Maestro Daniel P. Ryan is a multi-hyphenate musician acclaimed for his musical creativity, relentless inventiveness, and adventurous spirit. A native of Greater Boston, Daniel’s work spans many different mediums and genres as a prized conductor, composer, educator, and singer. He currently serves as the Artistic Director of VOICES Boston, Co-Founder of The Gena Branscombe Project, on faculty at Interlochen Arts Camp, and as the newly named conductor of the Colleges of the Fenway Orchestra and Chorus.
Daniel has conducted hundreds of concerts, operas, and musicals, and was a two-time finalist for the American Prize. With the advent of Covid-19, Daniel has cemented himself as an innovative leader passionate about the persistence of healthy and high-quality music performance, training, and collaboration. As the former Co-Artistic Director of MassOpera, he made headlines with his opera truck brainchild, #SocialDistanSing, personally driving live opera from the back of his pickup to over 35 locations during the first year of the pandemic and serving Boston’s homebound, veteran, low-income, and disabled communities. His campaign #MassOperaVotes committed hundreds of singers throughout the nation to both vote in the 2020 election and sing at the polls. And in Fall 2021, Daniel conceived, orchestrated, and conducted 18 sold-out performances of a site-specific La Traviata at the Historic New England’s Eustis Estate that was hailed as “intimate and immaculate.”
With a deep commitment to supporting the next generation of music makers, Daniel has blazed a path in music education and training during Covid. With the premier children’s choir VOICES Boston, Daniel created ZoomBopping to provide both safe performance opportunities and surprise melodies and motivation to classrooms and corporations worldwide; inaugurated VOICES Innovation: online courses teaching students across the country music technology software; and collaborated with White Snake Projects on Alice in the Pandemic, the first CGI animated opera performed remote and live on an online platform which the Wall Street Journal recognized as “a remarkable new environment for operatic experimentation.” Additionally, each summer, Daniel serves as a music director and vocal coach at Interlochen Arts Camp.
Daniel’s compositions and arrangements sit at the crossroads of classical music, rock, and golden age musical theatre. Past commissions include Putnam Chorale Youth Chorus, VOICES Boston, and In Good Company Theatre. Current projects in development include the new musical Lessons from Brimfield (workshop premiere at the Brimfield Antique Market in May 2022); original choral music for Christina, a new play by Alexis Scheer; and restoring and reviving Gena Branscombe’s lost choral-orchestral masterwork Pilgrims of Destiny.
Daniel holds a MM from The Boston Conservatory and BA from Catawba College. He is fully vaccinated and boosted, and lives in Brookline with his soon-to-be wife Alexis and their mini Aussie Sagan. When he is not actively conducting, composing, or teaching music you can find him in the woods, or staring at the stars, dreaming about it.
Katie has been the Executive Director of VOICES Boston since 2015. During that time, VOICES Boston has grown in its program offerings and maintained its reputation for musical excellence as well as its commitment to being a safe place of belonging and acceptance for every children who sings with VOICES Boston. As Executive Director, Katie has led VOICES Boston to successful collaborations with Boston Symphony Orchestra, Boston Lyric Opera, Boston Baroque, Boston University Opera Institute, and Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras amongst others, and led tours to New Orleans, New York City, Portland, ME, and Albany, NY. Additionally, Katie represents VOICES Boston as a member of the Brookline Council of Non-profit Leaders where she works with other leaders on advancing the priorities of the non-profit sector in the community. She also launched VOICES Boston’s partnership with Boston Lyric Opera’s education department and expanded VOICES Boston’s programming to include audition workshops for singers ages 10-18, regular classroom visits, and a full-day create your own opera camp. In addition to her administrative roles, Katie stage directed VOICES Boston’s production of HMS Pinafore and has coached VOICES Boston singers for collaborations with professional companies and internal performances. Katie started with VOICES Boston as the Program Manager after completing her MA in Arts Leadership Administration through the Janklow Arts Leadership Program at Syracuse University.
In addition to her administrative background, Katie is a classically trained soprano and currently sings with and is on the Board of Directors of Ensemble Companio, an acclaimed touring chamber tour. After growing up in a children’s choir herself, Katie continued her training at Syracuse University’s Setnor School of Music where she received her B.M. in Voice Performance and was the recipient of the Patti Thompson Buechner Award for an outstanding vocal student. She also spent a summer studying opera in Verona, Italy where she worked with acclaimed sopranos Ashley Putnam, June Anderson, and Cecilia Gasdia. Outside of VOICES Boston, Katie was taught Creative Expression with the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s Days in the Arts Program, performs in the greater Boston area, and teaches private voice lessons throughout the year.
