Region Representatives

Vicky Furby, Western

vfurbyVictoria J. Furby is the Coordinator of Music Education at Buffalo State College where she teaches courses in Aural Perceptions and Secondary Choral Methods, supervises student teachers and coordinates the DaCapo freshmen learning community. Dr. Furby is the director of the Buffalo State College Chamber Choir and Vocal Jazz Ensemble. Dr. Furby has been an invited guest conductor and clinician for honor choirs and choral workshops both within and outside New York State and is also active in professional development for practicing music educators. Prior to her appointment at Buffalo State College, Dr. Furby completed her graduate education at The Ohio State University where she focused on choral music education and conducted Mastersingers and Ladies First. She was awarded the Joseph Leeder Award and invited to join the honorary fraternities Phi Kappa Phi and Pi Kappa Lambda. During her public school teaching career Dr. Furby taught high school and junior high choirs that received superior ratings at both local and state levels.

Jason Holmes, Central

Jeff Francom, Northland

Jeffrey Francom is the Coordinator of Choral Activities at the Crane School of Music in Potsdam, New York, where he conducts the Crane Chorus, Hosmer Choir, and Men’s Ensemble, and teaches courses in conducting and choral methods. Prior to moving upstate, Dr. Francom resided on Long Island, where he taught at Suffolk County Community College, and directed The Babylon Chorale and Stony Brook’s Camerata Singers. From 2004-2007, he was the choral director at Mandarin High School in Jacksonville, Florida. His choirs have performed with orchestras around the country, including the San Diego Symphony and the Louisiana Philharmonic, and he has prepared choirs for Helmuth Rilling, Ann Howard Jones, Christof Perick, and others. As a pianist, Dr. Francom has been a concerto soloist with five orchestras, including the New West Symphony, Conejo Symphony Orchestra, and Pepperdine University Orchestra. He was the 2008 recipient of the Ralph Vaughan Williams Fellowship sponsored by Charterhouse in Godalming, England. His research interests include the choral music of RVW, and the folk music of Argentina. He holds degrees in choral conducting from Stony Brook University and the University of Florida, and in piano performance from Utah State University.

Michael Lister, Albany

mlisterMichael C. Lister holds a Doctor of Arts degree in Choral Conducting at Ball State University, a Bachelor of Arts in Piano Performance from Mount Vernon Nazarene University, and a Master of Music in Music Theory from Indiana University. For six years, Dr. Lister was the Director of Choirs at Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy, a private junior high and high school in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. He has also served on the faculty of Otterbein College in Westerville, Ohio, and Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana. Dr. Lister is currently Assistant Professor of Choral Music at the College of Saint Rose, where he conducts several choral ensembles and teaches courses in conducting, education, and music theory. Throughout his career, Dr. Lister has remained an active conductor, clinician, and performer. He has served as Guest Conductor for and as group adjudicator for various NYSSMA events. In addition to serving as College and University Repertoire and Standards Chair for the New York American Choral Directors Association, Dr. Lister maintains active membership in numerous organizations, including the National Association for Music Education, and the College Music Society, for which he is the College Representative.  Dr. Lister currently serves as the Music Director of First Presbyterian Church in Albany, New York.

Jason Thoms, Westchester

jthomsDr. Jason Thoms is Associate Professor of Music at Concordia College-New York where he is Director of Choral Activities and Music Area Chair. Dr. Thoms’ choirs at Concordia have embarked on 9 tours, performing in 45 states and 2 Canadian provinces in the past 6 years. Dr. Thoms often works with school choirs as a clinician and festival choir director. He also maintains a studio of private conducting students, and works with conductors to improve rehearsal techniques, score study and repertoire selection. Besides conducting, Dr. Thoms is much in demand as a professional singer, both as a soloist and a professional chorister. During 2013-2014 he will be performing with the Manhattan Concert Chorale, Tennessee Chamber Choir, Yale Choral Artists, Composer’s Choir, Spire Chamber Ensemble, Santa Fe Desert Chorale, Bach in Baltimore Choir, and a number of other professional ensembles. He is a graduate of St. Olaf College and Michigan State University.

Mary Clementi, Metropolitan

mclementiMary Clementi is the Music Director at Highbridge Voices, a non-profit music and academic program in Bronx, NY. Mary conducts Highbridge Voices’ Concert Choir, a 90-voice ensemble of students in grades 4-6, and Chamber Choir, a 45-voice ensemble of students in grades 7-12. Under Mary’s direction, the choir has performed at several high-profile events, including a performance of the Star Spangled Banner at a playoff game at Yankee Stadium, and a performance in front the Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C. In addition to her conducting responsibilities, Mary oversees the music program at Highbridge Voices, which includes music theory and styles classes, voice lessons, singer recruitment and retention, curriculum development, and assessment. Mary has served as a guest clinician and adjudicator in schools in Virginia, Maryland, and Wisconsin. She is an active singer in New York City, most recently as a member of the Astoria Symphonic Choir. She is the chairperson for the NY-ACDA Middle School Honor Choir, and has recently been named as the Eastern Division representative to the International Conductors Exchange Program in China for 2014. Mary received her M.M.E. in Choral Music Education at Florida State University in Tallahassee, and her B.M. in Music Education at St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN. She began her choir conducting career as a middle school and high school choir conductor in Fairfax County, Virginia.

Craig Knapp, Long Island

cknappCraig B. Knapp is in his 16th year teaching Classroom Music and Chorus, grades 3 through 5, at the Joseph A. Edgar Intermediate School in the Rocky Point School District. A graduate of the Crane School of Music, Mr. Knapp has also studied with distinguished educators and musicians including John Feierabend, Jos Wuytack, Janet Galván, Will Schmid and Bobby McFerrin. Mr. Knapp’s choral ensembles have performed annually at NYSSMA Major Organization Evaluation Festivals since 2003, where they have received consistent “Gold” and “Gold With Distinction” ratings. Mr. Knapp frequently has students participating in various American Choral Directors Association’s Children’s Honor Choirs, and, in the Organization of American Kodály Educators’ National Children’s Choirs. With his innovative and energetic approach to music education, Craig Knapp directs the Metropolitan Youth Orchestra of New York’s Children’s Treble Choirs (, where he has conducted at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center. He has conducted several commissioned pieces by renowned composers including Nick Page and Jim Papoulis. Craig has presented elementary classroom music and choral workshops at various music education conferences, and has been a guest conductor for New York State’s Dutchess, Nassau, Rockland, Schoharie and Suffolk County Music Educators’ Associations.