Meet Our Panelists

Charles J. Sanders, Host

International music copyright attorney and National Music Council board chair Charlie Sanders has served as outside counsel to the Songwriters Guild of America since 2005, and as an advisor to MCNA (the united music creator group for North America) and its global, Paris affiliate, CIAM, since 2012.  He likewise advises many other music community non-profit groups, including The Native American Music Association and Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, and is a trustee of the International Music Council.

For nearly two decades, Sanders previously served as counsel and executive VP to the US National Music Publishers Association, Inc., during which time he principally oversaw the collection and distribution of over $4 billion in music royalties.  He is licensed to practice in New York, California, Washington, DC and before the US Supreme Court, and is a graduate of NYU School of Law, where he served as a Brown-Derenberg Copyright Fellow (1984).

Among Sanders’ related music industry pursuits, he is a former chairman of the music industry’s leading social justice outreach group, WhyHunger/Artists Against Hunger & Poverty, the recipient of a 2014 Emmy Award for the copyright education short subject “Copy Kid,” a three-decade Grammy voting member and former governor of NARAS, and a platinum award-winning producer, musician and liner notes author.  He is also a former editor of the seminal entertainment industry treatise “This Business of Music,” a 25-year adjunct professor in NYU’s ground-breaking music business program, and writes and speaks frequently on issues of importance to the US and global music creator community.

Education Panel

James Weaver

Dr. James Weaver is the Director of Performing Arts and Sports for the National Federation of High School State Associations. He has been a teacher and administrator at the district, state, and national level. As the Director of Performing Arts and Sports, Dr. Weaver oversees student participation, professional development, and awareness of performing arts activities throughout the nation’s 19,500+ high schools. Dr. Weaver has been a part of several national projects for performing arts educators including serving as the co-chair of the International Performing Arts Aerosol Study, creating copyright compliance resources, and developing national trainings for performing arts adjudicators. He most recently became the President of the National Music Council (NMC) in the Fall of 2021. Dr. Weaver specializes in educational administration and leadership focusing on professional development and teacher job satisfaction and retention. Dr. Weaver has degrees from Concordia College – Moorhead, Northern State University, and the University of South Dakota.

Christopher B.L. Woodside

Christopher B.L. Woodside is the Executive Director of the National Association for Music Education. Prior to his hiring as Executive Director, Chris served NAfME for over a decade in a variety of roles. Most recently as Interim Executive Director, Chris guided NAfME through the COVID-19 global pandemic, working to ensure financial stability and mission-driven activity reflective of the needs of music educators serving students in a constantly evolving landscape.

Chris has contributed extensively to NAfME public policy and advocacy achievements, helping grow the association’s advocacy footprint through state-level capacity building, creation of the Music Education Policy Roundtable, expansion of the NAfME Hill Day advocacy event, and via legislative and regulatory lobbying, including efforts to ensure the inclusion of music-specific provisions in federal education law. In 2016, Chris received the honor of Lowell Mason Fellow in recognition of his advocacy work on behalf of the profession.

Prior to his time with NAfME, Chris was the Policy Coordinator for The Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues. Chris also served on the legislative staff of a member of the U.S. House of Representatives and has worked on several political campaigns. Chris received his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Miami University.

Jennifer Brooks

Jennifer Brooks is the director of bands and district music coordinator for the David Douglas School District in Portland, Oregon.  Ms. Brooks has served in several leadership capacities at the local, state, and national levels, while maintaining a high level band program.  She has spoken at state and national conferences on advocacy and worked in underserved communities.

Under Brooks’ leadership, David Douglas High School has become a powerhouse in several competitive divisions of the Oregon State Activities Association (OSAA).  From 2010 to 2019, the school achieved six runner-up finishes and one third place finish in the Full Orchestra Division and five top-five finishes in the 6A Band Division, and numerous State Solo placers.  The David Douglas Jazz Ensembles have also been perennial top 3 finishers in the OMEA State Jazz Contest as well as in the Starlight Parade where the last two years they were the sweepstakes winner.

