Faculty & Staff

Our faculty and staff are carefully selected professional educators, solo artists, composers and conductors. Guest soloists and clinicians are on campus for Master Classes, workshops, and concerts on dates to be announced.


Sean Lowery
On-Campus Director, Conductor of Symphonic Band, Jazz Ensembles, Wind Ensemble
Mr. Lowery has been on the faculty of the Eastern U.S. Music Camp since 1978. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from the Crane School of Music at S.U.N.Y. Potsdam and his Master’s Degree in Trumpet Performance and Literature from the Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester. While at Eastman he held Assistantships in both the Music Education and Brass departments. He spent 28 years as Director of Instrumental Music at Schalmont Central Schools in Schenectady, NY. Mr. Lowery has performed in Jordan, Japan, at the Pori Jazz Festival in Finland as well as at the Goodwill Games in St. Petersburg, Russia, and has performed with such notable artists as Gladys Knight, Johnny Mathis, Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Dionne Warwick, The Temptations, The Four Tops, Tom Jones Julio Eglesias, Englebert Humperdinck and with numerous productions on national tours.

David Soto, Conductor of Symphonic Band, Wind Ensemble
David Soto is Director of Bands at North Shore High School in Long Island, New York where he conducts numerous ensembles including several bands, pit orchestra and the brass ensemble. He is also a brass adjudicator for New York State, former Associate Director of the Hartwick College Summer Music Festival, and the former Brass Chairperson for the New York State School Music Association. He was awarded an honorary lifetime membership in the Tri-M Music Honor Society for his work with student musicians and is a member of the Music Educator’s National Association, the College Music Society, the National Band Association, the New York State Band Director’s Association, Nassau Music Educators Association, and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia. In 2006 he was listed in the Who’s Who Among American Teachers. David Soto holds degrees from Northwestern University and the Crane School of Music. He has taught at Hartwick College, Oneonta High School and the New York State Music Camp and Festival. 

Kenneth Jernigan, Conductor of Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra
Mr. Jernigan received his Bachelor’s Degree from the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College, N.Y., and his Master’s Degree from Lehman College, N.Y. Mr. Jernigan teaches in the Hastings-on-Hudson, N.Y. UFSD where he serves as the conductor of the local and national award-winning High School Orchestra, Band and Jazz Ensemble, the Eighth and Seventh Grade Orchestra and Band. He is also director of the district chamber music program and the newly formed steel drum ensemble in the high school and middle school. From 1986 to 1999 he was the music director and conductor of the Camerata Chamber Orchestra of Long Island and has twice toured Europe with this ensemble. He has guest conducted numerous county, district, regional and all-state festivals on all levels throughout the Northeast and Florida. As a professional double bassist, Mr. Jernigan is in demand as a freelance musician and has held the principal chairs of the Westchester Symphony, Queens Orchestral Society and is currently principal of the Allegro Chamber Orchestra of New York, which has made several European tours. He is also currently a bassist with the Fishkill Baptist Church of N.Y. Praise and Worship Team. Mr. Jernigan is an active member of the Westchester County and New York State Music Educators Association.

Scott Dunn, Conductor of Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra
BM in Music Education from Rutgers University’s Mason Gross School of the Arts and his MM in Trombone and Wind Conducting from the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music. Music Director and Conductor of the Long Island Youth Orchestra and Adjunct Professor at Adelphi University, where he conducts the Concert Band. Director of Bands at Baldwin High School since 2007. Overseeing a comprehensive program, Mr. Dunn co-conducts the Concert Band, Symphony Band, Wind Symphony, and Jazz Ensemble.

Kyle English, Conductor of Choirs
Mr. English received his B.M. in Music Education from The Benjamin T. Rome School of Music at The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC. As a vocalist, Kyle has performed all over the country and internationally. The most notable venues include The Kennedy Center, The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, The Rudolfinum’s Dvořák Hall in Prague, and The Hungarian State Opera House. As a music director, he has conducted Cabaret, Finian’s Rainbow, Nine, On The Town, Man of La Mancha and Sweet Charity. He also has collaborated on several new musicals as part of the New York Musical Theater Festival on Broadway. This is Kyle’s 15th consecutive year at EUSMC.

