FACULTY: Private Instruction


Chris White
is a classical, jazz and improvisational cellist and teacher based in Ithaca, NY. He has performed and taught around the U.S., and in Canada, Europe and North Africa. Chris has several solo recordings and has played on numerous recordings of other artists including Jody Kessler, Joe Crookston, Scott Adams, Javier Ruibal and others. He performed with his jazz quartet at The First World Cello Congress (June 1988), The Quanzaine de Montreal (April 1992), the New Directions Cello Festival (1995, 1997, 2001 & 2010) and at the 6th American Cello Congress in Maryland (May 2001). White has been a member of the Binghamton Philharmonic since 1997 and often free-lances with chamber and jazz groups. Chris has been a CSMA faculty member for many years and also maintains a private studio and gives workshops on improvisation for cellists.

Chris has published a jazz book and CD series for string instruments called Jazz Cello, Jazz Viola and Jazz Violin and has authored articles in national string (Strings) and jazz magazines (down beat). His CD First Principles features his own compositions as well as originals by the pianist Eric Hangen. The group, called Chris White and the Cayuga Jazz Ensemble, consists of cello, trumpet, piano, bass and drums. White is also the founder and director of the international New Directions Cello Association and Festival, now in its 24th year. www.newdirectionscello.org

Another new direction that White has taken in recent years is playing with silent films on acoustic and electric cello with effects and looping. For several years he performed solo with the 1919 German film “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari” at Ithaca College. Since 2008 White has collaborated with singer and multi-instrumentalist Peter Dodge and soundscape guitarist/composer Robby Aceto as part of the Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival (FLEFF) and other silent film showings, performing live improvised sound tracks with a variety of important silent films. Their group, Cloud Chamber Orchestra, released a CD in June 2012 titled “GRASS” featuring the music they recorded live for the silent film by the same name at the 2008 FLEFF. Cloud has created live improvised sound tracks for 6 silent films, 4 for FLEFF and two for the Ithaca Motion Picture Project.

White holds a BM in Performance (cello) from the University of New Hampshire (1979) and a Masters in Music Performance (cello) from Ithaca College (1987).

Learn more about Chris White at: http://newdirectionscello.org/about/chris-white-2/


Lenora Brown Schneller - Lenora Brown Schneller earned a B.A., Sarah Lawrence College and a M.M. and Artists Diploma at Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music. An active performer of solo, chamber, and orchestral music, she has played with the Louisville Opera, Starling Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Chamber Players, and Cornell Contemporary Chamber Players. She is a founding member of the local new music group, Tabula Rasa.

Back to menu


Christopher Morgan Loy - see listing under Piano

Back to menu


Laura Campbell - Laura Campbell is on the faculties of Colgate University, where she teaches flute and is the personnel manager and principal flutist of the Colgate Orchestra, and Wells College, where she is the director of the chamber orchestra and jazz band. She has taught flute privately for many years in the Ithaca and Trumansburg areas. Laura performs regularly with the Orchestra of the Southern Finger Lakes, the Finger Lakes Flutes, as a member of a flute and harp duo with Myra Kovary, and in many other chamber music programs. She is also a performing board member of Music's Recreation, whose goal is to bring the joy of classical music to audiences of all ages. Laura Campbell can be heard on several CDs including: "Morning Light" - Music for Flute and Harp, "Visions" - Laurie Conrad's music for flute and harp, "Pinocchio and Beauty and the Beast" with the Society for New Music released on Innova, "Baroque Music for the Guitar" with Karl Wolff, "Classical Music for the Guitar" with Karl Wolff, and "Evocations" - released by Capstone Records. Several of these are available on iTunes and CDBaby.com. Laura Campbell has a B.Mus. degree with "high honors" in performance and music education from Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville and a M.S. in Music Education under a Graduate Fellowship from the University of Illinois. She has studied with Janet Scott (formerly of the St. Louis Symphony), Kenton Terry (formerly of the Philadelphia Orchestra), Alexander Murray (formerly of the London Symphony), and Robert Dick (NYC composer, author, and expert on extended techniques for the flute).

