A L E X H E L S A B E C K

ARTISTIC AND MUSICAL DIRECTOR

www.alexhelsabeck.com

mr.alex@notebusters.org

Baritone, Alex Helsabeck, was a soloist with the United States Army Chorus since 1998. Before retiring from the Military, he was stationed in Washington, D.C., where he performed at the White House, the Capitol, and other official venues. Before transferring to the Army Chorus, Alex performed with the United States Air Force Singing Sergeants and during that time received the Meritorious Service Medal as the vocalist most requested for special performances, including performances before the President and other national and foreign leaders. In 2009, Alex was awarded a second Meritorious Service Medal for his distinguished service as an Army soloist.

As a featured soloist, Alex performed the Toreador area from Carmen for the President of France during a White House dinner in 2007. He was also featured as a soloist at the 90th birthday celebration of the late President Gerald R. Ford and the ceremony in the Capitol Rotunda to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the desegregation of the Armed Forces. He was personally selected by the Speaker of the House of Representatives to perform the National Anthem for a remembrance of the 100th birthday of Lyndon B. Johnson in the Capitol's Statuary Hall. Less formally, Alex has sung at a Washington Nationals' baseball game, and in countless other venues throughout the National Capitol region. His most recent performances include presentations of Vaughan Williams' Dona Nobis Pacem, Verdi's Requiem, Orff's Carmina Burana, and Handel's Messiah.

Alex is a native of Winston-salem, NC. He began his professional career as a boy-soprano soloist, and performed the Chichester Psalms with the Winston-Salem Symhony and Chorale at age 13. In 1992, Alex was named to the list of People Who Make a Difference in Washington, D.C. for his charitable contributions through the arts as a recitalist. His love for helping children led him to develop after-school programs in the public schools in Washington, D.C.

As Artistic Director of noteBUSTERS, Mr. Alex (as he is known to all) arranges all the musical compositions for the noteBUSTERS performances and selects all the performers including guest artists, band members, and children as solo and ensemble. As Musical Director, Alex oversees the direction of music at all schools, and cultivates the individual children in their personal performances.

S H E L L I E W O O D, Ph.D.

ADMINISTRATIVE DIRECTOR

dr.wood@notebusters.org

Dr. Wood has served as a mental health professional in schools throughout her career. She currently works as the Special Needs Coordinator at Janney Elementary School for DC Public Schools. Prior to that she worked as a school psychologist for the International School of Prague in the Czech Republic. Before moving overseas, Dr. Wood worked as a school principal at the Kennedy Institute where she was hired to develop mental health programs. She became Educational Director for the Institute and eventually served as Acting Chief Executive Officer. Dr. Wood also worked as a crisis intervention specialist for DC Public Schools and adjunct professor at American University. Dr. Wood received her Masters Degree from The University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and her Ph.D. from The American University in Washington DC.

As Administrative Director, Dr. Wood assists in every aspect of noteBUSTERS, assisting program site directors with instruction and directing in all schools as well as assisting with the directing of noteBOOMERS and noteBUSTED.

E M I L Y P I N N A

DIRECTOR OF VISUAL COMMUNICATION

www.emilypinnaphotography.com

emily@notebusters.org

emily pinna, an international photographer and social designer, recently graduated with a MA in Social Design from MICA's Center for Social Design. Her recent project "empower empathy" is about offering empathy building workshops to schools, in an effort to counteract bullying, using a human centered design approach, design thinking, as a tool.

Emily's work aims at capturing the true essence of human expression in photography. Emily holds a diploma in professional photography from the Washington School of Photography in Washington, D.C. She was awarded the Magistra Artium from the “Friedrich-Wilhelms University” in Bonn, Germany in communications, politics and modern foreign languages, and recently the Master of Arts from the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) in Baltimore, US in Social Design. Emily Pinna also speaks five languages fluently.

Emily's passion for diversity and equality has led her to be an activist through photography for human rights, specifically in raising the awareness for the oppression of African Albinos. In 2001-2002, she held a fellowship at the United Nations Volunteers Organization in Bonn, Germany. Emily worked at the World Bank in Washington DC, as part of the Community Outreach Program. Her primary focus was on-site consultation for several non-government organizations in the South East and Anacostia areas of Washington, D.C.

