19th Ave New York, NY 95822, USA

Our Team

ANNA BARSON
She/her
Managing Director
anna@tatraininginstitute.org 

Anna Barson is based in Durham, NC and is a passionate educator, musician, and arts advocate. As the Managing Director of the Teaching Artists Training Institute (TATI), Anna is excited to develop a sustainable community of belonging that provides applicable and tangible tools and resources for music educators across the US. Anna looks forward to deepening her impact as a nonprofit leader through community-building, training teaching artists to develop culturally responsive classrooms, and engaging nonprofit leaders and educators in conversations around access, equity, inclusion, and social justice in the music classroom.

Prior to working with TATI, Anna taught orchestra at the elementary and middle school levels before transitioning to administrative positions at Kidznotes, an El Sistema-inspired music education nonprofit, and SKJAJA Fund, a community-based scholarship program. Anna holds a dual Bachelor of Music degree in Cello Performance and Music Education from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Master of Arts degree in Arts Management and Cultural Leadership from Colorado State University.

When not working, Anna can be found performing with local orchestras, testing out new recipes in the kitchen, and camping in the mountains with her dog, Milo.

Anna Barson
She/her
Managing Director

Janet Jaimes
She/her
Marketing and Communications Consultant

Janet Jaimes is a multi-talented Marketing Consultant with a background in photography and journalism. After growing into a marketing professional with over eight years of experience with those passions intact, Janet has enjoyed using her umbrella of skills and talents to help bring an organization's digital visions to life and exceeding expectations by meeting yearly revenue goals.

Janet Jaimes
She/her
Marketing and Communications Consultant

Monique Van Willingh
She/her
Curriculum Development Specialist

Monique van willingh
She/her
Curriculum Development Specialist

MANAGING Organization

Miami Music Project is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that uses music as an instrument for social transformation, empowering children to acquire values and achieve their full potential, positively affecting their society through the study and performance of music.

Visioning Team

MIKE ANGELL
He/him/his
Paul M. Angell Family Foundation

Michael Angell, DMA, is a composer and arts philanthropist who serves on the board of directors of the Chicago-based Paul M. Angell Family Foundation, where he is also director of the Performing Arts Program. The foundation supports a wide variety of performing arts organizations and education programs in Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, and the Mid-Atlantic Region.

 

Dr. Angell draws creatively from his background as a professional musician and arts administrator as well as experience serving on committees in academia and civic, regional, and national music groups, to create and support innovative arts programs. Through site visits for the Foundation, he has seen firsthand the benefits of youth arts programs and the positivity of their outcomes. He believes that TATI has the capacity to develop the potential of many talented, energetic young teaching artists.
 
“When the tremendous, intrinsic energy of the arts is connected to the wonder of America’s youth, the sky’s the limit for the resulting beauty that is created, radiated, and appreciated. In appreciating the world’s beauty through art, we appreciate and nurture ourselves, our relationships, our neighborhoods, our world. This is the transformative power of the arts. All of it is relying on teaching artists making that arts-youth connection. Too much is riding on it not to happen. TATI can help.”
 
Angell earned his Bachelor of Music degree in composition and trumpet performance from the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music and Masters and Doctoral degrees in composition from the University of Michigan. His compositions have been performed, recorded, and awarded throughout the United States and various international venues.

 

Dr. Angell was on the faculty of the Music Department at the University of Alabama at Birmingham for fourteen years, teaching music theory, aural skills, composition, and computer music. He also founded and directed the UAB’s Computer Music Ensemble. Angell also co-founded and served as president of the Birmingham Art Music Alliance, an organization that advocates for recently written classical music by members of the Birmingham area. He has also been an enthusiastic organizer of chamber concerts, outreach events, and education programs. In addition to his current work with the foundation and TATI, Angell is on the board of directors of the National Instrumentalist Mentoring + Advancement Network.
Mike Angell
He/him
Paul M. Angell Family Foundation

ANNA KLIMALA
She/her/hers
President, Miami Music Project

Anna Klimala is one of the founding members of the TATI Visioning Team. What started with a simple quest to partner up for the benefit of the field and the children served, turned into a realization of the great potential of bringing together leaders from various El Sistema-inspired programs. The pilot of the program kicked off in August 2020, identifying common challenges and needs, exploring best practices and optimal strategies, and creating a unified approach to ensemble-based music learning experience leading to increased student success.

