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underStaffed is a collective of emerging musicians in the New York metropolitan area dedicated to the performance of works for chamber orchestra and small ensembles. underStaffed aims to perform in both conventional and unconventional venues, hoping to bring classical music to those who might not be as familiar with the genre. underStaffed also makes an effort to regularly program works by lesser-known creators, including both historically overlooked composers as well as up-and-coming contemporary composers. We are a 501c3 nonprofit organization in the State of New Jersey.

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artistic director and conductor

Elliot Roman founded underStaffed in 2021 and serves as the artistic director and conductor. He is a multifaceted composer, pianist, flutist, and conductor. His compositions have won prizes around the world, most recently the 2021 BMI Student Composer Award, and he has received commissions from ensembles such as the American String Quartet. Elliot played in the New York Youth Symphony on both flute and piano, performing at Carnegie Hall, on CNN, and on tour in Spain. He has premiered works by contemporary composers in programs such as the Carnegie Hall 2019 "Migrations" Festival. 


underStaffed is more than an ensemble. We are a blossoming network of musicians from around the globe with a shared love for pure music making. Here are just a few of the many talented musicians in our ranks.

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Lois Roman, chair

Irene Drivas, treasurer

Dr. Eva Derman, secretary


Abram Foster

Dr. Daniel Goodman

Robert LeClair

Dr. Karen Shawn

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