MEGAN AMBROSE holds a Bachelor of Music in Music Education from Seton Hill University. While living in Pittsburgh, she was a member of the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh, the a cappella group In Acchord, and a paid chorister with the Eastminster Presbyterian Church. She moved to Myrtle Beach for a year and was a member and featured soloist with the Carolina Master Chorale and a paid chorister with the First United Methodist Church of Myrtle Beach. Returning to the area in 2009, Miss Ambrose has been a cantor and pianist at St. Callistus Catholic Church, as well as co-director of the youth choir there. She teaches Pre4-5th grade general music and 5th grade social studies, science, and health, at St. Marys Catholic Elementary School. Miss Ambrose and her 8-year-old daughter Mia reside in Kane.
ALEX BURDETTE is a Youngsville High School alumni and graduate of Penn State University with a Bachelor of Music degree. He studied flute performance and pedagogy with Dr. Naomi Seidman, and was previously instructed by Warren’s own Ann Mead while in high school. At PSU he was active in multiple chamber groups, the symphonic wind ensemble, and philharmonic orchestra. Alex began his career of music making at the WCSMS, many years ago, and is thrilled to share the same joys and wonders of music with his students that he experienced as a young musician.
ANNE CULBERTSON received a Master of Music in Choral Conducting from Hartt School of Music, and a Doctor of Music Education from Indiana University School of Music, Bloomington, Indiana. She earned certificates in Kodaly and Orff and has been a presenter, clinician, and conductor at conferences, workshops, and festivals. She taught elementary general music at Friends School of Baltimore, MD from 1987-2015.
JUDI CARLSON DANIELSON is a Warren native who attended Mansfield University and graduated from the University of West Florida, Pensacola, Fl. She is currently teaching at Saint Joseph Catholic School here in Warren. In addition to teaching music, she is St. Joseph’s technology coordinator, computer and physical education teacher. She plays flute with the choir at Grace United Methodist Church and recently played in the pit orchestra with the Warren Players 2013 production of “A Christmas Carol: The Musical”.
BRYAN ECKENRODE graduated cum laude from SUNY at Stony Brook and holds a Master of Music degree from SUNY at Buffalo. He is currently principal cello with the Western New York Chamber Orchestra and Southern Tier Symphony. Eckenrode has performed with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, with Ars Nova, and as principal cellist of the British Columbia (Canada) Mozart Festival Orchestra. He is a member of the Lexington String Quartet, and the chamber groups Voci D’Amore and Camerata.
Eckenrode records with the International Baroque Soloists, and he can be heard on the CDs of many artists, including Ani DiFranco, Sixpence None the Richer, Seven Day Faith, Them Jazzbeards, John and Mary, and Alison Pipitone: not only as a cellist, but as a bagpiper and flutist. He has recorded the sound tracks of film scores for a number of silent movies being distributed on commercial DVD by the Turner Broadcasting Network. He has performed twice at Lincoln Center in New York and recently recorded the sound track for the PBS special – The Siege of Fort Erie – A Glorious Battle. He will be cellist with The Most Arts Festival 2014 at Alfred University.
Eckenrode is conductor and music director of the Warren Philharmonic Orchestra and the Chautauqua Regional Youth Symphony, the Prelude Strings Orchestra, and the Young Artists Orchestra of Jamestown. He conducted the Niagara All-County Festival Orchestra and the Erie All-County Festival Orchestra at Kleinhans Music Hall in Buffalo, and returns this year to conduct the Erie All-County Festival Orchestra. He has been guest conductor with the Western New York Chamber Orchestra and The Southern Tier Symphony. Eckenrode is the program coordinator for Artpark’s Music in the Woods series.
Eckenrode is an adjunct professor at Canisius College, Jamestown Community College, and director of the string department at Villa Maria College. Eckenrode is on the music faculty at the renowned Nichols School in Buffalo. He is also a licensed Realtor with Nothnagle Realtors Property Centre. He is married to the internationally acclaimed soprano, Cristen Gregory.
SUSAN GOBBEL is a retired art teacher with twenty years of experience. She holds a B.S in Art Education from Edinboro University and a Master Equivalent Degree in Art, specializing in jewelry design, drawing, and painting. Her graduate work was completed at Edinboro University, University of Massachusettes, and Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts. She also holds a Certificate in Drafting and Design with a focus in architecture from American Technical Institute. Susan is currently a Rostered Artist with the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and holds a Certificate in Timeslips Creative Storytelling. Her one of a kind silver jewelry pieces can be found at the Painted Finch and ECCOTA Galleries.
