Who We Are

Who We Are

Stefanie Weigand - Executive Director

Stefanie Weigand (she/her) has served as President and Membership Chair of the VT Chapter of ACDA (American Choral Directors Association) and as ACDA's Eastern Region Youth R&R Chair. She currently serves as the Chair of the NAfME Council for Choral Education. She enjoys working as a presenter, clinician, and guest conductor across the region and directs the Catamount Singers at the University of VT, where she is also on the voice faculty. While teaching grade 7-12 music at Harwood Union MS/HS, she was the 2014 recipient of the VMEA's Outstanding New Music Educator Award and received a Masters of Music Education from Castleton University. 

After completing her BFA in Musical Theatre from Ithaca College, Stefanie toured nationally with a Children's Theatre Company and worked on stage and off as a performer, pit musician, and music director in New York. Since moving to Vermont, she has appeared as a vocalist, pianist, and music director for various organizations including: TURNmusic, the VT Philharmonic, Burlington Civic Symphony, the Green Mountain Mahler Festival, the Champlain Philharmonic, Lyric Theatre Company, the Green Mountain Opera Festival, and more. Stefanie's work as a studio vocalist can also be heard on a number of albums released through Lane Gibson Studios, Lovetown Recording, and Tank Recording Studio, including the recent release of The Saturn People's Sound Collective self-titled album. 

Learn more at: https://linktr.ee/stefanie802 


Stefanie Weigand


Matt Podd is a pianist, composer, and educator based in Brooklyn, NY. He holds degrees from The Eastman School of Music and Ithaca College. As a pianist Matt specializes in jazz, gospel, pop, musical theatre, and choral accompaniment. He has appeared on stage with some of New York City’s finest musicians at Town Hall, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Symphony Space, the 92nd Street Y, Rockwood Music Hall, and Shapeshifter Lab. As a composer, arranger, and orchestrator Matt Podd has a wide range of experience, from children's choir to jazz ensemble, chamber groups to full orchestra. He has composed and arranged music for the Young People's Chorus of New York City, the New York Pops Orchestra, Jake Shimabukuro, Stephen Kellogg, Milton Delug, and countless other artists, choirs, and ensembles. Matt works regularly with his twin brother Adam on a variety of composing, arranging, and recording projects. They have worked as co-composers on several new musicals including Nightfall On Miranga Island, featured in NYC Fringe Festival 2012 Encore Series. More info.


Elzy Wick is the mother of three sons; the oldest, Alex, began composing with Music-COMP during Opus 24 as a student at Champlain Elementary School in Burlington, VT. Elzy has a background in Public Relations, Fundraising, and Communications. She was formerly employed by the Robin Hood Foundation of New York, NY and CNET Networks in Boston and New York. She is a marketing consultant for Find&GoSeek, an online resource for families looking for family-friendly activities in Vermont.  She is on the board of directors for RunVermont, the Capital Campaign Committee for the King Street Center, and runs several fundraising events for Champlain Elementary School each year.   Elzy teaches water aerobics at The Edge gym, plays tennis, and is an avid runner.   She leads a running program for kids -- Ready, Set, Run! - in the Spring.   Elzy and her husband, Jeff, moved back to Vermont in 2003 to raise a family after spending several years in New York City and Boston. More info.


Jim Frankel, Treasurer
Dr. Jim Frankel is the Head of Digital Education for Wise Music and Director of Music First. Previously, he was the Managing Director of SoundTree, and before that he was a instrumental and general music teacher for 15 years in New Jersey Public Schools. Jim is a widely published author in various state, national, and international journals of music education. 
Learn more (and read his music tech blog) at: https://www.musictechhelper.com/ 

Cathleen Geiger, Secretary

Judith Ehrlich

Drew Frankenberg
Drew is a young composer from West Rutland, Vermont who is pursuing a dual degree in music composition and anthropology at Bard Conversatory. Drew is an alumnus of Music-COMP and occopies the young alumni position on the board. Alongside composition, Drew also plays clarinet, saxophone, and piano. View the 2023 workshop on College Prep led by Drew on youtube!


