Meet the Faculty
Adjunct Instrumental Faculty
Kenneth Arsenault lives in Pepperell Massachusetts with his wife of 45 years. Ken received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the State University College of New York at Fredonia. His teaching career stared in Batavia, New York where he taught for 8 years. Upon moving to New England in 1979, he taught in Townsend, Massachusetts at Hawthorne Brook Middle School. His multi award-winning band performed in New York, New Hampshire and Massachusetts. After his retirement from Massachusetts eleven years ago, he started teaching for the Nashua School District. He currently teaches at Charlotte Ave and Bicentennial Schools.
In addition, Ken as enjoyed performing with the Genesee Symphony, Brockport Symphony, Nashua Symphony, Symphony Pro Musica and the Indian Hill Orchestra. Currently, he performs with several town bands including the Townsend Military Band, which he has been a member for over 38 years.
James Fothergill has been teaching music in the N.H. public schools for over 20 years. James has a BA in Music Education from Keene State College. He has been part of the Nashua Elementary Instrumental Program for the past 5 years directing The Broad Street and Sunset Heights Elementary School Bands. James has also been performing professionally as a singer, guitarist in the New England area for years at weddings and clubs. He is also a prolific recording artist and educational performer that teaches safety, perseverance and other important issues at schools though out New England. Jim resides in Londonderry N.H. with his wife and high school daughter.
Elizabeth Thorpe, woodwind specialist and performer, received a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education from the University of New Hampshire and a Master of Music degree in Music Performance, focusing on the clarinet from the University of Lowell.
Ms. Thorpe has performed in Europe on two separate occasions with the American Chamber Winds and the University of New Hampshire Jazz Band. Shehas been 1st clarinetist with the New England Wind Symphony for the past 28 years and performed at First Night in Boston with the clarinet quartet 4 of 1, in which she was a co-founder. She also co-founded the saxophone quartet A Gathering of Friends. She has been a freelance performer in many venues including theater productions as a woodwind doubler, orchestras, wind symphonies and small ensembles. Her teachers include David Martins, David Seiler, John Fullum of the Buffalo Philharmonic, and Craig Nordstrom of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. She has performed in clarinet master classes with Tom Martin of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and world renowned clarinetist, David Shifrin. She has also studied jazz with Shannon Leclaire of The Berklee College of Music. Ms. Thorpe has been teaching private instrumental music lessons for over 30 years, and built successful instrumental music programs in the public school systems of New Hampshire. She believes that education and learning is a lifelong process, and that we all learn from one another. Ms. Thorpe teaches to her student’s needs and what they want, to have a positive musical experience.
Amherst Street Elementary School
Kaitlyn Ballou is the music teacher for Amherst Street Elementary School, she teaches general music classes for students in kindergarten through 5th grade. She directs both the 4th and 5th grade band and chorus groups and helps coordinate the beginner string program. Miss Ballou earned a Bachelor of Music in Music Education from Keene State College.
Bicentennial Elementary School
Patricia Cauchon is the music teacher for Bicentennial Elementary general music classes for all students in grades 1 through grade 5. She conducts 3 choruses, and coordinates at Bicentennial the instrumental/beginner string programs. She received her degrees from the University Of UMass at Lowell, MA and Rivier University, Nashua NH. She taught for 10 years in Washburn, Maine before coming to Nashua.
Patricia is the Organist/Music Director at the Second Congregational Church in Wilton NH. She previously held organ positions at Souhegan Congregational Church Amherst, Presque Isle Congregational Maine, and Grace Fellowship Unitarian Universalist Church of Lowell, MA. She is on the Executive Board of the NH American Guild of Organists, member of the Monadnock AGO, and an active member of National Association for Music Education (NAfME). Patricia performs with the Monadnock Chorus and is a music volunteer at various community facilities. Patricia enjoys participating with local Arts groups, traveling, outdoor sports, and exploring trails in wilderness areas.
Birch Hill Elementary School
Chris Milner graduated from the University of New Hampshire with his Bachelor of Music in Music Education. He studied saxophone and clarinet with Jared Sims and Dave Seiler. Chris played in the UNH Jazz Band under the direction of Dave Seiler and the UNH Wind Symphony under the direction of Andrew Boysen. While at UNH he had the opportunity to play with many great musicians such Clark Terry, Jimmy Heath, Terrell Stafford, Antonio Heart, and David Maslanka among others. Chris has also performed with local groups such as the Freese Brothers Big Band and the Seacoast Wind Ensemble.
