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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.


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, Director of Bands at North Shore High School in Long Island conducts numerous ensembles including the wind symphony, marching band, pep band, drum line, pit orchestra and the brass ensemble. While at North Shore High School, he has led the Wind Symphony on international performance tours to Austria, Argentina, Canada, Croatia, Cuba, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy, Spain, Slovenia, and Uruguay and in February 2020 to Greece. In 2006, he was listed in the Who’s Who Among American Teachers and last year he was selected as the 2018 New York State Band Director of the Year by the New York State Band Director’s Association. He is 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, where he has chaired a festival, and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia. He has taught at Hartwick College, Oneonta High School, and the New York State Music Camp and Festival.

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.

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.

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.

Brian Ackles Conductor of Choirs

Brian Ackles holds a Bachelor of Music in Music Education from Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey and a Master of Music in Music Education from the University of Texas, San Antonio. As a music educator for the past thirty-one years, Brian has taught elementary through the high school level in both Texas and New York. Mr. Ackles is currently the vocal music teacher for Marcellus High School in Marcellus, New York, and the choir director for the Skaneateles First Presbyterian Church. An active conductor and vocalist, Mr. Ackles performs and conducts community choirs, including the Syracuse Vocal Ensemble, as well as junior high and senior high music festivals in the upstate New York area. His current work focuses on the development of a new student-centered music education paradigm The Agile Development Instructional Framework (ADIF), recently published by the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) in the September 2018 issue of the Choral Journal. His summers are spent on Skaneateles lake as a captain for the Mid-Lakes Navigations’ mail boat and dinner cruises.

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.


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, Jazz Combos

Based in Brooklyn NY, composer, band leader, and woodwind artist Johnathan Lowery is an active freelancer specializing in both jazz and classical genres for independent artists and commercial music throughout the greater New York City area. John earned his B.M. at the Eastman School of Music, completing a double major in Jazz Studies and Contemporary Media and Music Education. He also served as Adjunct Saxophone and Piano Instructor at New York University, where he completed his M.M. in Jazz Studies. Currently, John is on faculty at the Ethical Culture Fieldston School. He performs regularly with various groups including the Grammy nominated Terraza Big Band, the Grammy nominated band leader/composer Remy Le Boeuf with his group Assembly of Shadows, the Erica Seguine/Shannon Baker Jazz Orchestra, and the BMI Jazz Orchestra. In addition, John performs regularly with the Jazz Gallery’s Jazz Composer Showcase series, as a substitute on Mean Girls the Musical by Tina Fey, and most recently for the Public Theatre’s production Soft Power by Tony award winners David Henry Hwang and Jeanine Tesori.

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.


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 Piano

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.

Nick Weiser Piano

Dr. Nick Weiser is a communicative artist skilled not only as a pianist, conductor, and bandleader, but as a composer, arranger, educator, and scholar. He has performed to acclaim as a soloist and collaborator in numerous idioms. Diligence, curiosity, and love of music led him from his tiny hometown of Dighton, Kansas first to the University of Kansas, and then on to the Eastman School of Music, where he earned his M.M. and D.M.A. in the Department of Jazz Studies & Contemporary Media. Weiser has dazzled audiences around the United States and in Europe with performances at the Santiago de Cuba International Jazz Festival, the Montreux Jazz Festival, the Umbria Jazz Festival, the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival, New York City’s “Prez Fest,” and Carnegie Hall. A passionate and dedicated educator, Weiser has been the architect and director of the Jazz Studies curriculum at the State University of New York at Fredonia since the program began in 2017. Among his duties at SUNY Fredonia, Weiser is proud to conduct two stellar big bands, the Fredonia Jazz Orchestra and the DownBeat award-winning New Jazz Ensemble. In the greater Fredonia community, Weiser serves as artistic director of the Fredonia Jazz Society, which he co-founded, performing regularly and facilitating concerts sponsored by the organization. Prior to coming to Fredonia, Weiser taught at Ithaca College from 2011 to 2017 and at Cornell University from 2013 to 2017, and has maintained a private teaching studio for many years.


Garrett Mader Guitar

Garrett is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music living in Rochester, New York. Hailing from the Washington D.C area, Garrett had many opportunities in his teenage years to learn from incredible players and educators such as Alan Baylock, Matt Neiss, and Chuck Underwood. He was a member of the National Jazz Workshop All-Star big band from 2014-2015 and through that had the opportunity to work with Wynton Marsalis and Doc Severinsen. Garrett has worked with jazz performers Gary Versace, Bill Dobbins, Bob Sneider, Clay Jenkins, and many more, while also playing in several bands. A jack of all trades, Garrett enjoys playing many genres and loves nothing more than bringing an audience to their feet and moving their bodies, hearts, and minds.

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.


Neva Pilgrim Vocal

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.


Sean Lowery, Jr. Percussion

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 —

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