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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.


Kyle English Camp Director, 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.



Dr. Thomas Gamboa Conductor of Symphonic Band, Wind Ensemble

Dr. Thomas Gamboa is originally from San Diego, California. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in Music Education and Music Performance in bassoon. He also earned a Master of Music degree in wind conducting from Northwestern University where he studied with Mallory Thompson and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in wind conducting from the University of Michigan where he studied with Michael Haithcock. Gamboa was a conductor for the United States Air Force Band where he held the rank of Captain and served active duty as the Conductor and Commander of the United States Air Force Band at Robins Air Force Base, Georgia. He later served as Associate Conductor and Flight Commander of the U.S. Air Forces in Europe Band at Ramstein Air Base, Germany. As an educator, Dr. Gamboa taught in the Los Angeles Unified School District at West Adams Preparatory High School in inner-city Los Angeles as the Instrumental Music Director and Music Department Chair. He was also an instructor for the National High School Music Institute in the areas of conducting and chamber music, in addition to his duties as Assistant Conductor for the NHSMI Wind Ensemble. During the summer, Dr. Gamboa teaches drum major camps for high school and middle school students with the United Spirit Association. He currently serves as the Chair of the Conducting Curriculum Team and has been teaching conducting for 20 years.Dr. Gamboa currently teaches at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music holding the position of Assistant Professor of Music and Assistant Director of Wind Studies. At CCM, he serves as the music director of the Wind Ensemble, teaches undergraduate- and graduate-level conducting courses, supervises music education interns, and directs the Cognate Program in Wind Conducting for doctoral students.

David Soto Conductor of Symphonic Band, Wind Ensemble

Conductor and music educator David Soto serves as Director of Bands at Hofstra University where he conducts both the Wind Ensemble and the Symphonic Band.  He formerly held the positions of Director of Bands at Hartwick College, Associate Director of the Hartwick College Summer Music Festival, Director of Bands at Oneonta High School and Brass Chairperson for NYSSMA.

For over 30 years he was Director of Bands at North Shore High School in Glen Head, Long Island where he led the Wind Symphony, Pep Band, Pit Orchestra, Jazz Ensemble, Brass Ensemble and Marching Band.  Under David’s direction, the North Shore Wind Symphony consistently earned superior ratings at the annual New York State Music Major Organization Festival, and from 2005 until 2020, they performed in Argentina, Austria, Canada, Cuba, the Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain and Uruguay.

David is highly acclaimed as an educator and is an active member of the Music Educators National Association, the College Music Society, the New York State School Music Association, the National Band Association, the Nassau Music Educators Association and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia.  He serves as Brass Adjudicator and Major Organization Judge for the New York State School Music Association.  He has been listed in Who’s Who Among American Teachers since 2006 and holds a lifetime honorary membership in the Tri-M Music Honor Society for his work with student musicians.  In 2018, David was honored as Band Director of the Year by the New York State Band Directors Association. Perhaps closest to his heart, however, is the Teacher of the Year award, which David received in 2020 from the entire student body and parents of North Shore High School.


Gregory Sisco Conductor of Symphonic Band, Wind Ensemble

Gregory Sisco is a graduate of the Ithaca College School of Music with degrees in Music Education and Saxophone Performance. He is a passionate conductor, educator, and performer in the Long Island area. Currently, he is studying Saxophone Performance as a graduate student at the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College. Greg is a Director of Bands at East Meadow High School in East Meadow and is the Assistant Conductor for the Long Island Youth Orchestra. He has also spent much time working for Interlochen Center for the Arts and Interlochen Arts Camp, in northern Michigan, in the Camp Life Department. As a performer, Greg has performed with top ensembles in the Ithaca area as well as on Long Island. In 2016 he was a featured soloist with the Baldwin High School Wind Symphony on the premiere of a new concerto for saxophone and wind ensemble. In recent years he has also played with the Long Island Wind Ensemble, Northwinds Community Band, and in local musical production pit orchestras. Greg maintains an active performing schedule and private studio on Long Island.

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.

Jon Riss Conductor of Choirs

Jon Riss has served as Director of Choral Activities at Hastings High School and Farragut Middle School in Hastings-on-Hudson, NY since 2013, where he leads an award-winning six-choir program for grades 5 through 12.  In 2016 he was appointed Director of Music at Irvington Presbyterian Church in Irvington, NY.  The same year, Mr. Riss was named a Fellow of the American Guild of Organists, the highest level of professional certification offered by the Guild.  He was also awarded 2nd Prize in the 2009 ACDA National Student Conducting Competition, and the AGO Choir Master Prize in 2013 for attaining the highest score nationwide on the Guild’s choral conducting examination.  Mr. Riss is a NYSSMA All-State Voice and Vocal Jazz adjudicator, and will begin a two-year term as President-Elect of the Westchester County School Music Association this July 1.