After graduating Chris had the opportunity to start a music program for students with Behavioral and cognitive disabilities at Seacoast Learning Collaborative. At SLC Chris taught music classes to students in middle and elementary school as well as High School beginning guitar classes. Chris currently teaches general music, chorus, and band at Birch Hill Elementary school in Nashua, NH.
Broad Street Elementary School
Charlotte Avenue Elementary School
Tina Lincoln has been teaching Elementary music classes for 24 years. She received her Bachelors degree from Castleton State (1993) and her Masters Degree from University of Phoenix (2012). She grew up in Vermont and that is where her teaching career also began. From there she taught in Virginia and Maryland.
Dr. Norman W. Crisp Elementary School
Frank G. Iovieno is currently the music teacher at the Dr. Norman Crisp Elementary School in Nashua, N.H. where he teaches general music classes for all students in grades Kindergarten through grade 5, teaches band instrument group lessons before and after school, two elementary Band and two Choruses. He received his Bachelor’s degree from the Boston Conservatory of Music Dance and Drama and his Master degree from Bethel University – Seminary of the East. He has studied conducting with Attilio Poto, Colonel Arnold Gabriel, and Fredrick Fennel.
He has taught in Hollis New Hampshire, Lewiston Maine, Concord New Hampshire and in Vienna Austria and Nice France. In Vienna he has performed with members of the Vienna Philharmonic and the Joseph Haydn Conservatory, Vienna State and Volks Opera and been an adjudicator and clinician for various international festivals. While in Vienna he was a rehearsal conductor and on site music director for a BBC music special. He was co- founder of the Twin Cities Music Festival in Lewiston and Auburn Maine and the International School Festival in Vienna Austria. He resides in Nashua with his wife Paula and is an active member in the New Hampshire Music Educators Association and The National Association for Music Education.
Elm Street Middle School
John Cardin, Band Director
John Cardin comes to Elm Street Middle School after 18 years teaching music and band at Laconia Middle School. He is passionate about engaging students in transformative musical experiences, and is excited to work with our concert bands, jazz band, and marching band. John has additionally served as band manager and president of the Lakes Region Junior High Music Festival, as guest conductor for Piscataqua River Brass, the Gilford Community Band, and the Nevers Band, and created the Lakes Region Youth Brass Choir. Most recently, he traveled to Peru with Teaching Artists International to work with students at Arpegio Music Academy.
Mr. Cardin holds a Bachelor of Music in Music Education from the University of New Hampshire, magna cum laude, and a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction with a focus on Education Leadership from Southern New Hampshire University, summa cum laude. A seacoast NH native, John is also an active trumpeter and private instructor, performing freelance for weddings, church services, concerts, and musical theatre, and with the Portsmouth Brass Quintet. He has previously performed with the Portsmouth Symphony, New Hampshire Philharmonic, New Legacy Swing Band, and Carter Mountain Brass. In addition to his musical passions, he is a self-admitted computer geek and hobbyist since the age of 5, and an amateur photographer.
Julia Oliver, Choir Director
Julia Oliver is a vibrant part of the music scene in southern New Hampshire. She is now in her 35th year of teaching in the Nashua School District, and has specialized in teaching all age groups – from preschool to college and adults. Her groups has received invitations from presidents, governors, mayors and major organizations to perform. Julie is also the director of music at the Main St. Methodist Church, the director of Zimria at Beth Abraham Temple, the Director of Youth Programming at the Ogunquit Playhouse in Maine and a private teacher of voice and piano.
Dayna Horgan, General Music
Dayna Horgan is the 6-8 general music teacher at Elm Street Middle School. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of New Hampshire with a Bachelor of Music in Music Education and then went on to graduate from the National University of Ireland, Maynooth with a Master of Art in Creative Music Technologies. Besides teaching at Elm Street, Dayna is also a music teacher at the Music Academy of Chelmsford, where she teaches clarinet and voice lessons - her two primary instruments. In addition to her passion for instrumental and choral music, Dayna is a major advocate for music technology and sound recording and engineering. She previously was a sound engineering teacher in a STEAM innovation academy. Dayna currently runs sound for school productions and dabbles in sound recording and music creation through the software, Ableton Live, in her free time. Originally from Massachusetts, Dayna is thrilled to be back in New Hampshire and excited to share her passion of music with Nashua Public Schools.
