Jessica has over 10 years of arts nonprofit and arts education experience. In her previous roles she served as Education and Community Engagement Director for two professional orchestras including the Winston-Salem Symphony in Winston-Salem, North Carolina and the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra in Orlando, Florida where she was responsible for the organization, implementation, administration, promotion and ongoing evaluation of a wide variety of education and artistic programming. In addition to program design she has extensive experience in curriculum development, long-range strategic planning, partnership cultivation and creative fundraising.
During her time in Savannah, Georgia, Jessica served as the Volunteer & Creative and Performing Arts Coordinator for The Salvation Army of Savannah, Georgia. In addition to maintaining an active private teaching studio instructing children and adults on orchestra and band instruments, Jessica previously served as a Music Educator and Administrative Consultant for Mrs. G’s Music Foundation, as a Music Educator in the York, Aiken, Lexington and Jasper County (South Carolina) Schools, as a New Horizons Band Low Brass Instructor, and as Theater House Manager for the University of South Carolina’s Aiken Campus, where she also served as Assistant to the Band Director. Jessica has her Masters of Arts Administration from the Savannah College of Art and Design where she was honored with the Outstanding Achievement Award. She holds a Bachelor of Music Education from the University of South Carolina and numerous non-profit, volunteer management and music certificates. Ms. Munch-Dittmar is presently a member of the National Association for Music Educators and the National Tuba Association.
Jessica’s primary instrument is the Euphonium but she has spent the majority of the last decade studying West African drumming and has a passion for world music and culture. She enjoys travel, fitness, hip hop music and being a mom to son, Oliver.
A native of Miami, Michelle Sanchez began studying viola at age nine. Ms. Sanchez started pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Viola Performance in 2009 under the tutelage of Michael Klotz. Throughout her college career, Ms Sanchez has had the opportunity to play for many renowned conductors such as David Effron, James Judd and Grzegorz Nowak. In addition, she has performed with Sherill Milnes, Ross Harbaugh and the late Ida Haendel. Ms Sanchez has also participated in master classes with James Ehnes, Michael Tree, Richard O’Niell, Roberto Diaz and Yizhak Schotten. Ms. Sanchez also had the privilege of joining the South Shore Orchestra for their China Tour 2016-2017.
In 2016, Ms. Sanchez became a founding member of the Versa String Quartet. The quartet performed at various venues in South Florida and raised funds for the 2017 disasters in Puerto Rico and Mexico. The Versa String Quartet premiered a work by composer Maureen Reyes Lavastida, Chains 2016.
Ms. Sanchez completed her Masters Degree at Florida International University in Viola Performance in 2016 and continues to work professionally with Orchestras in the Miami area.
Furthermore, Ms. Sanchez has done extensive work as a teacher, maintaining a private studio for violin and viola, and works with several community music programs and conservatories. One such program is called Share the Music. This organization believes in the importance of generosity and community through the power of music.
In 2018, Ms Sanchez, a proud alumni, became the Symphony Manager for the Greater Miami Youth Symphony. Here she works closely with other talented staff to create a challenging and educational environment for young musicians; most of whom get into the top music schools in the country. On the heels of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ms. Sanchez transitioned to the Marketing and Operations Coordinator position where she and the team have created a successful virtual component to the regular season planning. In addition, she uses her creative artistic skills in creating promotional materials to use on social media.
Ms. Sanchez is a passionate musician who loves to write, make music and all things Disney.
Jarelys was born and raised in Miami, FL. She started playing the violin at the age of eight years old and has played the violin ever since somehow. She graduated from South Miami Senior High School in the class of 2017 and started working with a non-profit organization Greater Miami Youth Symphony since August 2017. She graduated with her Associate in Arts Degree at Miami-Dade College in 2019 and has been working on her Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education at Florida International University and plans to graduate in the Fall of 2021. She also has her own Violin studio which she teaches students the violin privately leading up to Studio Recitals. She loves to travel, shoot photography and trying new foods.
