Interludes provide Academy participants with the opportunity to receive cross-disciplinary training. Every afternoon from Monday to Thursday, a variety of workshops are offered in each TAA content discipline. Participants may attend any workshop in any area to learn more about a familiar topic or to explore something new.
Rob Amchin is a distinguished professor of music education at the University of Louisville, where he enjoys leading undergraduate and graduate classes in the school of music. His training includes studies at the Orff Institute in Salzburg, New England Conservatory of Music, Memphis State University, Hofstra University, Hamline University, and the University of Michigan. Amchin is on the faculty of numerous Orff Schulwerk summer teacher training courses. He is a member of the Kentucky Orff Schulwerk Association and the Quad State Orff Association. He is also a member of the National Association for Music Education, the American Recorder Society, and the American Orff Schulwerk Association (AOSA). As an active member of AOSA, he is a regular clinician for their national conference and leads training events for many school districts and music education organizations. He is a regular clinician at the Kentucky Music Educators Association (KMEA) professional development conference. Among the many sessions he has presented during the past twenty-five years, one of his most popular is his evening of international folk dancing, which he has led for nearly fifteen years at KMEA’s annual conference. He has taught in Austria, Canada, China, Hong Kong, Israel, Poland, Russia, South Africa, and Singapore.
Lorelei Batisla-ong is associate professor of general music education at the Conservatory of Music at Baldwin Wallace University. She received a degree in music education from Southwest Texas State University, a master’s degree in instrumental conducting from Texas State University, and a PhD in music and human learning from the University of Texas at Austin. Batisla-ong has served on the board of trustees for the American Orff Schulwerk Association and is the Texas state director for the National Association for Music Education. She is the content coordinator and lead editor of Decolonizing the Music Room and is the coauthor of Elemental ‘Ukulele:Pathways and Possibilities. Her research and presentations include ʻukulele teaching, teacher noticing and cognition, teacher skill acquisition and development, equity in the classroom and teaching profession, and generally wondering why everything is the way it is and how it can be better.
Travis Cross serves as professor of music and director of bands at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), where he conducts the wind ensemble, leads the graduate wind conducting program, and chairs the music department. He was also associate dean for academic mentoring and opportunity during the initial years of the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music. He previously taught at Virginia Tech and at Edina High School in Minnesota. Cross earned doctor and master of music degrees in conducting from Northwestern University and the bachelor of music degree cum laude in vocal and instrumental music education from St. Olaf College. His principal teachers were Mallory Thompson and Timothy Mahr. Cross has appeared as a guest conductor, composer, and clinician in nearly forty states and in Canada, China, Korea, Singapore, Spain, Thailand, and the United Arab Emirates. He has also been the featured band clinician at the Texas Music Educators Association Clinic and Convention, and on several occasions he was featured at the Music for All National Festival and at the Midwest Clinic. Cross is a member of the Council of Korean Americans and a Yamaha master educator.
Derrick Fox is the director of choral activities and distinguished associate professor of music at the University of Nebraska–Omaha, where he recently received the 2022 Award for Distinguished Research or Creative Activity. His teaching and conducting experiences include upper elementary through collegiate choirs and community choirs. He has led choral concerts and residencies and has presented professional development workshops across the United States and internationally. His book, Yes You Can: A Band Director’s Guide to Teaching Choirs, is published by Carl Fischer. He launched the Derrick Fox Choral Series with MusicSpoke to publish works by and about marginalized and minority people. He created the Professional Choral Collective to collect and create music learning activities and teaching strategies for choral music educators around the world to use during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. He also partnered with the Country Music Association Foundation to create the Unified Voices for Music Education initiative. For more information, please visit https://www.drderrickfox.com/.
Internationally acclaimed technology educator, speaker, and author Barbara Freedman is an engaging and effective presenter and trainer. She has expertise in multimedia course design and technology integration for digital learning environments, including face-to-face, synchronous, asynchronous, and hybrid. Celebrated as a teacher’s teacher, Freedman has developed courses and has trained educators in public and private schools, nonprofit organizations, and private industry. Freedman has been teaching electronic music and audio engineering at Greenwich High School in Connecticut since 2001 and is the author of the book Teaching Music through Composition: A Curriculum Using Technology published by Oxford University Press. She holds degrees from Brooklyn College Conservatory of Music, City University of New York, and Mannes College of Music. Her philosophy is that technology is a tool to be utilized only if it makes learning easier or more engaging for both the student and the teacher. Freedman’s motto, “Teach music; the technology will follow,” has become the rallying cry for music technology teachers around the world. Check out this video about the Greenwich High School electronic music lab and recording studio.
Sandy Knudson is the artistic director of Oklahoma Youth Sing! and successfully taught music in kindergarten through fifth grade for thirty years. She holds a master’s degree and Kodály certification from the University of Oklahoma. Since 1990, Knudson has served on the faculty of the University of Oklahoma Kodály certification program, where she teaches solfège, conducting, and choir. She is National Board certified in early and middle childhood music. Knudson presents at numerous state and national conferences and has conducted honor choirs in Louisiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Texas. In 2015, she conducted the National Children’s Choir for the Organization of American Kodály Educators and in 2018 was given their Outstanding Educator award. She earned an artist-teacher diploma under the mentorship of Doreen Rao at the Choral Music Experience Institute. She was recognized by the Oklahoma Music Educators Association (OMEA) as an exemplary teacher in 2010 and was inducted into the OMEA Hall of Fame in 2013. Knudson is active as a dance caller in Oklahoma and loves to foster community through dance.
