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, Jin Byun, 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 $540 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.

  • 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”.

  • 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

    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.

  • Elizabeth Gerbi - Voice
    Liz Gerbi Headshot

    Dr. Elizabeth Gerbi is well known across the country as a performer, singing teacher, author, and music director/pianist (200+ productions). She has taught voice and musical theatre on the faculty of SUNY Dutchess/New Paltz/Schenectady, Southern Utah University, and The American University. Recent projects include co-authoring the acclaimed audition manual “88 Keys to Successful Singing Performances” with Broadway coaching legend Bob Marks, music directing the Eastern Regional Premiere of Unexpected Joy, The Snow Queen at the Ancram Opera House, accompanying masterclasses for Broadway performers Ken Jennings, Lisa Howard, and Lindsay Mendez, adapting Starmites for Broadway composer Barry Keating, and teaching workshops for EdTA, NYSTEA, NETC, ATHE, and MTEA. Come say hello at!

  • Evan Runyon - Guitar and Double Bass
    evan runyon

    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.

  • Akina Yura - Piano
    Akina Yura headshot

    Concerts of the pianist Akina Yura have been heard throughout the United States, Europe, and her native
    Japan. She has appeared as a guest recitalist in numerous concert series, including the Pianodrom
    International Piano Festival in Albania. As a chamber musician, she has appeared both in the United
    States and in Japan, including numerous summer appearances as a collaborative pianist for the
    Castleman Quartet Program.
    Passionate in exploring a wide range of repertoire, Yura continues to present well-known, new, and
    underrepresented music. Her CD, Mutsuo Shishido Complete Works for Piano (MSR Classics), has been
    hailed by critics as “first rate” and “fantastic playing… full of sensitive nuances” [American Record Guide].
    Fanfare Magazine critic Peter Burwasser wrote: “I cannot imagine a better advocate for this music than
    the wonderful young pianist Akina Yura…” Dr. Yura also compiled the first full biography of Shishido and
    analysis of his works.
    An avid educator, Yura serves on the piano faculty at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and SUNY
    Schenectady School of Music in addition to Union College where she teaches classes and lessons for piano.
    Yura holds piano performance degrees from the University of Maryland (B.M.), Indiana University Jacobs
    School of Music (M.M.), and the University of Miami Frost School of Music (D.M.A.). Her previous
    teachers include notable pianists Santiago Rodriguez, Edward Auer, Shigeo Neriki, Mikhail Volchok, and
    Nathan Buckner.

  • Phil Pandori - Brass
    Phil Pandori

    M.M., The Hartt School of Music
    B.M., Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam

    Phil Pandori is Adjunct Instructor of Low Brass (Trombone, Euphonium, and Tuba) at SUNY Schenectady County Community College where he has previously taught Brass Techniques. Phil codirects and operates the Capital Region Summer Trombone Institute hosted by SUNY Schenectady. Phil has previously taught Brass Techniques at the Hartt School of Music, as well as Wind Ensemble and Low Brass Lessons at Skidmore College.

    Phil is a band director in the Niskayuna Central School District where he directs the High School Concert Band, Honors Jazz Ensemble, Jazz Band, as well as Middle and High School brass and percussion lessons. Previously, Phil has taught 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th Grade Band in the District and maintains a low brass studio. Phil has directed All-County Bands across New York State, including Saratoga-Warren, Washington, Schoharie, Franklin, Onondaga, and Jefferson-Lewis Counties.

    Phil currently holds the Principal Trombone seat in the Schenectady-Saratoga Symphony Orchestra and Capital Region Wind Ensemble and works frequently as a freelance musician in the Capital Region. Phil spends most of his performance time with the New York Players Entertainment Group as the full-time trombone player for Upstate New York's premier party band. Phil has performed with Johnny Mathis, Tony DeSare, Wynton Marsalis, The Orchestra of Northern New York, Northern Symphonic Winds, Glens Falls Symphony, Saratoga Voices, Octavo Singers, Battenkill Chorale, Albany Pro Musica, Brass Abbey Brass Quintet and more.

    Phil, along with his wife Catherine, owns and operates Bristol Hills Music Camp (est. 1962) - a week-long quality-intensive outdoor music camp for Band, String and Orchestra students grades 7-12 – located on Bristol Mountain just outside of Canandaigua, New York.

    Phil has previously served as the New York State School Music Association Representative for Zone 7 as well as a member of the New York State Band Directors Association Executive Board as Middle School Honor Band Chair and Committee Member at Large.

    Phil earned his undergraduate degree in Music Education from the Crane School of Music, where he also minored in Jazz Studies and earned a certificate in Trombone Performance under Mark Hartman and Bret Zvacek. Phil earned his Masters’ Degree in Trombone Performance from the Hartt School of Music under Ronald Borror.