A Digital Thank You Note Compilation: Community Submissions from Faculty Appreciation Day 2020

RSC Conservatory News

To all the outstanding faculty at RSC, thank you for sharing your music and passion with Daniel. We are forever grateful.

Isabel Chiu and Chuck Weitz

Dear Mrs. Pomeroy,

Thank you for being a wonderful teacher. Every week you help me become a better violinist while keeping lessons fun. You are kind, understanding, and patient. You always know how to motivate me and inspire me. Thank you for being my violin teacher.

Marco Suri

Phil Sargent – Thanks for growing Greg Chung’s love for guitar!

Dear Ron,

Thank you for being an excellent teacher for all these years. You are a joy to be around and are extremely patient. I appreciate you keeping up with online lessons despite the pandemic. You have helped me grow not only as a musician but also as a person.

Ottou Fouda

Thank you, Mr. Tobin! I really like our weekly lessons and hope to see you in person soon! 

Thanks, Henry Bordeau


You always push me to be better than I think I can be, and encourage me even when I really don’t think I can hit the high note. You have helped me develop a love for singing that will remain with me for the rest of my life. I was never fully invested, “Till There Was You.”

Thank you for all you do!


Dear Mr. Shaud,

Thank you for all you have taught me in horn and theory. I cherish the time I spent at RSC.


Dear Ms. Joen,

Thank you so much for helping and prepping me for upcoming and past auditions. I love your detailed teachings and analogies. I really learned a lot from you already, and I hope to extend my musical abilities with you!

With thanks,

Dear Mr. Crettien,

Thank you for helping me find my passion for jazz. Going into high school I would have never expected to fall in love with playing jazz music and exploring the language—I have you to thank for bringing jazz into my life.

I am always inspired by your passion and dedication to teaching, and your commitment and respect of the music and masters. Looking back now I can’t imagine Rivers without jazz.

Thank you so much!


Mr. Lindsey,

You are one of the most dedicated teachers I’ve ever had the pleasure of learning from. While it took time to adjust to your teaching style, your commitment to pushing me to be the best pianist I can be has not gone unnoticed. You’ve not only shaped me into a better musician, but also shown me the amount of practice and dedication required to truly perform and succeed, both in piano and other aspects of life. Thank you for your instruction and caring attitude, both during this period of quarantine and over the past six years.


Dear Ms. Tandon,

Thank you for helping those young musicians make music together. We really enjoyed the experience at Rivers this year, and Elyse and Julia can’t wait to return next year! Thank you for all you do.

Best regards,
The Ta family

Dear Mr. Sussman,

Thank you so much for continuing to teach piano lessons during this difficult time. I realize that teaching piano over Zoom to an 11-year-old can be difficult, but I admire your patience. Thank you very much. 

Best regards,
Bettina Eikeboom 

Thank you, Alison! Olivia has really enjoyed learning from you. You always bring a positive upbeat attitude and a wealth of knowledge. 

Sending peace and Love,
Olivia, Ava and Brian

Dear Ms. Heninger,

Thank you for teaching me clarinet. My progress as a player has greatly improved since I started taking lessons with you. This makes me happy.

William Franks

Thank you, Sean, for introducing me to the bass during an ensemble class and letting me gain a passion for it. Thank you for teaching me over the past four years.

Joel Manasseh

Thanks to Mr. Dan Loschen (Piano) and Mrs. Eve Budnick (Voice) for teaching me this year. I enjoyed learning from both of you. You are wonderful teachers.

Arya Bhargava

Eve, thank you for opening another way for us to experience the joy of music.

Emilia and Katarina

To Ron Lowry, the best cello teacher ever…thank you for your music, and for watching over me.

Daniel Weitz and Family

Hello Mr. Connors,

Thank you for always encouraging and challenging me to get better!


Dear Sarah,

Thank you for another year of wonderful Marimba Magic. Playing music makes us feel happy and connected with the rest of the world!

Laura and Oliver Tomczak

Alison has deftly brought the joy of learning Marimba into Zoom! Thank you for your hard work and caring attitude!

