Department of Music

Private Lessons

Jennifer Matsue Teaching

Students may take private lessons in voice, piano, guitar, and a variety of orchestral, band and world instruments.

Please contact the Director of Music Performance, Shou-Ping Liu, for a list of the studio instructors, all of whom teach the lessons at Taylor Music Center. The cost of lessons is not included in the College's tuition. It costs $500 per term for nine lessons of 50 minutes each. After completing three terms satisfactorily, a student earns one-course credit. Two practicum credits may count toward graduation. The Registrar records all terms of lessons that a student completes satisfactorily on the student’s transcript, including those beyond the two credits. With the approval of the studio instructor and after completing a jury, a student may perform at the student recital held at the end of each term.

Affiliate Artists

  • Norman Thibodeau - Flute
    Norman Thibodeau- Flute

    Norman Thibodeau was assistant principal flutist of the Orquesta Sinfónica del Estado de México. He is a member of the chamber group “Musicians of Ma’alwyck”. He recorded solo flute works of Anthony Holland for Albany Records and has both live and recorded performances broadcast on NPR. He has played with almost all the professional orchestras from central New York State through western New England. He taught extended flute techniques at the Wildacres Flute Retreat for several years. He performs on a range of flutes from baroque traverso to modern microtonal instruments, including a contrabass flute. Norman studied at the Peabody Conservatory and the University of Albany.

  • Peter Bellino - Trumpet
    Peter Bellino

    Since relocating to the Capital Region in 2005, Dr. Peter Bellino has been in high demand as a performer in the classical, jazz, and commercial idioms. He performs regularly with the Hudson Valley Philharmonic and the Albany, Glens Falls and Schenectady symphonies as well as many regional chamber ensembles. Peter has performed throughout much of the United States as well as Japan, Canada, and India. Additionally, he serves as faculty at Bard College and The College of Saint Rose and is an affiliate at Union College. Peter holds performance degrees from the University of Miami, the University of Kentucky, Eastman School of Music and Stony Brook University, where he had the opportunity to study with trumpet legends Gilbert Johnson, Vince DiMartino, Barbara Butler, and Chris Gekker.

  • Cliff Brucker - Percussion
    Cliff Bruckner

    Cliff Brucker has a B.M. in Music from The Crane School of Music at Potsdam State College and a M.S. in Music from The College of Saint Rose in Albany, NY. Cliff has been performing as a professional musician for over 50 years! As a well-respected musician by his peers, Cliff has worked with some of the finest talent in the Capital District including the Albany Symphony Orchestra, Capital Region Wind Ensemble, and the Empire Jazz Orchestra. He has also performed with a variety of internationally known jazz and pop artists including Aretha Franklin, Buddy Greco, Rex Richardson, Bob Mintzer and Sandy Hackett’s Rat Pack. Cliff is also an award-winning composer and producer of advertising jingles and multimedia production. His credits include Avis, National Hobby, and is the music behind New York State’s “C.S.E.A., We’re your Work Force!” He has written and produced the new official song of Schenectady called “Schenectady’s the Place”.

  • Elizabeth MacFarland - Piano

    Elizabeth MacFarland

    Elizabeth MacFarland has been active as a pianist for 40 years, both as a teacher and performer. Her students have consistently placed in local competitions, have been selected as pianists for school jazz bands, and have had success as composers. In addition to running a private studio, Elizabeth has been an Artist Affiliate at Union College since 2014. She previously taught at SCCC, Temple University Extension Division, Settlement Music School, and the Greene Street and Lansdowne Friends Schools in Philadelphia. Elizabeth received her Bachelors degree in piano performance from New York University where she studied with Herbert Stessin. She subsequently received her Master’s degree in piano performance/pedagogy from Temple University, where she studied with Harvey Wedeen. While at Temple, she received the Community Music Fellowship, a scholarship which afforded her the opportunity to teach piano to children in North Philadelphia while pursuing her degree. Elizabeth also continues to perform and gave two concerts recently as pianist with The Hyde Park Chamber Ensemble.

