Our teachers have a wide breadth of education and experience. We can find the perfect fit for your music student.
Dori Swarthout has a B.M. in Music Education from Mansfield University in Pennsylvania and a Masters in Arts and Liberal Studies from S.U.N.Y. Brockport and is a graduate of the Spencerport School District. Dori plays organ and piano at St. John the Evangelist in Spencerport as well as other churches in the area. She teaches general music and instrumental music at Leo Bernabi Elementary School in Spencerport. In the studio, she teaches piano and keyboard.
Ashley Andrews is a flautist with a love for children, a desire to help and inspire others, and a passion for music. Her passion for music started when she was very young and has only continued to grow. Ashley began taking piano lessons at the age of 7. Since then she has continued her education through a variety of instruments including piano, violin, saxophone, flute, and piccolo. Her love of music and learning lead her to earn her B. S. in Music Education from Roberts Wesleyan College where her primary instrument was flute. She has performed on flute in a variety of musical settings including marching band, flute choir, wind ensemble, symphony orchestra, and solo recitals. Currently, she teaches general music, band, and choir at Rochester Christian School. At the studio she teaches flute, piano, and violin.
Sean Conlon has a B.M. in Music Education from the Crane School of Music where his concentration was tuba and is also a graduate of the Spencerport School District. Sean is an active bassist around the New York area, freelancing and playing with the Uptown Groove and the Brockport Big Band. Sean also plays tuba in the Music Educator’s Wind Ensemble. Sean has opened for such acts as Average White Band, Little Feat, The Subdudes and The Camp Brothers. He is happy to be teaching in his hometown of Spencerport. In the studio, he teaches guitar, bass, brass and piano.
Melissa Davis is currently serving as the Music Specialist for the Arc of Monroe County’s Ballantyne Day Services Center, providing musical enrichment to geriatric adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. She has a Bachelors Degree in Music Education from Nazareth College and a Masters in Music Education from Roberts Wesleyan, with concentrations in both strings and general music. Melissa’s primary instrument is viola, which she currently plays as part of the Brighton Symphony Orchestra and the local string quartet “Pizzicatomus”. In the studio, Melissa teaches violin, viola, cello, and string bass.
Max Greenberg received his B.M. from the College-Conservatory of Music in Cincinnati. Before moving to Rochester in 2016, he was busy with many different projects involving teaching, accompanying, and gigging around the Cincinnati tri-state area, including performances with the Blue Wisp Big Band, Richmond Symphony Orchestra, and the Cincinnati Contemporary Jazz Orchestra. Music is a passion that was handed down to him from his father, a bassist and composer. He is currently pursuing an M.M. in Jazz piano at the Eastman School of Music. In the studio, Max teaches classical, jazz, and popular piano.
Nora Hampton has a B.S. in Music Education from Roberts Wesleyan College. Nora is a retired general music teacher. In the studio, she teaches piano and keyboard.
Samantha Heagerty has a BM in Music Education from the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam, and a Master’s in Elementary and Special Education from Roberts Wesleyan College. She is primarily a clarinet player and plays in the Eastman Music Educator’s Wind Ensemble. She also plays bass clarinet with the Hilton-Parma Gazebo Band. Samantha currently teaches general music at Bernabi Elementary School in Spencerport. In the studio, she teaches woodwinds, brass, guitar and piano.
Emily Hutchinson has a B.S. in Music Performance from Roberts Wesleyan College and is passionate about teaching all ages and skill levels. She has appeared as a concerto soloist with four orchestras, and in 2015 she was a winner of the National Flute Association Collegiate Flute Choir Competition, performing at the NFA Convention in Washington, D.C. She was selected as the principal flutist in the New England Intercollegiate Band and has flute choir, wind ensemble, orchestral, and accompanying experience. At the studio, Emily teaches flute, piano, and piccolo.
Nicole Kalen has a B.M in Music Education from Nazareth College and will be pursuing her Masters in Music Education later this year. In addition to her major instrument of trumpet, she has studied a variety of secondary instruments including the oboe. Currently, Nicole is the elementary band director at York Central School District- where she teaches instrumental students ranging from 4th to 8th grade. In the studio, Nicole teaches trumpet, oboe, all other band instruments and piano in the studio.
