Leadership

Co-Founders & Staff
Monica Yunus

Co-Founder and Co-Executive Director
Born in Chittagong, Bangladesh and raised in New Jersey, Monica Yunus is the Co-Founder and Co-Executive Director of Sing for Hope. Monica has performed with the world’s leading opera companies, including Washington National Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, and The Metropolitan Opera, where she spent ten seasons as a principal artist. She has performed in concert and recital in Spain, Guatemala, Bangkok, and Lebanon’s Zouk Festival. Monica has been honored with a 21st Century Leaders Award and named a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum, a “New Yorker of the Week” by NY1, and one of the “Top 50 Americans in Philanthropy” by Town & Country. A leading voice in the “artist as citizen” discussion, she has performed and spoken at Skoll World Forum for Social Entrepreneurship, The World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates, Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit, Aspen Ideas Festival, and The United Nations. She is an Artist Lecturer at Carnegie Mellon University, and has been the Housewright Eminent Artist-Scholar in Residence at Florida State University and the inaugural Reflexions Artist in Residence at University of Arkansas. The daughter of Nobel Peace Laureate Muhammad Yunus, Monica is a graduate of The Juilliard School.

Camille Zamora

Co-Founder and Co-Executive Director
Raised in Texas and Mexico, Camille Zamora is the Co-Founder and Co-Executive Director of Sing for Hope. An internationally acclaimed soprano, she has appeared with collaborators ranging from Yo-Yo Ma to Sting, ensembles including London Symphony Orchestra and Glimmerglass Opera, and live broadcasts on NPR and BBC. Her last two albums (Si la noche se hace oscura/ If the night grows dark and Le dernier sorcier/The Last Sorcerer) debuted on Billboard’s Top Ten Classical Chart. Camille has been recognized by the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, received a 100 Hispanic Women Community Pride Award, and been named NY1’s "New Yorker of the Week,” one of the “Top 50 Americans in Philanthropy” by Town & Country, and one of CNN’s "Most Intriguing People." She has been the Housewright Eminent Artist-Scholar in Residence at Florida State University, the inaugural Reflexions Artist in Residence at University of Arkansas, and given masterclasses and guest lectures at Juilliard, Harvard, NYU, Claremont Graduate University, and others. A graduate of The Juilliard School and a leading voice in the “artist as citizen” discussion, Camille has performed and spoken at Skoll World Forum for Social Entrepreneurship, The World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates, Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit, Aspen Ideas Festival, and The United Nations.

Danielle Chery
Community Arts Project Leader
Danielle Chery is a gifted teacher and artist with a fluid style that celebrates and inspires environments and communities. Skilled in a variety of mediums, Danielle incorporates diverse textures and materials to bring her art to life, and to light. A Sing for Hope Artist Partner since 2020, Danielle’s community creations include her Sing for Hope Piano entitled Underwater Tune, created during the early days of the pandemic for a public residency at Hudson Yard, followed by its permanent placement at Business Technology Early College High School in Queens. Danielle’s work at Sing for Hope is characterized by her belief that “the magic that exists during the process of creating art is better experienced through collaborative community efforts.” In addition to her work as a self-taught artist, Danielle is a published author, and her recent children’s book, “Peers, Cheers, and Volunteers,” is available for purchase on Amazon. Danielle received her B.A. in Journalism from SUNY New Paltz. She has held positions as an English as a Second Language Instructor at Riseboro Community Partnership, a Service Events Officer at New York Cares, a Community Project Coordinator with New York City Law Department supporting the Juvenile Delinquency sector in the Family Court Division, and a Community School Director for NYC Community Learning Schools.

Patrick Connolly​
Open Arts Manager
Patrick joined Sing for Hope’s Open Arts team in 2021, when the world’s stages were dark and the virtual space was providing hope for artists everywhere. Since then, he has helped give Open Arts its own identity as a unique and accessible platform for the arts. At night, Patrick entertains at piano bars and events across New York City. He is known as “Paddy on the Piano” at Don’t Tell Mama, The Duplex, and more. Patrick has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Performing Arts Technology from the University of Michigan.
Sharon Daley-Johnson

Curriculum Consultant
Sharon Daley-Johnson (BM '88, Violin; MM '89, Manhattan School of Music) is an accomplished musician and veteran educator with a passion for using the arts to transform her students’ lives.  Her passion lies with, in her words, giving under-resourced students “a fighting chance to compete and excel in the arts!” With expertise in programming for the critical-but-underserved middle school demographic, Sharon is dedicated to providing access and opportunities for students to learn, practice, and perform with professional artists, cultivating and showcasing their talents. Her work extends from Reaching for the Arts (of which she is the Founder and Director Emeritus) to  PS 191, the Riverside School for Makers and Artists, in New York City, where she is the music teacher. Sharon is a vital part of Sing for Hope’s education team and braintrust, working with a network of partners, including The United Nations, to co-create our SDG arts curriculum.

