Key Staff Members
Founding Artistic Director
Ms. Money founded Boston City Singers in 1995 as a division of Youth Pro Musica. In 2003, Boston City Singers became a separate chorus and youth development program with head-quarters in Boston’s Dorchester neighborhood and currently serves 500 young people in 16 programs for children ages 4 - 18. Jane has over 25 years of experience in teaching music in classrooms, school and church choirs. She is passionate about teaching children to sing.
Ms. Money holds masters degrees in music from Auckland University in New Zealand; in music education from Trinity College of Music in London; and in engineering (MS) from Boston University. She is also the Founding Artistic Director of “Children’s Voices of Ireland.” She is a former instructor with the Metropolitan Opera’s Urban Voices program in Boston, and the Director of Youth Choirs at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Wellesley, MA. She is a frequent workshop presenter at ACDA, MMEA, AGO and now Chorus America.
A native of New Zealand, Jane has been a resident of Dorchester for over 25 years where she fosters dogs for New England Brittany Rescue and knits socks near and far.
Melissa J. Graham
Melissa joined Boston City Singers in 2011 to manage the non-artistic aspects of the organization including fundraising, special events, financial and staff management, marketing and public relations, government and community outreach and is a de facto member of the Board of Directors. She was a member of the 2014 Arts and Culture transition team for Boston’s mayor Marty Walsh. Melissa was a Founding Director of The Boston Guys, a Boston-based event-planning, fundraising and marketing collaborative that served political, not-for-profit, educational and business clients domestically and abroad. She hosted Commonwealth Journal, a radio talk show on WUMB broadcast throughout Massachusetts, served as Vice President of Marketing and Public Relations for the Boston Five Cents Savings Bank (now Citizen’s Bank), and was a senior advance person for former First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton during the Clinton White House years. She has been Vice President and General Manager for Nathan Tyler Productions and Director of Local Fundraising for WGBH Television and Radio. Having spent much of her youth in Cincinnati, Melissa moved to Boston from Washington, DC in 1979. (Dorchester)
In addition to his position leading the Cantare Divisions of Boston City Singers’ Concert Chorus in Dorchester and Cambridge, Josh teaches middle school chorus and general music at Rindge Avenue Upper Campus in the Cambridge Public Schools. Prior to teaching in Cambridge, he taught band and chorus in an inner-city high-school in Chicago for eight years. Upon graduation from Northwestern University in 1997, his intended career path as a film composer was disrupted when he fell in love with music education through an AmeriCorps program in Chicago. Seeing the powerful effect of music on the lives of children inspired him to pursue music education professionally. Josh’s Kodály certification is from the New England Conservatory. (Medford)
World Rhythm Ensemble Director
Kimani grew up in Kingston, Jamaica where he studied classical piano and the traditional drumming of Jamaica and the Caribbean at the Jamaica School of Music. Upon his arrival in Boston, Kimani studied music education at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. Being an avid student of the percussion and dance traditions of West Africa and the African diaspora he performs with a variety of musical groups including the Haitian Drum and Dance Company, Fantezi Kreyol, the Art of Black Music and Dance, Silimbo African Dance Company and Lamine Toure with Group Saloum. Kimani also teaches music and traditional percussion at the Young Achievers Science and Math School in Boston’s Mattapan neighborhood. (Jamaica Plain)
BCS Fellas Director
Dan joined the staff of Boston City Singers to conduct the new BCS Fellas division in 2014. He is a graduate student at The Boston Conservatory pursuing a Masters of Music in choral conducting where he is an assistant conductor of the Women’s Chorus. An active singer in the Boston area, he currently sings for the Boston Conservatory Chorale, The Boston University Symphonic Chorus, and the MIT Concert Choir. He has served as chorus master and assistant conductor for the conservatory opera productions of The Magic Flute and the Cunning Little Vixen and the BYSO production of Tosca.
Ryan previously served four years on the faculty of North Iredell High School in Olin, NC as the full time choral director from 2009-2013. Ryan’s choirs were awarded numerous superior awards in small and large ensemble NCMEA adjudication and set a county record in 2013 for 7 superior choir awards. Ryan also co-headed the development of the musical theatre program at North Iredell rehearsing and conducting 6 musicals. Ryan also held a position of conductor and music director at Providence United Methodist Church in Statesville, NC where he conducted the church choir and premiered original choral compositions.
