ABOUT

Our Team

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Documentary Songwriters wouldn't be able to offer the service it does without the creativity and contributions of its staff and supporters.

DOCUMENTARY SONGWRITERS

Leadership

Nora Willauer

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Nora serves as Executive Director of DocSong and is a passionate musician, devoted not only to her instrument, but also to the relationship between music and community.

Clara Schneid

Communications Officer

A songwriter and educator, Clara loves usuing creativity to connect with students and collaborators.

Malcolm Brooks

FOUNDER

Dr. Malcolm Brooks first published the Documentary Songwriting Method as part of his Doctoral dissertation. He founded Documentary Songwriters, as a nonprofit in 2018 and currently serves the organization as an advisor. 

Will Foote

TEACHING ARTIST EDUCATOR

Will is a vocalist and songwriter. He has been instrumental in bringing documentary songs to venues ranging from folk festivals to intimate settings. He has also demonstrated composing melodic themes live on radio.

Khalid Taylor

Khalid Taylor (he/they) is a queer Afrolatinx speaker, personal growth and development consultant, singer, and documentary songwriter.  His focus continues to remain centered on cultivating mindful spaces for people to intentionally re-shape the conversations they have internally with themselves and externally in the relationships they have with their community.

DOCUMENTARY SONGWRITERS

Board of Directors

Mimi Bornstein

TREASURER

Mimi is a choral director, educator, and composer, Mimi is the founder of Voices United LLC, an organization dedicated to creating musical connections as pathways for promoting equality, opportunity and inclusion for all. 

LaRaun Clayton

MEMBER

LaRaun Clayton is a United States Army Veteran with 10+ years of Nonprofit Leadership experience. He is currently the Director of a 122- bed Homeless and Mental Health Residential Treatment facility for veterans experiencing homelessness and/or addiction.

Josie Davis

BOARD PRESIDENT

Josie has performed in a wide range of venues, from Carnegie Hall to the Monte Music Festival in India. She is interested in how music can be used as a form of cultural empowerment to build bridges and strengthen communities.

Halley Elwell

SECRETARY

Halley is an accomplished bi-coastal singer-songwriter and teacher, at home on stage and in the studio. In addition to performing internationally, has been named by Nashville Songwriter’s Association as “One to Watch.”

Jody Kerchner

MEMBER

Jody is a professor at Oberlin College. She specializes in secondary school music and choral music education She has presented keynotes, papers, and led workshops nationally and internationally.

Rachel Kribbs

Member

Rachel Kribbs has over a decade of experience working in the arts & culture and nonprofit sectors. She's held positions at some of Cleveland's legacy arts organizations including The Cleveland Orchestra and Cleveland Institute of Music. In these roles she managed and garnered support for a myriad of community programs and initiatives, working alongside world-renowned musicians to guide and support their efforts in the community.

Stanford Thompson

MEMBER

Stanford is a musician and educator who serves as the Founder and Executive Director of Play On Philly and Founding Board Chairman of El Sistema USA – bringing music education to students in underserved areas.

Lisa Whitfield

MEMBER

Lisa is a classically trained violist, improviser, and vocalist who has been an active orchestral and chamber musician in the Cleveland area for over a decade after having spending nearly 20 years performing in New York.

Monica Kelly

EMERITUS MEMBER

Monica serves as Executive Director of Bay Chamber Concerts and Music School. She is also the founder of the Odeon Orchestra, the first youth orchestra for young instrumentalists in the midcoast of Maine.

Chris Finn

EMERITUS MEMBER

Chris Finn has sung and played in churches since childhood, spending 13 years leading a Los Angeles based contemporary music church band. He led the Songs of Oswald Chambers project for DocSong.

Anastasia Fischer

EMERITUS MEMBER

Anastasia serves as president of U.S. Harbors in Rockland, Maine. She also lads her own design firm, the Fischer Design Group. She is a graduate of Bowdoin College with a major in history.

DOCUMENTARY SONGWRITERS

Teaching Artists

Alexander Adams

Alex Adams is a middle school music teacher,  guitarist, bassist, banjo player, and puppeteer. He lives and works  in southern Maine where he focuses on bringing new educational experiences into music classrooms and spreads the message that music is for everyone.

Whit Arau

Whit is an environmental chemist with experience in writing, music composition, and podcast production. Whit is interested in documentary songs with queer people and those dealing with chronic health problems.

Andre Jamal Cardine

Andre Jamal Cardine is a singer-songwriter, music producer, instrumentalist, research scholar, activist, and arranger from Chicago’s south suburbs. He is currently pursuing a PhD program at Indiana University in Ethnomusicology.

Joaquin Contreras 

Joaquin is a multi-instrumentalist and documentary songwriter. He focuses on writing documentary songs with families and communities in order to help them preserve their histories and cultures.