Jhaydan Devaughn

Teacher’s Assistant, Sing for Hope Lab
Jhaydan DeVaughn is a freshman at Westchester Community College and plans to attend college to pursue a degree in business management. Jhaydan is an alumnus of the Sing for Hope Lab, the Mount Vernon Boys and Girls Club, and Amani Public Charter School. Often nicknamed “the Mayor of Mount Vernon,” Jhaydan was elected Mount Vernon Boys and Girls Club “Youth of the Year” twice, and currently serves as vice president of the Mount Vernon Police Department’s first Youth Council. A natural communicator and gifted leader, Jhaydan credits his leadership success to his Sing for Hope, Boys and Girls Club, and Amani, all of whom believed in and nurtured his talent. In Jhaydan’s words, “Sing for Hope is my second home. It made me into who I am today and helped me go from being an angry young person to a responsible young man.” Jhaydan loves working with the youth in his community because he believes that everyone deserves a chance to be successful.

Victoria Donu

Sing for Hope Project Leader, Europe
Sing for Hope Project Leader Victoria Donu is an artist and social entrepreneur born in Moldova and currently based in Czech Republic. She uses her voice to empower people and to raise awareness about social and cultural topics. Her versatility is reflected in her artistic journey spanning from youth choirs to jazz bands and solo performances across Europe. Victoria joined SFH in 2022 alongside Peter Herr to lead workshops and co-create new Sing for Hope Pianos with Ukrainian refugee youth and families as part of Sing for Hope’s Creative Hope for Refugees program. The program supports mental health and migration integration by fostering safe environments and creative art activities that uplift and support refugee communities. Starting in Nuremberg in March 2022, Victoria and Peter have since expanded the program to sites in Bucharest, Chișinău, Prague, and Turin (the latter in partnership with Sermig Arsenal of Peace), and will add 5 more European cities over the next year. A speaker at the 2022 Global Social Business Summit, Victoria is a strong advocate of the healing power of the arts, and of role of artists as compelling catalysts for positive change.

Judith Haines

Teacher’s Aide, Sing for Hope Lab
Judith Haines is thrilled to join the Sing for Hope Lab team as a Teacher’s Aide. Judith loves the arts and has worked for many years in afterschool programs helping with various arts and crafts. Judith’s youngest daughter, A’Khairi, is a 5th grader at Amani Public Charter School and a proud member of the Sing for Hope Youth Chorus and Sing for Hope Lab Jazz Band.

Peter Herr

Sing for Hope Project Leader, Europe 
Sing for Hope Project Leader Peter Herr (a.k.a. Momoshi) was born in Hungary, and raised in Africa, Germany, and Spain. He has worked as an artist since the early 2000‘s, with a focus on multimedia and dynamic public art. Selected highlights include Momoshi Style Hostel (City Hostel Nuremberg-Fuerth, Germany); daily digital artwork project Momoshidrops; murals for Art Museum Kumudori in Wemding; animation (Momoshi Space Race) for Glanzlichter Festival, Fuerth/ Germany; Sing for Hope Piano in Wolfsburg, Autostadt for the Global Social Business Summit; “Kiss Me“ murals in Spain and Germany; virtual reality designs and applications for market research company GFK; Momoshi Streetwear; and more. Peter first joined SFH in 2018 via our Grameen Creative Lab partnership and our SFH Piano program at the Global Social Business Summit. Today, as Sing for Hope Project Leader for Europe, Peter guides Sing for Hope’s dynamic arts activations that uplift and support refugee youth, with current focus on children and families forced to flee their homes by the war in Ukraine.