Tom Christensen, Conductor of Jazz Ensembles & Jazz Combos, Improvisation
A graduate of The Eastman School of Music, Tom Christensen is an established saxophonist, woodwind specialist and composer in New York City. He is currently on the faculty of The Fieldston School and Nyack College. He is a member of The Toshiko Akiyoshi Jazz Orchestra and has performed with them throughout the world. He can be heard on their latest recordings as well as on Grammy winning albums with Joe Lovano, Paquito D’Rivera, David Sanchez and Don Sebesky. Christensen has also performed with the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, The Maria Schneider Jazz Orchestra, The David Liebman Big Band, The John Hollenbeck Large Ensemble and the BMI Jazz Composer’s Orchestra as well as with pop acts such as Cheap Trick, Aretha Franklin and Diana Ross. He has also recorded cast albums for and performed with many Broadway shows. In 2003 Christensen was awarded a composition grant from Chamber Music America to write and perform an extended work based on the poetry of Frank O’Hara. This piece is featured on his 3rd CD “New York School” on Playscape Recordings which was listed as one the top ten jazz albums of 2005 by All About Jazz. Christensen’s latest projects include “Spin Cycle” with drummer Scott Neumann and “The Kailash Trio” featuring Tim Sund and Tomas Ulrich. Tom can also be heard on Rufus Reid’s latest CD “Quiet Pride”, David Liebman’s latest Big Band CD featuring the music of Wayne Shorter and with Ryan Truesdell’s “The Gil Evans Project”.


Ana Laura Gonzalez
, Flute, Flute Ensemble
Ana holds a DMA from the University of Arizona, a MM from Ohio University, and a BM from the National Conservatory of Buenos Aires. She currently serves as Artist-in Residence of Flute at Hartwick College and SUNY Oneonta. An active artist with performances throughout the US and Argentina.

Johnathan Lowery
, Clarinet, Saxophone, Saxophone Ensemble
BA, Eastman School of Music, University of Rochester. An active woodwind specialist in both jazz and classical genres; New York University, NYC, adjunct saxophone; faculty. Head of Instrumental Music at The Mandell School in New York City; has performed with various ensembles and Broadway show tours throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia.

Kelly Oram
, Bassoon
Kelly holds a BM in music education from the Ithaca College School of Music where she studied bassoon with Lee Goodhew. She has 18 years of public school teaching experience and has worked with students of all ages. Kelly currently is the 5th-12th grade instrumental music teacher at Cherry Valley-Springfield Central School, where she has been teaching for the past 12 years. She performs as principal bassoonist in the Catskill Valley Wind Ensemble.

Jillian Honn, Oboe, Reed Workshop


Matthew Oram, Trumpet
Mathew earned a BM in education and performance from the Ithaca College School of Music where he studied trumpet with D. Kim Dunnick. He has been teaching in the public school setting for the last 18 years including 12 years in his current position as instrumental music director at the Gilbertsville-Mount Upton Central School District. Mathew currently performs as principal trumpet in the Catskill Valley Wind Ensemble, lead trumpet in the Leatherstocking Jazz Band, and is a member of the Hill City Brass Quintet based in Oneonta, NY.

Ilze Brink-Button, French Horn
A native of South Africa, she is a former member of the Cape Town Symphony Orchestra. In the United States she has performed with the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra, Glimmerglass Opera Orchestra, Albany Symphony, Cayuga Chamber Orchestra, Utica Symphony Orchestra, Catskill Symphony Orchestra, Symphoria and the Binghamton Philharmonic. Ilze is currently Visiting Lecturer at Cornell University since August 2008 (adjunct horn instructor), and since summer 2017 is a teaching artist at the InterHarmony International Music Festival in Acqui Terme, Italy.

Steve Button, Trombone/Low Brass
Steven earned a Masters Degree in Music Education from the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in trombone performance and Music Education from the Ithaca College School of Music. He has been teaching in the public school setting for the last 28 years including a teaching position at the South African College Schools (SACS) in Cape Town, South Africa, and schools in New York State. Steve has been awarded National Board Certification by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards and has served as Adjunct Faculty at Hamilton College and Colgate University.


Sonya Stith-Williams, Violin, Viola
Sonya is currently the assistant concertmaster of Symphoria. She has played with the Syracuse Symphony, the Buffalo Philharmonic, and many other orchestras in the region and is also active in chamber music performances and recitals throughout the Syracuse area. She received her BM and MM from the Eastman School of Music and is also on faculty at Le Moyne College.

