Leadership, Operations Director, Staff
Expertise: Nonprofit Finance and Administration
Rainah Berlowitz serves as Director of Finance and Business Operations. He received an A.B. in English from Princeton University and came to ETM in 1997 through the Princeton AlumniCorps' Project 55 Fellowship Program. In 2005, Mr. Berlowitz was appointed a member of the National Board of Directors and President of the New York Executive Committee of Giving Opportunities To Others, Inc. (GOTO), a volunteer-managed 501(c)(3) not-for-profit. In 2009, he was elected to serve as Chairman of GOTO's Board. In Fall 2011, he completed executive leadership training as a participant in the New York Arts & Business Council's Arts Leadership Institute. In Fall 2012, he was one of twelve nonprofit professionals from the U.S. and overseas selected to participate in the American Express Foundation/Aspen Institute Fellowship for Emerging Nonprofit Leaders. Rainah also plays guitar.
Development Director, Leadership
Expertise: Nonprofit Development & Fundraising
Katherine Canning serves as Director of Development and has been with ETM since 2000, when she was placed there through the Princeton Project 55 (now Princeton AlumniCorps) Public Interest Fellowship Program. Previously, she taught math at Ngee Ann Polytechnic, a post-secondary school in Singapore. In New York, she has tutored high school level Physics and Math, volunteered as a mentor for Princeton AlumniCorps, and performed in various orchestral and chamber ensembles, including serving as principal violist of the New York Repertory Orchestra since 2001. Ms. Canning serves on the Board of Directors of the Chamber Music Conference and Composers' Forum of the East (Bennington Chamber Music Conference) and participates annually in its summer conference. She holds an A.B. in Physics from Princeton University.
Expertise: Choral, Composition, Curriculum, Danielson / teacher evaluation, Early childhood, Lesson planning, Music technology, Orchestra, Special needs students, Strings
Rachael Carson serves as an instructional supervisor. Originally from rural Eastern Pennsylvania, Rachael joins Education Through Music after making the great state of New York her home for the last three years. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Violin Performance from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and a Master’s degree in Music Education from Arizona State University. During her time in the Arizona, Rachael worked as a strings and general music teacher in the public schools of Glendale and Scottsdale, and maintained a private studio of aspiring string, piano, and vocal students. In addition to her work at Education Through Music, Rachael enjoys an active career as a performer, specializing in genres ranging from classical to jazz, rock, and folk music. She has an eclectic musical background, with experience teaching and performing on a wide variety of musical instruments, including a rockin’ red, five-string electric violin! In her spare time, Rachael enjoys composing, arranging popular music, and transcribing solos of famous jazz artists.
Naomi L. Fernandez
Expertise: Band, Choral, Curriculum, Lesson planning, Methodology: Conversational Soulfege, Methodology: Dalcroze, Middle/secondary, Musical theater, School leadership
As an instructional supervisor, Naomi Fernandez looks to cheer on her heroes, music teachers. She brings to ETM 14 years of music teaching experience and a passion for music education. After receiving her Bachelor’s degree in K-12 Music Education from Union College in Lincoln, Nebraska, she went on to finish her Masters of Music Education at Boston University. Before coming to ETM she has worked at schools in Nebraska (grades 6-8), California (grades 1-12), and Oregon (grades 1-12) teaching a wide range of general music and ensembles, including Band, Bells, Choir, Show Choir, Steel Drums, Music Appreciation, and group Piano lessons. Naomi sees music as a core subject for every student. “I believe that all students are important and can learn music,” she says. “I believe that music should be fun and productive and that it can’t just be one or the other. I believe in the value of humor to educate and manage. And, I believe music is a core class of infinite value.”