I would like to honor Marta Zurad, who happens to be the hardest working, most creative, most generous, most spirited, most patient, most wonderful teacher I know. Her care of my daughter’s music education over these many years has been nothing short of exceptional.

Thank you, dear Marta!

Janis Bellow

Thank you all RSC teachers for your professionalism, dedication, and inspiration during this challenging time. Our son Jack continues to love music thanks to your hard work and talent. Here’s looking forward to a proper celebration together before too long! 

Julian and Rachelle Willard

We could not be more grateful to the RSC Faculty for their dedication, hard work and unwavering support of our children. Thank you for all that you do.

The Balamurugan Family

Dear Mr. D’Aveni,

Thank you so much for talking sports and teaching me the trumpet this year! I’ve had so much fun with you during our sessions. And, my trumpet playing has improved, too!

Xavier M.
PS – I can’t believe you do your grocery shopping with Jim Rice! 😉

Dear Bill,

Thank you for being such a great sax teacher!

Max Tomczak

Thank you Mr. Mok for being such a great teacher for my son! From going from a cardboard violin to playing songs on the real thing, his newfound abilities have made him so proud! Thank you so much for your patience in working with him.

Thanks to everyone for working so hard every day. Each of you has inspired our children and supported them in so many ways (inside & outside the classroom). We really appreciate all you do!

The Greers

To all the Jazz teachers who opened a world of music to Henry – I don’t know if words here will do justice to our gratitude. RSC is special and it is special because of all of you!! Thank you for sharing your love of Jazz to your students. You make a difference every day and Henry is proof of that! Thank you!! 

Clare and Dan Lewis

Dear Mrs. Peltz,

We have been blessed by your patient guidance and thoughtful instruction over these many years! We are thinking of you today with deep gratitude and warm wishes!

Ellie (and Mom)

Dear Mr. Rivera,

I have learned so much from you, and I feel very privileged to have you as my piano teacher. When I am with you in the studio or remotely, I feel inspired to become a better pianist. You are one of the most patient, caring, and compassionate teachers I know. There are no words to express how grateful I am to have you as my mentor. Thank you so much for being my piano teacher, Mr. Rivera.

Marco Suri

We are so grateful to Sandy Hebert for being an amazing teacher to our children. From day one, she has nurtured not only their love of music but their inner belief in themselves and their own unique qualities. She knows them so well, brings out their personalities, and coaches them in a way that is so positive that they always feel good about themselves. Our kids love Sandy and we think of her as part of our family. She is a huge part of our lives. Her dedication to all of her students is extraordinary. We thank you, Sandy, for everything you do for our family!

I’ve been getting back into playing and composing since lockdown started, and I am so grateful to every single wonderful human at RSC for the years I spent there and the deep appreciation and passion for music they helped me cultivate. Dr. Halloran, Piotr, Marta, Angel, Tiffany, Dan Shaud, and so many more (and Magdalena)–thank you.

Melanie Snider

Dear Dan,

Thank you and for always leaving time at the end of the lesson to riff! Hunter looks forward to spending time with you each week. You have been a great source of inspiration and encouragement. We appreciate your dedication! 

Heather & Alex Ross

Thanks Phil Sargent for teaching me guitar these three years, I’ve grown to love my instrument because of you!

Thank you Ron Lowry for always creating an atmosphere where learning is enjoyable.

Dear Ms. Lindsey

Thank you so much for your guidance and support throughout. You are truly an incredible person and teacher. I remember our first lesson and we spent our time focusing on four measures. From the start you instilled in me the importance of focus, purpose, strength and integrity. You have taught me how to play piano in a way that I never thought was possible. You have introduced me to some of the most beautiful music I have ever heard and you helped me understand the amazing process that leads to being able to perform some of it. You have deepened my love of sharing and making music. In addition, you are a great person to talk to and have shared with me many incredible life lessons, whether it be on how to renovate a house or how to balance many different passions in life. I am very grateful for everything you have given me. Your wisdom has changed my life and I am so excited for more music with you and to keep learning!

