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CAROL ARRUCCI - Co-Owner, Voice & Piano Instructor, Director of CSPA Theatre Kids!

(Croton and Mohegan Lake Locations) 

Carol is an award winning, 30-year veteran music teacher. She has been involved in training professional children for over 25 years, having done so in the community and on Broadway.  Her first love is choral conducting, although she has had many professional experiences conducting orchestras, accompanying vocalists and singing professionally. The award winning Blue Mountain Middle School choirs were her pride and joy. They also performed all over the county in special events for Veterans, senior citizens, fundraising events and local organizations.

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RAY ARRUCCI - Co-Owner, Business Manager and Concert Manager

Ray Arrucci serves as business manager and retail purchasing agent for CSPA.  He is a vocalist, guitarist and Equity actor with over 40 years of rock 'n'roll, musical theater and film experience.  His 25 years in retail sales enhances the buying power of CSPA's Music Depot, and allows us to pass substantial savings on to our clients and customers.  He also has initiated a Concert Series in the CSPA Cabaret Room and in the community, providing the community with jazz, pop, rock and entertainers.

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OUR STAFF (in alphabetical order)                

Click Here for Staff Names by Instrument


BARBARA ALLEN - Drum Set and Percussion (Croton and Mohegan Lake)

Percussionist Barbara Allen has been playing drums and percussion in the New York City area since 1984. Currently residing in Putnam county, these days you can find Barbara performing as timpanist of the Bronx and Taconic Operas, teaching West African drumming for adults and children, doing music outreach programs through the Westchester Children’s Museum, and teaching privately.

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CHARLIE ALLETTO - Guitar Instructor (Croton and Mohegan Lake)

Playing music since his early teens, guitarist Charlie Alletto has become well versed in many styles of music. Charlie studied guitar with local Jazz great Steve Lamattina and taught at the prestigious Allen-Stevenson School in NYC. Charlie has performed with such “oldies” groups as The Toys, Arlene Smith and the Chantels and The Marvelettes. He has recorded with Lili Anel, Mambo Negro, Jessica Valiente and Blue Mambo which he co-led with master percussionist Victor Rendon.Charlie performs throughout

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ELENA BONOMO - Drum Instructor (Croton and Mohegan Lake)

Elena Bonomo is a drummer, percussionist, band leader and music educator based in the NYC area. A graduate of Berklee College of Music, she is an avid music lover who's style spans from jazz, to musical theater, to rock. Elena has recorded and toured nationally with Americana/Folk group, The Novel Ideas. Last winter, Elena became a Mission Jazz artist and a member of the Fellowship of the Swing, an artist advance held in Santa Barbara, California led by Winnie Swalley and artist-in-residence, Kendrick Scott. Elena's notable performances have included appearances at Symphony Hall, The Berklee Performance Center, the Agganis Arena, the Fresh Grass Music Festival, and South by Southwest. Most recently, Elena finished up tours of Europe, Australia, New Zealand and the Caribbean while playing drums and working as a Band Leader for Holland America Cruise Lines. She is

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CARRIE BRANDT - Violin Instructor  (Croton Location)

Carrie has been teaching private violin lessons to all ages for over 18 years. Her
past teaching experience includes operating her own studio in Virginia and North
Carolina, teaching on the private lesson faculty at Ravenscroft School in Raleigh, NC, 
and as a teacher at the Junior Musician's camp in Windhoek, Namibia.
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JEFFREY J. BROWN - Guitar Instructor (Croton and Mohegan Lake Locations) 

A Senior Adjunct Music Professor at Westchester Community College, Jeff Brown is also the owner of The Westchester School of Guitar.  He teaches at CSPA to hang around with his longtime musical pals, Ray and Carol and to spread his teaching talents in a northern location.  He is presently an adjunct director of the guitar ensemble at The Hackley School in Tarrytown, and principal guitar instructor. He has experiences as guitar instructor at The Masters School in Dobbs Ferry, Greenwich Academy, Ossining School of Music (where he was head of the guitar department), Westchester County

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TRAVIS CARPENTER - Violin, Viola, Cello, Banjo Instructor  (Croton and Mohegan Lake Locations)

Travis Carpenter has enjoyed teaching strings for nine years and counting.  In 2007, he graduated from the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam with a Bachelor's in Music Education and a Certificate of Performance.  He taught middle school and elementary orchestra in Whitesboro, NY from 2007 to 2012, and he also played viola in the Utica Symphony Orchestra and other regional groups during that time.