Carol has maintained a dual career in music (professional musician, flute teacher/ clinician, woodwind coach) and office operations. Orchestral experience includes principal flutist of the Miami Symphony Orchestra (since 1994), freelance work with such orchestras as Miami City Ballet, Central Florida Lyric Opera and Boca Pops, and the Alhambra Orchestra where she also serves on the board. She has performed and recorded a variety of new works and world premieres, both orchestral and chamber, and has been a clinician and music substitute at Ransom Everglades and Carrollton Schools. Her diverse office background includes over 15 cumulative years with non-profit organizations (Florida Orchestra Association, GMYS) in the areas of finance, communications, community outreach, event coordination and membership. Ms. Nicholson has a strong background in word processing/document presentation, editing/proofreading, shorthand/transcription and desktop publication. In 2011 she joined the GMYS administrative staff as Symphony Manager/Woodwind Coach and has been Bookkeeper since 2018.
Maya Fisher was born and raised in Newport News, Virginia. Maya has been playing clarinet for 10 years and has graduated with her Bachelor of Music in Clarinet performance from the George Mason University in 2020. Throughout her studies at George Mason University, she has participated in large ensembles such as the Mason Symphony orchestra as well as the wind ensemble. She has also led and participated in various chamber ensembles. Aside from performance, Maya is passionate about providing music education and access to underserved populations and Black and Latinx community. She is working towards collaborating with organizations and creating spaces for music, information, experiences, and communities to come together. Maya has worked as a teacher and an administrative assistant for music organizations such as the Mason Community Arts Academy. She has also worked as a Music Library intern within the academic music library at George Mason. Maya has recently completed her first semester at the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami for clarinet performance. Maya has recently joined the Greater Miami Youth Symphony team as the Data Manager. When Maya is not participating in musical activities, she enjoys reading, eating, and visiting museums.
After moving from Venezuela at the age of 8, Michelle Moya started her music studies in the school choir. In middle school she began to take music more seriously when she picked up the cello. Michelle continued her studies by joining the Orchestra magnet at South Miami Senior High School and there, she took on percussion as her secondary instrument. In high school, Michelle attended many honors festivals and was part of Symphony and Chamber Symphony at GMYS. After graduating from high school a year early, she continued her studies at Miami-Dade college where she will graduate with her associates degree in spring of 2021.
Michelle plans to continue her studies with a bachelors and Masters degree in the future.
The band program in high school and college at Samford University solidified her goals of making music a professional part of her life. In May of 2001, she graduated with a Bachelor of Music degree and then moved to Akron, OH where she received her Master of Music from the University of Akron in May of 2004. Looking for a warmer place she chose to do work towards a Doctoral of Musical Arts degree from the University of Miami.
In August of 2006, Katie Martinez became a teacher in the Miami-Dade County Public School System to spread her love of music to students throughout Miami and most recently Homestead. In the Fall of 2011, she transferred to Gateway K-8 to start the middle school band and music program. Some of the programs that she has developed at Gateway is the Gateway Croc Chorale where they have performed at district showcases, Florida International University, and the Homestead Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony. The Croc Chorale also performs a musical each spring which some of the musicals include, Annie, The Lion King Jr, Mulan Jr, and High School Musical Jr. She was even preparing the students to perform Beauty and the Beast Jr last spring through zoom until school was cancelled for the remainder of the year. Last year she also started the Croc Chorale, Jr which featured a chorus of Kindergarten through 2nd grade students which performed The Polar Express with the more advanced chorus students.
In addition to her after school activities, in which she incorporates music opportunities for the entire school, she also teaches Middle School Band, Orchestra, Rock Ensemble and Theater. Each December the Gateway Bands and Orchestras present a Holiday concert and another performance in the spring. These students have the excitement of presenting a concert to audiences which increases their self-esteem and confidence. The band has performed at Florida International University and the Rock Band and chorus have performed at Title I events throughout the South Region of the County. Mrs. Martinez also works as an instructor for the Greater Miami Youth Symphony. She also is adjunct faculty with Barry University teaching music courses for the Professional Adult and Continuing Education department.
Board of Trustees
Stuart Lones, President
Jordana Schneider, Vice President
Helen Hauser, Secretary
Laura McNaughton, Treasurer
Dominique Symonette, Executive Board Member-at-large
Terry Bonelli, Board member
Victo-Rene Robinson, Board member
Carolina Z. Cardoso, Board member
Martha F. Bethart, Board member
Jing Liang, Board member
Katia Rodriguez-Santos, Board member
France Jordan, Board member
Carlos Avila, Board member