Fairgrounds Elementary School
Miss Velez teaches general music classes for grades kindergarten through fifth grade as well as chorus for students in grades four and five at Fairgrounds Elementary School. She earned her Bachelor of Music in Music Education from Southern New Hampshire University and taught elementary music in Hudson, New Hampshire prior to coming to Nashua.In addition to teaching music, Miss Velez is an active musician, arranger, and composer within New Hampshire, performing on piano, bassoon, and French horn with multiple groups throughout the year, including Southern New Hampshire University Symphony Orchestra, Southern New Hampshire University Wind Symphony, Nevers’ Second Regiment Band, Manchester Community Music School (MCMS) Wind Ensemble, MCMS Symphony Orchestra, MCMS Summer Community Band, Hopkinton Town Band, and Epsom Town Band. Performances are throughout Southern New Hampshire as well as frequent tours within Northeastern United States. She is also the conductor of the Alumni Band of the New Hampshire National Guard with frequent performances throughout southern New Hampshire as well as an instructor of private lessons for wind instruments and piano. For leisure, Miss Velez enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, skiing, hiking, and trying new foods.
Fairgrounds Middle School
Thomas Souza, Band Director
K-12 Music Coordinator
Thomas Souza has been the band director at Fairgrounds Middle School since 2006 and K-12 Music Department Coordinator since 2013. He teaches grades 6 through 8 band, general music and guitar as well as after school Jazz Band, Tech Crew and is Tri-M Music Honor Society Chapter 5847 Advisor. Mr. Souza holds two Bachelors’ degrees in Music Performance and Music Education and a Masters’ degree in Conducting from the University of Massachusetts Lowell. He has been an adjunct faculty member at Keene State College and currently is an adjunct faculty member at Brandeis University where he conducts the Wind Ensemble. During the summer, Mr. Souza conducts the Townsend Military Band, teaches at the University of Massachusetts Lowell Symphonic Band Camp and tries to work in woodworking projects when able. Mr. Souza is originally from Taunton, Massachusetts where he grew up watching his dad play in the Taunton City Band which he joined in 6th grade and played with for 25 years.
Mary Pispitsos, Choir Director
Mary Pispitsos has proudly directed the Fairgrounds Middle School Choral Program since that fall of 2003. With a separate 6th, 7th and 8th grade General Choir, the program is nearly 175 students strong! She also auditions and conducts the FMS Select Choir; whose recent performances included singing for the Mayor’s annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony at City Hall and on the Granite Statesmen Christmas Cabaret. Additionally, Mrs. Pispitsos teaches an 8th grade piano keyboarding lab and 6th and 7th grade general music. Sharing her love of musical theater with her students, Mrs. Pispitsos has directed 15 musicals during her career. Most notably, Beauty and The Beast, Jr and The Little Mermaid, Jr. which were in collaboration with the FMS Band Program. Mrs. Pispitsos has also enjoyed adjudicating The Great East Music Festival and conducting an exceptional group of singers in the Music in the Parks Festival, winning both 1st Place and Overall Best Middle School Choir in 2013! She is thrilled to be conducting the Nashua Sings Elementary Festival Chorus again this year, as it is truly a highlight in her year. Mrs. Pispitsos earned a Bachelor’s of Music degree in Education from West Virginia University and a Master of Art’s degree in Music Education from The Ohio State University. She resides in Manchester with her husband and their two sons.
Ledge Street Elementary School
Madison Pineau teaches general music, chorus, and band at Ledge Street Elementary School. She is from Nashua, NH and studied Music Education with an emphasis in voice at Plymouth State University (PSU). She has toured across New England, Washington D.C. and South Korea with PSU Chamber Choirs. In 2017, she was chosen to sing with National Collegiate Honor Choir in Minneapolis, MN. After the school day ends, Madison teaches voice, piano, and guitar lessons at North Main Music in Nashua, NH.
Main Dunstable Elementary School
Mrs. Stone started teaching music at Main Dunstable Elementary School in Nashua, NH in 2006, where she teaches music for grades one through five, as well as chorus for students in grades four and five. She originally hails from Woburn, MA and her favorite subjects in school were English, Art, and Music, especially chorus. When she graduated high school in 2002, she went on to study Music Education at the University of Southern Maine, Gorham. After receiving a Bachelor of Music in 2006, she was lucky to land a job at MDES where she immediately felt welcome and at home, not only with the staff but with the students and parents as well. In 2007, she began to pursue her Master of Music, and in 2009 graduated from the University of Massachusetts - Lowell.
Mrs. Stone is also a certified Orff-Schulwerk teacher, receiving Level I (2006) and Level II (2007) training at Bridgewater State University, and Level III (2013) training at Hofstra University. She is also a certified teacher for the programs First Steps in Music (2014) and Conversational Solfege (2015), where she studied with John Feierabend at Gordon College.
