Work with extraordinarily accomplished musicians. All Simon’s Rock students and members of the community may schedule private music lessons through the Applied Music Program.
Voice, guitar, oboe, violin, and piano lessons are regularly available, and lessons on other wind, string, and percussion instruments can typically be arranged. The music faculty also provides supplementary enrichment such as group classes and frequent performing opportunities. You may elect to take lessons as an extracurricular activity, or as part of your advanced music studies. Qualified music students may work toward one academic credit per term by registering for Music 100/400, which is graded either Pass/Fail or for a grade with the approval of the Office of Academic Affairs. You may also earn additional credit for solo performances and advance study.
There are no prerequisites, and lessons are arranged through the Office of Academic Affairs, at an additional fee, for contract periods of 13 or 26 lessons.
Jessica Belflower, violinist, holds a Master's degree in violin performance from the University of Colorado at Boulder and a Bachelor's degree from Arizona State University. Locally, Jessica is Assistant Concertmaster of the Fenimore Chamber Orchestra, Principal Second Violin for Kinderhook's Concerts In the Village, and a violin section member of Glens Falls Symphony Orchestra. She frequently performs with Albany Symphony, Albany Promusica, and Vermont Symphony. In her 12 years Upstate, she has played many concerts in NYC at Carnegie Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Symphony Space. As an educator, Jessica is adjunct faculty at the College of St Rose, works closely with Empire State Youth Orchestra, and maintains a private violin studio. Jessica lives in North Greenbush, NY with her son, Walden, and husband, James.
Julia Britell graduated magna cum laude in 1995 from Westfield State College in Massachusetts with a Bachelor of Arts in Classical Guitar Performance, earned under the tutelage of Phillip deFremery. She has performed in Master Classes taught by Mr. deFremery, Benjamin Verdery of Yale University, Julian Grey of Peabody, Ricardo Iznaola of University of Denver, and the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet among others. She has also performed as a soloist and a member of chamber ensembles at venues throughout New England including The Berkshire Choral Institute, The Connecticut Classical Guitar Society, and the Guthrie Center. After fifteen years directing classical guitar studies at the Hotchkiss School in Lakeville, CT, Julia is now teaching at Simon’s Rock and maintains a thriving private studio in the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts. In 2013 Julia was published in the Education Issue of The Guitar Foundation of America’s Soundboard magazine.
As a singer Jack Brown has established himself in hundreds of oratorio performances throughout the United States. Recent concerts include the Brahms Requiem in Georgia, Mendelssohn’s Elijah in New York City, and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony in Illinois. He holds degrees from The College of Wooster and New York University. He is also on the faculty at the Hotchkiss School in Lakeville, Ct. As the conductor and artistic director of Berkshire Lyric, he is responsible for the 75 voice Berkshire Lyric Chorus and the Blafield Children’s Chorus as well as an extensive music educational program for young people in Berkshire County
BM, MM, Juilliard School of Music. Ms. Dansker is a solo and chamber musician who has performed at the Frick Museum, Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, and the Library of Congress. She is a founding member of the Galliard Woodwind Quintet, faculty/artist member of the Kent/Silver Bay Music Festival, director of the Ariel Chamber Series, and a member of the Hevreh Ensemble. She has also played with the New York Baroque Consort, Beethoven Festival, New York Kammermusiker, Linda Skernick & Friends, International Chamber Artists, and Columbia Festival Orchestra Chamber Players. Her orchestra performances include Berkshire Bach Society, Hartford Symphony, principal oboe Connecticut Grand Opera, New Haven Symphony, principal oboe Columbia Philharmonic Orchestra, principal oboe South Carolina Chamber Orchestras, principal oboe Columbia Lyric Opera, Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra, and the New York Shakespeare Festival.
BM, MME, Manhattan School of Music. Mr. Dean is a member of the St. Louis Brass Quintet, Summit Brass, and the Yale Brass Trio. Involved in Baroque and Renaissance music performed on original instruments, Mr. Dean is a founding member of Calliope: A Renaissance Band, as well as the New York Cornet and Sacbut Ensemble. Mr. Dean performs and teaches each summer at the Mendez Brass Institute and the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival. He can be heard playing both modern trumpet and early brass on over 80 recordings on major labels, including RCA, Columbia, Nonesuch, and Summit. Previously on the faculties of the Manhattan School of Music and Indiana University, Mr. Dean has been professor of trumpet (adjunct) at the Yale University School of Music since 1988.