Brooks has taken on a number of professional service commitments including National Federation of High Schools Music Committee chair after being the Section 8 representative; Tri-M Music Honor Society advisor, Oregon Band Director Association President; OMEA All- State group manager for Jazz Band, Symphonic Band, Wind Symphony, and Symphony Orchestra; and OSAA Championships Committee and Activities Committee member and liaison to OMEA.  Brooks was also on the staff for the Oregon Ambassadors of Music for five years, and received the Sallie Mae First Class Teacher award in 1997, Mary V. Dodge Award from the Portland Youth Philharmonic in 2013, the NFHS Outstanding Music Educator Award for Section 8 in 2021, and the William P. Foster Community Development Award in 2021. She guided DDHS to become a Grammy Signature school in 2011 and Grammy Enterprise Award winner in 2012.

Latasha Casterlow-Lalla

Latasha Casterlow-Lalla, a native of Passaic, New Jersey, a native of Passaic, New Jersey is a proud product of the Passaic Public Schools. Latasha attended Montclair State University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Music Education in 2002 followed by earning a Master of Arts in Counseling, Human Development and Guidance in 2003.

In 2004, Latasha began teaching in her hometown of Passaic as an Elementary Music Educator. Latasha’s commitment to gain more knowledge led her to return to Montclair State University to attain a Master of Arts in Administration & Supervision from Montclair State University in 2007. Latasha was then privileged to serve as Elementary General Teacher for 5 amazing years.

In 2013, Latasha was appointed as the Supervisor of Gifted & Talented for Passaic Public Schools where she implemented the district’s first Saturday Enrichment Academy for 350 students as well as co-led the district’s first Jump Into Summer Program servicing over 3,500 students. In February 2015, Latasha was selected to be the founding Assistant Principal at the Passaic Gifted & Talented Academy, the city’s first gifted and talented school.

In February 2017, Latasha was appointed to be the Supervisor of Visual & Performing Arts for the Passaic Public Schools. While serving in this capacity, Latasha has worked to revive the Theater Arts program in all high schools, establish the city’s first Dance Education courses and launch 5 state recognized Career/Technical Education programs in Visual & Performing Arts.

Latasha is on a mission to provide equitable programming reflecting modern, popular and traditional musical genres for all students. Her commitment to ensure the Arts are acknowledged as core academic subjects and share the diverse career opportunities with the 15,000 students she serves.

Nicole Davidson

Nicole Davidson is an elementary band teacher in the Copiague School District on Long Island, New York. An active member of the music education community, Davidson has presented workshops at the county, state, and national levels. Her elementary band was a winner of the News12 ‘Sounds of the Season’ contest and featured on News12 Long Island. Davidson was recently named a quarterfinalist for the 2022 GRAMMY Music Educator Award.

Davidson graduated from the University of Delaware with her Bachelor of Music in Music Education with Honors in May 2017 and her Master of Music Education with Distinction from the Crane School of Music in August 2019. In addition to Music, she holds her teaching certification in Childhood Education (Grades 1-6). In the future, she aspires to continue to share her love of music with her young students and further her education by pursuing Education Policy.

Davis Dorrough

Davis Dorrough is an independent piano teacher based in Cincinnati, Ohio. During the COVID-19 pandemic, he transitioned to an entirely virtual piano studio. Seeing the merits of post-covid online lesson opportunities, he eventually made the decision to stay online permanently. Davis now works with a variety of students from nine states and three countries, including Africa and the United Kingdom. Many of his students have sought online lessons due to a lack of access in their local communities.

Davis holds a Master of Music degree in Piano Performance and Pedagogy from the University of Oklahoma. He is chair of the Music Teachers National Association Certification Commission and a frequent presenter at music conferences, including the Music Teachers National Association Conference, the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy, and MusicEdConnect.

Amy Perras

Amy Perras is currently the Instructional Supervisor for Music, Art, and Library Media for Milford Public Schools, in Milford, Connecticut, a role she has served since June, 2019. Since joining Milford Public Schools, she has worked to review and begin the curriculum revision process for all three departments, ensuring alignment to current content standards, high quality instruction, social-emotional learning, and technology integration.

Prior to working in Milford, Amy spent 14 years teaching and leading in Region 14 (towns of Woodbury and Bethlehem, Connecticut). During that time, Amy taught elementary band, choral, and general music, middle school band and general music, and high school band, choir, and general music. Amy also served as the Department Chair for Art and Music and was appointed Instructional Leader for the Arts for the district, a role she served for 3 years. Twice during her time in Region 14, Ms. Perras received the “Region 14’s Finest” recognition from the Board of Education for her dedication and commitment to students and for her part in the development of new curriculum documents for music and art.

