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Guitar/Bass

Billy Bileca

Billy Bileca
Mr. Bileca studied with Joel Dibartolo of the Tonight Show Band (Doc Severinsen) at the Grove School of Music in Van Nuys, Calif. He performs frequently with many groups across New England, and has toured both nationally and internationally. Mr. Bileca has been featured on the bill with such well-known performers as B.B. King, Buddy Guy, Robert Cray, The Fabulous Thunderbirds and many more. Most recently, he frequently played in a duo with American Idol finalist Katie Stevens. He likes to share his love of roots music with his students.
“I encourage all of my students to open their ears and minds to all styles of music.”

John Judd

John Judd
Mr. Judd is an Emmy nominated composer that has been teaching guitar since 1993. He performs frequently throughout New England with his jazz trio and as a sideman. Mr. Judd has recorded 3 jazz albums, 3 blues play-along albums, and written an instructional book entitled Guitar Competence. He has worked as a music transcriber for Jazz Improv magazine and also transcribed a book of solos for renowned jazz guitarist Mark Elf. Currently Mr. Judd writes music for media and has placements on Bravo, NBC, Travel Channel, Style Network, Discovery Channel, The Food Network, MTV, Oxygen, and many more. Recent placements include the 2015 Miss USA Pageant, Resale Royalty, Pledge, Mastercard, and the film Call Me King (2015).

Jeff Smith

Jeff Smith
Bio to come…

Steve Sullivan

Steve Sullivan
Mr. Sullivan studied guitar with Sal Salvadore at University of Bridgeport and piano with Julie Cavadini. He plays guitar professionally and works regularly with the Southford Falls Quartet. He has done extensive recording and has been teaching for more than 20 years.
Piano

Val Federov

Val Federov
Mr. Fedorov began studying music in Russia at age 7. He graduated from Dnipropetrovsk Music College in Ukraine with majors in music education, performing, and orchestra conducting. He has been performing with many orchestras and as a soloist. Mr. Fedorov has been teaching music for over fifteen years. He plays piano, guitar, and accordion.

Jamie Finegan

Jamie Finegan has been a music educator for over 20 years. He is a composer and multi instrumentalist playing trumpet and piano. He is currently an adjunct professor at Fairfield University. His professional playing credits are myriad and diverse having recorded, toured and performed all over the world, with many great jazz and blues artists including: the late, great Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, Clark Terry, Jim Hall, Geri Mulligan, Bob Brookmeyer, Phil Guy Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown, as well as Lucky Peterson, Randy Brecker, Don Braden and many others. Jamie currently lives in Monroe, CT, where he’s lived for many years.

Vic Johnson

Vic Johnson
Mr. Johnson graduated from Hoffstra University with a BS in Music Education. He went on to receive a masters degree in Liberal Studies from Stony Brook. Mr. Johnson is an accomplished pianist and organist. He is a teacher, as well as the organist and choral director at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Monroe.

Erin Knapp*

Erin Knapp
Ms. Knapp holds a Masters of Music degree in Voice Pedagogy and Performance from Westminster Choir College of Rider University. She also graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance. Her fluency in French awarded her a minor in French Language and Literature. Principal teachers include Dr. Scott McCoy, President of the National Association of Teachers of Singing, with whom Ms. Knapp studied voice privately. Ms. Knapp has extensive experience working with children in the field of music. She specializes in a multitude of musical genres, including classical, musical theatre, jazz, pop, folk and country. She has performed in operas at the Spoleto Festival USA, including Gounod’s Romeo et Juliette and Braunfel’s Die Vogel. In addition to operatic work, she has been a member of several professional choral ensembles and has toured the U.S. and Europe with them. “The most rewarding part of teaching music is not just watching a student grow musically but seeing his/her overall confidence improve.”

Jennie Pelligrino*

Jennie Pelligrino
Ms. Pelligrino has been teaching privately for more than 10 years. She recently completed courses in music and early childhood education at Sacred Heart University as well as Gateway Community College. She has more than 12 years of formal study of the piano and music theory. Ms. Pelligrino has extensive experience teaching children with special needs.

Nyomi Guberman-Pfeffer*

Nyomi Guberman Pfeffer
Ms. Guberman-Pfeffer teaches traditional piano and clarinet, as well as Suzuki. She studied performance at the Yale School of Music with former dean Keith Wilson and later with Standley Drucker of the New York Philharmonic. Ms. Guberman Pfeffer completed studies in composition and harmony under Professor Arnold Franchetti of the Hartt School of Music. She won national recognition for exceptional artistic merit from the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts. Ms. Guberman Pfeffer is an active performer in a number of chamber and symphonic groups. Including the Earl Banquer Woodwind Ensemble and the Wayne Hiller Octet. Ms. Guberman Pfeffer also has a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a Master of Arts in Teaching both from Sacred Heart University. “I love seeing the students grow in their ability and appreciation of music!”

