Phone: 607-324-1303 x1682


Degrees and Certifications:

BM in Music Education Nazareth College of Rochester MS in Educational Administration University of Scranton K-12 Music Department Chairperson NYS Coaching Certification

Mr. Christopher J. van Leeuwen

CHRIS VAN LEEUWEN, K-12 Music Department Chairperson has been the 7-12 Director of Vocal Music the last 13 years. Mr. van Leeuwen directs the Junior High Choir, Treble Choir, Senior High Choir, Show Choir, and Jazz Choir. He also teaches music electives in theory, history, film, and the cognitive neuroscience of music. Under his direction, Hornell ensembles have competed in choral competitions in New York, Massachusetts, Illinois, Maryland, The District of Colombia, and Virginia receiving 32 Gold Awards in 11 years.

Hornell choirs have received prestigious performance invitations to the Segerstrom Concert Hall in Los Angeles, Carnegie Hall in New York City, Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco, and to Normandy, France for the 73rd anniversary of the D-Day landing. His auditioned choirs regularly give 25+ performances a year including gigs for the Elmira Jackals, Rochester Red Wings, and with the rock band FOREIGNER in 2010. 

Mr. van Leeuwen has received multiple Outstanding and Excellence in Music Direction Awards from the Theatre Association of New York State (TANYS) for the school musical productions. He has guest conducted honors festivals for various organizations including the Cortland County Music Teachers Association and Genesee Valley School Music Association. He serves as a vocal adjudicator and has guest lectured on the social and psychological benefits of music education at Alfred University.

He currently serves as the NYSSMA Zone 15 Representative, sits on the board of directors and is a regular vocalist/actor for the Hornell Community Theatre (HCT), is a past President of the Steuben County Music Teachers Association (SCMTA), served as the Junior High Area All-State Festival Chairman.

Chris currently lives in Hornell with his girlfriend Danielle, their daughter Shea and dog Mia, and is obsessed with baseball and the New York Mets.

Phone: 607-324-1303 x1666


Degrees and Certifications:

BS in Music Education SUNY Buffalo BS in Trumpet Performance SUNY Buffalo MM in Music Education Mansfield university MM in Trumpet Performance Mansfield university

Mr. Todd Bialecki

TODD BIALECKI is in his second year as a 7-12 Instrumental Director at Hornell High School. Before joining the Hornell Music Department, Todd spent 28 years as the Director of Bands for the Alfred-Almond School District. During his tenure at Alfred-Almond, his teaching responsibilities included lessons for grades 5-12. He directed the Elementary Concert Band, Junior High Concert Winds, Senior High Symphonic Band, and the Senior High Jazz Big Band. Mr. Bialecki also taught AP Music Theory.

He is an active member of the New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA) as both a certified brass judge and attending educator. His ensembles receive annual adjudications, consistently earning Gold and Silver ratings, with several Gold with Distinction ratings as well – the highest award in New York State. He is also a former adjunct professor of music at Alfred University and SUNY Alfred. 

Mr. Bialecki has been a guest conductor across upstate New York in both Concert and Jazz. He is a member of the Great Lakes Wind Symphony and was a founding member of the Southern Tier Symphony. He has studied trumpet with Frank Cipolla of Kansas City Symphony Orchestra, David Kuehn of the Buffalo Philharmonic, and Dr. Michael Galloway of Mansfield University. His conducting mentors include Dr. Harriet Simons, Frank Cipolla, Dr. Peggy Detweiller, Dr. Michael Galloway, and Charles Peltz of the New England Conservatory of Music.

In his spare time, Mr. Bialecki enjoys cooking, hunting, fishing, and skiing. He lives in Canisteo with his wife Lindsay and thier rescue dog, Tasker.

Phone: 607-324-1303 x1648


Degrees and Certifications:

BM in Music Education Grove City College MM in Music Education Boston University

Mr. Jonathan Neff

JONATHAN NEFF is the Marching Band Director, Junior High Band Director and Pep Band Director for Hornell City Schools. Prior to coming to Hornell in 2019, he served as the 7-12 Instrumental Music at Jasper-Troupsburg Central School for twelve years. While there, Mr. Neff taught music theory, jazz ensemble, pep band, marching band and concert band at all levels.