Amy is the President-Elect of the Connecticut Arts Administration and currently serves on the National Federation of High Schools Music Advisory Committee as the Section 1 Representative. In this capacity, Amy acts as the link between the National Federation of High Schools and state music associations in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, and Rhode Island. Ms. Perras was also a part of the National Federation of High School’s Return to Music Project team that developed guidance and resources for music educators and administrators across the country that were released by the organization ahead of the current school year.

Industry Panel

Deirdre Chadwick

Before joining BMI in 2010, Deirdre Chadwick was a classical oboist, performing extensively in the U.S. and Canada with such ensembles as the Montreal Symphony, the American Symphony Orchestra, the Richmond and Harrisburg Symphonies, the National Arts Centre Orchestra, the Canadian Opera Company, and the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, where she served as principal oboe for seven years. She is also a founding member of Trio Encantar and has performed widely as a chamber musician. A dedicated teacher, Deirdre served on the faculties of Dickinson College and Susquehanna University, as well as maintaining private teaching studios in oboe and recorder. She has also held numerous administrative positions in academic institutions and private industry. She holds two performance degrees and the Performer’s Certificate from the Eastman School of Music. Deirdre also serves as President of the BMI Foundation, a not-for-profit corporation dedicated to encouraging the creation, performance and study of music through awards, scholarships, internships, grants, and commissions.

Brittain Ashford

Brittain Ashford is the Executive Director of the Music Publishers Association of the United States and an Artistic Advisor with Schirmer Theatricals in New York City. In addition to her work with the MPA, she is a songwriter, arranger, and performer; in 2017 she starred in the Broadway musical, Natasha Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812.

Emmy Feldman

Director of A&R at Heavy Duty Music Publishing. Emmy is responsible for overseeing and developing the careers of 25+ songwriters, producers, and artists signed to HD’s publishing roster, including BJ Burton, Buddy Ross, Justin Raisin, Cherry Glazerr, and Jim-E Stack. Since joining the company in 2020, Emmy has signed Wet, Christian Medice, Luke Wild, Barrie, Puma Blue, CARR, and Lecx Stacy. Prior to moving to LA in 2020, Emmy spent 7 years as an A&R at Atlantic Records and Canvasback Music in NYC, and as Merchandising Manager at Rough Trade Record Shops. She graduated from Duke with a B.A. in English.

Joe Lamond

Joe Lamond is the president and CEO of NAMM, the National Association of Music Merchants, a global not-for-profit 501(c)(6) trade association representing more than 10,000 manufacturers and retailers of musical instruments and professional sound products. The association’s mission is to strengthen the music products industry and promote the pleasures and benefits of making music.

Since 2001, Lamond has led the talented team at NAMM to achieve this mission through what the association calls its “Circle of Benefits” business model, reinvesting the proceeds of its successful trade shows into grants, scholarships, scientific research, industry promotions, and public and government relations programs. These efforts have contributed to increased support for music education in our schools and greater awareness around the world of the benefits of active music making for people of all ages.

John Mlynczak

John Mlynczak offers an extensive range of experiences in music education and the music industry and is a frequent national clinician. Mr. Mlynczak is Vice President of Music Education & Technology for Hal Leonard, and the former President of the Technology Institute of Music Educators. John also teaches online graduate courses at VanderCook College and Boston University Online, and is a Google Level-2 Certified Educator. Mr. Mlynczak is a passionate advocate for music education and technology, serving on the NAMM State Advocacy Coalition, the NAfME Advocacy Leadership Force, and is Advocacy Chairman for the Massachusetts Music Educators Association. Mr. Mlynczak holds an undergraduate degree in music education, and graduate degrees in both music performance and educational leadership.

John Mlynczak has presented hundreds of sessions at international, national, and state conferences. Learn more at www.johnmlynczak.com.

Barbara J. Wight

Barbara J. Wight is the Chief Financial Officer at Taylor Guitars, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of premium acoustic guitars. Ms. Wight retains global responsibility for all financial, information technology and legal interests of the company, which annually manufactures and distributes upwards of 200,000 guitars in both domestic and international markets. Ms. Wight also oversees Taylor’s international operations and compliance issues, including factory complexes in California and Mexico and an ebony mill in Cameroon. In 2020, Ms. Wight led Taylor’s transition to an ESOP and 100-percent employee ownership. In 2021, Ms. Wight was named San Diego’s CFO of the Year in the “large private company” category by the San Diego Business Journal.