Emily’s passion for visual art comes naturally. Both of her parents, Guenther Knipp and Angelica Benedikta Knipp are renowned artists of their own right.

Emily is the Director of Visual Communication for noteBUSTERS. She was one of the earliest parent supporters and advocates for noteBUSTERS and was a noteBOOMER while her children were enrolled in the program. She now returns periodically during the sessions to make lasting memories through the art of photography.

T O N Y N A L K E R

P I A N O

Mr. Tony is a Sergeant Major for the United States Military stationed in Washington, D.C. He has performed with many musical talents including Doc Severinsen, Kathy Mattea, Kenny Loggins, James Moody, Slide Hampton, Kurt Elling, Stanley Turrentine, Clark Terry, and Louis Bellson. He has performed on more than 90 recordings in a variety of styles, three of which were Grammy finalists, and one winner in the children's music category. Mr. Tony teaches jazz piano at George Mason University and is also a pianist for the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra. He is also the pianist for Hal Leonard Publishing Jazz Play-Along series, which has more than 130 books/CD's in its collection, and is the pianist for the Alfred Publishing Jazz Play-Along and Big Band series. Tony received his undergraduate degree in music at James Madison University and his M.A. in music from the University of Iowa.

Mr Tony is the staff pianist for noteBUSTERS. He arranges the accompaniments to match the vocal abilities of the children and genre of the music. Mr. Tony also plays for rehearsals and sometimes makes practice tapes for the children to use during noteBUSTERS' sessions. At the performance, this man is the engine which moves noteBUSTERS to unbelievable heights. Tony Nalker works his sensory perceptions on ALL levels to miraculous capacities and engages "in the moment" with each child to create a successful memory which will last a lifetime.

A N D R E MC R A E

MUSICAL DIRECTOR

and SITE DIRECTOR--Janney and Lafayette

Andre McRae, a native of Philadelphia PA, is a Staff Sergeant with the United States Military in Washington, D.C. Andre is a proud winner of the Oxnard Gold Award 2005 in the American Traditions Competition, a competition celebrating the diversity of American music. Andre took home the $10,000 prize singing Operatic repertoire and Musical theatre songs. Andre is no stranger to being awarded for his talents. He received scholarships for all three of his degrees at the Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music BM, MM, and an Artists Diploma in Opera.

Upon graduating from the Conservatory, Andre quickly began performing in theatres all around the country scoring the lead in Ragtime the Musical, Joe in Showboat, Adrian in Smokey Joe’s Café and Godspell. He also toured Europe and Japan in Porgy and Bess. He has been a featured soloist with the National Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, and the Cleveland Pops Orchestra.

J E S S E N E A C E

SITE DIRECTOR

Horace Mann and Janney

Originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, “Mr. Jesse” is a Staff Sergeant with the United States Military stationed in Washington, D.C. He graduated from Maryville College in Tennessee and also earned a Master's Degree from The University of Tennessee where he studied as a member of the Knoxville Opera Studio. Mr. Jesse’s career includes performances with the Knoxville Opera Company, the University of Tennessee Opera Theatre, the Imperial Symphony Orchestra, La Musica Lirica, and the National Philharmonic. During his tenure with the Army Chorus, Mr. Jesse opened the Major League Baseball World Series in 2008 and 2009 singing God Bless America. He also has sung the National Anthem at numerous games for Major League Baseball (MLB), the National Hockey League (NHL), and the National Football League (NFL).

As a site Director for noteBUSTERS, Mr. Jesse directs the afterschool noteBUSTERS sessions at Horace Mann Elementary School.