Ryan attended Catawba College on scholarship for lacrosse and music and graduated in 2009 with a BA in music education. (Boston)
Director, Early Childhood Music and Director, Cambridge Children’s Chorus
A vocalist and pianist, Wendy joined the staff of Boston City Singers’ in 2011 to direct early childhood music programs. In the Fall of 2012, she and Jane Money founded the Cambridge Children’s Chorus, a division of Boston City Singers, to offer Kodály, Training Chorus and Cantare chorus programs. Wendy retired from the Cambridge Public Schools in 2013 after four decades of teaching music to young children. Educated at the University of Rhode Island with a degree in music education, she also earned a Masters Degree in Education from Antioch College and a Certificate from the Kodály Musical Training Institute of the New England Conservatory of Music. Wendy serves on the board of the Boston Area Kodály Educators and has sung with The Boston Cecilia since 1972. She has presented before the Eastern Division MENC, the National School Boards Convention in Orlando, Florida and the MENC in Boston. In 2010, Singapore’s Department of Education invited her to work with students and create a video for their teacher’s professional development. Since 2013, Wendy has traveled to Argentina, China and Norway on Boston City Singers’ behalf. (Cambridge)
Cambridge Children’s Chorus Manager (Cambridge)
Debbie was a music specialist and and arts department chair at Buckingham Browne & Nichols Lower School for many years, working with children from Pre-K to 6th grade. Recent teaching included music classes for grades 3-6, chorus, orchestra, recorder ensemble, co-directing sixth grade musicals, and 5th grade math. Satisfying an ongoing interest in using technology as a teaching tool, she was accepted into the summer 2011 Creative Computing course using Scratch programming at MIT’s Media Lab. In August 2013 she completed The Arts and Passion-Driven Learning course at the Harvard School of Education. She was also one of the founders of Patschwork, a six member group of music teachers devoted to playing and creating music using the Orff-Schulwerk approach followed in their music classes.
Active as a choral singer, Debbie has performed with Chorus pro Musica, New World Chorale, and the Tanglewood Festival Chorus with the Boston Symphony in Boston, at Tanglewood and at Carnegie Hall. She has enjoyed playing in the Boston Recorder Society, being an amateur photographer and gardener, and finding opportunities to be on or near the water in Maine and on Cape Cod. She gained a strong musical background in the Concord Public Schools, received a Music Education degree at UMass-Amherst and a Masters in Elementary Education at Lesley University in Cambridge. She lives in Arlington with her husband, a choral singer, organist and systems analyst. (Arlington)
Elizabeth “Liz” Stefan
Training Chorus Manager (Dorchester and Jamaica Plain)
Originally from Bel Air, MD, Elizabeth Stefan is currently a freelance violist in the Boston area, playing regularly with the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra. As a chamber and orchestral musician, she has performed extensively across the United States, as well as throughout Europe. A founding member of the Sumner Quartet, she is also a resident musician with musiConnects, teaching at the Chittick and Sumner Elementary Schools. In addition to keeping a private studio of violin and viola students, she teaches violin in several schools with Making Music Matters!
She recently graduated with her master’s degree from the New England Conservatory where she studied with Dimitri Murrath. Previous studies were with George Taylor at the Eastman School of Music, where she earned her BM, and an Arts Leadership Certificate with a focus in contemporary orchestral issues. She also received the Robert L. Oppelt Viola Prize for the class of 2009. (Jamaica Plain)
Director of Vocal Studies
Tim manages and coaches in Boston City Singers’ Vocal Studies program while overseeing the organization’s collaborative efforts with the Boston Conservatory. He earned a Bachelors of Music in Vocal Performance from the University of Missouri, a Masters of Music in Vocal Performance and a Masters of Music in Vocal Pedagogy from the New England Conservatory where he studied with Karen Holvik. Tim has performed many roles including Masettto in Don Giovanni, Papageno in The Magic Flute, Belcore in L’Elisir d’Amore, and Dr. Falke in Die Fledermaus. Tim has an established voice studio and is much in demand as a private teacher. (Brookline)
Principal Accompanist and Coach
Tal, a renown Israeli musical artist from Tel Aviv, enjoys an unusually diverse career of classical, jazz, and pop performances as well as composing, arranging, and improvising. In addition to his performing career, Tal gives educational presentations at schools throughout the United States to spread a joy and appreciation for music. He holds a Masters in Piano Performance from Rice University, a Performance Diploma from Indiana University and a B.M. from the Rubin Israeli Music Academy where he graduated Magna Cum Laude. He is currently pursuing a Doctorate Degree in Contemporary Improvisation at the New England Conservatory. (Brighton)
Please join us in welcoming Valerie J. Becker to Boston City Singers’ artistic staff this September! We are pleased to have her conduct the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Training Chorus and Melody Makers in Dorchester. A graduate of Boston University, Valerie received both her Bachelor and Master of Music Degrees in piano performance. While at B.U. she was awarded membership in Pi Kappa Lambda, the national music honor society and was chosen most outstanding senior in music by Mu Phi Epsilon. Her post graduate studies led her to the University of Illinois where she worked on an accompaniment and coaching degree, to Austria where she studied German Lieder, and to Italy where she performed with the Rome Festival Orchestra and was their primary pianist. She has performed as soloist with the Boston Pops. As a collaborate pianist she has appeared in recital with many major artists throughout the United States and abroad, including many who are members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. As a former rehearsal pianist for the Boston Symphony Orchestra she had the occasion to play for world-renowned artists such as Midori, James Galway, YoYo Ma, Kathleen Battle and Isaac Stern. Ms. Becker was on the artistic staff of The Treble Chorus of New England from 1995 to 2014 and for the last seven years served as Artistic Director. She also taught for 15 summers in the Boston University Tanglewood Institute, working with both choral and chamber groups and teaching private lessons. Ms. Becker taught at the North Carolina School for the Arts from 1980 – 1983 and was the pianist for the Metropolitan Opera regional auditions Ms. Becker is a member of the Performing Arts Faculty at The Winsor School in Boston, serves as Director of Youth Music at the Needham Congregational Church and continues to perform as a freelance collaborative artist in the Boston area. She resides in Arlington with her husband and son.
Originally from the Dominican Republic, Fanny (fahnee) Lora is a dedicated and multifaceted singer, music educator, and social justice advocate. She previously held the positions of Teaching Fellow, Vocal Instructor and Social Framework Liaison for Boston Children’s Chorus, Choral Teaching Artist for the Metropolitan Opera Guild and was an Artist-in-Residence at Excel Academy in Washington, DC. Ms. Lora is passionate about languages, food, and traveling. A graduate of Ithaca College in upstate New York, Fanny is enrolled in the Alexander Technique Training Certification Program at the Boston Conservatory and sings in the Greater Boston Area.
Concert Chorus Manager (Tour Choir, BCS Fellas and Cantare)
Fundraising and Communications Assistant
As part of a team Melanie she creates opportunities for positive youth development, including managing programming to develop educational, personal management and life skills through rehearsals, performances, peer leadership, performance tours and workshops. Melanie also manages public relations and social media, assists in fundraising efforts and community outreach.
Originally from Chicago, IL, soprano Melanie earned a M.M. in Vocal Pedagogy and Performance, magna cum laude, from the Boston Conservatory where she studied under Kerry Deal and interned with us in 2014. Ms. Bacaling is an avid performer in both opera and choral settings. She has been a featured soloist in concert works including Britten's Ceremony of Carols, Haydn's The Creation, C.P.E. Bach's Magnificat, and Handel’s Messiah. A multiple first place winner of the National Association of Teachers of Singing competition, she is a recipient of the Senior Gumberts Recital Award and was the 2012-13 Presser Music Scholar at the University of Evansville. Ms. Bacaling is also active in opera production and has served on the stage management team for Aspen Opera Theater Center, Boston Conservatory Opera, Boston Opera Collaborative, and MetroWest Opera.
Youth Mentor, Training Chorus and Cantare
Originally from Boston, Natalie is the youngest and only daughter of four of Haitian immigrants. Being bilingual, Natalie has had to opportunity to sing in her parents' native language along with many other languages through The Boston City Singers Tour Choir that she joined in 2010.
Natalie recently completed her time with Boston City Singers when she graduated from Fontbonne Academy in May, 2015.
Natalie now attends Emmanuel College in Boston pursuing a degree in Elementary Education because she wants to set her students with strong fundamental skills that will lead them on the path to a strong academic career.
As a former member of the Tour Choir, Natalie has had the opportunity to participate in three international tours; South Africa, Argentina, and Costa Rica and three domestic tours: Maine, Washington D.C, and New Hampshire. In her spare time, Natalie continues her love of singing. "I believe that music is the one language that everyone speaks. No matter where a person is from or what their native tongue is, music always creates unity".
As a Youth Mentor, Natalie’s role is to produce a comfortable and open space for all young singers and to create a bridge between the singers and their conductor. Natalie is a chaperone for Cantare’s Denver trip to participate in the Sing A Mile High International Festival in June 2016. She hopes to continue to share and utilize her music and youth development training on future tours with Boston City Singers.