Prior to joining Taylor in 2009, Ms. Wight spent 18 years in the irrigation industry. She was the Chief Operating Officer/Chief Financial Officer of T-Systems International, Inc., a global manufacturing company delivering irrigation solutions to growers.

Currently, Ms. Wight serves on the Executive Committees for the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) and the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation (SDREDC), and is a member of the U.S. Secretary of Commerce’s District Export Council. Through her service with NAMM she has been an active advocate for music education for more than a decade.

Ms. Wight holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting, magna cum laude, from San Diego State University and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from San Diego State University. She is also a Certified Public Accountant.

David Amlen

David Amlen started as a freelance musician before founding his first studio, Sound On Sound Recording. SOS grew into one of the top recording facilities in New York within ten years, catering to rock, jazz, pop, and hip hop artists including David Bowie, Roger Daltrey, Branford Marsalis, Dave Grusin, Mariah Carey, Beyoncé, Puff Daddy, and Jay-Z. Between the studio and David, as both engineer and producer, the facility garnered more than 65 gold and platinum album awards resulting in sales of over 75 million units worldwide. SOS merged with competitor Right Track Recording (home to many stars including Elton John, Billy Joel, James Taylor, Carly Simon, Whitney Houston, and producer Phil Ramone) in 2005 to create Legacy Studios. Building on the previous successes of both facilities, Legacy also catered to Broadway, Hollywood, and classical music projects including Wicked, The Producers, South Pacific, The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty, Wynton Marsalis and Michael Brecker. David’s last NYC facility, MSR Studios which closed in 2016, was the result of David buying out his partners in 2009. David and MSR continued to cater to top names and projects including If/Then, Kinky Boots, Sting, Aretha Franklin, Renee Fleming, Yoyo Ma, D’Angelo, J Cole, Frank Ocean, and Barbra Streisand. The combined histories of the facilities have yielded over 150 gold and platinum albums and worldwide sales of more than one hundred fifty million units.

David recently opened a new modern facility in Montclair, NJ (www.soundonsoundstudios.com) catering to larger ensemble recording and music mixing for record, theater, film and television. The studios also cater to voice recording for books, podcasts, and dialog replacement for film and television. The new studios, designed by David, won the TEC award for best studio design. Recent projects include Christian McBride’s Big Band (Grammy nominated), Kenny Garrett, Ain’t Too Proud (Grammy nominated), Diana, CBS-TV’s FBI, The Goo Goo Dolls, Johnny Badass, and DMC. David is also an adjunct professor at MSU, recently designed and supervised the acoustic upgrades for the Wellmont Theater (capacity 2,000 seated) in Montclair NJ, and is both president of the board of trustees and sound mixing engineer for Outpost In The Burbs, also based in Montclair NJ.

Performance Panel

Dan Beck

Dan Beck serves as the Trustee of the Music Industry’s Music Performance Trust Fund, providing grants for over 2,000 admission-free live events annually in parks, hospitals, senior centers, and schools throughout North America. He helped launch developing artists on the roster at Epic Records for over 20 years; as head of publicity, as a product manager, and later as SVP of Marketing and Sales. He launched V2 Records, as President of North America, for Virgin entrepreneur and self-made brand Richard Branson. He later, launched his own boutique entertainment marketing company Big Honcho Media, LLC, a pioneer in social media relational tactics.

Beck started the first major label publicity department in country music in 1974. He was creatively at the forefront of music video production throughout the ‘80s, and in the ‘90s, his licensing strategy launched Moby, forever changing the industry’s marketing model.

He has spearheaded marketing and media strategies for The Clash, Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, Gloria Estefan, Sade, Luther Vandross, Pearl Jam, Stevie Ray Vaughan, The Charlie Daniels Band, Tammy Wynette, Charlie Rich, Cheap Trick, Living Colour, and Boston, among many others.

His hearing conservation film, Listen Smart, won the prestigious CINE Golden Eagle Award and was featured at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. He’s written songs with Hall of Famers Dion DiMucci and Felix Cavaliere. He executive produced Broke*, Will Gray’s award-winning documentary on the sustainability issues facing independent artists.

