faculty and staff
Tom Ulichny, Founder & Director
In 2005, Tom Ulichny graduated Magna Cum Laude from Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. As a multi-instrumentalist at Berklee, Tom studied guitar, drums, and world percussion, followed by a semester in Pune, India, studying Indian rhythmic systems and tabla, a traditional Indian hand drum. After graduating, Tom worked as an adjunct professor for the St. John School of the Arts in the U.S. Virgin Islands and was the Director of Music Education for Fell's Point Music in Baltimore, MD, where he developed curriculum for an African drumming program at Living Classrooms Charter School. In the fifteen years that Tom that has been teaching private lessons and music seminars, he has worked with students of all ages and skill levels.
Tom now makes his home in midcoast Maine, and is in full pursuit of a lifelong dream through the founding of the Midcoast Music Academy in Rockland. When he's not playing some obscure kind of frame drum, you can find Tom searching for the perfect trout stream with his three dogs and his wife, Anne.
Zachary bence, instructor
guitar, bass, & composition
As a young man, and like many before him, Zachary Bence was first inspired to pick up the guitar after a chance meeting with a Jimi Hendrix record. That love at first listen sparked a musical journey that led from bluesmen like Howlin' Wolf and Son House to Jazz giants such as Wes Montgomery and John Coltrane. After high school, Zachary went on to further his musical studies as a Jazz performance major at William Paterson University in New Jersey, where he studied privately with solo guitar maestro Gene Bertoncini and in ensembles under the direction of such greats as Harold Mabern, Mulgrew Miller, and Clark Terry. In addition to his instrumental studies, Zachary developed his prowess for composition and arranging while studying privately with multi-instrumentalist and composer Kevin Norton. Outside of school, Zachary honed his skills as a teacher, spending years giving private guitar, bass, and piano lessons to students of all ages and abilities.
After moving back home to Bangor, Maine in the summer of 2013, Zachary quickly began gigging throughout the state. Eventually he joined the Maine-based band, Chris Ross and The North, which has gone on to tour nationally and record two full length albums. With an omnivorous approach to genre and style, Zachary continues to collaborate and perform with all manner of musical acts, both on stage and in the studio. When not performing or teaching, Zachary can most likely be found exploring his new home in midcoast Maine or hunched over a board playing his favorite game of chess.
Gary Clancy, Instructor
Guitar, Bass, Ukulele
Gary Clancy is a national multi-award winning New York bred guitarist, record producer, arranger, engineer, musician, and university educator. Since 1964, Gary has lived on stage and in the studios. Be it backing up world class recording artists, touring, session work or production, Gary is no stranger to the industry. In 1977 Gary found his niche in record producing, casting him in numerous roles from president of FNA Recording Productions, owner of Rosewood Recording Studio, BMI/Just a Rose Music Publishing, Director of Dr. Music Instructional Programs in Bangor and Camden Maine, to the co-owner of Portland, Maine Music Productions. He is currently owner and producer at Old Skool Recording Studio in China, Maine.
Gary has notably shared the stage with such international artists as Chuck Berry, Blood Sweat & Tears, Sly and the Family Stone, the Young Rascals, Santana, Chubby Checker, Tiny Tim, Freddy Fender, and Paul Butterfield Blues Band, and he has performed numerous tours throughout the United States. With almost three decades as an Adjunct Professor of Jazz and Contemporary Music at the University of Maine in Augusta, Gary has managed to stay on the cutting edge of the music business. His music business curriculum initiates and demonstrates both past and present methods of successful artist management and has helped to launch the careers of many fine musicians.
