Faculty & Staff
Alan Bernstein Program and Executive Director
The Executive Director and Program Director for Community String Project, Alan Bernstein, is retired from the Newport School Department where he had taught for 27 years. While in Newport he held the position of Supervisor of the Arts and was the Newport Teacher of the Year in 2014. In addition to his administrative duties, Mr. Bernstein also directed the Rogers High School Symphonic Orchestra, Band, and Jazz Ensemble as well as the Thompson Middle School String Orchestra. Mr. Bernstein holds a Bachelor’s Degree and Master’s Degree in Music Education from the University of Rhode Island and in 2007 received a Distinguished Music Educator's Award from Yale University. Mr. Bernstein is an active conductor, composer, and arranger of jazz and symphonic music with several pieces published by LudwigMasters and Tempo Music in addition to being a sought-after double bassist. He lives in Newport, Rhode Island with his wife Karen.
Amanda began studying violin as a child in the Cranston Public Schools, performing with the middle and high school orchestras, in the pit orchestra for theatre productions, and with the Rhode Island Philharmonic Youth Orchestra. As a high school senior, she taught private lessons to elementary and middle school students in her community. She went on to attend Rhode Island College, majoring in music performance with an emphasis on violin, and performed with the RI College symphony and chamber orchestras, as well as the chamber choir and other college ensembles. Amanda is also an accomplished vocalist. In 2012 she was a winner of the RI Civic Chorale & Orchestra's 4th Annual Collegiate Vocal Competition, earning her the honor of featured mezzo-soprano soloist at their spring concert. In fall of 2012, she performed with the Connecticut Renaissance Faire as a cast member. She is currently a violinist with the RI College Chamber Orchestra, sings with the RI Civic Chorale and Chamber Orchestra, serves as cantor and violinist for Saint Patrick's Church in Cranston, and performs as vocalist or violinist for public and private events in the community.
Nathan Rodriquez began playing the violin as a child, and has now accumulated over 20 years experience as a violinist, composer, musicologist, and educator.
He holds a Bachelor of Arts in violin performance and a Master of Music in Composition from Brooklyn College of the City University of New York; both with honors and awards including Dean's Honor List, Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and the Van Slokema Prize for Excellence in Musicological Research. Mr. Rodriquez has performed with several orchestras and ensembles across the United States including the National Festival Orchestra at Carnegie Hall.
In addition to his teaching responsibilities, Nathan is employed as the staff violinist for an importer of stringed instruments and is a violinist with the Rhode Island Philharmonic Community Orchestra.
Alicia Ruggiero grew up in Providence, Rhode Island and began playing violin at the age of twelve. Since then she went on to study music at Rhode Island College and received her B.A. She moved to San Diego, California soon after she graduated and began to expand her musical style by including blues, country, rock, jazz, hip hop, latin, etc…. and performed at many different venues and festivals such as Petco Stadium and Baja Bash in Mexico. While she was there she helped develop an after school strings program which consisted of both Classical and Improvisational training along with Composition. From San Diego, Alicia toured in Asia, Europe, and Australia for many years playing various types of music, working with different artists. She’s been featured on various international radio stations and TV shows from all over the world.
Peri DeLorenzo Guiteras, Hugh Cole and Rockwell
Peri DeLorenzo began playing violin at the age of four, and after ten years of studying the Suzuki Method began taking lessons at the String Academy of Wisconsin. Eventually Peri earned a degree in Violin Performance and Spanish at Indiana University where she studied with Brenda Brenner and Mimi Zweig, both pioneers of music education at Indiana University. After receiving her degree she moved to New York City and performed in orchestras and smaller ensembles in venues all over the city and developed a particular interest in Irish folk music and traditional American country music which she has performed throughout the country. In addition to her performing and teaching Peri has been a barista, worked for WNET in New York in public media and was a development intern for the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra.
Wendy Rios Hugh Cole
Wendy Rios has been a performer and teacher in Rhode Island for more than twenty years. She attended Rhode Island College where she was a three time recipient of the Bicho Memorial Scholarship.Wendy was an active board member of the Rhode Island String Teachers Association an served as conductor of the Intermediate String Ensemble at their annual String Fest.
Wendy maintains an active private studio with more than 30 students. She was the the first violinist for the Pernsmbuco String Quartet for more than five years and is currently the 1st violinist in the Amici e Musica Chamber Ensemble. Ms Rios has performed for the Chopin Club, Rhode Island College Symphony and Chamber Orchestras, Bel Canto Opera Company, Providence Opera Company and in numerous theater productions across the area. She can also be heard on a variety of local recordings.
Mary Casale Adult Advanced String Ensemble
Mary Casale is a violinist and educator with over 40 years experience teaching music at
all levels preK-12 and higher education in both public and private schools in
Massachusetts and Rhode Island. She has been active in the Massachusetts area since
1991 working collaboratively at Bridgewater State University, University of
Massachusetts at Dartmouth, the SMARTS Summer Institute, and most recently with
Mark Wood’s (Trans-Siberian Orchestra founding member) Electrify Your Strings
program igniting potential and inspiring passion for traditional instrumental and choral
groups through contemporary music and technology.
She has been an active member of MMEA All-State, MMEA Southeastern District and
SEMSBA and MICCA (Massachusetts Instrumental and Choral Conductor’s
Association) music festivals as adjudicator, manager, and conductor since 2002. She is
recently retired as director of orchestras at the middle school and high school in
Mansfield, MA. Currently, Mary is an adjunct faculty member at Rhode Island College
and maintains an active private studio at Mockingbird Music Studios in Mansfield, MA. “
“The Community Strings Project feels like a great fit and I am so happy to be part of an
organizaton that brings much needed string education to children and adults within their
community. Thank you for this opportunity.”