“Where Music Happens!”
Phone: (631) 476.3850
Fax: (631) 474.8783
Hours (EST): Mon. - Fri. 10-8
Sat. 10-6, Sun. 12-5
66 Echo Ave., Miller Place, Long Island, NY 11764
 
INSTRUCTOR BIOS...
 
Aaron Charles
Andrew Smith
Bill Tsantes
Bogdan Scurtu
Brian Chabza
Carl D'Orsogna
Carl Millard
David Andersen
David Dreyfus
Hristina Blagoeva
Jessica Bender
Jim Carrol
Joe Azzara
Joe Lopez
Jorge Mesa
Justin Waller
Krysta Donnelly
Leslie Sloup
Linda Robertson
Lucas Balslov
Mallory Rivera
Michel Ligonde
Mike Orioles
Pete Heywood
Regina Gordon
Sally Morrison
Sean Mackenzie
Steve Rudin
Steve Subject
About Our Instructors...

We are proud of our team of highly qualified instructors. Most Sound Beach Music instructors either hold a teaching degree, or are professional musicians with years of experience. Please click here for information regarding lessons.

Aaron Charles

Aaron teaches violin and began teaching in 2010. He is a graduate of Longwood High School and Suffolk Community College, where he majored in Music.

He has travelled to different countries over four summers, with the Long Island Youth Orchestra. He studied with Sound Beach Music’s own Brian Chabza for five years and he now studies with Anne Mandaro.

Aaron enjoys playing violin and loves music as well as helping students get better at their instrument while having fun. He also likes to improvise, thanks to Brian, who inspired Aaron to take the violin in a new direction. He likes to teach his students different aspects of violin playing, the same way his teachers taught him. Aaron plays in a band called The Native Estates.
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Andrew Smith

Andrew teaches sax, flute and clarinet. He is currently studying Music Education at Long Island University, where he is principal tenor saxophonist in the Wind Ensemble and Jazz Ensemble, principal baritone saxophonist in the Saxophone Choir and alto saxophonist in the Wind Symphony. He also plays tenor saxophone, flute and clarinet in the LIU Post Jazz Combo.

Andrew studies classical saxophone with Timothy Ruedeman, jazz saxophone with T.K. Blue and classical clarinet with David Sapadin. He is in progress to obtain his Bachelor of Music in Music Education from L.I.U. Post. He is a member of the Honors Program. He has extensive performance experience. He has performed at such prestigious venues as Carnegie Hall and the Iridium Jazz Club.
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Bill Tsantes

Bill has a Master’s Degree in Education from Queens College.

He has studied privately with Tony Mann, Carl Schachter and Richard Rabatin.

Bill teaches guitar and bass as well as violin.

Some of the highlights of his performing experience are: performing Off-Broadway, at Theater Three and at Carnegie Hall. He has also recorded on several CDs.

Bill also toured Europe as the guitar tech for Richie Blackmore
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Bogdan Scurtu

Bogdan teaches clarinet (any level, all instruments including Eb and bass clarinet) and piano. He is also available to teach composition, theory, music history and electronic/computer music.

He started teaching in 1998. He has been the undergraduate clarinet instructor at Stony Brook University since 2003. In addition, he worked as a woodwind clinician and conductor with the Stony Brook Wind Ensemble and the undergraduate orchestra.

He has a Bachelors in Clarinet Performance, a Masters in Clarinet Performance, a Masters in Composition and a D.M.A. in Clarinet Performance.

Bogdan has received many clarinet performance awards in his native country of Romania, including 1st Prize in 1996 at the International music performance competition, Tg. Jiu, and in 1997 at the International “George Georgescu” performance competition. He has also received composition and education awards.

Bogdan is fluent in Romanian, French, English and German and is learning Japanese.

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Brian Chabza

Brian has been teaching at Sound Beach Music since 1997. He teaches violin, viola, guitar and mandolin.

