Artistic Director & Conductors

Warren Cohen

Warren Cohen

Artistic Director & Conductor, Symphony Orchestra

Warren Cohen has been the Artistic Director of the New Jersey Intergenerational Orchestra since 2013. He is also Music Director of the MusicaNova Orchestra in Phoenix, Arizona. In 2012 he became Concert Artist in Conducting at Kean University. He has previously served as Music Director of the Scottsdale Baroque Orchestra, the Fine Arts String Orchestra, and the Southern Arizona Orchestra, where he was appointed Music Director Laureate upon his resignation.

Mr. Cohen began his musical career as a pianist and composer, and his early positions included a stint as a ballet accompanist for the Honolulu City Ballet and as Music Director of the Kumu Kahua Theatre group in Hawaii, for whom he also wrote the music for a Cantata for Theatre on the life of Princess Kai’ulani. His work in Theatre and Opera led to his becoming a conductor; his earliest assignments were for obscure works that more established conductors did not want to bother to learn, but he soon developed a large repertoire that included many standard works. Within a few years he was also working as an Orchestral and Choral conductor. As a result, over the past fifteen years he has conducted almost a thousand orchestral, operatic and choral works. He studied conducting with, among others, Gustav Meier and Paul Vermel, and did a year of study at the English National Opera during the last year of the administration of the “power trio” years when the company was led by Sir Mark Elder, David Pountney and Sir Peter Jonas.

He now lives in South Orange, New Jersey with his wife, soprano Carolyn Whitaker, and his son Graham, an award winning composer and violist who studies in the Julliard Pre-College division in New York and coaches Intermezzo at NJIO.

Brian McGowan 

Conductor, Intermezzo Orchestra

Brian McGowan is a music educator, composer, and conductor based in New Jersey.  He has been the Conductor of the Intermezzo Orchestra since June, 2016, and currently is the Director of Orchestras for the William Annin Middle School in Basking Ridge, NJ.  Under Brian’s direction, the William Annin Orchestra program has doubled in size and opportunity.  The program now features five orchestras, a chamber music performance program, a fiddlers’ club, and has been featured in the New Jersey Music Educators Association State Convention twice.  Brian continues to program the classic repertoire, while also reaching for innovation, conducting six composition world premieres, including student compositions and a complete Music & Visual Arts Collaboration by New York University Faculty member Youngmi Ha.

As a composer, Brian was the 2007 and 2009 New Jersey Chapter’s American String Teachers Association Composition Competition Winner for school aged compositions.  As a conductor, Brian was selected as the Central Jersey Music Educators Association Regional Conductor in 2009 and 2013, and will conduct the New Jersey Intermediate Orchestra in 2017.

Brian holds a B.A. in music education with a concentration in Double Bass and Composition for New Jersey City University and a M.A. in Composition at Montclair State University, where he studied composition with Ting Ho and conducting with Paul Hostetter.


Robert Anderson 

Conductor, Prelude Ensemble

Robert Anderson earned a B.A. in Music Education from the Kean University Conservatory of Music, where he received the Nadia and Fritz Lambert Memorial Scholarship, a full tuition scholarship for four years. At Kean he studied violin with Brennan Sweet, Associate Concertmaster of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, and served as the University Orchestras Concertmaster. He has orchestral experience with various community orchestras, and has been playing with NJIO as the conductor of the Prelude Ensemble and the concertmaster of the Intermezzo Orchestra. Robert has been hired as an Elementary Orchestra teacher for Summit Public Schools serving three of the city’s elementary music programs.


Michelle HatcherMichelle Hatcher

Conductor, Outreach Ensemble

Michelle Hatcher, violist and string specialist, is the Conductor of NJIO’s Outreach Ensemble.  She received her Bachelors and Masters of Music at Manhattan School of Music.  While freelancing and teaching in NYC, she found her true passion, sharing her love of music with children.  Ms. Hatcher recently received the The Samuel Antek Award for Music Education from the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra.

Throughout her career, Ms Hatcher has been a builder of string programs.  While receiving her Suzuki Certification at the School for Strings in NYC, she started the string program at Rutgers Preparatory School.  Having established a successful private studio in Montclair, Ms. Hatcher founded Fiddle Fun, an intensive music camp for Suzuki trained musicians to learn  how to fiddle in many styles.   For the last 11 years, Ms. Hatcher has built string programs in Newark and South Orange/Maplewood school districts.

Freelancing with the Amaryllis Ensemble, a group she co-founded with life long musician friends, she arranges and performs all styles of music.

Ms. Hatcher is also Artistic Director of the NJSO CHAMPs, an El Sistema inspired program in Newark, and Director of the NJYS Prep and Junior Strings Ensembles.