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 34 years and their two sons, Nathan and Sebastian, are their pride and joy.

Contact Jody at or 225.922.4656 ext. 102.

Dr. Sinella Aghasi – arts advocate

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 Kids Orchestra, Brian holds the position of principal tuba with the Rapides Symphony Orchestra, the Lake Charles Symphony Orchestra, and the Gulf Coast Symphony Orchestra, as well as principal trombone with Theater Baton Rouge. He is also an active chamber musician, performing regularly with the Chimes Street Brass Quintet and Rouge Collective, a newly formed tuba and euphonium octet.

He currently resides in Zachary with his wife, Sarah, and their three children, Renée, Liam, and Claire.

Contact Brian at or 225.922.4656 ext. 111.


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.

Contact Sam at or 225.922.4656 ext. 103.


Manages the afterschool program at Park Ridge Academic Magnet, Westdale Heights Academic Magnet, and Zachary Elementary School sites as well as the care, maintenance, and distribution of the instruments and musical equipment used at all program sites.

Dr. Heard holds a Doctor of Musical Arts in Tuba Performance and a Master of Music in Music Education from Louisiana State University as well as a Bachelor of Music Education from Southeastern Louisiana University.

Larry previously taught in the public school system as an Assistant Director of Bands for Fontainebealu High School. He plays regularly as a member of the Northshore Orchestra and Northshore Brass and also performs as a freelance musician on piano.

Since 2017, Larry has worked with Kids’ Orchestra, serving as a Teaching Artist and an Office Manager. He recently moved into a new role as Program Manager and Instrument Inventory Manager and is excited to further his involvement with KO. Larry lives in Baton Rouge with his wife and son.

Contact Larry at or 225.922.4656 ext. 105.


Blakelynn Prettelt holds a Bachelor of Music Education from Louisiana State University (LSU). She studied French Horn with Seth Orgel. In her time at LSU, she performed with the Golden Band from Tigerland, the Bengal Brass band, and various large concert ensembles.

Prior to joining Kids’ Orchestra, Blakelynn performed as a freelance horn player in the Baton Rouge area. She also taught private lessons and sectionals. Blakelynn worked with Kids’ Orchestra as a music content provider before moving into her new role as Program Manager.

In her spare time, Blakelynn enjoys spending time with her large family from her hometown of Walker, Louisiana.

Contact Blakelynn at or 225.922.4656 ext. 108.

Abby South – Content Specialist GA

Abby South holds a Bachelor of Music from Loyola University and a Master of Music from LSU. She is a second-year 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 Directors’ 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.