Brian performed with Ants Marching (a Dave Matthews tribute) since 1998.  They played over 100 shows a year at venues such as Nassau Coliseum and Meadowlands Racetrack, and have opened for The Wailers in Seaside Heights, New Jersey and at many more locations. He currently plays in a bluegrass band called The Smokey Knoll Top Ramblers, with local mandolin player, Buddy Mirriam. He is also the current resident guitarist for Theatre Three, of Port Jefferson, and has been since 2006.

 

He studied privately with Ron Feinberg (bluegrass), John Blake, Jr. (jazz), Wendy Fogel (classical) and Alan Grubauer (jazz.)

 

Brian began playing professionally at 17-years-old.  He has attended workshops and master classes with Mark O’Connor, Claude Williams, Matt Glaser, Darol Anger, Buddy Spicher, Randy Elmore and Catherine Cho
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Carl D'Orsogna

Carl teaches harmonica, banjo, accordion and finger-style guitar. He has been teaching since 1976. He has performed in various bands and orchestras and as a studio musician. Carl wants you to know that proper study of technique enables the student to play well and most importantly, to enjoy it.

“Have fun!”
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Carl Millard

Carl teaches violin and viola. He began teaching in 2011. He has a Bachelor’s in Music Education from Five Towns College.

 Carl has played in productions of Broadway shows, weddings and in the Nassau Pops Orchestra. He has studied privately with Steve Rudin and Matthew Pierce.
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David Andersen

Dave teaches guitar and piano at Sound Beach Music as of May, 2009. He has been playing guitar since 1997, as well as playing piano since 1999. He excelled in Advanced Placement Music Theory courses during high school.

Dave performed in 2007’s “Save the Music Festival” to raise money for the Miller Place High School music programs. He also has performed in various music bands and recording projects over the years. He studied privately with Michael Livering at The Performing Arts Studio in Port Jefferson.
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David Dreyfus

David teaches drum set and snare drum. He started teaching in 1984. He is a graduate of Miller Place High School (1986.) He has an Associates in Liberal Arts with an emphasis on music (concert band, jazz band and theory.)

David’s first drum teacher was Arthur Johnson. He next studied with Bill Dwyer. At age 18, he began studying with internationally renowned drum educator Dom Famularo. He also studied with two of Dom's instructors, Al Miller and Jim Chapin. He continues to study and practice to this day; he considers himself a perpetual student of the art of drumming.

David tells of one of his many performing experiences. Performing outdoors during the heat wave of 1999 at a museum in Richmond, Virginia, the show was with the band Lenahan, a Celtic rock group. They did two sets-the first an hour, the second an hour and a half. There was an estimated audience of two thousand people. In spite of the heat (nearly one hundred degrees) everyone had a great time. He says it was amazing to see so many people dancing and having fun.

Dave’s education continues to this day. He’s always reading and studying different subjects such as: Health, History, Economics, Environmental Issues, Gardening, Sociology, etc.
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Hristina Blagoeva

Hristina has been teaching flute and piano since 2003. She is a currently a lecturer and doctoral candidate in Music Performance at Stony Brook University, and has a Masters in Music Performance from the University of Texas at Austin.

Hristina has performed has performed throughout Europe and America and developed a strong international reputation. Her teachers include Carol Wincenc (Julliard School of Music) and Aralee Dorough (principal flutist of the Houston Symphony Orchestra).

Hristina enjoys teaching very much and encourages her students to enjoy music, and the creative process of playing an instrument.
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Jessica Bender

Jessica received a Bachelor’s Degree in Music (vocal) from the Crane School of Music. She has also studied privately with Nancy and David Adams, Dr. Eileen Strempel, Catherine Sevigney and Ronald Meixsell.

Jessica teaches voice.

Some of the highlights of her career to date are performing at formal recitals as well as in plays.

