Kathleen Sakson, Co-Founder
Kathy is a native of Philadelphia, Pa., a city with a rich jazz heritage. She grew up listening to every kind of music, including jazz played by mom on bass and dad on vibes and drum set. She pursued her love of music, earning Music History and Music Education degrees at Temple University’s College of Music. With a strong background set in classical music study, she rounded out her jazz studies with jazz pianist/composer/author Jimmy Amadie, and most recently earned a Master’s Degree from UCF, with an emphasis on jazz studies and private jazz piano and composition/arranging study with Per Danielsson.
Kathy is a relative “newbie” as a composer, having begun formal composing and arranging in the last 5 years, after receiving encouragement from mentors to “write it down!” Tapping on her improvisational skills honed while performing for many years as a jazz pianist in ensembles of all sizes, she began capturing her creative musical voice on paper, going beyond sharing it in the real time of improvisation.
One of her most recent compositions was performed in 2018 at the Blue Bamboo Center for the Arts in Winter Park. Her joyful and exciting journey is young, but Kathy is ready to creatively travel far and wide, sharing her works in hopes of lifting up listeners and enriching their life experience through the enjoyment of her music.
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Melody Cook is a composer in Orlando, FL. She loves nature, creativity and the arts. Inspiration for her work often comes from the beauty, chaos, and order of nature and the human condition. Melody grew up in Tennessee, and then spent several years traveling abroad. She lived in Moscow, Siberia and England before moving to Orlando in 2012. Melody studied music composition at Valencia College and the University of Central Florida. She graduated in 2019. Melody teaches private lessons for beginning pianists in Orlando. She also enjoys gardening, hiking, drawing, painting, puzzles, attending concerts and, of course, writing music.
Originally from Miami Florida, Rebekah Todia grew up in a house full of noise, art, and a family piano. Rebekah earned her Associates in Art Education at Miami Dade College, and after graduating worked as a session musician on various projects in the Miami area. In 2002 Rebekah moved to Orlando Florida, and was accepted into the music program at Rollins College as a piano performance major. She studied under Dr. Gary Wolf, Professor Emeritus of Music. She graduated Cum Laude with a degree in piano performance, and composition. Rebekah has performed many classical works, as well as original compositions in the Orlando area. Rebekah has composed works for interactive projects such as video games, and has recently done voice over work for VR. Currently she teaches at Full Sail University in their audio and music production programs. She is an active member of The Phoenix Collective, an organization representing female composers in the Orlando area, and a member of Central Florida Composers Forum. Rebekah is presently working on new music and honing her art as a piano performer.
Holly received her Master's in Jazz Performance from New York University playing with Jazz greats such as Kenny Werner, Chris Potter, Jean Michel-Pilc, Brad Shepik, Tony Moreno, among others. She learned under the tutelage of Mike Richmond who tours with the Mingus Big Band. She now resides in Florida continuing to compose and arrange, constantly learning more from the jazz idiom. She continues to be a strong force in the jazz world performing with multiple ensembles and for multi styled events from Burlesque to Symphony to Country to Funk.
Singer and Songwriter
From rocking in the crib to acapella songs on the spare of the moment throughout her childhood, Lindsay always had a passion for singing and music. She has the passion and fire to still keep any form of music in her life, steering more toward writing songs in the recent years, she is showcasing the first of some of her original compositions. There is a list of milestones in her life in the regards to her passion to master her vocal craft, sing/record in live performances and in recording studios, and learn the ropes of the music industry.
The first start of involving herself in the musical world outside of her childhood and young adult school years was enrolling herself in some summer schools to further master her vocal
performance craft. The summer of 1993 she enrolled herself into the Acteen Acting School in New York City; which involved professional Acting and Musical Theatre training. In the summer of 1996, she enrolled herself into the Musical Theatre Project School with Gregory Hines, Vanessa Williams, and Anne Reinking; which involved tweaking the musical theatre craft with a final performance at the end of the Project.
A year later, a very beneficial opportunity came to her in which involved a proposal from her Corporate Aunt Laura Odell, whom worked at the Coca Cola Company. Laura Odell extended
an offer during the Holidays of 1997 and 1998 to invite her and her twin sister to be a part of the Coca Cola Christmas Party in Atlanta, GA.; where she was an opening singing act for the show
with an audience count in the thousands.
Furthermore, a year later, she started to pursue her passion to be a recording artist, and had some opportunities to get that started. In 1999, she recorded a music demo package in which was managed by the former president of Capitol Records, Keith Frye.
In 1999-2000 she did take a break and she locked down and studied the music business for a year
at Georgia State University.
In 2000-2001, she became a Recording Artist at Parc Records in Altamonte Springs , FL; as part of a group with her twin sister. She recorded a music demo with music producer, Dexter
Redding (Ottis Redding’s son).
After a long hiatus, during the year of 2014 -2015, she started to delve back into the music world by singing cover songs and some original songs at Hannibal Lounge in Winter Park on many Friday and/or Saturdays, with gigs lasting 3-4 hours long.
Most currently in her musical agenda, which started in 2015, she has been recording and writing songs with Music Composer Eric Brook (whom teaches at Full Sail University) for an upcoming album getting ready to be released in 2020.
Rose Shylam Grace
Rose Shlyam Grace, a Russian-born pianist, has concertized throughout the United States as a soloist and chamber music recitalist. In recent years, Miss Grace has been a featured artist and guest presenter at several music conferences, including the 34th International PAMA Symposium in NYC, the National MTNA Conferences and the Florida Flute Association Conventions. Last year Miss Grace joined the Bold City Contemporary Ensemble, based in Jacksonville, FL, which was featured as a guest performing ensemble in the 2018 TEDX Conference in Jacksonville, FL. Miss Grace serves as an Associate Professor of Piano at Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, Florida. She is the founder and director of the B-CU Music Outreach Program, featuring college music students in live presentations of classical music
During the summers, Miss Grace has taught at the Interlochen Center for the Arts Music Festival in Michigan, the Castleman Quartet Program in Fredonia, New York, and most recently, at the Buffet-Crampon Clarinet Academy in Jacksonville, FL, and the Blue Lake Music Festival in Michigan. Miss Grace served as a member of the 2018 MTNA National Conference Planning Committee, which was held at Walt Disney World in Florida. She can be heard on several recording labels, with a recent CD release on Albany Records entitled, Vibrations of Hope: Music of the New Millennium. She holds a DMA from the Eastman School of Music, an M.A. in Musicology from the University of Chicago, and a B.M from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music.