Laura Patterson, Executive Director E-mail: email@example.com
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 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.
Trenton Thomas, Conductor and Violin Teacher
Trenton Ray Thomas is a graduate of the University of New Orleans. He received his B.A. in Music Education with a concentration in violin. During his college career, Trenton played a pivotal role in music education programs in New Orleans by working as a violin instructor for the New Orleans String Project, a non-profit program providing free instruction to students interested in string instruments, as well as assisting in the formation of the Saturday Music School, another non-profit program run by the University of New Orleans and the New Orleans Jazz Institute. Trenton plays violin in various music venues in and around the New Orleans Metropolitan area. Playing different genres of music such as jazz, funk, hip-hop, R-n-B, and neo-soul; he has shown that the violin can be used in non-traditional settings. Currently, he is working with the Lower 9th Ward Youth Orchestra with plans of expanding the ideas and practices of the program, in addition to motivating the students of the orchestra to become competent, open-minded musicians. Furthermore, he plans to continue building his professional music career and is in the process of creating his own music production and recording company, T-Ray Productions.
Matt Rhody, String Curriculum Coordinator and Violin teacher
Mr. Rhody is the band leader for the “Cottonmouth Kings” and the “Hot Club of New Orleans”. When not playing trad jazz on Frenchmen Street, Mr. Rhody can be found playing in the pit for musicals at the Saenger Theatre (including Phantom of the Opera, Book of Mormon, and Chicago), or teaching at the University of New Orleans.
Paul Macres, Bass Teacher
Paul Macres is currently a bassist with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra. He also has performed with the Kansas City Symphony, the San Diego Symphony, the Minnesota Orchestra, and the Stavanger Symphony (Norway). Paul has participated in numerous music festivals including the Breckenridge Music Festival, the National Repertory Orchestra (CO), Music Academy of the West (CA), and the Verbier Festival Orchestra (Switzerland). Paul holds a Bachelor’s of Music degree from the Manhattan School of Music, a Master’s of Music from Rice University, and a Professional Studies Certificate from the Colburn School in Los Angeles.
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.
Arien Hall, violin teacher
Arien, Baton Rouge native, studied violin at Loyola University. Arien currently performs in local bands and maintains a private teaching studio.
Marie Isabelle – Pautz, violin teacher
Marie Isabelle is from Lafayette, Louisiana. She studied Restorative Justice at Eastern Mennonite University and at the International Institute for Restorative Practices, where she earned her Master’s Degree in Restorative Practices Youth Counseling. Marie Isabelle has performed classical music as a member of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette orchestra. Marie recently started a Cajun/Creole band, Yeux D’Soco, which focuses on raw, acoustic roots music from Louisiana. Marie began teaching violin in high school, as a tutor for music students. In 1999, she completed an apprenticeship with a master teacher and began teaching private lessons. She then, she has worked with violin students ages 4-68. Marie integrates her passion for music, cultural heritage, and restorative justice into her teaching.
Eric Rodriguez, violin teacher
Mr. Rodriguez is currently on the faculty of the New Orleans Music Academy in Mid-City. He also performs with Fleur de Lis, String Remedy, and many other ensembles around town.
Yulene Velazquez, general music teacher
Yulene Velasquez is a Venezuelan young professional singer and conductor. She has performed internationally as a member of the Schola Cantorum de Venezuela and has worked with world renowned composers such as John Adams and Osvaldo Golijov, and under the baton of María Guinand, Alberto Grau, Gustavo Dudamel, Helmuth Rilling, Simon Rattle, Erkki Pohjola, Louis Langrée , among others.
She has participated in renowned music festivals such as the Oregon Bach Festival, Panamá Jazz Festival, Mostly Mozart, América Cantat, New Crowned Hope Festival. In Venezuela, she conducted the Fundación Empresas Polar’s Children Choir, the choir from the Conservatory of Music “Juan Manuel Olivares”, and also worked with the children’s choir from Universidad Central de Venezuela.
Yulene holds a degree in Social Communications from Universidad Santa María. She studied music at the Conservatory “Juan José Landaeta” and conducting with Ana María Raga in Caracas. She recently obtained her Master of Music in Choral Conducting at University of Florida, where she worked with the UF Concert Choir.
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.