Members

Keep your eyes peeled for all the latest news and workshops from our teachers. If you are interested in private lessons or booking, please contact that member directly.

Michael Hollis Guitar, Bass, Mandolin, and Music Theory

Michael Hollis has earned a Bachelors Degree in Jazz Performance on guitar at SUNY New Paltz, where he studied with Guitarists Tom Dempsey and Mark Dziuba, and  has since continued his studies privately, whilst performing with a number of bands consistently  who span the genres of Jazz, Indie-Rock, Alternative-Folk, and Soul/Blues.

The past few years have seen Michael Hollis performing in an assortment of Jazz combos, releasing Flyaway Garden with Breakfast in Fur on Bar/None Records, forming his newest project, Blue Museum, and performing and recording harmonica for an assortment of artists. Aside from performing, Michael teaches private Guitar, Bass, Mandolin, and Music Theory Lessons throughout the Hudson Valley.

 

Harry D’Agostino Bass, Guitar, Music Theory

Harry D’Agostino is a veteran bassist, songwriter, and music teacher based in the Hudson Valley. He has performed with and written for groups of diverse musical styles, ranging from jazz, gospel, and roots music to rock and roll. He is a founding member of Upstate Rubdown, a 7-piece acoustic group that layers 3 part vocal harmony on top of grooves spanning the American musical tradition.

Harry teaches electric and upright bass in all styles, and accompanies lessons with a holistic understanding of the elements of music and its traditions in the United States. He also teaches acoustic guitar with a concentration in American roots and blues music and an emphasis on finger style guitar playing.

Email:
harry.dagostino@gmail.com
Phone:
917-622-2660

Christian Joao Saxophone and Flute

Christian Joao is a native of the Hudson Valley and has performed, taught and recorded extensively in the area for over fifteen years.  Christian began studying the saxophone and flute at a young age under the mentorship of world-class saxophonist and bandleader Harvey Kaiser. In 2004 Christian attended Long Island University’s Brooklyn campus where he studied saxophone and music theory under the great altoist Pete Yellin. Over the years Christian has contributed to a variety of musical projects spanning a wide variety of styles genres.  In 2010 he toured the West Coast with reggae/rock group Synrgy.  The following year he returned to the East Coast and has since worked with a number of groups including Dutchess County rock and roll cover band “In The Pocket” and the “BnC Duo.” Today Christian can be heard performing with “Upstate Rubdown” and the “Liana Gabel Four” both of which feature powerful female vocal performances accompanied by tasteful and eclectic instrumental arrangements.  Christian continues to teach and record in the area and can be heard featured on recordings by indie rock bands “Breakfast In Fur” and “Wild Yaks” as well as original jazz recordings by “The Micheal Hollis Quartet” and the “Perfect Gift Ensemble.” Christian caters to students of all ages and experience levels. He teaches a variety of instruments including saxophone, flute, clarinet, piano and guitar.

Email:
bachem.christian@gmail.com
Phone:
845-214-8315
Location:
New Paltz, NY

Ben Basile Electric Bass, Music Theory

Ben Basile is an electric/double bassist, educator and composer from New York’s Hudson Valley Area. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Jazz Studies from The State University of New York at New Paltz. Basile travels the world playing music with groups such as “The New York Ska-Jazz Ensemble” and “Big D and The Kids Table” Currently he has performed in 30 different countries, across 5 continents. Basile is also a founding member of “The Poughkeepsie Jazz Project” a group which has hosted a weekly jazz jam session in Poughkeepsie, NY for over three years running. Ben has been teaching music privately and at various schools/stores for the past 6 years. For more information visit: www.benbasile.com

While Basile’s primary instrument is bass; He also teaches, music theory, Jazz theory, improvisation, beginner guitar and piano.

“He is clearly competent in a variety of teaching methods, and has a holistic attitude about my bass playing. Each lesson is challenging yet enjoyable. He is flexible, accommodating, and available to answer questions outside of lessons. What made Ben immediately recognizable as a superb bass teacher is just how obviously and clearly he cares about the instrument he is teaching, how much he cares about the growth and success of his students, and how he takes every opportunity he can to remind me how amazing it is to be playing music.” -Andrea Onstot

“My 12 year old son began bass lessons with Ben in July 2015. As a parent, I am impressed with Ben’s professionalism, flexibility, and knowledge. He finds ways to challenge him and builds on what my son has learned in band class at school. My son likes Ben because he is attentive, and he likes his teaching style – he has helped with his technique, and says, “Ben has been incredibly helpful and inspirational. I would highly recommend Ben as an instructor! My son looks forward to his lesson every week!” -Shelley Trani

Location:
Poughkeepsie, NY
Website:
www.benbasile.com
Email:
benbasilebass@gmail.com
Phone:
845-489-0360