Back to menu


Jan Nigro
- is a co-founder, songwriter for, and performer with Vitamin L, a youth choral group which performs extensively year round at schools, education conferences, festivals and camps. (1989 to present, over 800 concerts to date). For more info see the website: www.vitaminL.org. He is also the founder and musical director of Mostly Motown, (1998 to present) a vocal ensemble doing songs from the 60s and original musical and comedy material which Jan writes. Since 1999, he has been an Artist in Residence (Songwriter) for the Empire State Arts Partnership Program in conjunction with the Hangar Theater and the Ithaca City School District. This dynamic program enables fourth graders to write and perform a musical play about something they are studying in history with the help of a professional director and a professional songwriter. From 1996 to 2003 he served as a composer for educational videos (National Geographic, Cornell University and others). Jan and his wife, Janice Nigro have been co-recipients of the Tompkins County Human Rights DeWinter Youth Award for their efforts (through music) on behalf of equal rights (1992) and a Certificate of Recognition from the governor of New York “for being in the forefront of helping to promote the ideals of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by promoting peace in our schools and communities.” (2007). Jan has been a member of various bands over the years, and is currently singing with The Eclectics and the 18 Strings of Luv. He has been on the faculty of The Community School of Music and Arts (CSMA), teaching guitar, since 1982.

Matthew Ocone - is an active performer and teacher on the classical guitar in the Ithaca area. He is a graduate of The Eastman School of Music, where he earned a B.M. with distinction while studying with Nicholas Goluses. He has also played in master classes for Paul O'Dette, Manuel Barrueco, William Kanengiser, Jason Vieaux, and Martha Masters. Matthew's repertoire ranges from baroque guitar transcriptions to twentieth century masterpieces. In addition to classical guitar music he also plays Brazilian popular music in the virtuoso tradition of Garoto, and Dilermando Reis, and has professional experience playing in rock, pop, and Latin groups. As a teacher, Matthew has years of experience working with students of all age levels. In particular, he has done a lot of work teaching classical guitar to young children, and developed his own materials and methods for this purpose. Matthew strives to give all his students a well-rounded musical education by focusing and music theory and aural skills in addition to guitar playing techniques, and to help every student discover the joy and satisfaction of creating music.

Isaac Sharp
- received his Masters of Music in classical guitar performance from the Manhattan School of Music in 2012 studying with Professor Mark Delpriora. He completed his Bachelors of Music at the Eastman School of Music in 2009, with Dr. Nicholas Goluses.

Isaac was selected to participate in the National Guitar Workshop's three summer teaching internship, which he completed. At NGW, Isaac gained a wealth of experience, working with many of the country's leading guitar instructors and taught students one-on-one and in group classes. Isaac has years of experience teaching students of all ages and skill levels on various topics and styles including classical, rock/pop, jazz, music theory (including specialized curricula for guitar players), historical performance practice, and more.

He has performed numerous solo recitals at private homes, schools and various other public venues including the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Isaac has also been a part of many chamber music ensembles, and has been sought after to play with large ensembles including the MSM Philharmonia and Wind Ensemble, the Greenwich Village Singers, and Khorikos. He has performed in masterclasses with renowned recording artists Pepe Romero, David Russell, Paul Galbraith, and Paul O'Dette.

Sue Terwilliger - is an Ithaca native with a Bachelor of Music in Classical and Jazz Guitar from Ithaca College. For the past 20 years she made her home in New York City, where she played on various CD's and performed on several television shows. She has toured abroad including Japan, Portugal and Martinique. Sue is also bandleader, music director and guitarist for an 8 - 15 piece band, performing for private events (weddings, fundraisers) in the Northeast and Florida. Over five years teaching experience.

Back to menu


Grace Scarpino-Stoutenburg Originally from Spencer New York, Ms. Scarpino-Stoutenburg currently holds a Master of Arts in musicology from the Pennsylvania State University School of Music and a Bachelor of Music degree with a specialization in harp performance from the Crane School of Music, where she graduated magna cum laude. Ms. Scarpino-Stoutenburg is a member of both the Omicron Delta Kappa National Leadership Honor Society and the Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society.

Ms. Scarpino-Stoutenburg has had the honor of performing with the Penn State Philharmonic Orchestra, the Altoona Symphony, the Crane School of Music Symphony Orchestra and Wind Ensemble, and the Brevard Music Festival Orchestras. She has also performed with multiple chamber ensembles while at the Crane School and was a co-winner of the 2006 Chamber Music Competition.

