Faculty Biographies

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Mr. Kim Paterson
, Adjunct Lecturer Applied Music,
Piano Class and Advance Piano Class.


Degrees Earned: B.F.A in Music (piano) from Purchase College

Over the past five years, Mr. Paterson has averaged 120 concerts per year, performing as a pianist or synthesizer player. These include an average of 80 different programs per year. Mr. Paterson is a core member of the Catskill Symphony. He is on the faculty of both Hartwick College and SUCO, where he teaches piano and coaches students preparing for recitals. He also works and consults as a sound designer for theatrical productions. Recordings include Beyond the Borscht Belt, with the Catskill Klezmorim, (Big Twig Studio, 1998) and numerous self-produced CD's used in conjunction with recital preparation (about 30 per year).

Mr. Mark Pawkett
, Adjunct Lecturer Applied Music,
Electric Bass, Fundamentals of Guitar, Rock Combo and Theory for Guitar.


Degrees Earned: B.S. in Music Education from Hartwick College

Guitarist for several Orpheus and SUCO musical theater productions. Musical director for Orpheus Thater's "Into the Woods" in 2002. Talent buyer at the Autumn Café. Director of the Midsatesmen Barbershop Chorus in Oneonta from 1999-2001. A Member of the Classical Guitar Society of Upstate New York. Leader and vocalist for various professional bands. The author of "The Pawkettian Reference Guide for the Versatile Guitarist," which was published in 2002.

Dr. Joseph Pignato
, Assistant Professor,


Year Hired: 2004

Tenure Status: Eligible 2014

Degrees Earned:
Doctor of Musical Arts – Boston University, (2010)
Master of Arts - New York University - Gallatin School, (1996)
Bachelor of Arts - University of Massachusetts, (1989)

Joseph Michael Pignato, D.M.A., is a composer, improviser, and music education scholar with extensive graduate, undergraduate, secondary, and distance teaching experience in music, music education, the humanities, and media. He currently holds the position of assistant professor in the Department of Music at the State University of New York, College at Oneonta. At Oneonta, Dr. Pignato teaches music industry courses and directs two ensembles that perform experimental music, improvised rock, jazz, jam, psychedelic, free, and roots music among other repertoires.

In 2012, Dr. Pignato received the State University of New York Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities, the highest academic award bestowed on teaching faculty in the SUNY system. In the past, Dr. Pignato has been awarded numerous Faculty Development Grants, the Faculty Creative Activities Award, and has twice been recognized as “Outstanding Faculty” by the SUNY Oneonta Inter-Greek Council.

Beyond SUNY Oneonta, Dr. Pignato has given performances, paper presentations, lectures, and clinics in the United States, Canada, Europe, Israel, and Australia on improvisation, popular music education, alternative music education, drumming, composition, electronic music, distance collaboration, and music business. He performs regularly with atom3, an electro-acoustic trio featuring Dr. Orlando Legname of SUNY Oneonta and Mr. Paul Geluso of New York University (atom3.us).

Pignato’s original music, described as “haunting” by New Haven’s Charger Bulletin, has been premiered, performed, or exhibited as part of installations throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, and Israel. In 2012, the MusraraMix Festival in Jerusalem Israel described his work for distributed ensembles as “fascinating experimental collaboration” that could “broaden the horizons of interdisciplinary web composition.” As a result, Pignato was in residency at the 2013 Musrara Mix Festival where, along with Israeli composers Kiki Keren-Huss and Lior Pinsky, he produced and coordinated “War Again,” a multimedia piece for over a dozen musicians including participants in the United States and Europe connected via Voice Over Internet Protocol.

In 2012, “Paprika King,” an original score, was featured in the Streaming Museum’s John Cage Centennial Tribute/Composers Now festival and projected across high visibility public screens on seven continents, including the Reuters and NASDAQ screens in Times Square, New York, Federation Square in Melbourne, Australia, seven locations in the United Kingdom, and locations in the United States, Buenos Aires, Madrid, Shanghai, St. Petersburg, Tokyo, Seoul, Johannesburg, Berlin, and Antarctica.

