Board of Trustees


Duffie Adelson, Life Trustee, Merit School of Music, Chicago, IL

Duffie A. Adelson served until June 2015 as president of Merit School of Music, a community music school located in Chicago nationally renowned for the caliber of instruction and level of financial support provided to thousands of students annually. Prior to her work at Merit, Adelson directed school music programs in Wisconsin, Massachusetts, and Illinois. Adelson began her tenure with Merit as an instructor in 1982. She was appointed associate director in 1987, executive director in 1993, and president in 2007. Under her leadership student population and instructional offerings grew significantly and the organization launched a campaign raising nearly $20 Million, allowing Merit to purchase a building and to grow the endowment fund significantly.  In addition to serving as a National Guild trustee and a life trustee of Merit School of Music, she serves on the boards of ChiArts High School, the Chicago Philharmonic, the Pilgrim Chamber Players, and the Lawrence University Alumni Board. She is a member of the WFMT Radio Committee of Window to the World Communications, Inc; is a member of the Know Your Chicago Committee of the Graham School, University of Chicago; and an advisory board member of Omnia.

Vice Chairs

Sandra Bowie, Weehauwken, NJ

Sandra Bowie previously served as the Executive Director for Ifetayo Cultural Arts Academy where she led the award winning art and culture organization, currently with over 25 years of service to the Brooklyn and greater New York City communities. Prior to Ifetayo, Ms. Bowie served as Executive Director for Arts Education at the National Urban Alliance for Effective Education (NUA), where she designed and led arts education programming and advocacy for one of the leading and most innovative urban teaching and learning models in the country. Ms. Bowie also co-founded the National Urban Arts for Impact Network. Ms. Bowie served as Vice President for Arts Education at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) from 2008 -2012. At NJPAC she led one of the leading arts education programs in the country.

Lecolion Washington, Executive Director, 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. Lecolion is the Executive Director of Community Music Center of Boston. Prior to moving to Boston, Lecolion 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, 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, Washington has performed solo recitals and master classes at colleges and universities all over the world. Washington has been a featured solo and chamber musician throughout the U.S., Brazil, South Africa, Canada, and Switzerland among others. As an orchestral musician, 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.   





Lee Koonce, President & Artistic Director, Gateways Music Festival

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. 


Gayle Morgan, Brooklyn, NY

Gayle Morgan lives in Brooklyn, NY. She was the director of the Mary Flagler Cary Trust’s music grant program until 2009 when her retirement coincided with the closing of the Trust. She has served as chair of the National Guild and is currently treasurer. Gayle is also on the boards of New Music USA, a national service organization that supports composers and their engagement with communities; and Roulette, an experimental music concert presenter in Brooklyn. She is on the Kaufman Music Center’s advisory board for Merkin Concert Hall in Manhattan.

Term Trustees

Kyle Carpenter, Chief Executive Officer, MacPhail Center for Music

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.

Roma Calatayud-Stocks, Minneapolis, MN

Award-winning novelist and composer Roma Calatayud Stocks holds a bachelor’s degree in Music and Psychology, a master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Minnesota, and post-graduate studies in creative writing from the University of St. Thomas. Roma is the author of two historical novels, A Song in My Heart, and the recently released, A Symphony of Rivals. Roma has twenty years of experience in various roles at arts organizations, including Friends of the Minnesota Orchestra, Film Society of Minneapolis St Paul, MacPhail Center for Music, Minneapolis Institute of Art, Vocal Essence, and Walker Art Center.

Chad Cooper, Executive Director, Brooklyn Conservatory of Music, Brooklyn, NY

Chad Cooper joined the BKCM’s Board of Trustees in July of 2014 and served as its Treasurer before joining the staff as Executive Director in August of 2016. Before BKCM, Chad was a Managing Director in the Real Estate Investment Banking Group at Deutsche Bank Securities where he worked for over 15 years covering public and private real estate companies, investment managers and private equity platforms. Prior to Deutsche Bank, Chad worked for four years at the St. Louis Development Corporation, the economic development agency of the City of St. Louis, Missouri. There, he designed and implemented community and economic development programs targeted towards alleviating poverty in some of the most economically distressed neighborhoods in St. Louis and East St. Louis. During his time in St. Louis, Chad also co-founded a project-based grassroots non-profit organization called Metropolis Saint Louis, whose mission it was to foster greater engagement of young people in city revitalization efforts.

