African American trumpeter, composer, and vocalist, Louis Armstrong, stated that "music is life, itself". MPA Productions works with some of the finest classically trained musicians that Metro Atlanta, and the country have to offer. Their passion, commitment, and dedication to their crafts breathe new life into a genre that they weren't even supposed to know existed. MPAP stands behind each and every one of its musicians, and words cannot express how honored the company is have them in its ranks.
Kevin Anderson started his teaching career in elementary string education in Fulton County for 2 ½ years. He is also an active orchestral adjudicator, string clinician, and double bass sectional coach.
Under his direction, ensembles have consistently received superior ratings at the Georgia Music Educators Association Large Group Performance Evaluation, have taken part in District Honor Orchestras and All-State Orchestra, and have won Gold/Superior Trophies at numerous music festivals in the southeast, including Southern Star and Music in the Parks Festivals.
Nivek Anderson, a native of Georgia, is a 2010 graduate of the University of Georgia and a 2018 graduate of Anderson University with a Master of Music in Music Education. Nivek has recorded with many local artists in the Atlanta area, performed on Atlanta Live and Nightline, and regularly performs on the cello for special events, conferences, conventions, and church worship services.
A member of Antioch Baptist Church North in Atlanta, Georgia, she plays with the Antioch Youth Ensemble and the Anthem and Acapella Choir.Nivek currently serves as the Director of Orchestras at Charles R. Drew Charter School in East Atlanta.
KARIN R. BANKS
Karin R Banks, Founder and Artistic Director of Fusion, earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Music from the University of North Texas and her Master of Music Degree in Piano Pedagogy from Georgia State University.
Karin has studied World Music and Music History (Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, and Romantic periods). She taught piano and voice lessons as director of Metro Atlanta's Boys and Girls Club Youth Chorus and has collaborated with the Neighborhood Music Schools and the Metro Atlanta Youth Arts Connection.
Kerren Berz, whose talents span the musical spectrum, serves as Concertmaster of the Columbus (GA) Symphony Orchestra. In addition, she has toured and recorded with the Atlanta Symphony and was a member of the Nashville Chamber Orchestra. Kerren's wealth of musical experience is represented in her repertoire, which ranges from classical solos and ensembles to strolling favorites, holiday music, and jazz and rock combos.
DuMarkus Davis is a committed American violinist who is a Class of 2013 Gates Millennium Scholar and a San Francisco Conservatory of Music graduate. He is the founder of The Studio, a music startup that received a 2017 Professional Development Grant from the San Francisco Conservatory. In addition, he is an active volunteer with organizations in the bay area and across the country. Davis plays on a 1927 Aloysius Blanchi courtesy of Scott Shickler. His previous teachers are Justin Bruns, Oliver Steiner, and Sonja Foster.
ADRIAN J. FORD
Adrian J. Ford holds a dual Bachelor of Arts degree in Music from Morris Brown College with concentrations in Choral Conducting and Music Composition and a Master of Arts in Music Education from Liberty University, where he's currently pursuing a Doctorate in Education in Curriculum and Instruction.
Mr. Ford has taught in public and private schools, has served as an accompanist for several vocalists, instrumental soloists, and community music ensembles around the Atlanta area, and currently operates as the Orchestral and Strings Studies/Coordinator for the Maynard Jackson High School Cluster.
DR. KEVIN C. HOLT
Dr. Kevin C. Holt graduated from Oberlin College and Conservatory with a BA in African American Studies and a BMus in classical performance on the double bass. Dr. Holt received his Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology and his Master's in African-American Studies from Columbia University in New York.
Dr. Holt currently resides in New York City, teaches at Columbia University's African American and African Diaspora Studies Department, and works with the University of Pennsylvania's Department of Music.
Noah Johnson attended the University of Georgia, where he studied cello performance under Dr. David Starkweather. He is a cellist with the Tuscaloosa Symphony and has performed with the Atlanta Opera and ARCO Chamber Orchestra.