Tanya Bannister

Lauded by The Washington Post for playing “…with intelligence, poetry and proportion,” pianist Tanya Bannister has made a versatile career that is immersed in tradition combined with an entrepreneurship that seeks to create projects that inspire genuine connections between music and the world we live in.

Ms. Bannister has been a winner of Concert Artists Guild International Competition and the New Orleans International Piano Competition confirming her status among the leading pianists of her generation. Ms. Bannister’s career has already brought her to many of the world’s great concert halls, with recitals at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Salle Cortot in Paris, Teatro Communale in Bologna, Tokyo’s Nikkei Hall, London’s Queen Elizabeth and Wigmore Halls, The Kennedy Center in Washington DC, and Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall.

In addition to mastering the traditional repertoire, she has a deep affinity for contemporary music and has premiered numerous works written for her, including Christopher Theofanidis, David del Tredici, Suzanne Farrin, Harold Meltzer and Sidney Corbett. She has released several CDs, including piano concerti of Mozart, Chopin and Schubert arranged with string quintet, which was selected for special mention by the New York Times.
Tanya is currently president of Concert Artists Guild and co-founder and Artistic Director of AlpenKammerMusik Festival in Austria. Ms. Bannister has also co-founded Roadmaps Festival in New York City, an artistic, humanitarian and cultural venture. Recent festivals have centered around the crisis in Syria and climate change.

Born to an English father and Japanese mother, Ms. Bannnister started her musical education in Hong Kong and continued in London, Italy, Germany and the USA.  Ms. Bannister holds degrees from the Royal Academy of Music in London under Christopher Elton and Hamish Milne, Yale University, where she studied with Claude Frank, and New York’s Mannes School of Music, where she received an Artist Diploma as one of a handful of pianists selected to study with Richard Goode.

Porter Carroll, Jr.

Porter Carroll, Jr., is founder of Atlantic Starr, the R&B/Pop hit machine from the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. Currently he is performing worldwide with the number one selling duo in music, Rock & Roll Hall of Famers, Daryl Hall & John Oates as their percussionist and vocalist. Porter is also headlining his own sold out shows, The Evolution of Cabaret, an innovative cabaret/nightclub act that puts a new exciting spin on popular classics never before seen on the Jazz club and cabaret circuit.

As a composer for Sony Music Publishing, top names covered Porter’s compositions. Some of those artist include Luther Vandross, The Temptations, Denise Williams, and Grover Washington. Porter also co-wrote and co-produced for blues great, Taj Mahal. He has written for jazz crooner, Will Downing, legendary jazz keyboardist, Bob James, penned exercise music for Jane Fonda and helped to launch a very young, Jennifer Love Hewitt. Atlantic Starr’s original lead vocalist, Sharon Bryant, smooth jazz greats, Marion Meadows and Bob Baldwin have all recorded songs from his catalog. He can be heard on one of his own compositions in the Jason Alexander, Kathleen Turner, Regina King and Courtney Vance film, Love and Action in Chicago. He has a credit in the hit movie, Barbershop and he’s written for the animated television movie, People, performed by Peabo Bryson. Porter’s songs were often heard on the historic soap operas, The Guiding Light and his mom’s favorite, As The World Turns.

Porter appears as a regular on Daryl Hall’s, Webby Award winning television smash, Live From Daryl’s House. (www.livefromdarylshouse.com).

Rich Nesin

A self-described “roadie for life,” Rich Nesin began his professional career in live performance touring in the summer of 1974 moving music equipment around a recording studio owned and operated by Todd Rundgren. He has since traveled all over with a wide variety of groups ranging from Bob Dylan’s famed Rolling Thunder Revue to Kiss; from jam bands like the Tedeschi Trucks Band to Electronic Music darlings, Sofi Tukker. Mr. Nesin has worn a variety of touring crew “hats” including guitar tech; front of house sound engineer; production manager; tour manager, tour accountant and more. He has also spent time working directly for promoters and concert venues as their production representative and spent seven years teaching concert production at New York University’s Steinhardt School.

Rich spent 25 years running the touring business of roots reggae legends, Steel Pulse and when the pandemic shut touring down, he devoted time to hosting an online series called “Flip The Stage” sponsored by the Lagond Music School in Westchester, NY. Currently, he is tour managing Tommy James & The Shondells.

