Liban Gómez (President)
Liban was born and raised in the Dominican Republic and has been teaching for 13 years at The School of Higher Expectations P.S. 66 in the Bronx, New York City. Liban previously taught grades 2 and 5 working particularly with the English Language Learners. He has been teaching General Music, Music Through Literacy, and school violin to students from Pre-K - 5th for over 10 years. At The City College of New York, he received his Bachelors’ Degrees in Childhood Education, Italian Literature and Language, and Mathematics followed by a Master’s in Teaching English to Students of Other Languages (TESOL). He is certified in Orff-Schulwerk. He is the current president of the New York City Chapter of American Orff-Schulwerk Association. Liban frequently and actively attended numerous workshops offered from different parts of the world. Liban is a polyglot and has traveled around the world to learn and explore other cultures. He loves and enjoys teaching, movement, sports, traveling, and photography.
Becki Tarby (Vice President)
Becki Tarby currently teaches 3rd-5th grade general and vocal music at James Madison Intermediate School in Edison, New Jersey. She has served NYCCAOSA as Treasurer, OCP Treasurer, and Vice President. As a second generation Schulwerk educator, Becki completed her Levels training right after college at Belmont University, NYCOCP, and ETM. Becki has been a member of NYCCAOSA since 2016. She lives in Woodbridge, NJ with her husband Kyle, daughter Livia, and their dog Sunny.
Jerel Witsell (Co-Secretary)
Jerel Witsell serves as the General and Instrumental music teacher at PS MS 29 in the South Bronx. He holds a Bachelor's in Music Education from eh Crane School of Music at the State University of New York at Potsdam and a Master's in Multiple Woodwind Performance and Wind Conducting from the University of North Texas. Jerel has also completed Level 1 of Orff Schulwerk training and Level 1 of Kodaly Certification.
As an educator, he has taught general and instrumental music to various ages in New York and Texas. As a performer, he has performed at Alice Tully Hall, Carnegie Hall, and the Meyerson Concert Hall. He has recorded with the University of North Texas Symphonic Band and the University of North Texas Wind Symphony. He currently plays with various orchestras, chamber ensembles, and theaters around New York City. When he is not teaching or performing, Jerel likes reading, trying new recipes, and playing Mario Cart.
Cheryl Martin (Co-Treasurer)
Bio coming soon.
Craig Taylor (Treasurer)
Bio coming soon.
Kate Phillips (Membership)
Kate Phillips teaches general music to grades PK-5 at Grant Avenue Elementary School PS 449X in the Bronx. She holds a Bachelor of Music Education (Wartburg College), a Master of Arts in Music Education (Teacher's College), and a Therapeutic Crisis Intervention in Schools Certification in addition to oodles of professional development hours with NYCCAOSA. Her 10-year teaching career has spanned across several schools in the NYC Dept of Ed including two years as a facilitator of professional development for the Department's Arts Monday initiative. Kate is an avid musical theatre lover, having written and produced multiple musicals for her 5th grade performers and collected nearly 100 playbills as an NYC theatergoer.
Megan Moncrief (Website)
Megan teaches elementary music and middle school rock band at Blue School, in the Seaport neighborhood of NYC. She holds an Orff certification from George Mason University, and is an NYU alum as well. Megan has worked and partnered with arts education organizations around the city for the past decade and a half, including Play Music NYC, Play On! Studios, Sonic Arts for All, Brooklyn Acting Lab, Global Arts to Go, and Carnegie Hall's Music Education Workshop. She is fond of composing for theater, synchronized swimming (holding a bronze medal in the trio event at Masters Nationals in 2016), and hanging out at home with her two very good cats.
(Past President, OCP Liaison and Instructor)
Katie Traxler teaches 3K-5 music at PS 51 Elias Howe, a public elementary school in New York City. In addition to teaching general music classes, she leads a chorus, two recorder ensembles, an orff ensemble, and various after-school classes in piano, guitar, ukulele, and movement. Committed to collaboration and arts integration, Traxler works closely with the visual art, dance, and classroom teachers to maintain a rich curriculum integrating music, movement, drama, and visual art within the social studies, math and ELA content across all grade levels.
Traxler works as a clinician for various organizations in NYC including the Youth Orchestra of St. Luke’s and the Weill Institute at Carnegie Hall, and has presented music education workshops for Orff Chapters, School Districts, and Universities across the United States. She served on the AOSA (American Orff Schulwerk Association) NBT as Region V Rep, is a past president of NYCCAOSA, and is currently serving on CORS, and teaches Basic Pedagogy for the NYC Orff Certification Program, NJPAC Orff course, and the North Florida Chapter Orff Course.
Jimmy Zenger (Past President)
Jimmy Zenger has taught elementary and middle school music since 2013. He received his bachelors of music education from Ball State University and completed his Orff certification at DePaul University. When not in the classroom, Jimmy loves performing saxophone, percussion, and guitar with his band adn feels the influence of Carl Orff and Guild Keetman in most of the music he creates.
Additional At Large Board Members:
Anna Marie Spallina
Bob Goldberg (At Large)
Bob Goldberg first encountered Orff as a child, and has felt its influence ever since, as a composer, performer, and teacher. Bob has taught elementary music in four out of five boroughs, and currently teaches Lower School Music at the Kew-Forest School in Queens.
Bob has a BA from Sarah Lawrence College and an Advanced Certificate and MA from Brooklyn College, and has studied Level I and II in the NYCCAOSA Orff Certification Program.
Bob has performed and recorded with the Corner Store Dance Company, Washboard Jungle, Le Nozze di Carlo and the Famous Accordion Orchestra, and has written music for film, dance, theater, and television.
(photo: Abby Krim)