367 Bantam Road
Litchfield, CT 06759
We Make Musicians™
Michael Ford began studying the piano at the age of 4, and performed his first public concert at age 6. He made his debut as soloist with the Allentown Symphony Orchestra at 13. He studied piano with Ralph Kemmerer, Eleanor Sokoloff and Susan Starr. He studied composition with Romeo Cascarino and Theodore Antonio, and electronic music with Andrew Rudin at Philadelphia Musical Academy. He also played rock music on many kinds of keyboards in "Vacuum Pact", "Pegasus" and "Children", finding a particular interest in the British progressive "Art Rock" genre. In the '80's, he toured as pianist for the Paul Taylor Dance Company and performed both as soloist and with the orchestra in their Broadway seasons. He recorded the two piano version of Stravinsky’s “The Rite of Spring” with the Paul Taylor Dance Company for PBS "Dance in America" series as well as "Great Performances" for the Joffrey Ballet.
While exploring other worlds of music including jazz and experimental improvisation, acoustic blues and electronic music with various ensembles, he began making recordings of his own music as a keyboard soloist. He developed a compositional style that draws on these influences but is rooted in a classical aesthetic that stems from his dedication to the piano.
At that same time he developed a deep interest in music synthesis and sampling techniques, creating music in many styles and formats for keyboard synthesizer companies, trading demos for keyboards, which quickly set him up to be able to create music for film and video with an orchestral emphasis. This led to "Keyboard Magazine" awarding him high honors for a recording of his composition for piano and electronic orchestra in 1992. In the summer of 1993 he performed at Lincoln Center using his electronic keyboards with fellow recording artist/composer John Greenland.
In 1995-1996 he co-wrote a musical based on the life of Harry Houdini with composer/lyricist Carl Kusnell.
His collaboration with children’s book author and illustrator Sandra Boynton from 1995 to the present, has won him 3 gold records and one (Philadelphia Chickens) is now platinum. Through their six titles, he has recorded with B. B. King, Brian Wilson, Alison Krauss, Ben Folds, Mark Lanegan, Davy Jones, Patti LuPone, Linda Eder, Meryl Streep, Samuel L. Jackson and many more.
His 2009 solo release “Dream of the Wind” was nominated for best contemporary classical album by the Independent Music Awards. In 2012, his next piano album "Simple Truth" was also nominated for best contemporary classical album by the IMA.
His current releases, "Leah's Farewell” and “Exile” have developed much attention -"Leah's Farewell is an emotionally resonant piano album that showcases someone who has exceptional ability on their instrument...His playing is dynamic, nuanced and quite elegant...There isn't a single piece on here that wasn’t impressive."
He enjoys teaching all levels of classical, jazz, pop, rock and blues, and also encourages and gives guidance to improvisation
Please call for lessons with Michael.
At ABC Music School, you'll find very personable, dedicated teachers that strive to provide a family-friendly learning environment to take you or your child's musicality to the next level.
John studied music at Gordon College and the University of Harford. After a long journey through several schools, he graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Connecticut with a degree in English Literature. He believes music theory and history should be an essential part of every musician's education.
Some of the many instruments John plays include the flute, clarinet, harmonica, piano, saxophone, guitar, and ukulele. He enjoys singing as much as he enjoys playing whatever instrument he can find. John has studied classical and jazz, but his true passion is for rock music. He has played in many bands, such as Palomino, and his current project - Zombie Shakespeare and the Midsummer Nightmares.
John's musical influences include the Beatles, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, the Who, David Bowie, Elvis Costello, the Clash, the Smiths, Pixies, Jeff Buckley, Radiohead, Wilco, and Sufjan Stevens. He collects vinyl records and dusty old novels. John could do none of this without the loving support of his beautiful wife Lisa.
John is currently teaching saxophone, clarinet, flute, guitar, bass, ukulele, banjo, harmonica, and music theory.
We'll work with local teachers in schools to help with their music needs.
Anthony Troy's musical journey started as a teenager, inspired by his high school music teacher Tracy Walton. Since then, he has been unable to put his guitar down. Anthony studied under John Stropes, Andrew Lardner and Rene Izquierdo at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee which is the only program in the world to hold a B.F.A. in Fingerstyle Guitar. He is currently studying at Western Connecticut State University as a B.A. in Music with a primary focus in Jazz Guitar under Ted Morcaldi and also studies Classical Guitar under Tengyue Zhang at the Julliard School of Music in New York City, NY.
Anthony is not only a professional performer but also an award winning composer. He was hand selected to score the film "Lost" written by Michael Chen (MTV, CBS) which won both the “Best Film” and “People’s Choice Award” at VISFF and MSFF of 2016. That same year he was signed by FRETMONKEY RECORDS; a record label consisting of 21 artists from a span of 13 countries. After 2 years of composing along with a year of shooting and film editing, Anthony released his first official music video "The Mayo Clinic" which had reached a large following and high praise in Turkey, China and the U.S.
Anthony has performed and/or attended master classes with renowned guitarists Leo Brouwer, Jon Gomm, Andy McKee, Don Ross, Antoine Dufour, Calum Graham, Billy McLaughlin, Pino Forasterie, Pierre Bensuan and Alex De Grassi. Currently, he is endorsed by Stonebridge Guitars, John Pearse Strings, G7th Capos and Elite Acoustics (Sunburst Gear).