Born and raised in The Bronx, NY, he was a music lover from the very start. He was listening to rock and roll radio from his crib and pounding on a piano before he could read. Later on, he studied classical clarinet, voice and ear training at the Manhattan School of Music’s preparatory division before picking up a bass guitar in the mid 1960s and playing in amateur rock bands ever since. As an undergraduate at Ohio University, he convinced the Honors College to let him teach a class exploring the relationship between popular music and popular culture; something that was relatively unheard of at the time.

Melinda Newman

Melinda Newman is Billboard’s Executive Editor, West Coast and Nashville. A graduate of Vanderbilt University, she has covered culture and entertainment for more than 20 years and before returning to Billboard in 2017 wrote for The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, Rolling Stone, Forbes, Variety, Christian Science Monitor, Parade and Entrepreneur, among others. The 2020 recipient of the CMA Media Achievement Award splits her time between Los Angeles and Nashville and has reported from Mali, Peru, Lebanon, Poland and other corners of the world, but her favorite location is in the front of the pit at a Bruce Springsteen concert.

Eric Williamson

Eric Williamson is a conductor with the Grammy-award winning Brooklyn Youth Chorus. Choirs under his direction have performed in the tri-state area. As an active member of the American Choral Directors Association, Chorus America, and the Music Educators Association of New York City, he has performed at regional and national conferences.

Mr. Williamson is a versatile tenor who has performed nationwide and overseas as a soloist. Recent performances include Paris Couture Week with NY fashion designer Pyer Moss, virtual recitals with Studio LIS, guest conductor with the Columbus Gay Men’s Chorus, a production of Porgy & Bess with Harrisburg Symphony, domestic/international tours with the Essence of Joy Alumni Singers, and recurring roles with the International Lyric Academy in Italy.

A native of Teaneck, NJ, Mr. Williamson received his B.A. in Music from the Pennsylvania State University and his M.A. in Music Education from Teachers College, Columbia University. Committed to equity and diversity, he has led several workshops for choruses on the East Coast centering on anti-racism and culturally responsive & sustaining education (CRSE) for music educators. He currently works full-time as a public school music teacher at PS 32 where he teaches PreK-5th general music and leads the Equity & Diversity committee.

Creator’s Panel

Nina Ossoff

Nina Ossoff has been a professional songwriter for over 20 years. She is a multi-genre and multi-platinum writer with many successes to her credit. Releases include Daughtry (#1 Billboard Grammy nominated multiplatinum cd), Halestorm (single I Get Off was a Top 10 Rock Single), Shinedown (multi-platinum cd), Theory of a Deadman, Emphatic, The Temptations (single Hoops of Fire) appeared on their 50th Milestone cd), Irma Thomas, Patti Austin, Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes, Jonathan Butler, Lizzie Carter, Kumi Koda (#1 Japan Selling Artist), Louise, The Cheetah Girls, Hillary Duff, and many more domestic and international recording artists. Her songs have been placed in numerous television shows and movies such as Miss Congeniality, The Hot Chic, Barbershop, Bring It On, The Powerpuff Girls Movie (end credit song), The Barbie Diaries, The Bratz, Lizzy McGuire, Good Morning America, Entertainment Tonight, Cadet Kelly, Chestnut, Center Stage, and Soul Food. Recent releases and collaborations include Sean Smith (UK Idol), Ronan Parke (UK ‘S got Talent), Carolyn Miller, Erich Bergen, and Will And Anthony Nunziata.

Nina is a fixture in the NY and LA songwriter community and has been a panelist for New Music Seminar, CMJ, Women in Music, Songwriters Hall of Fame, Mercy College Idol. Her teaching and mentoring venues include The Songwriters Hall of Fame, Mercy College, The Secrets of Songwriting Online Music Camp, NYU, The International Creators Conference (Singapore), Sleepy Hollow High School (Songwriter in residence), The Rye Arts Center, and ongoing one-on-one sessions.

Peter Bliss

Peter Bliss songs have been recorded by artists Barbra Streisand, NYSNC, Peter Wolf, The J. Geils Band, Bobby McFerrin, Southside Johnny, and many more. Peter’s journey began as an artist/songwriter releasing his United Artists debut LP in his early twenties. He has shared the stage and recorded in studio with and for artists Tom Chapin, Jonathan Edwards, Nona Hendryx, Jewel and many more. Peter’s song catalog is represented by Universal, Warner/Chappell, Peer and his own CurlyMan & CurlyJams Music. His work includes writing and producing for artists, television, film and educational programs including Children’s Television Workshop and ESL programs for Pearson.

