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Brass Day

SUNY Schenectady Brass Day

Saturday, October 16, 2021

SUNY Schenectady School of Music invites brass players of all ability levels to a day with some of the area's finest professional players. Spend the day fully immersed in music making with other with other brass players as you attend a masterclass, attend informative sessions, and enjoy a performance by Brass Abbey.

Members of Brass AbbeyBrass Abbey

Brass Abbey is a New York Capital Region brass quintet that was formed during a dinner outing at the Bier Abbey, a local Belgian Beer favorite in the Capital Region. The members of Brass Abbey are comprised of area music teachers from five different locations including Schenectady, Niskayuna, Greenwich, Colonie, and Clifton Park. The Brass Abbey performs a wide variety of styles, including some of their own arrangements.



Saturday, October 16
9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
SUNY Schenectady, School of Music Building

9:00 a.m. - Welcome
9:20 a.m. - Warm-up sessions
9:50 a.m. - Masterclasses
11:30 a.m. - Exploring Alternative Careers in Music
12:30 p.m. - Lunch Break (bring your own or purchase on campus) 
1:15 p.m. - Practice on your own OR Lecture on repairs and ultrasonic cleanings by Chris Cromer
2:00 p.m. - Brains Over Brawn Approach to Brass Playing: How to Play Smarter, Not Harder OR Sliding Into Home Base: Making the Trombone Work for YOU
3:00 p.m. - College Audition Preparation/SUNY Schenectady Info Session
3:45 p.m. - Break
4:00 p.m. - Brass Abbey Concert
5:00 p.m. - Reception

RSVP for Brass Day

Please fill out the form below to let us know of your interest in attending Brass Day.



Allyson Keyser, trumpet

Allyson Keyser is a tenured Associate Professor of Music at SUNY Schenectady County Community College where she instructs the trumpet studio, coaches brass ensembles, teaches core music classes, directs the Wind Ensemble, and is the Brass Department Chair. Dr. Keyser received her B.M.E from Virginia Commonwealth University and her M.M. and D.M.A. from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro where she was the trumpet teaching assistant for five years. Dr. Keyser was a finalist in the trumpet ensemble division and semi-finalist in the graduate solo division at the National Trumpet Competition during her graduate studies. Prior to SUNY Schenectady, Dr. Keyser was the sabbatical replacement for trumpet professor Rex Richardson at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Dr. Keyser frequently performs in the Capital Region of NY including with the Albany Symphony Orchestra, Albany Pro Musica, Burnt Hills Oratorio, and the Schenectady Symphony Orchestra, among others. She is the founder and former director of SUNY Schenectady’s Summer Chamber Ensemble Camp. She has been featured as a soloist with the Richmond Brass Consort, the Capital Region Wind Ensemble, the Johnstown Civic Band, the Memorial Concert Band of Colonie, the Schenectady Unitarian Society, First Reformed Church of Schenectady, was a bugler at the Saratoga and Belmont Racetracks, and performed alongside Demondrae Thurman and Rex Richardson during their Artist in Residence concerts at SUNY Schenectady.

Dr. Keyser is an active clinician for instrumental conducting, trumpet, and brass pedagogy, a freelance musician, and she maintains a trumpet studio of all ages and levels in the Capital Region of New York where she lives with her husband, son, and their 15.5 year old border collie rescue.


Omar Williams, trumpet

Omar Williams currently teaches at Shaker Middle School in Latham, NY where he directs the band and jazz ensemble. He is also an adjunct professor at RPI, giving trumpet lessons, recording studio sessions, and running brass sectionals for the orchestra. Williams holds a Master of Music Education and a Bachelor of Trumpet Performance and Music Education from Ithaca College.

An active freelancer, he has performed with many local ensembles including the Silver Arrow Band, New York Players, Schenectady Symphony, Glens Falls Symphony, and Sage City Orchestras. He plays with the Keith Pray Big Soul Ensemble and formerly was lead trumpet player of the Joey Thomas Big Band. Williams regularly plays for local churches, musicals and opera productions. He has performed in renowned venues such as Carnegie Hall, Troy Music Hall, Cohoes Music Hall, Proctor’s Theatre, Palace Theatre and was a bugler at the Saratoga and Belmont Racetracks. Internationally, he has toured in Ireland, England, France, Austria, Belgium and Germany. Most recently he recorded on an album in Jerusalem, Israel and has been invited to play with bands in Ireland.

Giving back to the organizations that supported him as a young musician is a great source of pride. He is a board member of ESYO and chairperson of the Middle School Honor Band for NYSBDA. Williams resides in historic Troy, NY, as the proud homeowner of a house that was used in the famed Norman Rockwell painting—The Street Was Never the Same. As an active runner, he can often be found at many local races and is currently training for the NYC marathon.


Catherine Pandori, horn

Catherine currently serves as Director of 7th-12th Grade Bands in the Greenwich Central School District. At Greenwich, Mrs. Pandori directs the Junior Band, Senior Band, Junior Jazz Band, Senior Jazz Band, and Pit Orchestra; teaches instrumental lessons; and co-advises the National Honor Society.

As a hornist, Mrs. Pandori maintains a private studio while frequently freelancing throughout the Capital Region with groups such as the Schenectady Symphony Orchestra and the Battenkill Chorale. She is also a founding member of the chamber groups Velocity Horns and Brass Abbey. Mrs. Pandori received the Bachelor of Music in Music Education and Performance from the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam, and the Master of Music in Performance from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Her principal teachers include Kelly Drifmeyer, Roy Schaberg, and Laura Klock. Mrs. Pandori lives in Saratoga Springs, New York with her husband, Phil and daughters, Genevieve and Mary.


Phil Pandori, trombone

Phil Pandori ​teaches band in the Niskayuna Central School District located in the Capital Region of New York State. He directs the High School Concert Band, High School Stage Band, the full band program at Glencliff Elementary School as well as Middle and High School brass and percussion lessons. Previously, Phil has taught 6th, 7th, and 8th Grade Band in the District. In addition to his work at Niskayuna, Phil maintains a low brass studio and is Adjunct Professor of Low Brass at Schenectady County Community College.

Phil earned his undergraduate degree in Music Education from the Crane School of Music, where he also minored in Jazz Studies and earned a certificate in Trombone Performance under Mark Hartman and Bret Zvacek. Phil earned his Masters Degree in Trombone Performance from the Hartt School of Music under Ronald Borror.

Phil currently holds the Principal Trombone seat in the Schenectady Symphony Orchestra, and works frequently as a freelance musician in the Capital Region. He most recently joined the New York Players Entertainment Group as the full time trombone player for Upstate New York's premier party band.


Michael Silvagnoli, tuba

Michael holds a Bachelor’s of Music and a Master’s of Music in Music Education from the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam. He has taught 6th, 7th, and 8th grade bands and Middle School Jazz Ensemble in the Shenendehowa Central School District since 2003 and has been teaching tuba at Skidmore College since 2005. He also maintains a low brass studio and has conducted at various All County Festivals throughout the Capital Region.

Michael has studied tuba with Dr. Peter Popiel and Dr. Charles Guy and has performed in a wide dynamic of performing groups such as the Glens Falls Symphony Orchestra, Schenectady Symphony Orchestra, Capital Region Wind Ensemble, Northern Symphonic Winds, and the Gazelle Tour of Lion King at Proctor’s Theater. He is also a member of the brass quintet, Brass Abbey which actively performs concerts throughout the Capital Region. He currently resides in Ballston Lake with his wife Leia and three daughters, Adelaide, Emelia, and Lucille.