Mrs. Stone is a professional vocalist and has sung in many concerts, choral groups, and theater shows ever since she was a child. Her love of singing and music has been a constant source of joy in her life, and combined with her love of children, she found a perfect place teaching elementary music. These days, she enjoys performing at church, weddings, and funerals or whenever else the opportunity is provided. When time permits, she also loves performing in community theatre shows in the Boston area. Most of her performing these days, is at home in Billerica, MA for (and with!) her son Lincoln, born in January 2014. She also enjoys listening to show tunes and seeing musicals whenever possible.
Mount Pleasant Elementary School
Ann Marie Wellman
My vocation as a teacher and music therapist includes working at New Searles Elementary School as a music educator with students in kindergarten through fifth grade. My life experience includes fifteen years as a music therapist with patients in the Metro Detroit area before relocating to New Hampshire. As a musician I enjoy playing flute and piano. My guitar skills are suitable only for around a campfire at Adam’s Camp New England on Nantucket and Loon Mountain each summer. Adam’s Camp is for children with special needs. I have two sons. When not making music, I enjoy reading and scuba diving. I am blessed to teach in the Nashua School District.
Nashua High School North
Brianne Biastoff, Choir Director
Brianne Biastoff is in her third year directing the choral ensembles at Nashua High School North, Mrs. Biastoff has been teaching private singing lessons for over 15 years, and has received both a Bachelor of Music and Master of Music in Music Teaching from the University of Massachusetts Lowell, where she is now a member of the adjunct faculty in music. Mrs. Biastoff’s current students include several All-State and All-Eastern singers, and several students who will be majoring in music at various colleges and universities next year.
Kristin Olsen, Band Director
Formerly on the faculty of Brevard College (Brevard, NC) and the Brevard Music Center, Ms. Olsen has also taught at Mastricola and Elm Sreet Middle Schools. She is currently the director of bands at Nashua HS North. Ms. Olsen is an active freelance musician in New England. She is currently a member of Symphony New Hampshire. She has performed with the Portland Opera Company, the Granite State Opera Company, the Northwinds Quintet, the New Hampshire Symphony, the Brevard Music Festival Orchestra, and the Asheville, NC and Greenville, SC Symphonies. Ms. Olsen received her Bachelor of Music in Music Education and Horn Performance from the University of North Carolina. She received her Master of Music degree in Horn Performance at the New England Conservatory of Music.
Nashua High School South
Sarah Evans, Choir Director
Sarah Evans is an educator, musician, and theater artist working in Southern New Hampshire. She is a music educator and choral director at Nashua High School South, where she also serves as the director of the musical. She has also served as the Choral and Theater Director at Bow High School and Pembroke Academy. School theatrical credits as both director and musical director include: Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, Into the Woods, Romeo and Juliet, Disney’s The Little Mermaid, The Wedding Singer, The Odd Couple (Female Version), R&H’s Cinderella, and more.
Sarah is also a Resident Artist with Peacock Players of Nashua, NH. She currently serves as the musical director for the Spotlight musical theater troupe, as well as directing and musically directing mainstage productions. Previous Peacock Players credits include: Disney’s Frozen Jr., Seussical TYA, Disney’s Winnie the Pooh Kids, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast Jr., Disney’s The Lion King Jr., Elf the Musical Jr., James and the Giant Peach TYA, and more.
Additionally, Sarah maintains a private vocal studio in Nashua, NH. She currently serves as the All State Festival Chairperson for the NH Music Educators’ Association and sings with the Tanglewood Festival Chorus in Boston, MA. Sarah is a member of NHMEA, and is a graduate of Muhlenberg College and Boston University.
Anthony Courounis Jr., Band Director
Anthony Courounis Jr. received his Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from Plymouth State College, Plymouth, NH in 1987.
For the past 18 years, Tony has been the Director of Bands at Nashua South High School in Nashua, NH where he is responsible for teaching Roots of Rock & Roll, Guitar Class, Jazz Literature and Improvisation, Piano Class, Jazz Band, Marching Band, Concert Band and Select Band and is the Elementary Instrumental Coordinator for the Nashua School District. Past teaching positions have included General Music, Choral Director and Band Director at Elm Street Junior High in Nashua, NH; Assistant Band Director at Nashua High School; Instrumental Elementary Lesson’s Instructor for the Nashua School District; Instrumental Director, Instructor for the Nashua Summer Elementary Music Camps; General Music, Choral Director and Band Director at St. Christopher’s Elementary School, Nashua, NH; General Music Teacher at Pennichuck Junior High School in Nashua, NH and K-8 General Music, K-12 Choral Director and Jazz Band Director at Lin-Wood Cooperative School, in Lincoln, NH.