Hazel Delehey

Hazel is a documentary songwriter and studio vocalist. She pioneered the first documentary song for a documentary film, a project for the High Mountain Institute in Colorado.

Caleb Edwards

Caleb is a composer, vocalist, multi-instrumentalist. He has created and recorded vocal, string, and percussion arrangements for numerous artists. He attends the Berklee College of Music in Boston. 

Will Foote

Will is a vocalist and songwriter. He has been instrumental in bringing documentary songs to venues ranging from folk festivals to intimate settings. He has also demonstrated composing melodic themes live on radio.

Sean GoLightly

Arizona-born, Golightly cut his teeth first in church, then on the street. Now, he makes a sound somewhere between country, folk, blues, and soul on stages of all sizes. Best described as americana, Golightly's music emphasizes story and live performance.

Kiyoshi Hayashi

Violinist Kiyoshi Hayashi is very passionate about using music as a means to bring individuals and communities together, to heal and positively uplift people’s lives, and to inspire others to follow their passions. 

Daniella Hope

Daniella is a jazz vocalist from the South Side of Chicago. She began her career in the Chicago Children's Choir through which she was able to perform around the world in places including Italy, South Africa, and India.

Chloë Isis

Chloë is a songwriter and vocalist who conducted the first-ever live documentary songwriting session on radio. She is interested in writing DocSongs with children, the deaf, and those processing grief.

Stephanie Judy

Stephanie Judy is a musician living in Kaslo, British Columbia—a village (pop. 900) in the mountainous southeast corner of the province. Her life-long engagement in performing arts and arts education favours the participatory and inclusive.

Lalia Mangione

One of 11 siblings, Lalia has been surrounded by chaos and competition her whole life. At a young age, Lalia turned to music as a way to find peace and order in between arm wrestling with her brothers (and winning) and trying to get a word in edgewise with her sisters (not winning). Although the chaos of a big family is joyful and fulfilling, she finds individuality and solace in music—a creative outlet full of beauty, order, and passion.

Raphaël Meulemans

Raphaël is a Belgian cellist—he is an engaged musician and a passionate teacher. Raphaël performs mainly as a chamber musician and soloist. His musical experiences have led him to not only play classical music but also traditional folk and rock music.

Melodi Var Öngel 

Melodi is a humanitarian and musician. In 2019, she debuted her documentary songwriting project Songs Across Boundaries, and followed it with an acclaimed TEDx talk on her work on that project in Cyprus.

Genevieve Roby

A vocalist and songwriter, Genevieve attends Bennington College, where she studies the performing arts and creative writing. She is interested in the ways that music can be used as an means of human connection and understanding.

Rebecca Shasberger

Praised for the “maturity and sensitivity” of her playing (Casa Magazine), Cleveland-based cellist Rebecca Shasberger is passionate about loving people and pursuing justice through music. To this end she founded Renovare Music in 2018, a 501(c)3 nonprofit that brings together Rebecca’s extensive experience as a performer, worship leader, and teacher.

Matt Smith

Cellist Matthew Smith, is equally active as a performer and educator. In the U.S., he has performed at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D. C. and was a musician-in-residence at the Boston Center for the Arts as a member of the musician-led chamber orchestra, Palaver Strings.

Cecelia Swanson

Cecelia is a cellist dedicated to using her performing and teaching as a way to build stronger bonds in her community. She is currently pursuing post-graduate studies at the Cleveland Institute of Music, playing with the award-winning Elless String Quartet, and teaching at the Aurora School of Music.

Khalid Taylor

Khalid Taylor (he/they) is a queer Afrolatinx speaker, personal growth and development consultant, singer, and documentary songwriter.  His focus continues to remain centered on cultivating mindful spaces for people to intentionally re-shape the conversations they have internally with themselves and externally in the relationships they have with their community.

Caroline Rex-Waller 

Caroline pioneered the first-ever documentary songwriting workshop in a high school. Under her leadership, 37 students generated 37 lyrical and melodic sketches across four days.

Jonny Westhorp

Jonny is an English guitarist and songwriter currently living and working in Belgium. He is interested in using music as a way of uniting and integrating marginalized members of society into the community.

Alex Wilder

Alex is a songwriter, producer, audio engineer, and multi-instrumentalist from Maine, currently based in Nashville. In addition to freelance performance work, he has produced numerous collaborations with DocSong.

DOCUMENTARY SONGWRITERS

Strategic Partners

DocSong's mission is supported by the following partners – we are grateful for their expertise and generosity.

Rick Medrick  |  Boulder, Colorado

“We need 10 or 100 [teaching artists] traveling around inviting others to tell their stories. This would not only have a profound effect on the population in individual terms but also offer the community ways to connect to the commonalities among their stories."