About Us

Mission Statement

The DCC Academy of Music is committed to providing individual lessons, ensembles and group classes for the musical enrichment of students with both avocational and professional ambitions, as well as the needs and interests of the diverse populations from across the region, including children and life-long learners.



Jenny Park

Jenny Jieun Park, Director


Jenny Jieun Park is an educator, administrator, as well as active soloist and chamber musician. She is passionate about working with artists, audiences, and students on and offstage. After completing her doctorate in music and music education at Teachers College, Columbia University, she continues to study meaningful pedagogical philosophies and effective teaching and learning frameworks. Temporality and flow in music education are her particular scholarly interest. Her prior appointments include an adjunct instructor at Teachers College, Columbia University, and NYU Steinhardt of Culture, Education, and Human Development. 

In addition to her collegiate working experiences, her passion for working with all ages drew her to have served as a head supervisor of the Afro-Latin Jazz Association at New York Public Schools and a head teacher at the Hollingworth Preschool. She recently started learning American Sign Language, in the hope to serve even more diverse student bodies and the community. More broadly, she served in many administrative roles for various summer music festivals across the country. Recently, she served as the creative director at Performers.Lu, an artist management company, where she hosts recital series for Luxembourg artists in New York City and as the artistic coordinator of the Lunigiana International Music Festival in Italy.

Nick Salome

Nicholas Salomone, Assistant


Nicholas Salomone is a tubist, guitarist and music educator from Poughkeepsie. He is a graduate of the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam, where he earned a Bachelor of Music in Tuba Performance and a minor in Jazz Studies. He has studied the tuba for 7 years and the guitar for 9 years. Nick has experience performing in a variety of genres including classical, jazz, Afro-Latin jazz, hip-hop/R&B and rock. He actively performs with Brooklyn-based jazz/R&B band Phase2. In his spare time, he enjoys making art, hiking and reading.



Ben Basile



Ben Basile is an electric/double bassist, educator, and composer from New York's Hudson Valley. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Jazz Studies from SUNY New Paltz as well as a Music Performance Certificate from DCC. Basile has performed in over 30 countries across 6 contents, averaging 150 performances a year. Basile is also a founding member of “The Poughkeepsie Jazz Project,” a group which has hosted a weekly jazz jam session in Poughkeepsie for over nine years running. www.benbasile.com

Debbie Contini



Deborah (Debbie) Contini earned a Bachelor of Music Education from the University of Utah, a Master of Music Education from Ithaca College and a Master of Special Education from SUNY New Paltz. She has shared her love of music with students from preschool through college and continues to do so even now in retirement. She was a member of the Army National Guard in both Utah and New York. Deborah was the first woman to command a National Guard Band as bandmaster. After 32 years of service, Debbie retired at the rank of Chief Warrant Officer Three. She is currently a member of a number of local musical performance groups and is on the board of several music organizations. But she is most proud of and grateful for her loving family and wonderful friends.

Melissa Dvozenja-Thomas



Melissa Dvozenja-Thomas holds a BA in Acting for Theatre, a BA in Music Performance, as well as a Master’s in Public Administration and a Master’s Certificate from the International Institute of Event Management. After undergrad, she performed all over the East Coast before settling back down in the Hudson Valley to grow her family. Melissa is currently the director of development and marketing for Arts Mid-Hudson. She lives in LaGrange with her husband and two children. Her home is full of music, whether it be from the most recent Broadway show, her love of crooners like Tony Bennett or the latest Disney soundtrack.

Jennifer Henion



Jennifer Henion brings a wealth of business experience to her advisory capacity with the DCC Academy of Music. She plays in several musical ensembles, including Mid-Hudson Community Orchestra and more recently Jazz Band at DCC and Southern Dutchess Concert Band. Her current instruments include trumpet, violin, piano, and French horn.

She also serves on several nonprofit boards and is a founding member and current board vice president of Northern Dutchess Symphony Orchestra. She represents the area as vice chair and community engagement chair of the Upstate NY Board of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

Jennifer has a long history with DCC, having grown up in the area. She is a proud graduate of the DCC Nursery School as well as having taken classes at DCC prior to Vassar College.

Joe North



Joe North is an educator and freelance saxophonist who plays all genres of music, from bebop to big band, classical quartets to large saxophone ensembles, funk and electronic music. For the past seven years, North has been teaching instrumental music at Poughkeepsie High School and an adjunct faculty member at DCC, where he teaches saxophone lessons. On this advisory board, he hopes to be a link between the public schools and DCC.  

North earned his bachelor's degree in Music Education at SUNY Fredonia and earned his master's degree in Jazz Studies from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia.