Oversees all departments and executive decisions for the organization.
Jody Hanet has spent over 25 years working in music education and arts administration in New Jersey, Arizona, and Louisiana. She has been a public and private school teacher and children's choir conductor, including work with the Phoenix Boys Choir, East Baton Rouge Parish Junior Choir, St. James Cherub Choir, St. Bernard's Children's Choir in Scottsdale, AZ, and the Corpus Christi Children and Bell Choirs in Chatham, NJ.
Since 2013, Jody has served as Executive Director of Kids' Orchestra. Under Jody's leadership, Kids' Orchestra has grown from serving 65 children to now serving over 300 students across East Baton Rouge Parish. In addition to her work with Kids' Orchestra, Jody has served on numerous nonprofit boards in Baton Rouge, including the Baton Rouge Area Chamber of Commerce and the A. C. Lewis YMCA.
Jody holds a Bachelor of Music Education in vocal music from Louisiana State University and a Master of Education Leadership from Bank Street College in New York City. She is also a Kodaly Specialist, certified from the Kodaly Musical Training Institute in Hartford, Connecticut, and is also certified to teach Kindermusik Beginnings. In her spare time, she continues to sing in her local church choir. Jody has been married to her husband, Michel for 36 years and their two sons, Nathan and Sebastian, are their pride and joy.
DR. SINELLA AGHASI - DIRECTOR OF GRANTS AND COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIPS
Oversees writing and implementation of grants and community partnerships, marketing, and public relations.
Dr. Sinella Aghasi is an arts administrator, educator, and violinist. As an arts advocate, Dr. Aghasi is committed to making arts education accessible to a diverse community. In her role as the Director of Grants and Community Partnerships at Kids' Orchestra, she seeks to advocate for equitable access to the arts and to establish partnerships for bringing music education to a diverse community. Dr. Aghasi holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Louisiana State University, Master of Music from San Francisco State University, and Bachelor of music education and violin performance from California State University Stanislaus.
As an active performer, she plays with several local orchestras, such as Baton Rouge Symphony, Acadiana Symphony, and Rapides Symphony Orchestra. Dr. Aghasi currently serves as the Vice President of Corporate Sponsorships at Forum 225, Baton Rouge's largest young professionals' leadership organization.
Oversees logistics for all program sites and manages organizational operations.
Dr. Brian Gallion holds a Doctor of Musical Arts in tuba performance from Louisiana State University (LSU), a Master of Music in tuba performance from LSU, and a Bachelor of Music in Music Education from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. Prior to joining Kids' Orchestra, Brian held various teaching positions in secondary and higher education throughout Georgia and Louisiana.
In addition to working with Kidsâ€™ Orchestra, Brian holds the position of principal tuba with the Rapides Symphony Orchestra, the Lake Charles Symphony Orchestra, and the Gulf Coast Symphony Orchestra. He is also a lifetime member of, and the Advertising Coordinator for, the International Tuba Euphonium Association.
Oversees the content, quality, and implementation of music curriculum for all program sites.
Sam holds a Bachelor of Music Education from Murray State University and a Master of Music in percussion from Louisiana State University. He has studied percussion with Tom Vanarsdel, John Hill, Jim Corcoran, and Brett Dietz.
Sam currently serves on the Advisory Council for the Louisiana Center for Afterschool Learning and previously served as the Afterschool Ambassador for Louisiana with the Afterschool Alliance (2018).
In addition to his work with Kids' Orchestra and afterschool programming throughout the state, he performs as a freelance percussionist in Baton Rouge and New Orleans, specializing in contemporary percussion, drum set, and chamber music. He also teaches privately throughout the region.
Coordinates KO SEL curriculum and oversees daily operations at Audubon Elementary, WHAM, Advantage Charter Academy, and Helix Aviation Academy.
A native of Pineville, LA, Dr. Allen Carpenter is a freelance musician and educator in the Baton Rouge area. As a freelance musician, Allen has performed with professional quintets, symphony orchestras, low brass ensembles, and choral ensembles throughout the continental United States and Europe. Allen holds degrees in Tuba Performance, with a Minor in Vocal Pedagogy from LSU, where he graduated with his D.M.A and M.M. Prior to his graduate studies, Allen earned a B.M.E in Music Education from Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana. His primary teachers include Dr. Joseph Skillen, Dr. J. Mark Thompson, Dr. Masahito Kuroda, and Dr. Charlie Goodman.
Coordinates KO Volunteer Program and oversees daily operations at BR FLAIM, The Dufrocq School, Democracy Prep, and Big Buddy.
Micaela Chrisentery is originally from Los Angeles, California. As a seasoned professional she has experience working with families and students to align their goals, coordinating projects with multiple stakeholders, and developing long-term programs involving local community members.
She is excited to bring her talents to the Program Manager position at Kidsâ€™ Orchestra. She believes the true power and promise of Kidsâ€™ Orchestra is â€” a place that lifts up students of all backgrounds, shepherds their development as people and as scholars, and helps put them on a path toward reshaping the world.
Oversees the KO Private Lessons program, KO social media, and manages all aspects of KOâ€™s musical instrument inventory.
Erika holds a Bachelor of Music in flute performance from Louisiana State University and a Master of Music in flute performance from The Boston Conservatory. She has a passion for cultivating positive learning environments and aspires to convey her fervor for music with students of all ages. Prior to joining Kidsâ€™ Orchestra, Erika taught a private flute studio in Dallas, owned a coffee business, and worked as a baker. She previously served Kidsâ€™ Orchestra as a teaching artist during her time at LSU. Erika currently resides in Baton Rouge with her husband, Austin, and their two Australian shepherds, Nova and Remy.
Oversees KO Observation Team and holds the Kidsâ€™ Orchestra LSU Teaching Assistantship.
Abby South holds a Bachelor of Music from Loyola University and a Master of Music from LSU. She is currently a PhD student at LSU majoring in music education with a minor in cognitive psychology. She has sixteen years of K-12 teaching experience and was a teacher of record during her master's program. She was named Band Director of the Year (LMEA District VI, 2010), and Teacher of the Year (Juban Parc Junior High, 2015). She maintains a private lesson studio, is a frequent guest conductor and adjudicator in Louisiana, has presented at the Louisiana Music Educators Association state conference twice, and has supervised thirteen student teachers from three different universities.
Abby served on the board of the Livingston Parish Band Directorsâ€™ Association for five years and is a member of LMEA, NAfME, Phi Beta Mu, and the Diversity Equity and Inclusion initiatives for both LSU School of Music and the Louisiana Music Educators Association. She was the honors ensemble director for Kids Orchestra 2018-2020 and currently works as a content specialist and teacher coach as part of an assistantship with LSU. Her research interests include comprehensive musicianship, cognition, and teacher mentorship.