In 2012 he returned briefly to his native Burlingon, VT, where he began teaching private string lessons and became involved in community music organizations.  He played with the University of Vermont Symphony Orchestra, the Burlington Civic Symphony  

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AUSTIN CHARNIS - Guitar Instructor (Croton and Mohegan Lake  Locations) 

Austin attended SUNY Fredonia where he studied classical guitar and music business.  He began playing acoustic guitar at 6 years old, and went on to study rock and blues until his late teens when he discovered and fell in love with classical guitar.  Austin's style is a mixture of traditional, Brazilian and Spanish classical; guitar + Nashville style country and blues.  He has been teaching different styles to students of all ages and levels around Westchester for over 10 years.  As an author of original instruction books and guides, Austin has developed a unique method that allows students to play both with a pick and their fingers, read music with ease, and apply theory to the 

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BEATRIZ DE MELLO - Piano and Voice (Croton and Mohegan Lake Locations)

Beatriz is a college educator, composer, church musician and performer.  She comes from a diverse musical background and has appeared in venues ranging from unpresumptuous The Bowery Mission to illustrious Carnegie Hall.  After being mentored by some of the great icons in the musical world such as American composer David del Tredici and Jazz pianist Herbie Hancock, Beatriz is now passionate about sharing the love of music with students of all ages.  She presently was appointed vocal coach and choir director at 

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DAVID DILEO - Guitar and Strings Instructor (Croton Location) 

David attended Concordia College where he studied guitar and music education.  He teaches Guitar/Bass/Strings at CSPA.  David is currently the elementary orchestra director at Washington Irving Elementary School in Tarrytown.  As a guitarist, David has played in many top rock-cover bands including Stone Groove and The Tub.  He has also played guitar, bass and cello in the pit orchestra for a wide variety of musicals, including Grease, Footloose, The Wiz, Gypsy, Bye-Bye Birdie, 42nd Street, Evita.  David’s guitar style is a mixture of many influences, including blues, rock, metal, classical and jazz.  

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LUIZ EBERT - Drum Instructor (Croton and Mohegan Lake Locations) 

Luiz specializes in Brazilian drumming, but enjoys teaching all genres and is knowledgeable in all major Popular styles (Rock, Latin, funk, pop).  A graduate of City College of New York (B.F.A of Fine Arts in Music with Cum Laude Honors) and a Masters in Jazz Performance earned from the prestigious Aaron Copland School of Music, Mr. Ebert studied with several advanced jazz instructors including world-class drummer/artist Billy Hart. He has vast experience teaching children and young adults, emphasizing in hand technique and time concepts. 

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CAITLIN FRANZE - Piano Instructor (Mohegan Lake Location)

As a graduate of SUNY New Paltz with a B.S in Contemporary Music, Caitlin has studied and taught piano in diverse styles ranging from classical and jazz, to musical theatre and pop. She has worked in  the SUNY Purchase Summer Arts Programs, provided music therapy-based lessons at the Children's Center of New Paltz, and taught classical piano lessons to young students in the village of New Paltz. In addition to her training in piano, Caitlin has studied guitar, voice, and musical theatre performance. Seasonally, she works as the Stage Manager for the Chelsea Music Festival in Manhattan.


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STEVEN FRIEDER - Woodwinds Instructor  (Croton and Mohegan Lake Locations) 

Steven, a Croton native, is an alumnus of the The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music, and also studied at the Manhattan School of Music. He was awarded the honor of Valedictorian of the New School for Jazz and C.M., class of 2013. He was also selected to represent the New School at the Bern Jazz Festival in Switzerland in April ‘13, performing for a week before the headliner, McCoy Tyner and the Latin Jazz All-Stars.