Thank you for everything,


Thank you for always being a person I can turn to. Your warm personality and willingness to talk me through any issues I’m having or just to talk reassures me that RSC is my second home. I can’t believe I only have one more year of impromptu heartfelt conversations.

Thanks for everything, and for helping me make this the best 13 years!


Catherine O’Kelly and Patrick Mottaz – Thank you so much for your great effort to keep Devin musically engaged and for your positive attitude!

Mr. Rivera, Lindsey, Jan, Marissa, Malcom and Ernie,

Thank you for putting up with everything I throw at you. Whether it be letting me sit with you at lunch, my random swinging by during my March break, or just talking with me at the end of a long day, you make my RSC experience truly special. The office has become my safe space, and no matter what I go in with, I always come out with a smile and changed mindset–even if it is just because I made fun of Ernie a little bit. Thank you for showing me that I always have somewhere to go where I can be myself and feel welcome no matter what. I can’t wait to bug you guys more in the future. Thank you for everything…I truly love my RSC Family.

With The Most Gratitude From Six Feet Apart,

Steve Sussman – Thanks for taking great care of Owen.

Dear Bob,

We are so deeply grateful that you have been Nicholas’ guitar teacher for so many years – starting when he was only in first grade! You have such an incredible deep knowledge of classical guitar – history, traditions, repertoire, technique – and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for sharing your knowledge and experience with Nicholas. We also greatly appreciate your patience and wonderful sense of humor and also that you and Nick share other interests such as fishing and boating and dogs.

Warmly – Elizabeth Frumkin

Dear Mr. Lowry,

Thank you for always supporting us and for going above and beyond to teach us even during these difficult times. Your enthusiasm makes it really fun to keep making music, and your ability to connect with your students on a personal level is a true gift. We feel so lucky to have you as our teacher and mentor!

With deep gratitude,
Andrew and William Kim (and Caroline, Howard and Ella!)

We love our teachers: Magdalena, Ron, Mr. Rivera, Ann Bobo, Lois Shapiro, Gillian, Bruce, and Marla. You are the best!

Katarina, Emilia and Simonida

Dear Mr. Rivera,

Thank you for all you have taught me. In less than a year, I already feel a strong connection to music. You have shown me a way to enjoy the piano, through conversation, arpeggios, and Bach. Thank you for everything!

Claire Salvin

Mr. Shaud,

Since my first theory class with you at a summer music program seven years ago, I have looked forward to every class that you have taught. Most recently, I want to let you know how grateful I am that you started your songwriting classes. Thanks for everything you do!


My son has been thoroughly enjoying his Marimba Magic classes with Sarah! He looks forward to playing music with her every week. Sarah is absolutely fantastic – her ability to engage and encourage her students is phenomenal!

Thank you for everything, Sarah!

Kate Li


Thank you for being an amazing mentor, cellist, and friend.

I’m so grateful that I got to know you, inspiring me to push my limits and go above and beyond.

Thank you for being the great person you are!


Dear Ms. Sanna,

Thank you for so many things. I really appreciate your enthusiasm and your compliments after recitals, and your encouragement and support for me. I truly think I’m incredibly lucky for being part of the RSC community and meeting you.

With thanks,

Thank you Rivers Faculty for going above and beyond at this time when there was no blueprint. We are beyond thankful for your quick response to this historical event. We appreciate all of the hard work from the teachers executing on our children’s new academic way of life, it truly meets all of our expectations!

