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Our team

The DCYOP team includes a dedicated staff of eight full-time administrative members, ten board members, nine conductors, and more than twenty teaching artists, all dedicated to creating and sustaining empowering and life changing experiences through music.

This music world can be extremely competitive, punitive, and stuffy. DCYOP gives their students and families a supportive environment where the students can develop as a whole human and as an artist! It is exciting to see the growth throughout the years.

Jamie Robertsformer teaching artist & Assistant Principal Oboe of the National Symphony Orchestra

This is a phenomenal program that brings incredible meaning to the lives of kids in the community

Jeff LeviBoard Member

It’s easy to tell when students are engaged or not engaged in a program. And these students are really engaged in the program. They’re dedicated—I can see it, just the way that they play, the way that they move when they play. They care about the program, they care about the value that this program brings, and they care about the music that they’re playing.

Adrian B. Simsguest composer & teaching artist

Our People

Staff
Board of Directors
Conductors
Teaching Artists
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    Sandy Choi

    Senior Manager, Marketing and Communications see bio

    Sandy Choi

    Senior Manager, Marketing and Communications

    Sandy Choi is an accomplished writer and photographer whose work has been featured on BBC, CNN, NPR, featured in major publications, and acquired by the Smithsonian National Museum of American History for its permanent collection. An active professional violinist, she can be seen performing everywhere from Wolf Trap to Strathmore and on PBS. She received her Master of International Affairs from Columbia University and Bachelor of Science degrees in Economics and Music from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and was a post-graduate fellow in the Center for Arabic Studies Abroad program at the American University in Cairo, Egypt.

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    Rashida Coleman

    Director of Students and Family Engagement see bio

    Rashida Coleman

    Director of Students and Family Engagement

    Rashida Coleman joined DCYOP as a staff member in 2005. She is an alumna of DCYOP, where she studied and taught percussion. Rashida is a D.C. native and Ward 4 resident with over 25 years of experience providing administrative oversight supporting organizations in the not-for-profit and private sectors in Washington, D.C. She holds a B.S. in business administration from Strayer University and completed additional undergraduate studies in music performance and music business administration at the University of Miami, Florida.

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    Angela Hamilton

    Program Manager see bio

    Angela Hamilton

    Program Manager

    Angela Hamilton manages the Washington Musical Pathways Initiative. She received her degree in Theatre Management and African & Black Diaspora Studies from DePaul University, where her passion for making the performing arts accessible and inclusive grew. At Lyric Opera of Chicago, she managed youth programming and worked with organizations to build a sustainable artistic presence across communities in the city. Angela is a team member of Hearing in Color, a Chicago-based organization dedicated to sharing music, stories, and composers that have been historically excluded from classical musical spaces.

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    Risa Kaneko

    Development Associate see bio

    Risa Kaneko

    Development Associate

    Risa Kaneko supports DCYOP’s fundraising efforts. Previously, she coordinated a music program that offers cost-free piano lessons and instrument loans at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) Preparatory & Community Engagement Division. A former pianist and piano teacher, Risa earned her Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Piano Performance from CCM. Born in Japan, Risa is a 1.5 generation immigrant and was raised in the DC metropolitan area.

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    Evan Ross Solomon

    Artistic Director see bio

    Evan Ross Solomon

    Artistic Director

    Evan Ross Solomon is a conductor, composer, arranger, educator, musical entrepreneur, and a nationally renowned musician. He joined DCYOP in 2014 and directs all artistic activities and initiatives for the organization. He has conducted Youth Orchestra performances at the Kennedy Center, at the Wolf Trap Center for the performing arts, and on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, and has participated in four international tours across South America and Europe. Evan studied clarinet at the Peabody Conservatory of Music and University of Maryland School of Music.

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    Loretta Thompson

    Executive Director see bio

    Loretta Thompson

    Executive Director

    Loretta Thompson has led and developed arts education for youth and young adults, with a focus on access and community-building and joined DCYOP in 2023 as executive director. At Sitar Arts Center, she created a parent engagement program, a teen leadership program, and a summer camp. She collaborated with architects and engineers to design a facility expansion for teens and young adults, with a focus on creative spaces and an arts career training program.

    Thompson has a master’s in arts management from George Mason University and a bachelor’s in fine arts in sculpture from University of the Arts in Philadelphia. She volunteers as chair of the Ward 5 Education Equity Committee, volunteers with First Generation College Bound, and was a parent leader with PAVE, a parent education advocacy group in D.C.

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    Tim Provost

    Program Manager see bio

    Tim Provost

    Program Manager

    Tim Provost is a native of Hyattsville, Maryland and has been teaching music since the age of 16. He has been involved with DCYOP since his time as a student. Tim holds a degree in Music Education from UMBC and has worked with the Baltimore Symphony OrchKids Program, the Bridges Music Program, and Baltimore County Public Schools. As a performer, Tim plays bass throughout the Baltimore/DC area and performs with the Baltimore Mandolin Orchestra.

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    Dr. Robert Blaine

    Board President see bio

    Dr. Robert Blaine

    Board President

    Dr. Robert Blaine is the senior executive and director for the National League of Cities’ Leadership, Education, Advancement, and Development (LEAD) Center, which is dedicated to building opportunities in communities through technical assistance, leadership development, and engagement. He is a nationally-recognized thought leader in the areas of public service, education and music, and is a proud DCYOP alumnus.

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    Andrea Erdmann

    Vice President see bio

    Andrea Erdmann

    Vice President

    Andrea Erdmann, has served on the Board since 2021. DCYOP initially appealed to her when she enrolled her daughter in music lessons. “I loved the positive energy created by kids from all over DC making music together in one space!” Ms. Erdmann has a career in international economic development, with degrees in Political Science and International Relations from Creighton University and the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). She is a 28-year resident of DC.

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    Linda Cureton

    Secretary see bio

    Linda Cureton

    Secretary

    Dr. Linda Cureton is the founder and CEO of Muse Technologies, Incorporated. Linda’s 38 plus years of public service in IT includes experience as a federal cabinet-level executive, a former Associate Chief Information Officer (CIO) at the Department of Energy, Deputy CIO at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, and CIO at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Linda holds degrees from Howard University and Johns Hopkins University and earned a PhD in Organizational Leadership from the University of Maryland, Eastern Shore.

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    Michele Riley

    Treasurer see bio

    Michele Riley

    Treasurer

    Michele Riley is a CPA and has focused her practice on issues that arise at the intersection of finance and intellectual property, including valuation, damages, compliance and transactions. Michele is an avid supporter of instrumental and choral music in the Greater Washington DC area, and is proud to assist the DCYOP in helping young people make beautiful music.

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    Dennis deTray

    Program Manager, Washington Musical Pathways Initiative see bio

    Dennis deTray

    Program Manager, Washington Musical Pathways Initiative

    Dennis deTray joined the DCYOP Board several years ago as a means of pursuing his passion for youth development. He and Mary, his wife of 56 years as of 2023, have two sons and two grandchildren. Dennis is an economist specializing in improving developing countries as a means of making the world a better and safer place. Dennis and Mary have lived in a number of countries, most recently Kazakhstan.

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    Dr. Jeffrey Levi

    Co-Chair, Development Committee see bio

    Dr. Jeffrey Levi

    Co-Chair, Development Committee

    Dr. Jeffrey Levi teaches health policy at George Washington University’s School of Public Health.  An almost life-long violinist, his commitment to DCYOP comes from a desire to replicate for as many students as possible his experience growing up with public school-based community music making.

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    Kimberly Maucher-Lynch

    see bio

    Kimberly Maucher-Lynch

    Kimberly Maucher-Lynch is a leading voice at the intersection of talent, technology and social impact with more than 20 year’s experience in the Life Sciences and Technology sectors. For companies like Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer and SAP, she has made a career of spearheading transformative people-oriented strategies across the U.S., Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Born in Connecticut, her family’s ties to the performing arts and the D.C. Youth Orchestra Program inspired a life long passion for fostering talent in music. Kimberly serves on the Board of several organizations advancing Sustainability, Inclusion, the Future of Work and with the DCYOP is honoured to serve on the Strategic Planning and Governance committees.

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    Cheri Meadows

    Co-Chair, Development Committee see bio

    Cheri Meadows

    Co-Chair, Development Committee

    Cheri Meadows is the Director of Development for the University of Maryland’s College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences (CMNS). She joined the CMNS development team in 2014 after years of raising support for the performing arts at the John F. Kennedy Center and Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater. A graduate of Penn State, she brings over 25 years of experience as a major gifts officer.

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    Stanford Oliver

    Founder, President, and CEO see bio

    Stanford Oliver

    Founder, President, and CEO

    Stanford Oliver serves on the the Board’s Finance Committee. He is the Founder, President, and CEO of both DigiFlight and Camelot Secure. Stan is passionate about fostering opportunities for diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility in the STEM fields, so he dedicates his time to serve as a board member of the Army Aviation Association of America Scholarship Foundation Inc (AAAASFI) and Advancing Minorities Interest in Engineering (AMIE). 

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    Kim Patterson

    see bio

    Kim Patterson

    Kim Patterson grew up in upper Northwest DC and played bassoon in DCYOP from age 10 through high school. A graduate of Marymount University and American University’s Washington College of Law, Kim currently works for the United Negro College Fund as Director, Corporate & Foundations Relations. She also serves as an Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner (4A05 in Brightwood NW) and is Vice-President of the Brightwood Community Association. Kim says, “DCYOP taught me discipline - practice, practice, practice - and provided me with a respect for and knowledge of classical orchestral music. It was an invaluable education, for which I am forever grateful. I proudly serve as a member of the DCYOP board and look forward to welcoming as many talented students as possible into the encouraging and supportive arms of the DCYOP community.”

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  • Amylia Barnett

    Repertory Orchestra
  • Gerald Fowkes

    Young Artists Orchestra
  • Keith Kelsey

    Premiere Winds
  • Terrance Newman

    Wind Ensemble
  • Rachel Pereira

    Debut Orchestra & Sinfonia
  • Richard Scerbo

    Principal Conductor (Youth Orchestra and Philharmonic)
  • Evan Ross Solomon

    Principal Conductor (Youth Orchestra and Philharmonic)
  • Josalyn Walker

    Concertino
  • Kenneth Whitley

    Conductor Laureate
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  • Sue Agazzi

    Trombone
  • Amylia Barnett

    Bassoon
  • Syneve Cole

    Cello
  • Erika Cuffy

    Bassoon, Saxophone
  • Ken Giles

    Violin, Viola
  • Corey Hewitt

    Percussion
  • Keith Kelsey

    Flute
  • Brandon Lewis

    Violin, Viola
  • Yuan Ju Liu

    Violin
  • Na’Vaughn Martin

    Bassoon, Saxophone
  • Omar Martinez

    Bass
  • Kevin McKee

    Trumpet
  • Adie Muller

    Violin
  • Terrance Newman

    Trombone
  • Brookes Pennel

    Violin
  • Rachel Pereira

    Violin, Cello
  • Tim Provost

    Bass
  • Denna Purdie

    Cello
  • Heidi Remick

    Viola
  • Lauren Riley

    Oboe
  • YaShauna Swan

    Violin, Viola
  • Ruth Swope

    Violin
  • Samuel Thompson

    Violin
  • Lauren Twombly

    Harp
  • Ian van Nuys

    Clarinet
  • Josalyn Walker

    Violin, Viola
  • Kaitlyn Winters

    French Horn
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Volunteer your talents

Are you interested in volunteering your talents with our organization? DCYOP welcomes parents, alums, and community members who would like to contribute through volunteer projects throughout the year. Please contact rashida@dcyop.org to express your interest.

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Careers

Work with us

We are a team of professionals dedicated to the nurturing musical, physical, emotional, and social growth of our students, in the region’s leading ensemble-based music education program.

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