Meet Our Team
Young Artists of America at Strathmore’s staff is made up of passionate musicians, educators, consultants and arts administrators whose main goal is to expose our high school and middle school students to the highest caliber performing arts mentorship and education available.
Producing Artistic Director / Co-Founder
Rolando Sanz's work bridging production, performance, and education has made him a performing arts visionary with rare perspective and a reputation as an unflappable leader. He was the executive producer of the world premiere of Andrew Lippa's newest concept opera, I Am Anne Hutchinson / I Am Harvey Milk, starring Kristin Chenoweth at the Music Center at Strathmore last April. Producing credits include Songs for a New World starring Jason Robert Brown, Children of Eden with Stephen Schwartz, and operatic/Broadway mash-ups like West Side Story + Roméo et Juliette and Madama Butterfly & Miss Saigon. Sanz sings leading tenor roles at companies including Spoleto Festival USA, Florentine Opera, Virginia Opera, and Pacific Symphony, and will make his Metropolitan Opera debut in 2017 under the baton of James Levine. Rolando has sung the national anthem for the Baltimore Orioles Opening Day ceremonies every year since 2012.
Music Director / Co-Founder
Kristofer Sanz has matured as a vibrant and talented conductor whose energy and fervor for music have allowed him to achieve a passionate, mature and musical sound with any ensemble he has conducted. Mr. Sanz recently has been praised for his modern and adventurous interpretations, as well as his contemporary and interactive concert presentations. He is the Music Director and Philharmonic conductor for the Maryland Classic Youth Orchestras program that rehearses and performs at the Music Center at Strathmore in North Bethesda, Maryland. Under Mr. Sanz’s baton the Philharmonic is quickly becoming known for their highly musical, moving, and nuanced interpretations of a wide range of works from all genres—including orchestral works, dance, and opera. In May 2014 he performed the US premiere of Ilan Eshkeri’s Stardust Suite. Last March, he conducted the Philharmonic in his own 45-minute arrangement with narration of the Ring of the Nibelung by Richard Wagner.
Associate Artistic Director / Camp Director
Terry Eberhardt is a native of Maryland whose passion for music began with his church choir and public school chorus. Upon completing his Bachelor’s of Music in Vocal Performance and Music Education from the Peabody Conservatory of Music and his Masters Degree in Opera Performance at The University of Maryland Opera Studio, Terry began his teaching career in Montgomery County, MD.
In 2005, Terry established the choral program at Howard County’s newest high school, Marriotts Ridge, where his students earned numerous awards and accolades for their performances throughout the eastern United States. In 2008, he was recognized as the Howard County Teacher of the Year. Terry continues to serve the professional music community through his work at local universities as a voice coach and as an adjudicator for numerous choral competitions. He is well known to Baltimore and Washington, D.C. audiences with performances in numerous oratorios as baritone soloist, and as a principal artist in many local opera productions. His most recent project is the development of Red Bridge Studios in Savage, Maryland. Mr. Eberhardt recently advanced to the Grammy Music Educator of the year semi-finals.
Director of YAAjunior
Paul Heinemann is known for his tremendous gift of connecting with middle school adolescents, and his energy and enthusiasm have inspired his students to achieve at high levels. He has been invited to serve as a guest conductor for numerous middle school honors choruses as well as a guest clinician and adjudicator for festivals throughout Maryland. Most recently, he finished his 9th and final year as the Middle School Honors Chorus director for Montgomery County. Additionally, Paul has also served as an artistic and musical director at the middle and high school levels at Kensington Arts Theatre.
Paul is the choral director at Rocky Hill Middle School in Clarksburg, MD where he has taught for 17 years and grown the program to five school day choirs. He was recognized with the Montgomery County Gazette’s Favorite teacher award in 2011, and his choral program was awarded the ‘Program of Excellence’ award from the Maryland Music Educators Association in 2012. Paul’s choirs have consistently earned superior ratings at county, state and interstate festivals and competitions and they have performed as a demonstration chorus for multiple MMEA conferences.
