Laurel Concert Program 2023

A Letter from our Director, Phil Giampietro

28 June 2023

Why is it that one week a year of making music in the woods can create a lifetime of memories?

The answer might be found in the Ancient Greek Conception of time. They saw things two different ways. Chronos, the traditional conception of time includes the grind of the day and the predictability of the calendar. But then there are the content or even breathtaking moments where time seems to stop. It’s that feeling where you are enjoying yourself and others to the point that you haven’t a care in the world. These moments are called Kairos, and Laurel Music Camp is chock full of them.

Time stops at Laurel Music Camp, and the sole focus of our week – Fellowship Through Music – hangs in the glow of Kairos. Our serene setting brings us together to create moments that will last a lifetime. Meanwhile, those of us who have been coming to camp for decades can barely remember the daily schedule. It’s because we are here for Kairos, not Chronos.

If you’ve spent as much time at LMC as I have, you’ll find more Kairos in the other 51 weeks of the year too.

Congratulations to all of you on a terrific week!

In Fellowship Through Music,

Phil Giampietro

Elizabeth “Ma” Sonier, Laurel Music Camp’s Founder

Elizabeth C. Sonier began teaching in Winsted in 1932. In October of 1944, She had an idea to bring a nationally respected conductor together with music students for a week of rehearsal during the summer. Music educators from across Connecticut agreed on the benefits it would provide to the students, but colleagues told her over and over “There’s no way, Betty. There’s a war on!”

1945 staff member Mary Lane would write:

“Having accomplished that little bit, we sat there on our last morning together, storing up in our memories the beauty of the scene before us. The lapping of the lake seemed to say, “All is well.” A cool breeze tossed the waves, which gurgled under the abandoned raft near the pink laurel bushes. Across the lake, pine trees stretched skyward from a rocky cliff. On our own shore birds echoed back and forth in the gently rustling birches. Then and there we decided that, look where we might, we could not find a more beautiful spot … in which to establish an annual summer music camp. Nor could we find a more appropriate name than the “Laurel Music Camp.” 

A local resident, Walter Davey, had heard the students rehearsing, and would row his boat across the lake to listen – Davey was an active Scout leader. In March of 1946, Davey and Sonier gathered with lead Scout Council members Prosper Lavieri and Merle Hildreth, along with Connecticut Music Educator Association officers G. Albert Pearson and Doris Raynor at the Workcoeman Boy Scout Reservation. This would be the new home for Sonier’s dream.

Camp Worcoeman has graciously hosted Laurel Music Camp for most of its existence, but the past 3 years of camp have been held at Camp Mattatuck in Prospect, CT. Together, the Scouts of Camp Mattatuck and the Laurel Music Camp Staff of today have proven to all alumni of LMC that regardless of location or circumstances of the world, Laurel Music Camp continue in its same spirit for many years to come!


Keenan Asbridge, Jazz Band Conductor

Keenan is a trumpet and piano player, composer and teacher from Hartford, Connecticut. He received his undergraduate degree in Trumpet Performance from Western Connecticut State University in 2014, and this spring received his Masters Degree in Jazz Composition from UMass Amherst. He is a long time staff member and lover of Laurel Music Camp.

In his hiatus from school, Keenan spent his time performing in several different projects around New England and New York, spanning many different genres and styles. Currently Keenan plays keyboard and trumpet in a five piece funk/soul band called Nikita; he also leads his own small jazz group on trumpet, both of which reflect his compositions. Aside from these projects, Keenan works freelance in cover bands and wedding bands.

When he isn’t performing, Keenan is a teacher at various schools around Connecticut. He started his teaching career at two schools in Waterbury: Bravo! Waterbury, and Waterbury Arts Magnet School, where he taught brass lessons and bucket band lessons, and accompanied the choir. Since his time in Waterbury, Keenan has been teaching brass, piano and bucket band classes at Charter Oak Cultural Center in Hartford, and at other area schools, in addition to trumpet lessons at Manchester Community College. The past two years, Keenan has been studying Jazz Composition at UMass Amherst, where he composed for small group, big band, studio orchestra, and other schools; ensembles. Additionally, Keenan co-directed and taught the UMass Jazz Lab Big Band.

