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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Bonnie Foti, String Specialist
Bonnie Foti holds a Bachelors degree in Music Education from the Crane School of Music (SUNY Potsdam) as well as a Masters degree in Elementary Education.
Ms. Foti began her teaching career at North Middle School in the Brentwood School District. During her time there as Orchestra director, her orchestras consistently received the highest ratings of Gold and Gold With Distinction at NYSSMA
Major Organization Festivals and Dixie Classic Festivals in Virginia.
She has adjudicated many NYSSMA solo festivals, chaired several SCMEA All-County, Long Island String Festivals, and elementary string symposiums, as well as guest conducted several all county rehearsals and concerts.
Ms. Foti currently works at John Mandracchia Sawmill Intermediate School in Commack where she teaches both the fourth and fifth grade orchestras, chamber orchestra and Rockin’ Strings orchestra. This year she was nominated by her peers as Teacher of the Year and was honored to win on the intermediate level in her district.
Over the years, Ms. Foti has performed with many community orchestras and chamber groups such as Sound Symphony. Presently, she is active as a freelance musician, holds a large private studio, and is also the first violinist in the Lyrical String Quartet, which performs at many venues across Long Island and in the New York City area. Ms. Foti is grateful and excited to work with the Gemini Organization and the fine young musicians in the Gemini performing groups.
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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 Music Director and Conductor of the North Shore Symphony Orchestra.
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Susan DelGiorno, Executive Director
Susan DelGiorno is a classical music executive with over 25 years of experience in various positions in the industry. She has worked on several hundred recordings, many of which have been nominated for Grammy awards and other prestigious honors. Susan has worked with such luminary artists as Anne Akiko Meyers, Thomas Hampson, Susan Graham, Leonard Slatkin, London Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonia, and conductor Alan Gilbert, in addition to many of today’s living composers including John Corigliano, George Tsontakis, and Libby Larsen. She is responsible for creating the phenomenally successful Bach Guild Big Box digital download series, which consistently topped the Amazon.com classical record charts due to the inspired concept, attractive price point, and creative marketing. Trained as a clarinetist, Susan received her BS in Music from Hofstra University where she studied with Naomi Drucker. She continues to play both orchestral and chamber music, and is a sought-after player amongst Long Island community orchestras. She lives on Long Island with her husband George, daughter Joy, and their many pets.
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Matthew Pierce, Conductor, Gemini Philharmonia Orchestra
Composer-Conductor-Violinist Matthew Pierce is celebrated for his new classical scores, commissioned by major American ballet companies. His work has been performed around the country and around the world at such venues as City Center in New York, Covent Garden in London, and the Palais Garnier in Paris. Mr. Pierce conducts the Five Towns College Chamber Orchestra, and is a professor of Violin and Viola. He conducted the Monclair State College Preparatory Orchestra for twelve years and was the Music Director for the GYO from 2006 to 2008. Trained as a violinist at the Peabody Conservatory of John Hopkins University, Pierce brings a wealth of experience, knowledge, and passion to the Philharmonia Orchestra.
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Dr. Andrew Perea, Conductor, Gemini String and Repertory Orchestras
Dr. Andrew Perea has been in the music profession for over twenty-five years. In that time, he has run the gamut of the music industry, having conducted symphony orchestras, performed as both soloist and concertmaster with various ensembles, taught gifted students of all ages publicly and privately, and played with many a rock 'n' roll band. He loves every aspect of his work, including writing and arranging music in all styles and cultures. His many collaborations include performances with such legendary artists as Yanni, Johnny Mathis, Ray Charles, Gunther Schuler, and the world-renowned violin virtuoso Itzhak Perlman. Apart from concertising, Dr. Perea greatly enjoys working with young people. He directs a large string program in the South Country Central School District. Originally a participant in the Training Orchestra, Inc. (later GYO), he has since participated as soloist, coach, and now conductor.
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Rebecca Perea, String Coach
Rebecca Perea, a native of the greater Boston area, grew up in an environment where music and art were always an integral part of her life. As a youth, Ms. Perea discovered the cello, with its rich, lush tone, and it soon became her passion. She has given extensive performances throughout the United States and Europe, highlighted by a tour of Hungary, Austria, and the former Yugoslavia. In addition to having been Principal Cellist of the Temple Chamber Orchestra and Austin Musical Theatre, Rebecca has supported the performance of 20th century literature, premiering works in the Long Island Composer's Symposium in Southampton. She also has plenty of studio work to her acclaim, recording on the albums of up and coming singer/songwriters, Alan Semerdjian, and the award-winning Patricia Shih, to name a few. Chamber music has always been a great love of hers - she presently continues to play with various ensembles: the Vintage String Quartet, Counterclockwise Ensemble, the Phoenix Trio, Bach & Forth, The June Rise, and the critically acclaimed Hampton Chamber Orchestra. Ms. Perea has performed with many top artists, such as Natalie Cole, Bobby McFerrin, and Itzak Perlman. In the teaching arena, she has participated as a cello instructor in the nationally renowned Texas String Project. Rebecca currently maintains a private cello studio at her home in Huntington, Long Island.
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David Phelan, Professional Staff
David Phelan is an intern/orchestra manager at Gemini Youth Orchestras. David graduated from Five Towns College with a bachelor’s degree in Childhood Education, Grades 1-6. He is a member of Phi Sigma Eta, Five Towns College's honor society, graduating first in his department. In addition to his general education specialization, David is an active trombonist who has been playing for twelve years.
David’s ensemble managing skills were refined as he helped manage the Wind Ensemble and Concert Band at Five Towns College as a participating student in these two groups. Additionally, David played in the Jazz Orchestra of Five Towns College and in the first student-created Brass Ensemble at Five Towns College.
During the week, David is a substitute teacher for the Brentwood Union Free School District, teaching children pre-kindergarten through eighth grade. He is working towards teaching his own classroom in general education while being a part of the performance industry.
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Gina Seda, Professional Staff
Gina Seda is an intern at Gemini Youth Orchestras. She currently studies viola with Matthew Pierce at Five Towns College, where she is working toward her Bachelor’s degree in Music Education. In addition to her work with GYO, Gina has been teaching violin and viola for five years, both privately and at Rock n’ Roll University in Hauppauge. As a Gemini alumna, she is proud to serve the musical community which in part inspired her to become a music educator.
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Dennis Sullivan, Percussion Coach
||Born in Akron, Ohio, Dr. Dennis K. Sullivan II is a percussionist, composer, performance artist, and educator based in Queens, NY. Dennis explores cross-genre coalescence between acoustic, electronic, and timbral-based noise music. As a percussionist focusing on new and contemporary music, Dennis is a founding member of the performance duo, Radical 2 with percussionist/electronics engineer, Levy Lorenzo, Popebama, a high octane experimental percussion/saxophone duo with composer/saxophonist Erin Rogers, and SLOW, a flexible performance project with Weston Olencki (Trombone), Eric Wubbles (Piano), and Mauricio Pauly (Composer). Recent performances of his work have been featured at the SPLICE Festival, Edmonton Fringe Festival, Omaha Under the Radar festival, Times Two, VU Symposium, Cincinnati Conservatory, Acadia University, and the University of Oklahoma. Dennis was commissioned by the International Contemporary Ensemble's 2017 OpenICE festival at Abrons Arts Center, featuring a new piece for percussion duo and arduino electronics. Dennis holds a Doctorate of Musical Arts (DMA) from SUNY Stony Brook University. He served as the assistant director of music at St. Anthony's High School for eight years and is currently the director of percussion studies and wind ensemble director at Adelphi University.