Danielle Kearsley is thrilled to be returning to Dori’s. Danielle is a voice and piano teacher who has a Masters degree in vocal performance and literature from The Eastman school of Music and a Bachelors in Voice from Houghton College. Danielle is a lyric soprano who has performed in Italy and now performs regularly with Mercury Opera Rochester, local musical theater organizations and also at universities, churches and other events in the greater Rochester area. Danielle is the assistant choir director and children’s choir director at The Fathers House in Chili, and she also stays very busy with being a mom to her three kids ages 6, 8 and 10. In the studio, Danielle teaches voice and piano.
Laura Mance has a B. S. in Music Education from Nazareth College and a Masters in Music Education and Performance from SUNY Fredonia and is a graduate of the Spencerport School District. Laura teaches vocal music at Spencerport High School. She enjoys singing in her church at St. John the Evangelist in Spencerport as well as solo performing. She teaches voice in the studio.
Chris McGlen graduated from Musicians Institute with a certificate in performance from the percussion division, PIT. He previously studied percussion at SUNY Fredonia. A graduate of SUNY Brockport with a BS degree in business, Chris has been employed at Whirlwind Music since 1995. He has been playing drums and teaching for many years at all levels, sometimes even teaching the teachers! In the studio, he teaches percussion.
Justin Passamonte has a B.A. in Music from Nazareth College as well as an A.S. in Music Recording Technology from Finger Lakes Community College. He is a professional drummer who has been performing in the Rochester area for over 10 years. He is proficient in a wide range of musical styles including blues, rock, jazz, reggae, funk, and hip-hop. Justin currently plays drums and sings for the Rochester-based group, Nevergreen. In the studio, he teaches percussion.
Adam Scoville has a B. M. in Music Education from Roberts Wesleyan College and a Masters in Music Therapy from Nazareth College. He is a music sub in many schools in the area. Adam is also the lead singer of the band, Index Patient. In the studio he teaches brass, guitar, bass guitar, piano and voice.
Brian Stepping has a BME in Music Education from the University of Illinois with an emphasis in instrumental studies. He works in Rochester City Schools, teaching band and general music. His experience as a performer and teacher includes concert band, jazz band, and athletic/marching band. In the studio he teaches brass, specializing in trombone.
Tori Valente is currently an instrumental and general music teacher at Brockport High School. At BHS, she teaches band, group lessons, and African Drumming classes. Tori received her BM and MS in Music Education from Nazareth College where she studied percussion with Kristen Shiner McGuire. In addition to her passion for teaching, she enjoys performing in both, classical and jazz idioms. She has performed with the Music Educators Wind Band, the Flower City Society Orchestra, and the Greater Rochester Women’s Philharmo. In the studio she teaches percussion.
Dylon Walbridge has a B.S. in Piano Performance from Roberts Wesleyan College. Growing up in the Spencerport School District, Dylon started taking piano lessons at Dori’s at age four. Dylon continued to enroll in the Eastman Community School where he received instruction from Harriet Zimmerman throughout high school. His other teachers include local musicians John Viavattine, Michael Landrum, and Mike Van Allen. Dylon has extensive performing experience including stage productions, solo recitals, collaborative chamber and orchestral work, as well as his experience leading his own Rochester-based jazz quartet, Bearcat and The Birds. He has performed in pit bands for such stage productions as You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown and Les Miserables and performed with the Roberts Wesleyan Community Orchestra, playing the final two movements of George Gershwin’s Piano Concerto in F. Dylon has strong backgrounds in classical, jazz, music theory, and composition, and is enthusiastic about teaching students of all ages and skill levels. In the studio, Dylon teaches classical and jazz piano as well as any age level of beginner.
Leanne Zito graduated from Roberts Wesleyan College with a B.S. in Music Education concentrating in piano and flute and a Masters in Music Education from The University of Buffalo. While attending Roberts she received the Roy Harner Music Scholarship. She teaches Instrumental Music at Kendall Elementary School. She teaches piano, woodwinds and beginning percussion at the studio.