Sue Paolini

Ms. Paolini is honored to have become a member of the talented teaching staff at Creative Music Center. She has experienced the joys of being a piano teacher for 23 years and continues to find it extremely rewarding to help dedicated students become accomplished musicians. Ms. Paolini’s musical experience began at the age of 6 through her studies with Lea Van Haven, an accomplished pianist and vocalist who performed at many fine venues in New York City. She later studied 9 years with Stephen Dominko, an exceptionally gifted pianist who had won the World Championship of Classical Musicians at the age of 17. She attended the University of Bridgeport where she obtained a bachelor’s degree in nursing which she has found extremely useful when instructing students with learning disabilities. Ms. Paolini describes her goal as piano instructor is “to provide my students with a positive learning experience that motivates them to play a beautiful instrument for as long as they so choose, as musicianship is a life-long gift.”

Kate Rich*

Kate Rich
Ms. Rich is thrilled to be celebrating 25 years of piano instruction. She earned her degree from Niagara University and completed coursework at the Hartt School of Music. Ms. Rich has been involved as a musical theater director for such performances as, “The Sound of Music,” “The Music Man,” “The Wiz,” “Promises, Promises,” “Alice in Wonderland,” “Fame” and more. She is also an experienced accompanist, playing for various groups and ensembles. “I feel very fortunate to share the fundamentals and joy of music with all age groups and levels.”

Olga Schrodl

Olga Schrodl
As one of Creative Music’s dedicated and talented teachers for over 13 years, Olga teaches all ages in piano and voice performance, music theory, orchestration, harmonizing and history of music. While classically trained, she is skilled at instructing all genres and all levels with many of her students participating in the annual Young Musicians Festival in Fairfield and other regional and state competitions.
Olga came to us from Belarus where she began her music studies at the Mogilev Music College, a higher education, teacher’s training school, earning her undergraduate degrees in piano & voice performance and orchestral conducting. She then continued her education at the Mogilev State A. Kuleshov University for another 5 years, obtaining both her Bachelors and Masters degrees in piano and voice performance, choir conducting and choreography. Both her undergrad and graduate studies included concentration in theory and orchestration. Following graduation from the university, Olga taught at the university for 2 years before travelling to the US where continued to teach privately, joining the Creative Music staff and participating in various local theatrical productions, ensembles and dance events.

Seth Uricheck

Seth Uricheck
Seth Uricheck received his Bachelor of Music in Violin Performance from Western Connecticut State University, where he graduated in 2010 summa cum laude. At that time, he also had over 17 years of experience studying the piano, and organ. Mr. Uricheck has studied under a variety of accomplished musicians, including violinists from the Hartt School of Music, the Hartford Symphony and WCSU. His instructors on all three instruments have included a number of internationally renowned performers. In his free time, Mr. Uricheck composes music for a variety of instruments, some of which have been performed by local choirs and WCSU musicians. He has also accrued a number of awards from fiddling competitions across Connecticut and Massachusetts. Seth has been teaching violin, viola, cello and piano professionally since 2004 and currently teaches strings in the Watertown school district.

George Wilkinson

George Wilkinson
Mr. Wilkinson began playing the piano at age 5. He studied with several formidable teachers and eventually presented recitals at the Julliard School. He has been teaching since 1992, and joined Creative Music Center in 2003.
Voice

Erin Knapp*

Erin Knapp
Ms. Knapp holds a Masters of Music degree in Voice Pedagogy and Performance from Westminster Choir College of Rider University. She also graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance. Her fluency in French awarded her a minor in French Language and Literature. Principal teachers include Dr. Scott McCoy, President of the National Association of Teachers of Singing, with whom Ms. Knapp studied voice privately. Ms. Knapp has extensive experience working with children in the field of music. She specializes in a multitude of musical genres, including classical, musical theatre, jazz, pop, folk and country. She has performed in operas at the Spoleto Festival USA, including Gounod’s Romeo et Juliette and Braunfel’s Die Vogel. In addition to operatic work, she has been a member of several professional choral ensembles and has toured the U.S. and Europe with them. “The most rewarding part of teaching mu- sic is not just watching a student grow musically but seeing his/her overall confidence improve.”

