PRESTO Instructors & Staff
- Dr. Linda Cockey (Studio is full)
- Jessica English
- Cheryl Florin
- Dr. William Folger (Studio is full)
- Geneque Garrison – (SU student instructor)
- Dr. Danielle Cumming (Studio is full)
- Riley Smith (SU student instructor)
Cello & Bass
Violin & Viola
- Meri Holden
- Dr. Sachi Murasugi (Studio is full)
- Christopher Sajadi
- Sophia Merbaum – (SU student instructor)
- Mary-Tyler Upshaw - Voice/Theatre (online and/or in person - please call before registering)
- Eric Gehl (SU student instructor)
- Ted Nichols
Dr. Linda Cockey
Linda Cockey, DMA, Salisbury University Professor Emerita, teaches piano students of all ages and levels. She is a renowned presenter on musicians’ health topics and is working with national colleagues Gail Berenson and Charles Turon on a program titled Teaching for Health, Teaching for Life (THTL) with Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) and the Florida State Music Teachers Association (FSMTA) as a pilot certificate program for teachers interested in developing further skills on implementing healthy teaching techniques into their studios. They are currently completing a manual for publication on teaching the whole student. Dr. Cockey is a nationally certified teacher and her teaching philosophy is “to mentor students so they can reach their full potential in the most natural and healthy way possible, regardless of their musical goals.”Back to top
Jessica English, a piano instructor for the PRESTO program, has experience in many different types of musical settings which help her find common ground with those she teaches. In addition to being a classically trained pianist, she is a percussionist and accordionist. She also has experience in live rock/blues/folk band performance and studio session work. Jessica has studied music at Salisbury University and is certified in teaching elementary piano from The Royal Conservatory of Music.Back to top
Cheryl Florin: MM Musicology and Piano Pedagogy, BM in Piano Performance, Post Graduate Study Golandsky Institute (GI), professional teacher, pianist, accompanist, adjudicator. Ms. Cheryl has been teaching at Salisbury University PRESTO since 2019 where she teaches Private Piano and Music Theory. Ms. Cheryl teaches Music Theory through the Royal Conservatory of Music. Her piano teaching is influenced by the Taubman approach and focuses on teaching her student’s healthy piano skills for lifelong learning. Ms. Cheryl believes playing an instrument is a lifelong journey that takes patience, time, and perseverance. To know how to play an instrument is a gift. When you receive this gift, it belongs to you forever and the journey becomes yours!Back to top
Dr. William Folger
Dr. Folger, Professor of Music, and Director of Choral Activities at Salisbury University since 2003, is a conductor, pianist, vocal coach, and the Associate Carillonneur for Salisbury University. In addition to teaching conducting courses, Class Piano, and The History of Broadway Musicals, Folger conducts the University and Salisbury Chorales, Chamber Choir, and is musical director for the musicals, opera, and Musical Theatre and Opera Ensemble productions. In addition to conducting large choral-orchestral works like the scenic cantata Carmina Burana, with full orchestra, guest soloist, student soloists, and dancers, Folger performs as a solo and collaborative pianist for faculty, student recitals, and ensembles.Back to top
Geneque Garrison was born in Salisbury, MD, where she began her piano studies at the age of 8 as a homeschooled student. She graduated with an Associate of Arts Degree in general studies from Wor-Wic Community College in 2017 with honors and was an elected officer of the Alpha Nu Omicron chapter of Phi Theta Kappa National Honors Society, receiving an award for excellence in leadership. At Salisbury University, she is currently pursuing degrees in music education, instrumental performance (piano concentration) and music technology, and is a member of the Rho Eta chapter of Kappa Delta Pi, an international honors society in education. She has studied piano with Dr. Linda Cockey and Luba Paskova, serves as a board member for the Salisbury Symphony Orchestra and is also a 2020 recipient of the Reimagined President’s Innovation Award through the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM), an award given to promising students for their excellence in the field of music education, performance and professional audio technology. She is very active in the Salisbury community, teaching music lessons, accompanying, working magic behind the scenes as an audio/visual technician, and performing in various recitals for SU’s Department of Music, Theatre and Dance. She also is currently a student piano instructor for Salisbury University’s PRESTO community school program.
Martha Mancuso has been teaching cello for PRESTO since the inception of the program. She earned a Bachelor of Music in Cello Performance from the Peabody Conservatory and a Master of Arts in Teaching from Salisbury University. She enjoys being a member of the Salisbury Symphony Orchestra, helping out with the Salisbury Youth Orchestra, and playing chamber music gigs with other musical friends. She has also taught at the Young Musicians Summer Academy in Caroline County. She lives in Seaford DE with her husband, three rabbits and a colorful flock of chickens.Back to top
Sophia Merbaum (they/them) is a Junior Vocal Performance major with a Theatre minor at Salisbury University. They have been teaching voice lessons with PRESTO for two semesters. They also teach ukulele lessons. They have been a part of many musical groups at Salisbury including University Chorale, Chamber Choir, Opera Workshop, Musical Theatre Workshop, Mamma Mia!, and Fun Home.They also help lead a student run chamber choir called Larum Voces.Back to top
Debra has been involved in instrumental music for most of her life. After graduating from UMES with a Bachelor of Arts degree in music education, she spent several years teaching privately both in her home studio and at Salisbury Instrument and Music Repair. Debra has recently retired from Salisbury Christian School, where she spent the last 20 years as band director. She built the program at SCS almost from the ground up, making it one of the biggest and best private school band programs in the area.
After retirement, Debra has returned to her first passion, which is private instruction. She specializes in woodwind instruction, especially clarinet, saxophone and flute. Many of her students have been a part of the All Shore Band and the Maryland All State band.
Debra is currently principal clarinetist with Salisbury Symphony Orchestra. She also plays with the Salisbury Pops and the Salisbury Community Band.
Debra loves teaching and firmly believes that anyone can learn (or relearn as an adult) to play an instrument.Back to top