2017 Executive Board Nominees

2017 Executive Board Nominees

Below are the nominees for the Executive Board Elections for the two-year term beginning June 1st, 2017.

President Elect

Deyermond, Beth

Beth Deyermond, MA, MT-BC has been a practicing music therapist for the past sixteen years.  She currently serves as the Senior Music Therapist and Internship Director at The Center for Discovery in Harris, NY.  Beth’s responsibilities at The Center include program development, providing oversight to both the pediatric and adult Music Therapy programs, facilitating individual and group
Music Therapy sessions within the Intensive Music Therapy Clinic, planning and documenting Music Therapy services, and training and administrative aspects of the internship program. She is a frequent presenter at the national and regional level and is currently serving as the secretary on the MAR Executive Board.
Statement of Intent
I am honored to be running for the position of President Elect for the Mid-Atlantic Region of AMTA.  As it is the mission of the MAR to advance public awareness of music therapy, increase access to quality Music Therapy services and provide support to its members within the Mid-Atlantic Region, it is increasingly important for members of the Board to be personable, approachable, organized, thoughtful, confident, and open to feedback and alternative ideas.  In addition to these traits, I believe that the key to moving our profession forward is solution focused, out-of-the-box thinking.  I pride myself in holding the above named traits and also in my ability to think in creative ways in both professional and personal settings. You can have confidence in knowing that I will approach this position with that same level of passion and creativity. I am committed to listening to people’s concerns with an open mind, sharing these concerns appropriately, and then to respond thoughtfully and purposefully in order to best serve the membership.  In my current role as Secretary on the Executive Board, I have become increasingly aware of the current needs and goals of the membership.  It would be a great honor to continue to serve the MAR as a member of the Executive Board and be a part of the continued growth.

Tracy Wanamaker

Tracy S. Wanamaker, MSEd, MT-BC is a Visiting Instructor at the Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam, where she coordinates the Music in Special Education Program.  In addition to her duties at Crane, she has a thriving private practice in Northern New York, where she works in a wide range of clinical areas including special education, adults with developmental disabilities and gerontology settings providing both individual and group music therapy sessions. She also serves a guest music therapy supervisor for the Jamaican Field Service Project, where she supervises music therapy students from across the United States in providing music therapy services in Schools of Hope and infirmaries in multiple locations around Jamaica. Tracy is active as a consultant and clinician for professionals, teachers and parents across the United States, and has presented her research at many local, state, and national conferences including many ATMA National and Regional Conferences.  Currently, Tracy enjoys serving the MAR-Region in both her roles as a member of the NY State Task Force on Occupational Regulation and as the MAR Liaison with the New York State School Music Association.
Statement of Intent
I am very excited to accept this nomination to run as President-Elect of the AMTA-MAR Region.  Through my work on the NY State Task Force on Occupational Regulation and in private practice in a rural area with limited access to music therapy services, I have demonstrated my passion and commitment to furthering the MAR-AMTA mission of advancing public awareness of the benefits of music therapy, increasing access to quality music therapy services, and providing support to its members within the Mid-Atlantic Region.  I strongly feel that serving in the position as the President-Elect is a valuable opportunity to continue my efforts in these areas. Serving in this position would also provide me additional insight into the efforts and needs of our region in order to provide additional support for all of the amazing music therapists that live and work here.  If elected, I look forward to collaborating with all of you while sharing my skills and passion for providing the best quality services for all of our clients. Thank you for your consideration.

Vice President For Membership

kolb (2)Lori L. De Rea-Kolb, MA. MT-BC, LPC, CPRP  is a Music Therapist who currently serves as Creative Arts Therapist and Clinical Team lead for a facility for adults with serious mental illness.  She has worked with a variety of populations, including children with developmental disabilities, and well as adolescents who have experience pervasive trauma. Lori recently presented at this past MARAMTA Regional Conference about her work with mindfulness and the seriously mentally ill population, and has published a chapter about her work with juvenile male sex offenders.    Lori has served in leadership roles throughout her life in a variety of collegiate, community and workplace settings, including spearheading a wellness initiative at her work setting including a garden and chickens.  Outside of work and service, Lori enjoys gardening, yoga, and the chaos of everyday life with two young sons.
Statement of Intent
Please let this letter serve as my formal intent to accept the nomination for Mid Atlantic Region of the American Music Therapy Association’s Vice President of Membership.   I am honored to be nominated and look forward to serving in this capacity, if so elected.