Dr. Joanna Robertson
, Cello
Joanna received her Bachelor’s degrees in Cello Performance from the Crane School of Music and a Master’s Degree in Music Education from the University of Maine. She teaches private lessons in the Syracuse and Utica area. Prior to returning to Upstate New York area, she performed with the Bremerton Symphony (WA), Symphonicity (VA), and the Manassas Symphony Orchestra (VA). Currently, she performs with the Clinton Symphony Orchestra, as well as with Hamilton College. She is also a member of the Aquarius String Quartet.

Jessica Hart Wilbee
, Harp
A graduate of The Eastman School of Music and awarded the Performer’s Certificate for demonstrating outstanding performing ability. Jessica has performed with many orchestras, chamber groups, and Music Festivals from all over the New York and Pennsylvania area including Symphoria! in Syracuse, NY, Lancaster Symphony Orchestra in Lancaster, PA, Erie Chamber Orchestra in Erie, PA, Merry-Go-Round Playhouse in Auburn, NY, and the Endless Mountain Music Festival in Wellsboro, PA.


Ada Jeon
Ms. Jeon earned a Bachelor of Music Degree and a Master of Music Degree from the Eastman School of Music, University of Rochester. As an avid chamber and solo musician, she has performed extensively throughout the US and Europe at venues such as the Grainger Ballroom at Symphony Center, Chicago Cultural Center, the Harris Theatre for Music and Dance, Bennett- Gordon Hall @ Ravinia, Kilbourn Hall, Bargemusic, Spectrum, Roulette, Moulin d’Ande Académie Internationale in France, Tel-Hai International Masterclasses in Israel, the Aspen Music Festival, and the Bowdoin Music Festival. She currently resides in New York City as a freelance musician and educator.

Sayaka Tanikawa
Ms. Tanikawa earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Columbia University, a Master of Music Degree from the Yale School of Music (awarded Artist Diploma), and a Doctor of Musical Arts Degree from the Manhattan School of Music. Sayaka is an Adjunct Professor at Hunter College, City University of New York (teaching Piano, Chamber Music & Music History), with prior teaching positions at Purchase College (State University of New York), Manhattan School of Music and the Yale School of Music. She is an avid chamber and solo performer, with solo performances at Carnegie Weill Recital Hall, Alice Tully Hall, the Caramoor Music Festival, the Metropolitan Museum of Art of New York, Suntory Hall in Tokyo and Davies Hall in San Francisco; appearances as a soloist with the Fort Worth Chamber Orchestra, the Bergen Philharmonic, among others.


Billy Petito
Currently teaching at the Eastman Community Music School and studying at the Eastman School of Music; he performs many styles of music, from jazz, rock, funk, R&B, blues and classical, and is adept at playing bass, piano, banjo, mandolin, and ukulele. Billy regularly collaborates with filmmakers, animators and other composers in order to produce music for film and commercials, and has collaborated and recorded guitar tracks for a multitude of brand-name companies. In the summer of 2015 Petito was appointed guitar and music theory faculty at Miclen Laipang’s Southeast Asia Music Festival, located in the southern Philippines.


Neva Pilgrim
Artist-In-Residence, Colgate University Music Department Faculty, Recording Artist, Vocal Studio at Colgate University, New York City and Syracuse, NY. Ms. Pilgrim is known throughout the country for her extensive work with composers, many of whom have written for her. She appeared regularly in recital, and as soloist with orchestras, having performed with the Chicago Symphony, New York Philharmonic, Brooklyn Philharmonic, Syracuse Symphony and Clarion Concerts. She concertized in Japan, Canada, and Europe and appeared at such festivals as Tanglewood, Marlboro, Monadnock, Ravinia, Saratoga Baroque, and Chatauqua, as well as the International Computer Music Festival. She has released over 20 recordings and is one of the three founding members of the Society for New Music. She graduated magna cum laude from Hamline University, received a Master of Music from Yale, and studied at the Vienna Academy of Music on a Ditson Fellowship.

Corrie Raulli


Sean Lowery, Jr.
BM, Eastman School of Music, University of Rochester; Percussion faculty at EUSMC for the past three years. Sean performs all styles of music from classical, jazz, and rock, with performances at The Kennedy Center (Washington, DC), Kilbourn Hall and the Eastman Theater (Rochester, NY).

— Faculty subject to change; additional Faculty pending —