Amanda Hanzlik, Choir Conductor

Amanda Sprague Hanzlik is the Director of Choral Activities at Edwin O. Smith High School in Storrs, Connecticut. She currently serves as President-Elect of the ACDA (American Choral Directors Association) Eastern Region and served as President for the Connecticut Chapter from 2019-2021. Mrs. Hanzlik was a Semifinalist for the 2021 GRAMMY Music Educator Award, is co-chair of the Connecticut CMEA High School All-State Choirs. Under her direction, The E.O. Smith Chamber Singers performed as a Selected Choir at the 2020 ACDA Eastern Regional Conference in Rochester, NY and have been featured multiple times as the Connecticut CMEA Conference High School Showcase Choral Ensemble. Mrs. Hanzlik frequently appears as a clinician and ensemble conductor for regional and all-state music festivals and conferences. Mrs. Hanzlik made her Carnegie Hall conducting debut in 2023.

2022-23 marks Mrs. Hanzlik’s 24th year as a music educator, teaching in K-12, early childhood, college, community and senior-citizen ensembles, in both urban and rural settings. Amanda Hanzlik is a graduate of the University of Iowa and Teachers College, Columbia University.

Susan Kohanski, Orchestra Conductor

Susan is the Orchestra Director at Manchester High School in Manchester, Connecticut, where she oversees a program of 120 string students in one of the most diverse high schools in the state.

She has truly developed a love of teaching strings to young people and helping them to fulfill their potential as musicians. To that end, Susan has spent her career creating communities of musicians, fostering a philosophy of service through music, and “making our corner of the world a better place”.

Susan has been involved with the Connecticut Music Educators Association since 1990, serving in many capacities. As a performer, she is a freelance cellist and private teacher. Susan is the principal cellist for the Manchester Symphony Orchestra and Chorale, where she also serves as the Education Liaison. She takes great pride and joy in seeing her MHS students performing side by side with the Symphony musicians several times a year. She comes from a family of musicians, with a sister, brother, and two sons who are professional performers, teachers and scholars. Susan holds a Bachelor of Music in Musicology from the Hartt School and a Master of Music in Historical Performance from the New England


Damon Coachman, Concert Band Conductor

Damon Coachman is the Director of Bands at Bloomfield High School in Bloomfield, CT where he currently conducts the Bloomfield High School Symphonic Band and the Bloomfield High School Chamber Jazz Ensemble, and serves as the advisor for the Bloomfield High School’s Tri-M Music Honor Society. Additionally, he is a Performing Arts Instructor at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, CT.

His most recent guest conducting appearances include being a guest choral clinician/conductor for the 2023 Ledyard All-District Choral Festival, guest conductor of the 2022 CMEA Eastern Region Middle School Jazz Ensemble, the 2019 Charter Oak Music Festival’s Jazz Band, and the 2017 Marywood University’s Junior Wind Band Celebration.

Damon is also the Music Director for the Center Stage Jazz, an amateur adult big band that performs throughout Connecticut. He is humbled and honored to be the guest conductor for the 2023 Laurel Music Camp Concert Band.

Jazz Band Performers:


