Faculty Biographies

Faculty

  • Ben Ellis

    Ben Ellis

    Guitar Instructor

    Ben Elllis is an adjunct professor of guitar and director of the Classical Guitar Ensemble at Hobart and William Smith Colleges (HWS). In addition to a Bachelor’s degree from the SUNY Fredonia School of Music, Ellis holds a Master’s degree in Classical Guitar Performance from Syracuse University, studying under Dr. Kenneth Meyer, a renowned classical guitarist from Geneva. Ellis performs as both a soloist and chamber musician with such groups as the Syracuse Vocal Ensemble, Syracuse University’s Hendricks Chapel Choir, HWS Chorale, Syracuse Opera, and as part of the Great Lakes Guitar Quartet. As a member and co-founder of the LaLena-Ellis Duo, he plays in the Syracuse area, runs a private studio in Syracuse, and serves as a board member and competition coordinator for the Great Lakes Guitar Society.

  • Kit Fallon

    Kit Fallon

    Fiddle Instructor

    Kit Fallon has been a teaching and performing fiddler for over 40 years. She has lived in Geneva for 17 years, offering classes and individual fiddle lessons to adults and youth, and performs in several area music groups including Miller’s Wheel (old-time and novelty music) and Unholy Alliance (fiddle/banjo music featuring Appalachian and Adirondack styles) that perform regularly at area venues and events.

    She loves teaching fiddle because she believes it’s the greatest thing in the world to do! Kit sees her job as fiddle teacher is to share the joy and enthusiasm with students and to show them how to “get there.” Playing fiddle opens doors to a world of community music and fellow musicians at workshops, festivals, and jam sessions where musicians at all levels are ready to share their tips and welcome new players into the circle.

    Your talent is there.

    There’s an old Irish expression, “Every tinker has his own way of dancing.” Each student has his/her own unique strengths and learning models that work best for them. Kit works with each individual to discover and build upon these while strengthening areas where they are more challenged. The group dynamic of the Beginning Fiddle class works well to enhance ear training and build synergy among the musicians, but she also work one-on-one with each student in the class.

  • Julianna Gray

    Julianna Gray

    Suzuki Violin Instructor

    Julianna Gray began Suzuki violin lessons at the age of two in her hometown of Corning, New York. She was involved with an active Suzuki program as a child and has performed throughout the United States and Canada. She holds a Bachelors Degree in Violin Performance from the University of Oregon, where she was a cum laude student of Fritz Gearhart. While pursuing her Masters Degree in Violin Performance at Ithaca College, she was a teaching assistant to Susan Waterbury and completed her long term training in Suzuki Pedagogy with Sandy Reuning. Julianna has held Suzuki violin teaching positions at the University of Oregon and on the faculty of Ithaca Talent Education. She is currently adjunct violin faculty at St. Peter’s Community Arts Academy and maintains a private Suzuki violin studio. An avid player and active recitalist, Julianna has played with many of the area orchestras. She now lives in Rochester, performs with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and is on the faculty of the Hochstein School of Music and Dance.

  • MaryAnn Hamilton

    MaryAnn Hamilton

    Adult Mixed Choir Instructor

    MaryAnn Hamilton was named to the position of Parish Musician at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church upon completion of her Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the Eastman School of Music, Rochester, NY in May 2000. MaryAnn plays the organ for Sunday services and directs the Adult Mixed Choir. MaryAnn also holds a Master of Sacred Music degree from Union Theological Seminary, NYC, where she studied choral conducting with Abraham Kaplan. In addition to her work at St. Peter’s and St. peter’s Community Arts Academy, Ms. Hamilton serves as Colleges Organist at Hobart and William Smith Colleges.

  • Christine McElhenny

    Christine McElhenny

    Musical Beginnings Instructor

    Christine McElhenny grew up in the Coal Region of Pennsylvania, singing in community choirs and performing in school musicals from a young age. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Lafayette College in Easton, PA, where she continued voice instruction and enjoyed moving and performing in Black Box theater productions. She moved to Geneva in 2009. She and her two daughters were first exposed to St. Peter’s Community Arts Academy through a similar music and movement class; both girls are still students of the Arts Academy today. Christine believes parenting is a gift and that working with children is an honor. She looks forward to serving the community in this creative way.

