Keri has served music education organizations in the Executive Director role since 2008. She holds a Masters degree in Voice from San Jose State University, a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education and Acting Specialist Certificate from University of Wisconsin, Madison, and has held teaching credentials in K-12 general and choral music in WI and IL.
From 1998-2004, Keri conducted with the internationally acclaimed Chicago Children’s Choir. As the founding teaching artist for Chicago Opera Theater’s Opera for All program, she prepared children for outreach and mainstage productions, including the US premiere of Brundibar. She has taught for Merit School of Music, DePaul University’s Community Music Division, and in the Bay Area for the Community School of Music and Art, Young Audiences of Northern California, Cantabile Youth Singers, and Music in Schools Today, before transitioning to arts administration as the Program Director for the Dominican Schools Music Project.
She was named a 2010 JOC Scholar for Emerging Non-Profit Leaders by Board Source, presented for CMEA Bay Section and CASMEC state conferences, graduated from the Center for Excellence in Non-Profits Leader’s Institute, and served as Treasurer for the Board of the Northern California Chapter of the American Orff Schulwerk Association. Ms. Butkevich has studied with Erie Mills, Yefim Maizel, and Michel Singher.
A light lyric soprano and actor, Keri has been a featured soloist with numerous concert series in the Midwest, Bay Area and Assisi, Italy, and performed in independent film and with companies including Bailiwick Repertory, Healthworks, Pear Avenue Theatre, Opera Academy of California, and Opera San Jose. She is a proud member of Oakland Rotary #3, and professional associations include Chorus America, ACDA, NCAOSA, and the Development Executives Roundtable.
La Nell Martin is an Oakland native, graduate of Holy Names High School, and alumna of the Oakland Youth Chorus (1986-1989). She holds a B.A. in Voice from California State University-East Bay, and a Kodály Level One Certificate from Holy Names University. La Nell is currently a Masters in Music Education candidate at San Jose State Univiersity. Entering her 12th year with the Chorus, La Nell began conducting OYC’s Middle School Magic Chorus in 2004 and Concert Chorus in 2006.
Under Ms. Martin’s direction, OYC’s Concert Chorus and Chamber Singers have received top honors at Heritage Festivals and Music in the Parks, and have been invited guest artists with the Oakland Ballet, Oakland Symphony Chorus, Yerba Buena Family Day, Oakland East Bay Gay Men’s Chorus, and California State University- East Bay. She has also taken the Concert Chorus and Chamber Singers on tour to Las Vegas, Seattle, and New Orleans.
La Nell has studied choral conducting with Dr. Buddy James (California State University), Judit Hartyányi (Holy Names University), and Dr. Charlene Archibeque (San Jose State University). She has also studied voice with Christine Abraham, and Dr. Allen Shearer. She is a member of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), the Association of the American Kodály Educators, and the National Association for Music Education (NAFME).
Debbie Gold is a flutist, composer, and teaching artist living in the San Francisco Bay Area. She earned her Bachelor’s of Music in Composition from the University of Southern California and her Master of Arts in Teaching from the Longy School of Music of Bard College in their Los Angeles program to teach in the growing El Sistema movement in the United States. A dedicated teaching artist throughout the Bay Area, Debbie is inspired by the ways in which music can be used as a vehicle for social change. She currently heads the winds and brass program at Valley Vibes Orchestra, Sonoma’s El Sistema program.
Rhonda Crane left corporate America to sing professionally in 1989; touring with the a cappella group Street Sounds. She has shared the stage with Robert Cray, Joan Armatrading, Zap Mama, Chick Chorea, Al Green, Holly Near, Manhattan Transfer, Ladysmith Black Mombazo, Wynton Marsalis and many others in Korea, Switzerland, France, Germany, Austria, and Belgium. Currently, Rhonda sings with Chelle and Friends and Chelle’s Juke Joint.
Rhonda’s vocal talents developed in the Baptist church, and she studied classical piano and viola through college, and received the San Francisco Sun Reporter’s Youth of the Year Award. As a music/education major at San Jose State University, she sang in AIDA with Grace Bumbry and organized the Rhonda Hudson Singers. She began serving as a church pianist at age 16 at the historic Third Baptist Church in San Francisco, and has continued playing in various venues throughout her career, including work as choral director and the Minister of Music of Greater True Light Baptist Church in Modesto, California.
