Brass & Winds Lessons

Nancy Ackerman

Nancy Helene Ackerman is a clarinetist, chamber coach, and music educator who lives and works in the Worcester area.  She has been a faculty member at the Joy of Music Program (JOMP) since 2008. She also teaches private music lessons at her home studio specializing in clarinet, flute, and saxophone.
Nancy received her B.S. in Music Education from Nazareth College of Rochester, and a M.M. in Woodwind Performance at Boston University.  She has studied with Michael Webster, Stanley Gaulke, and while in Rennes, France with Charles Rouault.
Recent performances have included several programs of women composers for the clarinet, and lectures and recitals of the clarinet compositions of Walter Byron Mourant.  Nancy also performs frequently as a soloist for worship services throughout Massachusetts.
She enjoys working with her fellow musicians in faculty recitals hosted by the Joy of Music.  Programs have included Music of the German Romantics for soprano, clarinet, and piano; music for clarinet, viola, and piano; music for clarinet, violin, and piano; and most recently a program of French composers for flute, clarinet, and piano. 
Students of Nancy have participated in both Eastern and Central District Junior and Senior Bands and Orchestras as well as at the Massachusetts All-State Conference, some earning principal positions.  After high school, some of her students go on to major or minor in music in college, and many, while pursuing other degree programs, participate in musical organizations offered at their colleges and universities.
As a music educator, Nancy enjoys working with students of all ages and levels, and believes that music and art should be a part of everyone’s educational experience.   Click here to see Nancy's website:


Rich Ardizzone

Richard Ardizzone graduated from Boston University College of Fine Arts with a Bachelor of Music in Classical Trombone Performance.  He holds a Masters of Education in Early Childhood from Tufts University.  Before transferring to BU, Rich attended Oberlin Conservatory of Music as a Music Education major and George Peabody College for Teachers in Nashville as a Special Education major.  Rich and his family moved to Worcester in 1977, when he became Executive Director of Rainbow Child Development Center, a position he held for 16½ years.  Prior to moving to Worcester, Rich was a day care teacher and later the Preschool Co-ordinator for Cambridge/ Somerville Catholic Charities Day Care Program.  Ever an advocate for children, Rich served for many years as an active member of the Massachusetts Associated Day Care Administrators and the Worcester Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Task Force. He has also served on the boards of the Worcester Cultural Coalition and the Grants Advisory Committee to the Worcester Arts Council.

While attending BU and Tufts, Rich worked nights and weekends in Boston, playing with a variety of jazz, Salsa and Latin bands, including the Paul Fontaine/Jimmy Mosher Big Band and the Brass Menagerie. He was also a member of Conjunto Azul, a Latin Jazz group that played as the house band at the legendary Paul’s Mall.  After moving to Worcester he became a member of the Rich Falco Quartet and the Sonic Explorers.  Rich left his position at Rainbow in 1994 to become Associate Director of the Joy of Music Program, where he was already volunteering and teaching trombone.


Private Lessons: 

Matthew Butterfield

Matthew Butterfield is a performer, reed maker, and teacher based in Rhode Island and southern Massachusetts. He was a member of the Kansas City Chamber Orchestra, and has been a member of The Pennsylvania Centre Orchestra, The American Wind Symphony Orchestra, and The Atlantic Coast Opera Festival Orchestra. Matthew has also played in the Kansas City Symphony Orchestra, the Saint Joseph Symphony Orchestra, and the Springfield Symphony Orchestra in Missouri. He has participated in several music festivals, such as the Symphony Orchestra Academy of the Pacific and master classes with the Banff Summer Music program. He has also traveled to Milan to perform as a guest musician with the Orchestra Sinfonica del Conservatorio and the Milano Musica Festival. 

Matthew holds a Doctorate of Musical Arts degree from the University of Kansas, where he served as a Graduate Teaching Assistant. He obtained his Master of Music degree from The University of Wisconsin, where he received the William Weilgus Award and the UW Oboe Performance Scholarship. Additionally, he was a winner in the annual Irving Shain Woodwind-Piano Duo Competition. Matthew also holds a bachelor’s degree in Music Education and a Professional Performer's Certificate from The Pennsylvania State University, where he was a recipient of the Performer’s Recognition Award and the Bryce and Jonelle Jordan Excellence in Music Scholarship. His principal teachers are Margaret Marco, Marc Fink, and Timothy Hurtz.  He joined the Joy of Music faculty in 2019.

Private Lessons: 

Pam Choinski

Pam Choinski is currently the Band Director at Abby Kelley Foster High School in Worcester, MA, where she directs the high school bands and teaches keyboard and general music classes to students in grades 8­–12. Previously, she taught band and chorus at Merrimack Valley High School in Penacook, NH.

