2019 Nominees for the Guild Board of Trustees

Directors of Full Member Institutions seeking their first three-year terms:

SoYoung Lee, Executive/Music Director at Rocky Ridge Music Center; Boulder, CO

SoYoung Lee, Executive/Music Director at Rocky Ridge Music Center, received her Doctorate in Musical Arts in Piano Performance from the University of California, Santa Barbara. She has held director positions at Baldwin-Wallace College Conservatory Adult Education & Preparatory Department, Millikin University Preparatory Division, and the Boulder Arts Academy & Boulder Ballet. A strong believer in the concept of artist as entrepreneur, she cofounded two organizations: Colorado-based AirTurn, a company dedicated to empowering musicians through technology; and Notes at 9,000 at Winter Park, a multi-genre music competition that launches emerging musicians by providing concert opportunities, funding, and mentoring. She is passionate about building community through the arts, and serves currently as a trustee on the board of Boulder County Arts Alliance and as a member of the Estes Arts Presents Task Force. 

An award-winning pianist and a Regents scholar, SoYoung is a recipient of the Ernő Dohnányi Piano Prize and the Gwendolyn Koldofsky Accompanying Fellowship at University of Southern California. She recently released a CD, In This World, with flutist Claudia Anderson. Equally at home as a teacher, she served on the music faculty at Millikin University and State University of New York, Fredonia, and was a visiting Piano Pedagogy faculty at the University of Colorado, Boulder. SoYoung enjoys her multi-faceted career as a performing artist, administrator, teacher, producer, and arts advocate.

Lecolion Washington, Executive Director at Community Music Center of Boston; Boston, MA 

After over 20 years as a performing musician, 15 years as a music professor, and 10 years as an arts administrator, Lecolion Washington has established himself as a leader for the next generation of arts entrepreneurs; and he has been a staunch advocate for the relevance of music as an agent for social change. Mr. Washington is the Executive Director of Community Music Center of Boston. Prior to moving to Boston, he was the Co-Founder/Executive Director of the PRIZM Ensemble in Memphis from 2009-2017, and he was the founder of the PRIZM International Chamber Music Festival. In 2015, he was named as one of the Memphis Business Journal’s Top 40 Under 40. In 2018, he was selected as one of Musical America’s Top Professionals of the Year. In addition to his work in the community, Mr. Washington served as a bassoon professor over the course of 15 years, and he was tenured in 2008 at the age of 33. As a performer, he has performed solo recitals and master classes at colleges and universities all over the world. He has been a featured solo and chamber musician throughout the U.S., Brazil, South Africa, Canada, and Switzerland among others. As an orchestral musician, Mr. Washington has performed as guest principal and/or co-principal bassoon with orchestras such as the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, IRIS Orchestra, and Sphinx Symphony Orchestra. He served on the faculty of the Stellenbosch International Chamber Music Festival in South Africa from 2006-2013. His CD entitled Legacy: Music for Bassoon by African-American Composers was released on the Albany Records label.

At-Large Candidates seeking their first three-year terms:

Sofia Fojas, Director, Visual and Performing Arts, Elk Grove Unified School District; Elk Grove, CA*

Sofia Fojas is in her 25th year as a K-12 educator. She was a classroom music teacher and high school music director for 20 years. For the past five years she worked in San Francisco Unified School District’s Visual and Performing Arts Department as Supervisor for Cultural Equity and Social Justice in the Arts She was the founding director of the SFUSD Mariachi Program in 2014. Ms. Fojas recently accepted the position of Director of Visual and Performing Arts for the Elk Grove Unified School District in Sacramento County. Ms. Fojas has a B.A. in Anthropology from the University of Hawaii and a Master of Science in Educational Leadership at the California State University East Bay. She is currently the Board Chair Elect for the California Alliance for Arts Education and has served on the boards of the California Music Educators’ Association and the California American String Teachers’ Association. Ms. Fojas was a violinist with the Stockton Symphony for 20 years and continues to play violin and viola professionally.

*Sofia Fojas was elected by the Guild board as an interim trustee in March of 2019. Per the Guild's By-Laws, interim trustees must be confirmed by the memebrship at the next annual meeting.

