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 Principal Guest Conductor of the North Shore Symphony Orchestra.
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