Atlanta-based cellist-songwriter, looper, improviser, and storyteller, Okorie “OkCello” Johnson has performed and recorded with De La Soul, India.Arie, Big Boi, Anthony David, Doria Roberts, Callaghan, Brenda Nicole Moorer, and Victoria Canal.
His work centers on themes and expressions of the African Diaspora, personal truths, his deep love and celebration of women, and a commitment to musical prayer.
After completing Tri-Cities High Performing Arts Program in Atlanta, Tramaine Jones enrolled at Northwestern University. She studied under assistant concertmaster of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Yuan-Qing Yu, and world-renowned concert violinist Gerardo Ribeiro while working towards and earning a bachelor's degree in Violin Performance and a master's degree in Music Education.
Tramaine has performed as a section violinist with the Symphony Orchestra of Augusta, Tuscaloosa Symphony, LaGrange Symphony, Macon Symphony, North Georgia Chamber Symphony, and Tulsa Symphony. She has also performed live with and alongside John Legend, Maxwell, Common, Goapele, and The Temptations. Mrs. Jones currently lives in Atlanta with her husband and two little girls.
STEPHEN LAWRENCE CARROLL
Stephen Lawrence-Carroll serves as the director of Orchestral Activities for North Atlanta High School's Fine and Performing Arts Department.
Lawrence-Caroll began his teaching career at Joseph C. Wilson Foundation Academy in Rochester, New York, where he taught for two years.
Stephen earned his Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Loyola University in New Orleans while studying under the guidance of Dean Angeles and Virginia Olander. He has served as a concertmaster for The Loyola University Symphony and Chamber Orchestras, the Atlanta Public Schools Youth Symphony Orchestra, The Metropolitan Youth Symphony Orchestra of Atlanta, MYSO String Quartet, and The William Grant Still Memorial Orchestra.
Marla Majett earned her Bachelor's degrees in Music and History from Furman University and completed post-graduate studies at Western Illinois University in Suzuki Cello Pedagogy with Dr. Tanya Lesinsky Carey. She has also studied Baroque Cello with Phoebe Carrai through the International Baroque Institute of Longy and plays both the viola da gamba and baroque cello in early music ensembles.
Majett has been a public and private school orchestra teacher, has appeared as a guest clinician for workshops, and coached chamber music at summer camps. She has also been a cello instructor in various schools, including the Lovett School, Atlanta International School, Waldorf School of Atlanta, Suzuki Talent Education Program, and Georgia Academy of Music.
Melinda Mauter graduated from Anderson University, where she met and received instruction from Dr. Jaime Gorgojo. As a student, she performed with Anderson University's Chamber Orchestra and symphony under the baton of Rick Sowers and recorded and performed with several music artists during her undergrad.
Mauter began her career in music education as a General Music teacher for Cashwell Elementary School in Fayetteville, North Carolina. From there, she moved to Jacksonville, North Carolina, where she spent six years educating students as a General Music teacher at Queen's Creek Elementary School. She currently teaches Elementary Orchestra at Drew Charter School. Melinda loves being creative in the kitchen, working in her garden, and watching Auburn University Football. She has been married for seven years and has a beautiful 4-year-old daughter.
Sherrod Mitchell graduated from Columbus State University, where he studied with Manuel Diaz, performed under the prestigious baton of Dr. Patricio Cobos, and earned a Bachelor's degree in Viola Performance.
Mitchell has taught viola and violin privately for 14 years and has coached viola sectionals at various schools throughout the Atlanta Metro area. His students have been members of the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra, Franklin Pond Chamber Music, Emory Youth Orchestra, Metropolitan Youth Symphony Orchestra Philharmonic, Gwinnett County Youth Orchestra, Honor Orchestra of Fulton and Gwinnett County, 2012 – 2014 All-State High School and Middle School Orchestra, and Columbus Symphony Youth Orchestra. He is currently the viola teacher for William Pu Music Academy and subs with Atlanta Ballet and Atlanta Opera.
