Just as important as their talent and experience, our music instructors are also great teachers. They offer patient, personal attention to each and every student, making the learning process as easy and enjoyable as possible.
Our staff of professional music instructors includes:
Bonnie Cochran - Vinnie Penella - Jessica Popik - Katherine McWilliams - Billl Fanning - Bill Tower - Ed Clough - Patricia Lake - Mark Holovnia - Matt Capobianco - Dr. Luis Torres - Louise Hetzler - Bob Simonelli - Tom Lubelczyk - Bryan Wrenn - Arnie Krakowsky - Scott Knopf (NEW!)
Scott Knopf - Violina, Viola & Cello: Scott Knopf holds an AB from Harvard and an MM in String Performance from Boston University. He is presently a member of the Massachusetts Symphony, the Hillyer Festival Orchestra, Opera North, and the Green Mountain Opera Festival, and PORTopera. He has played with chamber ensembles throughout New England as well as the Springfield Symphony, the Portland Symphony Orchestra, the Rhode Island Philharmonic, The Masterworks Chorale Orchestra, the New Hampshire Music Festival, and the Montovani Orchestra on tours of the United States and Japan.
His violin and viola can be heard on various local artist's CDs as well as on the soundtracks of several PBS American Experience documentaries. Mr. Knopf has successfully directed several public school orchestras as well as the violin program of the New England Conservatory Lab Charter School. He has received Suzuki teacher training and taught/coached many students who have won auditions for Boston's youth orchestras as well as District and All-State festivals. He has led student orchestras and coached chamber groups which have received awards for excellence in MENC-sponsored adjudications.
Bonnie Cochran - Flute & Piccolo: Ms. Cochran has earned her Master's degree in flute performance from Boston Conservatory and has taught ages 7 to adult for 18 years. She teaches in Marlboro and Northboro public schools and regularly has students participating in festivals and summer institutes. Her primary flute teachers have included Linda Toote, Elinor Preble and Paul Brittan.
As a recording artist, Bonnie regularly records both student and faculty compositions for Berklee College of Music, including many film scores. In collaboration with harpist Sarah Manning Stuart, Bonnie recorded the CD Song and Dance, a collection of flute music including several of Bonnie's original compositions. Her compositions have been performed in numerous concerts across the United States including performances at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall (2005), the Greater Boston Flute Association Flute Fair (2002), Washington State Capitol (2008), MIT, Harvard University, The Boston Conservatory, and Agnes Scott College. Her arrangement of Silent Night can be heard on Harpist Sarah Anne Manning's Winter Wonderland CD. (www.bonniecochran.net)
Vincent Penella - Flute, Saxophone & Clarinet: Mr. Penella attended Berklee College of Music in Boston, where he studied classical and jazz saxophone with woodwind master Joe Viola. He has been teaching for 40 years, from ages 8 to adult. He taught classical and jazz studies along with jazz band director and music theory labs at Binghamton College in New York. He has also taught at the Marshfield Public Schools and the Indian Hill Music Center, and sent countless students to the All State and District festivals. Along with his private teaching, he also does freelance performances in New York City and the Boston area. Mr. Penella has played with the Lionel Hampton Orchestra, productions at Joseph Papp Public Theatre in NYC, the Tom Jones International Tour, the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, the Larry Elgart Orchestra, the 18th Army Band, the Worcester Jazz Orchestra and many others.
Popik - Clarinet: Ms. Popik holds a Bachelor's degree in Music Performance from the University of
Massachusetts at Lowell and graduated Magna Cum Laude. She is experienced with preparing students for Junior and Senior Districts, and All State and has been teaching private lessons for 12 years, ages 8 to adult. Jess is currently on staff for Westminster Elementary and the Oakmont-Overlook Marching Spartans as an instrumental instructor. While attending school,
she performed as principal clarinet in the UMass Lowell Wind Ensemble, Mixed
Chamber Ensemble, University Orchestra, and Concert Band. Currently, Jessica is
performing under the direction of Paul Surapine with the Claflin Hill Summer
Wind Ensemble and the Indian Hill Clarinet Choir. She also appears in Boston
with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Concert Band. She has studied with David Martins and Paul Surapine.
