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2020-2021  Board of Directors

Christine Taylor Conda – Chair and Executive Committee Chair

Director, Reach*Teach*Play Education Programs, Ravinia, Chicago, IL

Christine Taylor is the Director of REACH*TEACH*PLAY Education Programs for the Ravinia Festival (2002 – Present). Under her leadership, Ravinia provides a myriad of music…

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Dalouge Smith – Vice Chair and Governance Committee Chair

Executive Director, San Diego Youth Symphony, San Diego, CA

Dalouge Smith is in his 10th season leading San Diego Youth Symphony and Conservatory. He has overseen development of SDYS’ vision to “make music education accessible…

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Armand Hall – Vice Chair and PRESTO Committee Chair

Assistant Professor & Associate Director of Bands, University of Memphis

Dr. Armand Hall is a conductor and educator dedicated to the creation of new music in all venues. From 2012 - 2018 he served as…

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Scott Laird – Treasurer and Finance Committee Chair

Instructor of Music and Fine Arts Coordinator at the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics

Scott Laird is a graduate of Indiana University of Pennsylvania where he completed his Bachelors and Masters in both Music Performance and Music Education. Scott…

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Calida Jones – Clerk and Symposium & Racial Diversity and Cultural Understanding Committee Chair

Director of Engagement, The Hartt School & Consultant

Calida Jones  began studying the piano at the age of 3 while attending Nursery School, and switched to violin at the age of 6 when…

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Mark Churchill – Founding Director, ESUSA

Dean Emeritus, Preparatory-Continuing Education, New England Conservatory, MA, Boston, MA

Educator, conductor, and cellist Mark Churchill is Director of El Sistema USA and Dean Emeritus of Preparatory and Continuing Education and Senior Advisor of New…

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Jessica Zweig – Membership Engagement Committee Chair

Site Director, Play on Philly, Philadelphia, PA

Jessica Zweig is going into her 2nd year as Site Director at Play On, Philly, St Francis de Sales where she directs a program of 120…

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Reynaldo Ramirez

Co-Founder and Program Director, Soundscapes

Reynaldo Ramirez is the Co-Founder and Program Director of Soundscapes and has served within the field of music education for over 20 years. Through his…

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Michael Angell

Director of Performing Arts Grants for the Paul M. Angell Family Foundation, Chevy Chase, MD

Michael Angell has served as Director of Performing Arts Grants for the Paul M. Angell Family Foundation since its inception in 2011.  One of three…

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Hermes Camacho

Co-founder Picardy, Teaching Artist Austin Soundwaves, Adjunct Faculty UIW, Austin TX

Dr. Hermes Camacho is a composer, conductor, and violinist based in Austin, Texas. His music has been performed throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, and…

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Angelica Cortez

Education Project Manager, Los Angeles Philharmonic

Angelica Cortez is a youth advocate, arts administrator, and educator based in Los Angeles. As a Latina, and member of the LGBTQ community, her passion is in creating space for young…

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Joseph Hamm

Program and Media Manager, Soundscapes, Newport News, VA

Educator and change agent by day, songwriter and performer by night, Joe Hamm has devoted much of his career to El Sistema inspired music making.…

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Myka Miller

Executive Director, Harmony Project Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA

I have been working in our field for over 15 years, with 9 of those years at the Harmony Project in Los Angeles. I grew…

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Susan Suhr

Nonprofit Founder & Executive

After a work career that included positions in technical theater (collegiate and professional), manufacturing and franchising, Susan Suhr came to realize that her purpose in life is…

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Daniel Trahey

Artistic Director, OrchKids, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Baltimore, MD

Daniel Trahey is a musician, educator, and innovator. He was instrumental in the creation of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s “OrchKids” where he is Artistic Director.…

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Monique Van Willingh

Director of Music and Social Change Programs, Longy School of Music Bard College

Originally from South Africa, Monique Van Willingh is a musician, educator and advocate for social justice through youth development and teacher training. In her position…

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Brian Wiebe

President/CEO, Horizon Education Alliance

Brian Wiebe has been in the education field for over three decades, primarily as a music educator and administrator, and more recently as community visionary and…

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Robert Gofourth

Vice President, Operations Strategy & Performance at BlueCross BlueShield of North Carolina

Robert has more than 25 years of operations and risk management experience across a variety of industries including insurance, mortgage banking, government enterprise, and outsourcing.…

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Executive Committee

Chaired by Christine Taylor Conda, Ravinia. Strategic development and support of the board and executive activities of El Sistema USA.

Nominating and Governance

Chaired by Dalouge Smith, The Lewis Prize, San Diego, CA. Recruiting new members for nomination to the board, reviewing and updating the bylaws of the board, adding helpful board processes

Membership Engagement and Support

Chaired by Jessica Zweig, Play on Philly. Updating member benefits, developing new programs to support members, sharing information with members, building affiliate groups among members.


Chaired by Rita McLennon, Consultant. Strategies for raising money for ESUSA and our members.

Finance and Audit

Chaired by Treasurer, Anna Pietraszko, Miami Music Project. Reviewing the financial health and practices of ESUSA on a monthly basis, and overseeing an annual audit.

Racial Diversity and Cultural Understanding

Co-Chaired by Calida Jones, Consultant, and Joe Hamm, Soundscapes. Opportunities for leaders and teaching artists to dialogue and receive training in addressing the racial and cultural challenges of our programs and cities.


Chaired by Calida Jones, Consultant. Planning and design of January 30-31, 2019 National Symposium in Detroit.

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