CHARLES EURYDICE GRAY is a Summa Cum Laude graduate of Grove City College with dual degrees in Communications Arts and Literature with a teaching concentration. Chuck has completed graduate level studies in English Literature at Middlebury College’s Breadloaf School of English. While a junior and senior at Grove City, Chuck worked as an intern at Three Rivers Shakespeare Festival. Soon after graduating, Chuck became the Company and Facility Manager for Pittsburgh Public Theater. Chuck continued working for The Public as a creative dramatics instructor and curriculum developer while she served as Director of Exhibits at Pittsburgh Children’s Museum. In Pittsburgh, Chuck had the honor of being co-designer of a Pittsburgh Opera Gala, a board member for the Pittsburgh Children’s Festival, and one of 16 designers chosen worldwide to participate in the Exploratorium’s Exhibit Staff Training Project. Moving to Chicago, Chuck became Marketing Communications Manager for Court Theatre as well as an editor and writer of numerous articles for Stagebill magazine. Life moved Chuck further west to San Jose Repertory Theater. Over the next eight years, Chuck served as Assistant Business Manager, Foundation and Grants Manager, Literary Manager and project manager for the New American Playwrights Festival at San Jose Rep. Chuck began writing musicals with Lisa Quoresimo while in California and both of their musicals (Between Dirt & Sky and Ciribiribin), have received productions in San Francisco and San Jose, California. Chuck later became Director of Fund Development at Teatro Visión de San José. Since returning to Warren, Chuck found a home at Struthers Library Theatre as Artistic Director and grew the existing youth arts programming into SLT Academy, the theatrical training arm of Struthers Library Theatre. Today, Chuck is the President and CEO of Warren Entrepreneurship, doing special projects to increase the visibility and viability of Warren County.
JACK HEMINK received his Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees in Music Education from SUNY Fredonia. He taught elementary music in the Jamestown School District for thirty years, retiring in 2008. At that time, he also served as organist for Christ First United Methodist Church (formerly First United Methodist Church) for thirty-three years. Jack currently is Director of Music at First Lutheran Church in Warren, where in addition to being the organist, he is also director of the Senior Choir and the Joyful Sounds Handbell Choir.
ERIC HESTER is a composer and educator living in Jamestown, NY. He holds a Master of Arts in Music and a Bachelor of Arts in Music Composition from Western Michigan University. Eric teaches general music at Warren Area Elementary Center and is Director of Music at Tree of Life Evangelical Lutheran Church.
DANIEL IMIG holds a BS in Communications and Fine Arts and studied guitar under Joseph Breznekar. He has also studied at the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago with Eric Lugosch. He currently writes commercials for radio and television.
SARAH KORCHAK earned a Bachelor of Music Education from Mansfield University and a Master of Music Education from Ithaca College with a major in piano and concentration in vocal music. She has earned certification in Orff-Schulwerk, studied string pedagogy at Ohio State University and pursued interests in drumming and instrument repair through the years. She began her career in New York State, has been employed by the Warren County School District since 1994 and is currently the only music teacher in the Eastern Attendance Area, responsible for all music classes and extra-curricular offerings K-12. Mrs. Korchak enjoys new challenges and a variety of interests. Steel drum band is among her recent pursuits, and she is eager to share her experience and knowledge with WCSMS students. She is active in her church as a music minister and director of Religious Education. Other interests include cooking, crafts and camping. Cherished free time is spent with husband Tim, daughter Tessa, and black labs Lizzie and Bailey.
RYAN LINDFORS was born and raised in Jamestown, NY. He attended JCC and SUNY Fredonia each for one year as a percussion performance major. Having started his musical endeavors at the young age of four with guitar lessons and joining vocal choirs, he found his true passion to be drums when his first kit was purchased for him by his parents for Christmas of 2007. He worked with local musicians and took private lessons all the way through high school until graduation. During his time in high school, he participated in Concert Band, Marching Band, A Cappella, Madrigals, Full Orchestra, NYSSMA, All County, All State, and much more. During the last half of 2015, Ryan was touring all of North America with the California based, internationally renowned metal act, Bermuda. Ryan teaches at Infinity Visual and Performing Arts in Jamestown.
ASHLEY MCLAUGHLIN is a former student, intern and as of 2014, the head photographer for WCSMS. Ashley is an alumni of Youngsville High School, where she was actively involved with concert band, marching band, jazz band, orchestra, and a member of the pit orchestra for two All-County Musicals. Although Ashley did not pursue a career in music, she continued her education within the fine arts field and graduated from Robert Morris University in 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Media Arts with a concentration in Photography and a minor in Business. Ashley has always enjoyed being a student and intern during the Summer Music School program and is looking forward to inspiring and teaching young minds about her passion for the arts. This will be Ashley’s third year teaching Photography classes at WCSMS. She is ecstatic to be introducing Photography II and to be continuing the Intro to Photography class at WCSMS and hopes to give students a fresh new perspective on how they see the world.
