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Our Team

Encore Leadership

Joshua Vickery

Joshua Vickery

Chief Executive Officer

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Joshua Vickery began his role as the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for the organization on October 18, 2021. Joshua was drawn to the mission and vision of Encore Creativity and is thrilled to be joining the team. He plans to bring his experience and passions to the table to have great influence across the nation.

Prior to joining Encore, Vickery served as Executive Director of Central Florida Community Arts (CFCArts), an organization which he founded in 2010. This organization consists of thousands of artists in multiple choirs; an adult and youth symphony orchestra; children/youth arts program; theatre; School of Performing Arts and programs for seniors, vulnerable communities and arts and wellness. Vickery is a vocalist, actor, teacher, producer, musical director, arts administrator, and conductor. His love of music and the arts has allowed him to have an extraordinary career thus far.

He holds an Associate of Arts Degree in Vocal Performance, and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in General Education/Music. Vickery has been a featured soloist in countless venues, produced musical recordings, and has been a director of numerous productions. He has been an entertainment leader, casting director, and vocal coach for Walt Disney Entertainment. He also serves as a consultant for other arts organizations in their beginning stages and a voice for local, state, and national arts advocacy. Vickery has received numerous leadership and community accolades and serves on multiple state and national boards.

Joshua is excited to be with Encore, to honor the incredible legacy of Founder Jeanne Kelly, and to build on its foundation for impact into the future.

To contact Joshua directly, send an email to joshua.vickery@encorecreativity.org!

Brian Fontaine-Isaac

Brian Fontaine-Isaac

Artistic Director

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Brian J. Isaac is honored to serve as the new Artistic Director of Encore Creativity for Older Adults (Annapolis, MD). He is also the Artistic Director of the Alexandria Choral Society (Alexandria, VA) and Founder / Artistic Director of Church Circle Singers (Annapolis, MD).

Brian was most recently the Managing Director for Arts Laureate, a recording team which delivered over 1500 virtual performances across the country during the pandemic. Previous appointments include: Artistic Director of the Williamsburg Choral Guild (Williamsburg, VA), music faculty at Encore University, Interim Director of Choral Music at Thomas Nelson Community College (Hampton, VA), adjunct music faculty at Tidewater Community College (Portsmouth, VA) and Old Dominion University (Norfolk, VA), Assistant Conductor with the Washington Master Chorale (Washington, D.C.), and Director of Choirs at Damascus High School (Damascus, MD).

Brian’s professional and community ensembles have commissioned and premiered new works by composers such as Tawnie Olson, Lori Laitman, Christopher Hoh, Jonathan Kolm, and Ola Gjeilo.

Reviews include: “perfectly brilliant” (composer Dr. William Averitt, Shenandoah Conservatory), and having “fine balance” and “delivering sounds that ranged from sensitively soft to knock your socks off soaring” (Virginia Gazette).

In addition to conducting, Brian maintains an active professional singing schedule and has performed with organizations like the Virginia Symphony, the Virginia Chorale, and the Washington Master Chorale, among others.

Brian holds a Master of Music in Music Education from the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University and a Bachelor of Music Education from Old Dominion University. A former Marine, Brian also holds a Bachelor of Science in English from the United States Naval Academy.

Mickey Love

Mickey Love

Managing Director

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Mickey Love brings to the Director of Business Operations and Development position more than 25 years of nonprofit and for-profit business experience encompassing program expansion; financial development, grant writing, and fundraising; staff and volunteer oversight; public relations and marketing; strategic planning and facility management. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Business from Penn State University and a Master of Arts in Arts Administration from Savannah College of Art and Design.

Prior to joining Encore, Love’s employment history included 10 years as the Executive Director for the Dorchester Center for the Arts (DCA) in Cambridge, Maryland.

During her tenure, DCA was recognized by Dorchester County Economic Development as “Nonprofit of the Year”-2014; Dorchester Chamber of Commerce: “Not for Profit Business of the Year”-2011; and What’s Up? Eastern Shore Magazine’s “Nonprofits to Know” – 2013;“Best Arts Program”- 2012; and “Best Gallery Recognizing National and

Regional Artists”-2011. A high point of her term with DCA was the successful $1.9 million capital fundraising campaign for the renovation of a historic 14,000 square-foot facility, which became the organization’s permanent location in the downtown Arts and Entertainment District.

Other career roles were as the Education and Cultural Enrichment Manager for the City and County of Broomfield, Colorado, Library and Cultural Affairs Division; Executive Director for the Pueblo School for Arts and Sciences; and Area Director for the University of Maryland Extension.

Love comes to the arts as a supporter; an occasional performer in theater and music; and an advocate. She believes in the power of the arts to change lives; bring people together; educate; stimulate the economy and provide comfort. She is excited to bring her knowledge, passion, and experience to Encore.

Dr. Mary Ann East

Dr. Mary Ann East

Director of Arts for Life

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Mary Ann East has been with Encore Creativity for Older Adults since August 2018 when she began conducting the Encore Chorale at Goodwin House Bailey’s Crossroads. In September of 2019 Mary Ann became the Program Director of Sentimental Journey Singers, Encore’s choral program for singers with early to mid-stage cognitive change and their care partners. On June 1, 2022 Mary Ann became the Director of Arts for Life working to expand Encore’s programing for those with cognitive change.

Mary Ann has taught music to ages 3-93. She is a former Fairfax County Public School music teacher where she taught elementary general music through high school choir and former adjunct professor at George Mason University.

Mary Ann is currently the Music Director at Community of Faith UMC in Herndon (VA) and Co-Founder/Artistic Director of Capital Harmonia, a local women’s chorus whose mission is to bring music composed by women and for women’s voices to the DC area through partnerships with local women’s organizations.

Mary Ann holds a Doctor of Musical Arts in Music Education from Boston University, a Master of Music in Choral Conducting and Vocal Performance from George Mason University, and a Bachelor of Music Education from Indiana University.

