Middle School Music
Fox Lane Middle School Music Program
The NAMM Foundation (National Association of Music Merchants surveys school districts across the United States seeking to acknowledge communities for their commitment to and support for music education in schools. For the seventh year in a row, the Bedford Central School District has been recognized as one of the 2019 NAMM Foundation Best Communities for Music Education.
Welcome to the Music Department at the Fox Lane Middle School where we strive to provide an enriching musical experience for every child in grades 6 - 8. There are four music disciplines available at the middle school: Band, Chorus, Orchestra & Exploratory Music. In grades 7 and 8, the Exploratory Music options also include Applied Piano and Applied Guitar for those student who demonstrate success in these units during the 6th grade Exploratory Music experience.
Co-curricular after school music ensembles are Jazz Ensemble, Bel Canto Vocal Ensemble, Sinfonetta, Symphonic Winds and Jazz Ensembles. Placement is by audition or at the discretion of the ensemble director.
Extra-Curricular after school (for any student) music ensembles are Honors Choir and Rock Ensemble (for non-guitarists). Placement is by audition or at the discretion of the ensemble director.
The Annual Spring Musical is open to all students at Fox Lane Middle School by audition.
Middle School Music Faculty
Joseph Bergamini, Band Grades 7 & 8 – firstname.lastname@example.org
Leigh Tooker, Chorus – email@example.com
Alyssa DiGrandi, Band Grade 6, Exploratory Music – firstname.lastname@example.org
Michael Piescki, Exploratory Music and Applied Piano – email@example.com
Matthew Vanacoro, Exploratory Music & Applied Guitar – firstname.lastname@example.org
Andrea Velasquez, Orchestra - email@example.com
Meet the Middle School Music Faculty
Joseph Bergamini has been teaching music in the Bedford Central School District for 12 years. In that time he has taught at Pound Ridge Elementary, West Patent Elementary and the Fox Lane Middle School. Currently he directs the 6th and 7th grade band programs as well as the FLMS Jazz Ensemble and Symphonic Winds. He is a graduate of the Crane School of Music and Western Connecticut State University. He is also proud to be a Fox Lane High School Alumni, Class of 2000. Mr. Bergamini is a working bassoonist and low reed musician. He performs regularly with the Westchester Symphonic Winds and various local orchestras.
Mike Piescki has worked as a professional musician and a teacher of music in the United States and abroad. He currently teaches electronic music courses and co-runs several rock ensembles and theatrical productions at Fox Lane Middle School and Fox Lane High School. Since 1989, Mike has taught in the New York State Public Schools and prior to that, served as music teacher and cultural arts director at the Edwin Gould Academy UFSD for fifteen years. Mike has had many recording and performance opportunities in Rock, Pop, Jazz and Ethnic genres. Outside of the classroom he is a private drumming instructor and has himself studied drums privately with Gary Chester and Steve Rucker. Mike is the creator, director, and instructor of the Corfu Rock School, a summer music and adventure camp for teens traveling to Corfu, Greece. Mike received his Bachelors Degree in Studio Music and Jazz Performance from the University of Miami, School of Music. He earned his Masters Degree in Education at The City College of New York, and, his Certificate of Advanced Study in Educational Administration at SUNY New Paltz.
Andrea Velasquez is a violinist who grew up in White Plains, NY and later moved to Wappingers Falls, NY where her passion for music really took off. She spent 12 years making music with the Stringendo Orchestra School of the Hudson Valley, participating in their orchestra program, fiddle program, and summer camps (as a camper, counselor, and most recently a teacher!). Andrea had countless performance opportunities with Stringendo including a performance tour of Scotland and England with the Strawberry Hill Fiddlers as well as winning their Concerto Competition in 2012.
Andrea received her Bachelors of Music Education from The State University of New York at Fredonia, where she performed with the Fredonia's College Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra, Carousel Jazz strings, the Orchard Park Symphony Orchestra, the Southern Tier Symphony Orchestra, and her string quartet, The Sirens. After graduating from Fredonia, she returned home and became a private teacher and assistant conductor with the Stringendo program. She most recently taught in the Arlington Central School District as a leave replacement for orchestra director Elizabeth Handman at Arlington High School. She is currently going into her first year as a full-time public school teacher at Fox Lane Middle School and could not be more excited!
Matt Vanacoro is a graduate of Manhattanville College and New York University. He has taught in the Bedford Central Schools his entire career, and currently directs the Fox Lane Middle School Musical Theater program. Beyond his teaching in the Bedford schools, Mr. Vanacoro has taught at Manhattanville College and has presented several clinics on middle school general music at the NYSSMA Winter Conference in Rochester, NY. Mr. Vanacoro has collaborated as a keyboardist in studio and on stage with artists such as Jordan Rudess (Dream Theater), Mark Wood (Trans-Siberian Orchestra), Mark Rivera (Billy Joel Band), Aaron Carter, Daryl Stuermer (Genesis), Jay Azzolina, Marcus Ratzenboeck (Tantric), KeKe Palmer, Monet Monico, C-Note, Jordan Knight, and many others. He has appeared on many recordings with a variety of artists, as well as had his own music featured in films from Lionsgate Studios.
Leigh Tooker is a graduate of Skidmore College and New York University. She is a professional vocalist and brass player, and a BCSD alumnus. During her time as a student at FLMS & FLHS, Leigh participated in Band, Chorus, Rock Ensemble, Chamber Choir, Foxappella, Jazz Band, Wind Ensemble, and the Middle School Musicals. Outside of the classroom, Leigh performs with NYC-based treble chorus Amuse, and spends lots of time reading with her cats.
Alyssa Di Grandi previously taught band at Mount Kisco Elementary School and Pound Ridge Elementary School. She currently teaches Exploratory Music and 6th grade band at Fox Lane Middle School. Alyssa received her Bachelor of Arts in Music as well as her Master of Arts in Teaching: Music K-12 from Manhattanville College. Alyssa studied clarinet, piano, and jazz guitar and was involved in the Wind Ensemble, Small Jazz Ensemble and various Chamber Groups during her time there. She is currently a clarinetist in the Hudson Valley Symphonic Wind Ensemble.