Artistic & Administrative Staff

Michael Canipe, Conductor, Gemini Concert Winds

A native of North Carolina, Michael Canipe graduated from East Carolina University in 1964 with a B.S. in Music Education. While pursuing a master's degree in Trombone Performance at the Cleveland Institute of Music, he studied conducting with James Levine. For the past thirty-five years Mr. Canipe has been active as both an educator and a professional musician. He was both a teacher and a band director in the Half Hollow Hills School District and retired as Director of Music and Fine Art for the Deer Park Schools in 2001. Mr. Canipe plays principal euphonium for the Queens-based Seuffert Band and the Concert Pops of Long Island. He has performed as trombonist in the North Carolina Symphony and bass trombonist for the Symphony of Long Island. Mr. Canipe founded the Long Island Tuba Quartet and has also collaborated with Orlando Ballet of Huntington and the Circle of Dance Company as arranger and conductor. Founder of the Gemini Festival Winds (now GCW), Mr. Canipe served as Music Director of GYO from 2005-2007.

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Valerie Jones, Winds Coach

Valerie (D'Ambra) Jones received her Bachelor of Music from SUNY Fredonia and Masters from SUNY Stony Brook.  She has been active in the New York area for over 35 years as a clarinet performer, private teacher and public school educator. She performs regularly with Concert Pops of Long Island, Atlantic Wind Symphony and The New York Clarinet Trio. Her ongoing clarinet studies have been with Moran Katz, Lawrence Sobol and Jack Kreiselman.

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Harry Marenstein, Conductor, Gemini Youth Symphony 

Conductor Harry Marenstein was born and raised in New York City. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in violin performance from SUNY Geneseo, and went on to complete the Master of Music degree in orchestral conducting from the Cleveland Institute of Music, where his principal teachers were Carl Topilow and Louis Lane. Mr. Marenstein also spent four summers studying with Harold Farberman at the Conductors Institute. Over the years, Mr. Marenstein has conducted a wide variety of ensembles, both here and abroad.

An advocate for contemporary music, particularly that of living American composers, Mr. Marenstein served as Music Director and Resident Conductor of Forecast Music from 2004-2010, and has performed in diverse venues throughout New York City, in which he has been involved in world and local premieres of works by composers James Barry, Denise Broadhurst, Julie Harting, Beata Moon, Conrad Pope, and Eric Schwartz. Recording projects include Gal Ziv's "Iyov" with Forecast Music, Franz Nicolay's "Each Today is Yesterday's Tomorrow" with Anti-Social Music, and Peter Gilbert's Introduction and Passacaglia for Orchestra.

Mr. Marenstein joined the faculty of Nassau Community College (SUNY) in 2005, where he is Director of Orchestral Activities, and currently holds the rank of Associate Professor. He also serves as Principal Guest Conductor of the North Shore Symphony Orchestra. 

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