Catherine Pfitzer – Executive Director is honored to join the Voices of Note family. Catherine’s passion for musical performance began at a young age when she was cast as Dorothy in her elementary school’s production of The Wizard of Oz. Her artistic education continued through her training at the Orange County School of Arts, where she co-starred with a then-teenaged Matthew Morrison (GLEE) in a production of Bye Bye Birdie.
While a student at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Catherine founded Birmingham’s first comedy improv troupe in 1999, Torrential Downplay. This troupe, the first of its kind in the region, sparked an improv movement in Birmingham, with several spin-off troupes active as of April 2014.
In 2003, Catherine began working with the Sidewalk Film Festival in Birmingham, eventually serving as the organization’s Executive Director. During her tenure, she founded many of the organization’s prized programs including the popular Sidewalk Scramble weekend filmmaking contest (2004), and the Birmingham SHOUT LGBT+ Film Festival (co-founder, 2006). In 2007, she was honored to present SHOUT’s Beacon Award to Alan Cumming (The Good Wife), for his body of work increasing the visibility of LGBT individuals/issues in popular media. At Sidewalk, Catherine was responsible for quadrupling the number of grants awarded to the organization annually, and her strategic sponsorship efforts resulted in doubling sponsorship revenue and the festival’s first (and only) title sponsor to date in its 16-year history.
In 2009, Catherine moved to Atlanta to work with 7 Stages Theatre as its Director of Development, where she created and wrote the National Endowment for the Arts grant that resulted in the largest award in its category (musical theatre) in the state of Georgia.
Catherine is honored to be a part of the talented Voices of Note family!
Kevin Robison – Artistic Director joined the Atlanta Gay Men’s Chorus for its 2007-08 season as its first full-time artistic director. After receiving a Bachelor of Music degree in vocal performance from the University of North Alabama and a Master of Arts degree in choral conducting from the University of Nevada, Kevin moved to Southern California where he served as Resident Director of Music for the Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts and on the faculties of Cal-Poly San Luis Obispo, Cal-Poly Pomona, and Cal-State Fullerton. For three years he served as assistant conductor of Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles and artistic director of the South Coast Chorale in Long Beach.
Kevin has been actively involved with GALA Choruses (the international association of gay and lesbian choruses) for over a decade and has become one of its most sought-after composers and arrangers. Published by Hal Leonard and Oxford University Press, Kevin has received commissions from some of the leading choruses in the nation, including the Santa Fe Desert Chorale, New York City Gay Men’s Chorus, Seattle Men’s Chorus, Turtle Creek Chorale, San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus, and the Twin Cities Gay Men’s Chorus. Kevin’s arrangements have been sung on stage by Malcolm Gets, Jenifer Lewis, Lily Tomlin, Joanna Gleason, Susan Egan and many others. He has also collaborated on productions with Del Shores (of Sordid Lives fame), Kate Clinton, and Miss Coco Peru. Much of his music for male voices has been performed and/or recorded by Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles, including his tribute to Kander and Ebb, which received an OutMusic Award nomination for best new CD in 2005.
Kevin is an accomplished pianist, published author, composer, arranger and a specialist in singing for actors. With roots in Alabama and Virginia, Kevin is thrilled to be back in the South and committing his full-time energy to the Atlanta Gay Men’s Chorus. In Novemeber 2011, Kevin was included as a member of Fenuxe Magazine’s Fenuxe 50, recognizing his laudable contributions to Atlanta’s arts and LGBT communities.
Melissa T. Arasi – Conductor, Atlanta Women’s Chorus serves as the supervisor of performing arts: general/choral music, theatre and dance for the Cobb County School District in Marietta, GA. Prior to this supervisory role, she was the choral director and Fine Arts Department chair at Walton High School in Cobb County for 14 years. Dr. Arasi served as visiting assistant professor of music at the Georgia Tech choral program, where she founded and conducted the Women’s Choir and assisted with vocal development for the entire Georgia Tech choral program from 2009-2012. Dr. Arasi teaches private voice and has taught elementary general music as well as conducted children’s choirs in several Atlanta area churches.
