SULLIVAN CONSERVATORY
​​​​​​​OF MUSIC

The Mercyhurst University’s Sullivan Conservatory of Music offers private lessons to students of all ages in the Erie area. It is named after Sister Helen Jean Sullivan, who, for over fifty years, kept music alive at Mercyhurst. She served as the director of the music department from 1954-1973, and then founded the conservatory, for which she was the director of until her retirement in 2005. The conservatory was renamed in her honor in 2008.

Our goal at the Sullivan Conservatory is to provide exceptional music education while nurturing a life-long love of music. Not only do we strive to push our students to know his/her potential as musicians, but also in other areas of life. Lessons are taught by professional musicians who are active performers in the community. Students learn on the Mercyhurst University campus in the D’Angelo Performing Arts Department, while our recitals are held in the beautiful Walker Recital Hall in the Audrey Hirt Academic Building. We offer two programs - traditional lessons and Suzuki Strings, which you can learn more about on this website and/or by contacting the Sullivan Conservatory director.

The Suzuki Strings program is a relatively new concentration that the Sullivan Conservatory offers. This style of teaching started more than 50 years ago by Japanese violinist Shinichi Suzuki. He realized the implications of the fact that children the world over learned to speak their native language with ease. He began to apply the basic principles of language acquisition to the learning of music, and called his method the mother=tongue approach. To learn more about his philosophy, visit suzukiassociation.org.

Suzuki instruction includes one private lesson a week lasting 30, 45, or 60 minutes in length and a 30-minute group lesson once a week. Student participation in recitals is strongly encourage, but is not required.

Instructors​​​​​​​

Mary Moser has her Masters of Music in Violin Pedagogy from Arizona State University and her Bachelors of Music in Performance from University of the Pacific. She is a teacher, freelance musician, and a homeschooler of three laughing children. Ms. Mary has trained with and observed many phenomenal Suzuki teachers. You can view her list of registered courses by clicking here. Dr. Suzuki was a big proponent of self-growth and encouraged teachers to work together. Appreciating this holistic approach, in addition to the Suzuki method, Ms. Mary has studied the pedagogy of Paul Rolland, Mimi Zweig, and Music Learning Theory of Dr Gordon, among others. 

Ms. Mary enjoys working with students of all ages. She’s ready to work with anyone ready to try and ready to learn. “If you’re ready to try and learn, then be ready to grow and achieve! And with music... be ready to dream and dance.”

Suzuki Association page: https://suzukiassociation.org/people/mary-moser/



Kellen Degnan is a versatile musician, active as both a performer and educator. An accomplished orchestral cellist, he is a member of the Toledo Symphony Orchestra and Ashland Symphony Orchestra, and was previously a member of the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra. He has also performed in the Canton Symphony Orchestra, Akron Symphony Orchestra, Traverse Symphony Orchestra, and Erie Philharmonic. Kellen is also an avid chamber musician. He is equally comfortable with the sonata repertoire. One of Kellen’s greatest passions is the performance of contemporary music.

Kellen is also a passionate teacher and educator. He studied pedagogy through the Cleveland Institute of Music's renowned Suzuki pedagogy program, and is certified as a Suzuki cello teacher through Book 4. He recently accepted a teaching appointment at Mercyhurst University in Erie, Pennsylvania, as Adjunct Instructor of Cello in the D'Angelo Department of Music and Suzuki Cello Instructor in the Sullivan Conservatory of Music, and will begin teaching there in September 2018. Kellen also offers private cello lessons at his home in Cleveland Heights.

Kellen holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Michigan, where he studied with Anthony Elliott, and a Master of Music degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music, where he studied with renowned Cleveland Orchestra cellist Richard Weiss. He has also performed in masterclasses taught by Alisa Weilerstein, David Geringas, and New York Philharmonic principal cellist Carter Brey. 

Suzuki Association page: https://suzukiassociation.org/people/kellen-degnan/


Contact Us

Rebecca Wunch, M.M.
Director, Sullivan Conservatory of Music, Instructor, Clarinet, Theory/Aural Skills, Woodwind Ensemble, Orchestral/Chamber Music

Rebecca Wunch, M.M.
Director, Sullivan Conservatory of Music
Office: D'Angelo 16
Email: sullivanconservatory@mercyhurst.edu
Phone: 814-824-2575​​​​​​​

Please have the following information available (if known):

  • Name and age of interested party
  • Instrument of interest
  • Traditional or Suzuki lesson track
  • Previous music study (location and duration)