Amherst Central High School Music Staff
Kiersten Roetzer is the Director of Bands at Amherst Central High School in Amherst, NY. Prior to this position, she was the Middle-High School Band Director at Silver Creek Central School District in Silver Creek, NY where she taught concert band and jazz band grades 6-12.Raised in Springville, NY, Ms. Roetzer started studying piano at the age of five and trombone at the age of nine. Upon graduating from Springville Griffith-Institute in 2012, Ms. Roetzer went on to study Music Education at Ithaca College graduating with a Bachelor of Music in Music Education in 2015. Ms. Roetzer also holds a Masters of Music in Music Education from the American Band College at Central Washington University in Ashland, Oregon, graduating in 2020. At the American Band College she has had the privilege of studying conducting and education with Dr. Paula Crider, Dr. Peter Boonshaft, Dr. Timothy Lautzenheiser, and Anthony Maiello. She has also had the great pleasure to perform under the baton of Frank Ticheli, Johan DeMej, and Loras Schissel, as well as the opportunity to perform with Alan Vizzuti, Julian Bliss, Chris Castelanos, Bobby Shew and the Canadian Brass. In her spare time, Ms. Roetzer likes to garden, read, and spend time with her husband Jason, their dog Penny, and cats Juno and Nova.
Currently, in his fifteenth year of teaching at Amherst High School, Justin T. Pomietlarz is a 1997 and 2004 piano performance/music education graduate of SUNY Fredonia. Mr. Pomietlarz began his teaching career in the Rochester City School District and subsequently at Marion High School in rural Wayne County and at Hauppauge High School in Suffolk County, Long Island.
While at Fredonia, Mr. Pomietlarz was a winner of the Concerto Competition and was also a finalist in the 2001 Ithaca College Choral Music Composition Contest. During his graduate years, Mr. Pomietlarz had the opportunity to serve Fredonia as the director of the University Chorus, as assistant director and accompanist for the Fredonia College Choir, as coach/accompanist for several musical and Hillman Opera productions. Mr. Pomietlarz has also been on the artistic faculty for the New York State Summer School of the Arts – School for Choral Studies. He was the guest conductor of the 2010 Chautauqua Junior-High All-County Chorus, and has previously served as chairperson or accompanist for All-County Choruses in Erie, Monroe, Genesee, Chautauqua, and Suffolk Counties. He has been selected as “Teacher of the Month” at Amherst High School three times, and is listed in “Who’s Who of American Teachers.” He is exceptionally proud that the Amherst Concert Chorale performed both John Rutter's and Mozart’s Requiem, and produced a full-scale production of the opera, Dido and Aeneas by Henry Purcell. Past Musical production credits include Phantom of the Opera, Beauty and the Beast, Grease, Guys and Dolls, Anything Goes, Les Miserables, Oklahoma, Urinetown: the Musical, Into the Woods, Leader of the Pack, The Boy Friend, Suessical: the Musical, Evita, Damn Yankees, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, among others.
Mr. Pomietlarz was selected as the 2013 PTSA Outstanding HS Educator of the Year, and recently served as the Interim Director of Women’s Choir at SUNY Fredonia from 2010 - 2012. He has performed with the Vocális Chamber Choir, and serves as Music Director and Choirmaster of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in downtown Buffalo. He resides with his wife Kristen in Parkside, Buffalo.
Matt Pendrak is the Orchestra Director and Music Department Chair at Amherst Central High School in Amherst, NY where he teaches 100 string students and conducts the Concert Orchestra, Symphony Orchestra, Operetta Pit Orchestra, and the Amherst Sinfonia. Previously Matt spent nine years as the Orchestra Director at Amherst Middle School. In 2015, the ACHS Sinfonia performed for a “Music in The Parks” Competition and Evaluation Festival at Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio where they received 1st place in High School Orchestra Category as well as Overall Grand Champion, and received the first-ever 100% in the 26-year history of the festival. In 2016, the ACHS Sinfonia repeated as Champions in two categories; Full Orchestra and String Orchestra. Matt also serves as the AP Coordinator and Facilities Coordinator at Amherst Central High School as well as the NYSSMA Sr. High Area All State Orchestra Chair, and in the past has served as the Director of the Summer Scholars Program at Windermere Blvd Elementary School. In 2020, Matt was nominated for the GRAMMY Music Educator of the Year Award from the GRAMMY Foundation.
Hailing from Ilion, NY, Matt started playing viola at age nine. Upon graduating from Ilion High School in 1997, Matt pursued a Music Education degree from SUNY Fredonia and graduated in 2001 with honors. In 2005, Matt completed his Master’s degree in Education at Indiana Wesleyan University. Matt has conducted several All-County Orchestras throughout New York State including Erie, Oswego, and Oneida Counties as well as NYSSMA Area All-State Orchestras.