Rick Birmingham Violin, Engineering, Production, and Recording

In addition to being a world class touring soundman Rick also plays Violin, Viola, Guitar, Synthesizers, percussion, and a host of world music instruments including Oud and Sitar.  He has extensive knowledge of music technology and has been producing recordings since the early 90s.  He has a deep understanding of Ableton Live, Pro-Tools, Logic, Reaper, Cubase, Max/MSP, Electronic Engineering, Sound Design, Hardware Implementation, Acoustic Design, owns over 60 microphones, and hand-builds microphones preamps for his studio.
Rick began his career as an audio engineer over 20 years ago and has worked with many of the legends we all know and love along the way, ranging from James Brown to Soulfly to The Buena Vista Social Club to De La Soul to OKGo and so on.  He has been involved with well over 3,000 live performances and has “done sound” for at least 5,000 acts. He’s been heavily involved in numerous releases including commercial work and musical acts.

Jenna Klein Piano

Jenna Klein holds a dual Bachelors degrees in Piano Performance and Music Therapy from SUNY New Paltz where she studied with Pianist Ruthanne Schempf. Jenna teaches individual lessons and group piano classes, both independently and through the New Windsor Music Academy. She has taught over 75 students over the past 3 years. Additionally, Jenna works as a pianist with several churches and accompanies musicians and vocalists with classical repertoire. During the summer, Jenna is a Piano Teaching Assistant at the Interlochen Arts Camp located in Interlochen, Michigan where she works with 3rd graders through high school students from around the world. As a teacher, Jenna believes in providing students with a well rounded foundation including ear training and sight reading, which in turn enables students to explore their musical preferences, ranging from classical to popular music.

You can contact her at Jmekmusic@yahoo.com or by phone at 716-829-9117

Location:
New Paltz, NY
Email:
Jmekmusic@yahoo.com
Phone:
917-664-5096

Alan Silverman Drums

Alan Silverman specializes in Rock, Jazz, Funk, Latin, Hip Hop and Pop drumming styles and has studied with some of the greats. Aside from the drum set, he has studied Afro-Cuban and Indian hand percussion styles and teaches the tablas and the congas. If you’re looking for guidance regarding sight reading, technique, and/or coordination he can certainly help you out. Or, if you’re just looking to learn that song with that groovy beat that you love, bring it in!

Location:
New Paltz, NY
Email:
alansilverdrum@gmail.com

Tierney Greene Piano, Violin

Tierney Greene studied music theory and composition at SUNY New Paltz and graduated in 2013. She began teaching private piano and violin lessons while she was in college, and has been teaching since then. Her piano lessons began at the age of 7 and violin at the age of 10. She has experience teaching toddlers, senior citizens, and everything in between! Now, she is a performing musician spanning genres of rock, folk, jazz, singer/songwriter, classical. Her emphasis in teaching is giving the student a solid foundation in music theory and their instrument so that they have the opportunity to express themselves creatively in any musical style!

Tim Holmes Guitar and Drums

Tim has been playing guitar and drums locally for 20 years. He currently teaches at Jimi Heslin’s Axe Shop, Let’s Jam, and Paul Effman Music in addition to offering private lessons in his home studio and at students’ homes. Central to his teaching philosophy is inspiring students with a love of music, and focusing on learning to play the music that they love.

Music is a journey of expression with as many different paths and destinations as there are styles of music and musicians. Welcoming a broad variety of students, learning musical styles that range from rock to pop, blues to country, punk to folk, and varying in age from 7 years old to 72, Tim works closely with students in discovering and mastering the styles of music that they most love, while learning skills and techniques to equip them for a lifetime of musical exploration and expression.

 

Email:
thenetherwood@gmail.com
Phone:
845-514-0711

Sage Boris Trumpet

Sage Boris is a native of Kingston, NY. He holds performance degrees from SUNY Potsdam and the University of Michigan. He has played with the National Arab Orchestra, the Orchestra of Northern New York, and the Potsdam Brass Quintet among others. He is currently Principal Trumpet of the New York Chamber Players Orchestra based in Manhattan. Comfortable in all musical genres, he is especially interested in chamber music collaboration and contemporary music. Sage also teaches at Dutchess Community College.

Email:
sage.boris@gmail.com

Carly Ghee Clarinet, Saxophone, Flute, Double Reeds, Trumpet, Trombone, French Horn, Euphonium, Music Theory

Carly Ghee is a musician and educator, born and raised in the Hudson Valley. She studied clarinet at SUNY Fredonia, where she received both her B.A. and M.A. in music education. While at Fredonia, she studied clarinet under Dr. Andrew Seigel and Amrom Chodos, and conducting under Dr. Paula Holcomb. Carly has performed in Fredonia’s Wind Symphony and Concert Band, Ulster County Community College’s Wind Ensemble, and various other large ensembles, chamber groups, and master classes. Her teaching experience includes private lessons, group lessons, band, general music, chorus, and preschool music and movement classes.