Photography by: © Charles Saulters II http://charlessaultersmedia.com
Katherine McWilliams - Bassoon & Oboe: Ms. McWilliams received a Bachelor of Music in Bassoon Performance from the University of Lowell, MA and a Master of Music in Woodwind Performance from Boston University. After completing her degree at Boston University, she was a scholarship recipient for two summers with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Institute. Katherine has been teaching private double reed lessons for over 20 years and has taught in the East Bridgewater, Westwood, Foxboro, and Ashland school districts, The Metrowest Performing Arts Center, and The Music Nook. Many of her students have gone on to be musicians themselves and many (while not majoring in music) have been able to keep up their playing in college and after college. She has performed with the Boston Ballet Orchestra, Boston Lyric Opera, Opera New England, The Company Theater, The Falmouth Chorale, The Newton Chorale, The Dedham Chorale, The Boston College Chorale and with many other orchestras and choruses in the New England area.
Bill Fanning - Trumpet & Flugelhorn: As a trumpeter, composer and teacher Mr. Fanning began his professional playing while still in high school, performing in street parades with the Worcester Brass Band. Bill received his Master's degree in Music from New England Conservatory and has been teaching private lessons for 25 years. His students range from ages 8 to adult. While at the Conservatory, Bill studied improvisation with Jon McNeil, Jerry Bergonzi, George Garzone, and Bob Brookmeyer. He also performed with Jon Faddis, Maria Schneider and George Russell. Currently he is on staff at the Stow Public Schools and helps prepare his students for college auditions and District Festivals.
Bill has toured with the Artie Shaw Band, the Benny Goodman Tribute Band, and has played with the Nelson Riddle Orchestra. He has also performed with pop artists The O'Jays, The Temptations, Little Anthony and the Imperials, and Lou Christie. Bill is currently a member of the Jeff Coffin Mutet. (www.fanmanmusic.com)
William Tower - Trumpet: Mr. Tower has holds a Master's in Music from New England Conservatory, and has been teachingmusic students ages 8 to adult for 30 years. As well as teaching, he has coached his students for the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra and taught at the Norwood and Belmont Public Schools. Bill has also studied music at The Curtis Institute of Music and Julliard School of Music. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Music Education. Bill has studied under many teachers, including John Coffey, Samuel Krauss, Armando Ghitalla, Gilbert Johnson, William Vacchiano and Roger Voisin. His wide range of study has allowed him to perform on many different avenues, including the New Orleans Symphony Orchestra, and the US Army Field Band in Washington D.C. His freelance work in New England has allowed him to perform in orchestras, chamber ensembles, big bands and solo gigs.
Ed Clough - Trombone: Mr. Clough attended Boston University for Music Performance, and has studied trombone with Ronald Barron, William Harris, and members of Empire Brass. In 1986 he was one of the founding members of Boston Brass, a professional touring ensemble based in Boston. By 2006, Boston Brass was performing more than 100 concerts a year and as many as 50 master-classes in both high schools and colleges as performing artists with Conn-Selmer Corporation. Ed can be heard as the trombonist on the 14 records he has recorded with Boston Brass ranging from classical tunes like Within Earshot and Stealing the Show to jazz pieces such as Ya Gotta Try and Christmas Bells are Swinging.
Ed also has a long history teaching students of all ages. For 30 years he has taught individual lessons for beginners to college age performance majors. He says he likes to use "music theory, history, and even singing to give his students a complete grasp of music performance". Ed specializes in coaching brass trios, quartets and quintets, and encourages all his students to participate in district preparation, regardless of their ability level.
His freelance experience ranges from classical orchestras and chamber music to jazz and pit orchestras to R&B bands. He is currently freelancing, teaching, and laying the foundations for a new ensemble that will perform brass music in New England.