Anna is an arts executive, music educator, activist, and double-bassist whose mission is to re-establish music’s central place in the development and education of all young people. As Executive Director of Miami Music Project, she oversees the organization’s consistent achievement of its mission, long-range strategy, financial objectives, and operations. Her strong pedagogical background helps her guide Miami Music Project through its exciting growth and implementation of innovative El Sistema-inspired programming, of which she was the initiator.

Anna’s introduction to music began at age 6 when her grandfather, a wood artisan, received a piano as payment for his service. Eventually, she recognized that playing music is a skill beneficial to everyone, but is not easily accessible. This encouraged Anna to pursue a career inspired by her passion for music education and its transformative abilities. She believes music should not only be a right to children, but also a reality.

Anna earned her Master’s degree in Music Education from the Szymanowski Academy of Music in her native Poland, and a Graduate Certificate in Double Bass Performance from the University of Southern California. Additionally, she trained at leadership and executive education programs, including at Columbia Business School (through Miami Foundation’s Miami Leaders Award) and Harvard Business School (through a full scholarship from the HBS Club of South Florida).

Through Anna’s leadership, Miami Music Project has amassed a wide array of achievements, including a special proclamation from Miami-Dade County Public Schools honoring Miami Music Project as a provider of “relevant, rigorous and innovative academics.” Miami Music Project has also received the Superintendent’s Choice Award, the highest honor given to community-based organizations by the Superintendent of Miami-Dade County Public Schools. The Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce also named Miami Music Project as 1 of the 3 finalists for the 2018 NOVO awards recognizing nonprofit innovative excellence.

As a strong proponent of giving back, Anna co-founded and directs the annual Summer Trombone Festival in Poland, serves as a Board Member and Treasurer of El Sistema USA (A National Alliance of El Sistema-inspired Programs), and regularly contributes as a grants panelist for various organizations in Florida, including Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs, the Division of Cultural Affairs for the State of Florida, the Knight Foundation, and The Miami Foundation. Additionally, Anna has presented in several conferences, including the Take A Stand Symposium, an annual gathering of arts professionals from various El Sistema-inspired programs, and the National El Sistema USA Symposium.

Proud of her journey of contributing to the community, Anna has broken barriers as an immigrant and a woman in a leadership role. Anna’s most rewarding aspect of her work in Miami Music Project is seeing the transformation in students who become accomplished and contributing individuals in society. When she is not making a difference in the lives of children, Anna enjoys baking and practicing yoga.

Anna Klimala
She/her
President, Miami Music Project

STANFORD THOMPSON
He/him/his
Founder and Executive Director, Play On Philly

Stanford Thompson is a musician and educator who serves as the Founder and Executive Director of Play On Philly and founding member of El Sistema USA and the National Instrumentalist Mentoring and Advancement Network. Recognized as a TED Fellow, Stanford believes that music education is a powerful tool for positive personal and community change. Mr. Thompson serves on the faculty of the Global Leaders Program and regularly presents at major universities and music conservatories about leadership, entrepreneurship and social justice. As a consultant, he has guided the development of dozens of music programs across the United States and collaborated with major orchestras, higher education institutions, and arts organizations to develop new strategies and initiatives that help provide equitable access to the arts. As a professional trumpeter, Stanford has performed as a soloist and member with major orchestras around the world and continues to perform throughout the Philadelphia region. Stanford is a native of Atlanta, GA, a graduate of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s Talent Development Program and holds degrees from The Curtis Institute of Music and the New England Conservatory’s Sistema Fellows Program.

Stanford Thompson
He/him
Founder and Executive Director, Play On Philly

Founding Voices

TATI would not be possible without the tireless work and dedication of our founding Leadership Team, Discussion Leaders, and more.

Adam Eccelston
He/him
Director of Orchestras, BRAVO Youth Orchestras

 

 

Stephanie Hsu
She/her
Executive Director, Yakima Music en Accion

 

 

Thomas Madeja
He/him
Executive Director, Chicago Metamorphosis Orchestra Project

 

 

Robert Saunders
He/him
Associate Professor of Music Education, Augusta University

 

 

Seth
Truby
He/him
Founding Excutive Director, BRAVO Youth Orchestras

 

 

Jessica Zweig
She/her
Director of Education, Play On Philly