  • Suzanne Murphy

    Suzanne Murphy

    Voice Instructor

    Suzanne Murphy – Mezzo-Soprano – earned a B.M. in Music Education and Vocal Performance from Ithaca College and an M.M. degree in Vocal Performance from Yale University. At the Yale School of Music she studied with Phyllis Curtin and Richard Lalli. Ms. Murphy has taught in the Massachusetts Public School System and at the Suzuki Music School in New Haven, Connecticut, as well as teaching private studio lesson. She has performed with the Providence Opera, the Cabot Street Playhouse (Ocean State Light Opera) and the Cornell Savoyards. In addition, Ms. Murphy has been alto soloist for such major works as Bach’s Mass in B minor, Vivaldi’s Gloria, and Handel’s Messiah. Most recently, she has performed as the Second Lady in Geneva light Opera’s performance of The Magic Flute. Suzanne is a member of the Boston Byzantine Choir, a group devoted to preserving Byzantine Chant in English. The BBC has achieved wide critical acclaim and has published two albums of Byzantine Chant. She is experienced teaching at all levels of ability.

  • Alaina Olivieri

    Alaina Olivieri

    Dance Instructor

    Alaina Olivieri is a movement artist and collaborator with Rochester, New York based professional contemporary dance companies BIODANCE (Missy Pfohl Smith) and Hanlon Dance & Company (Eran David P. Hanlon). She is also a guest performer with KDiehl Danceworks, Melanie Aceto Contemporary Dance, KT Insights, Heather Roffe Dance and Daystar Dance. She performs locally and nationally in festivals, theaters, galleries, and Universities and appears in dance on camera and photography. Olivieri graduated Summa Cum Laude with her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Dance from The College at Brockport. It was there that she was awarded the Friars Foundation Award for Talent and Academic Achievement in the Performing Arts. Prior to her move to Brockport, Olivieri studied at The School of the Hartford Ballet, NYSSSA at Skidmore College, and SUNY Geneseo, where she received the Hubert and Gertrude Chanler Scholarship for Excellence in Dance. Ms. Olivieri serves as Head of the Dance Studio at St. Peter’s Community Arts Academy.

  • Loraine Schoenfield

    Loraine Schoenfield

    Suzuki Violin and Viola Instructor

    Loraine Schoenfield began violin studies at age 10 in Detroit, where she won local, State, and regional competitions, awards for T.V. appearances, and scholarships from the National Federation of Music Clubs to study with Ivan Galamian and Josef Gingold at The Meadowmount School, and with Mischa Mischakoff at the Chautauqua Institution. In 1966, as a college student, Loraine worked as assistant concertmaster for James Levine and Robert Shaw at Detroit’s Meadowbrook Festival. Soon after, she won a core position with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. Concertizing across the US, Italy, Austria, and Germany, and holding teaching positions for thirtyseven years in three states, she won special recognition from The President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities in 1996 for teaching violin to at-risk youth, through generous grants to Toledo Symphony, and Lucas County Juvenile Court System.

  • Troy Slocum

    Troy Slocum

    Piano Instructor

    Troy Slocum is a cum laude graduate of Nazareth College of Rochester with a B.M. in Piano Performance. Troy has also pursued graduate studies in Piano Performance at Syracuse University. Troy is an active recitalist and accompanist in the Rochester/Geneva area. He has performed solo and chamber works in various venues throughout the region and is a versatile pianist, comfortable in several styles of music from cocktail piano to classical. Troy taught previously in the Rochester area and has had several award winning students in various piano competitions. He has been active in local and national music organizations and is a past President of the New York State Federation of Music Clubs, a member of the national Federation of Music Clubs, National Guild of Piano teachers, and the Music Teachers National Association. Mr. Slocum is currently adjunct piano faculty at Hobart and William Smith Colleges and Head of the Piano Studio at St. Peter’s Community Arts Academy.

     

  • Joyce Stanzel

    Joyce Stanzel

    Piano Instructor

    Joyce Stanzel is an experienced Music Educator, with a Bachelor of Music degree from Eastman School of Music, and graduate hours from Nazareth College, Eastman, and SUNY at Brockport. Having studied with Don Campbell, author of The Mozart Effect, she founded her company, Visible Sound, which provides informational seminars which teach ways to enhance health, wellness, and learning through music. Her professional memberships include the National Federation of Music Blubs, National Guild of Piano Teachers’ Guild. She currently lives in Webster. Ms. Stanzel is organist for Bethlehem Lutheran Church and piano faculty at St. Peter’s Community Arts Academy.

  • Wendra Trowbridge

    Wendra Trowbridge

    Community Choir and Voice Instructor

    Wendra Trowbridge received her BM and MM in Vocal Performance from Ithaca College School of Music. She has extensive experience with private training of voices at all levels, is currently adjunct voice faculty at Hobart and William Smith Colleges and has previously taught at Ithaca College. She has previously taught vocal music in the New York public school system and has conducted honor choirs for Central New York schools. Her own performances include numerous tours with the Celebrant Singers throughout the United States and fourteen countries. She has also performed in various recitals and operas throughout New York State including Glimmerglass Opera in Cooperstown, NY and Ithaca Opera Association. Wendra is Musical Director for three St. Peter’s Community Arts Academy Children’s Choirs.