Board of Directors

Stuart Diamond
Alexis Agliano Sanborn
LaVonne Riemer
Gail Wein
Chris Whittaker



Chris Whittaker, Music Director
Erin A. Paul, Executive Assistant
Alexis Agliano Sanborn, Volunteer Coordinator


Ariel Kurtz, Social Media Manager

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Music Director

Composer, conductor, pianist Chris Whittaker’s musical language of classical, jazz, and gospel music melds genres and brings people together. Chris is the co-founder and Music Director of the Washington Heights Chamber Orchestra, a non-profit performing arts organization committed to engaging the community through free concerts and educational programming. He serves as Music Director for Fort Washington Collegiate Church in Upper Manhattan and is also the founding Music Director of Marble Collegiate Church’s “Jazz Revelation” worship service. Chris studied orchestral conducting with Kenneth Kiesler and Stuart Malina. His composition teachers include Philip Lasser, Christopher Theofanidis, and Nicholas Maw. Chris lives in New York City.



Violinist Mark Chien made his debut at the age of 13 with the Greenwich Symphony. He has served in principle positions with the Colorado College Music Festival Orchestra, Shepherd School Symphony Orchestra and Sarasota Music Festival Orchestra. Mark has collaborated in recital alongside Adele Anthony, James Dunham, Gil Shaham, Kathleen Winkler, David Ying and Scott Yoo among others. He has performed in some of America’s most renowned concert halls including Alice Tully Hall, David Geffen Hall, David Koch Theatre, Symphony Space, and Carnegie Hall. In 2016, Mark made his Kennedy Center debut representing Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music through the Kennedy Center’s “Conservatory Project” series. He has participated in the Aspen Music Festival and School, Bowdoin International Music Festival, Colorado College Music Festival, Kneisel Hall Chamber Music Festival, New York String Orchestra Seminar, Sarasota Music Festival, and University of Mozarteum Summer International Academy. Mark was on the faculty at the Interlochen Summer Arts Camp as a member of their fellowship string quartet. His chamber music studies were under artists Steven Copes, Desmond Hoebig, Frank Huang, Ani Kavafian, Robert Levin, Stephen Rose, and members of the Cleveland, Concord, Juilliard, Orion and Ying Quartets. Previous principle teachers have been Spring Berv, Lewis Kaplan, and Kathleen Winkler. Mark has a Bachelor’s degree from Rice University and is currently a graduate student at The Juilliard School studying with Catherine Cho and Sylvia Rosenberg.