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Meet Our Instructors

James DeRusha - Guitar

James has been playing guitar for more than 5 years and has 10+ years of music performance experience. He enjoys all types of music but specializes in playing fingerstyle and rock on both acoustic and electric guitars.

He studies guitar, music production and music theory at Corning-Painted Post High School, where he is a junior. He plans to pursue a career in audio engineering and is president of the Music Production Club.

His favorite artists are The Beatles, Paul Simon, and Chet Atkins. He has played in Nashville, accompanies choral groups, and sits in with a respected Syracuse-area band. He also plays guitar for the Corning Hawks pep band.

Brandi Swisher - Voice & Flute

Brandi is a third year Music Education student at Ithaca College and has been singing for 9 years and playing flute for 12.

Brandi has experience in classical, musical theater, jazz, and pop vocal and flute repertoire. She has played flute for jazz, marching, concert, and pit bands and has sung in numerous theatre productions, treble and mixed choirs, and has had a variety of classical solo performances.

Brandi is a compassionate educator at heart and has had the privilege of working in many general music classrooms with elementary students. She’s focused in becoming a collegiate choral conductor and teaching voice lessons in her future. Outside of her education career-path, Brandi sings in local indie rock band “Moss” and enjoys a variety of music styles.

Meet Ken Erway - Online Only Guitar, Ages 13+

Ken is an alumnus of Fredonia State University majoring in music education and French horn. For the last twenty plus years he has performed as a guitarist/vocalist, both solo and in groups. Ken is also an accomplished bass guitarist, having performed for twenty years in many local bands. The Beatles, Led Zepplin, The Byrds, Chicago, Eric Clapton, Elton John are his favorites. However, the Woodstock Festival was his greatest influence ----- all of the music at that historic festival influenced him significantly. Santana, Joe Cocker, Crosby Stills Nash & Young, Joan Baez, The Who, Sly and The Family Stone… were his teachers.
Tina Klein - Piano

Tina started her musical journey playing trumpet. She soon added piano, and later guitar, to her repertoire. Local artists she has studied with include Alan Lefkowitz, Mary Kay Campbell, and Greg Podoliak. Tina has a decade of piano teaching experience. She believes learning is a life time endeavor and welcomes young students and adults. You are never too old to learn to play the piano. She performs in musical productions and sings in the Orchestra of the Southern Tier Finger Lakes Choir. One of Tina’s favorite ways to express her passion for music is helping others discover the joy, educational, and health benefits of learning to play an instrument.
Meet Andrew Ferrara - Drums

Andrew has 15 years of experience with music. Started playing guitar when he was 13 then gradually moving to drums and bass.

Starting with Avoca Central High’s Jazz band, he has played with various groups in the Steuben County area such as metal group For the Dead Travel Fast, and the alt rock group We’re the Wolves.

Andrew studied Music Ministry at Davis College in Johnson City. He aims to give back to the younger generation by sharing his knowledge behind the kit.
Meet Ayaka Quinn - Piano

Ayaka Quinn graduated from Toho University in Japan, where she received her bachelor’s degree for music. While in college she travelled to Vienna for piano training. She has experience playing classical piano. She has worked for Yamaha and Kawai music schools in Japan and has 20 years of experience playing piano.
Ben Borkowski - Guitar/Trumpet/Music Theory

Ben has been playing guitar for over 30 years. He began writing music as early as middle school, winning 1st place in a national songwriting competition with his rock trio band during high school.

Ben can be seen playing acoustic solo gigs around the area, playing guitar and singing with the band "Pebble" and "Ben Borkowski & Friends" as well as playing drums with "Horse Stories".

Ben's latest solo album, "It's The Little Things" is available wherever you stream your music.