Javier Hinojosa
Director of Information Technology
Javier is the Director of Information Technology at Sing for Hope. With over 15 years of experience in the STEM arena, he's finally added an A for Art by serving Sing for Hope's mission of creating a better world through the arts. Javier's role at Sing for Hope comprises the direction, control, development, and maintenance of the organization's information technology and systems. His goal is to facilitate internal operations, make Sing for Hope accessible to anyone and everyone with an internet connection, and uncover opportunities stemming from new advances in technology.
Bill Hoagland

Director of Sing for Hope Pianos
A lifelong music enthusiast, Bill joins Sing for Hope from Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, where he began his nonprofit tenure in 2018 stewarding the organization’s corporate donors. Bill began his professional career in marketing, working with global brands including Hermès, Nickelodeon, and The Wall Street Journal. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Marist College, and is a former piano and saxophone player. Bill has a vast and unusable knowledge of orchestral and film music, and always orders dessert.

Dr. Darryl Jordan

Director, Sing for Hope Youth Chorus
Dr. Jordan is a singer, songwriter, educator, and conductor who graduated from New York University, Boston University, and Columbia Teachers College, Columbia University, where he received his B.S., M.M. and Ed.D. degrees in Music Education, respectively. Armed with the desire to "develop singers for every stage," he has spent the past twenty years training singers in Maryland, Washington, D.C., and New York City in everything from classical to jazz. His students have become recording artists and performed on Amateur Night at the Apollo, The Voice, American Idol, Sunday's Best, Broadway stages, and many great halls, including Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Symphony Space, National Black Theater, Aaron Davis Hall, Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, Baltimore's Center Stage, and more. He is currently writing his doctoral dissertation on the Ethno-Pedagogy of Black gospel singing, exploring how gospel singers develop, with a focus on upbringing over formal training. With only three colleges world-wide that offer gospel performance as a major, Darryl has been at the forefront of developing the program at Nyack College, where he is the Director of Music Education. In addition to his role at Nyack, Darryl is the Founder of FreeMind Music and the Choir Director and Voice Teacher at Fiorello H. LaGuardia H.S. of Music & Art and Performing Arts. Previously, he spent many years as the Chair of Performing Arts and Vocal Music at the Urban Assembly School for the Performing Arts. Dr. Jordan leads the Sing for Hope Youth Chorus, a creative service learning performance troupe whose recent performances include Lincoln Center, The Oculus World Trade Center, Little Island NYC, and The United National General Assembly Hall.

Elad Kabilio

Healing Arts Project Leader
Praised by the New York Times for his “vibrant playing, full of texture and nuance,” Israeli Cellist Elad Kabilio is an active soloist, chamber musician, and a teaching artist. An active Sing for Hope Artist Partner since early 2020, Elad is passionate about his SFH’s mission of “art for all,” and is particularly gifted in sharing interactive performances that illuminate the lived histories of community audiences. Recent performances include Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, the Morgan Library, the Joyce Theater, Aspen Music Festival, Young Artist Festival in Bayreuth, Germany, and a feature on WQXR Radio. Elad collaborates frequently with world-renowned dancers including Misty Copeland, Ashley Bouder, Amar Ramasar, and Michele Wiles, and he has served as Music Director of Ballet Next and The Ashley Bouder Project. He is also the Founder and Artistic Director of MusicTalks, which brings classical music to intimate and informal settings. He holds diplomas from Tel Aviv University, Mannes College of Music, and Manhattan School of Music, where he currently serves as a faculty member at the Pre-College division and Summer program. He plays on a French cello on generous loan by the America-Israel Cultural Foundation. 

Adam Lozoya

Sing for Hope Project Leader, New Orleans
A native of Temple, Texas, Adam moved to New Orleans after traveling with his acoustic piano to over fourty U.S. States, Europe, and the Caribbean. Meeting people from around the world, Adam saw how his music brought people together in ways he had never previously imagined. Inspired by New Orleans Jazz from a young age, he fulfilled a lifelong dream of moving to New Orleans to study Traditional Jazz. In addition to an active career as a performer, Adam is a licensed piano tuner and technician, repairing and refurbishing pianos in his Bywater studio. Adam has studied piano restoration and rebuilding for over 10 years, enjoying the opportunity to serve his local music community. What Adam loves most about New Orleans is the vibrant sense of community among the vast diversity of individuals that call the city home. Our friends in New Orleans regularly spot Adam riding his “piano bike” around the French Quarter and tuning pianos in favorite venues!

Kalli Padgett

Sing for Hope Project Leader, New Orleans
Kalli Padgett is an artist of Creole / Cajun descent originally from Lafayette, Louisiana, and currently based in New Orleans. After obtaining her B.F.A in Painting from Savannah College of Art and Design, Kalli began making paintings encapsulating themes of New Orleans and the southern socio-political landscape. Her work is an obsession of exploring the impossible task of "Defining Humanity.'' Images created from personal reflection turn harsh perspectives into fluid conversations, paying homage to the incredible community of Nola and compelling viewers to actively nurture a better humanity. Current bodies of work include “Emergence," “The Appropriate Tip,” and “Excavation.” A vibrantly gifted community arts leader, Kalli galvanizes artists and community members alike to explore the arts in their most interactive and accessible public states.

