Mike PatrizioIMG_3551.JPG

I earned my BS and MS degrees in music and education from The College of St. Rose, Albany N.Y. I enjoyed an illustrious 37 year career for the North Colonie Central School District in Latham, NY first serving as an assistant band  director at Shaker High School for 2 years and then 19 years in the district elementary schools as band director. I often would assist with the general music classes as a K-6 instructor and believed that singing along with that age group served as being a positive male role model for them. I founded the fourth grade band program at Blue Creek Elementary School in Latham which eventually became a mainstay in all of their elementary schools. The North Colonie summer music program was also initiated and taught by me for 14 years. From 1993 through 2009 I was the Shaker High School band director, wind ensemble director and jazz ensemble director. I also founded the "Principals Own" Marching Band and the Flute Choir ensemble. I have enjoyed 9 years as a Pep Band Director for the Siena College Mens Basketball Program and have been an elementary, middle school and high school guest conductor for the Rensselaer and Columbia County Music Festivals. Previously I served as an adjunct instructor for the basic instrument repair classes for the College of St. Rose. In 2010 I was chosen by the Albany Times Union to form an experimental band comprised of adults who have not played since they graduated from High School. I believe that all of my successful teaching experience has now prepared me for my life's dream...The Patrizio Center for the Arts!

Ryan DwyerRyan_Dwyer_head_shot_1.jpg

Ryan has a degree in Music Education from SUNY Fredonia, and also Piano Performance from Schenectady Community College. He has been giving piano lessons independently and with music students since 2001. Ryan has been the Music Director of New Scotland Presbyterian Church since 2014. There he plays the pipe organ and piano. He has been the accompanist for Skano Elementary School in Shenendahowa CSD since 2010. There he plays piano with the 4th and 5th grade chorus and Orff Ensemble. Ryan began taking piano lessons when he was 7 years old and continued throughout college. He grew up playing saxophone in the Voorheesville CSD. He enjoyed taking guitar lessons in middle school, and singing with a garage band in high school. In college, he sang with the choral ensembles. Ryan has been an accompanist since he played for a cousin's wedding while in high school. In college, he accompanied other musicians every semester. He has played for local student's concerts, musicals, and NYSSMA adjudication. Ryan is thrilled to be working with students at The Patrizio Center For The Arts. He loves giving piano lessons and also hopes to accompany other students.

Elaine Gervais


Elaine is a native of Colonie and has been active in local professional music performance since graduation from Colonie Central High School. She successfully auditioned for the Albany Symphony Orchestra (ASO) shortly after graduation from high school and enjoyed a 30-year tenure in ASO as a member of the violin section and principal second violin during the last half of her tenure upOrchestra (2000-present), a professional mentor with the Skidmore College-Community Orchestra (2000-present), and violinist with the Glens Falls Symphony Orchestra (2002-present).  

Elaine is a NYS permanently certified teacher in K-12 music education, N-6 elementary education and K-12 special education.  She completed a Masters of Science degree in Special Education from Sage Graduate School and she taught at Lisha Kill Middle School, in the South Colonie Central School District, as a learning disabilities resource teacher.  Elaine completed the last 15 years of her professional education career with the NYS Education Department as an Associate in the Office of Special Education. Elaine retired in July 2014 and happily accepted the opportunity to teach privately at the Patrizio Center. Elaine is a cum laude graduate of the University at Albany with a Bachelor of Arts in music performance (viola) and secondary education.  She studied with Dr. Nathan Gottschalk, head of the music department as well as Marvin Morgenstern and Karen Tuttle. Upon graduation, she began a teaching assignment as the string teacher at Shaker High School until she left service to be home with her young children. Elaine has also performed in local area music venues such as the former Starlight Theatre (Colonie Coliseum), Proctors Theatre and Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC) for many entertainment stars such as Pavorati, Josh Groban, Smokey Robinson, Dionne Warwick, Rita Moreno, and Tony Bennett and many others.  She played violin in the orchestra for Mariah Carey’s televised concert as well as in her “Hero” video on MTV.

Jen Grant

Jenny has been teaching violin, viola, and cello at the Patrizio Center since it's opening in 2012. She finished her Liberal Arts education at the North Colonie School District in 2002. While there, she played viola in orchestra from the 4th grade up until her senior year. The music program there inspired her to pursue an education in music, and further her experience with string instruments. She attended The College of Saint Rose, and received a Bachelor's Degree in Science, with a concentration of Music Education, in 2006. Afterward, she applied herself in an intensive online program at Boston University, where she received her Master's Degree in Music Education in 2012. 