Ethan Lolley

Ethan Lolley

Artistic Coordinator and Conductor

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(Annapolis ROCKS, DC ROCKS, Glen Echo ROCKS, Online-Only Afternoon ROCKS, Online-Only Evening ROCKS) Ethan Lolley is an Alabama native and holds his Master’s of Music Education degree with a conducting emphasis in instrumental and choral conducting from Auburn University. His love for the performing arts began with piano instruction in second grade. He has led music ensembles as a collegiate and drum corps drum major, graduate choral conductor, youth and symphony orchestra conductor, and music director for children’s theatre, adult main stage theatrical productions, and professional operas. In 2015, he founded Drum Major Innovations, an educational institution that offers conducting clinics, camps, and competitions for aspiring drum majors. He currently serves as an instructor for the Macy’s Great American Marching Band, a select ensemble which performs in the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Ethan has performed with Disney Cruise Line, The Walt Disney World Resort and Universal Orlando Resort. He is currently the music director of the CFCArts Young Artists Orchestra in Orlando, FL and as well as resident conductor and music director for all Florida premieres of composer Nathan Felix at Timucua Arts Foundation. Ethan also serves as a conducting protégé to nationally renowned Music Director Eric Jacobsen of the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra.
Emma Spicknall

Emma Spicknall

Marketing Coordinator

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Emma Spicknall is excited to join Encore Creativity as a Marketing Coordinator. Emma earned her Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Baltimore with a focus in professional writing. While in university, Emma worked alongside nonprots in outreach and marketing roles and planned creative content for diverse student populations. Born and raised in the Chesapeake Bay area, Emma has a deep connection to and passion for the areas that Encore serves. In her free time, she enjoys studying foreign languages, fiction writing, and singing.
Loretta Fredrich

Loretta Fredrich

Executive Assistant to CEO

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Loretta recently joined Encore as Executive Assistant to CEO, Joshua Vickery. Loretta is a retired educator who spent many years teaching music, math, and English to elementary and secondary students primarily in Missouri and Illinois. After a 15-year stint as Assistant Director of the Early Childhood Center at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, she held several retail and administrative positions in San Diego and Orlando before joining CFCArts as a choir member for the 2011 fall season.

In addition to singing with the Community Choir, Loretta served as a volunteer in several program areas and as coordinator of the CFCArts Volunteer Company. From fall 2017 through Spring 2021, she served as choral programs administrator for the 300-voice choir. A dynamic administrative professional, she retired and moved to Nashville in December 2021. Loretta has graciously offered to be an assistant to Joshua as a volunteer. She is excited to join Encore in its mission to bring the arts to older adults and particularly, to those in underserved populations throughout the country.

Jeanne Kelly

Jeanne Kelly

Founder, Retired

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Jeanne Kelly is the founder of Encore Creativity for Older Adults, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing an excellent, accessible, and sustainable artistic environment for older adults over 55 years of age, either beginning, intermediate or advanced levels, who seek arts education and performance opportunities under a professional artist.

Jeanne Kelly’s career of over forty years has produced a unique blend of experience as a vocal performer, teacher, conductor and music administrator. She earned an undergraduate degree in voice performance and piano from the University of Findlay and a master’s degree in voice performance from the Peabody Conservatory.

As a performer, Ms. Kelly made her professional operatic debut with the Washington Opera at the Kennedy Center as Elizabetta in L’elisir d’amore. She has also performed major roles with the Baltimore Opera, Opera Delaware, Central City Opera, Tulsa Opera, Annapolis Opera where she performed the first opera the company produced, The Medium, and the New York City Opera Education Department. She appeared in the world premiere of Rappaccini’s Daughter with the Pennsylvania Opera Theater. Ms. Kelly has sung on the concert stage with the National Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, Delaware Symphony, Allentown Symphony and Annapolis Symphony. Additionally, she has sung with the Berlin Brass Quintet, Bach Aria Group, St. Louis Bach Society, Bethlehem Bach Festival, Richmond Choral Arts Society, Annapolis Brass Quintet, Washington Bach Consort and the Monumental Brass Quintet.

Ms. Kelly’s expertise in vocal technique has been of benefit to students ranging from those preparing for professional vocal careers to those who simply enjoy music as a hobby. Ms. Kelly has served on the faculties of the Baltimore School for the Arts; Hood College in Frederick, MD; the United States Naval Academy and the Levine School of Music in Washington, DC. Ms. Kelly has also conducted workshops for the Smithsonian Institution in Washington.

Conductors

Angela Burns

Angela Burns

Conductor

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Angela Burns has performed as a soloist and conductor worldwide before Presidents Bush, Carter, Clinton, and Obama and in the presence of one billion listeners on TV, broadcasts, and live recordings. She has worked with well-known conductors such as Craig Hella Johnson, John Rutter, Craig Jessop, Mack Wilberg, Anton Armstrong and Eric Whitacre to name a few.  Until recent, she was the leader, conductor, a Mezzo-Soprano soloist, and choral member of the official chorus of the United States Air Force, The Singing Sergeants. Throughout her career she has soloed and conducted choirs before Presidents, Vice-Presidents, numerous Heads of State and in the company of thousands at the National and Regional American Choral Director Association conventions.

Ms. Burns’ diverse musical background has afforded her the opportunity to solo and work with vocal masters such as Renee and Rachelle Fleming on classical and Broadway techniques for professional singers and up and coming students.  Having recently moved from Washington DC, she now resides in Wilmington NC, of which she is a native. Angela continues to perform with the Grammy award winning professional choir, Conspirare, in Austin, Texas as a choral member and Mezzo Soprano soloist. She is currently the choir director at St. Andrews-Covenant Presbyterian Church in Wilmington NC. In addition, Angela is the founder and Artistic Director of Wilmington Voices, New Hanover County’s premier professional vocal ensemble. The talented group performs various styles of music while bringing musical excellence to the local community and beyond.

In her downtime she enjoys hiking, traveling, gardening, and going to the beach with her husband Cory and their dog Linden.

Jeff Dokken

Jeff Dokken

Director of Encore Rocks

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Jeff Dokken, Director of Encore ROCKS and an Encore Conductor, has been with Encore since 2013. During that time he has conducted numerous chorales in the Washington DC region, and currently conducts Alexandria Chorale and ROCKS, Annapolis ROCKS, Glen Echo ROCKS, and DC Rocks. In addition to his responsibilities at Encore, Maestro Dokken is the Music Director and Conductor of the Symphony Orchestra of Northern Virginia and Music Director and Conductor of the Rome Symphony Orchestra. He is a frequent guest conductor of orchestras and choirs across the United States, Europe, and South America. Recent highlights include conducting the world premiere of the Philip Glass Flute Concerto in Florence, Italy, guest conducting the National Symphony of Brazil, and return engagements with several orchestras in Ecuador.
Jacquelynne Fontaine-Isaac

Jacquelynne Fontaine-Isaac

Conductor

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Jacquelynne Fontaine, conductor and soprano, has performed nationally and abroad in both Opera and Musical Theater. She conducts the Alexandria Children’s Choir and is a lecturer through Encore University, teaching the popular sections: History of Opera and Class Voice.

In her singing career, most notably she was the Italian Opera Diva Carlotta in the Broadway National Tour of The Phantom of the Opera, for over 1,000 performances, throughout the US and Canada. Favorite roles include Donna Anna and Pamina (Don Giovanni, Viterbo, Italy), Violetta (La Traviata) and Susanna (Le Nozze di Figaro, both at Rogue and Tacoma Opera), and Musetta (La Boheme, Downtown Los Angeles).

As a concert soprano, she has performed live on KUSC Classical radio, with the South Coast Symphony, Marina Del Rey Orchestra, Orchestra del’ Lazio in Italy, at the Redlands Bowl, among others.

In the competition world, Jacquelynne was a Western Regional Finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and a winner of the Loren Zachary Grand National Finals. She was a semi-finalist in the International Competizione del’Opera in Dresden, and winner of the Palm Spring Opera Guild Competition, Burbank Phil, Rio Hondo, and National Association of Teachers of Singing’s “Singer of the Year”.

An award-nominated stage actress, Jacquelynne’s favorite roles include Anna (The King & I, Opera North), Charlotte (A Little Night Music, Indiana Repertory Theater), and Elsa (The Sound of Music, North Shore Musical Theater). Most recently, she was as Sister Claire in Bad Habits in Santa Monica, CA with the late Orson Bean.

Jacquelynne has also been a private voice instructor for the past 20 years. Her students range from 14 to 75 years old, and from absolute beginners and matching pitch to seasoned professionals at the top of their game. Most notably, she was the voice teacher for the Phantom, Christine, and Raoul while on the road. In addition to private voice lessons, Jacquelynne has given dozens of masterclasses to high school and college aged students, throughout the United States.

Fun fact: In 2006, she was awarded Miss California and placed in the top ten at Miss America 2007, winning the talent competition for her performance of “Vissi d’arte.”

Jacquelynne received her BA magna cum laude from California Lutheran University and Masters in Music from the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California, completing two years of Doctoral study. While at USC she co-directed the USC Chamber Opera, and taught a children’s choir and music lessons to local elementary schools. She is delighted to continue her relationship with Encore Creativity and work with the wonderful singers in making beautiful music!

Stephen Harouff

Stephen Harouff

Conductor

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Stephen Harouff is the conductor or the Columbia and Towson Encore Chorales. He is also the Music Director and Organist at Towson Presbyterian Church. As a collaborative artist he has performed with the Annapolis Opera Company, Peabody Opera, the US Naval Academy Band and Annapolis Wind Symphony. He holds a Master of Music degree in Organ from Peabody Conservatory and has undergraduate degrees in music education and piano from West Virginia University.
Kathryn Harsha

Kathryn Harsha

Conductor

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Equally at home on the podium and in the board room, Kathryn Harsha is an accomplished Executive Director, pianist, teacher and conductor, and has conducted numerous orchestras and choruses across the country.

Kathryn began her international career as Assistant Conductor of the Chorale des Étudiants Etrangères while at the Sorbonne in Paris. Kathryn completed her Master’s degree in Orchestral Conducting at the Cleveland Institute of Music, and an undergraduate degree at Bluffton University in Bluffton, Ohio, majoring in Piano Performance and Humanities. For ten years she served as Music Director and Conductor of the Lakeland Civic Orchestra in Kirtland, Ohio, and as the Music Director at Bethany Covenant Church in Lyndhurst. She also served as the Music Director at Disciples Christian Church in Cleveland Heights and as the Music Director of Opera per Tutti, now the Cleveland Opera Theater.

As Executive Director, Kathryn transformed the visionary Carroll County String Project into a thriving studio serving more than 130 students in suburban Baltimore, Maryland. The Opus Community Music School flourished under Kathryn’s leadership through successful grant writing, strategic planning and nurturing relationships.

Kathryn has been the Music Director of the Sing Out! for Cleveland Rape Crisis Center Benefit Concerts since 2002, where the Visionary Voice award was named in her honor in 2018. She is invigorated by working with Cleveland’s leading citizens in this vital civic effort, and is inspired by the staff and survivors of the CRCC.

Kathryn currently serves as Associate Director, Accompanist, and Chorus Manager of the Peabody Children’s Chorus.

Bernadette Hoke

Bernadette Hoke

Conductor

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Bernadette Hoke has an active career as a pianist, organist, conductor, and collaborative musician in the New York City area. She is the Music Director and Organist of the Saint Albans Church where she directs a semi-professional choir, and for six years, was on the music faculty of the Saint Albans School. While there, she founded and directed the Saint Albans Schola which performed in New York City, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. As a member of the Birk and Hoke Duo with her husband Eric Birk, she has performed in Weill and Merkin Halls in NYC, and concert venues on the east coast.

For nine seasons, Ms. Hoke was the assistant conductor of the Dalton Chorale, leading sectionals and accompanying the choir on the organ or piano for their spring concerts. She holds an MM in piano performance, the Associate Certificate of the American Guild of Organists (A.A.G.O.), and has participated in conducting intensives with Dennis Keene and Simon Carrington. She is the conductor of the New York City Encore Chorale.

Joey Hoopengardner

Joey Hoopengardner

Conductor

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Joey Hoopengardner is the conductor for the Southern Maryland Encore Chorale. Joey taught choral music in the St. Mary’s County Public Schools for 33 years. He has been the guest conductor and adjudicator for various elite honors choirs and choral festivals across the state of Maryland. Early in his career, as a founding member of the Hollywood Harmoneers, Joey recorded six studio albums and traveled the Eastern seaboard performing with his gospel band. He served as the musical director at Lexington Park United Methodist Church for over 20 years.

Joey directed the St. Maries Musica choral group for seven years. He is currently the musical director and conductor of the live orchestra for St. Mary’s County’s Summer Stock Theatre, having held that position for 18 years.

During those years he has directed a variety of shows including Les Miserables, Hairspray, Crazy For You, The Music Man, Beauty and the Beast, and in the summer of 2017 – Oklahoma.. He also currently serves as the musical director at Community With A Cause, a church designed to minister to special needs individuals and their caregivers. Joey earned a BS in Music Education from the University of Maryland and has done graduate work at Towson University and George Washington University. Joey resides in Hollywood, MD with his wife Pauline.

Deborah Int Veldt

Deborah Int Veldt

Conductor

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Deborah Int Veldt has a B.S. in Music Education from the University of Maryland in addition to many years of private training in vocal performance, working with such luminariesas Ruth Drucker and Molly Donnelly. She taught secondary vocal music in the Montgomery County, MD school district for 20 years and has taught voice and piano privately in her home for the past 15 years. In 1994, Ms. Int Veldt joined the Frederick Chorale (where she met her husband Nick) with whom she is a frequent soloist and the soprano section leader. She is the Music Director at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Frederick and leads a 30-voice adult choir there. She has high hopes of starting a children’s chorus at the church in the near future.

Ms. Int Veldt directed the Buckingham’s Choice Singers from 2002-2009 and recently gave a presentation on the aging voice to the Frederick chapter of the American Guild of Organists. When she is not making music, Deb can be found in the garden. She grows much of the food she and Nick consume as well as beautiful flowers and herbs. She also enjoys sewing, quilting and other creative crafts. In her younger days she danced on a professional clogging team for ten years, and still enjoys square- and contra-dancing. She and Nick live in Hagerstown with their small flock of laying hens.

David Lang

David Lang

Conductor

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David Brian Lang is a prominent choral conductor, vocal coach, professional accompanist and concert organist throughout the greater Washington area. He has prepared choruses for performance in numerous concert halls, and worked with such notable conductors as Emil de Cou, Placido Domingo, Marvin Hamlisch, Kurt Masur, and Leonard Slatkin. Lang is now in his thirteenth season as artistic director for The Reston Chorale.
Mr. Lang previously served as director of music and master of the choristers for Saint John Catholic Church in McLean (2005-2014); as director of music for Saint Catherine of Siena Catholic Church in Great Falls and as organist for Saint John’s Episcopal Church – Lafayette Square (The Church of the Presidents).

A native of Burlington, NC., Mr. Lang served as director of music / principal organist for the Roman Catholic Cathedral of the Assumption (1983-2000), and as artistic director for The Louisville Youth Choir.

Mr. Lang received a Bachelor of Music degree in choral music education and sacred music from Appalachian State University in Boone, NC, and a Master of Music degree in organ performance from the University of Louisville. He has studied under such keyboard luminaries as H. Max Smith, Melvin Dickinson, Marilyn Keiser, and Bruce Neswick. Mr. Lang has been a featured performing artist and guest conductor for conventions of the American Guild of Organists (AGO), American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), Music Educators National Conference (MENC), and National Pastoral Musicians (NPM).

Dr. Natalie Lerch

Dr. Natalie Lerch

Conductor

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Since receiving her DMA from the Eastman School of Music, Dr. Natalie C. Lerch has taught voice, diction, repertoire, pedagogy, chorus, chamber singers, chamber ensemble, opera and musical theater workshop, ear training, piano for voice teachers, and musicianship at Cornish College of the Arts. As a performer, her favorite roles include elle – La Voix Humaine, Fiordiligi – Cosí fan tutte, Miss Pinkerton – The Old Maid and the Thief, Mrs. Grose – The Turn of the Screw, and La Musica – Orfeo (in Orvieto, Italy). Natalie has sung in masterclasses for Renée Fleming and Julianne Baird, and performed Samuel Barber’s “Knoxville: Summer of 1915” with the Port Angeles Symphony. Natalie’s choral experience includes the Normal Luboff’s touring choir, soprano quartet “Divalycious”, Duruflé’s Requiem in Canterbury, England, and the a cappella ensemble, Fine Rain Falling. She has performed faculty recitals – “What Would Alice Say?”, King Harald’s Saga, and La Voix Humaine – and sung with the Seattle Philharmonic in Ravel’s Shéhérazade and Mahler’s 4th Symphony.

Natalie has received faculty development grants to record her arrangements of folk songs and Christmas carols with her vocal ensemble, Fine Rain Falling. This group performed Natalie’s arrangement of The National Anthem for 2,000 people at the Reign FC Women’s Soccer League and an evening concert. Fine Rain Falling recordings can be heard on YouTube. Another grant enabled Natalie to attend the McClosky Summer Institute of Voice in Seattle. Natalie continues to give masterclasses focusing on the art of combining acting and singing. She has given masterclasses at the NATS Regional Conference in Portland, Oregon as well as at the National Classical Singer Convention in San Antonio and Chicago.

Natalie recently received certification in The Masterson Method®, a method of equine bodywork. In her free time she rides her horse, Mocha!!

Dr. Ingrid Lestrud

Dr. Ingrid Lestrud

Conductor

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Dr. Ingrid Lestrud enjoys an active career as a conductor and educator. Drawn to music and singing at an early age, she studied vocal performance as an undergraduate and discovered a passion for conducting choral and orchestral music. She went on to study conducting at the graduate level, eventually completing her Doctor of Music degree at Northwestern University, where she studied with Victor Yampolsky. While living in Chicago, Dr. Lestrud sang with the Chicago Symphony Chorus for several seasons under the baton of Riccardo Muti, performing in the Grammy award-winning recording of Verdi’s Requiem.

She spent three years as the Voice Department Chair of the Merit School of Music, a community music school that serves over six thousand students with a focus on underserved communities.

Collaborating with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, she worked with Renée Fleming to develop curriculum for Merit’s Solo Voice Program, and her choir performed both for and with Ms. Fleming for special events.