Dr. Pignato is also a prolific scholar. He is the editor of Pop! The Newsletter of the Association for Popular Music Education. In addition to regularly publishing in Pop!, his work has been published in “Research Studies in Music Education” (2013), the “International Journal of Community Music” (2013), “Tanglewood II”, (GIA, 2012), “Notations21” (Mark Batty Publishers, 2009), and in the practitioners journal, “Modern Drummer” (2013).

In addition to his scholarly and creative activities, Dr. Pignato has more than 20 years experience in music business and media including management positions at N2K Incorporated, BMG Classics, RCA Victor, ECM Records, CMP Records, and Latin Percussion. He has been described as a “musician, educator, and music business visionary” in Tape Op Magazine. Drawing on his formidable expertise, Dr. Pignato regularly consults organizations in the areas of music and music education. Recent projects include serving as consultant to the Department of Music at Bergen Community College in New Jersey on the development of degree programs in music industry and recording technology. Pignato also served as an advisor to Steven Van Zandt (Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band and HBO’s The Soprano’s) on the early stages of development for Rock and Roll, An American Story; a rock music curriculum to be published by Scholastic, Inc.

In addition to his work at SUNY Oneonta, Dr. Pignato facilitates graduate courses in the College of Fine Arts, Department of Music Education at Boston University. He recently supervised two undergraduate honors dissertations for the B.A. in Contemporary Music program at London’s Institute for Contemporary Music. In the past, he has served on the faculties of Ramapo College of New Jersey teaching music industry, Bergen Community College teaching graduate courses in education, and the Hoboken Charter School, where he served as founding faculty member and lead teacher for humanities and music.

Dr. Pignato holds degrees from Boston University (D.M.A.), where he was a Tanglewood Scholar, New York University (M.A.), where he studied composition with Dinu Ghezzo, and the University of Massachusetts (B.A.), where he studied composition with Yusef Lateef. In addition, He has studied drum-set with Sal La Rocca and Max Roach. Pignato endorses Boso Drumsticks, which he uses exclusively.

Visit Professor Pignato's Personal Web Site


Mr. Tim Ploss
, Adjunct Lecturer,
Audio Arts I.


Degrees Earned: B.S. in Sound Recording Technology From SUNY - Fredonia

In addition to his teaching at Oneonta, Tim is a Helpdesk Support Technician and Instructional Design Technician. He has served similar job responsibilities at SUNY Cortland and Momentum Media. He was the chief engineer at Sweetfish Recording Studios in Argyle, NY and has performed in several bands as a bassist, guitarist, cellist and vocalist. He also plays bass in the Oneonta Chamber Orchestra.


Mr. Rene Prins
, Associate Professor,
Music for Listeners, Music Theory I, Music Theory II, Theory III, Music Theory IV and Concert Band.


Year Hired: 1975

Tenure Status: 1988

Degrees Earned:
M.S. from The Juilliard School
B.S. from The Juilliard School

Rene Prins received his B.S. and M.S. degrees at the Juilliard School where he was a student of Lois Wann. He has served as principal oboe and English horn for the Festival of Two Worlds in Spoleto, Italy and was principal oboist of the Albany Symphony Orchestra for four years prior to his move to Oneonta in 1975. He performs with many ensembles in upstate New York, including the Catskill Symphony Orchestra, and the Utica Symphony Orchestra. Well known in the Oneonta community as conductor of the SUCO Band, the Oneonta Community Band and leader / composer for Professor Hillman's Full Band, an historic ensemble at the Farmer's Museum in Cooperstown, NY. He serves on the faculty at Hartwick College and is the President of Local 443of the American Federation of Musicians. He has been a part of several commercially released recordings including 'Music for Oboe and Piano' by Bruno Labate on Musical Heritage Society Records, 'New Music for Woodwind Quintet' on Redwood Records and 'The Vocal Oboe' on Centaur Records.


The SUNY Oneonta Music Department is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music.
SUNY College at Oneonta - 108 Ravine Parkway - Oneonta, NY 13820 - 607.436.3500