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Ming Yuan Low, MA, MT-BC is a Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapist and doctoral student and research fellow at Drexel University’s PhD in Creative Arts Therapies program. Prior to this, Low has worked at the Nordoff-Robbins Center for Music Therapy at New York University as a clinician, research assistant, and technology assistant. Low has been the Vice President of his alma mater’s (Texas Woman’s University) student Music Therapy Club and parliamentarian of the International Student Association. He is now a founding member and on the committee of the Malaysian Music Therapists Association, responsible for international relations. He has also been the coordinator of multiple international student festivals while at school. Most recently, Low was a part of the Southwestern AMTA region’s conference committee (Dallas 2013) as head of programs, and organizer for Malaysia’s first music therapy conference in 2016.
Statement of Intent
I am interested in running for Vice President of Membership because as an international student, the association has welcomed me as a part of the family both at the regional and national level. I have found that my experiences as an AMTA member has helped me grow professionally, musically, and personally on multiple levels and am eager for new members to join the family as well. My focus will be targeting college students, international students, and new professionals to join the MAR-AMTA family. I believe that even though some of them might face financial constraints in joining AMTA, they are the ones that can benefit most from this association because of the camaraderie, education, and professional opportunities.

Norris, Marisol

MARISOL SAMANTHA NORRIS, MA, MT-BC Currently, Marisol serves as a music therapist and clinical supervisor with the Philadelphia Family Court and a doctoral candidate and adjunct faculty member in the Department of Creative Arts Therapies at Drexel University.  Marisol specializes in teaching multicultural perspectives in counseling and multicultural competence training in the field of music therapy.  Her research focus includes the critical analysis of race, spirituality, and religion in clinical practice, the role of aesthetics and cultural memory in the therapeutic practice, and meaning making processes of clients of underrepresented communities.  Marisol provides lectures on the topic of race, race relations, and Black aesthetics and is dedicated to the creation of models for constructive racial engagement and pedagogical approaches to music therapy multicultural training.
Statement of Intent
It was a distinct privilege to serve the Mid-Atlantic Region (MAR) in the capacity of Vice President of Membership this past year.  The knowledge gained from my tenure coupled with my skills and experiences provided continued insight into the landscape in which music therapy exists and the collective experience of MAR members who daily strive to be more effective stewards within the communities they serve. It is with great pleasure that I submit this letter to express my intent to serve the American Music Therapy Association’s MAR as the Vice President of Membership for a second term.
Building upon the knowledge and momentum gained during my tenure, this upcoming term I hope to continue initiatives that increase membership.  This includes actions to expand and sustain member involvement and to increase the diversity and inclusion efforts throughout the region.  Also, I hope to create opportunities that will financially assist professional and student members’ career advancement.  Together we can sustain a culture in which all our members feel valued, respected, and included in our organizational mission and further develop a thriving membership community that is strengthened by our shared knowledge, growth, and interconnectivity. Thank you once again for your time and consideration.