American pianist Manon Hutton-DeWys has long been earning praise and recognition for her performances of classical and modern music. In Musical America, Christian Carey wrote: “Hutton-DeWys did an admirable job creating legato lyricism in a solo line that resides amidst a tremendously active accompaniment. Her sensitive dynamic shadings and subtle use of rubato demonstrated an artist possessing a great deal of promise.” She has performed in some of classical music’s best-known venues, including Weill and Zankel Halls at Carnegie Hall, and the Salle Cortot at the École Normale de Musique in Paris. She has also appeared at Symphony Space, Bargemusic, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Steinway Hall, the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College, Northeastern and Tufts Universities, and The Jerome L. Greene Performance Space, home to radio station WNYC. Manon holds degrees from the City University of New York Graduate Center, Mannes College of Music, Bard College, and Bard College at Simon's Rock. Her research, for which she received a 2017 Elebash Research Grant, focuses on early twentieth-century American music. A native of New York's beautiful Hudson River Valley, Hutton-DeWys is on the faculty of Bard College at Simon's Rock and the Bard Academy. She formerly served on the faculty of Lehman College and Greenwich House Music School and on the Executive Board of the Piano Teachers’ Congress of New York.
BA, University of Hartford, former faculty and assistant to Jackie McLean University of Hartford. National/international tours, festival appearances with bands of Maynard Ferguson and founding individual members of The Allman Brothers Band including Dickey Betts, Gregg Allman, Jai-Johnny Johnson (Jaimoe). Featured artist on critically acclaimed recordings with Betts, Jaimoe, New England Jazz Ensemble, Val Ramos Flamenco Project. Freelance woodwind performer, band leader New York City, New York Tri-State area and New England since 1990. Monthly residency at Iridium jazz club NYC with Jaimoe's Jasssz Band 2016-2019. Appearances at Litchfield Jazz Festival with Curtis Fuller Quintet, Val Ramos Flamenco Project. Rotating saxophonist/member Hartford Symphony Jazz combos. TV appearances on Late Night with David Letterman (CBS) with Gregg Allman and New Jersey Public Television "State of the Arts" with Maynard Ferguson. Semi-finalist Thelonious Monk International Saxophone Competition 1996. Current woodwind/brasswind faculty Indian Mountain School, Salisbury School, Millbrook School, Bard College at Simon's Rock. Resident teaching artist at The Bushnell "Jazzicians" student scholar program in Hartford, CT.
A freelance musician, Anne Legêne performs a wide range of chamber music with many of the region’s fine musicians and organizations, and often with her husband, pianist and harpsichordist Larry Wallach. She is a member of the Arcadia Viols, and of Long & Away, a Consort of Viols. She maintains an active teaching studio at her home in Great Barrington.
Anne studied cello with the late Jean Decroos, then principal cellist of the Concertgebouw Orchestra, at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague, Netherlands, her native country. She received a Graduate Performer’s Degree in Early Music at the Longy School of Bard College in Cambridge, MA, where she studied viola da gamba with Jane Hershey and baroque cello with Phoebe Carrai.
BMus University of North Carolina; MM New England Conservatory of Music. Research and performance focusing on modern and contemporary music, the New York School, and Charles Ives. Likness has performed regional and world premieres of unpublished compositions by Ives and has worked with leading composers including Tobias Picker, Christian Wolff, Salvatore Sciarrino and Tristan Murail. Active performer and collaborator in Boston and New York with artists including Rolf Schulte, Boston Musica Viva and Sound Icon. Recent and upcoming performances at Bargemusic, ICA/Boston, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Jordan Hall, PROTOTYPE Festival, (le) poisson rouge and Het Concertgebouw. Forthcoming recordings will be available on CP2, TRPTK, and Splendor Records.
Teresa Mango is a classically trained harpist and educator with a well-established 35 year career of teaching and performing throughout Western New England, New York and Connecticut. In addition to numerous solo programs, Teresa performs chamber music with regional and internationally recognized artists as well as repertoire written for harp and chorus. Her extensive orchestral experience includes performances with Hartford, Albany, Berkshire, and Pioneer Valley Symphonies. As a theatrical musician Teresa has performed with orchestras for Capital Repertory Theater, Barrington Stage, the Center for Performing Arts at Rhinebeck and The New York Theater Institute for the Performing Arts.
A native of Lancaster Pennsylvania, violist Eric Martin has been performing and teaching in the Berkshires since 2001. His undergraduate studies were at Ithaca College where he studied viola with Debra Moree, violin with Ellen Jewett, and finished with degrees in Music Education and Viola Performance. While at Ithaca he participated in a series of chamber music coachings with the Ying Quartet. Eric then won a scholarship to study in Ireland at the University of Limerick with Italian violist Bruno Giuranna. As part of this graduate program, he traveled with a string trio to the Liszt Academy in Budapest. The trio collaborated with graduate students from the Academy, had coachings with Sandor Devich of the Bartok String Quartet as well other faculty members, and performed a program of string trios and piano quartets. Martin has performed with the Syracuse Symphony, Orchestra of the Southern Fingerlakes, Cayuga Chamber Orchestra, Tri-Cities Opera Orchestra, Irish Chamber Orchestra, and Berkshire Bach Society. Since coming to the Berkshires, he has delved into traditional folk music and can often be found playing for Contra and English Country Dances. Along with his wife Nancy and dog Kylie, Martin currently lives and works at Gould Farm in Monterey Massachusetts where he also maintains a teaching studio.
