It takes a village!

Click below to learn more about our team.

Core Staff

Emily Morrison, Executive Director

Emily is a lifelong educator. Hailing from Ferrum, Virginia, she grew up in a family of musicians and educators in a region steeped in traditional music. She’s worn lots of hats since moving to Charlottesville to teach high school English in 2000, including founding and operating a summer day camp for children and directing a performing arts program at a Montessori school. Emily’s passion is helping others express their innate creativity. Emily has a bachelor’s degree in English and master’s degree in Education from The College of William and Mary.

Jess Knicely, Director of Operations

A native of Charlottesville, Jess is an old-time fiddler and a freelance designer. She comes from a family steeped in mountain music tradition and harbors a deep passion for the sharing and preservation of traditional arts and music. Jess has previously worked as a Media Archivist, specializing in old-time music, for the Virginia Folklife Program at the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities. Jess also has experience in business development, marketing, design, merchandising, and art installation as a Senior Visual Manager and Acting District Visual Manager for the retailer Anthropologie.

Katen Reynolds, Director of Advancement

Katen is a native of Lexington, VA and moved to Charlottesville in 2006. Before joining The Front Porch she worked as a gardener, dance teacher, and most recently, an elementary school teacher. Though music has always been an important part of her life, she didn’t start learning an instrument until a few years ago when she picked up a guitar for the first time. Working at The Front Porch has been the perfect way for Katen to combine her love of learning, music, and community.

Malia Furtado, Director of Music Education

Hailing from the Northern end of the Shenandoah Valley, Malia comes from a large family of musicians. Malia’s musical journey began at the age of 3 with classical violin lessons and took a turn, for better or for worse, with the discovery of bluegrass at age 7 when she attended her first festival, Galax Old Fiddler’s Convention. Since then, Malia has performed with a number of different groups, taken home a range of prizes, and graced the stage of numerous venues up and down the East Coast. Malia has given private lessons in both bluegrass and classical since 2006. Other teaching ventures include appearances on two Murphy Method instructional DVD’s and leading fiddle workshops at various festivals.

Clare Conheady, Office and Venue Manager

Clare’s love for music and dance started in her hometown of Rochester, NY and led her down to Asheville, North Carolina, where she taught and performed many different styles of Dance. She has previously worked as an Infant Nanny and Doula, in addition to running back stages at Music Festivals all along the East Coast. If there’s old time music to be heard, you can be sure Clare will be ready to step-a-tune on her dance board, and hopes to share her love of clogging and flatfooting with the Front Porch Community here in Charlottesville.

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Melissa Mossinghoff, Director of Community Outreach

Originally from northern Virginia, Melissa moved to Charlottesville to attend UVa and has happily called it her home ever since. Beginning with piano and ballet/tap lessons as a child, her affinity for dance and music has persisted throughout her life. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Foreign Affairs and French from UVa and a Masters in Education from Marymount University. Professionally, she taught in local elementary schools and worked as communications coordinator at Building Goodness Foundation. Connecting people to each other and the world around them remains her overarching desire in life.

Lucas Rhondeau, Registrar

Growing up in Charlottesville, Lucas has been immersed in the vibrant local music scene from a young age. After graduating from Christopher Newport University with a bachelor’s degree in English and Political Science, he worked for various nonprofits in the area, most recently as the Summer Intern Coordinator with the Virginia Basketball Academy and as the Marketing and Communications Intern with the Thomas Jefferson Foundation. Lucas is excited to facilitate music learning as both an instructor and an administrator at The Front Porch.

Eli Ratzlaff, Development Manager

A Charlottesville native, Eli has maintained a lifelong love of music, playing guitar casually and regularly attending live music around town. Eli graduated from UVA with a degree in Political Philosophy, Policy, and Law. Prior to joining The Front Porch, he worked on the Economic Empowerment team at the International Rescue Committee in Charlottesville. Eli is passionate about fostering strong and inclusive communities, and is excited to connect the Charlottesville community through music.

Board of Directors

Chris DuBois, Board Chair

Chris DuBois is a founding partner at Sticks Kebob Shops. Originally from New Jersey, Chris came to Virginia to attend the College of William and Mary and has remained in the Commonwealth since then. He enjoys spending time with his two sons and friends, listening to music of all kinds, and playing soccer and guitar.