Mr. Neff’s primary instrument is the saxophone, though he considers himself to be a multi-instrumentalist, and is equally comfortable performing in a pit ensemble for a musical or center stage with a rock band. Mr. Neff enjoys any musical performance, though improvising in a jazz or rock band would have to be his favorite. 

Mr. Neff spends his free time watching/listening to marching bands, drum corps and brass bands, playing instruments, reading, playing video games and spending time with his wife and four young children.

Phone: 607-324-1304 x1353


Degrees and Certifications:

Mr. Edward Belin

Phone: 607-324-1304 x1357


Degrees and Certifications:

BM in Music Education SUNY Potsdam Crane School of Music MS in Education (Interdisciplinary Arts) SUNY Brockport

Mrs. Dawn Hopper

DAWN HOPPER has been the Intermediate Vocal/General Music Director for the Hornell City School District since 2008 and has had the pleasure of teaching music since 1996.

Mrs. Hopper spends her days teaching classroom music for grades 4-6 as well as directing the grade level choirs and the Select Intermediate Choir. Her choral ensembles consistently achieve high honors and ratings of Gold with Distinction when participating in adjudication festivals.  She has the privilege of co-directing the talented and dedicated students at Hornell Intermediate School each year for the annual musical.  To date, Hornell Intermediate has performed the following shows under the direction of Mrs. Hopper:  Schoolhouse Rock Jr. (2009), Willy Wonka Jr. (2010), Seussical Jr. (2011), Honk Jr. (2011), Flat Stanley Jr. (2013), G2K Once Upon a Mattress (2014), Alice in Wonderland Jr. (2015), Lion King Jr. (2016), Peter Pan Jr. (2017), The Wizard of Oz YPE (2018), and Aladdin Jr. (2019).  The musical is a source of pride for the entire community and something Mrs. Hopper hopes will continue to shine in the lives and experiences of her students.  Each show holds a special place in her heart and creates memories she will cherish for a lifetime.

In addition to her school related commitments, Dawn also participates in multiple community theatrical opportunities.  She has been a part of the cast in multiple productions for the Hornell Rotary Club and Hornell Community Theatre (the latter for which she serves as Treasurer).  Her performances include: Old Ringers (2011), Annie (2012), Little Shop of Horrors (2013), and Clue The Musical (2019).  More recently, Dawn has focused her energies on directing productions for Hornell Community Theatre Kids! (HCTK) in the summers.  These productions include Shrek Jr. (2015)Beauty and The Beast Jr. (2016), How to Eat Like a Child (2018), and Once on This Island Jr. (2019).

Dawn currently resides in Hornell, NY with her husband and three beautiful children.  Nothing makes her happier than being able to live and serve in the community that has welcomed her family in with open arms and made them feel like they have lived here forever.  She is proud to call Hornell home.



Degrees and Certifications:

BM in Music Education Houghton College MS in Music Education Nazareth College of Rochester

Mrs. Sydney Schierer

SYDNEY SCHIERER began her vocal general music teaching position at the Hornell City School District in the fall of 2016. She teaches PK through Grade 3 students at the North Hornell and Bryant Schools. Each year, she conducts, four vocal music concerts, a third grade ensemble during the June Intermediate School vocal concert, and during various school-wide assemblies.  

Currently, Mrs. Schierer resides in the Alfred-Almond community with her husband and young daughter.



Degrees and Certifications:

Mr. Eric T. Prentice

ERIC T. PRENTICE began accompanying for the Hornell City School District in his sophomore year. A graduate of Hornell (1985), Eric has over 35 years of experience accompanying ensembles. Mr. Prentice has also music directed and served as the principal keyboardist for over 30 different musicals by local community organizations and school districts including Canisteo-Greenwood, Arkport, Alfred-Almond, and Hornell.

Eric also served as the Alfred State College Concert Choir accompanist for over 5 years under the direction of Anthony Cappedonia. He also served as Director of Music for Alfred State’s musical production of “The Addams Family.” During his tenure, Eric has had the fortune and privilege to work with music and theatrical directors William Locke, Tim Berardi, Stephanie Stephens, and Patti Piper. While not playing piano, Eric can be found working for the Hornell Association, an organization that donates thousands of dollars to local graduating classes.

In 2010, Eric was proudly inducted as a “Graduate of Note” for the Hornell City School District. This special recognition is a showcase that highlights the achievements of Hornell Alumni who have excelled in some area of the performing arts – dance, music, or theatre.