Location:
Poughkeepsie
Email:
cghee@fredonia.edu
Phone:
(845) 489-0335

Chris Macchia Upright and Electric Bass

Upright and electric bassist Chris Macchia is one of the most in-demand musicians in the Hudson Valley. Experienced  in many styles of music including jazz, rock, funk, progressive, and various groove/dance genres, he studied jazz performance at SUNY New Paltz.

Chris has performed at such prestigious venues as Carnegie Hall, the Cairo International Jazz Festival, and the Greater Ozarks Blues Festival, and has performed with Grammy award winner Joe Louis Walker, toured the  Caribbean, and toured opening for Melvin Seals. His group the “Arch Stanton Quartet” won the Metroland Readers Poll for best jazz group.He can be heard on many albums including “Along For The Ride” and “Blue for Soli” by the Arch Stanton Quartet, “Brooklafornia” by CFR, “Take It With You” by EllisonStarr,  “Rise” by Aliza Hava, “Sold my Soul to the Sun” by Tyler Byrnes, “These Years On The Boat” by Fairweather Friends, “Rest and Heal” by Liana Gable and “Curse of the Kill” by the Virgina Wolves.

Location:
New Paltz, NY
Email:
fishmook@outlook.com

Julian Berman Mandolin and Guitar

Julian Berman is a musician who is born and raised in the Hudson Valley. He studied and has a degree in music from SUNY Ulster. Julian plays and teaches guitar and mandolin and is in a number of musical groups as an instrumentalist and vocalist. He has played with a diverse amount of musicians such as Jay Ungar and Molly Mason, Chris Eldridge, and the band Fuel.

Emily Birsan Voice, Piano

Internationally renown soprano Emily Birsan has relocated her studio to the Hudson Valley. With management in NYC and London, she has sung and continues to sing all over the world. She has had 15 years of experience teaching piano and voice of all ages.
She has her Bachelor of Music in Performance from Lawrence Conservatory, and Master of Music from UW-Madison School of Music, did a 3 year residency with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, sang jazz in the Grammy Jazz Band as part of the Grammy Awards Ceremony in 2004, and continues working as a professional opera singer as well as a jazz singer.
Just moving from Chicago, IL, she had a studio of pre-professional singers for 5 years.

Website:
http://www.emilybirsan.com
Email:
emily.f.birsan@gmail.com

Andrew Stein Voice and Piano

Before moving to Hudson, Andrew Stein was private instructor to 40 students a week on Long Island, specializing in Voice, Piano, Drums and Guitar. His background in jazz, rock, and classical theory helps him cater each lesson to the students’ individual needs, and he strives to make every lesson unique and engaging. Andrew has taught all ages, be it a three-year-old piano/voice student or a sixty-year-old guitarist, and has a huge passion for connecting ideas and exploring new concepts. He graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelors in Jazz Studies and Vocal Performance from SUNY New Paltz, studying under Teri Roiger, Vinnie Martucci, and Mark Dziuba.

Phone:
516-330-1709
Email:
Andrew.stein42@gmail.com
Location:
Hudson, NY

Chris Walker Drums

Chris Walker has a Bachelors degree in music from SUNY New Paltz. At New Paltz he studied jazz drumming with Jeff Siegel and he has also taken master classes from Jack DeJohnette and Matt Wilson. In ten years as a professional musician he has played in a wide range of settings including several musicals, in a jazz trio and a lounge band for Carnival Cruise lines, and he has gone on tour with The Wild and his current band Breakfast In Fur which is signed to Bar None Records.

As a teacher He has taught workshops with the jazz standard youth orchestra, as well as private lessons. He is Knowledgeable and skilled in many drum set concepts including classical rudiments, 4-way coordination, moeller technique, and sight reading and transcription.

Email:
crwalker74@gmail.com
Phone:
917-664-5096

Danny Silversmith Guitar

Danny Silversmith is a guitarist/composer with a focus on Jazz, Rock, and songwriting.
Since earning his degree in Jazz Studies, he has been performing in projects around the Hudson Valley, and in Musical Theater pit orchestras in New York City.

Melissa Pelino Voice

Melissa Pelino is located in New Paltz, NY and has been teaching private vocal lessons for 4 years. Ever since graduating from Suny New Paltz class of 2011 with a degree in Performance in Classical Voice, she has been teaching privately and at New Windsor Music Academy. Melissa specializes in general vocal technique, tension/release techniques in classical studies. An understanding of classical training sets any student up for success in ANY genre be it pop style, jazz, or opera. Melissa teaches the foundation of vocal techniques to shape and settle our natural speaking and singing voices.