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May 1, 1929 – Aug. 9, 2014

Dorothy M. Biernat, a piano accompanist, died Aug. 9 at her home in North Tonawanda. She was 85.

She was born Dorothy Zazycki in North Tonawanda and graduated from North Tonawanda High School in 1946. In her late teens, she played piano with her own all-male orchestra, The Stardusters, which performed at local live music venues.

She studied piano at the University of Buffalo and the Sherwood School of Music in Chicago. After returning from Chicago, she married pianist and choir director Thaddeus M. Biernat in 1952. She accompanied his choirs and performed with him many times as a two-piano team with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra at Shea’s Performing Arts Center and Melody Fair. The couple also premiered several compositions by 20th century composers.

Mr. Biernat died in 2007 after 54 years of marriage.

Mrs. Biernat also taught hundreds of piano students, including her daughter, for more than 40 years at her home.

She accompanied Buffalo singers at recitals, on live radio, opera rehearsals and singing societies. She was a member of and accompanist for The Operators, a state-funded group of Buffalo’s finest vocalists, who performed at public schools in Western New York to introduce opera to young people.

She was a member of the Treble Clef Society, the Piano Teachers’ Forum and the Chromatic Club of Buffalo. She also painted in oil and pastel.

Survivors include a daughter, Melody Ann Gocher; a granddaughter; and several great-grandchildren.

A memorial service will be scheduled.