Outside the performance hall, Ms. Scarpino-Stoutenburg has pursued higher education in music history and theory. Her Master's thesis explores the inseparable union between supernatural and human character development and music in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Nights Dream, Macbeth, and The Tempest. Her undergraduate senior thesis investigates the value and meaning of music through the lens of music theorist, Leonard B. Meyer. She explores Dr. Meyer's explanation of humanity's insatiable draw toward music and how such emotional experiences can be explained theoretically.

Ms. Scarpino-Stoutenburg has a passion for teaching and enjoys working with students of all ages. She offers private harp instruction and gives lectures on harp history, practice, and technique to kindergarten through collegiate audiences. www.gsharpist.webs.com

Back to menu


Zaun Marshburn - Drums & Percussion - Zaun Marshburn has been a professional drummer and percussionist since 1993, traveling around most of the U.S. and abroad playing in venues large and small such as The Bowery Ballroom in NYC opening for Julianna Hetfield and The Haunt in Ithaca as well as in schools. He can be heard playing with several local/regional performers/bands including Wingnut, Black is Green, and MSZM, as well as sitting in with Hank Roberts, Mary Lorson, Johnny Dowd, and others. After earlier studies in environmental engineering (1993) Zaun attended Monroe Community College in Rochester, NY 2002-2005 as a Performing Arts/Music Education major. He has had private instruction from Steve Curry, Dave Rogers, Dennis Mariano, and John Nyerges and has been teaching drum/percussion students since 2003.

Back to menu


Amy Opperman Cash - B.A. Piano, Ithaca College. Attended High School of Music and Art, NYC. Studied with Kendall Taylor in London, England. Over twenty years teaching experience.

Joon Sang Ko
- Joon Sang Ko is a classically trained pianist. He received the formal education in piano pedagogy since 2014 and continued his training at Ithaca College’s Teaching Intern Program under the guidance of Dr. Martin and Dr. Amoriello. Meanwhile, he actively taught preschool and intermediate students. He received B.M. in Piano Performance from University of Massachusetts at Amherst and M.M. in Piano Performance from Ithaca College. He is currently studying at Ithaca College for M.M. in Collaborative Piano.

Christopher Morgan Loy - composer-pianist, has a catalog of compositions which includes works for piano, voice, chamber ensembles, chamber orchestra, full orchestra, and chorus. He earned the Doctor of Musical Arts in composition from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York where he studied composition with Pulitzer Prize-winning composers, Karel Husa (1969) and Steven Stucky (2005). Loy has been a guest composer/pianist in many venues and recital series throughout the mid-west and New York State. In 1987, Loy was a founding director of ‘EPICYCLE: an ensemble for new music’ based in Cleveland. This organization helped to establish a significant voice for new music in Cleveland. Since the 1980s Loy has received over 25 commissions from members of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Cleveland Heights, the Sage Chapel Choir of Cornell University in Ithaca, individuals and professional musicians. In 1998, 2001 and 2008, he received the New York State Council on the Arts Decentralization Program Grant to compose his Serenade, String Quartet #1 and Poetic Rejuvenations —a large-scale work for five players and poet/narrator. Each year he produces concerts in which he premieres new works of his, along with works of other composers. His works have been heard and premiered in Cleveland, Detroit, Houston, New York, San Francisco, San Antonio, and Ithaca. He teaches Theory and Composition at Binghamton University and serves on the faculty of the Community School of Music and Art (CSMA) in Ithaca, NY. He is organist/ pianist at the First Baptist Church of Ithaca.

Molly MacMillan -  is a well known musician living in Ithaca, NY. She has been a featured pianist at the Sacramento Jubilee Traditional Jazz festival, performing there also with the Lowdown Alligator Jass Band, as well as other jazz festivals including Ottawa, Montreal, Buffalo and the Thousand Islands, and Corning's Crystal City jazz festival. Ms. MacMillan plays a beautiful piano, both with her tasteful "comping" and her very melodic solos. She is also a vocalist of uncanny agility with a light, mellow sound. Molly has been involved in workshops with Marion McPartland and Dr. Billy Taylor. She has traveled and recorded with such diverse groups as The Hot Foot Club (swing band), the Molly MacMillan Trio, and cabaret acts with Margaret Wakely, and with Richard Driscoll. She has recorded CD's with various artists including the Trio and the HotFoot Club, and is the producer of several CD's by the children's artist Mrs. McPuppet.