James Wilkinson, Secretary

James Wilkinson has a background in the arts, journalism, and urban planning. He works on environmental, social equity, and land use planning issues for Skeo, an environmental consulting company in Charlottesville. A long-time city resident, he is an avid supporter of local music outreach and education, with a particular interest in exploring the region’s cultural heritage. He plays guitar in The Front Porch Bluegrass Band and is also taking mandolin lessons at The Front Porch.

Marc Lipson, TREASURER

Marc Lipson received his Ph.D. in finance from the University of Michigan and two degrees from the University of Virginia – a BA in Anthropology and an MS in Accounting. He current teaches at the Darden Business School of the University of Virginia, principally teaching corporate finance, but also innovation. He is an avid musician, playing bass and guitar, and has played with a variety of Charlottesville bands, including Jeebus and The Gladstones, 502 Fossils, The Holly Allen Trio and Oh Wow Boy! Along with his wife Ellen Climo, Marc is an avid collector and supporter of the arts.

Terri Allard

Terri Allard serves as a host, producer and Education and Engagement Manager for VPM PBS. She is also an award-winning singer-songwriter with five albums of original material under her belt and a strong connection to the Charlottesville community.

Mary Beth Aungier

Mary Beth Aungier is a former Tour Manager for Grammy Award winning artists. She led 18 years of domestic touring in the United States and 15 years of international touring, performing in some of the most important historic theatres in the country. She became the General Manager of the circa 1931 historic Paramount Theatre in Charlottesville, VA for 8 years and led the team of theatre restoration experts renovating the circa 1937 Art Deco style State Theatre in Culpeper, Virginia. She served as Board Member for the League of Historic American Theatres (LHAT.org) for three years and currently works as Local and Regional Marketing for Lockn’ Music Festival held in Central Virginia. While not spending her time supporting the arts and cultivating creative solutions for arts organizations she volunteers for numerous non-profits within the region.

Paddy Bowman

Paddy Bowman is Founding Director of Local Learning: The National Network for Folk Arts in Education and co-editor of the Journal of Folklore and Education. She has developed many folk arts education resources and training opportunities for teachers and artists. Before earning her masters in folklore at the University of North Carolina, she worked as a journalist and volunteered as assistant director for the DC nonprofit, The Travelin’ Blues Workshop, promoting regional musicians such as Elizabeth Cotten, John Jackson, and John Cephas, among others. Recently she was awarded the American Folklore Society’s Benjamin A. Botkin Prize for Lifetime Achievement in Public
Folklore and was named a Fellow of the Society.

Christina DeMarea

Raised in Blacksburg, Va, Christina moved to Charlottesville after spending decades in Chicago as a leader in the non-profit sector. Her career has focused on endeavors that invest in community and, specifically, arts participation to nurture the individual and collective human spirit and build bridges between diverse populations. She is currently the General Director of Charlottesville of Charlottesville Opera. Christina is a trained singer who once taught voice lessons at Chicago’s Old Town School of Folk Music. Christina holds a master of music degree from Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music and received leadership training from Northwestern’s Kellogg’s School of Business Non-Profit Executive Management program.

Jonathan Gilliland

Jonathan came to Virginia for college at Washington & Lee University where he graduated in 1993 with a B.S. in Math and Natural Sciences. He later earned an MBA from The Darden School at UVA in 1998. Jonathan has served as CIO for Keller Enterprises, LLC since 2013, where he oversees asset allocation and investment decision-making (previously CFO, 2008 -2013). Jonathan serves on several boards of the companies in which Keller Enterprises has invested. Additionally, Jonathan serves as a Manager of Inglewood Farms, LLC, Keller Enterprises’ only wholly-owned operating subsidiary. A lover of bluegrass music, Jonathan joined The Front Porch as a volunteer in 2018 and later joined the board. His most cherished role is as father of two sons: Beck, an aspiring banjo player, and Keller, an accomplished thespian.

Neal Goodloe

Neal Goodloe has lived in Charlottesville since 1976. He attended UVa and, after graduation, decided to stick around. Neal has worked in the criminal justice system for the past 36 years as a probation officer, supervisor, administrator, consultant and researcher. Neal’s professional experiences have taught him the value of fostering positive creative outlets, including music, as people seek to rebuild their lives. Four years ago, at the urging of several song-writing friends, Neal began writing and performing original tunes, first at open-mic nights, and later as an acoustic act around town.