Dr. Lestrud has served on the faculty of several colleges in the midwest and on the east coast, leading both choral and orchestral programs. Formerly the Principal Associate Conductor of the Grammy award-winning National Children’s Chorus, she worked with some of the finest young singers in the nation, preparing them for concerts at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Walt Disney Concert Hall, and the Kennedy Center. Dr. Lestrud is currently the Artistic Director of the Arlington Chorale, an auditioned community chorus in Arlington, VA. For Encore Creativity, she conducts the Arlington Encore Chorale and the Glen Echo Chorale.

Alex Nizzoli

Alex Nizzoli

Conductor

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Alex Nizzoli grew up in San Diego and has been playing piano and singing his whole life. He moved to Los Angeles and graduated from Cal State Northridge with a Bachelor’s degree in Jazz Piano Performance in 2012. Since then he has been a freelance pianist, singer and teacher in Los Angeles. He began teaching private piano and voice lessons at a piano studio in the San Fernando Valley.

He then began accompanying the vocal jazz choirs at College of the Canyons and played various musicals with the Canyon Theater Guild in Santa Clarita.

He now works with both the musical theatre and choral departments of College of the Canyons and has accompanied other local choirs as well.
Alex also leads the music department at St. Euphrasia School in Granada Hills where he sings and plays with the choir for Mass each weekend. He began as the accompanist of the Santa Clarita Encore Chorale in the Spring of 2022 and is thrilled to lead the first West Coast Encore group!

David Simmons

David Simmons

Conductor

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David Simmons, who is no stranger to Encore, was raised in Fleetwood, Pennsylvania. Upon graduating from Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA in 1988, David moved to Washington, DC, where he attended The American University, Washington College of Law, and where he lived for 33 years. After a short career as a litigation and real estate attorney, David returned to his true passion, music, where his career has taken him from the music classroom to the church organ and choir loft, and from work as a recital soloist and accompanist to a variety of conductor’s podiums, stretching from choral and orchestral work to turns in musical theatre, jazz and opera.

He served as Director of Music for both Ascension Lutheran Church and Ascension Lutheran Day School in Landover Hills, MD from 1995 to 2012. From 2006 through 2019, he served as the Artistic Director and Conductor of the 100-voice Congressional Chorus in Washington, DC. He became the Founding Artistic Director of American Youth Chorus in 2008 and the founding director of the 24 member a cappella Congressional Chamber Ensemble in 2012, the same year he assumed the leadership of the NorthEast Senior Singers. From 2017 through the summer of 2021, David served as the Organist and Choir Director for Calvary Baptist Church in Washington, DC. From September of 2019 through August of 2021, David served as an Encore conductor in the DC region and then as the Associate Artistic Director of Encore Creativity. In September of 2021 accepted the appointment as the Director of Music for the historic Trinity Episcopal Church in Wilmington, Delaware. An accomplished pianist and church organist, David has been playing professionally since the age of 14. David conducted for many DC area companies including the Washington National Opera, The Capital City Symphony and the Washington Savoyards, at numerous venues, including The White House, US Capitol Building, State Department, Library of Congress, National Archives, The National Building Museum, The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Round House Theater, the Harman Center for the Arts, the National Theatre, the Alden Theater, the Gildenhorn Theater, The Katzen Center for the Arts, Arena Stage, and the Atlas Performing Arts Center. In addition, he worked in the education and outreach programs of numerous choral organizations, including The Washington Chorus and the Choral Arts Society of Washington. David is excited to be returning to the Encore roster of conductors as he establishes Encore’s inaugural presence in “The First State.”

Michaela Wood

Michaela Wood

Conductor

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Michaela Wood is a board-certified music therapist residing in Wilmington, North Carolina. Her work as a music therapist has focused on supporting adults with neurocognitive disorders, stroke and brain injuries, and dementia or other memory impairments in the medical setting. She knows the value of lifelong music making and has engaged seniors in music activities in individual, group, and choral settings throughout her training and professional experience as a music therapist.

Her personal philosophy is that music is not just meant for enjoyment, but also for connection, connection of mind, body, and spirit, and connection with ourselves, our loved ones, and our community. She brings this philosophy into her work as a music therapist and conductor of the Cape Fear Sentimental Journey Singers. She is also a strong advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion and strives to create an environment where all people are welcomed without hesitancy or conditions and to amplify the voices of musicians from marginalized communities, performers and composers alike.

In her free time, Michaela participates in community music ensembles and enjoys opportunities for creativity such as songwriting, crocheting and embroidery. She also enjoys spending time exploring the city of Wilmington with her fiancé Kyle and their dog Raja.

Board of Directors

Anthony Tambasco

Anthony Tambasco

President

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Anthony (Tony) Tambasco enjoyed a life in academia, highlighted by thirty-five years as a professor of biblical studies and social ethics in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at Georgetown University. He also taught in the University’s evening Graduate Liberal Studies Program for most of those years. His academic duties included two three-year terms as chair of his department and five years as an Associate Dean and Director of the Graduate Liberal Studies Program. He is author of five books, editor of three, and was a frequent speaker in adult education venues across the area, including at the Smithsonian Institution Associates Program, where he pioneered lectures on biblical topics and ecumenical and inter-religious dialogue.

He moved to Goodwin House Life Plan Community in Bailey’s Crossroads, where Encore Chorale had one of its roots, and has sung with the Chorale there since 2010. He also traveled with the Chorale on its Danube Cruise in 2014 and enjoyed a singing weekend at The Homestead in 2017, followed by a week with Encore Chorale in Chautauqua that same year.

Since retirement, Tony has been a member of his church choir. He is also involved with his wife, Anne Stewart, in other activities at Goodwin House. Among other things, Tony is the only resident on the Goodwin House Board of Directors and also serves with his wife on the Board of Directors of Goodwin House Foundation, the charity-giving arm of Goodwin House.

Frank Burgess

Frank Burgess

Vice President

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Frank Burgess came to Encore in 2014. He was a judge on the Superior Court of the District of Columbia from 1983 through 2013. During his tenure, he presided over criminal, civil, tax, family, probate and tax cases. He served as Presiding Judge of the court’s Criminal Division and Presiding Judge of the court’s Probate and Tax Division. Among committee posts, he was Chairperson of the court’s Rules Committee. He is now retired.

Prior to joining the bench, Frank was a staff attorney at the District of Columbia Public Defender Service, and served for one year as the Chief of its Appellate Division. Before joining the Public Defender Service, he was an associate at the firm of Palmer & Dodge in Boston, Massachusetts. He was law clerk to the Honorable Levin H. Campbell when Judge Campbell was both a United States District Judge and United States Circuit Judge on the First Circuit Court of Appeals. Frank holds a B.A. from Princeton University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.

Frank is married to Diana Martin. M.D., and has two adult children, Sarah and Tom. His hobbies and interests are piano, singing, golf, reading and playing keyboard in a rock band. He serves as a volunteer tutor at the Academy of Hope, a District of Columbia charter school for adults who have not completed high school. He is a parishioner at Grace Episcopal Church in Georgetown, where he sings in the choir.

LaTasha R. Barnes

LaTasha R. Barnes

Treasurer

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LaTasha R. Barnes, Assistant Vice President, Orlando Health, Inc. West Region and Chief Financial Officer, Bayfront Health St. Petersburg has more than 20 years of experience in healthcare finance. She oversees all aspects of financial operations at Bayfront Health St. Petersburg, including strategic planning and capital investments. Bayfront Health St. Petersburg is a 480-bed, comprehensive care hospital and the only Level II Trauma Center in Pinellas County.

LaTasha joined Orlando Health in February 2018 serving both Orlando Health Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women and Babies and Orlando Health Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children as Chief Financial Officer.

Prior to joining Orlando Health, LaTasha worked for nearly 15 years with Hospital Corporation of America (HCA) in Nashville, TN and Florida and is a former auditor for Arthur Andersen, LLP and Deloitte & Touche, LLP (Chicago, Illinois).

LaTasha holds CPA licenses in both Florida and Tennessee and holds a BBA in Accounting from Tennessee State University in Nashville, Tennessee. She is a member of the National Association of Black Accountants, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and Central Florida Community Arts Symphony Orchestra (CFCArts). LaTasha currently serves as Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of the St. Pete Innovation District, Executive Committee member of the Board of Directors of St. Petersburg Downtown Partnership, Advisory Council member of the Foundation for a Healthy St. Petersburg, Inc. and Advisory Board member of Dress for Success Chattanooga.

A consummate professional with demonstrated business acumen, LaTasha has been honored for her achievements by the Dr. Carter G. Woodson African American Museum as a First Lady in African American History (2021), ONYX Magazine’s 2020 Woman on the Move, Women’s Executive Council of Orlando, Women’s Achievement in Finance and most recently named a 2022 BusinessWoman of the Year Honoree by the Tampa Bay Business Journal.

In her spare time, she enjoys practicing the flute, reading, writing, playing softball, walking her beagles Mindy and Sallie and traveling with her mom.

Janie Powers

Janie Powers

Secretary

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Janie Powers joined Encore in 2010. She currently sings with Annapolis ROCKS and with the Chorale at AACC, where she is Co-Chorale Master. Janie served on the Board of Queen Anne School, an independent school in Upper Marlboro, where, for several years, she chaired the school’s annual fundraising auctions. Janie also served as both Board Member and Treasurer of The Roedown Races and The Marlborough Hunt Club.

At age 50, Janie chose to begin a career as a Mediator. Janie is a Harvard Law School trained Mediator and holds a Certification by the Maryland Council for Dispute Resolution. To augment her mediation skills, Janie earned a Master’s Degree in Clinical Counseling from Johns Hopkins University. For the last 22 years, Janie has maintained a private Mediation practice focusing primarily on property, financial, and domestic disputes and serves on the Circuit Court Panel of Mediators.

Janie brings a sincere love for Encore and the desire to maximize and enhance each singer’s Encore experience through the process of lifelong learning. Janie places a high value on the opportunity to contribute to the Board and, more importantly, serve each Encore singer.

Valerie Amerkhail

Valerie Amerkhail

Board Member

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Valerie Amerkhail joined Encore in 2010 and currently sings tenor with Capitol Encore and Encore Rocks – DC. She originally came to DC after graduating from Swarthmore College, to work as an economist at the U. S. Department of Commerce and then the Department of Agriculture. After marrying a visiting economist, she lived in Afghanistan and Germany, and then returned to DC, first working for the Congressional Research Service, then joining the private sector to analyze and forecast government economic policy, and later forecasting corporate taxes for the Congressional Budget Office.

For the past 30 years she has specialized in Transfer Pricing, helping companies that do business with related companies in other tax jurisdictions to ensure that the prices of the goods, services, and intangibles in their intercompany transactions are consistent with the “arm’s length pricing” requirements of the governments that tax the resulting profits, and helping the companies defend their prices when governments question them.

Valerie sang alto in her high school chorus but participating in the chorus did not include learning to read music, so she didn’t try out for anything after high school. Eventually, her church choir really needed another alto, so she bought a small Radio Shack keyboard and practiced the alto part of each new hymn, until she could feel reasonably comfortable sight-reading the notes, even though she still can’t tell you what key they are in. Along the way, she discovered that no matter how exhausted and tense she might be, Wednesday evening choir practice was the perfect way to unwind the stress of making partner at a big accounting firm.

Much later, when her widowed mother had moved to this area and her needs had become both intense and hard to predict, Encore rehearsals became an especially valued social activity because they were a commitment, and thus could be enjoyed without feeling guilty.

Jan Augustine

Jan Augustine

Board Member

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Jan Augustine started her participation with Encore as an enthusiastic audience member for Capital Chorale in its early days. When evening rehearsals became available, Jan joined the tenor section first with the Chorale and then with the nascent DC Rocks. Since that beginning, she has sung with the Capital and Schweinhaut Chorales and with DC Rocks. Jan has been thrilled to sing in the 10th Anniversary Concert and at many of the Kennedy Center Holiday concerts. She has also enjoyed summer sessions at Washington College, Chautauqua, and the 2018 trip to Canada. She currently serves as the co-Chorale Master for the Capital Chorale.