 Nina G. Stillman; Chicago, IL

Ms. Stillman is a highly experienced trial attorney, having tried jury and bench trials involving issues of race, gender, religion, age and disability discrimination, sex harassment, wrongful discharge, workplace torts such as defamation, tortious interference and intentional infliction of emotional distress, workplace repetitive strain injuries and occupational reproductive hazards. Prior to her retirement from the active practice of law as of October 2015, Ms. Stillman concentrated her practice on employment and occupational safety and health law matters, representing corporations and institutions in large employment class actions and single plaintiff lawsuits, agency investigations, restrictive covenants litigation and health and safety-related cases.  Ms. Stillman counseled employers nationwide on cross-border workplace issues and counseled international clients on U.S. employment and workplace health and safety law.  She has handled some of the country’s seminal cases on both the employment and OSHA sides of her practice. 

Ms. Stillman has been involved in Chicago arts ever since she moved to the city to go to law school in 1970.   Throughout law school, her parents (who moved to Chicago in 1967) included me on their CSO subscription and she has been a subscription holder at the CSO without a break since that time.  While still in her twenties, I was an early member of what was then called the Junior Governing Board of the Symphony and has been on the JGB’s reunion committees.

She has been a Trustee and Life Trustee of the Merit School of Music since 2000 and recently served as its Chair of the Board of Trustees.  Her three year term as Chair concluded at the end of June 2019.

Directors of Full Member Institutions seeking reelection: 

Kyle Carpenter, Chief Executive Officer, MacPhail Center for Music; Minneapolis, MN

Kyle Carpenter began his tenure at MacPhail Center for Music in September 2011, bringing 35 years of business experience coupled with significant nonprofit board experience to the organization.  MacPhail serves 15,000 students annually in the Twin Cities and across Minnesota through five teaching sites, 110 partnerships and, most recently, 22 rural public schools through an innovative live online teaching and learning program.  MacPhail has grown enrollment 66% over Carpenter’s first five years. He previously served as senior vice president for strategy and business development and corporate officer for Capella Education Company, an online graduate university serving 38,000 students.  In this role, he established the company’s first-ever growth venture, Sophia Learning LLC, a social media teaching and learning website.

Mr. Carpenter was first elected to the National Guild Board in 2016 and is up for reelction for his second three-year term.

At-Large Candidates seeking reelection:

Myran Parker-Brass, Senior Advisor, Boston Public Schools Office of the Superintendent; Boston MA

Myran Parker-Brass, a native of Chicago, Illinois, is a professional musician, music educator, and administrator, with over thirty years experience providing access to quality arts education for schools and communities.  In 2011, Ms. Parker-Brass joined the Boston Public Schools (BPS) as Executive Director for the Arts providing strategic vision/planning and building capacity to deepen arts education with a focus on access, equity and quality for all K-12 students. Before joining BPS, Myran was the Director of Education for the Boston Symphony Orchestra. During her twenty year tenure she developed model programs to support arts education for all Massachusetts communities.  Myran also served as the Chair of Experiential Education at Longy School of Music at Bard College, developing the graduate program that provides teaching artist training for Longy students. Myran serves on the Arts Education Council for Americans For The Arts, the Board of Overseers for the Museum of Fine Arts, Board of Directors for the Boston Children’s Chorus, and Board of Overseers for Landmark Orchestra. 

Ms. Parker-Brass was first elected to the National Guild Board in 2016 and is up for reelection for her second three-year term.

Lee Koonce, President & Artistic Director, Gateways Music Festival, NY; Rochester, NY​

Lee Koonce is the President & Artistic Director of the Gateways Music Festival which connects and supports professional classical musicians of African descent and enlightens and inspires communities through the power of performance. Prior to that, he chaired the Festival’s Artistic Programs Committee since the founder’s retirement in 2009, and had served on the Festival’s board of directors since 1997. Lee Koonce served as executive director of Ballet Hispanico from 2014 to 2016. He had previously been the executive director of Third Street Music School Settlement in New York City since 2006. Founded in 1894, Third Street is the oldest community music school in the nation. Each year the school provides music, dance and visual arts instruction to more than 3,500 children, regardless of their artistic ability or financial circumstances. Prior to joining Third Street Music School Settlement, Koonce was executive director (2004-2006) of Opus 118 Harlem School of Music in New York City. Opus 118 uses music education and string playing to promote the love of music, improve academic performance, provide positive alternatives to drugs and violence, build confidence and self-esteem and help children explore the world. 

Mr. Koonce was first elected to the National Guild Board in 2013 and is up for reelection for his third three-year term.