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Board of Directors
Artistic Staff

Board of Directors, 2023-2024

Beth Ratay | President

Beth Ratay is a versatile composer who is able to craft music using a wide variety of styles and techniques. From music possessed of a quiet, understated grace, to music that plays joyfully with mathematical concepts, to laugh out loud operatic fun, her music is engaging, charming and beautiful.

Dr. Ratay received her Doctor of Musical Arts in World Music Composition from the University of California, Santa Cruz and has had works performed around the world by ensembles such as Earplay, West Edge Opera, Juventas New Music Ensemble, Boston Opera Collaborative, Coalescence Percussion Duo, and the Cambridge Chamber Singers.

Ratay currently teaches at the University of New Mexico as well as with the Active Learning Through Opera program at the Santa Fe Opera. She lives with her amazing family including one husband, two sons, and two cats in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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Leah Reid | Artistic Director

Leah Reid is a composer, sound artist, researcher, and educator, whose works range from opera, chamber, and vocal music, to acousmatic, electroacoustic works, and interactive sound installations. Her primary research interests involve the perception, modeling, and compositional applications of timbre.

Winner of a 2022 Guggenheim Fellowship, Reid has also won the American Prize, first prizes in the International “New Vision” Composition Competition, the KLANG! International Electroacoustic Composition Competition, and Musicworks’ Electronic Music Competition, Sound of the Year’s Composed with Sound Award, IAWM’s Pauline Oliveros Award, and second prizes in the Iannis Xenakis International Electronic Music Competition and the International Destellos Competition. She has received fellowships from the Guerilla Opera Company, Transient Canvas, Copland House, the Hambidge Center, MacDowell, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts (VCCA), the Ucross Foundation, and Yaddo.

Her compositions have been presented at festivals, conferences, and in major venues throughout the world, including Aveiro_Síntese (Portugal), BEAST FEaST (England), Espacios Sonoros (Argentina), EviMus (Germany), Forgotten Spaces: EuroMicrofest (Germany), ICMC (USA & Chile), IRCAM’s ManiFeste (France), LA Philharmonic's Noon to Midnight (USA), the Matera Intermedia Festival (Italy), NYCEMF (USA), the OUA Electroacoustic Music Festival (Japan), the SF Tape Music Festival (USA), Série de Música de Câmara (Brazil), the SCI National Conference (USA), Soochow New Voice Concert Series (China), the SMC Conference (Germany), the Tilde New Music Festival (Australia), TIES (Canada), and WOCMAT (Taiwan), among many others.

Reid received her D.M.A. and M.A. in music composition from Stanford University and her B.Mus from McGill University. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Music Composition at the University of Virginia.

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Stephen Caldwell | Secretary

Stephen Caldwell is fascinated with writing music which gives audiences immersive experiences.

Inspired by popular avant-garde movements, Caldwell has sought to combine the accessible and the unfamiliar. Whether for full orchestra, chamber ensemble, soloist, electronics, or anything in between, Caldwell’s music welcomes performer engagement and repeated listening. Emotional sensitivity stems from research on the psychology of listening, while machine-like rhythms and noisy settings arise from experiments in glitch art and computer science. Caldwell often creates artwork, animation, and poetry to transform his music into engrossing multimedia works.

No matter the current study, Caldwell is keen to find the next far-flung topic to incorporate into his ever-expanding fabric of music.

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Tony McClendon | Treasurer

With more than 25 years of increasing levels of experience in corporate and asset management settings, Tony McClendon is an accomplished Treasury and Finance professional. He earned his Bachelors from the University of Chicago and MBA from the University of Notre Dame. Tony also earned the Certified Treasury Professional (CTP) designation.

Tony has a deep appreciation for music - both listening and playing. The first instrument he learned to play was the trombone at age 10. In addition to playing trombone at school during his youth (including at a music magnet school in Dayton, Ohio), he’s also played for a handful of community bands throughout the Chicago suburbs as an adult.

Tony is currently learning the cello, an adventure he started towards the end of 2022. Additionally, over the years Tony has learned basics of the trumpet, piano and saxophone. Tony is also an avid listener of Jazz and Classical music. When Tony is not working or practicing the cello, you are likely to find him playing pickleball or practicing karate.

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Melika M. Fitzhugh | Director of Concert Series

A native of Stafford, Virginia, Melika M. Fitzhugh (A.B. Harvard-Radcliffe: Music Theory and Composition, M.M. Longy School of Bard College: Composition) has studied conducting and composition with Thomas G. Everett, Beverly Taylor, James Yannatos, Julian Pellicano, Roger Marsh, Jeff Stadelman, and, most recently, Osnat Netzer and John Howell Morrison.

The artist, who has composed music for film and stage, was a member of Just In Time Composers and Players and is currently a member of world/early music ensemble Urban Myth and the early music ensemble Quilisma Consort, in addition to playing bass guitar with acoustic rock singer/songwriter Emmy Cerra, the ambient rock band Rose Cabal, the symphonic metal band Illusion's End, and the Balkan folk dance band Balkan Fields.

Mel enjoys teaching and playing a variety of instruments for folk dance ensembles, including: violin/viola/violoncello/double bass; acoustic guitar/bass; recorders; flute; clarinet; saxophone; trumpet; hand percussion including dumbek/djembe/kahoun.

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Administration, 2023-2024

Rachel Barone | Website and Social Media Associate

Rachel Barone is a website and social media associate with a passion for music. 

A recent UC Santa Barbara graduate with a BA in Film and Media studies, Rachel is native to Southern California and just recently moved to the East coast. Rachel enjoys listening to and playing all kinds of music. Her musical background began in elementary school, choosing to join the school orchestra playing the violin, then later joined the women's choir ensemble during her high school and college careers. She is currently trying her hand at the piano and guitar in her spare time and hopes to one day master them both.

Rachel is interested in the impact music has and how far its influence can go within the digital spaces we create, and is so excited to be joining such a great team here at BNMI!

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Afsar Yassai | Grants and Development Associate

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Artistic Staff, 2023-2024

John Masko | Principal Conductor

John Masko, a Rhode Island native, is a rapidly rising orchestral conductor with a knack for bringing contemporary music and time-honored classics together in new ways. He is currently music director of the Brockton Symphony Orchestra and the Providence Medical Orchestra, director of orchestral activities at Marywood University, and a frequent assistant and cover conductor with orchestras including the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra and Minnesota Orchestra. An enthusiastic advocate for new music, John is principal conductor of the Boston New Music Initiative. He has conducted at the Cabrillo Festival for Contemporary Music and the Atlantic Music Festival, and led numerous premieres, including recent works by Robert Ruohola and Oana Vardianu.

John holds a master’s degree in conducting from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where he studied with Eric Dudley. He has also studied conducting with Charles Peltz at New England Conservatory. John has conducted in masterclasses led by Cristian Măcelaru, Rüdiger Bohn, Sian Edwards, Paavo Järvi, and Jorma Panula, and has assisted conductors including Michael Tilson Thomas, Krzysztof Urbanski, Cristian Măcelaru, and Osmo Vänskä.

Outside of music, he fancies himself maker of the best gumbo north of the Mason Dixon Line and is a devotee of the novels of Thomas Hardy.

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