FACULTY: Private Instruction



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.

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Electric Bass


Christopher Morgan Loy - see listing under Piano

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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).

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Wilson Montuori
- holds a B.F.A. in Music Performance from the City College of New York, where he was honored as both a valedictorian candidate and the recipient of the prestigious "Sidney Zolot Award," given each year to a graduating music major who has demonstrated excellence as a performer. He is also pursuing a Master of Music degree from Boston University. Wilson is known for letting students explore the music they enjoy while also giving them structure. He can help students to understand both music theory and technique for guitar, bass and ukulele. As a performer, Wilson has offered his talents for both local artists as well as major international recording stars, recording with Sony and Universal sigma. He continues to perform in New York City and the tri-state area as well as nationally and internationally with ensembles ranging from folk and pop-rock to classical. Wilson's first solo effort "Viaggio," a collection of original meditative songs inspired by the Mediterranean sea, was released in December 2012. His compositions are also displayed in the soundtrack for the 2014 feature film "Shelter".

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.

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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

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Caryn Christianson - Percussion & Marimba - Caryn Christianson has been filling the Ithaca skies with music since 1985, first, as a graduate student at Ithaca College, where she studied in the studio of Gordon Stout, and then as a performer and teacher. Some of her many students’ accomplishments include playing in a Coca Cola commercial, graduating from the Eastman School of Music and playing in the New York State Honors band. Caryn is the founder of the award winning Ithaca Tamboritos. She has also won awards from Tompkins Trust Company and the Salvation Army for her excellence in teaching. She has performed locally both as a solo artist and in groups playing classical, jazz, rock, and Latin music. The local venues Caryn has performed at include the Ithaca Festival, the Johnson Museum of Art, Muse Fest, Juneteenth, Sabado Gigante, Ithaca College, and CSMA.

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.

Michael Wellen - Drums & Percussion - Studied percussion at the University of Buffalo and performed with the university's Percussion Ensemble under the direction of Jan Williams. Founding member of the infamous Zobo Funn Band. More than 30 years professional performing experience playing Jazz, Rock, Latin and other styles. Owned and operated Hillcrest Productions, a small recording studio. Has taught at CSMA for over 20 years.

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Alejandro Bernard-Papachryssanthou - Alejandro is a native of Lansing, NY. He graduated from Ithaca College in 2007 with a B.A. in Music Education, and just recently graduated from Indiana University earning an M.M. in Jazz Studies. He has played and recorded with local groups such as the Sim Redmond Band, JATAS, Thousands of One, John Brown's Body and many others. He founded the music program at New Roots Charter School, and has been teaching privately for over 10 years. He is excited to be living in Ithaca and teaching at CSMA where he studied as a teenager with Gertrude Vrabel.

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.

Tasha George-Hinnant - Originally from Ithaca, NY, Tasha began studying piano at age six, and cello at sixteen. She received a Bachelor's Degree in Piano Performance with an Emphasis in Pedagogy in 2011 from Nazareth College, and an Advanced Certificate in Piano Pedagogy in 2012, also from Nazareth. Tasha is currently pursuing a Master's degree in Music Performance at Ithaca College, and studies privately with Phiroze Mehta. Previous teachers have included Brian Preston, Michael Salmirs, Charis Dimaris, and Trudy Borden, and cello with Kathleen Murphy Kemp. Tasha has participated in a variety of master classes with pianists such as Thomas Rosenkranz and Andrey Pisarev. Community involvement is a great priority for her and, in addition to teaching, she accompanies soloists and ensembles in the area, has served as a church pianist, and was president of Nazareth College's chapter of the Music Teacher's National Association for two years. She has participated in multiple chamber, orchestral and choral ensembles as a pianist, cellist, and vocalist. Tasha currently teaches group piano classes at Ithaca College, as well as maintaining her studio at the Community School of Music and Arts.

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.

Jonathan Petronzio - also known as "JP" graduated from Ithaca College School of Music in 2004 with a Bachelor's Degree in Music Education. From 2001–2010, JP worked with his funk, soul and rock band REVISION as a singer, songwriter, producer, performer and recording engineer. During his time with the group, they played over 1000 shows and toured extensively around the country. In November of 2010, he began playing keyboards for local reggae favorites, JOHN BROWNS BODY, and continues to tour with them today. With 24 years of piano playing experience and over 10 years of teaching experience, JP is a great choice for students of all ages—beginners to advanced. Background course work includes Music Theory, Technique, Musicianship, and Performance with emphasis in Jazz, Funk, Reggae, and Blues, balanced with a solid grounding in Classical music. JP also works with students on Electronic Music production techniques as well as songwriting and live performance skills—each student has a different desire for what they would like to achieve. JP will match whatever direction you'd like to take!

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. 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.

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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....”

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Doreen Kelly Alsen - 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. In addition to leading the Finger Lakes Women's Chorale, Doreen teaches singing at the Community School of Music and Arts in Ithaca, NY. She's been an active member of the CSMA faculty since 1985. 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 of Bella Voce (formerly the Finger Lakes Women's Chorale), Doreen is devoted to the cause of excellence in performance of the rich and varied catalog of treble choral literature. Check out the Chorale's website at www.flwcithaca.org. Doreen is the Music Director for All Saints Church in Lansing, NY as well as St. Anthony Church in Groton and serves as the liaison between the Tompkins Region Catholic Churches and the Diocese of Rochester Liturgy Committee. Doreen is a member of the Romance Writers of America, Southern Tier Authors of Romance and the online group of romance writers, ESPAN. Her first book, MIKE'S BEST BET was released on March 26, 2010, and her second, WHAT IAN WANTS, was released on June 24, 2010 from The Wild Rose Press, www.thewildrosepress.com. She is busy writing the third book in her At The End Zone series, CHARMING DAVE. Check out her blog, www.doreenalsen.blogspot.com for more info on her books, book signings and musings about being a romance writer! Every summer, Doreen writes the scripts for the very successful CSMA teen musical theater program, Star Search, and serves as its musical director. She is a faculty representative to the CSMA Board of Directors.

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.

Elisa Sciscioli - currently specializes in contemporary singing styles and is the founding member, lead singer and songwriter for the R&B band, Solstice. She also sang with the Ithaca based 60s kick back bands, The Destination and The Mutron Warriors. Elisa is a former member of the College Choir, Women's Chorale and Vocal Jazz ensembles at Ithaca College where she earned a B. M. in Vocal Performance and Music Education. She has performed with the Ithaca Opera Company, Syracuse Opera Company and Syracuse Symphony Orchestra and has taught in Pre-K, elementary and high school settings.

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Joseph Ford - Joseph Ford has been teaching and performing music for many years, with over ten years' experience teaching both concert and jazz styles of saxophone. He holds degrees in music from the University of the Pacific and Ithaca College, as well as in education from SUNY Cortland. In addition to teaching at CSMA, he is currently working as a special education teacher in the Ithaca City Schools and as a church music director in the Cortland area.

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