Vice President Elect for Conference Planning


Lauren C. Faggiano,MS, LCAT, MT-BC is a board-certified music therapist, practicing since 2003.  She has a Bachelor of Science from SUNY Fredonia with a major in music therapy and a minor in psychology.  Lauren received her Masters degree from Nazareth College in May 2012 and obtained her LCAT in 2014.  She has worked as a music therapist specializing in improvisational music therapy in a variety of settings.  In her years as a music therapist, she was an adjunct professor at Nazareth College and oversaw undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate music therapy students.  Most recently, she has enjoyed being a local co-host for the MAR conference in Rochester, NY.  Outside of music therapy, Lauren has experience coordinating a variety of events including an annual fundraiser that had over 1,500 people in attendance.  She has also recorded three studio CDs, and performed in and around Rochester in support of her music.
Statement of Intent
Lauren C. Faggiano is a board-certified music therapist, practicing since 2003.  She has a Bachelor of Science from SUNY Fredonia with a major in music therapy and a minor in psychology.  Lauren received her Masters degree from Nazareth College in May 2012 and obtained her LCAT in 2014.  She has worked as a music therapist specializing in improvisational music therapy in a variety of settings.  In her years as a music therapist, she was an adjunct professor at Nazareth College and oversaw undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate music therapy students.  Most recently, she has enjoyed being a local co-host for the MAR conference in Rochester, NY.  Outside of music therapy, Lauren has experience coordinating a variety of events including an annual fundraiser that had over 1,500 people in attendance.  She has also recorded three studio CDs, and performed in and around Rochester in support of her music.
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Cassandra Schoffstall, MT-BC, My name is Cassy Schoffstall, and I have been a professional music therapist for 3 years at Living Unlimited Inc., serving the Central Pennsylvania area. I work mainly with children and adolescents with autism and developmental disabilities. I recently received my Master’s in Music Therapy with a specialization in Neurologic Music Therapy from Colorado State University. As a professional, I was a guest speaker for the Mid-Atlantic Region Student Organization, speaking on Autism and a neurological approach to treatment. Last year, I had the privilege of being part of the local committee for conference planning. In my spare time, I enjoy golfing, working out, and cooking or baking.
Statement of Intent
I am interested in the position of Vice President of Conference Planning Elect because I have always enjoyed planning and organizing events. I am able to work independently and with others to make the event as smooth and enjoyable as possible. Regional conference is a time for students and professionals to increase knowledge about our field and to network with other people in a short amount of time. I believe that making the most of this time together is pertinent.
I have excellent organizational and communication skills, making sure that all tasks are done to the best of my ability, with all requirements fulfilled. I learn quickly and do not hesitate to ask others for assistance or for their opinion. When I complete my assigned duties, I am not afraid to ask for additional responsibilities or to help others. I am able to use all forms of technology to communicate with team members effectively. As a young professional, I believe I would bring a fresh view to conference planning and the needs of our ever-growing field of music therapy.

Treasurer Elect


James Maxson, MM, MT-BC, LCAT is a graduate of Florida State University and has worked as a music therapist in New York since 2009, and received his LCAT in 2016. He works with medically complex children from birth to 21 at the Elizabeth Seton Pediatric Center (Yonkers, NY). He creates music within a client-centered framework and loves to adapt technology not only to make music more accessible, but to give richer childhood experiences to the children he works with. James also serves individual clients at the Music Therapy Institute at the Music Conservatory of Westchester, often engaging in adaptive instruction and performances with clients.
Statement of Intent
I have been interested in serving the Mid-Atlantic Region of the AMTA for a while, but never found myself in a position to do so. I was approached recently if I would consider serving MAR as the Treasurer-Elect. I think that this is a great chance now to serve a role for the region that can help the members of the Mid-Atlantic Region.
Public Relations Chair