Sindy Isabel Castro is a theatre maker and educator. She is cofounder of Jugando N Play, a theatre for young audiences. She graduated from the City University of New York and was awarded a distinguished thesis honorable mention from the American Alliance for Theatre and Education (AATE) for her thesis “¡BE PREBEARED! TEATRO EN EDUCACIÓN—THEATRE IN EDUCATION.” Castro is a Lab Works artist at the New Victory Theater for2022–2023, an ensemble member of Emit Theatre, and a board member of the AATE.Castro is a teaching artist with Lincoln Center Theater, New York City Children’s Theater, the People’s Theatre Project, and Arts Connection in New York City. She is a mentor through the Arthur Miller Foundation and AATE. Castro strives to use theatre to create multilingual and multicultural spaces where young people are empowered to embrace their home languages and cultures. Her essay “A Translanguaging Stance on Theatre Education” was published in the book Applied Theatre with Youth: Education, Engagement,Activism in 2021.
Penelope Caywood teaches and directs at the University of Utah, where she is the artistic director of the youth theatre program. Youth Theatre is a Kennedy Center Partners in Education organization and provides multiple theatre and music residencies in elementary schools. It also provides professional development workshops for classroom teachers on arts integration, primarily in the Salt Lake City School District. Caywood has also lectured and presented her work across the state and in California, Florida, and Washington, DC. With her award-winning high school conservatory, she devises and creates new work every year. For the past eleven years, she has directed and choreographed Salt Lake Acting Company’s Theatre for Young Audience productions. She is the advocacy chair for Utah Advisory Council for Theatre Teachers and is on the board of the American Alliance for Theatre and Education. She was recently named the Utah Division of Arts and Museums Performing Arts Fellow for 2022.
Kristin Hunt is the assistant director of theatre in the School of Music, Dance and Theatre at Arizona State University. She earned her master’s and doctoral degrees in theatre at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. As an interdisciplinary theatre researcher and practitioner, her research interests include the adaptation of ancient and classical performance modes in contemporary contexts, performance as activism, food in or as performance, and performance-based pedagogy. Her pedagogical practice focuses on applied theatre, theatre in education, theatre for social justice, and experimental performance. Her coauthored book, Drama and Education: Performance Methodologies for Teaching and Learning, was published by Routledge in 2015. Her translations and adaptations of Georg Büchner’s Woyzeck and August Strindberg’s Miss Julie were featured at the 2015 Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space.
Renee Redding Jones is a movement professional. She teaches movement for actors and dancers and is a certified movement analyst, choreographer, contemplative psychotherapist, registered yoga teacher, and a New York Dance and Performance “Bessie” Award–winning performer. As a teacher and choreographer, she currently works at the Atlantic Acting School and in the Classical Studio at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. In addition to the drama department, Jones has served as an assistant professor in the dance department. In 2020, through the Tisch School of the Arts, she was nominated for the prestigious David Payne-Carter Award for Teaching Excellence. She earned a degree in dance from Sarah Lawrence College, a degree in physical education and dance from Morgan State University, and certification as a contemplative psychotherapist through the Nalanda Institute for Contemplative Science. Blending her skills in the arts and advocacy, Jones is an intimacy director and a teaching artist for Intimacy Directors and Coordinators.
Tyson Kaup is the founder and artistic director of the Performing Arts Company of Walla Walla and the president of Walla Walla Summer Theater. His recent directing credits include 9 to 5, Annie, The Rocky Horror Show, and Cabaret. Kaup’s producing credits include the New York City world premiere of Turtleback High by Kevin Dedes; the feature films March!, Solitary Child, and My Last Day with You; and many music videos and commercial productions. Kaup has performed on film and television, in Off-Broadway shows, and in many regional theatres around the country. His on-screen credits include Trouble Is, After Hours, The Snakehead, and 30 Rock. Favorite stage roles include Tennessee in Yank! at the York Theatre in New York City, Matt in Red Light Winter at Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater, and Andy in the national tour of Highlights for Children. Kaup is a graduate of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, where he studied with the Atlantic Theater Company.
Missy Lilje earned degrees in dance from the University of Michigan and from Arizona State University. She has performed the works of Martha Graham, Doris Humphrey, Paul Taylor, David Dorfman, Peter Sparling, Mark Haim, and more. She has choreographed more than thirty works for the contemporary concert stage, musical theatre productions, and children’s concerts. Lilje’s research on dance communities and how they relate to business practice was published in 2008. She regularly travels to present this work throughout the United States and in Europe. She is an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Theatre at Michigan State University. For the past twenty-four years she has worked as artistic director and CEO for Happendance, a nonprofit dance education organization. In 2016 Lilje was elected to the board of education for the Lansing School District. She also enjoys serving as a special education paraprofessional at the Ingham Intermediate School District while studying to become a certified teacher.
Donna Woodley is a visual artist and art educator in Nashville, Tennessee. She has taught students in higher education for seven years and currently teaches courses in art foundations at Tennessee State University and Belmont University. Woodley earned a degree in painting from Lesley University’s College of Art and Design in 2016. She was a resident at Arrowmont’s Pentaculum 2022 and currently serves on the board for Tennessee Craft as a newly appointed member. Her art has been in galleries and universities alike, including Tennessee State University, Austin Peay State University, and Lipscomb University. She was named Nashville’s Best New Artist in 2016 by the Nashville Scene and was a featured artist for United States Congressman John Lewis. Her first solo show was held at the Gallery Luperca in Nashville, and her latest solo show is currently on display at the Nashville International Airport. The combination of figures and slightly humorous symbols in Woodley’s paintings have been exhibited globally and in numerous settings.