The Music Teachers

Michael Humphrey
HS Band, HS Music Theory, HS Music Tech

 Michael Humphrey currently serves as the band director at Nyack High School and as the marching band director for Nyack High School. He was formerly an itinerant music teacher in the School District of Philadelphia, teaching band in different schools around the city, as well as an itinerant band teacher in the Cleveland Parochial schools.

Mr. Humphrey attended Baldwin-Wallace College Conservatory of Music in Cleveland, OH earning a B.M.E. degree with a concentration in saxophone. Currently, he is completing his Masters in Music Education (M.M.E.) in Jazz Pedagogy at Capital University Conservatory in Columbus, OH. Mr. Humphrey has studied saxophone with Greg Banaszak, Mike Tomaro, Larry McKenna, and Michael Cox and has studied conducting with Laura Joss and Dwight Oltman.

Kristen Johnsen
Elementary Band Director, Valley Cottage Elementary, Upper Nyack Elementary, Liberty Elementary

Kristen Johnsen is starting her sixth year of teaching and is currently the Elementary Band Director.

Before coming to Nyack, Ms. Johnsen taught in the Newburgh Enlarged City School District, and the Warwick Valley Central School District.

Ms. Johnsen attended the State University of New York at Fredonia, receiving a Bachelor of Music Education degree with a concentration in clarinet, and a Masters degree in Music Education.

As a clarinetist, Ms. Johnsen continues to play Eb and Bb clarinets with the Greater New York Wind Symphony, the SUNY Orange Chamber Ensemble, the SUNY Orange Symphony Orchestra, and the Hudson Valley Chamber Winds. Ms. Johnsen also performs on piccolo, flute, clarinet, and saxophone for musical pit orchestras throughout Orange County.

Ann Winze

Instrumental Strings, Upper Nyack Elementary, Liberty Elementary, Valley Cottage Elementary

Stephen Yankou
Choral/General Music (K-5), Upper Nyack Elementary

Stephen A Yankou grew up in Westchester County and started playing guitar at age 12. Despite not having any formal music training, Stephen was admitted to study Music Education at New York University with a concentration in Classical Guitar Performance. They have been teaching General Music at Upper Nyack Elementary since 2008. Stephen lives in New York City where he regularly plays drums at protests and political actions.

Brendon Lucas
Nyack Middle School Band Director

 Brendon Lucas is currently the band director at Nyack Middle School, and is a music educator, clarinetist, and multiple woodwind performer in the northeast tri-state region. He holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in music from Ithaca College and the University of Florida respectively, and previously served as a band director in the New Jersey public school system.

At Nyack Middle School, Mr. Lucas conducts the 6th, 7th, and 8th grade bands, as well as each of the school’s jazz ensembles. In addition, he works at the High School with the Nyack Red Storm Marching Band as an assistant director.

Kelly Conforti
Choral Director, Nyack Middle School

Kelly Conforti has been teaching for ten years and is currently teaching vocal music at Nyack Middle School.

Before teaching in Nyack, Mrs. Conforti taught elementary chorus and general music for three years, high school chorus and general music for three years, and directed the middle school production of Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka in the Warwick Valley Central School District.

Mrs. Conforti received a Bachelor of Music Education degree with a concentration in voice from the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam. She received a Master of Science degree with a concentration in instructional technology from Western Connecticut State University.

In addition to teaching, Mrs. Conforti has performed in community theater productions in Port Jervis, New York and Milford, Pennsylvania including Curtains, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Godspell, and Legally Blonde.

Brandon Coon

Choral Director, Nyack High School

Brandon Coon is the choral director at Nyack High School, teaching Mixed Choir, Women’s Vocal Ensemble, Advanced Choir, Men’s A Cappella, Piano, and Music Technology classes. He is also the faculty advisor for Tri-M Music Honor Society. Previous to Nyack, Mr. Coon taught at the secondary level in Plymouth, MA and Utica, NY, with a combination of choir, piano, music theory, and drama classes. Mr. Coon holds a BM in Music Education and Music Theory and an MM in Music Education from Ithaca College. Mr. Coon’s formal training is in classical vocal performance, but he also enjoys singing in every genre and has been seen playing accordion in an acoustic classic rock band.

Sara Beth Lieberman – Valley Cottage Elementary General Music and Chorus

Sara Beth Lieberman is the K-5 General Music Teacher at Valley Cottage Elementary School. Sara Beth is a recent graduate of the Crane School of Music, graduating summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Music Education with concentrations in Special Music Education and Choral Studies. She grew up in Rockland County and graduated from Nanuet Senior High School, where she developed her love for classical, jazz, and pop music as a vocalist and trombonist.

The experiences that have most shaped Sara Beth’s teaching philosophy were her travels to St. Elizabeth, Jamaica and Cusco, Peru. In St. Elizabeth, Jamaica, Sara Beth participated in the Jamaica Field Service Program, where she learned about the music and culture of Jamaica through teaching music to students from the parish of St. Elizabeth. In Cusco, Peru, Sara Beth hiked through the Salkantay Mountains with her college choir to fully immerse herself in the nature and culture of Peru. Through these experiences, Sara Beth has adopted a culturally responsive approach to teaching music, where she focuses on music from her students’ individual cultures to teach them more about themselves and their peers.

Genevieve Marino – General Music and Chorus, Liberty Elementary School

Genevieve Marino (she/her/hers) has taught music for 8 years prior to joining the music faculty at Nyack this year. Before coming to Nyack, Ms. Marino taught at P.S./M.S 95 in the Bronx. There she worked to launch a music program for K-5 students, designing curriculum, acquiring instruments, building a culturally relevant library of picture books, advocating for a music room, and creating school-wide performance opportunities. Ms. Marino has also served as faculty member and artistic coordinator of the Dana Hall School of Music in Wellesley, MA, and music teacher at the Aaron School, K-12 in Manhattan.

Ms. Marino’s passion is designing accessible opportunities for students to connect with, and find deeper understanding of themselves and the world around them through music and the arts. Ms. Marino strives to make the music classroom a welcoming and meaningful space for all.

Ms. Marino holds a Bachelors of Science in Classical Vocal Performance and Music Therapy from SUNY New Paltz, and a Masters in Music Education from Teachers College Columbia University. Ms. Marino is a Soprano and performs with the Young New Yorkers Choral Ensemble in New York City and has performed with the Boston Choral Ensemble. She studied classical vocal performance, specializing in Bel Canto opera and art song. Ms. Marino also loves playing the acoustic guitar. Most of all, she loves making music with children. In addition to her music background, Ms. Marino also holds her 200 hour Yoga Teacher Certification, practices daily and teaches online yoga classes.

Tina Allocca  – Nyack Middle School, Valley Cottage Elementary

Anthony Travaglini  – Nyack Middle School Music Technology

Sarah Loveland-Gill  – Music Department Chairperson K-12