Rhonda is currently Director of the Children’s Ministry for the Edwin and Walter Hawkins Music & Arts National Conference and the Love Center Church in Oakland. She sings with the Hawkins’ Community In Praise Choir and the Love Center Church Choir.
Rhonda also does studio work, runs workshops, and teaches piano and voice to children in the San Francisco, Belmont, Oakland Unified School Districts, and Gospel music to adults in the Marin Adult & Community Education program through Leap, Imagination in Learning, San Francisco Arts Education and several East Bay choruses because she loves teaching children to sing!
Brianna Brown was born in Fort Wayne, IN. She graduated from DePaul University (Chicago, IL) in 2015 with Bachelors of Arts and Science in Spanish and International Studies. There, she was an active member in her college a’Cappella group. Since then, she has obtained her teaching credential through Loyola Marymount University. Brianna now teaches bilingual Transitional Kindergarten at Manzanita SEED in Oakland. She is thrilled to be working with OYC to bring music learning to the students at her school, and to share her love of music with students in the Fruitvale community.
Sarah Hawley-Snow earned her Masters of Music in Music Education with Kodály Emphasis from Holy Names University, where she began studying vocal performance during her undergraduate studies, having played cello and harp since childhood. She has performed in musical productions, community orchestras, and private recitals throughout the Bay Area. Sarah also currently works at Holy Names University, and leads elementary-level after-school choirs and in-school music classes with OYC. She looks forward to supporting OYC’s mission to create safe spaces for children to connect through the arts and build multicultural understanding and respect among diverse communities in Oakland.
Sid joins OYC as a newcomer to the Bay Area. He received his Bachelor of Music Education from the University of Michigan, where he directed and sang in his college a Capella group, the U of MI G-Men, which competed and performed internationally. Sid has taught K-9 students for Young People’s Theater, conducted children’s choirs, and was a Program Director for Neutral Zone’s Your Voice! program . He is also constantly working on musical projects of his own, and is excited to extend this creativity to the classroom. A life-long musician, he has experienced first-hand the positive influence music can have on one’s life and strives to help students realize this power. He believes when making music, students can immediately experience the benefits of putting the good of the whole before the self—an invaluable lesson in today’s society. In his free time Sid can be found playing music, riding his bike, or hanging out with his roommates and kittens.
Trish first joined OYC as an intern through her studies at L.E.N. Business and Language Institute When she graduated with her General Clerical and Microcomputer Applications Certificate, she joined our team as our Administrative Assistant. Trish’s love for animals (her own two cats and a love for horses that extends to collecting models) led her to work for 17 years as a Veterinary Receptionist. Before that, she managed the office supply section in a Hallmark Stationary store for over 7 years. She enjoys being at OYC because, “While I have no background in music I find listening to the performances of these hard working students extremely enjoyable and the positive impact that OYC has on their lives to be very inspiring”.
D’Shawn Hunter graduated from Oakland Technical High School at the age of 16. He is currently studying at UC Berkeley as a Bio-Sciences Major and he plans to attend medical school at Stanford University. As a member of the OYC from 1997-2003, D’Shawn has a great ear for music, as well as a love for the art itself. He performed with the OYC at Oakland’s Paramount Theatre and numerous other Bay Area venues and has performed internationally with other choral groups. D’Shawn has tremendous experience working with youth in several different structures, and truly has a love for OYC.
Oakland native Bryan S. Dyer is a multi-talented musician, excelling as a singer who plays and teaches several instruments including bass guitar, percussion and piano; writes and arranges music, conducts choirs and ensembles, and works in television, radio and film. Bryan is a veteran of some of the Bay Area’s top vocal groups including Street Sounds, SoVoSo, Slammin All Body Band, Linda Tillery and the Cultural Heritage Choir, Chelle! and Friends and The Corposonic Body Ensemble and Trio. He also performs with Zadell, Rankin Scroo and Ginger,R&B group, D.A.P., and is a featured vocalist with The Funk Revival Orchestra.
His musical experiences have him taken around the globe on multiple tours throughout Europe, Japan, South Korea and Jamaica. Bryan has shared the stage with noted artists including Al Green, Bobby McFerrin, Michael McDonald of the Doobie Brothers, Ladysmith Black Mambazo and Huey Lewis and The News.