Raquel Palmas
Associate Producer, Open Arts
Raquel Palmas is a woman of many talents. She is a theater maker, comedian, and facilitator of magic, with roots in theater administration and producing. Her passion lies in helping to create experiences that are experimental, inclusive, and inspire wonder. After graduating from Brooklyn College, Raquel was awarded a Fellowship at The Public Theater, allowing her to work with artists such as Kaneza Schall, Chris Myers, Whitney White, and many others. She worked internationally and domestically creating work that connects us all and centers on the human experience, grounded in hope and laughter.
Victoria Paterson

Director of Community Arts
Victoria Paterson is a New York City-based violinist and an active Sing for Hope Artist Partner since early 2020. During the pandemic, Victoria led Sing for Hope’s Healing Arts program at Javits Center COVID-19 vaccination site. With 3-5 musicians hired every day, seven days a week, for 125 consecutive days, Victoria guided Sing for Hope’s industry-leading arts-in-vaccine confidence program, which became one of the country’s most robust employers of freelance musicians during the pandemic. Her work with Sing for Hope continues now with guiding programming in SFH’s creative placemaking initiatives at the new Moynihan Train Hall, the Oculus World Trade Center, the Port Authority Bus Station, and more. Victoria’s career highlights include having four full-time chairs on Broadway (West Side Story, Sunset Boulevard, My Fair Lady, Addams Family); playing for President Biden, Pope Benedict XVI, Michelle Obama, Diane Sawyer, Nancy Pelosi, and the Chief Rabbi of Israel; touring with Barbara Steisand; and more. She contracts for opera companies such as On Site Opera. She is also the executive director of Mostly Modern Projects, which includes the American Modern Ensemble, Mostly Modern Festival in Saratoga Springs, as well as Music & Medicine and Mostly Modern Pops. Victoria has taught at the Eastman School of Music Institute for Music Leadership in a class entitled Creating & Sustaining An Ensemble. Other schools where she regularly gives classes include The Juilliard School, Cleveland Institute of Music, the New York Youth Symphony, Broadway Backstage, Broadway Inside, and Chamber Music America. Paterson studied at the Eastman School of Music and Indiana University. She resides in New York City with her husband, composer Robert Paterson, and their beautiful 16-year-old boy, Dylan.

Chris Piro

Music Teacher & Collaborative Pianist, Sing for Hope Lab, Sing for Hope Youth Chorus
A seasoned solo and collaborative pianist, Chris is also an accomplished vocal coach, music director/conductor, and educator. He has conducted shows in New York City, Westchester County, and across the northeast. Chris earned his Bachelor of Music in Music Education from SUNY-Fredonia and his Master of Music in Piano Performance (Concentration in Collaborative Piano) from the NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development.