Raphiel Murden began lessons under the tutelage of Roumena Georgieva while attending Morehouse College. Mr. Murden completed a bachelor's degree in mathematics with a music minor from Morehouse in 2008. Although his professional career has consisted primarily of work in mathematics and statistics, he has continued to play violin in several ensembles.
Mr. Murden is a founding member of the TuftonTet and has continually played with the ensemble since its inception. Murden is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Biostatistics at Emory University.
Molly O’Roark is a full-time harp instructor with the Urban Youth Harp Ensemble and holds a Master's of Music in Harp Performance from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. O'Roark has won various awards and competitions, including the 2014 National Anne Adams Award, 2014 Artist Presentation Society Auditions, Eastman School of Music concerto competition, and the Wayne Barlow Award for excellence in Harp Performance.
O'Roark has performed with Evanescence, Lindsey Sterling, Atlanta Pops Orchestra, Augusta Symphony Orchestra, Albany Symphony Orchestra, Atlanta Freedom Band, and numerous local churches. She is currently a candidate for the Doctorate of Musical Arts at the University of Illinois.
ABIGAIL S. POPWELL
Abigail S. Popwell studied Music Education at Georgia State University. She has served as principal timpanist for Gwinnett Symphony Orchestra (GSO), Agnes Scott College's Community Orchestra, and has played for
Atlanta's Philharmonic Orchestra (APO), Atlanta Freedom Bands (AFB), Alpharetta Symphony Orchestra, and Metropolitan Atlanta Community Band (MACB).
Abigail has performed with the Park Avenue Chamber Symphony and the Massapequa Philharmonic Orchestra (PACS). She presently teaches strings at Stephenson High School and serves as the assistant band director and orchestra teacher at Arabia Mountain High School.
Violinist Jessica Stinson has been hailed by both The State and Free Times (Columbia, South Carolina) as a "thrilling and spectacular" performer with "remarkably mature musicianship." Jessica has performed extensively throughout the United States and Europe, with performances in New York City, Los Angeles, Italy, and Switzerland.
Jessica is a graduate of The University of South Carolina and Rice University. In addition, Jessica is an advocate for music in her community. She currently serves as a teaching artist with the Atlanta Music Project and recently appeared as a featured artist in Challenge the Stats' Atlanta Launch.
Reginald Wallace was born and raised in Annapolis, Maryland, where he started playing the violin at the age of eight. He received private lessons while attending Morehouse College as a Music Major under the instruction of Jessica Wu – violinist with the Vega Quartet holding residence at Emory University. While at Morehouse, Reginald served as President and Principal Violist of the Atlanta University Center Symphony Orchestra. He continues honing his craft as a composer and musician by coupling his career as a Licensed Mortgage Professional with his musicianship #mortgagemusician.
Derrick White completed his undergraduate studies at Columbus State University and earned a Master's Degree in Jazz Performance from Georgia State University. White taught strings and band at Atlanta Public Schools and served as a professor of Jazz Studies at Morris Brown College.
Derrick has performed with Aretha Franklin, The Dells, Sonny Emory, Rene Marie, Don Braden, Conrad Herwig, Wycliff Gordon, Joe Lovano, Jennifer Holiday, Debbie Gibson, Bill Cosby, Johnny Gill, Tim Armacost, and Bob Mintzer. He has recorded music for the movie IdleWild, featuring Outkast, and played with Party on The Moon, Big Swing and the Ballroom Blasters, and Big Blast and the Partymasters. In addition, White played for the Inauguration Ball for President Barack Obama. He has also traveled extensively throughout the United States, Mexico, and the Bahamas.
Zekariyah Yisrael was born in El Paso, Texas, and raised in Atlanta, Georgia. Zekariyah studied music education at Georgia State University under the tutelage of the great Martha Gerschefski. He performs at weddings, anniversaries, and other special events and shares his love of music by teaching children in and around the Atlanta Metro area.