Over the course of his guitar career, Anthony has traveled throughout the U.S. and Canada to perform hundreds of concerts at public and private events, competitions, contests, universities, venues and annually at both Summer and Winter NAMM. He has also performed for charities and fundraisers, including Cancer and M.S. Research Benefits.
You can find out more about Anthony by visiting his website www.anthonytroyguitar.com.
Mezzo soprano Jennifer Johnson Osborne enjoys a fulfilling career with a special emphasis on opera. Her decades of experience have included singing with major opera companies in the United States and Europe. She has been blessed to share the stage with such opera greats as Beverly Sills, Robert Merrill, Samuel Ramey, Placido Domingo and Luciano Pavarotti. Her roles cover the full spectrum of dramatic mezzo repertoire, including the title role in Carmen, Azucena in Il Trovatore, and Ulrica in Un Ballo in Mashera. She has sung under the baton of many musical icons, including the late Victor Borge.
Described by critics as possessing a “beautiful and opulent mezzo voce that transcends the written note and speaks directly to her audience,” Ms. Osborne holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Voice Performance from the University of New Hampshire. While a resident singer with the Memphis Opera Theatre, she pursued graduate studies at the University of Memphis in opera and performance, all while touring the southern states and performing in main stage productions with Memphis Opera. She was a regular member of Connecticut Opera, singing roles such as The Mother in Hansel and Gretl, including the Harford Civic Center Production in conjunction with the Hartford Ballet, and The Mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors countless times. She toured the northeast with this company in operas such as Madame Butterfly, The Elixir of Love and many others.
Equally adept at any genres of music, including musical theater, the great American songbook, and sacred/gospel music. She is conversant in five languages and coaches English, Italian, German, French and Spanish diction.
Her teaching focuses on preparing a student for a lifetime of singing by teaching proper, healthy vocal technique. Breath support and control, lack of tension in the body and face, correct vowel formation, proper diction, musical phrasing and dramatic presentation are all paramount in her lessons
Here at ABC we consider it a great honor to have an instructor with such experience and such an amazing passion for teaching voice. Please call to schedule a private consultation with Jennifer today!
Contact us to see how our dedicated teachers can help improve your musicality
Chris Valerio has been teaching for over 40 years, both privately and in the public school system. He taught ABC Music School director John Ambrose both privately and in Middle School Band at Torrington Middle School from 1990-1993. Chris studied trumpet at Western Connecticut State University and the Manhattan School of Music. He has studied with many trumpet greats, including Robert Nagel, Alan ean, Raymond Crisara, Mel Broiles and Vincent Penzerella. He has performed with the Ridgefield, Greenwich Philarmonia, Stamford Symphony, Watervury Smphony, New Britain Symphony and others. Chris joins ABC Music School and teaches all school band instruments.
Lawrence “Larry” Davis, 22, is a drummer/educator currently based in north west Connecticut. Growing up in New Milford, Larry was exposed to music early through the public school music program. He has/continues to perform in choirs, musicals, orchestras, symphonic bands, wind ensembles, marching band, indoor drumline, jazz orchestras, jazz combos, rock bands, percussion ensembles, and contemporary churches as both a percussionist and drummer. Larry is also active in recording. He has recorded with local singer songwriters, local jazz groups (small and large ensembles), and reading ensembles.
In 2014, Larry attended Western Connecticut State University for three years to study music education, percussion, and drum set. Currently, Larry is finishing a Bachelor of Music degree at the Conservatory of Music at Purchase College. He has studied with Dave Smith, Jeff Siegel, Carmen Intorre, and Matt Wilson, amongst others.
Christine Manalo is a pianist, organist, and operatic soprano based in Western Connecticut. As a native of Watertown, CT, she privately studied piano with Ms. Anna Jedd and continued to pursue her love for music. Under the direction of Ms. Jedd, she was a singer in the Litchfield County Children’s Choir, where she was able to perform with the Connecticut Choral Society and CT Master Chorale. Through these experiences, she was given the opportunity to perform on the Lincoln Center stage under the direction of conductor, Eric Whitacre.
She is currently a student at Western Connecticut State University completing her B.S. Music Education degree, where she studies Classical Voice in the studio of Ms. Laura Mashburn. She is the winner of the 2018 James Furman Honors competition, and recently placed first in the Upper College Women’s Division in New England National Association of Teachers Singing (NATS).
In addition to her piano studies, she is an operatic soprano who is actively performing throughout the state of Connecticut. Recently, she was a soloist in the Torrington Symphony Orchestra’s “Rising Stars” program. No stranger to the stage, she has performed in various operas within the state. Past stage credits include Hansel ünd Gretel(Gretel) at WCSU, The Magic Flute (Second Spirit) at Yale Opera, and The True Story of Cinderella (First Stepsister) in Ridgefield, CT.
She is an active organist and pianist. She has previously served as the Music Coordinator and Pianist for Union Congregational Church in Oakville, and now currently presides as the organist at All Saints Episcopal Church in Watertown. Christine is the accompanist for the Western Connecticut State University Concert Chorale.
Christine welcomes all ages and abilities and is excited to share the gift of music to all of her students!