Welcome New Faculty!
Soprano Allison Whiteside Pollard is a classically trained vocalist, choral singer, music educator and music therapist. After graduating in 2017 with her Bachelors of Arts in Music Education from Miami University of Ohio, Allison sang with multiple professional choirs including the Cincinnati May Festival Choir and the Knox Church Choir of Cincinnati. She was a featured soloist in Haydn’s Creation and Handel’s Samson at Miami University of Ohio and has studied with distinguished conductors such as Simon Carrington of The King’s Singers, Robert Porco, Dr. Earl Rivers and Arturo Márquez. Allison has performed in numerous musical theatre and operatic productions including A Little Night Music and Leonard Bernstein’s MASS. Allison was nominated for Best Actress at the New Hampshire Theatre Awards for her role as Maria in The Sound of Music and has sung with The Handel Society of Dartmouth. Allison spent three years teaching PreK through 5th grade elementary music in public schools and has privately taught both in-person and virtual voice and ukulele lessons since 2017. She also has teaching experience abroad as she taught English through the arts throughout the country of Italy, earning her TEFL-LP certification. Additionally, Allison will be graduating from Lesley University with her Masters of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Music Therapy in May 2022. Since moving back to New Hampshire, Allison is looking forward to introducing and implementing the practice of music therapy in her teaching and in the Upper Valley community.
Sean Hay, aka DJ Sean, has been a DJ, MC, and event promoter for more than 15 years. Sean’s family came to the US from Jamaica in 1985, making him a first generation American. His family maintained their culture through music for the extended community of islanders new to the US in Long Island, where a young Sean would crawl into the speaker and watch his uncles set up turntables in the laundry room and move the crowd with their music and words. As he grew up he graduated from watching to carrying equipment to DJing his first event in high school, quickly moving from private parties to night clubs in NYC. After moving to Vermont with his family, Sean was missing the music and dancing as part of his life, and so he began his own entertainment company to create fun, memorable events for people of all ages. After fielding questions from audiences about how to learn the art of DJing, Sean recognized a need in the community. He partnered with Music to Life and the Upper Valley Music Center to create the DJ Academy, to pass on his knowledge and skills to the next generation.
There are many ways to make music, some with the oldest instruments and some using current technology. In both cases, making music is a way to understand our world and connect with each other.
Making music with current technology offers a special way to interact with the rich media environment that exists today. That’s why we’re excited to welcome new faculty member, Sean Hay, aka DJ Sean, to launch DJ Academy. Students in this class will learn how to use the musical elements of tempo, genre, form, and layering to create their own mixes and creative musical collages.
Sean brings more than 15 years of experience and expertise along with a passion for sharing his knowledge with the next generation. Over the past two years, UVMC has worked with Sean on a pilot version of this program, and we’re excited to expand the ways in which students in the Upper Valley can learn to make music.
Early Childhood Piano
Joni Cushman graduated from the University of Florida, where she studied English and Music Performance, and has participated as a pianist and percussionist in classical, marching, and jazz ensembles throughout Florida. Before joining the Upper Valley Music Center as registrar, she worked as a Youth Services Librarian and enjoyed developing and leading kids and family programming. Joni is excited to work with the UVMC community in a new capacity helping kids build skills, confidence, and a love for making music!
Ukulele and Brass
Nils Fredland has been active as a professional musician, dance caller, and choral director for over 20 years. Nils completed his training as a classical trombonist at Indiana University in Bloomington, IN under M. Dee Stewart in 1996. Since then his musical journey has taken many unexpected turns…including being given his first ukulele by a friend on his 40th birthday, which opened up the possibility of accompanying himself singing (not easily done as a trombone player!). Nils quickly added the ukulele to his varied range of musical skills, accompanying choirs, teaching workshops, using the ukulele to brush up on his music theory skills, and keeping his friends entertained on long drives to gigs. Nils views the ukulele as the ultimate community music-making instrument, and is delighted to join the Upper Valley Music Center faculty to share in the joy of playing uke to all ages and all levels of ability.