Dear Ms. Marta,

Thank you for teaching especially during these difficult times. I miss seeing you in person. I vividly remember when we first met when I was 6 during Rivers Summer Music, in our lessons and in orchestra and how loudly I remember the ticking of Dr. Beat. It’s the same Dr. Beat ticks I still hear now during my practices so many years later. And I also remember our first lesson together, when we began our journey to address some of my technical issues that will enable me to become a stronger violinist and musician. Ever since I started taking lessons with you, you have pushed me, challenged me, held me accountable and been kind in lessons even when in some lessons, I know there was the temptation to throw eggs at me. But you remain supportive throughout and have shown so much dedication in helping me fix my hands. I feel so fortunate to have you as my teacher. You tell me when something is going well, and you tell me when things are not. You are straightforward with me, and you tell me how it is. I appreciate that so I know what to do in practice and I need to do to get better. I know you have an incredibly busy schedule but you always give me your time and when we see each other, your attitude is always amazing to me. Whether it is in chamber, in orchestra, Summer Music, or in my lessons, whenever I see you, you are always ready to teach me, and you are always energetic and funny. And seeing that, I try to work to be my best self too. Thank you so much.

I really look forward to seeing you in person soon!


Thank you Mr. Lowry! Thank you for teaching me during this pandemic. I know things are hard right now and I miss seeing everyone in person, but you have helped to make things seem more normal. I love it when you share stories with me about your life on the farm in Kentucky, when you are on tour with the BSO, the Boston Pops or performing in other cities or even stories about your dog. I love it that you love sports so much like I do, and we talk about the Patriots, Redsox and Celtics. You have given me and taught me so much, and have helped me get better as a cellist and in my music making. You are teaching me things not just about cello all the time. You are always encouraging me, and pushing me to get better. You are always kind to me, and always seem to know when I need a break and to use sports stories to get back on track. I am lucky to have you as my teacher. I want to keep learning and improving and I know with you as my teacher I will get better. Thank you for everything!

I can’t wait until we can talk about a live Redsox game and I see you in person.

Thank you for everything!


Dear Ms. Lisa,

Thank you for being my teacher. Since I was a baby I remember hearing music always playing in my house. I waited for my turn to learn to play an instrument so I could join my brother. I would always come to Rivers with my brothers for their lessons , and even sat in on some like when my brother had lessons with you. But I was so happy to learn violin and when I started my own lessons with you. I am happy to think how much you have taught me and how much I have learned and can play now. Thank you for showing me how to play violin. I am looking forward to learning more with you. Thank you for teaching me.

See you soon I hope!


Dear Mrs. Webb,

We are so thankful for your devotion, patience, encouragement, and wonderful instruction. Ava’s playing continues to improve under your kind and consistent guidance! We are thinking of you today with deep gratitude.

Gayle (and Ava!)

Dear Susan,

Thank you for sparking Marissa’s love of music from a young age. Beginning in the Intermezzo and Capriccio choruses and continuing through high school, you gave her a strong foundation in choral singing. Beyond that, you have been a constant caring presence in her life and in the lives of all of your students. Thank you for all that you do!

With appreciation,
The Birne Family

Thank you Sarah and Timur! Our son had a wonderful introduction to RSC through your first-ever Summer Percussion Workshop last June and he looks forward to this summer’s offering. In the meantime marimba lessons and ensembles have helped him to grow as a musician this year, and we are grateful for Rivers’ smooth transition to online-learning so that he can continue the journey.


Dear Ms. J. K. Joen,

Thank you for being an amazing person and violin teacher. You’ve helped me achieve ambitious goals, grow as a musician, and gain confidence in myself. I am proud and thrilled to be your student!

Ashley Kim

Dear Miss Soomi,

You are an amazing teacher! I have learned so much from you this year. You are so fun to work with! I miss seeing you.

Clara Robinson

Thank you, Mr. Lindsey (Robb) for all your patience and good cheer during our piano lessons! We hope we get to see you in person again soon.

Deepika and Saavani (and Vanita and Sandip)

Mrs. Farny,

Thank you for being a wonderful teacher! It has been such a great year. We appreciate all your hard work and support. You make learning and playing the flute fun.

Thank you!

Steve, Gail & Grace

Ms. Lee,

Thank you for encouraging me in my piano lessons and for making my lessons funny! Thank you for choosing beautiful pieces for me to play even though they can sometimes be very challenging.

You always push me to do better than my best and I am always surprised by what I can achieve.

You have given me many happy memories of shared jokes and a notebook filled with detailed notes, stickers, and Beethoven bucks I earned for my recitals.