He’s shared his expertise creating workshops and events for the Songwriters Hall of Fame and now the New York Songwriters Collective which he founded in 2011 to inspire and support the creative community. The Collective “Open House”, “Song Club” & “Member Showcase” monthly residency at NYC’s Bitter End are just a few offerings. The showcases gives back to the community with proceeds going to support charitable organizations including WhyHunger, Sweet Relief Musicians Fund, and New York Cares Annual Coat Drive.

Porter Carroll, Jr.

Porter Carroll, Jr., is founder of Atlantic Starr, the R&B/Pop hit machine from the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. Currently he is performing worldwide with the number one selling duo in music, Rock & Roll Hall of Famers, Daryl Hall & John Oates as their percussionist and vocalist. Porter is also headlining his own sold out shows, The Evolution of Cabaret, an innovative cabaret/nightclub act that puts a new exciting spin on popular classics never before seen on the Jazz club and cabaret circuit.

As a composer for Sony Music Publishing, top names covered Porter’s compositions. Some of those artist include Luther Vandross, The Temptations, Denise Williams, and Grover Washington. Porter also co-wrote fand co-produced for blues great, Taj Mahal. He has written for jazz crooner, Will Downing, legendary jazz keyboardist, Bob James, penned exercise music for Jane Fonda and helped to launch a very young, Jennifer Love Hewitt. Atlantic Starr’s original lead vocalist, Sharon Bryant, smooth jazz greats, Marion Meadows and Bob Baldwin have all recorded songs from his catalog. He can be heard on one of his own compositions in the Jason Alexander, Kathleen Turner, Regina King and Courtney Vance film, Love and Action in Chicago. He has a credit in the hit movie, Barbershop and he’s written for the animated television movie, People, performed by Peabo Bryson. Porter’s songs were often heard on the historic soap operas, The Guiding Light and his mom’s favorite, As The World Turns.

Porter appears as a regular on Daryl Hall’s, Webby Award winning television smash, Live From Daryl’s House. (www.livefromdarylshouse.com).

Jessica Chertock

Jessica Chertock is a 26-year-old independent EDM topline writer, artist, and songwriter based out of New York City and Miami, Florida. She has worked with many renowned producers and DJs from around the globe and had releases on labels such as Dharma Worldwide, NCS, Soave, LoudKult, Spectrum Recordings, Future House Cloud, and others. Her music has recently garnered support by multiple well-known producers and radio DJs, including Don Diablo, KSHMR, Timmy Trumpet, Steve Aoki, and others. Since launching her EDM career in April 2020, Jessica has amassed over nineteen million streams on Spotify, and even more across all streaming platforms. In addition to her career as an EDM topline writer and vocalist, Jessica has a writing repertoire that spans many genres from pop and EDM to country/folk, and even R&B and hip hop. Recently, she had the chance to write for the legendary Motown group, the Spinners, who are about to release brand new albums after not releasing original music for many years. Website: https://www.jessicachertock.com

Jeff Franzel

Jeff Franzel is a multi-talented songwriter and composer with over 35 years’ experience in the music business. He began his career as a jazz pianist and toured with many groups, including big band legend Les Brown and The Hues Corporation (“Rock The Boat”). During that time he accompanied such artists as Frank Sinatra, Mel Tormé, and Sammy Davis Jr.

Jeff’s first ever recorded song was Taylor Dayne’s “Don’t Rush Me” which was a #2 pop hit. Jeff had a top 10 AC hit “You’ve Got A Way” with Kathy Troccoli and a #1 Contemporary Christian Dove Nominee “Love Was Never Meant To Die”. Jeff had hits with “NSYNC (two songs) , Shawn Colvin (two songs), Clay Aiken, Josh Groban, Placido Domingo, Pope John Paul 11, The Temptations, Hayley Westenra (6 songs) Phyliss Hyman, Nikki Webster, G.E,M., Rouge and Rhys Lewis (3 songs). Jeff has had over 20 top 10 singles and 275 recordings worldwide. “Be Your Man” with Rhys Lewis has over 60 million streams.