Jessica has been teaching since 2000. She loves to teach voice. She finds that her students build confidence and develop self-esteem which is beneficial in all aspects of life, not just in performance.
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Jim Carrol

He has a B.A. degree from Berklee College of Music. Private study includes: Gary Chaffee, Joe Hunt, Jim Chapin, Michael Lauren, Al Miller, Lenny White, Joe Morello, Peter Magadini, David Garibaldi, Billy Cobham and Akira Tana.

Instruments he teaches here are: drums, all percussion, all orchestral, all Latin, South American, African, Celtic, North Indian drumming as well as theory and improvisation.

He has been teaching individual and group lessons for 22 years. He has taught percussion at various public and private schools for 21 years.

Some of the highlights of his performing experience are as follows: Annual Concert at Carnegie Recital Hall, 1996 Olympics in Atlanta and original drummer for the Off-Broadway production of “Summer of ‘69” with the band Little Curtis and the Big Men. He has performed with Eddie Brigati and Gene Cornish (The Rascals) and also for Johnny (“Sleepwalk”) Farina.

He has been an adjudicator for SCMEA festivals and for NYSSMA for over 10 years. He has also judged many drum competitions in the metro area. Many of his students have gone on to study music in college. Two of his students gained national recognition with their bands, both with multi-platinum selling albums.

He also does clinics for musicians and non- musician groups in Suffolk and Nassau County Schools.
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Joe Azzara

Joe teaches drums, guitar and piano.  He started teaching in 1990, while attending Five Towns College.  While attending, he excelled in advanced theory.  He double majored in Jazz/Commercial Music and Audio Engineering.  Joe was on the Dean's list from 1989 to 1991.  He began by teaching himself and he then studied with Bob Emery, Frank Hanson, Pete Rogene, and Ray Alexander while at Five Towns.

Joe has a passion for teaching.  He really enjoys it!  He said it's rewarding for him to see students progress and grow from beginners to accomplished players.
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Joe Lopez

Joe is a graduate of the Berklee College of Music with a degree in instrumental performance. He also has studied privately with Alan Dawson and Gary Chaffee.

He teaches drums and has been teaching since 1978.

Some of the highlights of his musical experience have been recording, as well as playing in clubs. He has performed in local bands including Milagro, a Latin rock band.
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Jorge Mesa

Jorge has been teaching bass guitar since 2002. He received his Bachelor's of Arts in Music from Queens College

Jorge has played with established professional groups all over the country. He has played in Carnegie Hall, CBGBs, and a short stint with Eileen Ivers from Riverdance and many more locations. He has also worked as a backup for legendary bassist Bakithi Kumalo.

He is currently keeping a rigorous performing schedule with eight varied groups in the tri-state area. Jorge is very well acclimated to a number of music genres and also plays ukulele.

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Justin Waller

Justin teaches trombone and baritone horn (all levels), intermediate trumpet and French horn and beginner guitar and piano.He began teaching in 2004.

He is in progress on his Doctor of Musical Arts in Performance at Stony Brook University; he has a Master’s in Music from Stony Brook and a Bachelor of Music in Performance from Columbus State University.

Justin has frequently subbed with orchestras in the Southeast, including a world premiere at Symphony Space in 2011 and performed a concerto with the S.A.U. Orchestra.

He has studied with Michael Powell, American Brass Quintet; Brad Palmer, CSU and Doug Warner, Chattanooga Symphony and Opera.He’s had multiple lessons and performed in master classes with trombonists from groups such as the New York Philharmonic, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Met Orchestra and the Atlanta Symphony and more.

Justin is a teaching assistant for the Stony Brook Music Department and an adjunct instructor of low brass at Suffolk Community College

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Krysta Donnelly

Krysta has been teaching flute since 2006. She graduated from S.U.N.Y. Suffolk in 2012 and will complete her degree at LIU Post in 2015.

She was the featured soloist in the Suffolk Community College in 2010 and has been a member of the LIU Post Wind Symphony, Orchestra and Flute Ensemble. She has played flute since 1999.

She studied with Michelle LaPorte and currently studies with Karla Moe.