Expertise: Composition, Cross curricular development, Curriculum, Early childhood, Lesson planning, Music technology, Musical theater, Professional development, School leadership
Joseph Fusca serves as an Instructional Supervisor. Originally from upstate New York, Joseph joins ETM after nearly 10 years of teaching and leading arts and music programs in NYC charter schools. He holds a Bachelors of Arts in Music Production and Engineering from SUNY Purchase and a Master's degree in Music Education from Columbia University's Teachers College. In addition to his work with Education Through Music, Joseph is a founding member of the Brooklyn Brass Band Collective and a seasoned percussionist. His motto: We're all in this together.
Expertise: Band, Choral, Conducting, Danielson / teacher evaluation, Lesson planning, Music technology, Special needs students
Erin Giacinto has been working with Education Through Music for five years first as a music teacher, and now as an instructional supervisor. She is a clarinet player and vocalist who has been teaching general music and band in NYC schools since 2009. After obtaining her bachelor's degree from Five Towns College in Music Education in 2008, she returned for her Masters in Music Technology. Erin is very excited to move into a mentor position and work with ETM teachers in their schools.
Expertise: Choral, Cross curricular development, Curriculum, Lesson planning, Literacy, Musical theater, Professional development
Kevin Johnson serves as an Instructional Supervisor. He spent two years working for Chicago Public Schools in their AVID program as well as nine years working for District of Columbia Public Schools teaching Middle School Literacy, Social Sciences, and Elementary Music. As a singer, Kevin has performed across the nation in both a professional solo and choral capacity. He has provided several lectures in African American music and vocal pedagogy for Universities and Choral Ensembles within the Washington, DC region. He holds a Bachelor's Degree from Morehouse College in Atlanta, GA; a Master’s in Music from the Chicago Conservatory at Roosevelt University in Chicago, IL; and a Doctorate of Music Arts from The Catholic University of American in Washington, DC.
Expertise: Band, Certification, Curriculum, Danielson / teacher evaluation, Lesson planning, Middle/secondary, Orchestra, Professional development, School leadership, Strings, Student assessment & evaluation
Nicholas LaFleur serves as the Director of Partnership Programs. He received his Master of the Arts in Performing Arts Administration from New York University, Advanced Certification in Music Education from Brooklyn College, and his Bachelor's of Music in Jazz Performance from the University of Massachusetts. He came to ETM in 2008, after having served as General Manager of Mind-Builders Creative Arts Center in Bronx, NY since 2006. After finishing his Bachelor's Degree, Nick spent three years teaching music in the school systems of Boston and Los Angeles before turning to a full-time career of performance in the U.S. and Asia, eventually settling in Bangkok where he stayed for 11 years working extensively in its commercial music industry and in education. Before returning to the U.S. from Thailand in 2003, Nick spent three years as Director of the Jazz & Contemporary Music program at MIFA-The International Academy of Music. Nick plays saxophone, flute and trumpet.
Taione K. Martinez is an active music educator, conductor and organist specializing in works in the African American tradition. He has served on the faculty of Westminster Choir College as an Assistant Professor within the Conducting/Sacred Music department and conductor of the Westminster Jubilee Singers. Additionally, he is director of music/organist at the church of Saint Philip Neri in the Bronx.
Ensembles under his leadership have won numerous regional and national competitions, and they have performed in some of the country’s most notable concert and historical venues. In 2005 Mr. Martinez created the Heritage Singers, a 15-voice high school vocal ensemble specializing in the spiritual. He also formed a second Heritage Singers ensemble to serve the entire Rochester, N.Y. community. As an organist, Mr. Martinez has presented the organ works of African American composers in such venues as the Princeton University Chapel, St. Patrick’s Cathedral and the Interchurch Center.
Prior to his appointment at Westminster, Mr. Martinez served as executive artistic director of the Trenton Children’s Chorus, and he was the director of choral and vocal music at the School of the Arts of Rochester, N.Y., where he oversaw a vibrant and growing choral program. In 2006 Mr. Martinez served as the assistant conductor of the Rochester Chamber Orchestra and Festival Singers, preparing both ensembles for their annual performance of Handel’s Messiah and spring concerts.
