Visual Arts Instruction
Rose Tirrito is an artist and educator living in central New York. She holds both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in art education and has spent many years teaching art across various ability levels and stages of development. Her pedagogical approach is informed by...
Maureen Jakubson is a Mixed Media Artist, Fabric Designer, and Art Cloth Maker. Born in Maine, she moved to Ithaca in 1983 to begin practice as a pediatric therapist and Fiber Artist. In recent years, Jakubson has concentrated on developing graphic impact with Shibori...
Jennifer Gibson is an artist who works in watercolor, gouache and oils. She studied fine arts at Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburgh, PA. Now she illustrates, does studio paintings as well as plein air, and teaches adults in upstate NY. Her work is available to see online...
Ryan Abb is a graphic novelist and collagist with a gift for finding humor, simplifying complicated subjects, creative combination, and establishing a rapport with students. His current dream is to capture imaginations with a sci-fi cartoon starring a clumsy kid from Indonesia who gets caught up in a team of aliens.
Rob’s work delves into the significance of place in our lives; on the influences of the land, where we choose to live and the associations of memory, longing, and spiritual well being to those places. He typically works in welded steel; but also in wood, cement, bronze as well as digital photography and drawing.
Jessica Peery brings creativity to every aspect of her life. With a passion for personal growth and exploration through art, this mother of five brings playfulness and patience while teaching students of all ages and abilities. As an undergraduate at Cornell...
Jessica Baron Warner
Jessica Baron Warner received a BFA from SUNY Purchase with a concentration in painting and drawing. Before graduating, she spent a summer studying in Italy, which continues to have an impact on her painting.
Music Instruction Faculty
Electronisist Josh Oxford, born in 1985, is a composer, arranger, and performer of myriad styles of music. He has performed throughout the world, especially in his native central New York, on piano, percussion, and synthesizer. After suffering a debilitating car crash...
Alexas Janae E. Ramírez
Alexas Janae E. Ramírez is an Indigenous Black composer who has drawn from her cultural lineage to inform her compositional voice. Holding a Bachelor of Composition in Music, with a Piano Emphasis from Ithaca College (2012), she studied with Dr. Dana Wilson, Jorge...
Marie Plouffe (she/her) graduated from Ithaca College with a Bachelor's in Music Education in 2023. She has been playing trumpet for 13 years, ranging in styles from orchestral to musical theater. She completed her student teaching at Trumansburg Middle School and...
Ashley (she/her) graduated with a BM in Music Performance, Jazz Studies from Western Michigan University in 2013. She has been performing professionally and teaching private and group lessons for well over twenty years. With experience in many styles including rock,...
Leah Missall (she/they) is a flute teacher for CSMA. She is originally from Shrewsbury, MA, and graduated Ithaca College with a bachelors in music performance and education. She did her student teaching here in Ithaca at Boynton middle school. She has been playing flute for 13 years now and is excited to begin her education career. Outside of music, she enjoys reading, hiking, and playing with her cat, Padfoot.
Jennifer Lawrence Birnbaum
Jennifer Lawrence Birnbaum is a music teacher, choral director, performer and event 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 Unitarian Society of Ithaca and teaches at Namaste Montessori School.
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.
David Allen Coester
David Allen Coester has been teaching the guitar to people of all ages and abilities for more than 25 years — formerly at the Crestwood Music Education Center in Westchester County and in his private studio in downtown Ithaca.
Ed 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.
William Hurley is an Ithaca-based violinist/violist, teacher, and luthier. Violin – M.M., Violin Performance, Ithaca College. B.A. in Violin Performance, University of South Carolina.
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 violis
Pianist Nolan Miller grew up in Ithaca, and is active in the area as a teacher and performer. He holds a BM in piano performance from Houghton College; an MM from Syracuse University; and a DM from Florida State University, where his major professor was Read...
Christopher Morgan Loy
Composer-pianist Christopher Morgan Loy 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 where he studied composition with Pulitzer Prize-winning composers, Karel Husa (1969) and Steven Stucky (2005).
Zaun Marshburn has been a professional drummer and percussionist since 1993. He has traveled throughout 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 many area schools. He can be heard playing with several groups including Wingnut, Black is Green, and MSZM.
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. He is also the founder and musical director of Mostly Motown and 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.
Karen Melamed Smith
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.
Proficient in classical, jazz, folk/rock, and hip hop Emmett splits his time teaching private lessons and accompanying vocalists and instrumentalists at Ithaca College. Emmett is passionate about fostering a love of music in both beginners and experienced players, and teaching with aspects of theory, aural training and sight reading for a well rounded musical education.
Specializing in teaching students how to play and sing simultaneously and employing an easy-going, creative, song-oriented pop/rock approach, Gerald has taught for over 12 years both one-on-one and in groups with students of all ages. To help each student uncover...
Chris White is a classical, jazz and improvisational cellist and teacher. 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.
June Seaney is a professional Middle Eastern Oriental (Belly Dance) and Romani (Gypsy) Dance Instructor, Performer, Choreographer and Historian. June is an instructor and performer of Turkish Oryantal (Belly Dance) and Egyptian Raqs Sharqi as well as Romani Dances...
Clara Nieto (Cuba 1994) is a professional dancer, choreographer, and teacher of traditional and contemporary Cuban Popular Dances.
Daraisi Marte is a Hip-Hop Dance and Culture Anthropologist. She studied and trained at H+ | The Hip Hop Dance Conservatory from 2014-2020 where she provided pre-professional training to youth and has been teaching/ choreographing for over 14 years. Most of her work...
B.A. Theater, Cornell University. Studied dance for 27 years. Has performed and choreographed locally for the Hangar Theater, Kitchen Theatre, Firehouse Theatre, and Cornell Savoyards. 20 years of teaching experience. Currently on the dance faculty at Ithaca College.
Amanda Moretti earned a B.A. in Dance Movement Studies from the Naropa Institute and continued her modern dance and ballet studies for two years at York University in Toronto. She lived in Montreal for twelve years as a freelance dancer, teaching improvisation and performing her own work.
Jaclyn Smith has studied and taught classic and contemporary ballet, modern, and lyrical jazz. She majored in dance and minored in psychology and history before receiving her Associates degree in Early Childhood Education. Somehow she managed to squeeze in a side...
Ayala Shaked is an experienced theater teacher, performer, and entrepreneur. Ayala's teaching experience includes teaching theater formally at the high school level for a decade. Alongside her teaching, Ayala initiated and led a unique program within her community – a...
Sarah Plotkin is an educator, theater-maker and cultural worker. She collaborates with community artists, professional artists, and young people to bridge divides and inspire joyful community-building. She has worked as a freelance director and teaching artist in...
Holly Adams has been a Performer and Teaching Artist for many years, and loves every second of it. As a performer and SAG-AFTRA member, she divides time between film, original pieces with her physical theatre company Kakeru, audiobook narration and other Voice...
Doreen Kelly Alsen
Doreen Kelly Alsen has been a CSMA faculty member since 1985 and 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...
B.A. Theater, Cornell University. Studied dance for 27 years. Has performed and choreographed locally for the Hangar Theater, Kitchen Theatre, Firehouse Theatre and Cornell Savoyards. 20 years of teaching experience. Currently on the dance faculty at Ithaca College.