Executive Director, Violinist and Music Instructor
Diana earned a Bachelor of Music Degree in Violin Performance from the Philadelphia College of Performing Arts. At PCPA she studied with the famed teacher, Dorothy DeLay and was a regular performer for the DeLay master classes at the Aspen Music Festival. Diana has performed as a member of the Concerto Soloists of Philadelphia, The Philly Pops Orchestra and the Canton Symphony. She served as assistant concertmaster of the International Lyric Festival Opera Orchestra in Italy, and as a substitute for the Saint Louis Symphony under the direction of Leonard Slatkin. In addition to performing, Diana has taught private violin lessons, music theory and ensemble classes over the past 30 years. One of her student ensemble groups, Volante, was featured on CBS, “The Early Show”, 12/31/04. Volante performed all throughout their community and were filmed by CBS while performing at a local public elementary school. In 2008, Diana formed Avalare Strings, a quartet that performs various genres of music (classical, folk, contemporary and classic rock) for special events.
Director of Learning Services, Cellist and Music Instructor
Brooke received a Bachelor of Music degree in Cello Performance from North Carolina School of the Arts. After graduating, she joined the North Carolina Symphony. Upon meeting her future husband, she relocated to Philadelphia where she is currently a member of the Opera Company of Philadelphia and the Philly Pops. She performs throughout the Delaware Valley with a number of ensembles including Orchestra 2001, the Delaware Symphony, Ocean City Pops, and the Philadelphia Classical Symphony. Brooke frequently plays in Atlantic City for Smokey Robinson, Natalie Cole, and other top name performers. She is a founding member and cellist of Avalare Strings, a string quartet dedicated to performing classic rock, Celtic, Latin, classical and contemporary music. In addition to a busy performance schedule, Brooke is a highly sought after private lesson and ensemble teacher. With over 20 years of teaching experience, she has enriched the lives of hundreds of students and many have gone to pursue music careers of their own.
A Word from Brooke:
As a cello and ensemble teacher with over 20 years of experience, I believe that music is a gift that all children should be able to receive regardless of their family’s circumstances or social-economic status. I am committed to SWAN’s mission of providing music lessons and mentoring to the children in our society who desperately need positive role models in their lives. I have seen how children who learn to play an instrument are forever changed. These children learn to be disciplined in other areas of their lives. They develop close relationships with their teachers and learn how to communicate and trust their mentors. When students play in ensembles, they develop a bond with their peers and learn to work together for a common goal. They ultimately take pleasure in their accomplishments and literally beam after performances. Learning to play an instrument builds overall self confidence and develops maturity. These children are set up to succeed and can look forward to a bright future.
Registrar, Office Manager
Holly’s organizational skills have been used to coordinate single’s conferences, children’s activities, and adult day-care conferences on many occasions throughout the years and she is very involved in event planning for her church. Holly studied criminal justice and photography at Harford Community College. She has worked in the security department at Harford Community College and as a photographer and manager for Olan Mills Photography Studio in Aberdeen, MD. Holly has also been employed as a lab technician for The Wedding Lab.
A Word from Holly:
Often when we think of how to describe children we think innocent, naive, wide-eyed wonderers. The realities of life have not yet tainted their dream-filled days. I remember what that was like! However, far too many children face the cruel realities that shatter this wide-eyed wonder. The effects that take place in the home of incarcerated parents can cripple the children’s future dreams before they can even fully form. This, I can say, would be one of the inspirations for why I am involved with SWAN. What a privilege it is to be a part of an organization that inspires these children with the hope that anything is possible and that allows them to be a part of something beautiful, something they can be proud of and something that will nurture and allow their dreams for the future to form and become reality. Another inspiration for being involved with SWAN is the awesome reality that in giving, each staff person and volunteer involved is changed through the experiences in profound and lasting ways. What a world of difference these families and communities will see when they realize the past does not have to predict their future. There is no greater inspiration or joy for working with SWAN than to see these young lives changed forever.