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SAM FRIEDMAN - Piano and Harmonica Instructor  

(Sam has moved to Los Angeles but is available for lessons by Skype)

 Sam has had a very interesting background in music education, having taught Jazz Ensemble, Big Band and AP Music Theory as a substitute at The Masters School in Dobbs Ferry, music class in a boys home for autism, and a Rhythm Workshop Leader in a Residential Facility in Brewster.  He ran a middle school after school program at The Masters School, teaching them to improvise and write songs together.  He recently received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Wesleyan University where he received the Leavell Memorial Prize for his outstanding work in music, given to a student whose work manifests the ideals of the World Music Program in the Department of Music.  He also received the University's Tischler Prize as the winner of the Tischler Piano Competition. He is full of energy and his performances around the world vary from rock to pop to jazz improvisation on piano, percussion and harmonica.


PETER FROST - Voice, Piano, Sight Reading Instructor (Croton Location) 

Peter received his Bachelor of Music degree in vocal performance from the Hartt School of Music in Connecticut and Master of Music degree in music education from Lehman College, City University of New York. He has performed with the Hartt Touring Opera in Connecticut, the California Opera Center at Notre Dame College in Belmont, California. As an actor-singer, he has appeared in musicals in summer stock, dinner theaters and regional theaters, as well as many dramatic plays with Bluestone Actors Project, a professional repertory company based in Westchester County, New York.

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JIM KEYES - Piano, Guitar, Mandolin and Accordion Instructor

(Croton and Mohegan Lake Locations)

Jim Keyes is an accomplished musician, performer, songwriter and composer. He’s as likely to be heard playing original songs on an electric guitar in the rock band Hot Rod Pacer as he is singing 18th century ballads in Colonial garb.

As a historic musician, he is drawn to its rich history and legends.  Jim’s music appears on network and cable TV shows. He is currently a “green-light” composer for Getty Images. In 2008, Jim scored Historic Hudson Valley’s installations, “Winter Wonderlights” and “The Great Jack-O-Lantern Blaze”.

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REGINA LEON - Voice Instructor (Croton and Mohegan Lake Locations)

Soprano Regina Leon is a voice teacher, vocal coach, music director and an active performer of cabaret, musical theater and sacred music as a soloist and with small ensembles.  She is the lead instructor for the Summer Pre-College Vocal Intensive at SUNY Purchase. She is a NYSSMA Voice Adjudicator and teaches a workshop called “Vocal Styling and Performance” for the PAWS (Performing Arts Westchester Students) program at SUNY Purchase. She is the music director for Briarcliff High School musical theatre productions including “Urinetown,” “Cinderella” and “The Boys from Syracuse,” and Briarcliff Middle School musical theater productions including

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BOB MEYER - Drums Instructor - Jazz Specialist (Croton Location) 

A resident of Cortlandt Manor, Bob is a welcome addition to the staff at CSPA, with his vast experience as a performer and 35 year veteran teacher in New York and the West Coast, teaching students from beginner to professional levels. He utilizes in-depth and legitimate approach in teaching technique and mechanics on the drum set and specializes in musical application and interpretation on the drum set with specialization in jazz.  Many of Bob’s former students are active professionally in jazz, rock, and funk performance.  

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SEAN MCQUAID - Trumpet Instructor  (Croton and Mohegan Lake Location) 

A recent graduate of Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam, Sean studied trumpet and music business. He is currently pursuing his Master's Degree in Jazz Studies at SUNY Purchase. Sean has studied with many great teachers, including Ingrid Jensen, Joe Mangnarelli, John Ellism Tatum Greenblatt and Jerry Lucadamo. He has been a private trumpet instructor since 2011, teaching fundamentals of brass playing and music.  At Crane School of music he also managed affairs involving jazz bands and jazz ensembles, including production, social media management and equipment.  His expertise with teaching young beginners as well as experienced 

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DAN MONTEZ - Voice Instructor  (Croton Location) 

Dan, General Director of Taconic Opera, has been an opera singer and stage director for twenty-five years. He has performed principal roles in or directed more than one hundred productions and has appeared in numerous houses, including San Francisco Opera, Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center. He has also performed and conducted oratorios and recitals throughout the United States. Montez received a BMu from Brigham Young University in Vocal Pedagogy and his M.A. in Vocal Performance from San Jose State University. 