Emily PrestonEmily Preston is a native of Ithaca, New York and a proud alumna of the Ithaca Children's Choir. She holds a Masters degree in Music Education from Queens College in addition to a Masters degree in Choral Conducting from Ithaca College. She received her undergraduate degree from Oberlin Conservatory where she majored in Vocal Performance and Musicology.  Emily taught for over ten years in New York City, including choral director positions at the Children’s Storefront School in Harlem and Hunter College High School, a gifted and talented magnet school in Manhattan. Most recently she served as the K-12 Vocal Music Director at Mary McDowell Friends School, a Quaker school for students with learning disabilities in Brooklyn, NY.  Emily has a strong interest in music from the African American tradition and advocates for its inclusion in school general music and choral programs. In 2014, she was a panelist for a session at the 2014 NYSSMA Conference entitled “Teaching Choral Music in an Urban Setting.” In 2016, she presented a session to Ithaca ACDA entitled “#BLACKMUSICMATTERS; A Historical look at the Inclusion of African American Musical Forms In the Secondary School Curricula in the United States.” 

Emily is presently serving as the sabbatical replacement to Dr. Janet Galvan at Ithaca College. Her duties include conducting the Women’s Chorale and the Madrigal Ensemble. She also was recently appointed as the associate director of the Dorothy Cotton Jubilee Singers, a community choir devoted to the performance of spirituals and Gospel music.

Emmett Scott

Karen Melamed Smith - studied piano and composition at the Music Institute of Chicago while growing up and has taught piano and various music and movement classes in similar community schools in NYC and at CSMA for many years. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in piano performance from the University of Southern California (USC), a Masters in Liberal Studies (with concentration in Philosophy and the Arts) from The New School for Social Research, and provisional certification in elementary education through SUNY Cortland. Karen performs locally, often in programs presented by Music’s Recreation and as a member of the piano/string trio, “Three.” She served as music director of the Hector Presbyterian Church from 1998-2012. In addition to being a long-term faculty member, as CSMA’s program director, Karen interviews and auditions new instructors, works with the faculty on curriculum development and plans the course offerings for each term.

Sarah Smokay Linfors - Sarah Smokay Linfors is the director of the Ithaca Children and Youth Chorus’ Intermezzo ensemble and the past director of the Longview/Ithaca College Intergenerational Choir. She is also a lecturer of music education at Ithaca College where she supervises junior and senior student teachers. She has taught piano with the Community School of Music for two years.
Originally a native of Florida, Sarah has taught elementary and middle school choirs, elementary and middle school piano and general music and has served as an adjudicator for the Florida Vocal Association.  While at Florida State University, she was a graduate assistant conductor with Choral Union and a graduate assistant instructor in Communication Skills for the Musician: a choral literature and conducting lab class for music therapy majors.
Sarah holds degrees from Southeastern University (B.S.E.) and Florida State University (M.M.E.) in choral music education. She has completed Orff-Schulwerk Level I and Suzuki Every Child Can! courses. Her scholarly and research interests include elementary music pedagogy, the effects of peer collaboration on pre-service teachers, and early childhood music acquisition and cognition.

Sarah is passionate about collaborating with music educators and advocating for music education and is an active member of the National Association for Music Education and the American Choral Directors Association. 

Dave Streater - M.M., composition, SUNY, Binghamton. Master of Science, Mathematics, Ohio State University. B.M., Piano Performance, Cleveland Institute of Music. Active local jazz and classical performer and composer.

Karen Wyatte

Back to menu


Jennifer Lawrence Birnbaum - is a music teacher, choral director, performer and concert coordinator with music education degrees from Ithaca College and Columbia University. In addition to serving on the faculty of the Community School of Music and Arts, she is the choir director at the First Baptist Church of Ithaca. She has extensive experience in managing performances from concerts to opera and has held positions on the boards of the Kodaly Organization of New York, the Cornell Savoyards, Cayuga Vocal Ensemble and the Community Arts Partnership. CSMA has been Jennifer's second home for most of her life. She's played recorder since she was a young child and has been teaching recorder for more than 15 years. She especially enjoys working with students of all ages, and incorporates elements of music theory and history in her lessons.

