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Change The world

Meet the EVC Team

Nicole Becker

Artistic Director & Executive Director

As a pianist, soprano, and conductor, Nicole Becker has performed in concerts and recitals throughout the United States, Canada, and Japan. Dr. Becker received an undergraduate degree in Biology from Yale University, a Masters of Music in Piano from Indiana University and a Doctorate of Education from Teachers College, Columbia University. She also studied piano and solfege at the École Normale de Musique de Paris. Dr. Becker is the Music Director of the Teachers College Choir and teaches applied piano and conducting in the Program in Music and Music Education at Teachers College. Dr. Becker has spoken internationally about student-centered approaches in ensemble settings, calling for a reconceptualization of children’s choirs so that they might become sites dedicated to promoting growth and flourishing for young people. Her current research examines approaches to developing racial literacy in music education.

Josefina Chicas

Intern, Kids Choir & Youth Choir

Josefina Chicas is a current senior at the John J. Cali School of Music majoring in Music Education. Josefina has a strong passion for singing and music, believing it is a powerful tool that allows individuals to become the best versions of themselves. She feels honored to be working with the incredible organization of the Every Voice Choirs.

Natalie Gray

Director, Vocal Technique Across Genres

Natalie Gray is a passionate music educator, singer/songwriter, pianist, and composer/arranger across varied musical styles. Natalie holds a B.S. in Music Education from Hofstra University, and a M.A. in Music & Music Education from Teachers College, Columbia University. She has performed as a soloist on the NY stages of the Hard Rock Cafe, Birdland, The Metropolitan Room, The Bitter End, and Rockwood Music Hall. Currently, Natalie is on Voice Faculty at Molloy University and is a Vocal Technique Coach for Musical Theatre College Auditions (MTCA). Natalie recently released her debut EP of original Singer-Songwriter music titled ‘Wings’ under new artist name, Natalie Gray.

Carmen Keels

Director, Grant Voices Intergenerational Choir

Carmen Keels is on faculty at The Horace Mann School teaching in the middle division as a choral instructor, music director for the middle division musical, and sixth grade advisor. She also serves as the vocal coach for the auditioned choirs 6-12th grade. Carmen is a member of the Academy For Teachers in New York City as well as ACDA. She holds a Master of Arts Degree from Columbia Teachers College in Music and Music Education. In addition to being an educator, Carmen is a performer and a member of Actors Equity since 2005. She has appeared on Broadway and has toured internationally and at regional theaters across the country. Carmen lives in Harlem with her husband, two kids, and their dog Luna.

Sydney Macnabb

Choir Assistant, Every Voice Concert Choir

Soprano Sydney Macnabb currently holds the position of graduate intern with EVC’s Concert Choir, and has been involved with Every Voice Choirs since Fall of 2022. As a classically trained operatic soprano, Sydney holds a passion for vocal instruction and specializes in classical vocal technique. Past operatic roles include Lauretta (Gianni Schicchi), Despina (Così fan Tutte), and Susanna (Le Nozze di Figaro). Sydney holds Bachelors’ in Music and Psychology from UNC Chapel Hill, as well as a Masters in Voice from Peabody Conservatory. She is a current first year M.Ed candidate at Teachers College of Columbia University, and is excited to continue to work with EVC.

Joelle Mendoza

Choir Assistant, Kids Choir & Youth Choir

Joelle Mendoza is a music educator and vocalist from Santiago, Chile. She is a current first year M. A. candidate in Music Education at Teachers College of Columbia University, and an intern with Vocal Technique Across Genres. She also works as an early childhood music teacher at various Music Together centers around the city. Joelle is passionate about the power of music education in the lives of young people, and looks forward to continued work with Every Voice Choirs.

Mavel Morales

Director, EVC VoiceAbility

Mavel Morales is a passionate advocate for the arts and a music educator. Mavel graduated from the University of Miami with a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education with minors in Education and Philosophy. She recently obtained her Master of Education in Music and Music Education from Teachers College, Columbia University. Her extensive work with NAfME (National Association for Music Education) has allowed her to advocate for music at the state and federal level. As a classically trained mezzo-soprano, Mavel loves performing both solo and choral works and is always engaging with new opportunities to continue participating in music making with her community.

Brent Morden

Director, HCES Voice Classes

Brent Morden is a New York-based composer, music director, vocalist, and educator.​ Brent earned his Bachelor of Arts in Music (magna cum laude) from Columbia University, where he actively served Columbia’s performing arts community. Brent has conducted his award-winning band works with the Columbia University Wind Ensemble, including a world premiere at Carnegie Hall, has composed and music directed multiple original musicals, and has assisted acclaimed music director Rob Fisher. Nowadays, Brent is thrilled to serve as Program Manager for Every Voice Choirs. In addition to his work with EVC, Brent directs the Hofstra Vocal Jazz Ensemble, directs the Columbia Athletics Spirit Band, and teaches voice and musical theatre at From Stage to Screen as well as privately. Brent hopes to continue championing his creative voice and inspiring others to realize their potential.

Sarah Perry

Founder & Music Therapist, VoiceAbility

Sarah Perry, EdD, MT-BC, is Assistant Professor of Music Education at Westminster Choir College, Rider University. Dr. Perry is a board certified music therapist and music educator, receiving her masters and doctorate degrees in music education from Teachers College, Columbia University and her music therapy degree from Elizabethtown College. Her specializations include music in special education and integrated arts learning, focusing on addressing the needs of special learners in music, visual arts, and dance settings.  Dr. Perry is a frequent clinician leading teacher training workshops for teachers of visual arts, dance/movement and music in both public school settings and various arts outreach programs in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Maryland. Dr. Perry is the founder and advisor for EVC’s VoiceAbility.

Sayume Romero

Director, EVC VoiceAbility

Sayume Romero is the choir director for EVC’s VoiceAbility. A born and raised New Yorker, She graduated as a vocal major from the F.H. LaGuardia High school of Music and Performing Arts, obtained a B.A. in vocal performance from Stony Brook University, as well as an M.S. in communication sciences and disorders from Teachers College, Columbia University. She works as a preschool, multilingual (English/Japanese/Spanish) speech and language therapist with Birch Family Services - Washington Heights Education Center. And she enjoys practicing karate, taking private voice lessons, and singing with the Teacher College Community Choir. Music has always been a passion for Sayume and having the opportunity to work with EVC’s VoiceAbility is the fruition of a dream come true!

Drew X Coles

Collaborative Musician

Drew X Coles is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, arranger, producer, and educator, as well as a lecturer at Teachers College, Columbia University, where he also serves as the director of the Hybrid Masters Degree Program in Music & Music Education. His scholarly interests include; the construct of success as it applies to post-secondary music students, culturally responsive pedagogy in the music classroom, the use of technology in the applied studio, Jazz pedagogy, improvisation pedagogy, comprehensive musicianship coursework and curricula, and quantitative research methods in music education. Drew earned his Doctorate in Music Education at Teachers College, Columbia University after defending his dissertation on the perceptions among musicians on the construct of career success as it applies to them as well as their peers.

Jack Lio

Director, Operations & Administration

Violinist / educator / project manager / solutions engineer Jack Lio holds a B.A. in Music Performance from Central Conservatory of Music, M.Ed. in Music Education from Teachers College, Columbia University, and is a Project Management Institute-certified Project Management Professional. As a teacher in the NYC DOE, Jack founded and advised a music business / management club and a Tri-M Music Honor Society chapter, both centered around rebuilding the music program and developing student leadership and advocacy. Jack now uses his project management and solutions engineering skills to drive operational excellence, continuous improvement, and making a positive community impact.