In addition to Encore, Jan keeps busy volunteering with the Smithsonian’s American Art/Portrait Gallery Museums, Ford’s Theatre, Chevy Chase At Home (a community-sponsored “senior village”), and most recently with the Capital Area Food Bank where she helps load emergency food relief boxes in a setting reminiscent of “Lucy and the Chocolate Factory.” When not in lockdown, Jan travels extensively and has visited all 7 continents.

After graduating from the University of Maryland with a BS in Mathematics, Jan began her professional career at the U.S. Department of State with assignments in DC, Tokyo, and Montevideo. She then moved to the private sector working on USAID and World Bank projects around the world, lending her computer and project management skills to various governments. Ultimately she ended up in the education sector in international operations, setting up computerized testing centers for the GRE, GMAT, and various professional licensure exams. Her career allowed her to live and work in Cairo, Hyderabad (India), Manchester (UK), and Mexico City, with short term assignments throughout Latin America, the Middle East, and Asia.

Jan is pleased to support Encore during this transition period by serving on the Board.

Jackie Barbarito

Jackie Barbarito

Board Member

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Jackie Barbarito, MHA, LNHA

As Assisted Living Administrator for Goodwin House Alexandria, Jackie Barbarito provides leadership, management, and overall regulatory compliance responsibility of the assisted living and memory support household.Jackie fell in love with the senior living industry at an early age. Jackie pursued her passion throughout the years by advocating and serving older adults. She seeks to improve the quality of life of her residents, one day at a time. Jackie is a Licensed Nursing Home Administrator in the Commonwealth of Virginia. She holds a B.S. degree in Health Promotion from the American University and a Masters in Healthcare Administration from The George Washington University.

Jan Bloom

Jan Bloom

Board Member

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Jan Bloom has been singing with the Scheinhaut Chorale in Silver Spring since 2011. She has also participated in many summer camp programs. She has enjoyed singing all her life.

Before her retirement in 2009, she was an elementary school teacher for 28 years. She taught all the grades from one to six. Teaching was all she ever wanted to do since she was a child herself.

Jan has given many volunteer hours throughout her teaching career and in her retirement. She has held leadership positions in her synagogue, in the Brandeis Women’s Committee, and in Hadassah, The Women’s Zionist Organization of America.

Jan is the current president of the White Oak chapter of the Friends of the Library and chairman of the Library Advisory Committee. These groups raise money to help the library provide programs for the very diverse White Oak community it serves. She is also an active volunteer with The Metropolitan Washington Ear reading orally and recording print publications for their blind clientele to dial-in and access the news of the day.

Jan welcomes the opportunity to serve on the Encore Board of Directors and to participate in helping to create the future of Encore Creativity.

James L. Brooks

James L. Brooks

Board Member

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James L. Brooks serves as AARP’s Director of Community Engagement, and helps lead the charge for AARP to connect locally with the organization’s nearly 38 million members and the public nationwide. He and his team focus on deepening and maturing AARP’s presence in 134 target communities—he will lead AARP’s integrated local strategy that includes virtual, in-person, and low tech offerings in 2022. Prior to AARP, Brooks served as E.D. of Project Compassion, a non-profit that creates community and provides support for people living with serious illness, caregiving, end of life, and grief. Brooks holds an undergraduate degree from Wake Forest University and a Master of Divinity degree. He is originally from North Carolina and resides in Fort Myers, FL.
Howard Gradet

Howard Gradet

Board Member

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Howard Gradet joined the affiliate Santa Clarita Encore Chorale in January 2017, after retiring from his 48-year working career in Baltimore. Born in DC and raised in Silver Spring, he sang bass in the Northwood High School chorus, and can still hit an E above middle C when he has to.

After graduating from the University of Maryland (Diamondback drama critic), Howard got married and went to work teaching middle school English in Baltimore (English teacher, English department chair), which he did for 22 years until he finally graduated to high school in 1990. Along the way in the 20th Century, he also taught English and World History (Ner Israel Rabbinical Academy, Baltimore), and Freshman Writing (Catonsville Community College); wrote theatre reviews for the Baltimore Chronicle; got two masters degrees (Loyola College, Johns Hopkins University); helped raise two great kids who, as adults, were smart enough to move to California; and acted as a supernumerary (non-singing soldier, priest, waiter, servant, whatever) in 25 Baltimore Opera productions.

After retiring from teaching in Baltimore City, Howard’s second career began in 1999 at the Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Social Organization of Schools, as the writer of Freshman Seminar, a 9th grade academic and life skills curriculum, which was used in schools in over 20 states. After writing the curriculum, he and his team traveled the country training teachers to use this new curriculum.

When he wasn’t helping train teachers, Howard was singing with the ShowTime Singers, based in Ellicott City, for eight years, and traveling: by 2011, he and his wife had visited 20 countries on all six real continents (Antarctica? Oh please).

Howard and his wife Barbara, the CEO of Jewish Community Services, retired and left Baltimore in 2016, moving to Los Angeles to be near one of their children and one of their grandchildren. He continues to enjoy editing and writing for his neighborhood’s quarterly newsletter, visiting museums, subscribing to several theaters (yes, there is theatre in Los Angeles), traveling, and photography. He’s excited about his new role as co-chorale master of the now full-member Santa Clarita Encore Chorale, and singing the great repertoire Encore Creativity presents (as long as there aren’t too many E’s in the bass part).

John Morefield

John Morefield

Board Member

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John Morefield is the Chairman of Morefield Communications, a regional leader in providing Technology solutions for businesses headquartered in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania. He also has been serving as Client Advocate since his transition from the role of President in 2021.

John Morefield joined Morefield Communications as the Vice President of Data Communications in 1991. He became President of the company in 1996 and Chairman of the companies Board in 2010. During his tenure with the company, revenues have tripled to be in excess of $25 million, in 1995. The company also celebrated its 50th and 75th anniversary.

Prior to joining Morefield Communications, John worked for AT&T Computer Systems in Boston as a Data Sales Executive serving the financial industry. He graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1988) and Bates College (1983). In the early 80’s he worked for First Phone of New England.