Program & Operations Coordinator
Emily Vincent is a soprano, music educator, and recent graduate of Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts. She graduated magna cum laude and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music as well as Community, Youth, and Education Studies. In her studies, she focused on vocal performance and conducted research on fostering communities of acceptance and collaborative learning. During her time at Clark her performance credits include Rosa Bud in The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Rosie Hart in The Wedding Singer, Meg March in Little Women, and LeFou in Beauty and the Beast. Emily is the former musical director of The Clark Keys A Cappella group and former social media director of Clark Musical Theatre, Clark University Choirs, and Clark University Education. Emily also served as the assistant director and assistant musical director of VOICES Boston’s production of Goin’ Buggy!
Emily has been teaching music and theatre the past five years to students of all ages as the Drama Specialist and program supervisor at Thompson Recreation’s Summer Camp and after school program. Emily is currently pursuing her Master of Music in Music Education at the Boston Conservatory at Berklee College of Music. Emily is committed to giving students access to inclusive music and theatre curriculum, as it is her favorite way to spread joy
Laura Nevitt is a conductor, composer, and educator based in Boston. She earned degrees in Composition and Music Education from the University of South Carolina, studying with John Fitz Rogers; and a M.M. in Choral Conducting at Boston Conservatory, studying with George Case.
As a conductor, Laura directed children’s choir programs in schools and churches for several years in Columbia, SC. At First Presbyterian Church, she directed their Primary and Junior Choirs and supervised the Children’s Music Program, and was the Chorus and Honors Chorus teacher at CrossRoads Intermediate School. Nevitt’s ensembles consistently earned superior ratings at the Carowinds Festival of Music in Charlotte, North Carolina, and the Music USA Festival in Orlando, Florida. She was Assistant Conductor of Chorus and Chorale, and Co-Director of Conductor’s Choir while at Boston Conservatory. Currently, she is a Founding Member and Co-Artistic Director of Nightingale Vocal Ensemble, and the Music Director of First Parish in Needham Unitarian Universalist. She recently conducted the premiere of Gala Flagello’s opera, Reap What You Soul, with Promenade Opera Project.
As a composer, Laura is especially passionate about choral and vocal music. Her compositions have been featured in concerts and performances by the Handel & Haydn Society Youth Choruses, Boston Conservatory Choir, Nightingale, Quorum, Opera on Tap Boston, Una Voce (Community Music Center of Boston), the University of South Carolina Concert Choir, the East Central College Choir in Missouri, the Choir of Saint Peter’s Episcopal Church in Cambridge, First Presbyterian Church (Columbia, SC) Children’s Choirs, Greater Columbia Children’s Choir, and the First Presbyterian Church Chamber Choir during the Piccolo Spoleto Festival in Charleston, SC. She recently won the Composer’s Invitational for Detroit Women’s Chorus, and will be completing a commission that will be premiered in the spring of 2022.
As an educator, Laura is currently the Lead Musicianship Teacher of Handel and Haydn’s Youth Choruses, and the Founding Music Teacher at The Croft School in Jamaica Plain. As a soprano, she has performed Reich’s Drumming with New York based ensemble So Percussion.
Maria Rabbia hails from New Hartford, New York, and is excited to begin her DMA in Collaborative Piano at Boston University, where she will be studying with Shiela Kibbe. Previously, Maria received her MM in Collaborative Piano from Ithaca College, studying with Dr. Diane Birr and received a BA in Piano from the College of Saint Rose under Dr. Young Kim. Coaching and collaborative credits include International Performing Arts Institute in Kiefersfelden, Germany (2017-2020), The Voice Institute of the Finger Lakes, and participation as a Young Artist with Opera Company of Middlebury. Equally passionate about both art song and opera, Maria was a part of the Middlebury Song Festival, and worked with Opera Ithaca on productions of La bohème and Carmen. Maria has played for over 70 recitals while at Ithaca College and is the pianist for the newly released The Great Courses “How to sing.” During COVID 2020, she was the music director for The Social Distance Opera Project’s premiere release of Don Giovanni. As a private piano instructor, Maria has been teaching both children and adults for almost 10 years and is currently teaching through the Cambridge Music Consortium. She has accompanied choral groups from the age of 13 and is thrilled to begin working with VOICES of Boston.
North Carolina native and Boston newcomer, Christopher Lockman, is a vocalist, pianist, and composer. Chris began his musical journey at age 4, when his great uncle brought him a small Casio keyboard and later an acoustic guitar that were to be thrown away. He would often listen to various film/television/video game themes and learn to play them on these instruments. Years later, Chris joined his school choir, where he was selected to perform in NCMEA’s Middle/High School Honors and All-State choirs respectively. In high school, Chris was a student of VOICES Boston’s Artistic Director Dan Ryan. At age 16, Dan introduced him to his first conducting job at Providence United Methodist Church, where he served for 7 years. After graduating high school, Chris went on to study Music Composition briefly at Appalachian State University and later, Audio Production at Full Sail University, where he earned his Bachelor’s of Science. In North Carolina, Chris most recently worked as an accompanist for voice students at Mitchell Community College and Catawba Valley Community College, and frequently worked as a music director at The Green Room Community Theater, and Theatre Statesville. Chris has music directed/played in the pit orchestra for over thirty musical theatre productions, and has directed multiple choirs in NC. Chris currently teaches voice and piano at The REAL School of Music in Burlington, MA.