Cecilia Myers Conductor of Choirs

Ms. Myers received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Music Education with a major in vocal performance from Knoxville College, Knoxville, Tennessee and her Master of Music Degree from New York University. She has also done course work at Northwestern University, Manhattan School of Music, Westminster Choir College and Teachers College at Columbia University. She began her teaching career in Hopkins Park, Ill and then taught for over 25 years in the Yonkers Public Schools, developing the concert choir, the well known gospel choir, jazz choir, male ensemble, women’s choir, and Honors Choir. As a soloist, Ms. Tucker has performed with the Roanoke Symphony, Yonkers Philharmonic, Symphony St. Paulia, Tri-County Opera Company, New Rochelle Opera Company, The Westchester Opera Company, Reiman Opera Company as Hagar in Henry Mollicone’s “Hotel Eden”, and Manhattan School of Music production of Smetena’s “The Kiss”. Ms. Tucker has performed throughout Europe and the United States and has performed with such opera greats as Martina Arroyo, Florence Quivar, and Diana Soviero. She has performed at the Winter Garden for former President Bill Clinton, Rich Forum in Stamford, Conn., debuted at Alice Tully Hall, performed at Merkin Hall, Carnegie Hall, Weil Recital Hall, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Tarrytown Music Hall and the Apollo. She presently sings in seven languages.

Tom Christensen Conductor of Jazz Ensembles & Jazz Combos, Improvisation

Since his arrival in New York City in 1989, Tom Christensen’s saxophone voice has set him apart. All Music Guide says, “Christensen possesses the goods to be a major force within the global modern jazz arena.” Jazz composers from Toshiko Akiyoshi to David Liebman to Rufus Reid have found fuel for their musical visions in Tom’s dynamic solos. His mastery of double reeds, flutes and clarinets led the Detroit Free Press to describe his work as “fresh, intelligent” music that “honors post-bop improvisation without falling into clichés associated with bebop, modal jazz or the superficial exotica of world music.” Jazz masters from Joe Lovano and Paquito D’Rivera to David Sanchez and Don Sebesky have featured Tom on recordings, and he’s performed and toured with the Maria Schneider Orchestra, the John Hollenbeck Large Ensemble, and the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, to name just a few. Most recently, Tom can be heard with performing with groups led by Cecile McLorin Salvant and Rufus Reid as well as on Reid’s Grammy nominated CD Quiet Pride, David Liebman’s A Tribute to Wayne Shorter, and on Ryan Truesdell’s Grammy nominated The Gil Evans Project: Lines of Color. As bandleader and composer, Tom won a composition grant from Chamber Music America for an extended work based on the poetry of Frank O’Hara. Tom featured the piece on his third solo project, New York School (Playscape), a CD All About Jazz listed as one its Top Ten Jazz Albums of the year. He performs regularly in clubs around New York City and in Broadway’s pit orchestras. Tom is also the co-founder of Sound Footing Records, and he teaches jazz at New York’s prestigious Fieldston School.


Jim Dragovich Conductor of Jazz Ensembles & Jazz Combos

Mr. Dragovich was a band director for the Hewlett-Woodmere Public Schools for thirty-three years, twenty-nine spent as Director of Bands at George W. Hewlett High School. Under his direction the Hewlett bands received numerous awards and recognitions. Both the Hewlett High School Wind Ensemble and Concert Band received Gold ratings at NYSSMA Festivals, the Hewlett Marching Band received a first place award in the NYC Columbus Day Parade and the Hewlett Jazz Orchestra performed at many jazz festivals and conferences including the 2014 NYSSMA Winter Conference.

Mr. Dragovich received his bachelor’s degree in Music Education with a concentration in Percussion from Long Island University, C.W. Post Campus. Upon graduation Mr. Dragovich was offered a graduate assistantship to continues his studies at LIU where he graduated with a master’s degree in Music Education. He went on to serve on the music faculty of LIU Post teaching Percussion Methods for thirteen years. Mr Dragovich also studied at Hofstra University where he received a master’s degree in Wind Conducting. As a conductor Mr. Dragovich has commissioned and conducted the world premieres of numerous works written for both symphonic band and jazz ensemble. Guest soloist with his ensembles include Stanley Drucker, Joseph Alessi, Mike Davis, Cecil Bridgewater, John Riley, Jack Schatz, Dave Pietro, Pete McGuinness, Jim Snidero and Mike Carubia, to name a few. At present Mr. Dragovich is Director of the Nassau Suffolk Jazz Band, an adjudicator for Music in the Parks, Festivals of Music and the Long Island Music Festival while serving as a guest clinician for Educational Tours, Inc.


