Centuori) Whelan began her piano studies at the age of 7. She performed her first solo recital in 1971, at the age of 14. She was also a soloist with the Livingston Symphony in 1971 and in 1973. At 15, she found teaching piano to be easy, fun and more lucrative than babysitting! And so a career was born.
Danette received her B.A. in piano performance from Douglass College (Rutgers University). During her college years, she became intrigued with jazz and contemporary improvisation and ventured away from the classical field to pursue a career as a solo pianist and singer and performed in many venues in New York City and elsewhere over the years. As a self-taught composer, Danette has composed the music for the off-Broadway show "Dark Symphonies", as well as numerous piano and ensemble compositions, songs and instrumental arrangements. She has also recorded demos consisting of her original compositions with famous sidemen.
Danette is a commissioned composer for the Piano Teachers Society of America's annual Carnegie Festival at Weill Recital Hall. She maintains a private piano studio in Warren, NJ, and specializes in composition and improvisation.
“I would like to thank my former teachers, Carmela Cecere, Alex Chiappanelli, Dr.Thomas Richner of Douglass College and Pierre Sancun (Paris Conservatory) for my classical training, nurturing my love of music, and inspiring me to create from the heart and soul.
I also would like to thank Gus and Carol Ferri, founders of the PTSA (Piano Teachers Society of America) for their support and encouragement through their Carnegie Program.”
Awards: Genia Robinor Award for Teaching Excellence, Allison R. and Maria E.Drake Pedagogy Award for Excellence in Ensemble Teaching, National Pedagogy Certification Award and numerous pedagogy awards.
"Besides composing and teaching, I also love to hike, travel, cook (I make a mean homemade pizza!) and blog about my personal experiences and holistic journey at healerdealerdiary.blogspot.com . "