While at Saint Rose, Jenny gained experience teaching string-playing students from grades 4-12 in the Chatham and Niskayuna School Districts. Afterward, she returned to North Colonie as a substitute teacher in 2006. After a few years of teaching at multiple schools, she was hired as a Shaker High School Building Substitute, where she teaches currently. There, she has gained experience teaching orchestra, band, chorus, and music theory, among other classes that the school provides. She also has taught private lessons independently, and also works at other music studios in the area since 2006. She applies her 7 years of music teaching experience into her weekly lessons with students, including music theory. She values the importance of students having a full understanding of what they are learning; looking at the execution of performing music, what the music itself signifies, and of course, having fun in the process! 

Ralph Raymond Hays Ralpy_Raymond_Hays.jpg

Ralph Raymond Hays is an experienced educator and performer, currently serving on the music faculty of SUNY Adirondack and Castleton University. He has taught instrumental music Kindergarten through Grade 12 in Northeastern Ohio and has taught locally at the College of Saint Rose, Schenectady County Community College, Creative Discover Preschool, and Skidmore College. 

Ralph earned his Ba in Music Industry from the University of Miami where he studied saxophone with Kirby Campbell — former member of the MGM Studio Orchestra, and four-time Grammy Nominee, Eduardo Calle. While at Miami, Ralph performed in the Marching Band, Symphonic Band, Wind Ensemble (directed by Alfred Reed), the Opera Orchestra, and founded the ΦMA Saxophone Ensemble. Ralph received his M.A. in Music Composition and his second Ba in Music Education from Kent State University where he taught Saxophone Methods and performed with the Wind Ensemble, Faculty Saxophone Quartet, Jazz Band, and Symphony Orchestra. 

Daniel HokeDaniel_Hoke.JPG

Daniel enjoys playing bass and teaching throughout the Capital Region. He graduated from the College of Saint Rose in 2019, where he studied music education with a focus on string instruments. There, he had many unique performance and education opportunities, such as a winner of the Saint Rose Concerto Competition, a player in the college's faculty Camerata, and a counselor for the Saint Rose Pre-College Experience. He also directed the college's mixed a capella group, who had frequent performances and competitions and sang in several of the college's other choirs. More recently, he is teaching elementary orchestra students in the South Colonie School District. He also performs frequently with pit and chamber orchestras, and he enjoys singing barbershop and attending conventions like the New England Harmony Brigade.

Elena KarpoffElena_Karpoff_pic.jpg

Elena is a pianist, songwriter, and musician from Upstate New York. She was raised by two loving parents; her father, a concert pianist and entrepreneur of the Entrada Piano Technique, and her mother, a classically-trained soprano and musical theater voice professor. As a child, Elena enjoyed improvising with her dad at the keyboard, and began taking classical piano lessons at the age of 6. Throughout her education, Elena sang in choir and participated in many extracurricular vocal ensembles. In her teen years, she spent much of her spare time learning her favorite songs by ear at the piano, and arranging them for her high school acapella groups and other miscellaneous projects. Through analyzing some of these songs, she became fascinated with music theory and studied for the AP exam independently. In May of 2019, Elena released her debut album “Artifacts,” a project she wrote, arranged, recorded, mixed, and mastered during her time at The College of Saint Rose. She subsequently graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in Music Industry. In addition to piano and voice, Elena dabbles in a number of other instruments; she is self-taught on ukulele and guitar, and spontaneously took 3 semesters of violin lessons in college. In lessons, Elena is passionate about music-making and encouraging creativity at the keyboard.  At the same time, she works to teach a healthy, tension-free technique from the very beginning, understanding that students will enjoy playing and singing much more if they learn to do so with ease!

Adam Kiefer Adam_Kiefer.png

Adam Kiefer is a professional percussionist who has recently moved to the Albany area from New York City.  While living in the city, Adam worked as a freelance musician playing percussion for numerous cabaret shows and musical theater productions, including playing percussion for the Radio City Christmas Spectacular for the last couple of seasons. He is proficient in many percussion instruments including mallet percussion, drum set, timpani, world percussion, and many accessories.

Adam is originally from Nashville, TN, where he received his Bachelor of Music in Classical Percussion Performance from Belmont University. In 2014, he moved to New York City to pursue his Masters in Percussion Performance from New York University. Adam has also recently obtained an Advanced Certificate in Music Education from CUNY Brooklyn College. He is now certified and licensed to teach music in New York State. With Adam’s firsthand experience as a successful freelance musician, his goal as a music educator is to guide his students in achieving their full creative potential, while also inspiring in them a love and passion for music and the arts. 

