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 organization a unique blend of business management, education, marketing and entertainment experience.
Connie has worked in marketing and management for Columbia TriStar Television, Turner Broadcasting, Sara Lee Corporation and Oprah Winfrey. She has also worked in management for several nonprofit organizations, including the Entertainment Industry Foundation. There, she launched the marketing department, and spearheaded the $12 million launch of the National Colorectal Cancer Research Alliance. Connie also served as the Regional Executive Director of OASIS, a national nonprofit which specializes in older adult learning.
At the Neighborhood Music School, Connie has revamped the organizational structure, dramatically increased the funds coming into the school, retained and attracted talented new teaching artists, launched an alumni outreach program, and significantly raised the profile of the school.
Connie comes from a musically gifted family, including her mother, a classically trained pianist and child prodigy who was invited 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 recording artist and award-winning composer/lyricist.
In addition to the Music School, Connie heads her own company, No Weapon Productions, which specializes in family friendly film and stage productions. Connie is an award-winning writer/director, who has written and produced over 100 stage and screenplays, that have been produced or screened all over the world.
Connie deeply believes in the life-changing impact of art, which makes the mission 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.
Elizabeth “Liz” Vidal, Program & Community Relations Coordinator
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.
Melissa Martinez, Program Assistant
Melissa is a senior at Loyola Marymount, majoring in English. Her career goal is to become an immigration lawyer.
Melissa has ties to both Boyle Heights and to the Neighborhood Music School. She attended Roosevelt High School and graduated in 2014. While a freshman in high school, she worked for the Boyle Heights Beat community newspaper. Her second feature story, in 2011, was about our school. She spent the next year and a half taking lessons here at NMS, and has remained a faithful volunteer ever since.
She returned to NMS as our Summer Music Programs Intern and helped with restarting our summer music classes.
She loves traveling and hopes to travel to every single continent one day. Melissa has two younger siblings and currently lives in East Los Angeles.
Naia Mitchell, Summer Music Programs Intern
Naia (pronounced ni-E-ya) Mitchell attends Occidental College and is a rising senior Sociology major. Prior to beginning the internship at the Neighborhood Music School, Naia was abroad in Bali and Java, Indonesia, for a semester studying youth political identity development in Do-It-Yourself communities.
Last summer, Naia was an intern for the Los Angeles LGBT Center assisting in deep canvassing for racial justice in both Los Angeles and Kalamazoo, MI.
Naia is a musician, student, community organizer, and a lover of animals. Naia is very excited and honored to be a part of the Neighborhood Music School this summer and anticipates learning a lot these next few months.