You are the best teacher I have ever had and one of my favorite people. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for five incredible years of learning music with you!



Thank you for your patience and for making us laugh! You always push us to do our best in rhythm and melodic dictations and to draw difficult music symbols well.

This year, I learned so much music theory! Thank you for this knowledge that I can now apply to my music education. And thank you for the good times spent in your class.


Ms. Lindsey,

I walk into workshops feeling nervous but your kind manner, encouraging words and detailed comments always help me feel better prepared for my recitals.

I am amazed by how you can point out hidden errors that when I fix, make my music sound ten times better! I can’t thank you enough for upgrading my music.


Dear. Mr Shaud,

It has been great to have you as the leader of the ensemble this year. I feel like I am learning a lot and am enjoying playing in the group. Thank you!

William Franks

Dear Mr. Jones, Mr. Shaud and Mr. Loschen,

Thank you so much for a great year in Conservatory! I learned a lot from each of you and am looking forward to expanding my skills next year.

Mason Klein

Dear Mr. DeWalt,

Thank you for all of your help throughout the year. I feel like I am making great progress and am enjoying playing trombone this year. Thanks for all the extra help with my summer applications, I really appreciate it.


Catherine O’Kelly has provided me with so much great and useful knowledge over the years, and I appreciate her and all that she has taught me very dearly. Her efforts to push me in my playing and understanding of music have made me a much, much better player. Not only has her wisdom been inspiring for me to become a better player, but it has also deepened my love of music and my guitar. Thank you, Catherine.

When I first started studying the electric guitar, I had learned how to awkwardly play the chords to Hey Joe and how to play Green Day’s entire discography (three power chords weren’t that difficult to learn, and that’s all I needed, ha ha). Patrick Mottaz taught me so much more–so much more than I thought there was to learn–over the years. I have him, largely, to thank for my ever-expanding knowledge of music theory and my shredding skills (which I still have to work on). When I was starting out, I didn’t know why anyone would play a BbMaj7#11 chord (partly because I didn’t know what that even was). Now, I can proudly say that it’s because, “In the key of F major, if you wanted to add the four to a Bbmaj7 chord, you would not be able to add it and have it still be in the key. For that reason, you must raise it by a half step to accommodate for the key signature.” Thanks, Patrick, for that and for helping me realize that sometimes I may be more correct than I initially thought.

Dear Ronald Lowry,

I’m so lucky because you are my teacher. Thank you for all of the support and time you made to teach me cello. I appreciate it so much and am wishing to do this longer with you. Sometimes I am excited because I learn a new song that I like, like the Haydn Concerto I am playing right now. I promise I will practice more than usual and will make it the best I can. Stay safe from the Coronavirus! Thank you so much again!

From your loving student,

Arlene Kim

Thank you for introducing Aidan to the trombone, Mr. DeWalt.

The Moores

Mr. Badalov,

Thank you for teaching me and being kind.

You are great teacher

From your student Joo An

Dear Ms. Tenney,

Thank you for making Marimba Magic a great experience for Emilia and Lucas. It’s been wonderful to see both of them learn to play and have fun in the process.

Most appreciatively,
Andrea & Chris

Dear Mrs. Pomeroy,

I want to thank you for all your dedication and hard work, and for looking out for me. I know I made great progress this year because you are my teacher. I enjoyed this year and look forward to next year!

Anne C.

Dear Liana, Ron and Marta,

Our whole family thanks you for the lessons, for how invested you are in your students, and how much you support them with just what they need at that time.

Julie, Ellie, Nadia, Katharina and Paul Wilkins

Thank you so much for taking the time to teach me how to play the violin. I really enjoy playing the violin and it is such a great instrument to learn. I appreciate all the things you have done for me. I am excited for all the workshops and lessons ahead.

With lots of thanks,

I would like to share a huge thank you to all my teachers I’ve ever had at RSC. I’d especially like to thank Jeri Bergonzi, Philippe Crettien, and Bill Jones for many years of fun, learning, and (hopefully) good music.

