Music, Valley Cottage Elementary
Barbara Anderson has taught K-12 vocal music since 1981. She was born at Nyack hospital and is a product of Rockland County public schools. Barbara attended The University of Hartford in Connecticut and graduated with honors from The Hartt School of Music. While studying at Hartt she became a certified Kodaly instructor. During the first part of her career she lived in New Jersey where she taught at William Paterson College and performed with Pro Arte Choral. At that time she taught in a K-8 public school setting and directed five different performing groups as well as the annual spring musical.
In 1989, Mrs. Anderson became a member of the Nyack family working as the choral director on the secondary level. Most of her energies were devoted to developing a Middle School vocal program. During that time she formed the Nyack Gem’s, a singing group of eighth graders who performed frequently in the community, revitalized the Middle School Drama program and directed several musicals. In 2001 she was recognized by New York State for her contributions to middle-level education. Barbara is a proud mother of two (almost) grown children and when they were in middle school, she requested a transfer, which was granted. Mrs. Anderson joined the VCE staff in 2005. She is extremely proud of the music program at VCE and instills a love of music and a sense of pride in all her students.
HS Band, HS Music Theory, HS Music Tech
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.
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.
Music Department Chairperson, NMS Music Technology
Choral/General Music (K-5), Liberty Elementary
While teaching at Valley Cottage, her fourth grade choral groups performed at the state capital in Albany during Music In Our Schools Month for four consecutive years. The fifth grade chorus performed at the Valley Cottage Library and the Rockland County Youthfest and, during the 1998 holiday season, over 130 students, representing grades 1-5, performed at the Palisades Center Mall in a Saturday morning concert.
Instrumental Strings, Upper Nyack Elementary, Liberty Elementary, Valley Cottage Elementary
Choral/General Music (K-5), Upper Nyack Elementary
HS Orchestra Director, 6th Grade NMS Orchestra
Miss Tammy Yi is a violinist, strings specialist and conductor from Los Angeles, CA. She received her Bachelors of Music in violin performance with a Deans Merit as well as the competitive String Merit Scholarship Award at Azusa Pacific University. While serving 8 years in the Navy Reserves, she was also the recipient of the Ella Fitzgerald, Helen Drake Smetz Endowed Scholarship, where she earned her Masters with a teaching credential in Music Education at the University of Southern California.
Ms. Yi has 8 years of experience in teaching general music, band, choir, symphony orchestra, jazz band and classroom violin instruction in elementary and middle schools. After teaching privately and coaching children’s orchestras, she created and designed an effective curriculum and methodology for string pedagogy for 1st-3rd grade classroom violin instruction and started an award winning children’s string orchestra program in Orange County, CA, who received invitational performances at Segerstrom Center for Performing Arts, Walt Disney Hall, Carnegie Hall and the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts.
After moving to NYC, Miss Yi created a classroom violin program for third graders at Teachers College Community School in Harlem and a fourth grade mentorship orchestra program.
Miss Yi has received much recognition as a strings specialist and orchestral conductor and has been published on several newspapers and magazines such as, USC Rossier Education Magazine, USC Show and Tell, OC Register, OC Parenting Magazine and TC Today. She is also a Doctoral Candidate, Graduate Research Assistant and a Florence Geffen Scholarship recipient at Teachers College, Columbia University.
Miss Yi plans to continue to teach, mentor and inspire young musicians and music teachers. She is very excited to be part of the Nyack Schools Music Faculty and the Nyack Middle School Team.
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.
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.
Choral Director, Nyack High School
Nyack Middle School Orchestra Director
Rebecca Perlman currently serves as the orchestra director at Nyack Middle School and teaches band and orchestra at Valley Cottage Elementary. She received a Bachelor of Music Education with a concentration in violin from SUNY Fredonia, and a Masters degree in Humanistic/Multicultural Education from SUNY New Paltz.
Prior to joining the Nyack School Music Department, Ms. Perlman taught 4th and 5th grade orchestra and general music at North Main Elementary, part of the Monroe-Woodbury Central School District. She also spent time teaching elementary and middle school general music at Monticello Central School District and orchestra and general music at Cornwall Middle School.
As a violinist, Ms. Perlman has performed with the Greater Newburgh Symphony Orchestra, Delaware Valley Opera, Cornwall String Ensemble, SUNY Orange Symphony Orchestra, and in various pit orchestras throughout the Hudson Valley. She has spent many summers studying and learning Eastern European folk music at various festivals and is part of a band that performs those genres of music.
Ms. Perlman is excited to be part of the Nyack Schools Music Team and looks forward to making music and working with young musicians in the Nyack School District.