Dr. Arasi received a Bachelor of Arts in Music Education from Shorter College in Rome, GA; a Master of Arts in Music Education and a PhD in Teaching and Learning in Music Education from Georgia State University. She received her Educational Leadership Certification from The University of West Georgia.
Choirs under her direction have performed at Carnegie Hall, Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, and in Montreal, Quebec City, Venice, Florence, Rome, Vienna, Budapest, with her women’s choir receiving second place in an international festival in Prague. Dr. Arasi frequently conducts honor choirs and serves as a clinician and adjudicator in Georgia and in the Southeast. Dr. Arasi was a member of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chorus primarily under the direction of Robert Shaw for five seasons. Dr. Arasi is a member of MENC, GMEA and ACDA, and served as the ACDA Southern Division Women’s Choir R&S chair for three terms.
Valerie Hsu – Program Manager, is a musician who loves all things organizational. Valerie’s childhood was composed of a flurry of music lessons, festivals, recitals, rehearsals, and the occasional concerto performance. Since then, she’s competed in the live, final rounds of the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, served as orchestral pianist in a performance tour across China, and accompanied members of the former Merce Cunningham Dance Company to the prepared piano music of John Cage.
While pursuing a degree in music performance and English from Vanderbilt University, Valerie honed her marketing, communications, and administrative skills through her roles in student media, in positions with the legendary Grand Ole Opry, Nashville Lifestyles magazine, and Green Hills Church, and by planning benefit concerts in the community in honor of causes she values.
Valerie moved to Atlanta in 2013—because she could, as an independent contractor. In her freelancing days, she managed social media accounts for corporate brands, designed book discussion guides for bestselling authors, served as copywriting/SEO guru for website developers, and provided virtual assistant work for clients throughout the country.
She is thrilled to be a part of Voices of Note, an organization whose vision, goals, and individual members inspire her every day.
Robert Strickland – Principal Pianist joined the AGMC as principal pianist in early 2012. In his extensive career, he has played piano for the Atlanta Pops Orchestra with artists including Lena Horne, Germaine Jackson, Teddy Wilson and many others. He has been at the keyboard for concerts with the Alabama Symphony Orchestra, Savannah Symphony Orchestra and the Ritz Carlton Jazz Orchestra, including concerts with Diane Schurr, Joni Mitchell, Brian Stokes Mitchell and Rob Evan.
Robert has performed in hundreds of cabaret shows across Atlanta with such perennial local favorites as Libby Whittemore, Robert Ray, Shawn Megorden, Bernardine Mitchell and Carolyn Calloway. He has performed in the orchestra of Theater of the Stars and the Broadway Series in some 50 shows including The Phantom of the Opera, Miss Saigon, Evita, Annie, Ragtime, Titanic, The King and I, A Chorus Line, The Will Rogers Follies and many more.
Robert also conducted the 2007 production of Dreamgirls starring Jennifer Holliday. He has appeared with the Center for Puppetry Arts, the Atlanta Lyric Theatre and in more than 25 productions with the Alliance Theatre.
Sarah Rabun – AWC Pianist is currently in her fourth year as the choral director at Griffin Middle School in Smyrna, Georgia. Sarah received her Bachelors of Music in Music Education in 2008 from Kennesaw State University with a concentration in piano. In the past ten years, Sarah has accompanied the Kennesaw State University Women’s Choir, the Georgia Youth Symphony Orchestra Chorus, as well as many high school and middle school choirs across Cobb County. Sarah accompanied the North Cobb High School Women’s Chorus at the GMEA and ACDA conferences in 2008. In addition to teaching and accompanying, Sarah is currently a staff pianist and vocalist at Providence Presbyterian Church in Dallas, Georgia.
Voices of Note Board of Directors
Eric Klem, Chair
Board Member Emeritus
Music Advisory Representatives
Board Development Representative