Vic Johnson

Vic Johnson
Mr. Johnson graduated from Hoffstra University with a BS in Music Education. He went on to receive a masters degree in Liberal Studies from Stony Brook. Mr. Johnson is an accomplished pianist and organist. He is a teacher, as well as the organist and choral director at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Monroe.

Olga Schrodl

As one of Creative Music’s dedicated and talented teachers for over 13 years, Olga teaches all ages in piano and voice performance, music theory, orchestration, harmonizing and history of music.   While classically trained, she is skilled at instructing all genres and all levels with many of her students participating in the annual Young Musicians Festival in Fairfield and other regional and state competitions.
Olga came to us from Belarus where she began her music studies at the Mogilev Music College, a higher education, teacher’s training school, earning her undergraduate degrees in piano & voice performance and orchestral conducting.  She then continued her education at the Mogilev State A. Kuleshov University for another 5 years, obtaining both her Bachelors and Masters degrees in piano and voice performance, choir conducting and choreography. Both her undergrad and graduate studies included concentration in theory and orchestration.  Following graduation from the university, Olga taught at the university for 2 years before travelling to the US where continued to teach privately, joining the Creative Music staff and participating in various local theatrical productions, ensembles and dance events.
* Experienced teaching special needs children
Cello

Seth Uricheck

Seth Uricheck
Seth Uricheck received his Bachelor of Music in Violin Performance from Western Connecticut State University, where he graduated in 2010 summa cum laude. At that time, he also had over 17 years of experience studying the piano, and organ. Mr. Uricheck has studied under a variety of accomplished musicians, including violinists from the Hartt School of Music, the Hartford Symphony and WCSU. His instructors on all three instruments have included a number of internationally renowned performers. In his free time, Mr. Uricheck composes music for a variety of instruments, some of which have been performed by local choirs and WCSU musicians. He has also accrued a number of awards from fiddling competitions across Connecticut and Massachusetts. Seth has been teaching violin, viola, cello and piano professionally since 2004 and currently teaches strings in the Watertown school district.
Clarinet

Nyomi Guberman-Pfeffer*

Nyomi Guberman Pfeffer
Ms. Guberman Pfeffer teaches traditional piano and clarinet, as well as Suzuki. She studied performance at the Yale School of Music with former dean Keith Wilson and later with Standley Drucker of the New York Philharmonic. Ms. Guberman Pfeffer completed studies in composition and harmony under Professor Arnold Franchetti of the Hartt School of Music. She won national recognition for exceptional artistic merit from the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts. Ms. Guberman Pfeffer is an active performer in a number of chamber and symphonic groups. Including the Earl Banquer Woodwind Ensemble and the Wayne Hiller Octet. Ms. Guberman Pfeffer also has a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a Master of Arts in Teaching both from Sacred Heart University. “I love seeing the students grow in their ability and appreciation of music!”

Anthony Pellegrini

A resident of Port Chester, New York, Anthony Pellegrini has been involved in musical activities since the age of eight when he started playing the clarinet in elementary school. After taking up the saxophone in high school, Pellegrini quickly fell in love with jazz and went on to attend Western Connecticut State University with a focus in jazz saxophone performance while continuing his clarinet playing in addition to taking up the flute and bassoon. Studying with great musicians such as Andrew Beals, Dave Noland, Tony Lustig, Gary Smulyan, and Luis Fernando Jimenz has given Pellegrini a wide range of musical styles and influences to draw from, but more importantly the inspiration to continue his passion of studying, performing, and sharing music with all.
Drums

Tom Geisler

Tom Geisler
Tom is an experienced teacher with 20 years of teaching know-how. He began drums at age 8 and has studied extensively with a variety of high profile drummers. Tom’s skills are in demand by musicians around the globe who need quality drum tracks for their compositions in the unique world of “Virtual Collaborations.” See Tom in action here: https://www.youtube.com/user/drumgalaxy
Discover the 5 secrets that have propelled long-time students like Becca Webster win the 2016 Hit Like A Girl global drumming contest (under age 18 division) after finishing 2nd in the 2015 HLAG contest. View Becca’s winning entry here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C9rPGfQwnHs Tom’s successful students all exhibit traits that help them excel at the drums: a positive outlook, unafraid of failure, an open mind to new ideas, and a determined work ethic.