Patricia Lake - Horn: Ms. Lake attended UMass Lowell as a Music Major and has maintained a very active private horn studio for over 28 years, teaching ages 10 to adult. Her experience helps her prepare students for the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra, Festivals and college auditions. She has studied with Chloe Nestor, Jeanne Paella and Ellen Michaud-Martin. Currently Patti owns and operates her own business called "The Joyful Noise Project" which provides music classes and theatre experiences for Pre-School through Grade 8 students in the greater Central MA area. A previous teacher at the Cornerstone Christian Academy in Franklin, Patricia currently works throughout the Greater Boston area as a freelance pit and orchestral musician, and has also completed training with the Music Together, Musikgarten and Orff-Shukwerk. She is a present member of the International Horn Society, ECCMA and the Orff-Shulwerk Association.
Mark Holovnia - Drums: Mr. Holovnia attended Westfield State College and has been teaching privately for 8 years, ages 10 to adult. He studied with the late Alan Dawson in Boston and Jeff Hamilton in Los Angeles. Previously, he served for 20 years as faculty for the Jazz in July Summer Music Program at UMass Amherst. Current touring credits include: The Artie Shaw Orchestra including a "Battle of the Bands" at the 2010 and 2011 Montreal Jazz Festival. Mark performed with Steve Lippia's "Simply Sinatra" tour, which included concerts with the symophonies in Hartford, Springfield, Richmond, Corpus Christie, Las Cruces, Kansas City, Cape Cod and Portland. He also works locally with the Dick Odgren Trio and numerous other local artists. Among the bands and artists here and on the west coast Mark has performed/toured with are: Woody Herman's Thundering Herd, Supersax, Frank Capp's Juggernaut, The Glenn Miller Orchestra, Dick Johnson, Sheila Jordan, Nnenna Freelon, The Modernaires, Herb Pomeroy, The Four Freshman, Harry James Orchestra, and The Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra.
Matthew Capobianco - Violin, Viola, Cello & Bass: Mr. Capobianco holds a Master's Degree in Music Performance from Boston Conservatory, and has been teaching private lessons for 14 years. He has adjudicated District Festivals, as well as being Suzuki Certified to teach ages 4 and up. He received his Bachelor of Music in Performance from Pennsylvania State University, and was a member of the President's String Quartet at Boston Conservatory. Matt has studied with acclaimed Boston cellist Rhonda Rider and internationally acclaimed cellist Kim Cook. Matt is a member of the Albany Symphony Orchestra and has performed with various orchestras including the Worcester Consortium, Massachusetts Symphony, Thayer Symphony, Symphony by the Sea, Lexington Sinfonietta, Bangor Symphony and the Vermont Symphony. He is also an active solo player and chamber musician in and around Worcester where he currently resides. Additionally, Matt previously instructed cello for special programs in Billerica, Dracut and Westborough.
Dr. Luis Torres - Violin, Viola & Piano: Dr. Torres earned his Doctorate in Science of Education from Army Polytechnic in Quito, Ecuador, as well as holding a Bachelor of Arts in Music and a Masters Degree in Science of Education from the University of Azuay in Cuenca, Ecuador. He has taught private music lessons for 28 years all over the world, including violin and piano at Cuenca National Conservatory of Music and the University of Azuay. Dr. Torres is active as a violinist, composer and conductor in the Central Massachusetts area. He previously taught violin at the Thayer Community Music School, Atlantic Union College Conservatory and the Performing Arts School of Worcester. Dr. Torres has also participated in the Bard Conductors Institute in New York under the direction of Maestro Harold Faberman as well as the International Master Class for Orchestral Conductors in the Tchaikovsky Conservatory of Moscow under the direction of Maestro Gennady Rozhdestvensky. He has won several first place national composition and composer competitions held in South America. Currently on staff at the Shrewsbury Public Schools, Dr. Torres also founded the David French Orchestra in 2010.
