Faculty

 Violin – Viola – Cello – Piano – Voice – Harp – Guitar – Mandolin – Banjo – Fiddle – Flute 

Alice Kay Kanack – Executive Director

Violin, Viola, Suzuki violin, Suzuki viola, CAD

Nicknamed “Mozart’s Mother” by Dr. Shinichi Suzuki in 1984, Alice Kay Kanack has spent 40 years researching, teaching, and writing about how the creative process works in the brain. With the Alfred Publishing Company, Alice published five books in the Creative Ability Development series while her newest works, Improvising String Quartets, Basslines & Fantasies, and Playing From the Heart have been published through Creative Ability Development Press. She is currently the Executive Director of The Kanack School of Musical Artistry and the Vice Chair of the nonprofit organization, Creative Ability Development, Inc. As the founder of the Creative Ability Development(CAD) movement, she tours internationally, speaking and demonstrating her methods through live performances and workshops. Before the pandemic, she led the development of a new CAD program at the Sibelius Academy in Finland, was the keynote speaker for the SAO Conference in Canada, and led pedagogy workshops for the Teachers College at Columbia University and the Lucy Moses School at the Kaufman Center.  Steven Doane, Professor of Cello, Eastman School of Music and The Royal Academy of London wrote, “Alice Kanack is an educator of true originality and inspiration, who has been at the forefront of the movement to encourage creativity through musical improvisation in young musicians. At her music school and through her training programs she encourages students of all ages to include improvisation skills in daily practice, as an organic part of one’s musical development. I’m inspired by her continuing exploration of the pedagogical potential of this movement.” She currently lives in Rochester, NY with her two children, Daphne and Alexander.

 

Rebeca Boyd

Violin, Suzuki Violin

Dr. Rebeca Boyd earned her Doctorate of Musical Arts from the Eastman School of Music as a student of the legendary pedagogue Professor Zvi Zeitlin.  Music Education and community outreach have been at the forefront of Dr. Boyd’s artistic development.  For over two decades Dr. Boyd has been an instructor of violin and viola, has developed innovative string curricula, and provided community outreach as faculty of the Rochester City School District.  Her students have gone on to pursue music in their higher education.  Dr. Boyd is bringing her unique expertise to the Kanack School, providing quality instruction and passing on artistic leadership skills to the students under her guidance.

As an experienced performer Dr. Boyd has participated in artistically diverse projects which merge technology, music, and film.  As a member of the Empire Film and Music Ensemble (EFAME), she has been a featured soloist for film scores for the Beal Institute Recording Sessions, and a guest soloist in the Rochester Fringe Festival.   She was also a frequent performer at the Women in Music Festival which highlights women composers.  She was the Concertmaster of the Weber State Symphony Orchestra in Utah, and has served as Concertmaster of the Genesee Valley Orchestra and Chorus and Empire Film and Music Ensemble.

Dr. Boyd has received outstanding honors in International Competitions and performed at several international music festivals, winning second prize in the Master Player’s International Music Competition (Italy) 2011.  In the same year Dr. Boyd made her debut at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in New York City as a winner of the Romantic Music Competition of the American Protégé International Competition.

 

Henry Scott Smith

Violin, Suzuki Violin, CAD

Henry Scott Smith hails from Rochester, NY, a former student of Alice Kanack and Lee Byrne at the Kanack School. He holds his Bachelor’s degree in Violin Performance from Ithaca College, where he studied with Susan Waterbury, Kirsten Marshall, and Calvin Wiersma, as well as a Master’s degree in Business Administration. Henry has studied the Suzuki Method principally under Carrie Reuning-Hummel, as well as being a certified teacher of Alice Kanack’s Creative Ability Development Method. Henry frequently performs with a variety of folk and alternative projects in Rochester and the Finger Lakes region, and has previously played for the Orchestra of the Southern Finger Lakes, the Binghamton Philharmonic Orchestra, the Catskills Symphony Orchestra, and the Tri-Cities Opera Company. He is proudly a member of the American Federation of Musicians and the faculty of the Kanack School of Musical Artistry.

 

 

Grace Browning

Harp, Suzuki Harp

Praised for her “superb technical acumen and sensitive musicality” (South Florida Classical Review), Grace Browning has established herself as a versatile ensemble harpist, dynamic soloist, and passionate teaching artist. Equally at home with both symphonic and operatic repertoire, Grace was appointed Principal Harpist of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra in 2017 and the Santa Fe Opera in 2015; she can be heard on both ensembles’ GRAMMY award-winning albums: The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs and American Rapture.  As co-founder of the Browning-Krug Duo, Grace appears regularly with her fiancé Benjamin Krug (RPO cellist) with whom she arranges, improvises, and performs popular works for diverse audiences.  

Her love for opera began in 2014 when Grace won her first position as Principal Harpist of The Dallas Opera. In 2018, she made her debut with the Metropolitan Opera, performing Puccini’s Tosca, Bizet’s Carmen, and Wagner’s Siegfried. During her time in Texas, she regularly performed with the Dallas Symphony and the Philadelphia Orchestra and was invited to perform as Guest Principal during the Houston Symphony’s 2018 European Tour. She has participated in music festivals around the globe, including the Tanglewood Music Center, Spoleto Festival USA, Aspen Music Festival, Pacific Music Festival, and the National Repertory Orchestra.