Kenny Owens

Kenny Owens
Hailing from Bridgeport, CT, Kenny Owens was raised on Rock n’ Roll, Funk, Folk, Classic Soul, Jazz, R&B, Hip Hop, & the Blues. Kenny has been teaching privately for over 20-years & caters to each individual, be they advanced or beginner. He places an emphasis on fundamentals (such as, technique, time, coordination, reading), but also allows spontaneity to steer the lesson creatively helping the student to find their own voice. Students can look forward to not only studying the tradition of drums, but also some ear training, song-form, basic understanding of melody, harmony, & rhythm. Performing live since middle school, he has been fascinated by all musical genres and places an emphasis on authenticating the “feel” of each style. While attending Western Connecticut State University, he further broadened his knowledge by studying and performing with Jazz greats including, Fred Hirsch, Romero Lubambo, Christian McBride, & John Benitez, to name a few. Since, he has performed and/or recorded with Charlie Karp, José Feliciano, Nicole Frechette, The Void Union, The Way Up, Darian Cunning, String Fingers, Guster, Dan Carlucci, Pocket Hotties, Roger Edel’s Hotbox, John Chapman, Union Rail, and many others. Currently Kenny is busy as an in-demand, tri-state-area sideman and a regular member of: Symphonic Bodega (Experimental), Hitch & The Giddyup (Bluegrass), Oh, Cassius! (Pop), Rudeyna (Experimental), Yoshi Warlord’s (Jam) and others.
Flute

Anthony Pellegrini

A resident of Port Chester, New York, Anthony Pellegrini has been involved in musical activities since the age of eight when he started playing the clarinet in elementary school. After taking up the saxophone in high school, Pellegrini quickly fell in love with jazz and went on to attend Western Connecticut State University with a focus in jazz saxophone performance while continuing his clarinet playing in addition to taking up the flute and bassoon. Studying with great musicians such as Andrew Beals, Dave Noland, Tony Lustig, Gary Smulyan, and Luis Fernando Jimenz has given Pellegrini a wide range of musical styles and influences to draw from, but more importantly the inspiration to continue his passion of studying, performing, and sharing music with all.

Mary Larson

Mary Larson
Mary Larson has been teaching flute at Creative Music for over 10 years. She is dedicated to working with students of all levels to reach their musical goals on the flute through an informed, patient, fun, and encouraging method of teaching. Her students have placed in the Greater Bridgeport Youth Orchestra, Western Regional Band and Orchestra, received college scholarships for flute, and have attended Music Schools. Mary earned her Master of Music in performance from Manhattan School of Music with Linda Chesis, and studied with Julius Baker of the New York Philharmonic and James Pellerite at Music Academy of the West. She is an active performer with chamber groups, musical theater, orchestra, and in recital. Mary is an experienced performer of flute ensemble music for all occasions, especially weddings through Marylarsonflute.com.
Saxophone

Anthony Pellegrini

A resident of Port Chester, New York, Anthony Pellegrini has been involved in musical activities since the age of eight when he started playing the clarinet in elementary school. After taking up the saxophone in high school, Pellegrini quickly fell in love with jazz and went on to attend Western Connecticut State University with a focus in jazz saxophone performance while continuing his clarinet playing in addition to taking up the flute and bassoon. Studying with great musicians such as Andrew Beals, Dave Noland, Tony Lustig, Gary Smulyan, and Luis Fernando Jimenz has given Pellegrini a wide range of musical styles and influences to draw from, but more importantly the inspiration to continue his passion of studying, performing, and sharing music with all.
  
Trumpet

Jamie Finegan

Jamie Finegan has been a music educator for over 20 years. He is a composer and multi instrumentalist playing trumpet and piano. He is currently an adjunct professor at Fairfield University. His professional playing credits are myriad and diverse having recorded, toured and performed all over the world, with many great jazz and blues artists including: the late, great Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, Clark Terry, Jim Hall, Geri Mulligan, Bob Brookmeyer, Phil Guy Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown, as well as Lucky Peterson, Randy Brecker, Don Braden and many others. Jamie currently lives in Monroe, CT, where he’s lived for many years.

Austin Iesu

Austin Iesu is a professional trumpet player based in Newtown, CT who is making a mark in many genres with his distinct sound, improvisational concepts, and aggressive lead trumpet playing. After graduating from Newtown High School in 2014, Austin attended Western Connecticut State University, where he studied jazz trumpet. He has studied with esteemed trumpeters, Dave Scott and Jumaane Smith and had the opportunity to work with world-renowned saxophonist, Jimmy Greene. Currently, Austin gigs frequently in the greater NYC/CT area, and writes his own original music. He has played with many bands including acclaimed Haitian group, “Tabou Combo” (Including performances in Montreal, Canada), Connecticut salsa band, “Augua Pa Chocolate,” and a CT based group called “Four and One,” a jazz quintet that plays a mix of standards and originals. Austin is also an in-demand lead trumpet player performing with The Rock This Town Orchestra (Critically Acclaimed Brian Setzer/Rockabilly cover band), various salsa/merengue bands, school/professional pit orchestras, and numerous other projects. In addition to his playing career, Austin teaches private lessons to all ages on trumpet, piano, and beginner brass players. Austin brings to the studio his enthusiasm toward learning all styles of music and his experience on the bandstand in an effort to teach his students the necessary steps to becoming a successful musician.
Ukulele