Tony serves as the New Hampshire Music Educators Association Jazz All-State Band Manager and is a current member and past president of the New Hampshire Band Directors Association. He has served as a guest conductor for the Lakes Region Middle School Festival, the North Country Music Festival and the Nashua Plays Music Festival. Tony has also served as an adjudicator for the Great East Festival, the NHMEA Solo and Ensemble Festival, the NHMEA Jazz Festival and the NHMEA All-State Festival. He is a member of the NHMEA and the NHBDA.
In addition to his school music teaching, Mr. Courounis is a freelance musician playing saxophone and clarinet in various jazz and rock groups. He has also been actively involved in musical theatre pit orchestras his entire career playing clarinet, bass clarinet, soprano, alto, tenor and baritone saxophone in a wide variety of shows. He is also a private lessons instructor on clarinet and saxophone.
New Searles Elementary School
Cole Gallegher, music teacher
Cole Gallagher teaches music for grades K-5 at New Searles Elementary School. Cole was born and raised in Plaistow, NH and studied Music Education at Southern New Hampshire University. In his free time, Cole participates with multiple performance groups in New Hampshire including the Merrimack Valley Philharmonic, Southern New Hampshrie Univeristy Orchestra, Southern New Hampshire University Wind Symphony, and Timberlane Community Band. Outside of music Cole spends his time with his instruments, his ferrets, and the great outdoors
Pennichuck Middle School
Vincent Duval, Band Director
Vincent Duval is in his twentieth year teaching music in the Nashua School District and his fourteenth year at Pennichuck Middle School, where he directs the band program and teaches guitar and general music classes. In his time there he has worked to make the Pennichuck Band an established part of the school and city community. From having one concert band that performed two evening concerts a year, the program has grown to three concert bands, jazz band, and small ensembles with multiple performances each year in and out of school, as well as participation by Pennichuck band students and ensembles in a number of district and state music festivals. He feels most proud of his work during those moments when his students show that they are truly excited about making music.
In addition to his school music teaching responsibilities, Mr. Duval has been active as a private French horn instructor in New Hampshire since 1995, teaching out of his own studio, and also for a number of years at the Ted Herbert’s Music School and the Manchester Community Music School, where he also worked with the orchestra brass section and is the director of the Robins Farley Honors Brass Quintet. He has been assistant conductor of the Seacoast Wind Ensemble and was co-conductor of the MCMS Summer Community Band from 2010 to 2015. From 2001 to 2008 Mr. Duval was director of the Nashua Summer Music Program.
Mr. Duval is a NH native, a graduate of the University of Massachusetts/Amherst, and has taught in New York, Maine, and New Hampshire. He has served on the executive board of New Hampshire Band Directors Association since 2006, of which he is also a past president. He held the position of Middle Level Honors Festival Chair with the same organization from 2011 to 2017. He is a member of NHMEA, of the National Band Association, and the international Horn Society.
Ellie Samuelson, Choir Director
Mrs. Samuelson received her Bachelor of Music Education from the University of North Park in Chicago, IL. Along with conducting her middle school ensembles, Mrs. Samuelson also directs the music for the Pennichuck Drama Club and participates in Large Group Festival and South Central District Festival. Besides teaching at the Middle School level, Mrs. Samuelson also currently serves as the Director of Music Ministries at Bridgeway Christian Church in Derry, where she has built a 20+ member Christmas Choir and a Contemporary Worship Ensemble. As a young music educator, Mrs. Samuelson enjoys learning new music, working on conducting techniques, and seeks to further her education in the near future by getting her masters in Music Education.
Sunset Heights Elementary School
McKenzie Larson is the K-5 general music teacher and 4th and 5th grade choral director at Sunset Heights Elementary School. After graduating Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education from the University of New Hampshire, she continued at UNH, graduating with a Master of Arts in Teaching degree in May 2019. Having studied voice at UNH, McKenzie is an active performer and has performed in both solo and ensemble settings throughout New England and even, most notably, in Chengdu, China. Most recently, she performed Rachmaninoff’s The Bells in Portland, Maine with ChoralArt and the Portland Symphony Orchestra. McKenzie originally hails from Raymond, Maine where her love for music education was born. She currently resides in Merrimack, New Hampshire and feels incredibly fortunate to be a part of the Nashua School District.