DENISE A. PEARSON earned her undergraduate degree in music education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and has pursued graduate study through several universities, including the Saratoga- Potsdam Choral Institute and University of the Arts. Denise taught at YEMS and Eisenhower where she directed choirs and taught general music. She is a member of PMEA (Pennsylvania Music Educators Association) and has been honored to conduct several PMEA elementary and junior high choral festivals. Mrs. Pearson is a performing member (flutist) of Warren’s Philomel Club and past recipient of its Music Teacher of the Year award. She served First Lutheran Church, Warren as Director of Choirs (vocal and handbell) for twenty-seven years and is now pleased to ring in the handbell choir that she founded.
DEBBIE PENLEY graduated from Pittsburgh Technical School with an Associate Degree in Graphic Design. She grew up in a small town in Ohio, marching with her high school band her Junior and Senior years. She started her own business in 2009, selling hand-made ceramic ocarinas – flute-like instruments. The business has morphed over the years into sculptural pieces, and included a couple years of handmade soap, but has now become primarily focused on fiber art, and specifically nature-themed wool sculptures and animals. Besides crocheting and felting, Debbie also enjoys hoop-dancing, reading a good book, bike riding, and watching her 4 kids grow up way too quickly.
JESSALYN PETERSON is a former student and intern of WCSMS, and started her music career at WCSMS. Jessalyn is an alumni of Eisenhower High School where she was actively involved in the marching band, concert band, and orchestra. She is also a graduate of The Pennsylvania State University (PSU) with a Bachelors in Music Education degree, where she focused in high school band instruction and flute studies. She studied flute and piccolo with Dr. Naomi Seidman at PSU, and while in middle and high school, Jessalyn studied flute and piccolo with former WCSMS director Ann Mead. While at PSU, she actively participated in the symphonic and concert bands, flute choir, and their collegiate chapter of Pennsylvania Music Educators Association (PMEA). Not only does Jessalyn play the flute and piccolo, she also plays the clarinet and cello.
RALPH RASMUSSON holds a B.S. and M.S. in Music Education with 39 years of instrumental instruction, grades 5-12 in New York State. He has been a Jazz band instructor for 36 years and twice named Guest conductor for NYSSMA sectional Festivals. He is Concert Band and Jazz Band Director at Jamestown Community College. He is a multi-instrumental performer in many venues such as Commercial, Dixieland, Jazz and Concert Band. He has added two new CDs and has a website at www.razzandfriends.com. Mr. Rasmusson was inducted into the Chautauqua County Music Hall of Fame in 2008.
MARK ROBINAULT has been actively involved in film and video production for over a decade. He has filmed and edited dozens of television commercials, short films, and feature-length documentaries. His most recent feature documentary, “The Children of Abraham” was accepted into the Asian Global International Film Festival in Dubai, India in 2017. Mr. Robinault is an experienced editor, videographer, animator, and visual artist. He is highly skilled and fluent in the Adobe Creative Suite, Final Cut Pro, Dragon Frame Animation, and Avid Pro Tools. Mr. Robinault earned his BFA in media arts and MA in Art Education at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. He was a substitute teacher at Warren County School District and 21st CCLC Tutor at the Warren County School District for two years prior to accepting his current position. Currently, Mr. Robinault is a K-8 art teacher at York City School District in York, Pennsylvania.
ASHLEE SPRANDLE was born and raised in Warren County, Pennsylvania. She received her BFA in Ceramics from Edinboro University in 2006. Throughout college she maintained a board position on the Student Art League and was the president of the EUP Clay Club. She has also had her ceramic work featured in student shows at the Edinboro’s Bruce Gallery and the Erie Art Museum. She was also published in the debut issue of Edinboro University’s award winning Journal of Art and Literature, Chimera. After graduation, she moved back home to Warren County to teach art in the Northern attendance area, as well as coach volleyball for Eisenhower High School and became the Scenic Director for the All County JR Musical. She now spends most of her time focusing on the classroom and the volleyball court, but when time allows, she keeps busy with painting and drawing at home.
MIKE WRIGHT has been working with children in many different capacities for over 13 years. He earned his bachelor’s degree in education at West Liberty University, and after graduating from college, worked as substitute teacher for many different school districts. Mr. Wright worked in the Warren County School District as a Special Education teacher for 3+ years, was a Child Care Director at the Eastside YMCA and Downtown YMCA in Erie and then teacher at East High as a Special Education teacher. He is currently employed in the Forest Area School District as a Health and Physical Educator and has coached football for 8+ years. Mike and his wife Kelly own Peace, Love, and Wellness, a massage and yoga studio in Warren. He enjoys time with his family, including three children, and being active in nature, and sports.