Gary Bernice is the director of Springfield’s High School of Science and Technology Concert Band, Jazz Band, Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band, and Stomp Percussion Ensemble. As co-founder and co-director of Springfield’s Mentoring Through Music Program (MTM) and Peer-2-Peer Mentoring Program (P2P), he also coaches chamber ensembles (small music ensembles) and teaches group and individual music lessons after school.
Mr. Bernice graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst with a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education and holds a Master of Music degree in Music Education, also from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. In 2006, Mr. Bernice completed an honors thesis through the Commonwealth Honors College at the University of Massachusetts titled Students’ Beliefs About Relevant Curriculum in the Secondary Urban Music Classroom.
In 2008, Mr. Bernice received the Pioneer Valley Distinguished Teaching Award. In 2011, he was selected to receive the Yale Distinguished Music Educator Award and in 2012 he was the recipient of the New England Public Radio Arts and Humanities Award. In 2013, he was the subject of a University of Massachusetts research study on transformative teaching. He was also chosen as a quarterfinalist for the first annual Grammy Music Educator Award in 2013. In 2015, he was honored with the University of Massachusetts Distinguished Young Alumni Award and the William Pynchon Award for distinguished service to the Springfield community.
He is a member of the National Association for Music Education, the Massachusetts Music Educators Association, the Massachusetts Instrumental and Choral Conductors Association, and served on the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education Arts Education Advisory Council. He resides in Springfield with his wife Elise and their three children—Lily, Hannah, and Isaac. He remains an active musician and an active advocate for the Springfield community.
Chelsea Lachance graduated from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst with a Bachelor of Music in Music Education and Classical Voice Performance. Throughout her college career, she was an active member of the University of Massachusetts Minuteman Marching Band, serving as a member of the flute section, featured vocalist, Audio/Visual Manager, and the 2015 Summer Recruiter. She also served as a University Tour Guide and Student Representative. Ms. Lachance is an active performer outside of the education world, both classically and non-classically, and also serves as a private videographer and photographer. She is also the founder of the award-winning Serendipity Project, a motivational campaign that spreads empathetic thinking through self-love and actively presents and conducts workshops throughout the eastern United States. Ms. Lachance is continuing her education in the field of Music Therapy for people with PTSD.
Christopher Moehringer graduated from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst where he served as Drum Major of the Minuteman Marching Band, a member of the Wind Ensemble, Orchestra, and the Amity Street Brass Quintet. His brass quintet has performed throughout Massachusetts at schools, churches, and retirement communities. He teaches private lessons to students of all ages on various brass instruments and has worked with many local bands including the Florence Community Band, the Agawam High School Band, and the Valley Winds. Mr. Moehringer taught at the Springfield Conservatory of the Arts and loved beginning his teaching career in Springfield. He has performed all across the Northeast with groups of all varieties and genres.