November/December 2023 Newsletter

President's Message

Kim Farrell

During this special season of gratitude, I find myself continually thankful for the support, wisdom and flexibility of our board members, chairs and committee members, who work so

hard to make fun, meaningful and rewarding events for our students and members. Thank you all!

CNYAMT had an exciting Halloween recital on Sunday, October 28th at the Piano & Organ Center. A huge thank you goes out to Barb Irwin and Robbie Padilla for organizing the event. Teachers and their students enjoyed participating by dressing up in costumes and performing spooky music. Congratulations to all on a "spooktacular" afternoon!

Our monthly Teacher Forum is a great chance to meet and chat with members on various topics related to our teaching. On Thursday, November 16th our chair, Mary Whittington, planned an interesting discussion and sharing of studio policies - very informative! The zoom call was recorded for all members who couldn't be with us live. Please join us next time for our Forum on Thursday, December 21st at 11:00 a.m. via Zoom.

Plans for our next holiday recital are well under way, thanks to Bernadette Kessler and Beth Scott. We are returning to Barnes & Noble on Route 31 in Clay on Saturday, December 2nd for this fantastic recital. It will run from 9:15 a.m.- 7:30 p.m. Stop by and support CNYAMT.

Mark your calendar for the next Community Outreach Recital which will take place on Saturday, February 10th to celebrate Valentine’s Day. It will be held in-person at The Nottingham Senior Living Environment Center in Jamesville. Keep an eye out for more information in the new year.

Join us at for our next board meeting on Wednesday, February 7th , 2024 at 10:30 a.m. via Zoom. For a Zoom invitation, contact Kim at

I wish you all a very healthy & blessed holiday season and a very Happy New Year!


CNYAMT 2023-2024 Calendar

New Photo Release Form For A Minor

CNYAMT will now be using a PHOTO RELEASE FORM for ALL performance events. If the performer is a minor, the parents/guardians must sign our form to give consent for their child’s photo or video recording to be used on our website, Facebook page or in other media.

Members can find this form on our CNYAMT website under “Forms and Logos” in the Get Involved section.

Barnes & Noble Bookfair Fundraiser

3956 NY-31, Liverpool, NY 13090

Our Barnes & Noble Bookfair Fundraiser and Studio Recitals will take place on Saturday, December 2nd. On that day, Barnes & Noble will donate to CNYAMT, a percentage of our total sales purchased in the Liverpool store on that day at NO cost to you. This fundraiser is vital in funding our Senior Scholarship, Senior Merit Scholarship, and Tuition Assistance Programs.

Please come and support your fellow teachers and their studios:

John Ferrara, Amy Heyman, Ida Tili-Trebicka, Edgar Tumajyan, Bernadette Kessler, Lynn Moroz, Michelle Wilcox, Kim Farrell, Gayle Ross, Laura Enslin, Mary Whittington, Scott Cuellar, Beth Scott, Robbie Padilla, Melissa Sieling

Print the vouchers and pass them out to your family and friends to use in-store on December 2nd. This event is great for CNYAMT community awareness, and as you know, our students love this event!

Please consider the following ideas to help CNYAMT and our students!

  • Save some holiday shopping for this week.

Barnes & Noble offers books, CD’s DVD’s, educational toys and games, specialty collectibles and hobby items, gift options, greeting cards, etc.

  • Carry the attached voucher or take a screenshot for convenience.

Your in-store purchases all benefit our fundraiser. You must use the voucher number at checkout to count towards CNYAMT’s fundraiser.

  •  Send the voucher number to your local family & friends.

Ask them to support our Bookfair by visiting Barnes & Noble in Clay on Sat. December 2nd.

The following transactions are not included in the in-store Bookfair totals:

  • The purchase of gift cards
  • Shipping or handling fees; or Barnes & Noble Membership fees (new or renewal)
  • The purchase of textbooks, magazine subscriptions, video games, software and digital content (ebooks).
  • Purchases made at cafes owned or operated by Starbucks

Thank you, in advance, for your support of our music community and our future musicians!

CNYAMT Music Vouchers

CNYAMT Photography Release Form

CNYAMT Studio Parent Letter

CNYAMT Teacher Talking Points

CNYAMT Schedule of Performers

Bernadette Kessler & Beth Scott, Co-Chairs

"CNYAMT Hosts the

Symphoria Pre-Concert

Instrument Discovery Zone

Saturday, February 3rd

10-10:30 a.m. 

Set-up: 9:45 a.m.

The Red House, 400 South Salina St., Syracuse, NY

The 2nd concert of the Symphoria Kid’s Concert Series is Sergei Prokofiev’s famous "Peter and the Wolf," offering his “symphonic fairy tale for children.” Our support of Symphoria includes The Instrument Discovery Zone which is held before the concert. This gives attendees the opportunity to try out an instrument of their choice. Symphoria has some string instruments for us to use. We are looking for teachers and their students to help demonstrate. Our students can earn community volunteer hours and CNYAMT event credit. If you are interested in participating and/or sending a student, contact Bernadette Kessler at

CNYAMT Student Performer Wins at CMM Competition

Congratulations to Ava Tyler, who is a frequent CNYAMT student performer. Ava is a senior at Cicero-North Syracuse High School and won two prizes at the Civic Morning Musicals Vocal Competition on November 11th. Ava won the Neva Stevens Pilgrim Award, which is the 1st place award in the younger division of singers. Neva Pilgrim is a CNYAMT member who has supported the efforts of countless voice students in the Syracuse area. Ava also won the David Ross Award for best performance of an African American song. The award is given by Gregory Sheppard, honoring David Ross. Gregory is a bass, who formerly studied with Patti Thompson Buechner. He performs frequently all around the U.S. and abroad. Ava Tyler studies voice with Gayle Ross. We wish her the best in college next fall!  

Scary Scores, a Mad Medley of Mysterious Music, was a "Spooktacular" Success!

The event was held at the Piano and Organ Center in North Syracuse on Saturday, October 28th at 2:00 and 3:00 pm. It was an opportunity for students and teachers to perform their most bewitching music in creative Halloween costumes. Check out more photos on our website! Seven teachers and thirty-one students participated. Each recital was followed by a sweets-filled reception, including local apples and glitter glasses for everyone! Special thanks to the awesome Piano and Organ Center for the use of their beautifully decorated venue, which included a grand piano and digital keyboard onstage! Special appreciation to my co-chair, Robbie Padilla,(aka mullet Ken) and our CNYAMT President,(aka cowgirl Barbie) Kim Farrell for their support!

Barb Irwin


New Digital Keyboard

Our new digital keyboard is engraved and ready for its debut at the Barnes and Noble, Clay, fundraiser on December 2nd . We are dedicating it to the loving memory of James Vatter for his passionate service to CNYAMT and our students. Special thanks to all of you that made that happen. It took a village!

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