Henry Lewis

Our family feels a tremendous amount of gratitude being part of the RSC community and that Christopher, Jonathan, Hamilton and Everett have music in their lives. We couldn’t ask for more dedicated, hard working and supportive teachers who serve as role models in music making, creativity, kindness, empathy and compassion. Thank you Ms. Lindsey, Ms. Marta, Mr. Lowry and Ms. Lisa for giving so much of yourselves to our boys, for pushing and challenging them to be their best selves and for sharing the power of the music with them. You are truly inspirational!

Bonnie and Charles

Dear Ms. Lindsey,

Thank you for all the hard work that you put into our lessons! We have enjoyed more than five years learning with you. As we have grown up, you have pushed us to our maximum potential, and you’re always encouraging us to push more. Thank you for your reminders of forgotten recordings and funny emojis! Your many different techniques to help us grow as piano players have been really effective and you continue to be the best piano teacher we know!!

Sincerely your students,

Andrew and Alex Ho

Dear Mr. Lasher,

Thank you for being a great teacher over the years. I have had a great time playing and learning guitar with you.

Nicholas Frumkin

Dear Mr. Emery,

Thank you for all your support and teaching especially during this difficult time!

Jessica Shen

Dear Ms. Perrone,

Thank you so much for being such an amazing and funny piano teacher! I have learned so much from you because you always encourage me to do better and praise me when I get it done! I greatly appreciate the time you take to find me new songs and duets to play. I am so thankful to have you as my piano teacher because I feel like I have improved so much in the past couple of years under your thoughtful guidance. You have made me a better pianist and I am extremely grateful for that. Thank you again for all that you do to help me become a better musician.

Arielle Chin

For Ms. Erin Lindsey,

In just 2 years of studying with you I have seen an immense amount of improvement in my playing. You have helped me particularly with critical thinking when practicing and performing and I am very appreciative of the time you have spent working with me. I’m sure you will be able to see the work reflected in my senior recital which, (fingers crossed) will hopefully happen in a few months. I’m sure you are enjoying the extra practice time while at home now that your piano is moved in! Ethan Wood

We are extremely grateful to Philippe Crettien, who is a brilliant and caring teacher, musician, and mentor.

Erin Kelly and Lionel McPherson

Dear Ms. Popa,

Thank you so much for being such a wonderful teacher to Maddie. She has been improving and enjoying playing the piano with your encouragement and patience.

Thank you for all you do!!

The Woos

Miss Erin,

You have helped me so much with my development of music. You are a great teacher. I hope you are staying safe and healthy.

David Robinson

Dear Ms. Zurad and Mr. Shaud,

We cannot thank you enough for all that you do for our daughter Kyra. She enjoys her time with you very much.

All our best,
The Coggin Family

Thank you Tony for giving me such valuable technique, skill, and all around knowledge. You really helped to shape me into a growing musician at a point when I was vulnerable (with just getting braces and all) I am very grateful for your support and look forward to annoying you more… haha. 

Jack Benson

Dear Ms. Heninger,

Thank you so much for teaching me clarinet. I appreciate all you do in teaching me all the fun and new pieces.

From, Joshua

Ms. Popa,

You are an awesome, funny, thoughtful, and caring teacher. You help me find and master new techniques and explore a wide variety of music. You have excellent skills and you share all of them with your students. Thank you so much for your hard work and I wish you happiness!

From: Zoe W.

Today was our last day of orchestra and we want to thank our conductors, Ms. Tandon, Mrs MacDonald and Mr Memoli, for their true leadership. Always amazing music and a wonderful team atmosphere, followed by such creativity and tech savvy in the challenging last few months. We can’t wait to be back at Jordan Hall, but meanwhile, oh, the amazing music we have heard and musicians we have met! 

Julie, Ellie and Nadia Wilkins

Dear Mrs. Tandon,

Thank you for making our orchestra experience so fun. I had a great time learning about how to perform in a group. I appreciate everything you have done for us.

Marco Suri