CJ Ziarniak is a jazz saxophonist and educator originating from the Rochester, NY area. He is a recent graduate of the Eastman School of Music, obtaining his Bachelors in Jazz and Contemporary Media. At the collegiate level, CJ was a 3 year member of the Eastman Jazz Ensemble under the direction of Bill Dobbins, performing in a variety of places including Dizzy’s Coca-Cola Club in New York City. He has recorded two CD’s of his own, and has been featured on records of all genres. He currently plays in a multitude of different groups, playing gigs all over the Western New York area.
Born and raised in Spencerport, Tierney McLean has been inseparable from her trumpet since she began playing fifteen years ago. Awarded the Spencerport Music Association Scholarship upon her high school graduation in 2011, she moved to Ohio to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in Trumpet Performance at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music under the instruction of Alan Siebert and Philip Collins. There she was awarded numerous merit scholarships, as well as being named a winner of the International Trumpet Guild Conference Scholarship Competition in 2013. That summer she won an internship at the Wagon Wheel Theater in Warsaw, Indiana. She returned for a total of three consecutive summer seasons, and over one hundred performances of a dozen shows. She was truly blessed throughout her college career with numerous opportunities, including winning the position of Third Trumpet of the Symphony of the Lakes in Warsaw, Indiana for the 2014-2015 season. She has taught private students in Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, and New York, and worked with several band programs through the years teaching concert band trumpet sectionals, jazz band brass sectionals, as well as leading a brass quintet. In 2015 she graduated Magna Cum Laude, and traveled as far as Colorado, before returning home to Rochester. Locally, she has performed with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, Brighton Symphony Orchestra, the Greater Rochester Women’s Philharmonic, the South Seneca Music Festival Orchestra, and the Center Stage Pops Orchestra. Last year, she was named a board member of the Greece Performing Arts Society, which keeps her active in the larger musical community, when she is not playing and teaching. Beginning in the fall, she will be pursuing her Master of Music degree at Eastman School of Music, while serving as a Teaching Assistant for the Music Education Department’s trumpet method classes.
Matt Landon is a passionate musician and educator. Being most
accomplished as a jazz guitarist, Landon has performed alongside Joey
DeFrancesco, Donny McCaslin, Paquito D’Rivera, Fred Hersch, Jeff
Hamilton, Dave Liebman, Ingrid Jensen, Sammy Figueroa, Nestor Torres,
Sheila Jordan, and many more jazz masters. He was the house guitarist
for the inaugural Grammy Experience Band aboard the Norwegian
Getaway, where he regularly performed with Grammy Award winning
artists. He also recently recorded an album with the jazz/classical
crossover group, All Angles Orchestra featuring master trumpeter, Alex
Sipiagin, on which he was thoroughly featured as a soloist. Remaining an
in-demand sideman, Landon has also earned awards for his pursuits as a
leader. In 2012, the modern jazz/rock group Desolation Row, led by
Landon, won a Downbeat Magazine Student Music Award (SMA) for Best
Blues/Pop/Rock Group—Landon’s work with this group also earned him
the Downbeat SMA for Best Blues/Pop/Rock soloist the same year. After
completing his Bachelor of Music in jazz studies at Western Michigan
University in 2012, Landon entered the 2013 Montreux International Jazz
Guitar Competition in Montreux, Switzerland, placing third; was a semi-
finalist in the 2015 Wes Montgomery International Guitar Competition; and
placed second in the 2017 Wilson Center Guitar Competition. Landon
recently earned a Master of Music degree in jazz studies from the
University of Northern Colorado, where he held a teaching assistantship. In
addition to his many pursuits as a performing guitarist, Landon enjoys
teaching private lessons and master classes, covering the topics of
harmony, theory, improvisation, composition, repertoire, and general
musicianship. He also enjoys singing and songwriting, and has earned a
reputation as an energetic and charismatic solo performer who can
entertain any crowd by drawing from an inclusive and ever-expanding
popular song repertoire that spans seven decades and many genres.