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EPAC Instructors

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Dustin Hirthler

Acting and Stage Combat Instructor

Dustin has been an actor and a student of acting for 19 years. He began in 2004 taking acting classes and workshops at EPAC and fell in love with performing. He would later go on to study acting at Binghamton University and would eventually attain his Masters in Fine Arts degree for Acting from the New School for Drama in New York City. While in New York City he had the privilege of studying with Tony award-winning actor Ron Liebman, Casey Biggs, Cotter Smith, Joe Grifasi, and Peter Jay Fernandez. Dialects, stage combat, classical texts, improvisation, and collaboration, are a few of the skills that he specializes in. Dustin has also performed Off-Broadway in New York City's Fringe Festival as well as internationally. Dustin has now come back home where his journey began, sharing all that he has learned over the past two decades with young performers. 

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Elizabeth Duhr-Ramirez

Voice Instructor

Upstate New York based voice teacher and performer.  An Iowa native, Ms. Duhr-Ramirez earned a B.M. in Vocal Performance from the University of Iowa. Elizabeth earned a M.M. in Opera from the joint program between Binghamton University and Tri Cities Opera, where she was a Resident Artist and performed in many roles.  As an active concert artist she has served in many concert venues all across the country. Beth has recently become a certified Music Together teacher. 

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Wendy Stafford

Music Educator

EPAC is proud to welcome Wendy Stafford on to the EPAC team. She has been a great addition to the Kids Theater Workshop, and now she's teaching at the EPAC School of Performing Arts. Wendy is a NYS Licensed Music Educator with a BFA from Ithaca College, an MFA from Boston Conservatory, and is now offering private music instruction in winds, strings, piano, voice and music theory while meeting guide lines for wearing masks and social distancing.

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Chris Adams

Drum Instructor

Private drum lessons focus on snare drum technique, rhythm reading, drumset independence, NYSSMA, All-County, and College Audition prep. Chris is co-author with renowned session drummer, Gary Chester, of the Internationally acclaimed drumset books, The New Breed and New Breed II. Classes are offered periodically to supplement private lessons with a focus on ensemble playing and performance. Chris' passion for drumming is infectious!

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Al Miele

Drum Instructor

Al Miele has taught private drum lessons in Endicott for many years. He has studied with Joe Roma, Tony Monforte, and Chris Adams. Al's focus is on hand and foot technique, reading, and drum set coordination.


Lucia Foti

Dance Instructor

Lucia is an EPAC Choreographer who would like to teach the basics of Musical Theatre, Jazz and Lyrical Dance technique. Lucia is a student at the FUSE Dance Center in Binghamton. Lucia has also been a student in the EPAC Kids Theater Workshop for many years now and has performed on the EPAC stage in numerous EPAC Productions. She also performs in her High School Productions at U-E as well.


Alex VanTassel

Dance Instructor

Alex VanTassel has studied tap at the Southern Tier Academy of Dance for 13 years. She has been named ‘Dancer of the Year’ at the American Dance Awards regional competition and has received numerous overall winner awards for her solo tap performances at other dance competitions, including the United States Tournament of Dance, Dancers Inc., All American Talent, and The Power of Dance. She has also been selected to perform with the ‘All Star Team’ at the All American Talent national competition in 2018. Alex has been a part of many EPAC shows, whether it be onstage, in the pit orchestra, or as a music director. She is very excited to offer a beginner/intermediate tap class for anyone who loves dancing, music, and fun!

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