Andy Gagnon
Vermont native, Andy Gagnon, is a percussionist, composer, and educator. Andy holds a B.S. in Music Education with a composition concentration from the University of Vermont and an MFA in Music Composition from Vermont College of Fine Arts. By day, Andy is the instrumental music director at the Stowe schools, working with students in grades 5-12 in elementary, middle, and high school settings. As a composer, Andy enjoys writing for his students as well as his professional ensembles. 

Andy Murphy
Andy Murphy is the father of Otis, who has been composing for Music-COMP since Opus 34, as well as some recent Summer Composition Workshops. Otis has absolutely loved those experiences. Andy has been an educator for over 25 years, beginning at the Bellwether School in Williston, VT where he taught grades K-5, was a mentor teacher, and served on the board of directors. Later, he started an in-home preschool and kindergarten. More recently, Andy helped start and taught at the Davis Studio preschool in South Burlington. All along, he has homeschooled Otis, coached hockey, continued to teach classes, and been part of the greater Burlington homeschool community. Music has been an integral part of Andy's life since childhood. From high school guitar lessons with the late Wally Wysk at the original Blue Mountain Guitar in West Lebanon, NH, to writing about bands in his college newspaper, to playing drums in a band today. Andy is so grateful that Music-COMP allows and encourages young composers like Otis, and children throughout Vermont, to find their voice and grown their own love of music. 



Matt Podd, President
Elzy Wick, Vice President
Jim Frankel, Treasurer
Cathleen Geiger, Secretary
Judith Ehrlich
Drew Frankenberg
Andy Gagnon
Andy Murphy

Previous Members:

Sandi MacLeod, Founding Member, Executive Director

Sandi MacLeod, Ed. D. taught music in public schools in Winchendon, MA, Ramona CA, Milton VT and at Founders Memorial School in Essex Town, VT, one of the schools where the Vermont MIDI Project was first implemented. Sandi taught at the University of Vermont. She has been active in state wide initiatives to improve music education: Music Scope and Sequence committee, Teachers Education Resource person, Vermont Arts Assessment Design Team, the Web Project, Vermont Standards and Grade Expectations in the Arts. Siince 1998, Sandi has presented workshops frequently at technology and music conferences all over the United States and Canada.  In 2011 she co-authored materials for Inside Music: Exploring Composition, a composition curriculum built on lessons learned from her many years as a teacher and project coordinator of the Vermont MIDI Project along with co-author Matt Podd. As a founding member of the project, Sandi continues to explore her passion for music composition, online mentoring and the process of critique and reflection. More info.

Anne Hamilton, Founding Member and Vice-President

Anne K. Hamilton is recently retired as Choral Director and Music Theory and Composition teacher at North Country Union High School. Prior to that, she spent nine years as an itinerant K-8 music teacher in four Vermont schools, and six years at the middle school level.  She holds a Bachelor of Music Education from Ohio Wesleyan University, a Masters Degree in Creative Arts in Learning from Lesley College, and Kodaly Certification from KMTI at Hartt School of Music.

Anne is a founding member of the Vermont MIDI Project, now called Music-COMP.  She has presented workshops and in-service training at Music and Technology Conferences in New York City, Seattle, San Diego, New Orleans, Nashville, Dallas, and many other cities throughout the United States. She has been a clinician at four National and six Eastern Division MENC Conferences as well as state conferences in Mass., Texas, Maryland and Florida. Anne has contributed to several articles and books about music and technology, including three MENC publications, and teaches at the Summer Arts and Technology Institute at Champlain College. In 2009 she was named the Vermont Music Educator of the Year, is a former President of Vermont ACDA, and was also featured in Choral Director Magazine as a "Choral Director of Note".