A number of Jeff’s songs have been featured in film and TV including Runaway Bride, Serendipity, Deja Vu, Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen, Saturday Night Live, Dawson’s Creek and Touched by an Angel. His has current releases with Rhys Lewis, Dennis van Aarssen (winner of Holland’s The Voice) and Sophie Francis. He recently scored Hurt By Paradise and The Rehearsal.

Jeff has been a Yamaha artist since 2011, and has recorded 3 solo piano albums as well as a solo piano Movie Theme Album for Cinematic Hotel Studios. He has been mentoring songwriters for The Songwriting Academy UK and has annually been mentoring the TSA Songwriting Retreat held in Malaga, Spain since 2017.

Anthony Nunziata

Anthony Nunziata has performed over 400 concerts over the past decade headlining major performing arts centers, theaters, symphony concert halls, jazz clubs and private events across the country and around the world. The Brooklyn-born, classically trained singer is hailed by Broadwayworld as “an explosion of love and entertainment.” Anthony recently co-headlined Carnegie Hall for two sold-out concerts with the New York Pops Symphony Orchestra. Anthony recently appeared in the Netflix film “The Last Laugh” opposite Chevy Chase and Richard Dreyfuss.

His songs have recently been featured on MTV, Comedy Central, CBS News, NBC News and Good Day NY. His original pop song “The Gift Is You” – which he wrote honoring his mother’s battle with breast cancer (she is now cancer-free) – is currently being used as an anthem for The Susan G. Komen Foundation.

Anthony recently released his debut jazz/pop release “THE LOVE ALBUM,” now available on all streaming services and autographed CD’s available for purchase at www.anthonynunziata.com. He and his Grammy-winning team of musicians re-imagine “Unchained Melody,” “Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You,” “Can’t Help Falling In Love With You,” “When I Fall In Love,” “Somewhere,” originals including “Will You Be My Everyday?” and many more. Anthony’s acclaimed debut Christmas album “TOGETHER FOR CHRISTMAS” won Broadwayworld’s “BEST HOLIDAY ALBUM OF THE YEAR.”

Anthony studied music, acting and directing at Boston College, and trained in improv comedy at the famed Upright Citizens Brigade in New York City. Featured on Good Morning America and The Rachael Ray Show, Anthony is most proud of his “ARTS MATTER!” Educational Outreach Initiative and Master Class Workshops that educate and inspire students to fearlessly pursue their passions. Artist website: www.AnthonyNunziata.com.

Hannah Lash

Hailed by The New York Times as “striking and resourceful…handsomely brooding,” Hannah Lash’s music has been performed worldwide with commissions from The Fromm Foundation, The Naumburg Foundation, The Boston Symphony Chamber Players, Alabama Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Carnegie Hall, Orchestra of the Swan, Talujon Percussion, and Miller Theatre at Columbia University, among many others. Lash has received numerous honors and prizes, including a Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a fellowship from Yaddo Artist Colony, the Naumburg Prize, the Barnard Rogers Prize, and the Bernard and Rose Sernoffsky Prize in Composition. Recent world premieres include Music for Nine, Ringing for harps, keyboards, and percussion, performed at the Music Academy of the West (2018), and Concerto No. 1 “In Pursuit of Flying” for piano and orchestra, performed by the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra (2018). Other world premieres include Beowolf, a chamber opera in two acts commissioned by Guerilla Opera (2016), Music for Eight Lungs, commissioned by Miller Theatre at Columbia University for Loadbang (2016), Chaconnes, for string orchestra, commissioned by Interlochen Center for the Arts (2016), and Give Me Your Songs, for solo piano, commissioned and performed by Nadia Shpachenko (2016). Lash obtained her Ph.D. in composition from Harvard University in 2010 and has served on the composition faculties of Yale University School of Music and the New School. Hannah Lash’s music is published exclusively by Schott Helicon Music Corporation (New York).

Yo Poppy

Jesus Emmanuel Vazquez Garcia (born September 25, 1998), professionally known as Yo Poppy, is a Puertorican record producer, record executive, songwriter, and artist. Born in Toa Baja, Puerto Rico and raised in Kissimmee, FL, Yo Poppy began his production career at the young age of 15 while in high school and became known for his successful recordings with Latin Urban Artists such as Miky Woodz, Farruko and Gotay to name a few in 2017. Most recently, Yo Poppy was involved in the production of “Los Dioses,” a collaborative album by Latin Trap Stars Anuel and Ozuna, which charted at #1 on the Billboard Charts in 2021.