Laura Patterson: Executive Director
Laura has an MA in Arts Management from American University and a BM in Flute Performance from the University of Southern California. Her previous work experience includes the Departments of Cultural Affairs at the US Department of State and the Organization of American States, New York Youth Symphony’s Chamber Music Program, A Midsummer Music Quebec, CW Post Long Island University’s Summer Festival, and Opera France. In April of 2014, Laura was chosen by the U.S. Attorney’s Office as a “Person of Character, Courage, and Commitment” in honor of Women’s History Month for her work with Make Music NOLA.
In addition to administrative work, Laura also has 9 years of experience teaching group classes and private lessons. Her teaching experience includes working for the Harmony Project, an award-winning music education organization now serving 1,500 students in Los Angeles. She has performed at the Lima International Jazz Festival (Lima, Peru), the International Arts Festival (Rotterdam, Holland), Electronic Music Midwest (Chicago, IL), the Southern Voices Dance Festival, French Quarter Festival, and Bach Around the Clock. Laura currently performs with Versipel New Music Collective and several other projects in New Orleans.
Matt Rhody: Head Violin Teacher and Curriculum Development
Matt Rhody is a fixture on Frenchmen Street. He currently plays with several bands, including the New Orleans Cottonmouth Kings, The Hot Club of New Orleans, Luke Winslow King, Lynnzi Zaorski, and the Valparaiso Men’s Chorus. He has also worked with The Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, Harry Connick Jr., and Stevie Wonder. Matt was recently singled out to solo with Stevie Wonder onstage at the Smoothie King Center and to perform with Luke Winslow King at South by Southwest. He also teaches at UNO and has a private studio at his home. Matt Rhody is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Catherine Schilling: Orchestra Teacher
Catherine has a B.M. and an M.M. in Viola Performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music. She is also a certified Suzuki teacher through Book Four. Catherine previously worked with El Sistema University Circle in Cleveland and several other music schools.
Catherine is also an active freelancer and a substitute violist with the Louisiana Philharmonic. She recently moved to New Orleans from Cleveland, OH, where she played with the Cleveland Pops Orchestra and the Erie Philharmonic and earned her Bachelors and Masters degrees and Suzuki certification from the Cleveland Institute of Music.
In her free time Catherine loves playing with her two cats and cooking. She has a passion for working with children, and is very excited to be a part of Make Music NOLA!
Tucker Fuller: Violin Teacher
Tucker Fuller attended Bard College (B.A.), the Peabody Institute (M.M.) and the University of Michigan (DMA), and has studied with composers Joan Tower, Christopher Theofanidis, Evan Chambers, Michael Daugherty, and Bright Sheng. He has had premieres with the Da Capo Chamber Players, the Colorado String Quartet, and the American Symphony Orchestra. Tucker is a frequent collaborator with poet Megan Levad. Writing as 1928, Tucker and Megan write song cycles for both conventional and unconventional places.
Rebecca Gaillot: Violin Teacher
Rebecca is currently a full-time teacher at Metairie Park Country Day school, where she also teaches private violin lessons and assists with the orchestra. In her spare time, Rebecca is the Co-Captain of the Big Easy Rollergirls.
Barry Stephenson: Bass and Cello Teacher
Barry can be heard around town performing with Glen David Andrews, Davell Crawford, Jason Marsalis, and Jon Batiste. Barry holds a B.M. from Florida State University where he studied with Marcus Roberts and Rodney Jordan. Barry also holds an Master’s Degree from the University of New Orleans. Barry is the winner of the 2011 ASCAP Foundation Louis Armstrong Award.
Givonna Joseph: General Music
Ms. Givonna Joseph is deeply committed to the culture of New Orleans, city of her birth. This is most evident in her concerts featuring the 19th Century Classical music of New Orleans Free People of Color, and in her appearance in, “Le Grand Tour”, a French documentary. The mezzo-soprano, Founder and Director of award-nominated Opera Creole, was recently honored as a standard bearer for Louisiana culture with a profile interview on WWNO Radio/NPR.
Miss Joseph was last seen on New Orleans Opera’s stage in “Noah’s Flood”. In 2011, Ms. Joseph reprised her role as “Lily” in “Porgy and Bess” with New Orleans Opera last fall. She was previously heard as one of the three “Abati” in New Orleans Opera’s “Manon Lescaut”, and is a member of the professional chorus.
Jordan Peota: General Music Teaching Assistant and Program Assistant
Jordan is an outstanding clarinetist and a recent graduate of Loyola University’s Music Education program. Jordan also teaches at the New Orleans Academy of Music.
Nathan Money: Orchestra Teacher
Having recently moved from Boston, Gabrielle Fischler is excited to be a new member of the Make Music Nola faculty as of Fall 2015. In Boston, she received degrees in violin performance and International Relations. Gabrielle is also a co-founding member of the conductorless string orchestra Palaver Strings, an ensemble committed to diversifying the accessibility of classical music and promoting social justice and human welfare through cross-collaboration of the arts and unconventional partnerships. One such partnership includes collaboration with the Boston Medical Center, where Palaver frequently performs and engages with hospital staff and patients.
Gabrielle is loving her new life as a freelancer in New Orleans with her tuxedo cat, Gandhi, who she met by the Fairgrounds Racetrack.
Joelle Britt: Orchestra Teacher
Joelle began her study of music on the piano at age 4. She has performed with the City Opera’s “nutshell” orchestra for over 4 years. She performed in the New York Youth Symphony (NYYS) chamber music program. Joelle enjoyed two years in the New York InterSchool Orchestra (ISO), where she also served as a coach in two junior orchestras, and music instructor for two beginner violin students.
Joelle founded a classical string trio with her two siblings. JoSunJari debuted in summer 2007 and has since enjoyed delighting audiences at various scheduled venues including, a special feature at the world famous Apollo Theatre, guest performer on the “Amateur Night at the Apollo!”, the Apollo’s Annual Spring Benefit honoring Smokey Robinson and Denzel Washington, featured artists at the annual international Cari-Com conference, opened events at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and other venues during the centennial celebration of the NAACP.