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MELISSA MONTEZ, Piano Instructor (Croton on Hudson Location)

Originally from Iowa, Melissa Montez earned her music degree from Brigham Young University before moving to the Bay Area in California where she taught music and history at the renowned Challenger School for nearly a decade.  While in California, she played violin in the San Jose State Symphony and sang with Opera San Jose.  Since moving to New York, she has taught piano lessons for more than twenty years in Westchester County, maintaining a private studio of more than two dozen students, ranging in age from four to sixty-eight.  A firm believer in developing well-rounded musicians, she incorporates ear training, theory, music history, and sight-reading into 

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GIOCILLE SHAW - Piano Instructor / Kodaly Specialist  (Croton Location) 

Giocille Shaw has been making music with children for over twenty years, in a variety of settings and locales. Most recently, she has been at Brookside and Claremont Elementary Schools in Ossining, New York, teaching 2nd through 4th grade Classroom Music, Chorus and Recorder Ensemble. She has presented workshops for KONY, The Westchester County Staff Development Center and The Community Music Program of New York, Orange County, and is an active member of The Westchester County KONY NEWS 24.3 3 School Music 

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KIM SOLOW - Piano Instructor (Croton and Mohegan Lake Locations) 

Kim is a keyboardist/vocalist/composer & lyricist, has worked in many bands throughout the tri-state area including; the Regents, the Belmonts, Lenny Welsh, Shooting Star Band, R&R Express, Eddie U & the Turns, Euphoria, the Willies, James’ Gang, Doc Rock, Rock Foundation, the All Stars, Mixed Emotions, Telltale Signs, Settin’ the Record Straight, the Love Cats, Taking Turns and Damaged Goods, playing anywhere from local bars, beaches and parties to the Chance in Poughkeepsie and the Meadowlands Arena, playing in Richard Nader’s Doo Wop Show with the Belmonts.  

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BRIAN DELMA TAYLOR  - Flute / Clarinet Instructor and Beginning Guitar

(Croton and Mohegan Lake Locations) 

BRIAN DELMA TAYLOR is a performer / composer / actor who has lived in Peekskill for 4 years. His extensive resume includes performing on Broadway as a musician in “Miss Saigon” for 8 seasons, “Sunset Boulevard,” “1776,” “My Fair Lady,” “Radio City Christmas Spectacular” and many others. Brian received his Bachelors in Music Education from UT Austin.  As a young flutist, he is the Grand Prize recipient of six national and international concerto competitions, and has been the featured flute soloist with the San Antonio Symphony, Austin Symphony, Houston Symphony and the Philadelphia Orchestra. 

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ELIZABETH TEDESCO - Violin / Cello Instructor, Kindermusik® Instructor

(Croton and Mohegan Lake Locations)

Elizabeth has a B.A. in behavioral sciences with concentration in music from Concordia College.  Certified in Musikgarten® Certification (Birth - 3 years old), and Kindermusik®, Elizabeth teaches both private and group classes at CSPA.  She has been a freelance violin instructor since 1997, and has performed with World Civic Orchestra St. Thomas Orchestra, Albert Einstein College of Medicine Symphony Orchestra (First Violin), among others. 

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ANNETTE A. VACCARO - Piano Instructor (Croton and Mohegan Lake Locations) 

As a retired Music Educator and District Wide Music Administrator from the Lakeland Central School District, Annette has instructed thousands of students from elementary through high school vocal music, piano, music theory and theatre arts while she acted as the "Wig 'n' Whiskers" Theatre Director/Producer for over 20 years.  For a short while, she served as an adjunct professor at Mercy College and Westchester Community College.  Her high school performing groups earned Gold Awards and Excellence in Performance recognition at many NY State and National Music Festivals.  

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ZACHARY VANACORO - Guitar, Electric and Upright Bass Instructor

(Croton and Mohegan Locations) 

As a recent graduate of Berklee College of Music, Zac Vanacoro relocated from Boston, Massachusetts to New York.  Majoring in performance, Zac spent much of his time becoming well versed in a multitude of genres by performing with groups ranging from singer/songwriters to R&B acts to

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SPECIAL MUSIC AND ACTING TEACHERS


SUSAN KAFER - Group Piano Instructor

Summer Group Piano Class - BM in Applied Piano-The Boston Conservatory, Teacher Training for Certification at  University of Massachusetts, and -MAT in Music Education at  Manhattanville College.
Susan has taught piano for 30 years, and works extensively as a pianist in the tri-state area. She has served as musical director for numerous theater productions including performances at the Tarrytown Music Hall, the College of New Rochelle, and the Irvington Town Hall Theater. 

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