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.


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.

Jennifer Wharton Trombone/Low Brass

Jennifer Wharton is a low brass specialist based in New York City. Though getting her start classically, Jen has planted deep roots in jazz and commercial music. Jen has held positions on Broadway at West Side Story, King Kong, Beautiful, The Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess, Jekyll and Hyde, Scandalous, Wonderland, 9 to 5 and Curtains, as well as performing as a substitute in many other Broadway productions. She has won the Radio City Christmas Spectacular bass trombone chair five times. In addition to being an in-demand freelancer, Jennifer is an active studio musician. She can be heard streaming on shows like Mrs. Maisel, Schmigadoon, Vivo, and Jerry Seinfeld at The Beacon. Commercials include The Incredibles 2, The Greatest Showman and more. She has also been on over 40 big band recordings since 2009. Jen is a member of multiple Grammy-nominated jazz orchestras, Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society, Alan Ferber Big Band and the Terraza Big Band. She has also performed or recorded with the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, Dizzy Gillespie All Star Band, Woody Herman Orchestra, Ayn Inserto Jazz Orchestra, Jihye Lee Jazz Orchestra, Big Heart Machine, lots of at-home virtual big bands, and with her favorite husband, trombonist/composer John Fedchock. Jennifer released her sophomore album with her band Bonegasm called Not A Novelty on Sunnyside Records in Spring 2021.


Leo Milman Violin, Viola

Leo Milman is a professional violinist and music educator with extensive experience. Leo Milman holds degrees as professional violinist from Kiev School of Music and Minsk Music Academy, where he studied with Olga Parkhomenko, renowned violin professor from Moscow formerly trained under direction of the legendary violinist David Oistrakh. Through years of study Leo inherited the wealth of performance skill, music knowledge and the best European and Russian musical traditions in violin performance. Leo received a diploma with honors from Minsk Music Academy. Later, Leo Milman graduated from St. Rose College with the master’s degree in music Pedagogy. While still a student of Music Academy, Leo received a position of an assistant concertmaster in Minsk Chamber Orchestra. While in that position Leo traveled around East and West Europe as a member of the orchestra as well as a soloist. Currently he holds the position of a conductor of string orchestra in Canajoharie School District. In 2018 Leo Milman was hired by the Empire State Youth Orchestra, where he is the music director and conductor of Concertino String Orchestra.


Amali Premawardhana Cello

Amali Premawardhana, cellist, is a performer and educator based in Greenwich, CT. A native of Chicago, she began learning music at home with her pianist mother. She began cello lessons with Elizabeth Anderson at Chicago’s Merit School of Music, and later with Richard Hirschl of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. She did her undergraduate studies at Indiana University under Tsuyoshi Tsusumi, and completed her degree at the Manhattan School of Music where she studied primarily with Julia Lichten. Amali completed her graduate studies in Music Education at the University of Bridgeport. She did her Suzuki training at the New York School for Strings with Pamela Devenport. As a performer, Amali co-leads Karavika, an ensemble which blends Western chamber music with musical traditions of India and Sri Lanka. Karavika has been hailed as “a soulful blend of classical and folk traditions” by the New York Times, and enjoys performing and conducting workshops around New York City and beyond. They are active performing members of Brooklyn Raga Massive, a leading community of Indian music artists. Amali also performs regularly with the Distinguished Concerts International of New York Orchestra, whose concert seasons are based at Carnegie Hall. Her performing career has taken her to concert halls and venues across the US, Europe and Sri Lanka with ensembles and organizations such Akshara Music Ensemble, the Black Rock Coalition Orchestra, the Classical Revolution Festival, and the New Directions Cello Festival.