Brooke Meehan is a Connecticut native who moved to Brookline this past year. She graduated from Keene State College in 2020 with a Bachelor’s of Early Childhood Education and a Bachelor’s of Dance Education. She stayed at Keene State into the next year to complete her Master’s of Special Education through an accelerated program. During her time at Keene State, she was a member of the dance team and held the position of manager for two years. Through her dance education major, she was able to train in modern dance, as well as learn the foundation of teaching dance to young children. She was a dancer in various dance productions and choreographed her own piece for dance performances.
Brooke has taught dance of many styles including jazz, lyrical, hip hop, acro and musical theatre. She has worked with students ranging from 3 to 18 of all various dance abilities. In middle school and highschool, Brooke performed in numerous musicals including Once on this Island, Godspell, and Suessical. She has always loved performing and has transferred that love into teaching.
She is currently working as a preschool teacher in Brookline as well as teaching dance classes in the Boston Metro Area. Brooke is interested in becoming a dance movement therapist and hopes to continue to combine her love for special education and dance through movement. Brooke believes all students are capable of movement if they are given the space and tools to do so!
Blair Cadden (she/her) is a Boston-based director, dramaturg, and teaching artist. She is the co-founder of 5th Wall Productions in Charleston, SC, where she served as artistic director for five seasons. A few favorite credits include Red Bike (Boston University), Spring Awakening (5th Wall Productions), and Charlotte’s Web (Spartanburg Youth Theatre). Most recently, she directed Rx Machina, a new play by Caity-Shea Violette, at Boston Playwrights’ Theatre. Blair holds an MFA in Directing from Boston University School of Theatre. She is also an amateur cupcake baker, an avid reader, and the owner of an overprotective chihuahua/dachshund named Moe. Blair would like to thank everyone at VOICES Boston for this opportunity to reconnect with one of her first and biggest loves–making theatre with and for young people. www.blaircadden.net
One of the nation’s preeminent children’s conductors, Johanna (Jody) Hill Simpson has worked with young people of all ages and levels – from kindergartners through graduate students— at Dartmouth College, Lincoln Elementary School, Harvard University and the New England Conservatory. She founded PALS Children’s Chorus (now VOICES Boston) in 1990 and served as Artistic Director for 16 years, during which time PALS earned the reputation as one of the finest youth ensembles in the country.When Seiji Ozawa said “Jody really has a genius way of teaching”, he captured the essence of why she is able to transform groups of willing singers into compelling ensembles.
Simpson’s years in Boston with the PALS Children’s Chorus were rich with notable performances and collaborations in Boston, New York, Washington DC and Tanglewood with Ozawa, James Levine, Yo Yo Ma, Henri Dutilleux,Tan Dun, Raphael Fruhbeck DeBurgos, James Conlon, Marek Janowski, Tod Machover, David Hoose, Keith Lockart, and even Nathan Lane and Celine Dion. She was and continues to be a champion of composers and new music and has commissioned and premiered an impressive list of new works, including Mehmet Sanlikol’s Ergenekon, Howard Frazin’s Voice of Isaac, Bret Silverman’s Tree of Life, William Cutter’s Awake the Dawn, and Megan Henderson’s The Police Log.
In the world of opera, Ms. Simpson’s young singers have appeared in performances of Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Tanglewood, Stefan Asbury conducting. Her children joined the Boston Early Music Festival for world premiere performances of Johann Mathesson’s opera Boris Goudenov in Boston and Tanglewood. Ms. Simpson has collaborated with the Boston Lyric Opera, for performances of the historic Carmen on the Common, Tosca, The Little Prince and La Boheme. She has also collaborated with Kayo Iwama and the Cantata Singers in performances of the children’s opera Brundibar.
She has conducted choruses at New England Conservatory (where she also received the Outstanding Alumni Award and studied with renowned choral conductor Lorna Cooke deVaron) and Harvard University. Her ensembles can be heard on recordings by the BSO, the Boston Pops and the PALS private label.
Since moving to the Monadnock region ten years ago, Ms. Simpson founded Music on Norway Pond and has been busy conducting the Norway Pond Festival Singers, and the Junior Minstrels. She also developed the Music on Norway Pond Concert Series for which she has forged a powerful connection with the New England Conservatory, featuring frequent performances in Hancock by their brightest stars. Jody and her husband Rick, an accomplished tenor, live in Hancock, New Hampshire, on Norway Pond, with their standard poodles, Pearl and May and their cat, Goldie.