Ben Buyniski

Kaleb Foster

Caleb Nichols

Kylie Tinnirella


Calvin Bareiss

Paul Bilodeau +︎ 

Najee Durrett

Annamarie Mueller

Alto Saxophone

Myles Colón

Abigail Fishbein *

Tenor Saxophone

Scott Spinner

Maya Teator

Baritone Saxophone

Matthew Erickson


Jonah Moylan

Raina Pereira


Janelle Gagnon

Emily Kropo *


Emily Kropo *


Mercury Goulet


Ben Poland *

Chorus Performers


Emma Daggett

Amelie Driscoll

Heidi Farnum

Ellie Holerca

Janina Howard

Magdalena Kovacs

Lillian LaCaprucia-Hull *

Lori McClain

Katie Metcalfe

Chloe Nixdorf

Paige Owen

Madison Perry *

Elysia Ring-Howell

Natalia Rodriguez

River White


Elsabet Ferruci

Lorelei (Low) Gnerre

Grace Hanzlik

Ivy Hawkins

Hailee Knapik *

Rowan LaFleur

Bailey Madore

Leo Owen

Nola Schaller

Makiah Speight

Mackenzie Steeves

Julia Thies *

Soleil Vaillancourt


Raven Belliveau *

Logan Foster *

Liam Gruber

Kaira Springer *

Colton Zawisza


Timothy Crandall

Joel Glenister +︎ 

Jonathan Kulinski +︎ 

Patrick Minnerly

Brandon Zenevitch +︎ 

Orchestra Performers


JJ Sun, Concert Master

Alexa Papageorge x

Selena Antwi

Leah Belin +︎ 

Phoebe Blume +︎ 

Alexis Chausse

Makayla DeLaura

Camy Groff +︎ 

Duncan Kolb

Kevin Martin

Emily Rodriguez

Matthew Sandoval

Katya Wright


Janzé Richardson x

Matthew Miskin +

Princessilla Peprah

Ann Sengchanthong

Kenneth Sohn


Elias Kolb x

Hilary Bareiss *

Lay Espinal *

Dean Gonzalez

Liam McKay-Moity

Rashad Watt

Hazel Westfall


Julia Vieira Reis x 

Stewart Keith

Owen Kent


Teresa Bielecki +︎

Grace Reid *

Rex Sturdevant +︎

Concert Band Performers


Amelia Athay

Emma Bednarz

Ash Delaney

Hope Grant

Nora Higgins

Kate Hudak

Lily Kosko

Michelle Martin +︎

Nikki Whitehill +︎

Grace Velardi

Brianna Wood


Lyn Tracy +︎


Luke Ashworth *

Rowyn Ferreira

Cayleigh Trainor


Isaac Cooke

Livia Fallon *

Isabella Oakley


Kameron Aldridge

Matthew DiLorenzo

Hunter Duseau *

Claudia Fisicaro

Emmie LaPlante

Bass Clarinet 

Eric Pelletier

Kai Vardon

Alto Saxophone

Paul Westerberg

Tenor Saxophone

Derek Friend +︎

Kai Wyatt

Baritone Saxophone

Jacob Pear

French Horn

Mackenzie Hale

Frankie Pfaffle


Bradley Baker

Lemon Dickens

Jonah Erazo

Alec Marvin

Julian Monroe

Andrew Teator *


Emma Costa

Jessica Giampietro +

Layne Gordon

Beq Lendvay +︎


Kairi Grant

Ely Hosack


Andre Morais +︎

Dan Rehberg +︎


Teresa Bielecki +︎

Ethan Cavajani

Jake Fox

Zach Fox

Ryan Pothier

Grace Reid *

Joshua Styga

Rex Sturdevant +︎

Heidi Thomas +︎

Soren Westerberg

Lauren Zimmerman

* Junior Counselors are performers as well as being staff members; they are noted with their performing groups by an asterisk next to their name.
+︎ Senior Staff that are performing are shown noted with this symbol.× Principal chairs are shown noted with this symbol

Laurel Music Camp Senior Staff 2023

Grant Abelson

Rachel Abrahamson

Donald Amodio

Keenan Asbridge

Shannon Bagoly

Eric Barakat

Jamie Barber

Leah Belin

Teresa Bielecki

Paul Bilodeau

Robin Bilodeau

Phoebe Blume

Sarah Bochain

Wyatt Bosma

Emily Cashin

Damon Coachman

Caitlin Daly-Gonzales

Derek Friend

Kim Friend

Scott Friend

Jenn Galasso

Maddie Gay

Jessica Giampietro

Phil Giampietro

Joel Glenister

Nathan Glenister

Rachel Glenister

Courtney Graham

Camy Groff

Megan Hendler

Kyle Hogan

Kenneth Jacques II

Cliff Janssen

Andrew Kaufman

Mark Kolb

Casey Kulinski

Jon Kulinski

Jordan Lasko

Julia Lavernoich

Beq Lendvay

Corinne Marshall

Michelle Martin

Karla McClain

Scott McClain

Lyric McVoy

Scott Minnerly

Tara Minnerly

Matthew Miskin

Andre Morais

Ruben Morais

Carrie Peters

Daniel Rehberg

Kyle Saulnier

Lauren Sleath

Rex Sturdevant

Melissa Teator

Heidi Thomas

Lyn Tracy

Kimberly Ulmer

Lawrence Ulmer

William Valenti

Nikki Whitehill

Brandon Zenevitch

A Special Thanks 

Connecticut Rivers Council

Jeromy Nelson and the staff of Camp Mattatuck 

Pomperaug High School

The Gilbert School: Winsted, CT

Northeastern Communications

Main Street Community Foundation

Southford Pizza

All-Star Transportation: Plymouth, CT

Universal Copy: Naugatuck, CT

Doug Mahard, Piano Services

Mateusz Zechowski, STUDIOTEO Recording Services

Special Events Screen Printing: East Haven, CT

Delta Marketing

Nardelli’s Grinder Shoppe: 515 Watertown Ave., Waterbury, CT