Back to menu

Violin & Viola

William Hurley - Violin - M.M., Violin Performance, Ithaca College. B.A. in Violin Performance, University of South Carolina. Currently a member of the Binghamton Philharmonic, the Tri-Cities Opera Company and the Orchestra of the Southern Finger Lakes, he plays regularly with the Cayuga Chamber Orchestra and with numerous smaller chamber groups. He has played with the DeVere String Quartet of Syracuse and taught at the Hartwick College Summer Music Festival. He has been a member of orchestras in GA, SC, WV, MD and PA. He plays on both a standard Italian violin and a mezzo violin (made by Ithacan Robert Spear). Over ten years teaching experience.

Jaime Kibelsbeck - Violin / Viola - Violist Jaime Kibelsbeck has been an instructor and freelance performer for over fifteen years. She has performed in the Binghamton Philharmonic, the Tri-Cities Opera, and the Orchestra of the Southern Finger Lakes. An early music enthusiast, she has also performed as a member of Cornell University's early music ensemble Le Petit Violons as a baroque violist. Jaime is also interested in "unusual" string instruments, and is currently a member of the Albert Consort as an alto violinist. She is currently studying the bass viol. She holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Education and Viola Performance, and a Master of Music degree in Viola Performance from Ithaca College. Jaime has been an adjunct lecturer in viola at Ithaca College, maintains a private studio and currently teaches both viola and violin at the Community School of Music and Arts. Website: sites.google.com/site/jkibelsbeck

Joseph Prusch - Violin / Viola / Fiddle - Joseph Prusch majored in Music Performance and Education at Ithaca College, studying viola with Debra Morée while pursuing academic opportunities in historical performance, modern music performance, and ethnomusicology. He spent time studying with John and Sondra Bromka of Bells & Motley, learning the various folk traditions of France as well as the Medieval and Renaissance secular dance music that laid the foundations for classical opera, the orchestra, and the symphony. He is a regular performer with the GrassRoots Chamber Orchestra under Cayenna Ponchione, country singer Bert Scholl, Sammy Naquin and the Zydeco Whips, master jazz musician Doug Robinson, and Souk – Middle Eastern Grooves. Joseph has also appeared with a number of other musical acts, including Thousands of One, Joel Rubin, Urban Horse Thieves, Blue Sky Mission Club, the 77th New York Regimental Balladeers, Klezmer Zavel, and the El Caminos. The New York Times recently hailed his work on the feature film Vito Bonafacci, saying the movie was “elevated by touches of neorealist style in... its soundtrack” and “offers a quiet haven for meaningful mediation” for moviegoers in “a world fixated on bombast....”

Shelby Dems - Shelby Dems, violinist from Syracuse, NY, just recently finished her graduate studies with a Master of Music in Suzuki Pedagogy and Violin Performance at Ithaca College with Calvin Wiersma in Violin, and Carrie-Reuning Hummel in the Suzuki Method. As an active performer with a new profound love of contemporary music, her recent performances include Boulez Anthemes, Lachenmann Toccatina, and her dear friends Dallas J. Howard’s Drifting Eclipse andEmmanuel Berrido’s Miserere. She has been the first violinist of the Graduate String Quartet, Quintet, and Trio for the past two years, along with holding a Graduate Assistantship at the Whalen School of Music, Ithaca College. She frequently substitutes with the Binghamton Philharmonic, Cayuga Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra of the Southern Finger Lakes, and is a free-lancing violinist in the Central New York area.

Her repertoire is uniquely well-rounded for the classically trained violinist including Baroque, Romantic, Contemporary, Rock N, Roll, and Improvisational genres. Ms. Dems has been a recording artist on 2 albums with Mark Doyle, and Syracuse University’s Brazilian Ensemble Samba Laranja, which also won a Syracuse Sammy for the album in 2015. Shelby made her solo debut appearance as the winner of the Syracuse University Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition in April 2013 and again in April 2015. She also had the beautiful opportunity of studying abroad at the Conservatoire de Strasbourg in Strasbourg, France of Spring 2012, as well as being a member of the Conservatory Orchestra. Shelby has studied Violin Performance with Calvin Wiersma, Harumi Rhodes, Peter Rovit, and Haik Davtian.