Billy Bileca

Billy Bileca
Mr. Bileca studied with Joel Dibartolo of the Tonight Show Band (Doc Severinsen) at the Grove School of Music in Van Nuys, Calif. He performs frequently with many groups across New England, and has toured both nationally and internationally. Mr. Bileca has been featured on the bill with such well-known performers as B.B. King, Buddy Guy, Robert Cray, The Fabulous Thunderbirds and many more. Most recently, he frequently played in a duo with American Idol finalist Katie Stevens. He likes to share his love of roots music with his students.
“I encourage all of my students to open their ears and minds to all styles of music.”

Jeff Smith

Jeff Smith
Bio to come…

Uncle Zac

Uncle Zac
“UncleZac” is a local ukulele performer and teacher in CT who has played the uke for over 50 years. He has a wide range of styles and materials that he performs and teaches. He has performed in several bands including Sharkey & the unknowns (a local 50’s and 60’s oldies/Motown group), Roswell & the Ukulaliens (a five-piece ukulele band), UncleZac & The ZacTones (a trio with uke, sax/clarinet/flute and upright bass), and The Tim Currie Motown Band. As a solo ukulele player, he has performed at various venues including Uke Fests in NY, Tampa Bay, Fort Lauderdale and Reno, many at which he taught various workshops as well. He has also performed at the Gershwin Hotel in NYC, the Norwalk Oyster Festival, The Westport Playhouse, as well as several local CT venues, numerous Senior Centers and public & private events in the Fairfield County area.
UncleZac is the author of several chord charts including the cross reference “Bari to Soprano and Back Ukulele Chord Chart” and “The Ultimate Chord Inversion Chart Series for Ukulele” distributed worldwide by The Magic Fluke Company of Sheffield MA.
Primarily a bari uke player, he never travels with only one uke because as his uke mentor Fred Falin says, “each one has a different voice” that’s perfect for each different song … and you never know when you’ll need another one to share with someone you meet!
“I’m a simple player who loves to sing songs that people love to hear and can’t think of a more perfect instrument to accompany me than the uke. Today the ukulele is enjoying an unbelievable renaissance at every age level and skill. Whether you’re playing one or just listening to one, the ukulele makes you feel good. You just can’t help smiling when you hear one …even better when you’re strummin’ it as well!”
Upright Bass

Billy Bileca

Billy Bileca
Mr. Bileca studied with Joel Dibartolo of the Tonight Show Band (Doc Severinsen) at the Grove School of Music in Van Nuys, Calif. He performs frequently with many groups across New England, and has toured both nationally and internationally. Mr. Bileca has been featured on the bill with such well-known performers as B.B. King, Buddy Guy, Robert Cray, The Fabulous Thunderbirds and many more. Most recently, he frequently played in a duo with American Idol finalist Katie Stevens. He likes to share his love of roots music with his students.
“I encourage all of my students to open their ears and minds to all styles of music.”
Violin/Viola

Jill Levine

Jill Levine
Jill Pellett Levine received her BFA from SUNY/Purchase, and her Master of Music and Artist Diploma from the Yale University School of Music. She plays in several orchestras throughout Connecticut including the New Haven Symphony, Bridgeport Symphony and Waterbury Symphony. Jill enjoys teaching students of all ages and levels.

Seth Uricheck

Seth Uricheck
Seth Uricheck received his Bachelor of Music in Violin Performance from Western Connecticut State University, where he graduated in 2010 summa cum laude. At that time, he also had over 17 years of experience studying the piano, and organ. Mr. Uricheck has studied under a variety of accomplished musicians, including violinists from the Hartt School of Music, the Hartford Symphony and WCSU. His instructors on all three instruments have included a number of internationally renowned performers. In his free time, Mr. Uricheck composes music for a variety of instruments, some of which have been performed by local choirs and WCSU musicians. He has also accrued a number of awards from fiddling competitions across Connecticut and Massachusetts. Seth has been teaching violin, viola, cello and piano professionally since 2004 and currently teaches strings in the Watertown school district.
Address: 701 Main Street Monroe, CT 06468 Phone: (203) 261-7301

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