Broadway singing coach attack suspect arrested for manslaughter

Former students remembered her as fierce, supportive and loving. She teaches from her apartment, with a grand piano in her living room and an electronic piano in her bedroom, where her students practice vocal exercises so as not to disturb her neighbors.

Melinda Pope DeRocker said she first turned to Ms Gustern in 1997 when she was looking to return to singing after becoming musical director. Ms Gustern taught her to open up her vocal range, she said. When Ms. DeRocker had her thyroid removed 11 years ago, it was Ms. Gustern who gave her the confidence to sing again without fear.

“She didn’t just change the voice,” Ms. DeRocker said. “She changed lives.

Upon learning of Ms Pazienza’s arrest on Tuesday, Ms DeRocker said she burst into tears.

“Relief was the biggest emotion, but then it came down to sadness,” Ms. DeRocker said. “Honestly, I felt sad for this woman. All of a sudden, she ruined her life.

Relatives of Ms Pazienza could not be reached for comment.

A LinkedIn profile of Ms. Pazienza, which had been deleted on Tuesday afternoon, listed her as an events coordinator for Roche Bobois, a high-end furniture company. A company spokeswoman confirmed Ms Pazienza had worked there but quit last December.

Ms Pazienza stood silently during her arraignment hearing on Tuesday, handcuffed behind her back as Assistant District Attorney Justin McNabney read the charges against her. Mr McNabney said after the stampede, surveillance footage showed Ms Pazienza spent more than 20 minutes in the area, having a ‘physical altercation’ with her fiancé and watching the ambulance arrive at the scene.

Although Ms Gustern was short, about 1.50 meters tall, she was strong and healthy for her age, the students said. Annie McGreevey, who had been seeing Ms Gustern once a week for a year, said she walked briskly and lifted weights which she kept in her bathroom.

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