Louise Hetzler - Piano & Voice: Ms. Hetzler is an experienced teacher, singer-songwriter and folk musician as well as a certified teacher and speech language pathologist who has been teaching ages 5 thru adult for 10 years. She spent many years as a school speech-language pathologist in grades K-12 and is now following her passion for the arts-creating, performing, and teaching. Louise has been playing piano and guitar for over 40 years and teaches piano, guitar and voice Her self-produced album, On Clear Water, has eighteen original songs that emphasize peace, love and environmental awareness. The accompanying curriculum guide was designed to use music to improve language and auditory processing skills.
Bob Simonelli - Piano: Mr. Simonelli has been teaching students of all ages since 1975, over 40 years. He has worked as a solo pianist and led his own combo in numerous venues around central New England. He has studied jazz piano with Dick Odgren and Geri DeMarco and both saxophone and arranging with Henry "Boots" Mussulli. He has also played saxophone in many area jazz and dance bands working in a variety of orchestras and groups doing floor shows and musicals. Bob appears in the Jazz History Database as a consistent prescence in the Central Massachusetts music and jazz scene through his many years of performing. (www.jazzhistorydatabase.com).
Tom Lubelczyk - Guitar & Bass: Mr. Lubelczyk earned a Bachelor of Music in Bass Performance from UMass Lowell where he studied string bass with Boston Pops bassist Mark Henry. Tom has been teaching privately for 13 years, ages 6 to adult. He has studied a variety of musical genres ranging from jazz to Indian music with teachers that include John Lockwood, Walter Platt, Rick Schilling, and Warren Senders among others. He has freelanced with many Southern New England jazz artists and has shared the stage with world renowned jazz artists such as Chick Corea, Garry Burton, and Tito Puente.
Bryan Wrenn - Guitar: Mr. Wrenn has a Master's Degree in Guitar Performance from the New England Conservatory of Music, where he studied with world renowned guitar virtuoso Eliot Fisk. He has been teaching privately for 6 years, ages 7 to adult. Prior to his time at NEC, he attended Assumption College in Worcester, MA, where he earned a Bachelor's Degree and studied classical guitar with Peter Clemente. He has also studied electric guitar and jazz theory/improvisation with Joe D'Angelo and Steve Trombley. In addition to his private studies, he has performed in master classes for Pepe Romero, Benjamin Verdery, Jason Vieaux, and Lorenzo Micheli. He works frequently as a soloist, having played in numerous venues throughout New England, including Mechanics Hall in Worcester, MA. In May 2011, he was a featured soloist with Symphony Pro Musica, performing Rodrigo's famous Concierto de Aranjuez for guitar and orchestra. He has also performed as an orchestral guitarist throughout central Massachusetts for such groups as the Worcester Jazz Orchestra, Wachusett Theater Company, Foothills Theater, Theater at the Mount, and Worcester County Light Opera. (www.bryanwrennguitar.com)
Arnie Krakowsky - Saxophone, Clarinet & Flute: Mr. Krakowsky has a Bachelors degree in Jazz Composition from the Berkley College of Music. Arnie teaches in several school systems and private Music and Performance Schools and has private students in his home studio. He individualizes lessons for each student assessing their talents and needs and helping them find their voice on their instrument. He uses ear training techniques, rhythmic dictation and recordings of the masters as models for development. While at Berkley, he studied saxophone and clarinet with some of the icons such as: Joe Viola and Charlie Mariano. He also studied arranging with Herb Pomeroy and improvisation with John La Porta. In 1970 Arnie moved to New York and continued his professional career. While there he studied with Eddie Daniels and performed with many top name acts in the industry. Arnie left New York in 1985 and came back to New England where he began his studies with Jerry Bergonzi. Arnie has two recordings as a leader: “Where the Tenor Meets the Bone” on Seaside Records and “Is it Minor Yours” on Bleek Records both featuring George Masso. Arnie is also on thirty other various recordings.