Melissa Reed, MS, MT-BC is an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Music Therapy Department and the Manager of the Lipson Music Therapy Clinic. Prior to becoming a member of the Nazareth College faculty, Melissa spent 15 years working as a Board-Certified Music Therapist and Music Teacher in the Rochester area. Melissa works extensively with children with diverse needs in the music therapy and music education settings and is a sought after clinician on this topic. She has presented for music professionals on the national and state level. Melissa received a Master of Science in Education and a Bachelor of Music in Music Therapy and Music Education from Nazareth College.
Statement of Intent
I am pleased to be a nominee for Public Relations Chair of the MAR-AMTA. I am frequently in a position to promote and support music therapy in the Rochester community. I am interested in expanding my efforts. I recently served as the local Public Relations Chair for the 2017 Mid-Atlantic Region Conference. This position afforded me the opportunity to write two conference-related press releases, interact with the current PR Chairperson, and use social media to promote and publicize conference events. I also have three years of experience as the Marketing Chairperson for Circle of Friends Preschool, a not-for-profit organization in Hilton, NY.
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Shawna Vernisie, MA, LCAT, MT-BC has worked with many populations, including pediatric medical, pediatric medically fragile, children with Autism Spectrum Disorders and Williams Syndrome, and children with visual impairments/blindness.  Currently, Shawna is a Music Therapist at Cohen Children’s Medical Center, where she provides music therapy services on the pediatric intensive care unit, surgical unit, and to children of adult palliative care patients.  Shawna also provides music therapy to children with visual impairments and developmental disabilities through Art Beyond Sight, an organization which provides programming and raises awareness of the creative art therapies in children’s education.  Shawna has professionally presented and has been published on the topic of normalizing the pediatric hospital environment using Music Therapy.  Shawna is also the lead investigator of a team of physicians and nurses evaluating the effects of music therapy during invasive medical procedures.  Shawna is passionate about research, networking, and advocating for the field of Music Therapy.  
Statement of Intent
I am proud and honored to accept a nomination to serve as Public Relations Chair of the MAR.  I am deeply passionate about enlightening the distinguished name of our region and connecting and networking with others in our region.  I enjoy bringing people together and also connecting others with ways in which they can advocate for our beautiful field.  Currently, I am an active member of the Research Committee of the MAR and feel connected to deepening my service within the region.  As a Music Therapist in the field for over 6 years now, I hope you will find that I am eager to learn and progress in my development as not only a Music Therapist, but as a positive leader as well.
Government Relations Chair Elect


Christy Joy Shiloh, MA, MT-BC is Owner of Annapolis Music Therapy Services, a private practice of 6 MT-BC’s and music therapy interns who serve a variety of client populations across Central Maryland. She is also Executive Director of The Musical Autist, a 501c3 nonprofit that is active in the Neurodiversity Movement and began “Sensory Friendly Concerts” in 2011.  
Statement of Intent
I am interested in serving as gov’t relations elect for MAR because of the positive experiences I have had over the past year in serving on the Maryland State Task Force. Through our process of submitting a bill for licensure, I’ve discovered I have a natural interest in the legislative process and feel that I would be able to serve the MAR region well in developing my skills in this area.
Stephenie Sofield, MT-BC, is a Music Therapist at the Atlantic County Women’s Center in Linwood, New Jersey, where she works with child witnesses of domestic violence. She serves as a clinician and as an active advocate for traumatized individuals within the community. She has worked to aid her program in partnering with law firms in an effort to provide services to immigrant clients in the Atlantic County area. Stephenie also piloted a music therapy program at the county’s women’s shelter. She continues to organize community outreach opportunities at local schools to raise awareness about trauma and music therapy. Stephenie has presented in many classrooms and for school boards, and served as a representative of the field on an Interdisciplinary Treatment Panel for the North Texas National Student Speech Hearing Language Association. She has presented about her advocacy efforts at conferences in the GLR-AMTA and MAR-AMTA. Stephenie was a recipient of the 2015 STARS internship allowance scholarship, as well as the 2016 Jenny Shinn Memorial Award for academic and service excellence in the field of music therapy. Stephenie is expected to complete her Master’s in Music Therapy through Ohio University in 2018.
Statement of Intent
I am honored to be considered for the position of AMTA-MAR Government Relations Chair-Elect, as my passion for increasing the awareness and availability of music therapy services has been the driving force of my work. I have fiercely advocated not only for our field, but for client populations across multiple settings and locations around the country. Both in and outside of my clinical work, my persistence and resourcefulness have continued to create opportunities within the community for music therapy education, growth, and change.