A natural and charismatic presence on stage, Grace has performed as a soloist with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, the Pacific Symphony, and the National Repertory Orchestra. In 2015, she won the Young Texas Artist’s First Prize for Winds, Brass, Percussion & Harp, as well as the Aspen Music Festival Harp Concerto Competition. After completing her three-year fellowship at the New World Symphony in 2014, Grace was invited to return as both soloist and coach and had the honor to perform as a featured alumna for the Michael Tilson Thomas 70th Birthday Gala.

Born into a family of educators, Grace is a passionate teaching artist, Suzuki pedagogue, and performance psychology coach.  Thrilled to be joining the faculty at the Kanack School of Music, she taught previously for two years at the Suzuki Music Institute of Dallas, growing the studio from six to fourteen students and working with students of all ages, backgrounds, and disabilities.  As a collegiate teacher, Grace served as harp professor at the University of Denver Lamont School of Music from 2020 to 2021 and taught masterclasses at the University of Arizona, UNC School of the Arts, Roosevelt University, and the Curtis Institute of Music.  A longtime manager of obsessive-compulsive disorder, She has also led multiple workshops on positive performance practice for the American Harp Society and contributes regularly to the Harp Column magazine and online academy.   

Originally from Mountain Lakes, New Jersey, Grace received her Master of Music degree from the Juilliard School in 2011, following two years at the University of Michigan (B.M. 2009) and two years at the Eastman School of Music. In her spare time, Grace enjoys practicing Ashtanga yoga, cooking new meals, and spoiling her nieces, nephews, and rescue animals. 

Lee Byrne

Violin, Suzuki Violin

Lee is a Rochester native who trained with the renowned Suzuki pedagogue Anastasia Jempelis at the Eastman School of Music. Lee is an accredited teacher with the Suzuki Association of the Americas and has also had extensive training in Early Childhood education.

Sofya Gurevich

Piano, Preschool classes

Sofya got her degree in piano, music theory, and music literature in Russia. After teaching in Russia for many years, she moved to Rochester in 1993. Sofya currently teaches piano and also has extensive training in early childhood education.

Susan Innamorato

Piano, Suzuki Piano, Jazz, CAD

A native New Yorker, Susan Innamorato has recently made Rochester, NY her home after having lived, taught and performed in the New York City area for more than 30 years. She is trained both as a classical and jazz pianist and received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the School of Music at the State University of New York at Fredonia and Shenandoah University in Virginia. While at Fredonia, Susan first became interested in the Suzuki approach to teaching and immediately embarked on a career as a Suzuki teacher upon graduating from college. She also continued to refine her art by studying with world-renowned pianist German Diez and acclaimed jazz pedagogue Kenny Werner. She has since focused her career as a jazz singer/pianist, which has included performing in the New York City area while maintaining a successful teaching studio. As a jazz educator, her introductory materials have been influential in leading many students to become natural and creative jazz players and are available at www.susanijazz.com.

Karla Krogstad

Piano, Voice

Karla earned degrees in piano performance and music theory from the New England Conservatory of Music, the University of Connecticut, and the Eastman School of Music. Before founding the Bach Children’s Chorus in 1988, Ms. Krogstad taught piano privately and maintained a studio of 30 students. She has served as organist and choir director at the Genesee Baptist Church in Rochester. More recently, she has focused her professional activities on specializing in child pedagogy. She is an active composer and arranger for children’s voices, and is certified in the Orff method of teaching. Ms. Krogstad has received the “Friend of Foreign Language” and “Culture Through the Arts” awards from the New York State Association of Foreign Language Teachers for her work with children in various languages. She has conducted the Bach Children’s Chorus in such diverse works as Carmina Burana of Carl Orff, the Waltz of the Snowflakes from Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker, and the War Requiem of Benjamin Britten. The BCC performed with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra in Carnegie Hall in the concert version of Merry Mount, by Howard Hanson, once director of the Eastman School of Music. The Bach Children’s Chorus has been in residence at the Kanack School of Musical Artistry since 2022.

Daphne Pickens

Violin, Fiddle, Chamber Music

Daphne Pickens received her bachelor’s degree in violin performance at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, where she studied with Marilyn McDonald. She recently completed a Masters degree in Music Education at the Eastman School of Music, where she studied with Juliana Athayde. Having begun her musical studies and career at the Kanack School of Musical Artistry, Daphne has over 10 years of teaching experience. With strong roots in folk and classical styles, she currently performs with The Crooked North and Birch Trio. She has released one folk album to date with her best friend and bandmate, Casey Murray, titled To Zamir (2013). In addition to her roles as a performer and teacher, Daphne is also an avid composer, arranger, and visual artist. In 2016, Daphne collaborated with the Great Bear Trio, composing and recording string parts for their album, Magic Fantasy Dream Dance. Her drawings are featured in Book 2 of the Creative Ability Development Series, Basslines and Fantasies (2014), by Alice Kanack. In her free time, Daphne enjoys spending quality time with her friends and family, playing board games, knitting, attending contra and blues dances, and creating art out of broken, unusable musical instruments.