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Leslie Sloup

Leslie teaches clarinet, alto sax and oboe. She received an Associates Degree in Music from Suffolk County Community College and holds a Bachelors Degree in Music Education from Long Island University-C.W. Post.

She has performed at Carnegie Hall in April, 2010 and in the Port Washington Clarinet Choir. She recently participated in a performance tour in China.

She has participated in several community band and theater programs. She enjoys performing in pit orchestras. She has studied privately with Dr. Levana Cohen and David Sapadin.

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Lucas Balslov
Recently graduated from Stony Brook University with a degree in music, Lucas achieved highest honors with the distinction summa cum laude. While at Stony Brook he was also awarded the Presser Music Scholarship. Over the past four years he has also studied trumpet at summer music festivals including the Atlantic Brass Quintet Seminar and the Bay Brass summer Brass Institute, where he studied with members of the San Francisco Symphony. As an undergraduate at Stony Brook, Lucas performed with the graduate Symphony Orchestra under conductors such as Rossen Milanov, Edwin Outwater, George Manahan, Jeffery Meyer, Glen Cortese, David Lawton, Tim Long, and Alan Kay.

Lucas performed with the New York Youth Symphony for three seasons in Carnegie Hall under the direction of Ryan McAdams. While in high school he was also in the Long Island Youth Orchestra, Nassau-Suffolk Wind Symphony, and the All County and All State symphonic bands.

Lucas teaches both trumpet and piano, and has studied privately with Kris Kwapis and Kevin Cobb.
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Linda Robertson

Linda studied music education for 3 years in college and studied privately with Joseph Mahoney.

She has been teaching piano for many years. She has been teaching at Sound Beach Music since 2003.
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Mallory Rivera

Mallory teaches voice for Sound Beach Music. She began teaching, in a school setting along with teaching private students, in 2010.

She received her Bachelor of Music in Music Education, Concentration in Voice in May, 2010 from Nazareth College, Rochester, NY.

She has been performing in various capacities for most of her life, from individual performances to musicals to working with bands.

She studied privately with Rose Kosh, Derrick and Andrea Folan.

Mallory says, “Music is my passion. I enjoy listening to and feeling involved with all genres and areas of music. I love to study the voice as an art form and the meaning and psychology behind it.”
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Michel Ligonde


Michel teaches the guitar. 

 

He started giving private guitar lessons in 1996.

 

He received his Bachelor’s of Science and Master’s of Arts at City College of New York.

 

Michel has performed auxiliary services (now G.E.D Plus) for high school graduation ceremonies from June 1996 to June 2008.

 

He performed at Brooklyn’s 5th annual Jazz Festival on April 18th, 2004 at St. Philips Episcopalian Church.

 

He studied privately with guitarist Dernst Emile from 1995 to 2005.  He also studied with guitarist Roni Ben-Hor from 1996 to 1997 at the Jazzmobile and took as few private lessons with him as well.

As the duo known as 2Do, Michel recorded a CD with saxophonist Jim Ferraiuolo.  He has a website and his music can be listened to at 2DoMusic.com.  2Do has played at clubs, anniversary and birthday parties, weddings, graduations, proms, and retirement and fund-raising events.

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Mike Orioles

He has an A.A.S in Music from Suffolk Community College and a B.S. from S.U.N.Y Stony Brook. He has studied privately with Tony Mann, Richard Rabatin for improvisation, blues and jazz guitar and Jerry Willard for classical guitar.

Mike has been teaching guitar and bass since 1987.

He has played in the off-Broadway play “Summer of 69”and has done studio work with such people as Doug Stegmeyer (Billy Joel), Kasum Suitor (Todd Rundgren and Joan Jett), Steve Holly (Elton John).
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Pete Heywood

Pete began playing drums at the age of 11. He has studied with John Speidel, Tony Sanns and Al Miller. He has had a wide variety of playing experiences since the age of 13 and has recorded with the “Fifth Avenue Band”. He currently has three drum study books in progress as well as several articles published in “Creative Drummer Magazine”.