Teaching since 18 years old, Shelby strives for great potential with her students through Suzuki and Traditional methods. She has taught through her private violin studio DemsStudios as well as Trumansburg Conservatory of Fine Arts, Music and Arts, along as been a practicum teacher and group teaching aid at the Ithaca Talent Education School. Shelby has taken Suzuki teacher training under Suzuki Pedagogues Carrie Reuning-Hummel (long-term trainer), Ed Kreitman, Kimberly Meier-Sims, and James Hutchins.

Shelby plays on a 2011 Shan Jiang, a contemporary violin carved by Shan Jiang Violins in New York City, New York. Along with actively pursuing a career as a free-lancing violinist, orchestral/chamber musician, and managing her own private violin studio in Suzuki and Traditional Methods, Ms. Dems lives in Ithaca, NY on Violin Faculty at Cornell University, and the Community School of Music and Arts.

Back to menu


Doreen Kelly Alsen (CSMA faculty since 1985) - is the proud owner of a varied and extremely checkered musical past. She graduated magna cum laude from Barrington College with a Bachelor's degree in Music Education, and followed that up with a Master of Music in Vocal Performance from Ithaca College. She studied conducting with Alfred Smith, Frank Marinaccio, and Larry Doebler. Her voice teachers include Rosamund Wadsworth, Ed Doucette, Carol McAmis, Gary Race, and Peter Sicilian, as well as master classes in Vienna, Austria with Kammersängerin Sena Jurinac. She has sung featured roles for the Ithaca Opera, the Cabot Street Light Opera (Providence, RI) and the Rhode Island Gilbert and Sullivan Society. While living in Trier, Germany, Doreen taught American musical theater at the Universität Trier, as well as giving a series of lectures and recitals on the connections between American composers and poets. As the Artistic Director and Principal Conductor for The Women’s Chorale of Corning, https://twccorning.org, Doreen is devoted to the cause of excellence in performance of the rich and varied catalog of treble choral literature. A published author, Doreen writes the scripts and directs the music for CSMA’s wildly popular teen musical theater camp Star Search. Doreen is a published author with six novels and one novella from The Wild Rose Press. She is a long time member of the Romance Writers of America, the Central New York Romance Writers, and the Southern Tier Authors of Romance. www.doreenalsen.com; www.Facebook.com.Doreen_Alsen_Author

Ed CohnEd began his musical journey early, starting on clarinet at age 9. He soon moved on to saxophone, guitar and piano and gained experience on trombone, French horn, and flute before falling in love with singing and opera.

Ed graduated from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music with a degree in voice. While there he studied with such luminaries as Luciano Pavarotti, Hans Hotter, Renato Capecchi, and others.Ed has performed in over 30 leading roles in professional opera companies throughout northern California including San Francisco Concert Opera, Marin Opera, Oakland Opera, Sacramento Opera, Berkeley Opera and others. He was also a recitalist specializing in German and French classical and romantic art songs. In concert and oratorio Ed soloed in the Verdi Requiem, Bach B Minor Mass, Handel’s Messiah and many more.

Ed has also been very active in opera education as well, having written, directed and performed in the acclaimed “How to Make an Opera” presented in over 200 schools in Northern California and co-wrote, directed and performed in operas for educational programs for the San Francisco Opera's in-school program, Operatunities.

In 1987 Ed and three classically trained comrades transitioned away from classical music traveling back to their popular music roots and formed a contemporary a cappella quartet called the EDLOS. During Ed's 17 years in this multi-award winning group he sang bass, wrote award winning songs and arrangements and recorded and produced their 7 albums.

Beginning in 1990 Ed began teaching and coaching singing and has been refining his craft ever since. Ed has shared his passion for a cappella singing by conducting a cappella community choruses and offering a cappella workshops since the mid ‘90s. From 2004-2006 Ed also taught both instrumental and vocal music at Arrowsmith Academy, a private high school in Berkeley, California.

