Email: [email protected] | cell: 901-871-3659
Gavin has devoted his career to inspiring youth to explore their musical abilities and open their eyes – and ears – to the countless elements of music.
With a bachelor’s and master’s degree in music and in vocal performance from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, Gavin is a tenured musician. No stranger to PRIZM Ensemble, he sat as a panelist for its 2019 college audition preparation workshop, providing guidance to high school students on the rigorous audition process for entering collegiate-level music programs. His higher education experience also includes serving as an adjunct professor and later as a visiting professor for voice at Kentucky State University. He later returned to his hometown of Memphis to become the director of choirs at Kirby High School.
In addition to serving as executive director for PRIZM, Gavin is the director of concert choir and a voice instructor at LeMoyne-Owen College. He previously served as a fellowship coach for Memphis Music Initiative, where he partnered with dozens of local schools and managed a team of music fellows who taught more than 750 students each semester.
As PRIZM’s executive director, Gavin oversees all operations and strategic direction for the nonprofit, manages development, drives programming, recruits mentors and fosters community partnerships to support PRIZM’s vast youth outreach efforts. He also leads PRIZM’s largest program, the Summer Music Camp and International Chamber Music Festival, and the PRIZM in the Schools program, which provides high-level introductory music classes and orchestral instruction at various schools.
Director of Operations and Programming
Email: [email protected]
Christina Lai finds passion in all fields of music teaching and collaboration and seeks to increase access to and diversity in music education and performance.
Christina Lai, a pianist from Plantation, Florida, received her Doctor and Master of Music degrees in piano performance with a specialized study in piano pedagogy from Florida State University. Christina has collaborated with her chamber ensembles to focus on supporting works written by female composers. Through collaborations with composers such as Pulitzer Prize winner Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, Missy Mazzoli, and Liliya Ugay, Christina has brought their music to parts across the state of Florida. With her piano trio Trio Riva, she was invited to debut at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall to premiere a work related to the COVID-19 pandemic by Lilya Ugay written for the trio. Christina has also commissioned works by composers Yuying Weng and Eunseon Yu, both who wrote pieces based on the fusion of diverse backgrounds.
Christina has performed in various venues and festivals across the United States and Europe, including at the University of South Florida, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the Interlochen School of the Arts, the Chautauqua Institution, the Brancaleoni International Music Festival, and the Aspen Music Festival and School as a Thomas S. Kenan Fellow. Complementing her musical ventures, Christina has led presentations and workshops on piano pedagogy at conferences such as the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy and the Music Teachers National Association Collegiate Symposium, among others.
She previously taught for Florida State University, Western Kentucky University, University of North Florida, Aspen Music Festival and School’s Passes and Lessons Scholarship Program, DC Strings Workshop, Good Sam Arts, and, similar to PRIZM, UNC’s Musical Empowerment – a nonprofit organization designed to provide free lessons to children from marginalized communities. Christina is also a co-founder and Executive Director of Chamber Music Festanza, a unique chamber music intensive designed with fluidity between rehearsal and coachings and emphases on building comradery and artistry.
In her role as Director of Operations and Programming, Christina coordinates educational outreach projects throughout the year, including PRIZM in the Schools, the annual International Chamber Music Festival and Summer Camp, and PRIZM Chamber Orchestra concerts. She also teaches private classical piano lessons to students of all ages and levels.
Email: [email protected]
Currently pursuing her masters degree in Sociology at the University of Memphis, building community access to needed resources is a goal both in and out of the classroom. With over three years of nonprofit experience, Kelsey’s area of expertise is primarily within developing accessible resources for underserved populations.
As a sociologist, her research interests include poverty, the intersection of oppression, marginalization, and exclusion, the effects of rural vs urban environments on poverty, and policy reform. Specifically, she investigates poverty remediations, sustainable economic development, and deconstruction of institutional and organizational practices serving individuals and families experiencing chronic poverty.
In 2022, Kelsey presented a solutions-focused pedagogical strategy at the Lilly Traverse, a conference that provides opportunities for the presentation of the scholarship of teaching and learning. In 2023, she is set to present her qualitative research “Advocates Barred from Advocacy: Investigation of the Transitional Housing Processes Through the Narratives of Social Workers in Memphis, TN” at the Southern Sociological Society conference as well as the American Sociological Association national conference.