She earned her Master of Arts in Instrumental Conducting and Bachelor of Music in Music Education degrees from the University of New Hampshire, where she studied conducting with Andrew Boysen, Jr. and David Upham, and clarinet with Elizabeth Gunlogson. She also studied clarinet with Nancy Ackerman at Joy of Music during her high school years.   

In 2019, she was selected as a recipient of a CBDNA Mike Moss Conducting Study Grant, and has participated in numerous conducting workshops, including the 2019 Frederick Fennell Memorial Conducting Masterclass at the Eastman School of Music.   Pam joined the Joy of Music Faculty in the fall of 2022.

Private Lessons: 

Lucy Colwell

Lucy Colwell earned her B. M. Degree in Horn Performance from the Shenandoah Conservatory; did graduate work at North Texas State University and earned her Artists Diploma from the Hartt School of Music.  She has studied horn with Dr. David Cottrell, Dr. Bingt Bellfrage, Gregory Hustis, Dr. William Scharenberg and David Jolley.  Ms. Colwell has a wealth of performing experience including Principal French Horn with the Thayer Symphony Orchestra, Foot Hills Theatre, Maryland Symphony Orchestra, Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra and the Shenandoah Summer Music Theater.  Ms. Colwell teaches music at the Wales Elementary School and has taught at Tantasqua Regional Junior High School and Tantasqua Regional High School.  She also taught private lessons at Joy of Music from 2001 through 2004.  We were delighted to welcome her back on the faculty in 2012.

Private Lessons: 

Justin Esiason

Justin Esiason graduated from the University of Massachusetts Amherst with a Bachelor of Music in Jazz and African-American Music Studies as well as a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science. Before graduating University, he studied music education for a year. While studying trumpet under Professors Eric Berlin and Jeffrey Holmes, he surmised that many musical styles depend on, and are deepened by, a knowledge across all different genres.

His teachers include Chris Glanville, Chris Beaudry, Rob Raymond, Lucy Colwell, Tony D’Aveni, Eric Berlin, Jeffrey Holmes, Felipe Salles, Tom Giampietro, Fumi Tomita, and Cathy Jensen-Hole.

Justin is a professional trumpet player, having shared the stage with musicians such as Robert ‘Sput’ Searight, Aron Hodek, The JLS Experience, and Doobie Powell. Along with his many other engagements, he plays regularly in 30’s swing band Dan Gabel and the Abletones, as well as local wind ensemble The Valley Winds. Justin is also a professional music composer and arranger. He has written and arranged music for UMass Jazz Ensemble 1, UMass Trumpet Ensemble 1, and video game Project Borealis.

Justin grew up in Warren, MA and now lives in Worcester. He loves teaching and playing music in his community, and joined the Joy of Music Faculty in 2019.


Private Lessons: 

Dan Gabel

Hailed by the Boston Globe as “the real deal, [a bandleader] that looks and sounds like the 1940s,” Dan Gabel is a trombonist, arranger, bandleader, historian, and educator. He formed his first band in the eighth grade and has dedicated his life and career to promoting quality live music. Gabel leads several of his own musical groups, including Dan Gabel and The Abletones (authentic 18-piece Big Band), The High Society Orchestra (11-piece Hot Dance of the Roaring 20s), plus various smaller groups and a Brass Quintet.

He has recorded and produced seven full-length albums, two video stage shows, and appears on countless other recordings. In 2017, Dan Gabel was chosen as the musical director of the Vaughn Monroe Orchestra, and created The Vaughn Monroe Show, 24-piece production transporting audiences to the 1940s.

A busy sideman, Gabel has toured internationally with the Glenn Miller Orchestra for over a year, as well as with the Tommy Dorsey, Cab Calloway, and Hal McIntyre Orchestras. He recently has been featured twice at the Montreal Jazz Festival, the Newport Mansions “Art Deco Festival,” and as Music Director for several regional musicals.

Considered an expert on jazz, big bands, and the Great American Songbook, Gabel has lectured at colleges, universities, radio programs, scholar programs, and special events across the country including at Harvard, MIT, Clark, and Indiana University. Since 2014 he has served as the President and CEO of the American Big Band Preservation Society.

