Ms. Sarah Gardner teaches K-1st grade, and 3rd-5th grade general music as well as 5th grade chorus and 6-8th grade chorus at Runkle. In addition, Ms. Gardner is the bassoon teacher for the Weston Public Schools. Ms. Gardner, originally from the Philadelphia area, received her Bachelor of Music in bassoon performance and her Master of Music in bassoon performance and music education from Boston University's College of Fine Arts. She continues to perform throughout the Boston area as a freelance bassoonist. Her most exciting musical moment came in 2008 when she won the Boston University Concerto Competition and performed the Mozart Bassoon Concerto with the Boston Pops Orchestra.
When not teaching or performing, Ms. Gardner loves spending time with her husband and daughter, hiking, making homemade ice cream and rooting for the Philadelphia Eagles.
Mr. Chris Thoft-Brown teaches 6-8th grade band at Runkle and throughout Brookline. More information to come!
Dr. Emily Stewart teaches 4-8th grade strings at Runkle and throughout Brookline. Dr. Stewart completed graduate studies in violin performance at Boston University and previously studied at the Conservatory of Music in Geneva, Switzerland and at the University of Kansas. She has been teaching strings in the Brookline schools since 2008.
In addition to music, Dr. Stewart loves animals and warm weather.
Dr. John Ferguson has taught string instruments in the Brookline Public Schools since 2006. Prior to that he taught and coordinated orchestra programs through Boston Public Schools, Boston Arts Academy, and the Young Audiences "Bring Back the Music" program. He has adjudicated the Milton Young Musicians Festival and the David Lapin Competition at the Community Music Center of Boston and he was an adjunct Professor of Conducting at Atlantic Union College. He earned a Bachelor's Degree in violin and piano from the University of the Pacific and completed his M.M. and D.M.A. at Indiana University where he majored in piano with minors in violin, composition, and conducting. Dr. Ferguson has performed in recitals, chamber and orchestral performances throughout New England and across the United States. www.johnferguson.org
Ms. Erin Murphy teaches 2nd grade general music at Runkle. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Music Education at the College of Wooster in Wooster, Ohio. She went on to earn a M.M. in Music Education at the University of Massachusetts – Amherst. Ms. Murphy is in her 19th year of teaching music in K-12 schools. She has been with Brookline since 2013, and teaches classroom music K-5 and middle school chorus. Ms. Murphy has performed as a professional singer throughout Massachusetts, and performed in, directed and choreographed a number of musical theatre productions. She lives in Belmont with her husband Zack and two sons, Kai and Fionn.
Mr. Rick Stone teaches 4th grade instrumental classes and 6-8th grade music production at Runkle. He holds a bachelor's degree in music education from the University of Northern Iowa (Cedar Falls, IA) and a Master's in Jazz Performance from the New England Conservatory of Music (Boston, MA). Rick has performed and recorded with musicians and groups such as the Either/Orchestra, the Jazz Composers Alliance Orchestra, the Ayn Inserto Jazz Orchestra, the Quartet of Happiness, the Beantown Swing Orchestra, Bob Brookmeyer, Georgrzone, John Tchicai, Robin Eubanks, and several others.
In addition to his responsibilities with the Brookline Public Schools, Rick has taught Jazz Ear Training and saxophone at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, and currently teaches saxophone and ensembles at the New England Conservatory Preparatory School.
Mr. Dylan Zobel teaches guitar/ukulele at Runkle and throughout Brookline. Originally from Northern Illinois suburbs, he moved to Boston in 2010 to attend Berklee College of Music. He is a graduate of Berklee College of Music with a bachelor’s in Music Education. Dylan teaches Guitar & Ukulele, Percussion, Band, and General Music for many of the Brookline schools, as well as being a private guitar teacher for the Kingsley Montessori School’s after-school program. Aside from teaching, Dylan is an active musician, playing in bands that play shows locally and nationally throughout the year. His other interests include: hockey, baseball, cycling and comics.