Ada Jeon Piano

Born in Chicago, prize winning pianist Ada Arumeh Lowery works as a freelance musician in New York City. She has performed extensively throughout the USA in venues such as the Grainger Ballroom at Symphony Center, the Chicago Cultural Center, Bennett-Gordon Hall at Ravinia, BargeMusic, and Spectrum New Music (NYC). An active chamber and solo musician, pianist Ada Jeon has performed extensively in the United States, Europe, and the Middle East. Current projects include her duo with oboist Erin Lensing, commissioning new works by female composers, and recording the complete vocal works of Australian composer, Aristéa Mellos. Past projects include performances with Contemporaneous, Julia Adolphe’s one act opera Sylvia at Bargemusic and collaborations with cellist Mariel Roberts. In addition to her busy performing and teaching schedule, Ada performs at countless community retirement homes, libraries, and schools focusing on making music accessible to every age. Ada received both Bachelor and Master degrees from the Eastman School of Music in Piano Performance and Literature. Ada resides in the New York City area with her husband and two dogs.

Young Kim Piano

Young Kim has performed internationally as a soloist in recitals and with orchestras, in addition to appearing numerous times as a chamber musician. A native of South Korea, Kim performed in major concert venues in Korea. In Russia, she appeared as a soloist with the Saint Petersburg State Capella Symphony Orchestra. Since moving to the Capital District of NY in 2000, she appeared as a soloist with Schenectady Symphony Orchestra and Glens Falls Symphony Orchestra and performed solos and chamber music actively in the area. In 2019, Dr. Kim was inducted into the Steinway & Sons Teacher Hall of Fame, a prestigious designation recognizing the work of most committed and passionate piano educators. In addition, she was the recipient of the 2016 Thomas A. Manion Distinguished Faculty Award at the College of Saint Rose, where she was a Professor of Piano from 2002-2021. She has been frequently invited to present lectures, recitals, and piano master classes in Asia, Europe and in the US. Kim holds a Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Minnesota, an Artist Diploma from Yale University, a Master of Music from The Juilliard School, and her Bachelor of Music from Seoul National University. She is currently a Visiting Senior Artist-in-Residence at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY.


Martina Liviero Guitar

Martina Liviero is a composer, guitarist and vocalist from Buenos Aires, Argentina, currently based in New York City. She was the recipient of the 2020 and 2019 ASCAP Young Jazz Composer Awards and the 2019 JEN Young Jazz Composer Showcase Award. She holds a degree from Berklee College of Music, where she majored in Jazz Composition (Summa Cum Laude), having received the Thad Jones and the Toshiko Akiyoshi Awards from the Jazz Composition department. Internationally renowned ensembles such as the New York Philharmonic Strings and the Army Jazz Ambassadors Big Band have performed her arrangements and compositions.

Liviero’s sound effortlessly blends the complexity and sophistication of contemporary chamber music and ensemble jazz with Argentinian and other South American strains. Martina has performed extensively in several venues from the New York and Boston areas (Rockwood Music Hall, Regatta Bar, Berklee Performance Center, The Lilypad, Consulate General of Argentina, among others) with some of the best young musicians from the New York jazz scene.

Billy Petito Guitar

Billy works as a music teacher, guitarist, keyboardist, bassist, composer, and producer based out of Rochester, NY. Originally from the Washington, DC area, Petito earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Jazz Guitar Performance and Music Education with a Minor in Audio Engineering from the Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester. He performs many styles of music, from jazz, rock, funk, R&B, blues and classical. 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. Petito was appointed guitar and music theory faculty at Miclen Laipang’s Southeast Asia Music Festival, located in the southern Philippines.


Dr. Chelsea Melamed Vocal Coach

A California native, Dr. Chelsea Melamed is an accomplished mezzo-soprano and voice teacher. Chelsea holds a Doctoral degree in Voice from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM), an MM in Voice from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and a BM in Voice from Lawrence University. This fall, Dr. Melamed will be a Visiting Artist Professor of Voice at Shenandoah University. Chelsea’s singing encompases a wide variety of genres and styles. Recent performance highlights include Heggie’s Camille Claudel; a song cycle for mezzo, the creation of the role Jiyan in Leanna Kirchoff’s opera Friday After Friday, Dinah in Trouble in Tahiti (Opera Santa Barbara), the creation of Firdaus Noman in Perla’s Shalimar the Clown (Cincinnati Opera), and Cherubino in The Marriage of Figaro (Pittsburgh Festival Opera). Chelsea has been a featured recitalist at SongFest (Stern Fellow), Toronto Summer Music (Voice Fellow), and the Carnegie Hall Notables Soirée.

— Faculty subject to change; additional Faculty pending —

Contact Us
  • Eastern U.S. Music Camp
  • Dana Arts Center
  • Colgate University
  • Hamilton, NY 13346
  • Eastern U.S. Music Camp
  • 7 Brook Hollow Rd
  • Ballston Lake, NY 12019