Dan Gabel holds two bachelor’s degrees from UMass Amherst in Political Science and in Jazz History through BDIC (Bachelor’s Degree with Individual Concentration) Commonwealth Honors College. He received a master’s degree from New England Conservatory in trombone performance. As an educator, Gabel returned to his high school alma mater in 2014 and served six years as the Music Department Director at Holy Name High School until 2020. He also founded and directs the Jazz Program at Worcester Youth Orchestras, Inc. Dan Gabel is currently working on a biography and a musical on bandleader Vaughn Monroe. He looks forward to a career of preserving, promoting, and performing music for audiences everywhere. Dan joined the Joy of Music faculty in the fall of 2021. 

Private Lessons: 

Tracy McGinnis

Tracy McGinnis started playing the bassoon when she took the instrument over from a graduating senior in the high school band. She attended the University of Delaware where she received a Bachelor of Music Education degree and then continued her studies at the Vienna International Music Center in Vienna, Austria, studying with Reinhard Öhlberger of the Vienna Philharmonic. She also has a Masters in Bassoon Performance from the New England Conservatory in Boston, MA. Her principal teachers include Mordechai Rechtman, Sol Schoenbach, and Frank Morelli.

Ms. McGinnis worked abroad for six years, first in the National Radio Symphony of South Africa and then in the Haifa, Kibbutz, and Rishon LeZion Symphony Orchestras in Israel. While in Israel, she also had the pleasure of performing several times with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Zubin Mehta. Currently, she freelances all over New England and has performed with several of the area orchestras and chamber groups. She is principal bassoonist of the Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra in New London, CT, the Claflin Hill Symphony Orchestra in Milford, MA, and is on the music faculty of Wellesley College.  She joined the Joy of Music faculty in the summer of 2022.

Private Lessons: 

Timothy Terranella

Timothy Terranella is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music, holds a Master of Music degree and Artist Diploma from the Boston Conservatory, and did additional graduate studies at the New England Conservatory.  His teachers have included Leonard Rose, Orlando Cole, Mischa Nieland and Ronald Thomas (cello), as well as Bernard Goldberg, Randolph Bowman and Jeanne Baxtresser (flute).

Tim has performed as cellist and flutist with many of the area’s most prestigious musical organizations including the Boston Symphony Orchestra (sub); the Boston Ballet; Boston Esplanade Pops; the New Hampshire, Cape Cod, Nashua, Massachusetts and Claflin Hill Symphony Orchestras; Boston Bel Canto Opera; Boston Lyric Opera; and in New York City as a member of the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra.  Tim is a founding member of the Bostonian Chamber Players and often plays with the Guilded Harps of Boston.

Having previously taught at Boston University and the Buckingham Browne and Nichols School, he currently teaches at the Groton School in Groton and Indian Hill Music School in Littleton. Tim has served on Joy of Music’s faculty since 1990. I n addition to teaching cello and flute, he is the conductor of the JOMP Youth Orchestra. 


Private Lessons: 

Vlad Vaskevich

Vlad Vaskevich, a clarinet and saxophone performer, music educator, and arranger received his Bachelor of Music in Clarinet from the internationally-known Stolyarsky School of Music for Talented Youth and his Master of Music degree in Clarinet from Odessa State Conservatory, where he studied clarinet performance with Professor Kalio Muhlberg. 

While studying classical music, Vlad developed a particular interest in jazz. In the Worcester area, he was one of the ArtsWorcester Jazz Ensemble founders, and his name is included in the Jazz Worcester Real Book and “Worcester Jazz History Tree.” Vlad has been professionally performing concerts of popular classical and jazz music throughout New England for many years.  At Joy of Music, Vlad has performed multi-genre faculty recitals, consisting of classical music for clarinet for the first half and jazz music for saxophone for the second. His recitals have featured collaborations with such great educators and performers as Wendy Ardizzone, Jerri Sabatini, Rich Ardizzone, Mike Connors, Kallin Johnson, Joe D’Angelo, Thaddeus Bell, and Gerry Wilfong.

An energetic and devoted teacher, Vlad takes great pride in his students’ achievements. Every year his students have performed in the Massachusetts Central District and All-State Festival Concerts, some of them as the principal players. His students also participated in the NEC Massachusetts Youth Wind Ensemble, the Boston, Worcester, and Joy of Music Youth Symphony Orchestras. Several of his students are winners of Young Artist Competitions and have performed their solo programs with symphony orchestras in concerts.

Vlad has been a faculty member at the Performing Arts School of Worcester, Clark University, and the John Hopkins University National Center for Talented Youth.  Currently, Vlad teaches clarinet and saxophone at the Artists in Residence program at Wachusett Regional School District and the Cape Conservatory (since 2014). He continues to teach at his private studio in Holden.  Vlad has been on the Joy of Music faculty since 2006.

Private Lessons: 
Subscribe to Brass & Winds Lessons