The Neighborhood Music School is run by the following dedicated administrative staff:
Connie St. John, Executive Director
Connie St. John joined the Neighborhood Music School as Executive Director in 2015. She brings to the table a unique blend of business management, marketing and entertainment experience.
Connie’s career has centered around arts and education. Prior to joining the School, she worked in management and public relations for some of the top companies and public figures in the world, including Columbia TriStar Television, Turner Broadcasting, Sara Lee Corporation and Oprah Winfrey. She has always been inspired by great companies doing good work, like the Neighborhood Music School.
Connie comes from a musically gifted family, including her mother, a classically trained pianist and child prodigy who was asked to tour internationally at age 10; her uncle, Wade Legge, a jazz pianist who played with the legendary Dizzy Gillespie; and now her son, a vocalist and award-winning composer/lyricist, who is a freshman at Berklee College of Music in Boston.
Connie’s lifelong love of music makes the work of the Neighborhood Music School near and dear to her heart.
Rachel Rosenbaum, Grant Writer
Rachel is a native Californian and a clarinetist who graduated from the University of Michigan, with a BM in Clarinet Performance and a Minor in Performing Arts Management. She is currently earning her Master of Nonprofit Leadership and Management at USC. During her time at U of M, Rachel held an award-winning internship position in the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance’s Office of Development and External Relations. She recently served as the Development Manager for the Kaleidoscope Chamber Orchestra where she helped them launch their second concert season. Rachel joins the Neighborhood Music School with a passion for music as well as a passion for raising the money it takes to support music organizations.
Joy Taylor, Administrative Assistant
Joy is the Administrative Assistant for Neighborhood Music School. She works closely with our students and families to process their tuition payments each month. In addition, she coordinates scheduling for students and teachers.
Prior to NMS, Joy worked in Accounts Receivable for an auto parts store and a furniture manufacturing company. She has a background in interior design and owns her own candle-making business. She studied interior design at Fullerton College, after changing her major from English and Broadcasting.
Joy is a happily married mother of three beautiful children, and a grandmother to a beautiful grand-daughter.
Elizabeth “Liz” Vidal, Program & Community Relations Assistant
Liz is the Program & Community Relations Assistant for the Neighborhood Music School. She works closely with our students to schedule lessons, arrange field trips, schedule make-up lessons, and serve as the face of the School in our community.
Liz was born and raised in the San Fernando Valley and graduated from California State University Northridge with a BA in Journalism. While attending CSUN she was a member of PRSSA-Public Relations Student Society of America where she volunteered her public relations expertise for community events and on-campus outreach. During college, Liz was a communications intern for both MEND Poverty and Valley Performing Arts Center where she assisted during community outreach events and maintained various social media platforms. She is an active member of her church and volunteers regularly on Sundays.
She has a love for children and was once a teacher assistant for an elementary school. Liz has a passion for music and helps her friends with booking gigs and building an online presence for their band. When she isn’t working she likes spending time with family and being active with friends.
Travis Laughlin, Director of Ensembles
Travis Laughlin has taught violin and viola at the Neighborhood Music School since 2010. He has a BA in music from the University of Virginia and has studied violin under Victoria Kehler, Constance Gee, and currently under Mimi Bravar.
As Director of Ensembles at Neighborhood Music School, Travis coordinates chamber music and group classes, giving students the opportunity to make music together and to learn the importance of discipline by working as a team. He also arranges for advanced groups to perform at community centers and local events. This outreach both provides a service to Boyle Heights and the surrounding communities, and allows students to experience performing as a professional musician.
In addition to music, Travis has studied improvisational theater in Chicago and dramatic acting at Playhouse West in North Hollywood where he has appeared on stage in a number of productions. He also received an MFA in Film Production from USC in 2013. This training in dramatic material has strongly influenced his perspectives on music and artistic collaboration.
Travis plays often with chamber groups in the Los Angeles area and can be seen in performance at Neighborhood Music School with other teaching artists throughout the year.