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Music Lessons/Instructors

Private lessons at Gwynedd Mercy Academy High School are provided in the following areas: Piano, Voice, Guitar, Brass, Violin, Percussion/Drumset, Flute, Oboe, Saxophone and Clarinet.

Lessons are given during the school day with rotation of time each week to avoid missing the same classes. There are a total of 28 ½-hour lessons per year (14 per semester); the lesson tuition price for 2016-2017 is $400 per semester. Students may enroll on a semester basis but may not drop or add lessons in the course of a semester.

Instrumental lessons (excluding piano and guitar) are offered at ½ price to students who participate in the school orchestra. Attendance at all school rehearsals and performances is required.

After registering, parents will be contacted by the individual music instructors to provide them with all necessary information.

Please click on the Registration link below.

Please note that freshman are eligible for Glee Club, Orchestra, Liturgical Music, String Ensemble and Girls with Guitars (see below) . Sign-up sheets for these activities will be posted on the Music Bulletin Board outside of the music room during the registration period.


Performance Ensembles Open to Freshmen

Glee Club

Our largest music activity open to any girl in grades 9-12 who enjoys singing. Membership in this group is mandatory for acceptance into any of our selective vocal organizations. Glee Club performs for our annual Candlelight and Arts Festival concerts.

Liturgical Music Group

Liturgical Music, open to all interested students, provides singing and instrumental accompaniment to enhance our liturgies and prayer services. Members must be willing to assist with special masses on weekends.

Orchestra

Our larger instrumental ensemble open to all students who have had at least one year of study on their instrument and are currently taking lessons in or outside of school.

Performances include Candlelight and Arts Festival Concerts.

GMAHS String Ensemble

Our smaller chamber ensemble open to violinists, violists, cellists and harpists capable of playing at an intermediate or higher level. Students must also be members of Orchestra. Performances include Candlelight and Arts Festival Concerts.

Girls with Guitars

GMA’s select “rock band” open to guitarists, keyboard players, drummers and vocalists who are selected through audition.

* Please note that Chorale, our select concert choir, and The Mercy Melismatics, our 'a cappella' group are exclusive to grades 10 through 12 (with some exceptions) and require a minimum of 1 semester of participation in Glee Club, as well as a successful vocal audition at the end of freshman year.

Music Instructors

Brass and Orchestra

Trish Giangiulio has a multifaceted career in the arts, as a performer, educator, and administrator. A Philadelphia area native, she had some of her early musical education with Randy Gardner, former 2nd horn of the Philadelphia Orchestra. She continued her education in New York, where she studied with Ranier DeIntinis, retired 3rd horn of the New York Philharmonic, and received her Bachelor of Music.

A member of Academy Brass Quintet (for which she also serves as Managing Director), the Bay Atlantic Symphony, former member of Opera New Jersey Orchestra, with other credits ranging from the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia to the Strauss Orchestra of America, one would already imagine a busy and fulfilling musical life. But Trish’s performance schedule is not so one-dimensional.

Much more than a classical musician, her other credits include numerous engagements backing Frank Sinatra Jr., two tours with Josh Groban, tours with Sarah McLachlan, Il Volo, and Warren Haynes’(of Allman Brothers, Gov’t Mule, and Grateful Dead fame) “Jerry Garcia Symphonic Celebration.” Trish has found herself on the short list for East Coast musical contractors when the likes of rock legend Peter Cetera, latin jazz phenom Poncho Sanchez (leading the late Tito Puente’s band), and indie-rock star Lisa Loeb come calling.

Not to be pigeon holed as a orchestral musician or a backing “side(wo)man”, Trish’s solo work has taken her to collaborations with Hugworks for the Memorial Service for the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. In 2008, she played the Philadelphia and Connecticut premiers of “The Aim was Song”--a cantata commissioned by LyricFest and written for 7 Soloists, girl choir, horn and piano by Grammy nominated composer Nicholas White. In 2011, Trish premiered “Convergence: A Charm of Moonlight” for choir and quartet for the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts by renowned composer Thomas Pasatieri.

In addition to her live performances, she has extensive experience in the recording studio, having recorded for NASCAR, film soundtracks including a “modern day silent film”, CD projects for New World Records, Albany Records, Angel/EMI, Inc, as well as sessions for various artists/composers/publishers.

As an educator, Trish has had the privilege of teaching students at Waldron Mercy Academy and Merion Mercy Academy over the past 20 years. Educated by the Sisters of Mercy, Trish is deeply rooted in the Mercy philosophy and is grateful that she has the opportunity to teach in the Mercy schools.