Thomas Rodgers

Violin, Chamber Music

Thomas Rodgers, a native of Anderson, Indiana, joined the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra in March 2012 as a member of the first violin section. During the 2014-2015 season, he served as principal 2nd violin. He holds a Master of Music degree in violin performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music, where he studied with William Preucil, former concertmaster of The Cleveland Orchestra. He also holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music (graduated summa cum laude), where he studied with Alexander Kerr, former concertmaster of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and current concertmaster of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. He enjoys performing chamber music with friends and colleagues and is a member of the Salaff String Quartet, founded in 2014 by RPO musicians. He also enjoys teaching and taught violin orchestral repertory at the Eastman School of Music during the 2019-2020 academic year. As a pandemic project, he started a YouTube channel, consisting primarily of videos of him performing various short pieces together with his father. (https://www.youtube.com/@kochanschannel569) Since 2012, Thomas has served on the faculty of the Kanack School of Musical Artistry.

Linnea Burr

Piano

Linnea Burr holds a MM in Choral Conducting and a BMus in Instrumental Music Education and Piano from Houghton University. Mrs. Burr has taught piano privately and in class piano settings for all ages, as well as classes in General Music, Chorus, and Music Theory. She currently teaches K-5 General Music at Rochester Classical Academy. Mrs. Burr enjoys seeing students achieve musical excellence at each level as they find their own creative voice.

 

 

 

 

Sunshine Quan

Harp

Chinese-Canadian harpist Sunshine Quan currently resides in Rochester NY, where she is pursuing a DMA degree in Harp Performance at the Eastman School of Music under the tutelage of Professor Kathleen Bride.

Since she arrived in the United States in 2021, Sunshine has been extensively involved in the various ensembles across Upstate New York, appearances include the Rochester Philharmonic, Binghamton Philharmonic, New York State Ballet, Cordancia Chamber Orchestra, and the orchestras and wind ensembles at Eastman, SUNY Fredonia, Nazareth College, and Roberts Wesleyan College. She has attained fellowships at the National Orchestral Institute and Mostly Modern Festival in the past summers. Her musical journey has brought her across the world, where she gave solo and chamber recitals in North America and China, and toured Spain with the Toronto Youth Wind Orchestra. Her ARCT performance recital at the Royal Conservatory of Music (Toronto, ON) received a National Gold Medal.

A passionate advocate for new music, Sunshine has played with Eastman Musica Nova and OSSIA New Music since 2021, and she composes and arranges for solo harp and harp ensemble. She serves as a Board Member of OSSIA New Music for the 2023-2024 season. Besides the harp and classical music, Sunshine also plays the Chinese zither (Guzheng), and she is an active performer of traditional Chinese music and Irish/Celtic music. Sunshine is currently on faculty at the Eastman Community Music School and Kanack School of Musical Artistry. She also teaches secondary harp lessons at Eastman and maintains a private studio online where she teaches students from Asia and Europe.

 

Esther (Rogers) Baker

Cello

Esther (Rogers) Baker returns to the Rochester area on leave from a DMA in cello performance at the Frost School of Music. Baker loves chamber music, experimental and contemporary classical music, improvisation, and is a dedicated teacher. Her teaching career started at age 14. Since then she has worked privately with students ages 3 to 90, beginner through college level, and led groups in chamber music, improvisation, cross-arts, and string orchestra. As a teacher, she believes in the power of the question: “What does this student need?”, and works to find ways of meeting those needs in every lesson. Baker has a Master’s degree from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and a Bachelor’s from the Hartt School, University of Hartford. Baker is researching interdisciplinary composition and team collaboration, with hopes of creating a college curriculum in interdisciplinary facilitation and performance art.

 

Marcus Kramer

Guitar, Percussion
Marcus Kramer, a Maryland native, began his musical journey with his introduction to percussion when he was 10 years old. It wasn’t until his first guitar at age 12 that he discovered the possibilities music has to offer. While continuing his percussion studies, Marcus would begin his studies in classical guitar at Peabody Conservatory in their preparatory program. He continued to perform around Baltimore, MD with a variety of genres, including rock, folk, and classical.
In 2013, Marcus began attending Peabody Conservatory to earn his Bachelor of Music under the tutelage of Dr. Ray Chester, and later Dr. Julian Gray. During this time, Marcus would take part in community outreach programs, including BSO OrchKids, which teaches and provides performance opportunities for young musicians around the city. Marcus moved to Rochester in 2017 to attend Eastman School of Music for his Master of Music, and later his Doctor of Music and Arts, with a minor in Music Education and a Performers Certificate, under the guidance of Dr. Nicholas Goluses.
Marcus has performed in masterclasses led by Stephen Robinson, Mark Delpriora, and G.F.A. winner Tengyue Zhang. Marcus has also performed with Rochester ensembles OSSIA and Musica Nova, as well as performing events hosted by the Rochester Classical Guitar Society and various festivals.
Jaclyn Breeze
Flute
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