Sharon Powers, a native of New York City, has taught and performed in the United States, Europe, and Asia. She studied flute with Samuel Baron and Jean-Pierre Rampal, received a BM in flute and composition from Bennington College with graduate studies at the Manhattan School of Music and Julliard, and has attended the Aspen Music Festival and l’Academie Internationale d’Ete. She has held faculty positions at the International School of Paris, France; Chulalonghorn University, the French School of Bangkok, Thailand; Greenwich House Music School, the Spence School, Packer Collegiate Institute, New York. Ms. Powers has performed on radio and in major concert halls in New York, soloed with the National Symphony of Thailand, and, as president of the Bangkok Music Society, generated multicultural concerts at the Alliance Francaise, Goethe Institute and Japanese Embassy. She has been on faculty at the Hawthorne Valley School and the Berkshire Music School for the past nine years and performs regularly in the Hudson-Berkshire area.
Pete Sweeney is a drummer, author, and educator who performs in every genre of music. He has performed, recorded, and toured with many outstanding artists such as Pat Metheny, Lee Ritenour, Robben Ford, Frank Gambale, Duke Robillard, Ronnie Earl, “Dangerous” Dan Toler, Ed Mann (Frank Zappa), Andy Summers (The Police), Mick Goodrick, Malcolm Cecil, Laurel Masse, Steve Bailey, John Abercrombie, Jay and the Americans, Larry Coryell, Murali Coryell, Johnny “Clyde” Copeland, Lorne Lofsky, and Ray Vega. He is also a member of the Latin group Sensemaya and Soul Session. In addition to his performing, Pete has written 18 drum instructional books for the Alfred publishing company, as well as produced three DVDs. He has numerous instructional lessons online with WorkshopLive. He is also a faculty member of the National Guitar Workshop, The Berkshire Music School, Bard College at Simon’s Rock, and the Crown of the Continent Guitar Foundation. Pete Toigo DOUBLE BASS, BASS GUITAR Born in Hudson, New York, Mr. Toigo’s musical education included private study with David Cobb, principal bassist with the Albany Symphony, and master classes with jazz bassists Dave Holland, Ron Carter, Rufus Reid, Buster Williams, Ray Drummond, Red Mitchell, and Michael Moore. A member of the Albany Musicians Association, he was named Best Jazz Bassist of the Capital Region by Metroland Magazine in 1999. He has performed from London to Tokyo and his recording credits include Arbors Jazz, New World, Rhino, Elektra, Angel, Town Hall, and Wepa. He can often be heard performing throughout the Berkshires and beyond.
BA, Boston University, where she studied voice with Barbara Stevenson. She was also instructed by her parents who were both professional opera singers. As a child, she performed in numerous stage productions and went on to sing with the New York City Opera. She has been a musical director on Broadway, as well as having appeared on the Broadway stage. She has also toured throughout the world. Her diverse singing styles 236 has been heard on numerous rock recordings, as well as television and radio. She taught voice at Barnard College for four years and had a private studio in New York City for 15 years.
Born in Hudson, New York, Mr. Toigo’s musical education included private study with David Cobb, principal bassist with the Albany Symphony, and master classes with jazz bassists Dave Holland, Ron Carter, Rufus Reid, Buster Williams, Ray Drummond, Red Mitchell, and Michael Moore. A member of the Albany Musicians Association, he was named Best Jazz Bassist of the Capital Region by Metroland Magazine in 1999. He has performed from London to Tokyo and his recording credits include Arbors Jazz, New World, Rhino, Elektra, Angel, TownHall, and Wepa. He can often be heard performing throughout the Berkshires and beyond.
Originally from the Midwest, David Wampler has been a member of the South Florida Symphony Orchestra, the State Symphony of Mexico under Enrique Batiz, the Nebraska Chamber Orchestra and was bass trombonist with the Omaha Symphony and Opera/Omaha. He was also a member of the Albany Symphony, serving as principal trombone, then bass trombone. He was a staff trombonist for American Gramophone where he may be heard on recordings by Mannheim Steamroller (Fresh Aire) and sound tracks from Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom. He is also bass trombonist with the New England Jazz Ensemble in Connecticut and is heard on all five of their CDs, the most recent having just been released in June 2011. Other freelancer credits include the New York touring companies of Annie; Victor, Victoria; and Hello, Dolly! (with Carol Channing). He plays numerous production shows and has appeared with Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra Jr., Keven Spacey, Elvis the Concert, the Montreux Jazz Festival, and finished the first tour with Yo Yo Ma’s Silk Road project. He served as principal trombone with the Berkshire Symphony for 16 years and still appears with the Greater Bridgeport Symphony (Connecticut) and the Hartford Symphony Orchestra. He performs summers with the Barrington Stage Company and is a regular member of the Amherst Jazz Orchestra under the direction of Dave Sporny. Mr. Wampler has served on the faculties of Nebraska Wesleyan University, Central Connecticut State University, and currently serves on the faculties of the College of St. Rose in Albany, New York, and the Berkshire Music School in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.