Faculty Biographies

MR. MICHAEL GASKO '06; DIRECTOR OF VOCAL MUSIC, MUSIC DEPARTMENT DIRECTOR

Michael_headshot.Mr. Gasko is currently in his 10th year as director of the Immaculata Spartan Choir (academic class), Concert Choir Honors (academic class), and Chamber Choir. He is the Vocal director and Production Manager for the Spring Musical. He coaches the vocals for the Spring Musical as well as coordinates small vocal ensembles such as the IHS Barbershop Quartet.

Mr. Gasko earned his Bachelor of Music from The College of New Jersey. While at TCNJ, he studied voice with Dr. Nora Sirbaugh. He was an active member of the Chorale, under the direction of Dr. Michael Mendoza and Mr. John McDonnell, and a member of both Lyric Theater and Collegium Musicum under the direction of Mr. Robert Guarino.

As a student at Immaculata, Mr. Gasko was involved in all aspects of the Music Department, including marching band, wind ensemble, chorus, pit and cast for the spring musical, and folk group. Mr. Gasko now studies voice with Nadine Robinson, and maintains his own private vocal instruction studio. He also sings with the Immaculate Conception Church choir.


MS. SONIA SPARKES '06; BAND DIRECTOR

Sonia_headshot

Ms. Sparkes is currently in her 5th year teaching at Immaculata. She graduated from Immaculata and spent the previous 8 years involved with the Spartan Marching Band. She continues her involvement with the marching band as well as co-conducting the 9th grade Symphony, Symphonic Band, Wind Ensemble as well as the Brass Ensemble. In addition, she teaches brass lessons both at IHS and ICS.

Ms. Sparkes earned her Bachelor of Music in Music Education from Immaculata University. While at Immacuata University, she studied French Horn under Mr. David Wetherill. She earned her Certificate in Educational Technology from Rutgers and is currently working on her Masters in Music Education from Rutgers University.

Before coming to Immaculata, Ms. Sparkes worked at School of Saint Elizabeth in Bernardsville where she taught general music, musical theater, and private lessons to elementary and middle school students.


MR. ERIC KASSAY '13, BAND DIRECTOR

Mr. Kassay is starting his first year teaching at Immaculata. He is currently one of the marching band directors as well as the co-conductor of the Honors Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band, and 9th Symphony, and is one of the school’s brass specialists.

Mr. Kassay earned his Bachelor of Music from Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University. While at Rutgers he studied tuba with Alan Baer, principal tubist of the New York Philharmonic. He was a member of the university’s various performing ensemble under the batons of Daryll Bott, Todd Nichols, and Dr. William Berz. During his summers in college, Mr. Kassay spent two seasons marching in the Drum Corps International competitive circuit, with The Jersey Surf Drum & Bugle Corps and the world champion Bluecoats Drum & Bugle Corps respectively.

During his time at Rutgers, Mr. Kassay had the opportunity to perform on the Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon with the house band The Roots, as well as record for the soundtrack of an Ubisoft published video game. Mr. Kassay maintains and teaches a studio of brass musicians from grades 4 to 12.


MS. ELIZABETH CANAVAN '12; WOODWIND ADJUNCT

Ms. Canavan is the Band Director at Immaculate Conception School and woodwind teacher at the schools. She is in her 4th year of working with the Immaculata Marching Band.

Ms. Canavan earned her Bachelors in Music Education with a concentration in saxophone from Rutgers, Mason Gross School of the Arts. While at Rutgers she studied under Paul Cohen. She frequently performed with her saxophone quartet and various pit orchestras.

As an Immaculata student, Ms. Canavan participated in the Wind Ensemble, Folk Group, Jazz Band, Pit Orchestra, Marching Band, and Saxophone Quartet. She teaches private saxophone, clarinet, and flute lessons.


MR. GARY MALLINSON

Mr. Gary Mallinson is our adjunct faculty member working with our percussion students and the jazz ensemble.. Mr. Mallinson received his music degree from the Crane School of Music (SUNY- Potsdam), where, in addition to graduating with honors, he also received the school’s “Performers Certificate.”  He received a Master’s Degree in music performance from Syracuse University, where he was also a teaching assistant, arranger for the SU Marching band and assistant conductor of the university concert band. While a student, Mr. Mallinson was selected to New York All State and was M.A.A. National Champion Snare Drummer.

Professionally, Mr. Mallinson served as band director at Baldwinsville H.S. As a performer, Gary has given numerous solo recitals in both the United States and Canada, in addition to performing as xylophone/marimba soloist with many university and community bands. His professional experience has included performances with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, at Carnegie Hall, the “Grand Ole Opry” in Nashville, and Lincoln Center.

In addition, Mr. Mallinson has served as percussion arranger/caption head for The Hawthorne Caballeros, Auburn Purple Lancers (adjudicator for DCI, DCA and New York DCI finalist), and Liverpool H.S. (BOA champions), as well as serving as an Field Band Conference. For over 20 years Mr. Mallinson served as NJ Director of Future Musicians Inc. He is currently a partner in Musical Adventures L.L.P., a company which provides award winning instrumental music instruction for a number of NJ private schools. Under his direction the Musical Adventures Showband has captured 35 consecutive superior ratings, including two NCBA National Championship trophies. Mr. Mallinson regularly presents percussion education workshops at teacher’s conventions throughout the country.