M A T T H E W P E R R Y H E I L

INSTRUCTOR

Matthew Perry Heil was born in Anderson, South Carolina and raised throughout the south before settling with his father, mother, and younger brother in Pine Mountain Valley, Georgia. Mr. Matthew began his musicianship in the children's choir at church. He studied piano at age 8, then studied clarinet, bass clarinet, and tenor saxophone throughout junior high, high school, and college. Mr. Matthew studied voice with Stanley Cornett at The Peabody Institute of The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland and earned his Master of Music in vocal pedagogy and performance. He received his Bachelor of Music, cum laude, from Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, Georgia, where he studied voice with Mrs. Sarah Hancock. He enjoys an active oratorio and ensemble career, having appeared as soloist with the Choral Arts Society of Washington, Loudoun Symphony Orchestra, Southern Georgia Symphony, the Handel Choir of Baltimore, the Baltimore Baroque Band, and

the Peabody Concert Orchestra. His oratorio credits include Haydn's The Creation, Mozart's Requiem, Mozart's Coronation Mass, Charpentier's Messe de Minuit, Beethoven's Mass in C, Brahms' Liebesliederwalzer, and Handel's Messiah. In addition to his solo performances, Mr. Heil has performed the staged roles of Frederic in Gilbert and Sullivan's The Pirates of Penzance, Henrick in Sondheim's A Little Night Music, and Dr. Cajus in Verdi's Falstaff. Mr. Matthew is blessed to sing in the Parish Choir of St. Paul's on K St in Washington, D.C.

Currently, Mr. Matthew is honored to serve as a Staff Sergeant in the United States Military in Washington, DC.

J E N N I F E R L Y O N S P A G N A R D

PERFORMANCE MC

Mezzo-soprano/actress Jennifer Lyons Pagnard hails from Knoxville, Tenn. and received her Bachelor of Science degree in Music Education at the Universityof Tennessee in 1990. In 1998, she earned a Master of Arts in Vocal Performance from George Mason University. She has had extensive stage training both as an actress and singer. Some of her favorite roles include The Baker¹s Wife in Into the Woods, the Narrator in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street, a role for which she recently won the Washington Area Theatre Community Honor¹s award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a

Musical. She is a proud member of The United States Air Force Band currently serving as Chief of Marketing and Outreach. From 1992 to 2007, she performed as a member of The Singing Sergeants, the official chorus of the United States Air Force. Before joining the Air Force, she taught Elementary Music in Prince Georges County, Md.

C O L I N E A T O N

VOCAL COACH AND ARTIST IN RESIDENCE

Colin Eaton is a Sergeant First Class with the United States Military. Colin has been lauded by The Washington Post as “a commanding tenor who sings with great aplomb” and by the Baltimore Sun as “a young tenor whose name you shall not soon forget” and as “possessing the ability to dazzle audiences with ease.” Colin was recently featured as the tenor soloist for the Carmina Burana performance under the direction of Maestro Duane Wolff. Other oratorio solo performances include: Mendelssohn’s St. Paul (National Philharmonic), Handel's Messiah, Rossini's Stabat Mater, Bruckner's Te Deum, and Mozart's Requiem (Oratorio Society of Charlottesville/Albemarle). His opera credits include appearances as “Mingo” (Tulsa Opera), “Robbins,” and “Sportin’ Life” in Porgy and Bess, “Pedrillo” in The Abduction from the Seraglio, “Don Basilio” and ‘”Don Curzio” in Le Nozze di Figaro, “Nika Magadoff” in The Consul, and as “Nemorino” in L’Elisir d’Amore.

In addition to the above stage performances, Colin was selected to be a member of the crossover classical Decca recording artist group, Vai Dacapo, which had sellout performances both in the United States and in Germany. One concert in this performance series was recorded live and aired on PBS.

Colin is pleased to have collaborated as a featured soloist in master classes with Martina Arroyo and Curtis Rayam at the National Opera Association convention at the Kennedy Center as well as with Mr. Simon Estes in conjunction with The DC Federation of Music Clubs.

As a returning guest artist for noteBUSTERS' shows, Colin has been a part of the noteBUSTERS family for two years with featured performances in the Thanksgiving shows of 2009 and 2010. As Vocal Coach and Artist in Residence, Colin will coach our selected student soloists in performance technique and musical expression. Colin’s immense talents and unique ability to communicate his musical message to people of all ages make his contributions to noteBUSTERS a most memorable experience for all.