High School Music

  • Fox Lane High School Music 

    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.

    The music course offerings provide a variety of experiences for students of all abilities and musical backgrounds. These courses are designed for students who wish to pursue music as an avocation as well as those planning a career in music. It is the philosophy of the music faculty to develop a life-long appreciation for music through a balance of both musical understanding and performing skills. 

    The curricular ensemble offerings at the high school are Concert Band, Chamber Winds, Treble Chorus, Mixed Chorus, Chamber Choir, Grade 9-10 Concert Orchestra, Grade 11-12 Concert Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra. As a result of weekly small-group rotational lessons, student musicians have the opportunity to develop and advance their specific musical skills in a semi-private lesson environment. Students enrolling in performance ensembles accept the obligation to attend rotational lessons and participate in all scheduled concerts.  

    Elective offerings are Music Technology, Performance Technology, Music Theory and AP Music Theory. With the exception of Music Technology, placement in electives is by audition or at the discretion of the ensemble director.

    Co-curricular ensembles are Jazz Ensemble and Pep Band. Placement is by audition. Students who play piano, bass and guitar (instruments not commonly found in a school concert band program) are encouraged to audition for the jazz ensemble. 

    Extra-curricular ensembles open to all FLHS students are Commoners, Foxappella, Jam Club and Rock Ensemble (by audition).


    Fox Lane High School Music Faculty

    Michael Groarke – Music Technology, Music Theory & AP Theory – mgroarke0463@bcsdny.org


    Dr. Sarah Matthews, Chamber Winds, Concert Band  smatthews1055@bcsdny.org


    Edward Reisert, Chorus  ereisert0917@bcsdny.org


    Danielle Stier, Orchestra – dstier4350@bcsdny.org


    Michael Piescki, Performance Technology  mpiescki2101@bcsdny.org




    Meet the Fox Lane High School Music Faculty


    Michael Groarke began his teaching career after working as a recording engineer in NYC. His interest in recording technology as a teaching tool brought him to Fox Lane HS in 1997. Since that time, the Music Technology course has become a popular part of the 9th grade experience. Mr. Groarke also teaches the Introduction to Music Theory and Advanced Placement Music Theory sequence. He remains active as a keyboard player in two bands. Mr. Groarke holds a Masters in Music Education degree from The Hartt School of Music,Hartford University; he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Music education from the Aaron Copland School of Music, Queens College.

    Dr. Sarah Matthews teaches band at Fox Lane High School. She earned the Doctor of Education in Music and Music Education from Teachers College, Columbia University, a Master’s Degree in Piano Pedagogy from The University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education and Piano from The Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam. She has also taught graduate and undergraduate courses at Manhattanville College, Teachers College/Columbia University, Passaic County Community College, and The Crane School of Music summer youth program. She is the Royal Academy of Dance accompanist at Dance Design School in Cornwall, NY and has performed with the Greater New York Wind Symphony, the Greater Newburgh Symphony Orchestra, and is the music director for the Saint Thomas Aquinas College Theater program in Sparkill, NY. 


    Michael 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.


    Edward Reisert has taught in the Bedford Central School District since 1998, and currently serves as Choral Director at Fox Lane High School, where he conducts the Mixed Chorus, Chamber Choir, and Treble Chorus. He earned his Bachelor of Music degree from The Boston Conservatory and his Masters Degree from State University of New York at Oswego. He has completed additional studies at Hartt School of Music and Shenandoah Conservatory. Mr. Reisert sang with the Glimmerglass Opera (Cooperstown, New York) for five seasons and has performed as a piano soloist, church organist, and recital accompanist. In addition, he has conducted Elementary, Intermediate, and High School All-County festivals in New York and Connecticut.  Mr. Reisert is active in a number of professional musical organizations. He is a life member of American Choral Directors Association, the Past-President of the Westchester County School Music Association, a member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing, and a member of the Pan-American Vocology Association. Edward serves on the faculty of the Contemporary Commercial Music Vocal Pedagogy Institute at Shenandoah Conservatory every summer.

    Danielle Stier, a violinist of unique sensibilities, grew up in Poughkeepsie, NY. She began her formal training with violinist, Marla Rathbun while concurrently studying for six years at the Stringendo Orchestra School of the Hudson Valley. Ms. Stier continued her studies at the State University of New York at Fredonia where she prospered under the tutelage of Professor Janet Sung and was mentored by cellist, Natasha Farny and violist, David Rose. After two years of study she transferred to the DePaul University School of Music in Chicago, where she continued to train under Professor Sung. While at DePaul, Ms. Stier continued to diversify her playing and teaching background by studying early music and historically informed performance practice with baroque violinist Brandi Berry and harpsichordist Jason Moy. In addition to her training as a modern violinist and baroque violinist, Ms. Stier also has training as a fiddler, which is highlighted by her work with the Strawberry Hill Fiddlers. As a strong proponent of chamber music, Ms. Stier has been a participant at the Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival and the Hot Springs Music Festival. She has performed widely with a number of other chamber ensembles and orchestras.

    With a teaching background as diverse as her performance career, she has taught high school strings for the Naperville High School in Illinois, beginning violin for Amadeus Strings in Poughkeepsie, NY, group violin classes for Music For Kids in Chicago, IL, high school strings for the Arlington High School in Lagrangeville, NY, middle school strings for the Mahopac Middle School in Mahopac, NY, among many others. After receiving her Bachelor of Music degree in violin performance and music education she returned to New York, where she serves as the orchestra teacher for the Fox Lane High School, and directs the Intermezzo Orchestra of the Stringendo Orchestra School of the Hudson Valley. Currently, Ms. Stier is pursuing her Masters of Music Education Degree at Boston University.




NAMM 2016.jpg