Joe Cough, instructor
voice, guitar, trumpet
Joe Cough is a Maine-based vocalist, multi-instrumentalist, composer, conductor, and educator. He holds a B.A. in Human Ecology and a M.M. in vocal performance. He specializes in French mélodies, particularly those of Gabriel Fauré. He has been described as a ‘“spinto tenor” and uses his vocal technique across many types of musical genres. He is also a lover of the theater, and performs in operas and musicals, recently as Faust in Gounod's Faust and Jean Valjean in Les Miserables. When not singing, he plays piano, guitar, trumpet, violin, and substitutes as an organist whenever he can. An avid composer, he has written for a variety of ensembles and film scores, most notably full scores for Buster Keaton short films, of which he is a huge fan. Other notable compositions are his Sax Quartet No. 1, and the Omega Piano Suite. He lives with his wife, Lindsay, and their two boys, Gordon and Gregor.
Christian Giddings, instructor
voice & ensemble coaching
Christian Giddings is a conductor, composer/arranger, and music educator from Unity, Maine. He holds a B.M. in music education and M.M. in music education from the University of Maine. He has taught in public schools and colleges in Maine, North Dakota, and Arizona. He has conducted choirs and presented research across the United States and is a sought after clinician presenting in Maine, Massachusetts, North Dakota, Arizona, and Indiana. In addition to being an instructor for MCMA, Christian is a doctoral candidate in choral conducting at the University of Arizona studying with Dr. Bruce Chamberlain and Dr. Elizabeth Schauer. He is also director of music at Kents Hill School, an independent, coeducational boarding and day school attracting students from 25 states and 20 countries in Readfield, Maine.
STUART MASON GURLEY, INSTRUCTOR
BASS, PIANO, GUITAR
Stuart Mason Gurley is a bassist, multi-instrumentalist, and composer from Falmouth, Maine. He carried out undergraduate studies at both Berklee and UMA and received a Master’s Degree in jazz studies and double bass from USM. Stuart has performed live hundreds of times in a wide variety of styles (such as jazz, rock, pop, country, hip-hop and classical), playing everything from small clubs to supporting Christian Howes (renowned jazz violinist), dueling synthesizers with Dr. Fink (former keyboardist for Prince and the Revolution), and sharing the stage with popular acts such as Panic at the Disco and many more.
Stuart has had extensive studies in musical pedagogy and has been putting those methods into practice in southern Maine for over six years. He has taught school music classes, private instruction, and directed ensembles; his ensemble Beware of Pedestrians won the 2013 MAMM Slam band competition in Portland. Stuart attempts to unify both his personal and educational philosophy with the Tom Waits quote, “The way you do anything is the way you do everything.” Stuart still lives in Falmouth with his wife, Caitlin, and baby daughter, Anna. He is currently recording the debut album of his most recent project, “I love you to pieces; distraction, etc.” by S. Mason Gurley and the Satellite Ensemble.
robin lane, Operations Manager
CELLO, PIANO, DRUMS, VOICE
Robin's musical journey started in elementary school with church, school choirs, and the cello. Graduating from Farmington High School in Connecticut, he then moved on to The University of Massachusetts Amherst, studying music theory and taking African drumming classes in addition to his major in social thought and political economy. Realizing his passion for music, Robin withdrew from UMass to pursue a private music education, beginning his studies with lessons in piano and music theory & composition with a private teacher from Holyoke, MA. Robin then relocated to Rockland, Maine, and started studying drums and voice at Midcoast Music Academy. He is currently studying piano at MCMA with Stu Gurley and cello with April Reed-Cox at Woodsound Studios.
Since joining MCMA as a student four years ago, Robin has become increasingly involved with the MCMA community -- first as a volunteer, then as a teaching assistant for our after school programs and summer camps, and now as the Operations Manager for the school. Robin handles all booking and scheduling inquiries, runs our social media, and offers day-to-day support for the MCMA team. Robin's natural warmth, passion for music, and ability to connect with students of all ages is a perfect fit for Midcoast Music Academy.