Taione studied organ performance at Hampton University and continued is formal education at the Eastman School of Music and the Juilliard School.
Expertise: Band, Choral, Cross curricular development, Curriculum, Danielson / teacher evaluation, Early childhood, Lesson planning, Literacy, Musical theater, Student assessment & evaluation
Stephanie Nantell serves as an instructional supervisor. Stephanie joins Education Through Music directly from teaching elementary music in NYC public and charter schools for the past six years. She has two Masters from NYU; a Master of Arts in Music Education and a Master of Music in Trumpet Performance. While at NYU, Stephanie taught as a private trumpet instructor for NYU undergraduates (non-music majors), tutored with America Reads, and worked as a digitization assistant in the archives department of the New York Philharmonic. Since graduating from NYU, Stephanie has pursued her Level I (Kodály) and II (Orff) Methodologies Certifications, and used those skills as a Kodály Musicianship Instructor with the National Children's Choir. Stephanie also has a Bachelor of Arts in Music from Rollins College, where her primary instruments were voice and trumpet. While living in Orlando, Stephanie worked as a trumpet player at Walt Disney World, and performed in local elementary schools in a show about positive character traits for Radio Disney.
Expertise: Choral, Conducting, Cross curricular development, Curriculum, Danielson / teacher evaluation, Early childhood, ELL / ESL, Lesson planning, Literacy, Methodology: Conversational Soulfege, Methodology: Dalcroze, Methodology: Gordon, Methodology: Orff, Musical theater, Professional development, School leadership, Strings
Ulises Solano serves as an Senior Instructional Supervisor. Hailing from Costa Rica, Ulises Solano is a graduate from Indiana University, performer and teacher and a veteran with Education Through Music. He has taught in several ETM schools both in the Bronx and Harlem since 2007. Ulises has a strong vocal performance background as an operatic tenor. This year, he has joined the ETM staff as a mentor, working to advance our teachers through his years of experience and patience.
Evaluation Director, Leadership
Expertise: Nonprofit Evaluation
Leighann Starkey serves as the Director of Evaluation. She has extensive experience in educational and evaluative research in the non-profit and academic worlds, having previously served as a Research Director at an educational non-profit, as Project Director for a large-scale impact evaluation in the Democratic Republic of Congo, as a Research Associate on a number of studies, and as a frequent research participant. She earned her PhD in Developmental Psychology from the Graduate Center at the City University of New York, and her B.S. in Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh. Leighann played viola during throughout her school years and has casually dabbled in assorted instruments ever since.
Expertise: Cross curricular development, Curriculum, Lesson planning, Literacy, Musical theater, Professional development, School leadership, SongWorks
began her career as a music teacher in parochial and charter schools in Minnesota and Florida. In 2009, Colleen
became the founding music teacher at Harlem Success Academy 2, one of the first Success Academy Charter Schools. She launched a general music, choral and band program at Success Academies that now serves 5,000 children in grades K-12. Colleen
then went on to found two Success Academy schools as an assistant principal and a principal before moving to the Success Academy central office to oversee all of the organization's arts, athletics and extracurricular programming.
Colleen has a BA in Music Education (Voice) from St. Catherine University and a MA in Music and Music Education from Teachers College, Columbia University.
Expertise: Early childhood, Middle/secondary, Professional development, School leadership
Penny Swift serves as the Executive Director. Penny has had an extensive career in early childhood education, as an operational and strategic leader in early childhood education. Penny began her career in the service of under-resourced communities as a teacher and a special education administrator. As a lifelong advocate for equality and excellence in childhood education, Penny's experience has led her to senior leadership roles overseeing early childhood centers. Most recently, Penny as the Divisional Vice President with Brightside Academy, overseeing all of the organization's early-childhood academies in New York and Philadelphia.
A lifelong New Yorker, Penny is a proud alumna of New York City's public schools, and the City College of New York, where she graduated cum laude with a master’s degree in special education and a professional diploma in educational administration.