Voice

Lou Lanza - is a native Philadelphian who thrives on the cultural and musical heritage of the city. Lou has music in his genes - an opera singer grandfather, a classical violinist father, and a pianist/organist & vocalist mother. His jazz influence came from another of his relatives, Vince Trombetta, a saxophonist & arranger who served as musical director of The Mike Douglas Show. Lou is considered to be among the top 500 jazz vocalists of all time by noted jazz critic, historian, and author Scott Yanow,and will be listed in his upcoming book "The Jazz Singers." Scott Yanow also believes that Lou "is one of the few potentially major male jazz singers under 60 on the jazz scene today His warm voice,subtle improvising and unpredictable repertoire make him a singer well worth discovering."

Lou directs our highly select 'a cappella' group, The Mercy Melismatics, and also teaches voice and directs DeSales Universtiy's jazz vocal ensemble. visit www.loulanza.com

Elizabeth Stubbs - was trained in vocal performance in London at the Guildhall School of Music, and graduated from the London College of Music in 1973 with an Associate, Licentiate teaching diploma, and Fellowship of the College. She performed in and around the London area in operas, concerts and recitals, and toured with D'Oylcy Carte and Operabout; many of these concerts were broadcast on British television and radio. Mrs. Stubbs worked and performed with Sir Peter Pears and Benjamin Britten at the Aldenburgh Festival in England. In 1981, Mrs. Stubbs and husband, John, moved to the USA where both performed at Carnegie Hall in 1983. Currently, she teaches voice at Gwynedd Mercy Academy High School and co-directs Glee Club and Chorale with Dr. Myers, and our guitar ensemble, Girls with Guitars, with guitar teacher Chris Mood.

Piano

Eileen Grabowski Ericsson - is a lifelong lover of music, earned a bachelor's degree in Music Education from Immaculata College in 1987. Eileen has taught piano and organ for 30 years. She is the Bell Choir director at Swarthmore Presbyterian Church and the Music Director at St. Maria Goretti Church where she has the privilege of directing the vocal choirs, bell choirs, and ensembles. When she is not teaching or playing Eileen loves to spend time with her family of four sons and her extended family, The Daughters of Our Lady of Mercy.

Guitar

Dan Hanrahan has a degree in Jazz Performance from Temple University. Since graduating in 2009, he has been performing regularly as a leader and a sideman at venues such as Chris' Jazz Cafe, Time, The Deer Head Inn, and many others. Dan has worked extensively with many musicians from Philadelphia's jazz scene, and has performed with Larry McKenna, Terell Stafford and Tim Warfield. Additionally, Dan maintains a busy schedule as an educator. He has taught lessons and ensembles at Father Judge High School and DeLuca Music, and is currently a guitar instructor at Settlement Music School and Friends Select School in Philadelphia.

Percussion/Drums

Ben Hemsley earned his Bachelors in Music Education from Berklee College of Music, a certificate in Composition from the European American Musical Alliance (in conjunction with Le Ecole Normale du Musique), and will soon be finishing his Masters in Music Education from Boston University. A drummer and percussionist of 25 years, Ben has performed with many highly rated ensembles in Philadelphia and Boston, including most recently, the Prometheus Chamber Orchestra, The Jersey Shore Pops, and The Pennsylvania Symphonic Winds. In addition to his time teaching band and orchestra at the middle and high school level, Ben has also conducted several college musicals and was Assistant Conductor for the Atlantic Coast Opera. Ben’s arrangements are used by several professional ensembles as well as by local schools and choirs. His compositions have premiered in Boston, MA, and Paris, FR.

