Monica Behler began her violin studies at the Port Jefferson Music Academy in 1998 (the founding year of the Academy) as a student of Sophie Arbuckle and Arik Braude. During that time, she was a member of the Academy's String Quartet which performed regularly at various local outreach events.
She later concurrently attended the Mannes College Prep where she was a member of the Mannes Philharmonic - Monica has also attended the Killington and the Green Mountain Summer Chamber Music Festivals. She began her collegiate studies of music at the Aaron Copland Conservatory of Music at Queen's College (CUNY) and is a violin student of Arik Braude.
Monica joined the Port Jefferson Music Academy faculty in 2008 and has since developed a vibrant violin & viola studio. In addition she teaches music theory and kindermusik classes. Monica is our new Education Coordinator. She will be happy to assist you with any questions about our music lessons program!
Tom Valdez is a cellist, educator, and clinician based in Suffolk County, NY on Long Island. Prior to his recent move to the area, Tom lived in Virginia where he was a student and freelancer in the VA, MD, and D.C. areas.
Tom has played the cello for over thirteen years and holds a Bachelor of Music in Performance from Shenandoah Conservatory in Winchester, VA. While living in Virginia, he was a member of Shenandoah Summer Music Theater, Labrador Entertainment, the National String Symphonia, the Loudoun Symphony Orchestra, and EDGE Ensemble. Tom has also collaborated with many renowned music. He recently made his New York debut with Lost Dog New Music Ensemble.
Tom also maintains a healthy teaching lifestyle. His private students are not only recognized as members of their schools’ top ensembles, but as top members of those ensembles as well. Schools at which he gave sectionals and coaching sessions consistently earned Superior ratings at district and state festivals.
When not performing or teaching, Tom likes to play video games or crochet and often has a sizable backlog of new games and yarns to get through.
Long Island native Emily Doveala began studying the cello at age nine. She started her formal musical training at Mannes Prep Pre-College Division, studying with Dorothy Lawson of the ETHEL Quartet. She went on to achieve her Bachelor of Music in Cello Performance at Ithaca College, where she studied with Elizabeth Simkin. Ms. Doveala is currently finishing her Master’s Degree in Cello Performance at Stony Brook University. At Stony Brook, Emily studies primarily with British cellist Colin Carr, but has taken lessons with Emerson String Quartet cellists Paul Watkins and David Finckel. Ms. Doveala has also studied chamber music with Stony Brook faculty, including Alan Kay, Nicholas Cords, Gene Drucker, Phil Setzer, Larry Dutton, Matthew Lipman, and Jennifer Frautschi
Ms. Doveala has participated in the National Orchestral Institute, Le Domaine Forget International Music Academy, The Silk Road Ensemble Workshop, The Next Festival of Emerging Artists, New Directions Cello Festival, and the Garth Newel Emerging Artist Fellowship. As an orchestral musician, she has played with the Binghamton Philharmonic, Colgate University Orchestra, Northern Tier Orchestra, and the Southold Opera. She has performed in solo and chamber music masterclasses for Larry Dutton, Clive Greensmith, Johannes Moser, Philippe Muller, Emmanuelle Betrand, and Gil Kalish. She has performed in Carnegie Hall, Symphony Space, Alice Tully Hall, the Mozarteum “Great Hall” in Salzburg, and National Sawdust. Ms. Doveala was an undergraduate chamber music coach at Stony Brook University and teaches privately on Long Island.
Jennifer Malanowski has been playing string instruments for 35 years. She has taught strings since 1992. Mrs. Malanowski received her Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education/Violin from the Crane School of Music, SUNY, Potsdam in 1993 and her Masters in Music History from the Aaron Copland School of Music, Queens College in 1997.
Mrs. Malanowski taught High School Orchestra and Violin, Viola, Cello and Bass lessons at Lawrence High School in Lawrence, NY from 1993-1997. She then taught Middle school Orchestra and Violin, Viola, Cello and Bass lessons at Brentwood East Middle School in Brentwood, NY from 1997-2000. Mrs. Malanowski is a freelance violinist who plays regularly for weddings, social events, community and summer stock theater in a flute, violin, cello trio, string trios and quartets and solo violin. She has performed with the Orchestra of Northern NY, the Susquehana String Band, the Gateway Playhouse and with Broadway star Kelli O’Hara. She has maintained a successful private violin, viola and cello studio since 1992.
Mrs. Malanowski has successfully prepared her students for NYSSMA, All County, LISFA, All State, All Eastern, All National, Youth Orchestra auditions and repertoire and college auditions. She also hosts two student chamber groups that meet 1-2x a month to sightread and work on duets, trios and quartets. Mrs. Malanowski grew up in South Salem, NY in Westchester County. She studied violin with John Lindsey (a student of Aaron Rosand) at Crane, and Jeanne Ingraham (a student of Ivan Galamian) of the NYC Ballet Orchestra and American Composers’ Orchestra. Mrs. Malanowski is a mom of six beautiful children, all musicians, and happily married to her trombonist husband since 1993.