Tom Luther, Instructor
Piano and digital Music composition
Tom Luther is an improvising composer, pianist, and media artist working in acoustic and electronic environments. He has performed throughout the state of Maine with his modern jazz group TLQ (Tom Luther Quintet), an ambient music trio called Algorithm, and as a soloist. Luther is also a media artist, working with video, live installations, and interactive objects. In his work, Luther applies traditional composition, improvisation, generative, and interactive techniques, drawing freely from his experiences in numerous musical forms. The messages and stories are universal, and genre is simply a cultural idiom appropriate to a certain group at a certain time. Luther explores these notions through adapting techniques from different genres to create hybrid works that straddle the worlds of jazz, classical, electronic, and ambient music, bending genre and blurring the boundaries that define them. He has released two albums of his music with the TLQ, “Everything Is Blue” (2012) and “Necessity(2015). His interactive installation “Spine” premiered at Waterfall Arts in 2015, and he has shown two multi-media works as the Kelpie Gallery's annual “Wet Paint on the Weskeag” fundraiser. Luther was a featured solo performer at “Jazz on a Summer's Eve” at the Camden Opera House, and performs regularly with TLQ and as a sideman with the Mike Whitehead Group. He is currently working on a new ambient/downtempo trio, and an interactive floor puzzle that creates music. Luther is a graduate of the Hartt School of Music, and studied privately with pianist and composer Anthony Davis.
Abigail Nash, Instructor
Violin, Viola, Voice, Piano
Abigail Nash began her musical endeavors on the piano when she was five years old. She graduated Summa Cum Laude as a classical violinist and violist with a degree in music education from the University of Maine in May 2012. While studying at the University of Maine, Abigail worked under the tutelage of violin/viola professor Dr. Anatole Wieck, who holds a doctorate from Juilliard. During her time at the university, she was a member of the orchestra as well as the principle violist for all four years. During her last year of college she interned in the Bangor school system and instructed string players of all levels. In addition to Abigail’s studies and work on violin and viola, she also is an accomplished pianist. She was assistant accompanist for one of the chorales at the University of Maine and is currently a piano accompanist for a Catholic School. Abigail has been teaching private lessons for six years and currently teaches piano, violin, viola, and beginning cello and voice. In that time she has had the opportunity to work with students of all ages and with vast ranges of musical abilities. Abigail loves teaching her students and sharing her joy and passion for music with them. She has performed in numerous venues and with many groups around the state, including performing with members of the Bangor Symphony Orchestra, playing for the Bagaduce Chorale, the Penobscot Theater, and others. In her spare time she enjoys making music with other musicians and riding her beautiful horse, Indy.
drew weber, instructor
drum kit, concert & marching percussion, hand drums, piano
Andrew (“Drew”) Weber is a drummer and percussionist who has taught and played drums professionally for over twenty-five years. He was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, and began playing drums at age twelve. His professional career began at 16, when he joined the pit orchestra of a local theater company. Shortly thereafter, he began playing in clubs with a variety of rock groups. After high school he attended Berklee College of Music in Boston, where he majored in performance and studied with a number of master drummers, including John Ramsay, Joe Hunt, Tommy Campbell, and Skip Hadden, all the while continuing to play gigs in and around the Boston area.
After Berklee, Andrew performed in venues throughout the East Coast and Midwest, playing music of varying genres - jazz, rock, metal, blues, country, and more, before eventually moving back to his home state of Michigan. Over the last 20 years, he established himself as one of the top instructors of the Detroit metro area, teaching drums and percussion to students of all ages and skill levels. In addition to his private teaching, he has also served as a percussion assistant and drum line instructor for numerous middle schools and high schools.
Andrew is a long time member of the Percussive Arts Society, and also an active member of the Sabian Educators Network and Vic Firth Education Team, and regularly attends national percussion education conferences. In December 2015, Andrew was recognized in Modern Drummer magazine by world-renowned drummer Dom Famularo as one of the top 100 drummer educators in the world. As a teacher, he has over 2000 private students to his credit, and as a player he has worked with countless bands and performers over the years and continues to play regularly. Andrew moved to Midcoast Maine in early 2016 to head the drum department at MCMA, where he teaches individual lessons and a variety of group classes on all aspects and styles of playing drum kit, concert and marching percussion, various hand drums, as well as beginning piano and music theory.