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Merrick School of Music Team

Where the Passion Begins

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Joel Rosenwasser

Piano Teacher

Joel Rosenwasser holds a Master's Degree in Music from the Manhattan School of Music and completed further post-graduate studies at the University of Iowa. He is an award-winning concert pianist and recording artist.
Joel's teaching experience runs the gamut from elementary school thru college. Many of his former students were admitted to leading conservatories and have continued on to professional careers in the arts.


Bernadette Tornabene

Guitar/Voice Teacher

Bernadette Tornabene is a NYS certified teacher who has been teaching in the school system for over 20 years. She holds both my BM and MA degree in Music Education, and Jazz guitar was her major instrument in college. Her system of guitar training includes work in music reading, music theory, fretboard navigation, pick-control and fingerstyle techniques, and ear-training applicable to most contemporary styles of music.


Marty Scott

Brass Teacher

Marty Scott is a Jazz trombonist from Freeport, New York. Scott is a SUNY Purchase graduate with a Bachelor's degree in Jazz Performance in 2022. As of Fall 2022, Scott is a Masters student at the Manhattan School of Music. He was introduced around his early teenage years to Jazz music in middle school, which has impacted his life immensely. He has played alongside many skilled and admirable musicians at venues like The Blue Note, Birdland Jazz Club, Dizzy's Club, The Jazz Loft, and others. Scott has taught music to children at summer camps across North America, performed in many kinds bands, recorded different musical genres, and continues to share his love of the Jazz Art form.


Doria Marchena

Dance Teacher

Doria Marchena is a highly skilled dancer with a passion for contemporary ballet and Broadway. Born and raised in Panama, she began her training at a young age at her local studio, Body Language. Her love for dance led her to explore other styles, and she continued her training at G&G Dance Studio and Ballet Academy. Doria's dedication to her craft is evident in her participation in intensive courses such as ABT and Ballet Hispanico.
Doria's talent and hard work earned her a position as an apprentice for the National Ballet of Panama, where she performed classical and contemporary repertoire. In 2019, she made the move to New York to pursue her studies at The Ailey School. During her time there, she had the opportunity to perform with the renowned Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in the piece Memoria, choreographed by Alvin Ailey and directed by Ronni Favors.
Doria's ultimate goal is to join a contemporary ballet company and make her mark on Broadway. With her impressive training and experience, she is well on her way to achieving her dreams. Her dedication, passion, and talent make her a valuable asset to the Merrick School of Music.

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Jeff Indyke

Drum Teacher

Explore the world of percussion under the guidance of Jeff Indyke at the Merrick School of Music. With Jeff as your mentor, you'll embark on a comprehensive drumming journey that encompasses orchestral, marching band, Nysma drumming, and full drum set techniques. Delve into the intricate art of brush and mallet techniques while mastering the essential 40 drumming rudiments. Gain a deeper understanding of crucial musical concepts, including dynamics, feel, and interpretation, all of which are highly relevant to the world of drumming.

Jeff Indyke's instruction draws from a wealth of resources, including "Stick Control" by George Lawrence Stone, the Nard 40 drum rudiments, and "Realistic Rock" by Carmine Appice, as well as any additional preferred books that align with your musical aspirations. Prepare yourself for captivating concert recitals and elevate your music preparation skills to a professional level.

Jeff's expertise extends across diverse areas, covering snare drum technique, drum set coordination, and active participation in various ensembles. Embrace the joy of learning beats from your favorite songs and practice with music minus one play-alongs to perfect your rhythm and timing. Immerse yourself in the iconic drumming styles of legends such as John Bonham, Neil Peart, and Stewart Copeland, and let Jeff Indyke guide you toward your drumming aspirations.

Beyond honing your drumming skills, Jeff provides invaluable assistance for those seeking to audition for college programs, join bands, or even take the stage in competitions like "America's Got Talent." To witness Jeff's drumming prowess in action, check out his performance on YouTube: Join Jeff Indyke on your drumming journey at Merrick School of Music, where the world of percussion awaits.


Allie Michaelis

Flute Teacher

Allie Michaelis is a NYS certified teacher who obtained her B.M in Music Education from Long Island University, and is on a track to receive her M.A. in Music and Music Education in May 2023 from Teachers College, Columbia University. During her time at LIU she performed in various ensemble groups, and received opportunities to perform abroad in countries such as Australia, Spain, and Canada. She is also a member and board director of Huntington Choral Society. Allie is eager and excited to share her love and passion for music with her students!

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T.J. Morash

Saxophone Teacher

T.J. Morash is a saxophonist from Merrick, New York and a  freshman at Fairfield University. A graduate of Sanford H. Calhoun High School, T.J. has experience performing in concert and jazz ensembles, rock bands, pit orchestras, and solo competitions. He has played alongside talented musicians including former NYSSMA President Susan Weber and has traveled long-distance for musical performances such as to Walt Disney World in 2022. Since MSM’s opening, T.J. has found great joy in sharing his love of music and working with students to improve their talents no matter why they learn. Through exposure to a variety of musical styles, lessons with T.J. will prepare you for any feat you wish to accomplish in the musical world and help you develop a unique style of your own.


