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Faculty & Staff

DIANE KNIGHT, MS, MT-BC, Associate Professor of Music, Director of Music Therapy

  • MS Curriculum and Instruction with Emphasis in Music Therapy, Univ. of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
  • BS Music Therapy, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire

An Alverno Faculty member since 1990 Diane is credited with developing the curriculum for one of two Music Therapy majors in Wisconsin. Prior to this she taught Music Therapy at UW-Milwaukee for 6 years and was a clinical music therapist for 14 years working with a wide variety of populations. She continues to work as a consultant in the field and presents widely at conferences and workshops to promote an understanding of Music Therapy.

PETER ROLLER, Assistant Professor of Music, Music Department Chair

  • Ph.D. candidate, Ethnomusicology, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • M.A. Ethnomusicology, Indiana University
  • B.A. Music, Grinnell College

With specialization in diverse music cultures, Roller teaches classes on African American and Latin American music, the History of Rock and Roll, and ethnic music of urban areas. A professional guitarist working in many styles, he teaches guitar classes, has performed widely and has a guitar composition featured on Masters of Acoustic Guitar (Narada Records).

MICHAEL KAMENSKI has been a part-time instructor at Alverno for the last 16 years. He has taught orchestra, chorus, various vocal and instrumental ensembles, all levels of music theory, conducting, arranging, 20th / 21st century theory, and music technology.  He also works full-time as the director of liturgy and music at St. Sebastian Roman Catholic Church in Milwaukee and is Pastoral Associate there as well.

At Alverno, Mike Kamenski is humbled and honored to have been commissioned to compose the Alverno School Alma Mater. In a collaborative effort with Professor of English Jill Moore who wrote the lyrics, Kamenski and a small committee explored many musical styles, finally choosing a blend of jazzy rhythms and ballad-like melody. 

Following his undergraduate work at UW-Milwaukee in Music Theory and Composition under Dr. John Downey and Professor Yehuda Yannay, Mr. Kamenski received his Master's Degree in symphonic and operatic conducting from the Conservatory of Music in Warsaw, Poland.  He was then appointed Music Director of the Conservatory Orchestra in Warsaw and guest conducted numerous orchestras including the Warsaw Philharmonic. Locally, Mr. Kamenski has conducted the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra   He has participated in conducting workshops with various conductors including Daniel Barenboim. Currently, he is the Music Director and Conductor of the Menomonee Falls Symphony Orchestra, a position he has held for the last 19 years.

Additionally, he has worked as a Staff Arranger at Hal Leonard Publishing and arranged and orchestrated a symphonic ballet for Les Grands Ballet Canadiens of Montreal. His time is currently rounded out with private teaching and several hobbies including racquetball, golf, and cooking. Kamenski is married to Sherri and they have three sons, Martin, Paul (currently on scholarship to Oxford University for his Ph.D. in atomic physics) and Brian.

MOLLY PUFALL, MM, Assistant Professor of Music, Performance and Audition Coordinator
M.M.  Individualized Studies in Early Music, Ethnomusicology, and Jazz Studies; Voice, Northern Illinois University
B.A. Music; Voice, Millikin University

Pufall comes from a family entirely made of professional musicians and educators, all encultured in a rich choral tradition, and has continued that tradition at Alverno. 

She is director of the Alverno Chorus and the Pop/Vocal Jazz Ensemble.  Additionally Pufall teaches private voice lessons, Vocal Techniques, Vocal Lab, Music Appreciation, Early Music History, and currently serves as Performance Coordinator at Alverno. 

Pufall was most recently the recipient of a DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) Research Scholarship and a finalist for a Research Fulbright to study the status of vocal jazz small ensemble singing in Köln, Germany and its surrounding areas. 

In addition to directing ensembles and researching a wide array of music – from Medieval to contemporary gospel – Pufall maintains an active performance calendar, primarily in the fields of Early Music and jazz. 

Besides teaching and performing music, Pufall is an avid ultimate Frisbee player, and loves biking, Pilates, kayaking, camping, swimming and lifeguarding, and baking, She also loves street festivals where she can hear live music, especially ones of the funk/Latin/gospel/R&B/soul variety.