Violin

Deirdre Edgell - Columbus Ohio native, has played violin for over 40 years and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Violin Performance from Ohio University (Athens, OH). She has close to 30 years of extensive teaching & conducting experience, including Artistic Director of Got Strings Youth Orchestra, Inc., a 501c3 educational organization based in Souderton (2007-present), Guest Conductor at the 2011Bucks County String Day, Assistant Conductor & Publicity Manager for the Young Musicians Community Orchestra in Lansdale (YMCO; 2003-2007), Conductor and General Manager of the West Virginia Youth Strings Ensemble (1991-1997), and WV Logan County public schools Artist-In-Residence (1987-1996) where she single-handedly fostered a 16-school county-wide string program culminating in over 120 string students. Mrs. Edgell is an active free-lance violinist who has held leadership positions with the Bucks County Symphony (2003-present), Dublin Choristers (2009-present), Pottstown Symphony (2002-2004), Musica 2000 (2002-2003), the Johnstown Symphony (1996-2002), Altoona Symphony (1996-2002) and the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra (1984-1996). In addition to performing anddirecting Got Strings, Mrs. Edgell maintains a private violin and viola studio; providing quality string instruction through weekly private lessons to 30 private students. Mrs. Edgell’s teaching expertise focuses on striving to find the individual learning-style of every student, inspiring a passion for playing through having fun while learning, and instilling more effective practice habits thus empowering her students to self-analyze and conquer their performance problems during their individual practice time. In her “free time”, Mrs. Edgell is also the owner, consultant, contractor and lead violinist with The Westwoods Ensemble, a series of professional string groups that provide music for weddings and special events. Deirdre has studied Electric Violin technique with the world-renowned Mark Woods (Mark Woods Rock Orchestra Camp, Olathe, Kansas, 2014), and Improvisation techniques with world-class jazz violinist and educator Christian Howes (Creative Strings Workshop, Columbus, Ohio, 2015). Deirdre resides in Perkasie with her husband and #1 supporter, Scott, daughter Audrey Kathryn, and precocious terrier, Wendy.

Flute

Anne Levinson is a graduate of The University of the Arts with a Bachelor in Music and also Music Education. She recently moved back to Philadelphia after having spent the past twenty years in beautiful Arizona and California. While in California, she taught privately and coached flute ensembles for adults and was a member of the professional flute quartet “Flutés dé Salon”, performing on Piccolo, C flute, Alto flute, and Bass flute.

She is currently a member of the Philadelphia Flute Quartet and the Germantown Flute Trio.

Anne is on the teaching staff at Settlement Music School, Chestnut Hill Music Academy and Waldron Mercy Academy.

Oboe

DOROTHY ANNE STONE, L.R.A.M.

After her initial oboe studies with Louis Rosenblatt, solo English Horn player of the Philadelphia Orchestra, Ms. Stone continued her education at The Royal Academy of Music in London. There she was awarded the Licenciate of The Royal Academy of Music degree in Oboe Performance specializing in music of the Baroque era. As soloist, she performed the “L'Horloge de Flore” for oboe and orchestra by Jean Francaix under the baton of Sir Neville Marriner and at the invitation of conductor Christopher Seaman, she was guest oboist with the Dunfermline Festival Orchestra in Scotland. Ms. Stone founded The Festival Chamber Players of London, a Baroque ensemble consisting of flute, oboe, violin, cello & harpsichord performing in London and at country estates. She spent a year as professor of oboe studies at The Guildhall School of Music and Drama before returning to the United States.

As founding director of The Festival Chamber Players of Philadelphia she programmed concerts for five seasons in galleries and museums such as the Gardner Museum in Boston, the Phillips Gallery in Washington, D.C. and the Frick Museum. This led to the creation of D.A.S. Artists' Management and D.A.S. Productions which continued for twenty-five years to provide production and entertainment services for corporate and private events in the greater Philadelphia area. Perhaps you attended the “Great American Picnic” at Penn's Landing where D.A.S. Productions provided forty acts on four stages over a period of four days!

Ms. Stone played oboe and solo English Horn for several seasons in the orchestra of The Boston Opera Company under the renowned director and conductor, Sarah Caldwell. This included performances of the American premiere of Prokofiev's “War and Peace”, “Don Carlos”, “Madame Butterfly”, Kurt Weill's “Mahagony”, “The Barber of Seville” and “Don Quichotte” with such vocal opera greats as Beverly Sills, Donald Gramm, Enrico di Giuseppe and Spiro Malas.

Ms. Stone currently instructs oboe students privately and specializes in chamber music coaching.

Clarinet/Saxophone

Chris Welte is an active saxophonist, clarinetist, flutist and educator performing and teaching in the greater Philadelphia/South Jersey area. Originally from Berlin, NJ, he graduated from the University of the Arts in 2013 where he had the privilege of studying Saxophone with Ron Kerber, Mark Allen, and Chris Farr, clarinet with Gia Walton, and flute with Tony Salicandro. Chris received his Masters in Music Education from UArts in 2014. He is a member the music faculty of the East Greenwich School District, Waldron Mercy Academy, and The Conservatory of Musical Arts in Audubon NJ. Equally committed to both teaching and performing at a high level, Chris maintains a busy schedule as a freelance woodwind musician and can be heard in many theaters and concert halls throughout the area.