John lives in Mechanicsburg with his wife, Catherine. Catherine is a Pediatric Palliative Care Hospice Nurse working for Capital Caring. They have two daughters. Annie is pursuing a Master’s in Business Administration at the Harvard Business School in Cambridge, MA, while Susan is a Content Editor at Amazon in Arlington, VA.

In addition to serving Morefield Communications, John serves as the regional chair for the MIT Educational Council and the Board of Harristown Development. John is also an active member of the Harrisburg Rotary Club. In the past he has served on the Boards of the Harrisburg Academy, WITF, the Essence of Humanity and the Harrisburg University.

Eileen Powers

Eileen Powers

Board Member

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Eileen Powers is winding down a 40-year legal career concentrating in land use, zoning, and property related litigation in Annapolis, Maryland. She has represented real estate developers, homeowners’ associations, and private property owners in residential and commercial land development projects and complex property disputes. She also serves as Zoning Counsel for Howard County, Maryland.
Eileen was a social worker before she became an attorney. She was a founding member and president of the Board of Directors of Anne Arundel County CASA, Inc., an affiliate of the national CASA organization that advocates for abused and neglected children in the foster care system. She earned her B.A. and M.S.W. degrees from The Catholic University of America, and a J.D. degree from the George Washington University Law School in Washington D.C.
Eileen has been singing since she joined the children’s choir of the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York at the age of 10. She previously sang with the Arundel Vocal Arts Society and the Annapolis Chorale. She joined Encore in 2020 and sings alto with the Annapolis Rocks and Annapolis Chorale groups.

Jeffery Redding

Jeffery Redding

Board Member

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Dr. Jeffery Redding, Director of Choral Activities and Assistant Professor is the 2019 GRAMMY Music Educator Award Recipient, is the newly announced Director of Choral Activities at the University of Central Florida (UCF). Dr. Redding has led his choirs in performances at national, regional, and state conventions of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA). His choirs have earned first place awards at Heritage Festivals of Gold in California, Chicago, New York and at the Festival of Spirituals in Washington D.C. While participating in the International Music Festival in Verona, Italy, his chorus from West Orange High School received the Gold Award for best choir, with Dr. Redding honored as top director.

Nationally, Dr. Redding is in demand as a guest conductor and clinician. He has conducted the ACDA National High School Honor Choir, the Central Division ACDA Honor Choir, and the North Central Division ACDA Honor Choir, the Eastern Division ACDA Honor Choir and All-State and Honor choirs in approximately forty states.

In 2014, Dr. Redding was the only American adjudicator at the International Choral Festival, Verona, Italy. Additionally, he conducted at the TAISM Festival of Choirs in Muscat, Oman. He was the Artistic Director for Limerick Sings International Choral Festival in Limerick, Ireland in 2018. In 2019, he conducted the Alaska All-State Treble Choir, the NAfME Central Regional Elementary Honor Choir, the Morehead State University Honor Choir, and the Honors Young Adults Choir, at the Sydney Opera House in Sydney, Australia. In 2020, conducted honor choirs and festivals across the country, including Carnegie Hall. He also held the position of Artistic Director for Beethoven’s 250th Anniversary in Vienna, Austria and was an adjudicator for the World Choir Games in Belgium, Germany.

Previously Director of Choral Activities at West Orange High School in Winter Garden, Florida and West Virginia University (WVU), Dr. Redding has been featured as guest conductor at Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Kennedy Center, and Orchestra Hall on numerous occasions. He was also honored to give the prestigious TEDx Talk. He is also one of the conductors for Walt Disney World’s Candlelight Processional at Epcot. Recognized for his achievements and service in the profession, Dr. Redding was awarded the R. Wayne Hugoboom Distinguished Service Award for dedicated service, leadership, and excellence by the Florida Chapter of ACDA.

Dr. Redding is founder and Artistic Director of the Garden Community Choir and Voci del Cuore (Voices of the Heart) in Winter Garden, Florida. Dr. Redding is also the Executive & Artistic Director of the Orlando Choral Society, founded in 2019. He also serves as the Director of Worship Arts for the First United Methodist Church of Orlando. Formerly with the Moses Hogan Singers, he remains active as a singer in the professional male singing group, “Brethren.” The Jeffery Redding Passion and Purpose Choral Series is a compilation of new choral music by various composers, published by Colla Voce Music, Inc.

Dr. Redding holds a Ph.D. in Choral Conducting/Music Education and a Master of Music Education, both from the Florida State University, and a B.S. in Music Education from Florida A&M University. He is a member of ACDA, NAfME, FVA, NATS, and Chorus America. He has served his profession in numerous capacities, as District 8 Chair for the Florida Vocal Association (FVA), as State R&R Chair for Ethnic Music/Multicultural Affairs, R&R Chair for Youth/Student Activities, and High School Mixed Honor Choir co-chair for Florida ACDA, and as R&R Chair for Community Choirs for Southern Division ACDA. Currently, he is R&R Lifelong Coordinator (Community, Music and Worship) for Florida ACDA.

Rich Taylor

Rich Taylor

Board Member

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Rich Taylor is an accomplished professional with career chapters as live entertainment executive, college dean andprofessional entertainer. He began his career as aprofessional vocalist, producer, director and teacher with Fred Waring and his Pennsylvanians. He then joined Walt Disney Entertainment, and for the next 27 years advanced through executive leadership roles. Taylor transitioned to higher education as Dean of the College of Fine Arts at the University of Oklahoma, and was adjunct professor at the University of Central Florida. Through RICH IMAGINATION he now provides fresh eyes, sensible solutions and multi-faceted expertise to those seeking inspiration or enhancement of their creativity, communication, operation, or process.

Sylvia Winik

Sylvia Winik

Board Member

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Sylvia Winik brings experience from dual careers in law and special education. After practicing law for 16 years, Ms. Winik shifted her professional focus and returned to school, receiving a master’s degree in learning disabilities from American University. Winik gained practical experience at the Lab School. There she worked with moderately to severely learning-disabled kids with average to high intelligence, and studied with Sally Smith, founder, and then-director of Washington’s Lab School. Ms. Winik has worked as a learning specialist at several Washington, D.C. area schools, primarily at the Washington International School. Ms. Winik currently is an educational advocate and consultant, working as an independent consultant at Winik Educational Consulting.