Clarence Green

Clarence Green is founder & owner of Underground Shorts Media Company. As well as being a filmmaker and producer, he is a musician, educator, and social entrepreneur. He holds a Bachelors Degree in Communication Arts / Fine Arts from Virginia Commonwealth University. His family roots in Charlottesville, Virginia date back to the 1800’s. He is currently working to create an organization called Citizen Needs that promotes individuals, businesses, and organizations to adopt missions for black equity.

Steven Harris

Atlanta native Steven Harris came to UVA (CLAS ‘82) where he was a DJ, and later a music director at WTJU. He was active on the concert committee at UVA, and later with WTJU. In 1990 he had the opportunity to take over the Variety Playhouse, a 1940’s neighborhood movie theater in Atlanta’s colorful Little 5 Points area. The Variety hosted over 100 shows a year with a roster ranging from Doc Watson and Leo Kottke to Phish and Adele. While at the Variety he also booked a performing arts series at GA State University, and later booked and produced the Concerts in the Gardens series for the Atlanta Botanical Garden. Harris sold the Variety in 2016. As an audiophile, Harris has also run a high end audio consulting business, Playhouse Audio, for over 20 years. He and his wife Wendy bought land outside of Charlottesville in 2018 and have just completed their new home. 

Adam Healey

Adam is the Co-Founder & Managing Partner at Missionbear, a boutique management consultancy that works with companies and organizations focused on creating positive change in the world. He is also the co-founder and CEO of The High Country Presents, a lifestyle marketing & production company that produces, promotes & owns the Festy music & mindfulness festival. Previously, he was the Co-Founder & CEO of Borrowed & Blue (2012-2017) and hotelicopter (2006-2011), both venture-backed startups that were sold to the market leaders in their industry. Adam received his MBA from the Darden School of Business and his BS from the McIntire School of Commerce, both at the University of Virginia.

Demian Jackson

Demian Jackson is an attorney, amateur farmer, and avid music lover from Charlotte, NC. He grew up around music and is a firm believer that everything is better with music. Demian received his undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina and is a graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law. He is currently a patent attorney at Jackson IPG PLLC, a Charlottesville intellectual property firm.

Lester Jackson

Lester, also known as “Nathaniel Star” is a Charlottesville native. In addition to serving on several boards within the University, and Charlottesville community, Lester is also an establish songwriter/musician in his own right. Under the musical moniker Nathaniel Star, he has performance and writing credits with some of the most respected names in the music industry. From Maxine Jones of legendary R&B group En Vogue, to members of the Dave Matthews Band, Wilton Felder Sr. of The Jazz Crusaders and other Grammy Award winning artist. Lester is currently creating music for a few Netflix series and Feature Films. Lester’s passion is anything involving the youth, “our future”. “My goal with any board I sit on is to be a conduit between the community that looks like me, and the one that doesn’t.”

Christine Perot

Chris Perot was raised in the Charlottesville area. She is passionate about creating a healthy, fun community that allows for freedom of expression and joyful consideration of our land, our families, our friends and neighbors and those who are just not yet met. Chris studied cooking and fine art at Studio Arts Center International and Lorenzo De Medici in Florence, Italy after graduating from Albemarle High School. She is currently working as steward of a farm, overseeing the restoration of the land and natural habitat, and the enrichment of the local community through engagement and practice and by joining together with community groups to create meaningful change with a focus on betterment for all inhabitants.

Devon Sproule

Devon Sproule grew up at Twin Oaks Community in Louisa, VA. She moved to Charlottesville as a teenager, busking on the downtown mall and making friends within the local music world. Now a professional touring musician, Sproule plays regularly in the US, Canada, Europe, and Australia. Her releases have garnered praise from Village Voice, New Yorker, Rolling Stone, Observer, Guardian, and have featured collaborations with (among others) fellow Virginians Mary Chapin Carpenter and the late Jesse Winchester. As a teacher, Devon’s specialty is one-on-one “musical mentoring,” helping people young and old improve their playing and singing while learning to process life’s joys and pains creatively, through songwriting.


221 Water St E
Charlottesville, VA 22902


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