Denise accepted the position of Executive Director of Musicopia in 2005 after a long history with the organization as a Board Member, succeeding her mother, Musicopia founder Welthie Fitzgerald. Denise is a violinist and equestrian rider. Prior to her work with Musicopia, she worked in health care administration. She holds a Master’s degree in Nursing Administration with honors from Villanova University and a Bachelor’s degree in Nursing from Widener University. An active volunteer, she has served on the Board of the Main Line Youth Chamber Orchestra and the Community Performing Arts Center. Denise and her long-time partner Susan have 7 children, all of whom play a string instrument. Denise’s personal interest in working for Musicopia rests on her passionate belief that every child deserves the opportunity to play an instrument. She also knows from first-hand experience how sustained engagement with music helps children build the skills they need to be successful in life.
Director of Community Engagement & Digital Marketing
Caitlyn started working with Musicopia in August 2016 after earning a M.A in Professional and Business Communication from La Salle University. Caitlyn also completed her undergraduate studies at La Salle, focusing her education on both communication and the study of music. During this time, she successfully completed an internship with 93.3 WMMR and later accepted a part-time position with their Promotions Department. Caitlyn is thrilled to be part of the Musicopia team, as the organization encompasses many of the La Sallian values that she holds true to her heart; such as concern for the poor and social justice, respect for the dignity of all persons, and belief in quality education for all students. Music has an uncanny way of bringing together people from all different walks of life, and Caitlyn is grateful for the opportunity to bring musical experiences to young people in Philadelphia.
Grant Writer & Instrument Donation Manager
Alecia first experienced the power of Musicopia, and the welcoming dedicated faculty and staff, as a Musicopia String Orchestra parent. Meeting her children’s School District of Philadelphia general music teacher, who happens to be one of the incomparable MSO Teaching Artists, has forever shaped her family’s extracurricular focus and her professional passion. Alecia received her B.A. from Randolph-Macon College and covered the action of the U.S. Congress for eight years as a Washington, D.C. based journalist. In Philadelphia, she managed distribution for scholarly journal publisher Taylor & Francis. Alecia sees the Gift of Music Instrument Donation program as a contemporary version of the ancient river crossing puzzle. She is overjoyed to use her logistics skills, along with a dedicated team of volunteer drivers, to ensure speedy delivery of generously donated and lovingly refurbished instruments to eager young musicians.
Grants & Corporate Development Director
A recording artist passionate about music education and its impact on creativity and drive in all aspects of life, Catherine has been awarded grants, residencies, and honors from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, Parents' Choice Foundation, Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts, and Independent Music Awards. A three-time Individual Artist Fellow of the Delaware Division of the Arts, Catherine is on the prestigious roster of Steinway Artists. Regionally, she has helped create community concert series and speakers’ forums, served on boards for classical music and music theater nonprofits, and has served on the Board of Governors of the Philadelphia chapter of The Recording Academy (“The Grammys®”), advocating for professional music makers representing all genres of Philadelphia’s rich musical history. Catherine began her career in corporate market research, following a B.S. in Engineering from Cornell University, with a minor in Music. A long time piano teacher, and now Suzuki cello mom, Catherine is excited to serve Musicopia and help find funding for the next generation of Philadelphia art makers.
Talia Yellin Fisher
Communications, PR &
Talia has bachelor's degrees in music and Judaic Studies from Tufts University and a master's degree in Arts Administration from Columbia University. She has worked as marketing manager for the American Symphony Orchestra League, communication and development manager for Healthy NewsWorks, publicity associate for ICM Artists, and as a marketing consultant at various arts and nonprofit organizations. Talia is also an active musician in the Philadelphia area, having been classically trained in piano. She regularly plays in orchestras with The Philadelphia Chorus, Narberth Community Theatre, the Adath Israel Players, and others. She is also an experienced rehearsal pianist and accompanist. In her role at Musicopia, Talia is thrilled to be a part of a team that brings the joy and benefits of music to Philadelphia-area children.