Matt LaRocca - Executive Director (2017-2023)

After working as a mentor with Music-COMP for 10 years, Matt LaRocca became the Executive Director in 2017. Matt is on the composition and theory faculty at the University of Vermont and is the Artistic Director and Conductor of the Champlain Philharmonic Orchestra. Committed to new music and innovation, Matt is the Chair of Creative Projects for the Vermont Symphony Orchestra.

As a musician, Matt is equally at home in both the rock and classical worlds. His classical work has been commissioned by groups such as the Vermont Symphony Orchestra, the New Jersey Youth Symphony, and the Great Falls Symphony Orchestra. He also works as an arranger for rock bands and has created orchestral arrangements for artists such as Guster (his work can be heard on their OMAGAH! album), Kat Wright, Francesca Blanchard, Matt Flinner, and Henry Jamison. Artistic residencies include an expedition to the high arctic through The Arctic Circle organization and composition/improvisation teaching residencies at schools throughout New England and California. Matt performs as a violist and guitarist in classical, rock and improvisation ensembles, and most often can be seen playing the electric viola through his array of guitar pedals. He holds degrees in chemistry and music from Middlebury College and a doctorate in music composition from Boston University.
For more information, visit www.mattlarocca.com


Erik Nielsen - Past Board President

Erik Nielsen's compositional catalog includes works for chorus, orchestra, wind ensemble, solo instruments, chamber music of many configurations, works for dance, film and electronic music. His works have been performed in Canada, Europe, Asia, South America and Australia as well as many locations in the United States and have been performed by ensembles including A Far Cry, the Amabile, Chiara, Emerson and Ying String Quartets; the National Symphony Orchestra;  the Killington and Manchester Chamber Players; Bread and Puppet Theater; the Vermont Contemporary Music Ensemble; Vermont Opera Theater, Vermont Symphony; Vermont Youth Orchestra and Village and Northern Harmony. He has won awards from ASCAP, the Vermont Arts Council, and in 1991 was chosen Vermont Composer of the Year by the Vermont Music Teachers Association. Mr. Nielsen lives in Brookfield, Vermont and teaches music theory and composition with the Vermont Youth Orchestra, the Monteverdi School and privately. He is senior mentor with Music-COMP. More info.


Bill Reilly, Past President and Treasurer

Bill Reilly has 25+ years of management experience in the music & consumer products industries. He started as a sales rep. for Capital Records, and then went to RCA Records in a field management capacity. From there he went on to lead sales & marketing departments at six different high tech start ups. Most recently he was COO of Sibelius software where he became aware of The Vermont Midi Project (now called Music-COMP). He was an early corporate supporter and joined the Board of Music-COMP after leaving Sibelius. He resides in Castle Rock, Colorado with his wife Marie-Anne. More info.

Zachary Avshalomov

Zack is a fourth generation professional musician, stemming from a long line of classical composer/conductors. Being involved in music and the arts his entire life, Zack received his Bachelor's degree in Jazz and Environmental Studies from Ithaca College, and currently resides in Los Angeles, CA, where he actively performs and records. On the business side, Zack played a pivotal role in the creation and development of USA Projects (now HatchFund), an online micro-philanthropy platform benefiting artists, from conception to launch and then through a period of significant growth, resulting in over $5 million raised to date. Before that, Zack served as the Business Development Manager at Online Fitness (.com) for half a decade, which equipped him with a broad understanding of the online enterprise. As a musician, entrepreneur, and environmentalist, Zack brings a versatile and fresh approach to problem solving, and is honored to serve as an active member on Music-COMP’s Board.

Leora Black

Leora Black PhD., is known locally for her service to the Colchester-Milton Rotary Club and her devotion to Music-COMP, an organization that inspired her youngest son to pursue music composition in college. Leora is a licensed marriage and family therapist and licensed clinical mental health Counselor at Counseling Connection, PLC, in Colchester, an affiliation of independent practitioners.



For just a few dollars per month, you can help ensure students will be writing music with Music-COMP for years to come. With your support, students throughout Vermont will continue to see their music come to life!