Outstanding Musicians, Outstanding Teachers.
Laura Patterson - Executive Director
Laura has an MA in Arts Management from American University and a BM in Flute Performance from the University of Southern California. Her previous work experience includes the Departments of Cultural Affairs at the US Department of State and the Organization of American States, New York Youth Symphony’s Chamber Music Program, A Midsummer Music Quebec, CW Post Long Island University’s Summer Festival, and Opera France. In April of 2014, Laura was chosen by the U.S. Attorney’s Office as a “Person of Character, Courage, and Commitment” in honor of Women’s History Month for her work with Make Music NOLA.
In addition to administrative work, Laura also has 14 years of experience teaching group classes and private lessons. Her teaching experience includes working for the Harmony Project, an award-winning music education organization now serving 1,500 students in Los Angeles. She has performed at the Lima International Jazz Festival (Lima, Peru), the International Arts Festival (Rotterdam, Holland), Electronic Music Midwest (Chicago, IL), the Southern Voices Dance Festival, French Quarter Festival, and Bach Around the Clock. Laura currently performs with Versipel New Music Collective and several other projects in New Orleans.
Georgia Rhody - Manager of Development and Operations
Georgia has over ten years of experience working in non-profit management and the New Orleans music scene.
Anna Yates - Media and Communications Associate
Anna Yates is a senior at Tulane University, finishing her Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Studies, International Development, and History. Though originally from Seattle, Washington, she grew up with a strong appreciation for New Orleans music and participated in her schools’ music programs on the saxophone and piano. In her spare time, she enjoys leading outdoor trips through Tulane’s campus recreation center, photography, and eating Vietnamese food.
Matt Rhody - Head Violin Teacher and Curriculum Development
Matt Rhody is a fixture on Frenchmen Street. He currently plays with several bands, including the New Orleans Cottonmouth Kings, The Hot Club of New Orleans, Luke Winslow King, Lynnzi Zaorski, and the Valparaiso Men’s Chorus. He has also worked with The Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, Harry Connick Jr., and Stevie Wonder. Matt was recently singled out to solo with Stevie Wonder onstage at the Smoothie King Center and to perform with Luke Winslow King at South by Southwest. He also teaches at UNO and has a private studio at his home. Matt Rhody is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Jordan Peota - General Music Teacher
Jordan is a clarinetist and saxophonist with a passion for playing and teaching music of many styles. He teaches general music at Elan Academy. Originally from Minneapolis, he moved to New Orleans in 2011 to earn a degree in music education from Loyola University. He loves baking bread, biking and bouldering.
Tucker Fuller - Resident Rock Star Violin Teacher
Tucker Fuller attended Bard College (B.A.), the Peabody Institute (M.M.) and the University of Michigan (DMA), and has studied with composers Joan Tower, Christopher Theofanidis, Evan Chambers, Michael Daugherty, and Bright Sheng. He has had premieres with the Da Capo Chamber Players, the Colorado String Quartet, and the American Symphony Orchestra. Tucker is a frequent collaborator with poet Megan Levad. Writing as 1928, Tucker and Megan write song cycles for both conventional and unconventional places.
Sam Kohler - Cello Teacher
Sam Kohler is a composer, organist, and conductor in New Orleans, LA. He is currently studying composition with Professor Barbara Jazwinski at Tulane University. He has worked as the organist and choirmaster at St. Paul Lutheran Church in the Marigny since 2017, premiering many new organ and chamber works there. In 2013, he founded the Sam Kohler New Music Ensemble, a nine-member chamber ensemble dedicated to performing new works by contemporary composers. Kohler has released two recordings, Synchromy with the Ensemble and Synchromy No. 2 with the Cascade String Quartet.
Gabrielle Fischler - Violin Teacher
Violinist Gabrielle Fischler is a fourth-year New Orleanian, having moved from Boston where she was a co-founding member of Palaver Strings. She currently serves on faculty at Make Music NOLA, Ellis Marsalis Center, and Birdfoot’s Young Artist Program. She also teaches private lessons and chamber music coachings and works with Musicollaborative. Gabrielle serves as the Community Director of Lyrica Baroque where she helps facilitate arts integration projects built to enhance social-emotional learning, as well as projects such as NOLA Chamber Fest. Gabrielle makes local appearances with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, the New Orleans Opera, Lyrica Baroque’s education programs, Musaica, Crescent Chamber Artists, the New Resonance Orchestra, the Saenger, Groupmuse, and Jefferson Performing Arts Society.
Brain Wingard - General Music Teacher
Jazz Saxophonist Brian Wingard received his Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies from Central State University in Wilberforce, OH. He is currently pursuing his Master of Music in Jazz Studies at UNO, while serving Arise Academy as the K-4 Music Instructor. In addition to leading his own professional jazz quartet, Mr. Wingard has performed with Bobby Shew, Ellis, Delfeayo, and Jason Marsalis, and Herlin Riley.
Board of Trustees
Project Manager, Artspace Projects
Fred Neal Jr.
Senior Planner, Villavaso Inc.
Executive Director, Soap Factory
Attorney-at-Law, Liskow and Lewis
Dirty Coast, Owner and Creative Director