Michael Vennoni

String Teacher

Meet Michael Vannoni, a distinguished string virtuoso and educator with credentials from The Juilliard School, holding both a BM and MM in Viola Performance. As a versatile musician skilled in violin, viola, cello, and flute, Michael's passion for teaching is evident through his extensive career. From world-wide orchestral tours and summer festival performances to community and private school education, his expertise spans various musical realms. With a rich performance background, Michael has graced festival orchestras at Verbier and Tanglewood, and participated in the Taos Chamber Music Festival. He has collaborated with eminent conductors including James Levine and Valery Gergiev, all while nurturing his own talent under the guidance of esteemed mentors. As an educator, conductor, and administrator, Michael's commitment to music education is matched by his proficiency in orchestral management and music publishing, making him a true asset to the Merrick School of Music team.


Angelica Rivera

Clarinet Teacher

Angelica Rivera is a junior psychology student at St. John's University. She has been a parishioner at Cure of Ars since birth and has enjoyed being part of the music ministry. Angelica has experience teaching students about theater and music. She has played the clarinet for 10-plus years and participated in band throughout her schooling. She is happy to be able to share her knowledge of music with children.


Byron Perez-Chacon

Brass Teacher

Byron Perez-Chacon is a trumpet Performance and Music Education major at the Aaron Copland School of Music, Queens College; where he studies with Frank Huber. He began playing the Trumpet at the age of nine in the Baldwin School District under various teachers, including Scott Dunn; Director of Bands at Baldwin Senior High School and Music Director/Conductor of the Long Island Youth Orchestra (LIYO). Through Scott’s insight and passion in conducting and trombone, Byron discovered his calling as an orchestral trumpet player. Byron also earned his Associates Degree in Performing Arts at Nassau Community College, where he studied trumpet performance under Douglas Coleman; alumni of SUNY Potsdam Crane and the Manhattan School of Music. He specializes in various aspects and styles of playing including classical/orchestral, jazz, big band, chamber music, brass quintet, solo playing, and more. Presently, he is involved with the Queens College Orchestra, Symphonic Wind Ensemble, and Chamber Orchestra. Byron is also an advocate for interdisciplinary and collaborative arts and has premiered works for the New Music Group and performs for their Composers Workshop at Queens College. Byron teaches Trumpet and all other Brass instruments.


Molly McGoldrick

Flute/Voice Teacher

Molly McGoldrick is a junior at Providence College where she studies philosophy. Music has been her passion for as long as she can remember. She teaches flute and voice (being most knowledgeable in musical theatre and pop) for beginners and intermediates. She primarily works with older kids, but will work with all ages. She teaches lessons virtually and in person when she is home for the summers. She is so excited to be sharing her love of music at the Merrick School of Music!

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Anita Upelnieks

Piano Teacher

Anita Upelnieks holds a B.M. and M.M. in piano performance from the Manhattan School of Music. As a young artist, she regularly performed, including giving solo concerts at the New Rochelle Public Library Series and the Trinity Church Concert Series in NYC. Additionally, her studies in jazz piano, theory, and improvisation have broadened her pianism and teaching skills. Anita is an experienced and dedicated teacher for students of all ages, from very young beginners to advanced repertoire and styles, extending into college and beyond. She prepares students for recitals and auditions, ensuring high scores for NYSSMA participants.


Daniella Roberts

Office Manager

"I am a Merrick native. I am excited to be working at the Merrick School of Music! I have been involved with the Youth Choir at Curé of Ars Church in various capacities for over 20 years. I enjoy the “behind the scenes” aspect of running groups, and I am looking forward to meeting more talented musicians. During the day, I am a social worker in a nursing home, having earned a Masters in Social Work from Fordham University. I also enjoy spending time with my two cats and mini goldendoodle."


Vladimir Tate


Vladimir Tate is a highly accomplished musician with a passion for piano performance and education. As the Founder and Director of the Merrick School of Music, he has dedicated his career to helping students of all ages and skill levels reach their full potential in music.


With a wealth of experience as a soloist and chamber musician, Tate has performed extensively throughout Europe and the United States. He has received critical acclaim for his interpretations of works by Schubert, Chopin, Beethoven, and other composers, and has recorded numerous concerts for posterity.


In addition to his performing career, Tate is also a respected music educator and competition judge. He has served on the jury for several international music competitions, including the prestigious International Piano Competition at Gould Academy, the Long Island Conservatory Soloist Competition, the International Online Music Competition "Universal Music Space", and the Manolov International Music Competition. He is known for his ability to inspire and motivate students, and has helped many young musicians achieve success in their own careers.


Tate's dedication to music has also led him to work with Steinway and Sons, representing the company at showcases and events throughout New York. He is committed to promoting the importance of music in our lives, and believes that everyone should have the opportunity to experience the joy and beauty of this art form.


Whether performing on stage, teaching in the classroom, or judging competitions, Vladimir Tate is a true professional and a passionate advocate for music. His talent and dedication have made him a respected figure in the music world, and his contributions to the art form will continue to inspire and enrich the lives of others for years to come.



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