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Our Teachers


drums
Check out the bios on this page to learn Saxophonea little bit about our talented teachers.
*Parentheses indicate Ridgefield Music teaching debut.

Voice
Beth Mirahver (2017)

Bass, Guitar and Voice
Pat Lavery (1999): Pat graduated from WestConn in 1989, and he has been playing and teaching professionally ever since. Dave studied with Lyndon Christie and Dave Anderson. He has also composed music for TV shows including Another World, The X Files and Road Rules. Pat's got a great voice too and a very busy performance schedule.

Clarinet and Saxophone
Dave Savitsky (1998): Dave is a 1996 Hartt School graduate. He teaches traditional sax, improvisation and ear training. Dave studied with Jackie McLean and Ken Radnofsky. He plays with the jazz quartet "Blue" and works with the funk-rock-fusion band "Fro.”

Saxophone, Clarinet & Flute
Joe Natale (2015): Joseph has a BA in Jazz Studies from Hartt(2012) and an MM in Jazz Studies from SUNY(2014). He’s proficient on sax, clarinet and flute and is well-versed in all music styles. His teachers include Jimmy Greene,Rene Mclean,Kris Allen and Ralph Lalama. Joe’s played in a variety of groups and genres.

Drums
Phil Banette (1990): Phil teaches music in the Ridgefield public schools. A graduate of Berklee with a degree in music education, he studied privately with Joe Corsello, Bill Norine and drum guru Gary Chester. Phil's drum instruction program begins with rudiment studies. He then progresses to drum-set work in a variety of styles as well as introducing soloing techniques. You can see Phil perform with the jazz band The Reluctant Lemmings.
Steve Mansfield (1993): Steve received his Bachelor of Music degree from New York University. He studied at the Drummer's Collective with Kim Plainfield and has studied privately with Bill Cerulli, Adam Nussbaum, John Riley Frankie Malabe, Jim Mola, Warren Odze, Pete Abbott, Arthur Lipner, Sherrie Miralce, and bassist Mike Richmond. He has been teaching private and group lessons for over 20 years and has taught all age groups and levels. Steve also authored the instructional book “1001 Drum Grooves” which continues to sale well worldwide. He has performed at numerous music festivals and has toured Europe as well as all over the east coast. Steve has recorded in a variety of idioms including: rock, pop, Afro-Cuban, reggae, small group jazz, folk, big band jazz, funk, steel band, blues, and world music. Artist Steve has worked and recorded with:
Matt Moadel (1997): Matt Moadel received a Bachelor of Arts in Music from Western Connecticut State University in 1996 under the tutelage of Dave Smith. He has also studied with session legend Chris Parker and the great Bob Moses. Matt has been performing for over 20 years, and has performed and recorded with many artists spanning multiple genres. Matt’s curriculum is one of flexibility; he caters to the needs and learning style of each student.
Todd Budich (2001): Todd graduated from Berklee with a bachelor’s degree in performance. He’s studied with Rod Morgenstein, Casey Schuerell, and Kenwood Dennard. He continues to perform in a variety of musical settings.
Ed Murphy (2010): Ed graduated from Berklee in 92. He’s studied at The Febbraio School of Music in Mount Vernon N.Y, Berklee percussion faculty members Ed Uribe, Ed Kaspik, and renowned drummer Kim Plainfield at The Drummer’s Collective in NYC and privately with jazz great Adam Nussbaum as well as with African percussionist Fode Sissoko. Edward has performed and recorded with various artists including, trumpeter Lew Soloff, veteran rockers, Joe Bouchard and Dennis Dunaway, bassist Percy Jones, The Hey Baby Band, Litmus, as well as guitarists, Phil Forbes, and Marc Huberman.

Guitar
Brendan Saadat (2001): Brendan is a Berklee graduate. His credentials include teaching, performance and recording experience.
Tim Forcelli (2017)

Piano
Americo Carrasco (2015): Americo received a diploma in Jazz Piano performance from Mannes College of Music. He's been teaching since 2000 and mixes traditional and contemporary approaches. He's fluent in musical styles from jazz to reggae. Americo's musical projects include The Other People (jazz ) and The Mighty Conquerors (reggae). He holds a recital in June.
Chris Durham (1998): Chris received his degree from WestConn in 1991. Chris can teach jazz piano and is also a fine composer.

Piano and Violin
Colin Rose (2014):  Colin attended Hartt School of Music with a major in piano performance and a minor in music history.  He studied classical piano with Dr. Paul Rutman.  He performs, records and composes in a variety of different settings and genres - most recently composing and teaching original music for camper drama productions at the Harvey Cavalier Summer Camp, and recording keyboards for East Hartford-based metal band Under a Serpent Sun.
             Colin also plays and teaches violin.  He played violin with the Danbury Community Orchestra for six years before attending college, served as the concertmaster in the Harvey School's early music ensemble from 2008-2010, and has played violin in the pit for musical theater productions including Mame and Bye Bye Birdie.  He currently teaches individual violin and viola lessons while at the Harvey Cavalier Camp.

Strings
Katherine Thornburg (2013): Katherine Thornburg is an accomplished violinist, having studied her instrument for nearly twenty years. Prior to receiving her bachelor's degree in music education, she held membership in several orchestras and had the honors of sitting as section leader (principal second or concertmaster) for several of them. Katherine has taught students as young as five and as old as seventy-five and welcomes anyone who is interested in learning to play the violin regardless of their musical background or experience. KT teaches violin and viola

Saxophone, Clarinet & Flute
Kyle Camerato (2016)Kyle graduates from WestConn w/ Bachelors of Music Education in spring 2017. While at WCSU he’s played in Symphonic Band, Pit Orchestra, Chamber Woodwinds, Concert Choir, Chamber Jazz, Jazz Ensemble, Saxophone Quartet, Woodwind Quartet, Wind Ensemble, Jazz Orchestra, and Frankensax. He’s studied under Dave Noland, Javier Olveado and Dr. Kerry Walke

Flute
 David Markowitz (2017)​ lives and teaches in Westchester County, NY.  After studying Music Theory and History at Oberlin College, he earned his Master's in flute performance from Yale, where he studied with Ransom Wilson.  Other influential teachers have been Michel Debost, Dianne Spitalny, and Harold Jones.  He has taken master classes with  Julius Baker, Joshua Smith, Bradley Garner, and others


Now that you know about our staff of teachers…
What are you waiting for? Call us at 203-438-7446 to R.S.V.P. and set up lessons now!

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Contact Information
Ridgefield Music Studios
19 Governor St.
Ridgefield, CT 06877

Phone: 203-438-7446
Business Hours:
September to June

Mon - Thu: 11:00 AM - 07:00 PM
Fri: 10:00 AM - 06:00 AM
Sat: 10:00 AM - 05:00 PM
July and August
Mon - Fri: 10:00 AM - 06:00 PM
Sat: 10:00 AM - 05:00 PM
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