Eric Delli Bovi, President & CEO, Urban Gateways, Chicago, IL

Eric joined Urban Gateways in 2012 to lead a significant expansion of arts programs and services for Chicago’s youth and communities. He has directed the organization through a growth and innovation plan that includes two organizational acquisitions, Art Resources in Teaching (A.R.T.) and Street-Level Youth Media, in addition to numerous successful projects and partnerships.

Sofia Fojas, Arts Coordinator at Santa Clara County Office of Education; Santa Clara, CA

Sofia Fojas has been a K-12 educator for over 25 years. She was a classroom music teacher and high school music director for 20 years. For 5 years, she worked in the 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 then served as 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 has served on the boards of the California Alliance for Arts Education, 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.

Derrick Gay, Educational Consultant, Atlanta, GA

A Chicago native, Dr. Gay is an international educational consultant with two decades of experience as a classroom teacher, musical director, senior administrator and educational consultant. A sought-after speaker, facilitator and keynote, Dr. Gay has partnered with hundreds of schools and education, arts and philanthropic organizations, domestically and abroad. In this capacity, he collaborates with thought leaders to cultivate cultural competency, promote empathy and deepen inclusion. Dr. Gay has been featured in the New York Times, The Washington Post, El Tiempo Latino, NPR, and on 60 Minutes. He has produced two TEDx Talks—one exploring “The Double-Edged Sword of Diversity”; and a second TEDx Talk exploring the nature of racial discourse in The United States. He also delivered the 2016 keynote at the Association for the Advancement of Internationals Education and the 2017 Education First Keynote in Lima, Peru.

Lili Hussey, New York, NY

Lili Hussey lives in New York City. Most of her career has been spent in the financial services industry, and for the past 12 years with the French bank, BNP Paribas, most recently managing a regulatory project team for the Global Markets Division in the US. During the last nine years at BNP Paribas, she was active in the firm’s Corporate Responsibility initiatives. She was a founding member of the Diversity Council, a group of senior members of the firm selected to define and oversee the firm’s Diversity & Inclusion strategy, including the grassroots establishment of employee networking groups, for which the Council won an Innovation Award. In addition, she has driven the firm’s governance and transparency of its Philanthropic Initiatives, through the establishment and direction of the Philanthropic Initiatives Council. Much of her volunteering has been in the arts.

Darren Isom, Executive Director, Memphis Music Initiative, Memphis, TN

As MMI’s Founder and Executive Director, Darren both developed and leads the $20M philanthropic initiative that uses high-quality music engagement programs and activities to drive student, youth, and community outcomes here in Memphis. A proven strategic leader and nonprofit professional, his career demonstrates his commitment to amplifying community voice and engagement in developing and leading innovative, high-impact youth and community programs, practices, and philanthropy.

Karen LaShelle, Executive Director, Creative Action, Austin, TX

Karen began working at Creative Action as a volunteer in 2003 and has helped the organization grow from serving 800 young people to its current reach. Karen was the 2015 Mission Capital Executive Director of the Year, a member of the 2010 Leadership Austin Essential Class, winner of the “Austin Under 40” Arts and Culture award in 2011, and was a 2012 and 2013 finalist for the Ernst & Young Social Entrepreneur of the Year. Karen is a member of 2015 Community Arts Education Leadership Institute through the National Guild for Community Arts Education, where she is a board member and a co-chair of the Racial Equity committee. She also serves on the National Partnership for Creative Youth Development Steering Committee, working to develop the emerging CYD field. Karen holds a BFA from Illinois Wesleyan University and an MA in Community Based Arts from New York University. 

SoYoung Lee, Executive Director, Rocky Ridge Music Center, Boulder, CO

SoYoung Lee serves as the Executive Director of the Rocky Ridge Music Center.  Under her leadership, the Center’s student participation, operating budget and donor base has more than doubled, and the fundraising committee raised over three million dollars, which was invested in scholarships, and the preservation and modernization of historic buildings. She led the development of a bold strategic plan that includes the expansion of the summer residential program to include year-round, meaningful collaborations with community music schools in Denver and Boulder, and a concert hall sited on a 17-acre campus just steps from the Rocky Mountain National Park. 