Katie LeClairKatie_Photo.jpg

Katie LeClair graduated from The College of Saint Rose with her B.S. in Music Education. Although she specializes in woodwinds, she has experience playing and teaching brass as well. Katie has performed with various groups at Saint Rose, including the Flute Choir, Symphony Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, and principal flute in the Symphonic Band. She has been teaching private lessons for five years throughout Massachusetts and New York. With experience teaching in North Colonie, Guilderland, and Berne-Knox-Westerlo school districts, she has been able to experience a variety of teaching methods and styles to ensure success for her students. When not teaching or practicing, Katie is known to bake desserts to share with others. She is excited to be able to share her passion for music with the Patrizio Center! 

Marissa ScottiMarissa_Scotti.png

Marissa Scotti has been studying voice under a number of well-regarded teachers and coaches for almost ten years. A current student at the College of Saint Rose, Scotti is pursuing her Bachelor of Music in vocal performance. In addition to performance, she studies vocal pedagogy in classical and contemporary settings, with a focus on vocal health. She has competed at the local, national, and international level in classical voice competitions, most recently placing 2nd overall with a special diction award in the New Russia Cultural Center winter competition (2018) and making it to the second round of the 2019 Classical Singer competition in Chicago, IL. 

Ava Smith 

Hello! My name is Ava. I am a professional keyboardist with experience playing classical, jazz, funk, and various other genres with live bands. I have received classical training under Dee Cucinotta, jazz instruction by Michael Lamkin, who was later mentored by Dustin LeDuke and attended college at SCCC. I have 4 years of experience assisting children with disabilities with daily living and enrichment activities, 1 year of experience as a Direct Support Professional in a residential home for adults with disabilities, and I am comfortable teaching people of all ages and skill levels. My specialties include improvisation, music theory, ear training, and songwriting. I can also teach all NYSSMA requited skills, such as sight-reading.

Emilee Brunette


Emilee Thayer started her private study of music in high school on the Piano with Karen Armedeo and Gayle Hinsdill and began her Clarinet studies with Conrad Kushay. She received an Associate’s degree in Music Performance with a concentration on the Clarinet from Schenectady County Community College (SCCC).  While at SCCC she studied Clarinet primarily with Brett Wery, and spent a semester studying with Robin Seletsky and Michael Cirigliano, as well as Piano with Mark Evans. She then transferred to SUNY Fredonia where she received her Bachelor’s degree in Music Education K-12. She studied Clarinet with Dr. Marcy Bacon, James East, and Dr. Andrew Seigel. While at SUNY Fredonia Miss. Thayer had the opportunity to complete a semester abroad in Arezzo, Italy at the Accademia dell’Arte, through Furman University. While abroad she visited sites of great musical and historical importance, such as the Vatican and Sistine Chapel in Rome, Saint Mark’s Basilica in Venice and the homes of multiple composers including Mozart, Haydn, and Puccini. She studied with Italian Clarinetist Gianluca Piomboni. After SUNY Fredonia she continued onto Mansfield University where she was the Graduate Assistant of Bands and received her Master’s degree in Instrumental Conducting. She studied conducting with Dr. Adam Brennan, and the clarinet with Dr. David Wetzel.  Currently Miss. Thayer is performing on the Clarinet and Bass Clarinet with the SCCC Wind Ensemble and The Memorial Concert Band of Colonie, respectively. She also plays Clarinet for the Capital Region Wind Ensemble and the Glove City Winds (Gloversville Community Music).

Joey Van UllenJoey.jpg

Joey Van Ullen is a clarinetist based out of Albany, NY. He spent three years in New York City as an arts administrator and freelance clarinetist and has performed opera, musical theatre, and chamber music with Taksu Theatre Company, North Shore Music Festival, and Martha Cardona Theatre, among others. Since returning to Albany, he has maintained a private teaching studio in addition to performing. He holds degrees in both Clarinet Performance and Music Business from the Crane School of Music.

Brittany WellsWells.jpg

Brittany Wells is a pianist who pursues her love of music through playing, teaching, and performing.  She has given many performances and solo recitals throughout the area and is highly dedicated to teaching piano.  Brittany began her studies at SUNY Adirondack in Queensbury, NY, and went on to study at The College of Saint Rose where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in music with a concentration in piano performance.