Joan brings to Musicopia some greatly-valued experience as both an accountant for a law firm and a controller for a homecare franchise, Visiting Angels. Joan served as Vice President of Springfield Township’s School Board, as Co-Chair of their Annual Book Fair, and as a thoughtful strategic planner. She has always been interested in anything that encourages students to stay in school and stands behind Musicopia’s ability to engage disenfranchised youth. Joan has a B.A. from the University of New Hampshire and an M.S. from the University of Massachusetts.
Director of Strategic Projects
Juliette joined the Musicopia team in 2011. She held fundraising and administrative positions at The Asia Society and Manhattan Theater Club in New York and at Cornell University in Ithaca. She has worked at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., the Royal National Theater in London, the New York International Festival for the Arts, and the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center in Waterford, CT. As a volunteer, Juliette served for many years as the Cultural Arts Chair for the PTO at Hillside Elementary School in Berwyn and as a member of DELTA (Districts Educating and Learning Through the Arts), an association of cultural arts representatives from several suburban school districts and schools outside of Philadelphia. She holds a Masters of Business Administration from Cornell University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Yale University. Having been lucky enough to be involved in the arts all her life, Juliette has seen the power they have to open and change hearts and minds; build self-confidence and self-esteem; foster cooperation, partnership, and teamwork; and nurture the soul.
Kate Lombardi received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from The University of the Arts, along with more extensive dance training at The Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance and the American Dance Festival. She began working with Musicopia’s affiliate organization, Dancing Classrooms Philly (DCP), in 2008 as a Teaching Artist, when she had the honor of being trained in the Dulaine Method by Dancing Classrooms (DC) founder, Pierre Dulaine. She then took on the position of Education Liaison and later Artistic and Education Director. In 2014, Kate received certification as DC Global Network Senior Teaching Artist. She finds true joy in her current role as Managing Director of DCP, which through social dance is helping to mold the lives and spark an artistic flare in children throughout the region. Continuing to explore her own dance artistry, Kate performs with SHARP, Dancefusion, and Anne Marie Mulgrew & Dancers in Philadelphia, where she enjoys both reconstructing historical modern dance works and exploring new choreography by local artists. Kate is excited to work more closely with Musicopia as the Musicopia Drumlines Manager.
Director of Individual Giving
Jessica is thrilled to be joining the Musicopia and Dancing Classrooms’ administration the summer of 2018, as she finds herself working, once again back in an arts organization. Jessica’s journey in the arts extends all the way back to her childhood where you could have found her singing, dancing and acting her way through school which led her to study at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts for Musical Theater before receiving her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Penn State University. In addition to Musicopia and DCP, Jessica has worked for the Sellersville Theater, WXPN Radio, and the Morris Arboretum. Jessica has also served on the board of Kun-Yang Lin Dancers in Philadelphia.
Leslie Malmed Macedo is a seasoned arts administrator with a focus on traditional and classical music and dance. She has served on the staffs of the World Music Institute (1999-2008), Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana (2008-2011), Dance Theatre Etcetera (2011-2014) and the Philadelphia Folklore Project (2014-2016). In 2001, Leslie co-founded Mamadêlê Productions, a company that arranges performances and educational programs that present the music, dance and martial arts of Bahia, Brazil. She has served on the board of Dance USA (2009-2011) and joined the board of International Ballet Exchange in 2014. Throughout her career Leslie has worked with internationally acclaimed artists from around the world, arranging performances and educational programs at major performing arts centers and educational institutions throughout the United States and Canada. She was part of the curatorial team that co-produced the Cultural Olympiad in Greece, curated artists for the Nat Geo children’s tv series Ma Mirabelle as well as educational performance series at the Juilliard School and Baruch College. Born and raised in Philadelphia, Leslie received a BA from NYU’s Gallatin School where she studied Ethnomusicology and International Politics.
Nathan Rifenburg has a robust record in music education both as a classroom teacher in Florida and Washington DC and also as a teaching artist with LA Opera (2011-2015). As a performer, he has sung in many regional choirs and has been a part of regional repertory theater and community theater, serving both as a performer and musical director. Nathan later moved into arts administration with LA Opera taking over the role of Education Manager (2015-2018) for their diverse set of programs and teaching artists throughout Los Angeles County. Nathan has a Bachelor of Music degree from Longwood University, a small liberal arts school known for its education program, in Farmville, Virginia. He is married to his husband Lucas and they have two beautiful daughters.