  • André Laurent O'Neil - Cello
    André O'neil

    Hailed by The Daily Gazette (Schenectady) for possessing a “lustrous ringing tone, facile technique and strong convincing grasp of the baroque style”, cellist, viola da gambist, pianist and composer André Laurent O’Neil has played in distinguished venues worldwide including Carnegie Hall, Symphony Hall in Boston, Disney Hall in L.A., Musikverein in Vienna, and the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City. He has performed with renowned groups such as the Handel & Haydn Society (Boston), New Trinity Baroque (Atlanta), New Belgrade Opera (Serbia), and Il Rossignolo (Italy), among others. He is Principal Cellist of the Schenectady Symphony Orchestra, Affiliate Artist of Cello at Union College, Adjunct Professor of Cello at Schenectady County Community College School of Music, and newly appointed cellist with Musicians of Ma’alwyck.

  • Teresa Gatta Norton - Violin
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    Teresa Gatta Norton began her musical journey studying with Marianne Moreland Pashler and Lois Lyman, two of the most highly acclaimed violin teachers in the New York Capital District. Teresa performed at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center with the Empire State Youth Orchestra, then conducted by Bertram Kaplan of the Manhattan School of Music and continued her studies at the Ithaca College School of Music. She is a member of the first violin section of the Schenectady Symphony, the Union College Community Orchestra and performs regularly with many other area ensembles. Teresa spends summers traveling through Europe performing with the Varna International Orchestra. She is an Affiliate Artist at Union College and has reunited with ESYO as Strings Teaching Artist in the CHIME program coaching ensembles and teaching privately. She is also affiliated with the Etude Club of Schenectady and the Music Study Group.

  • Nicole Rizzo - Voice
    nicole_rizzo.jpeg

    Nicole Rizzo is a mezzo-soprano and voice teacher based in New York’s Capital Region. After earning her B.M.
    in Voice Performance from the Boston Conservatory at Berklee in 2020, she has gone on to perform as an
    Emerging Artist at Opera in the Ozarks and as a chorister in Boston Lyric Opera’s Cavalleria Rusticana. Locally,
    she has had the privilege of performing with the Schenectady Chamber Music Series on several occasions. Her
    teaching philosophy is to instill a strong classical foundation in students’ technique, as well as an understanding
    and appreciation of the repertoire. She previously maintained a voice studio at Modern Day Music School in
    Clifton Park. Performance credits include Roméo et Juliette (Stéphano) at the Brevard Music Center, The Turn of
    the Screw (Mrs. Grose), The Consul (Vera Boronel), and Dialogues des Carmélites (Mère Jeanne), all at the
    Boston Conservatory at Berklee. Rizzo also studied Voice Performance and Communication at the State
    University of New York, College at Geneseo. During her time at Geneseo, Rizzo was a winner of the 2017
    Geneseo Concerto-aria competition, the 2016 Geneseo Honors Music competition, and performed as a soloist
    with the Geneseo Symphony Orchestra.

  • Evan Runyon - Guitar and Double Bass
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    Evan Runyon is a multi-instrumentalist and composer with a repertoire spanning six centuries, active in traditional and modern media across manifold genre, whose playing has been called "steadfast" (Houston Chronicle) and "imperious" (New York Times), and music "dread-inducing...wild" (Baltimore Sun).

    He has performed and/or recorded with Klangforum Wien, Talea Ensemble, The Knights, International Contemporary Ensemble, Metropolis Ensemble, Ludovico Ensemble and Ensemble Signal; Raphael Saadiq, Wye Oak, Emily Wells, Thundercat and Slipknot.

    As an orchestral musician, Evan is a member of the Vermont Symphony Orchestra, performs regularly with the American Composers Orchestra and Albany Symphony, and has been guest principal with the Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra and Wiener Walzer Orchester.

    A prolific session player, he has contributed performances and arrangements to tracks with combined streams in the tens of millions as well as to scores for major motion pictures, television shows and AAA videogames.