A television news veteran and life-time arts lover, Lisa Larragoite brings production and organizational skills to the YAA team. For more than 20 years, she worked as an off-camera reporter and producer for numerous PBS programs including The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer and election and public affairs specials. Her cultural TV programming experience includes The Kennedy Center Honors and Evening at Pops with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Lisa is a long-time volunteer for her alma mater, Stanford University. She launched and runs the school's applicant interview program in the Mid-Atlantic region.
GINA DIMEDIO MARRAZZA
Associate Director - Education & Outreach
Gina DiMedio Marrazza has had a multi-faceted career as a collaborative pianist, teacher, and arts administrator. She has held faculty positions at American University and Duke Ellington School of the Arts. As an arts administrator, Gina dedicated 17 years to the Levine School of Music in various administrative positions. Gina was also the Founding Director of Rowan Prep, a community school of music at Rowan University. She received her B.M. in piano from the Philadelphia College of the Performing Arts and her M.M. in Chamber Music and Accompanying from The Catholic University of America.
Beth Sanz spent five years working as the instrumental music teacher at Glenelg Country School in Ellicott City. During her time there, Beth wrote curriculum for and implemented a new elementary and middle school band program. Under Beth’s direction, the new band program flourished and became an integral part of the school community. Beth holds a bachelor’s degree in music education from the University of Maryland, College Park. While at college, when she wasn’t in class or practicing her bassoon, Beth spent time working as an administrative assistant in various offices on campus and became familiar with the skills necessary to run an organized and successful office. In addition to her work with Young Artists of America, Beth also teaches private bassoon lessons.
PR & Marketing Consultant
Kendra Rubinfeld works with Young Artists of America as a consultant via her firm, KRPR. She is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University's Masters in Communications Program with concentrations in Corporate and Nonprofit Communication. With a background in community activism, her passion for relationship building and bringing people together is evident in all of the projects on which she works. Her interest in PR began with the Our City Film Festival, which she started in 2008 as an outreach program for a local nonprofit. Shortly after, she founded KRPR to help others witness the satisfaction of watching their business grow with the powers of PR.
For all media relations inquiries, please email Kendra Rubinfeld.
Karen Collins Blake is a University of Maryland graduate with a degree in Elementary Education. She is a former MCPS elementary school teacher. She has spent all of her working years, with children of all ages, in different capacities. In addition to her experience as a classroom teacher, Karen spent fifteen summers as a camp director with Carol Jean Cancer Foundation at Camp Friendship, an overnight camp for children with cancer. She is currently a stay at home mom for her 3 young children.
CAROLE GRAHAM LEHAN
Carole Graham Lehan is Performing Arts Director at Glenelg Country School. She has taught at UMBC, The Columbia Center for Theatrical Arts, and The Catholic University of America. Carole invests in theatre arts from many perspectives. Recently, area audiences may have seen her in Cinderella at Olney Theatre or as Roxie in Chicago at Toby’s. She also staged and scripted several plays for Columbia Center for Theatrical Arts, including: Ben Carson, M.D, Goldilocks and the Three Billy Pigs Gruff, and The Velveteen Rabbit. Carole received the 2006 Howie for Arts Educator and a 2002 Communicators Award as a radio host of Catholic Radio Weekly. She has been nominated for three Helen Hayes Awards in three different categories: acting, directing and playwriting.
Garry Tiller is a teaching artist and director with 25 years of experience in both secondary schools and regional theatre. Most recently, Garry served as Performing Arts Department Chair at Sudbrook Magnet Middle School in Baltimore, where his program was named one of the top five in the nation by the John F. Kennedy Center in 2012. Since moving to Hawaii, Garry has enjoyed acting stints in the upcoming feature film release of KONG: Skull Island (starring Brie Larson) and several appearances of CBS’s Hawaii Five-0, He is proud to currently have many former students working professionally in film, television, and in the theatre.
Madeline Rodrigue is a young professional from Maryland, currently pursuing a BFA in Commercial Dance at Pace University in New York City. She was a choreographer for the Maryland State Dance Festival, Howard County Dance Festival and Howard County Public Schools. She is currently an assistant for Titans of Dance, under the direction of Gregory Savage, and an alumna of Savage Dance Company.