Anne Fitzgibbon is a social entrepreneur with 30 years of experience in nonprofit leadership, public policy/government, and arts education. She founded the Harmony Program while working as a policy advisor in the administration of New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and was awarded a year-long Fulbright Fellowship in 2007 to study “El Sistema,” Venezuela’s world-renowned national youth orchestra system, and adapt tenets of the model to serve children in New York City. As a leader and innovator in the field of music education, Anne has led workshops for musicians, educators, and nonprofit entrepreneurs abroad and at home at universities and conservatories, including Princeton University, Oberlin College, the Manhattan School of Music, and others. Anne holds a graduate degree in Public Affairs from Princeton University and an undergraduate degree from Barnard College. She studied clarinet at the Juilliard School through the Columbia/Barnard/Juilliard exchange program.
Executive Assistant & Operations Manager
A writer, artist, and historian at heart, Abbie is devoted to supporting arts education and cultural institutions through storytelling and administration. She has experience at several organizations in the museum/archives world and previously served as Superintendent Team Manager at Partnership Schools. Abbie graduated from Princeton University in 2020, where she concentrated in American history with a certificate in creative writing and devoted much of her time to music via coursework, participation in the Princeton Laptop Orchestra, and leadership at both WPRB 103.3 FM and the university tap dance company. She is an active performing artist who incorporates electroacoustic tap dance in sets of original music, performing regularly in New York City, with past tour dates in California, the Midwest, and Canada.
Director of Development
Karen Shelley is a nonprofit leader with more than 15 years of experience in fundraising and partnership development. She began her career as an advertising copywriter for various educational publishing companies and went on to serve as a development professional for several nonprofit organizations. Most recently, Karen was Director of Strategic Partnerships for the Society for Science. Other nonprofits she has served include the College Board, Single Stop, and College Advising Corps. In her youth, Karen studied clarinet and attended the Interlochen Arts Camp for five summers where she double majored in clarinet and metalsmithing. Karen holds a B.A. in English and an M.A. in English with an emphasis on nonfiction writing, both from the University of Central Florida.
A musician, writer, and art historian, Polly is passionate about improving access and diversity in the arts across disciplines. She graduated from Williams College in 2022, where she majored in art history and women’s, gender, & sexuality studies, played violin and viola in orchestra and chamber groups, and served as Music Director for an indie music a cappella group. Previously, she worked at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center, and the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, always putting her research and writing skills to work to support community-centered arts education and accessibility. Polly’s own recent artistic practice consists of beginner banjo playing, coffee shop poetry writing, and adding to her ever-growing repertoire of fiddle tunes.
Claudia Encinas, a half-Peruvian and half-Cuban violist, has dedicated herself to expanding the limits of classical music and creating opportunities for young musicians of color to break into the field. She started the violin at age three and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in viola performance. After obtaining an MS for Leadership in Creative Enterprises from Northwestern University, Claudia joined the New England Conservatory as the Large Ensemble Manager for the Preparatory School. Most recently, Claudia served as the Director of Programming & Operations at the Heifetz International Music Institute, where she helped the program increase diversity in its faculty, staff, and student body. Claudia also has a passion for finding ways to incorporate technology into the field of classical music.
Director of Teaching Artist Training
Oliver Barrett is a trombonist and educator with over a decade of experience in teaching artistry, education technology, and instructional design. Oliver began his education career as a teaching artist with the Harmony Program while pursuing his B.M. at the Manhattan School of Music. He went on to attend the Juilliard School, and most recently graduated with his D.M.A. from Stony Brook University. Previously, Oliver worked as a teaching artist for Carnegie Hall, The New York Philharmonic, and The Juilliard School. He has also served as lecturer of trombone at Princeton University and, most recently, as Director of Brass Bands at the St. Hilda’s & St. Hugh’s School. As a trombonist, Oliver has been a member of the Finnish Radio Symphony and Ensemble Connect at Carnegie Hall. Beyond his professional pursuits, he has a labrador named Ruby, and he is an avid runner.
Emmalie Tello is a clarinetist and educator committed to encouraging imaginative and conversational experiences within and around music. Her teaching experience spans work with the New York Public Library, Manhattan School of Music’s Community Partnerships program, Harlem Dowling-West Side Center for Children & Family Services, and the Youth Orchestra of St. Luke’s. Emmalie is also co-founder of Art Beyond the Ink, an organization that uses interdisciplinary performance to engage young audiences and support emerging artists. An active performer, she has performed and recorded with contemporary groups including International Contemporary Ensemble, Talea Ensemble, and ETHEL, among others. Emmalie holds degrees in entrepreneurship and clarinet from The New School College of Performing Arts, and in contemporary clarinet from the Manhattan School of Music.
Program Manager, In-School Instruction
Taylor Royer is an educator and multi-hyphenate creative with a passion for building a more equitable and welcoming experience for students of the arts. Taylor holds a Master of Music and an Advanced Certificate in Vocal Pedagogy from New York University and a Bachelor of Music from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke. Her previous experience includes positions at New York University and the University of Memphis, where she taught voice with a focus on musical theatre and contemporary commercial styles.