Robyn A. Newhouse, Vice President/Assistant to the Publisher, The Republican, Springfield, MA

Robyn Newhouse, Ph.D., currently serves on the boards of Bay Path College, the Community Music School of Springfield, the National Conference for Community and Justice of CT and WMA, the Springfield Symphony, and WGBY (PBS channel 57 in Springfield, MA). Newhouse is actively involved with many organizations in Springfield area. She sits on the Rays of Hope Steering Committee (part of the Baystate Health Foundation), and serves on the distribution committee of the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts. A licensed psychologist in Connecticut and Massachusetts, Newhouse received her doctorate in clinical psychology from the United States International University in San Diego, CA (Now Alliant University, Alhambra, CA). 

Nancy Ng, Executive Director, Creativity & Policy; Luna Dance Institute, Berkeley, CA

Nancy Ng is on the Professional Learning faculty at Luna where she facilitates professional development workshops; and mentors and coaches teaching artists, teachers, and social service workers committed to dance education as a way to strengthen communities. Prior to joining Luna, Ng was the Administrative Director and a resident choreographer with San Francisco’s Asian American Dance Performances (AADP). In her eight- year tenure with AADP, she presented the work of regional, national and international artists; directed outreach and education programs; and choreographed her own works which delved into Asian female stereotypes, immigration and racism. Ng is a co-founder of MPACT (Moving Parents and Children Together), Luna’s nationally-recognized program for families in the child welfare system. Ng helped author the state of California’s Early Learning Foundation’s in the Visual and Performing Arts, and she was an invited reviewer for the National Core Arts Standards. 

Myran Parker-Brass, 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, Myran 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. Myran served in this capacity for nearly a decade before retiring. 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 has served 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. 

Martha Rochelle, Board President, Armstrong Community Music School, Austin, TX

Martha P. Rochelle is President of the Board of Directors of the Armstrong Community Music School in Austin, Texas.  She has worked with the school for over ten years, having served on its Advisory Board and later as a member and then chair of the Education Committee of Austin Lyric Opera, the school’s founder. Ms. Rochelle served two terms as a trustee of the opera and became president of the school’s board of directors in February 2012, when it separated from the opera and became an independent institution.  She holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Texas at Austin and a Juris Doctor from the Southern Methodist University School of Law.

Katie Smythe, Founding CEO and Artistic Director at New Ballet Ensemble & School; Memphis, TN

After a 17-year career as a professional dancer and arts educator, Smythe saw a need for a community dance program offering a high standard of ballet training for children from every corner of the city, regardless of race, socioeconomic status, or ability to pay. She founded NBE based on that mission in 2002. A 2006 capital campaign to transform an unused Midtown warehouse into a 14,500 square foot facility that includes three state-of-the-art dance studios, a Pilates studio, costume shop, administrative offices, and in 2018 an Educational Resource Center for students opened.

Under Smythe’s leadership, NBE has continued to broaden its mission, expanding community engagement and reaching more children. New Ballet Teaching Artists, toured Memphis City Schools, performing and looking for talented young people, while also working with human service organizations to recruit young dancers. In 2009, NBE entered a partnership with the community of Orange Mound, creating an after-school dance program in Dunbar Elementary School. The residency has brought a number of talented young dancers into the NBE program, and it continues today.

Ms. Smythe was first elected to the National Guild Board in 2014 and served two three-year terms before rotating off the board for a year. She is seeking reelection to her third three-year term.


J. Curtis Warner, Jr, Boston, MA

J. Curtis Warner Jr, born in Philadelphia PA, is an education consultant specializing in strategic partnerships and community-based non-profits with a focus on the arts. He occupied a number of posts at the internationally acclaimed Berklee College of Music in Boston Massachusetts over a 25-year period. He joined the college as Assistant to the President for Education and Community Partnerships and finished his tenure as the Associate Vice President for Community and Government Relations. He is the founder and architect of the popular Berklee City Music program that brings inner city middle and high school students from Boston and other affiliate organizations around the country to Berklee for a collegiate experience. He served as its executive director for 23 years. In the Fall of 2018 a full tuition college scholarship was created in his name. Mr. Warner holds a Music Education degree from Berklee and a Master’s in Education Administration from Cambridge College. He is most widely known among his educational peers as a primary force in the planning and creation of the Boston Arts Academy, Boston’s only high school for the visual and performing arts, for which he served as the Planning Team Chair.
From 1993 to 1996 he managed the Berklee International Network, an arrangement designed to establish mutually beneficial relationships between Berklee College of Music and centers of music with an educational commitment to the study of contemporary music abroad. Prior to joining Berklee in 1993, Mr. Warner completed a 17-year tenure with the Boston Public schools as a high school instrumental/choral music director, dean of students and assistant headmaster for student support services. He is an active drummer and performer.