Anna Coogan - started her musical career studying opera at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria. In 2001, she left the classical world and devoted herself to writing and performing original folk music. Since then, she has released 5 full length records and received airplay across the world, including on the BBC, Irish National Radio, ABC, Fox, and KEXP (Seattle). She has toured extensively through Northern Europe, the UK, and the US, sharing stages with luminaries in country, folk, and rock. Her newest record. "The Nowhere, Rome Sessions," is due to be released in September 2012. A recent transplant to Ithaca from Seattle, Anna previously taught classes at the EMP Rock and Roll Museum in Seattle, with an emphasis on vocal performance and songwriting. Anna combines the technique and focus she learned as a classical singer with her real-world experience as a touring songwriter to create a unique lesson plan that is tailored to the goals of the student. Website: www.annacoogan.com

Angus Godwin - After an early teacher damaged his voice, Professor Angus Godwin developed a logical approach to singing which healed the damage done to his voice. He has practiced and taught his natural method for singing for over half a century, and as a result his voice is still amazingly powerful and free to this day. Retired from a long teaching career at Ithaca College, Professor Godwin is still active as a recitalist and continues to focus mainly on teaching. Many of his students have gone on to great success in their careers including leading roles in Broadway productions of Titanic, Wicked and Phantom of the Opera., and appearances in regional opera companies and on American Idol. Mr. Godwin’s own performing career includes recitals at Town Hall and Carnegie Hall (NYC) as well as over 300 solo concerts throughout the United States and in Canada. He earned a Bachelor’s Degree in music from Capital University (Columbus, OH), a Professional Diploma from the Juilliard School and a Master’s degree from Columbia University. He is currently working with his sons to publish a selection of his performance recordings on iTunes, Amazon, and elsewhere, and developed a voice training app for iPhone which came out in December, 2012.

Emily PrestonEmily Preston is a native of Ithaca, New York and a proud alumna of the Ithaca Children's Choir. She holds a Masters degree in Music Education from Queens College in addition to a Masters degree in Choral Conducting from Ithaca College. She received her undergraduate degree from Oberlin Conservatory where she majored in Vocal Performance and Musicology.  Emily taught for over ten years in New York City, including choral director positions at the Children’s Storefront School in Harlem and Hunter College High School, a gifted and talented magnet school in Manhattan. Most recently she served as the K-12 Vocal Music Director at Mary McDowell Friends School, a Quaker school for students with learning disabilities in Brooklyn, NY.  Emily has a strong interest in music from the African American tradition and advocates for its inclusion in school general music and choral programs. In 2014, she was a panelist for a session at the 2014 NYSSMA Conference entitled “Teaching Choral Music in an Urban Setting.” In 2016, she presented a session to Ithaca ACDA entitled “#BLACKMUSICMATTERS; A Historical look at the Inclusion of African American Musical Forms In the Secondary School Curricula in the United States.” 

Emily is presently serving as the sabbatical replacement to Dr. Janet Galvan at Ithaca College. Her duties include conducting the Women’s Chorale and the Madrigal Ensemble. She also was recently appointed as the associate director of the Dorothy Cotton Jubilee Singers, a community choir devoted to the performance of spirituals and Gospel music.

Back to menu




John Bunge - John Bunge is a banjo player from Ithaca, New York. He holds a BA in music from Macalester College, and is a veteran of the late '70's/early '80's Minneapolis New Wave scene. He is the author of "Music of Scott Joplin on the Banjo" (transcriptions); "Open String Chords for Plectrum Banjo"; and "Open Chord Advantage" for guitar (Hal Leonard). The banjo is the American instrument, and he is interested in all of its variations, particularly plectrum and clawhammer.  Ithaca is an especially banjo-friendly town and he is glad to live here with its many musical resources.




Matthew Flores - Originally from Texas Matthew Flores is a second-year graduate student at Ithaca College under the direction of Hal Reynolds.  He received his undergraduate degree from Texas State University in Music Performance working under the direction of Martin McCain.  With over ten years of playing Matthew has participated in music festivals and concerts around the country and even overseas. A few of these include the Southeast Trombone Symposium (STS) in Columbus Georgia, Complete Trombone Workshop in Champaign, Illinois, and The Interharmony Music Festival in Arcidosso, Italy.  Matthew’s primary instrument is the trombone but is well versed in teaching all instruments of the brass family including trumpet and French horn.

Back to menu