Pete has been teaching since 1961.

Former students include: Bobby Rondenelli of Black Sabbath and John Miceli of Meatloaf.
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Regina Gordon

Regina is an instructor of voice, piano and violin. She has been teaching since 2007and at Sound Beach Music since 2009. She graduated from Five Towns College in 2010 having received a Bachelor’s Degree of Music, with an emphasis in Music Education. She is a New York State certified music teacher and is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Psychology.

During her years at Five Towns College, she performed in her school’s select choir of which she was a section leader and often a soloist. She has been seen in many musical and opera performances including HMS Pinafore, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and A Christmas Carol. She has performed all over New York including having performed at Carnegie Hall. She has studied voice privately with many teachers and is currently under the tutelage of Ken Friese.

Regina has spent many years training to be a teacher and a performer. She loves teaching music equally as much as performing. She says there is nothing more rewarding than being a teacher and plans to do it for a long time.
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Sally Morrison

Sally has been playing piano since 1987 and has been teaching for Sound Beach Music since 1996. She has studied with several teachers including Rozanne Chevallier. Sally also sings professionally. Her specialty is playing classical piano.

Sally is also one of the former owners of Sound Beach Music. She has extensively coached and trained others to be effective.

 
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Sean Mackenzie

Sean has been playing the cello since 1997 and piano since 1999. He started teaching in 2005. He studied privately with Christine Schaefer and Rozanne Chevalier.

Sean is a graduate of Brooklyn College Film School. He currently plays keyboard in a band. He is also working as a production assistant on film shoots in New York City and Long Island.
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Steve Rudin

Steve attended the High School of Music in Manhattan and later received his Master’s Degree in Music Education from L.I.U., C.W. Post campus.

He also studied privately, first with his father, a violinist with the New York Philharmonic and later with Max Weiner, also with the Philharmonic and with Harvey Glickman and Sylvan Schulman, both former members of the N.B.C. Symphony.

He is a retired orchestra teacher in Rocky Point Schools. He has been teaching at Sound Beach Music since 1992.

Steve also plays at many social events around Long Island.
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Steve Subject

Steve teaches guitar and bass and has been teaching since 1975.

Steve began studying the guitar at the age of 12. It was at this time that he began his career as a vocalist. He was the leader of several bands throughout high school. He began writing songs in 1971 after purchasing his first acoustic guitar. In 1975, he began performing as a soloist throughout Long Island, continuing to compose all along. In 1976, he joined a four piece band, The Spring Fever Band, as a bass player and vocalist, performing all over Long Island. In 1987, he joined a seven piece band, Spectrum, performing at weddings, bar mitzvahs, retirement parties, graduations, etc. To date, he still continues work as a soloist, in a duo and in up to a full band as required by the job.

In 1975, he first began teaching private lessons on guitar and later added electric bass. In 1979, he began teaching at a small music store in Sound Beach called Tony Sanns Music. A few months later, he began working in the store and within a short time became the manager. On January 1, 1985, he purchased the store and has owned it since.

In 1989, the store first expanded to five teaching rooms and added a drum shop. In 1994, Sound Beach Music moved from Sound Beach to Miller Place in Miller Place Square, expanding to seven teaching rooms. In February, 2004, was the last expansion to 5000 square feet with ten teaching rooms and a 500 square foot drum shop.

In 1998, his first CD, “All Life’s Changes” was released, containing 13 original compositions and featuring several other teachers of Sound Beach Music. In 2004, his second CD, “Living a Dream” was released, again containing 13 original tunes and featuring his wife, on vocals and even more members of the Sound Beach Music family on a wide variety of instruments.

Steve had up to 50 students at one time but now only has time for a handful. He and his wife Sally, co-owner of the store, continue to teach and are hands-on, working owners, highly involved in the day-to-day serving of our customers and the running of the store.

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Sound Beach Music
66 Echo Avenue
Miller Place, NY 11764
631.476.3850
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