Sharyn Pirtle
Director of Education & Open Arts
Sharyn’s “Aha!” moment began in a fantastic public performing arts school in her native Houston, Texas, where children from different socioeconomic backgrounds came to share their passion for the arts. In response to the education gaps in her community, in 2005, Sharyn founded Young at Arts, an arts program for children in need. In 2020, Sharyn led the launch of The Sing for Hope Young at Arts Lab to serve communities of The Bronx and southern Westchester which have been among the hardest-hit by COVID in the nation. The Sing for Hope Young at Arts Lab has now grown out of its initial pilot phase into a daily, year-round educational center serving over 500 children with impactful in-school, after-school, and summer camp arts programming. As the Sing for Hope Director of Education and Open Arts, Sharyn has spoken on the importance of arts education at institutions including The Eastman School of Music, and has been honored by the Mount Vernon Public Library Foundation and the Junior League of Bronxville. Sharyn received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Vocal Performance from The Eastman School of Music and trained as an opera director at Houston Grand Opera. She has directed numerous operas and musicals, both professionally and for youth. Sharyn and her husband Shawn Kaufman live in Mount Vernon, NY, are proud to be the parents of daughter Amélie; dogs Artemis, Rosey and Tuesday; a cat named Moon; and 6 chickens.
Patty Reitkopf
Programming and Development Consultant
For over 30 years, Patty has dedicated her career to arts access for underserved and marginalized individuals, primarily with Hospital Audiences, Inc. (HAI, Healing Arts Initiatives), where she held various positions, including Deputy Executive Director. During her tenure at HAI, Patty secured and managed numerous government grants, including grants from the National Endowment of the Arts, Law Enforcement Assistance Administration, HUD, New York State’s Council on the Arts, Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Department of Corrections, Office of People with Developmental Disabilities, New York City’s Department of Education, Department of Cultural Affairs, Department of Juvenile Justice, and Homeless Services, as well as from private foundations including the ASCAP Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, and The Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation. Patty holds a Master’s Degree in Forensic Psychology and was a Senior Fellow at Baruch College of Public Aministration’s graduate program. At Sing for Hope, Patty has helped develop, support, and implement our virtual and in-person programming serving older adults, including our NYSCA-funded ReStart NY program for elder care facilities.
Richard Robertson
Chief Operating Officer
Richard Robertson joined Sing for Hope as Chief Operating Officer in 2016. He has an MBA in Nonprofit Arts Administration from Binghamton University and a Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Georgia. He began his nonprofit career in San Diego, working with San Diego Opera, San Diego Repertory Theatre, and the Theatre in Old Town San Diego. Lured by the bright lights of Broadway, he moved to NYC and spent 15 years with Eliran Murphy Group, an advertising agency specializing in arts and culture. He eventually became that company’s COO and led campaigns for Lincoln Center, Roundabout Theatre Company, Big Apple Circus, New Jersey Performing Arts Center, New York City Opera, The Apollo Theatre, American Museum of Natural History, and numerous Broadway and off-Broadway shows. His accomplishments at SFH include overseeing the organization’s expansion beyond New York City to additional American cities, including New Orleans and Beverly Hills / Los Angeles, and the amplification of its education program for youth ages 8-18. In his down time, Richard’s passions include animal rights, veganism, and every possible sort of bad reality television.
Debra Stern

Curriculum Consultant
Debra Stern is the Founder and Executive Director of the Amani Public Charter School in Mount Vernon, NY.  She attended New Rochelle Public School, then earned a BS from Cornell University, an MS from The College of New Rochelle, an ED.M from Teachers College, Columbia University, and an MSW from New York University. She is presently pursuing a Doctor of Education in Education Policy and Leadership at American University.  For many years, Debra was an active volunteer in the Mount Vernon Community, serving as a member of the Mount Vernon Public Library Board of Trustees.  She also served as the Founding President of the Mount Vernon Public Library Foundation. Additionally, she was active in the PTA serving as the President of the PTA Council for two years. She is also a long-time member and leader of Mocha Moms, a support group for mothers of color in their parenting journey. In Pelham, Debra has been a past member of the Pelham Education Foundation and serves on the Board of Education's Cultural Competence Committee. She is active with her Alma Mater - Cornell University - presently serving as Vice-Chair of the Cornell University Council. Prior to taking time off to raise her family, and before founding Amani, Debra worked for many years in Higher Education Administration at College of New Rochelle, where she was the Assistant Director of Student Activities, and at Barnard College, where she was the Associate Director of Residential Life and later the Director of Pre-College Programs.  For many years, she worked in academia as an Adjunct Professor in Social Work at Concordia College. Debra is a lifelong Westchester resident. She and her husband Charles live in Pelham, NY, with their three children.

Victor Solano

Jazz Band and General Music Teacher, Sing for Hope Lab
Victor Solano graduated from City College’s Jazz Conservatory, where he was fortunate enough to study privately with Jason Rigby, the respected tenor saxophonist. While in school and after graduating, Victor has had the pleasure of collaborating with some of the best musicians in the jazz, world music, and pop scenes. He has performed with Blue Note Records-signed artist Takuya Koroda, and is a member of the Harlem Society Jazz Orchestra. Victor has performed around the globe from Japan to New Orleans, and currently leads a septet that plays original music. Victor is proud to mentor the scholar-musicians of the Sing for Hope Young at Arts Lab, just as his middle school band teacher mentored him as a boy in Brooklyn.

Pamela Weingarden
Development Manager & Board Liaison
Pamela Weingarden has been with Sing for Hope since 2016. Originally hired to assist with the Sing for Hope Pianos Program, she has since worked in all aspects of the organization, from Healing Arts to Operations to her current role as Development Manager & Board Liaison. Pamela is an actress and musician, and has 12 years of event planning and logistics experience. She has her BFA in acting from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, and has studied Shakespearean performance at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London.