Michael Anderson is the Director of Choral and Vocal Studies in the School of Theatre and Music at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He holds the D.M.A. degree from the University of Colorado, and the M.MusEd and B.MusEd degrees from Georgia State University. He began his career as the Director of Choral Music at Tucker High School in Tucker, Georgia.Dr. Anderson serves as the Past-President of the International Federation for Choral Music (IFCM), whose mission it is to "build world-wide projects that facilitate the sharing of cultures and opportunities through choral music." He is the Vice-President of the Asia Pacific Choral Development Foundation in Macau, China. He served with other distinguished leaders on the Choral Ecosystem Forum held at Yale University, sponsored by Chorus America, the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), the Barbershop Harmony Society (BHS), and Yale University School of Music.
Dr. Anderson is particularly active on the international choral music scene. In 2016-2017 he presented lectures and masterclasses in cities across China, and developed global artistic choral music projects in Barcelona, Milan, Beijing, and Macau. He has conducted, lectured, and adjudicated choirs across the United States, in Sweden, France, Italy, Belgium, Germany, Hong Kong, Israel, China, Japan, Korea, Macau, Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico, to name a few.
Martin Dawe is a sculptor who works primarily as a commissioned artist in a variety of mediums. Marty is well known for his figurative and representational work, which ranges from loose, impressionist work, to traditional sculptures with a late 19th century style. Marty began his own custom sculpture studio in 1987 and incorporated as Cherrylion Studios in 1994. He is also well known for collaborating with his clients and for him, this is one of the most fulfilling parts of his job. Today Cherrylion Studios is the largest custom figurative sculpture studio in Georgia. All of Cherrylion’s work is on a commission basis.
A first-generation American, Christopher Escobar has been proud to call Atlanta home for over a decade. Through his background as a filmmaker and live-event producer, Christopher was fortunate enough to be a part of telling Atlanta’s story through signature events such as the Peach Drop and Lighting of the Macy’s Tree during his time working for EDG. Later on, for Georgia State University, Christopher helped complete a project funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities to create an iPhone app that is an interactive-multimedia tour of the State of Georgia Capitol building. In 2010, Christopher joined the Executive Board of Atlanta Film Society (ATLFS), where he has been working as the organization’s Executive Director since 2011. By using the moving image art form to help tell more of Atlanta’s story, he is continuing to grow the organization’s legacy, impact and service to the community. In 2012, he was named a “CFO of the Year” by the Atlanta Business Chronicle and currently leads ATLFS in producing the annual Academy Award-qualifying Atlanta Film Festival (ATLFF). As the organization's longest serving Executive Director in five-decades, the ATLFS has continually broken records of submissions, attendance, visibility, resources and impact.
Escobar is honored to serve on several leadership boards for Georgia Production Partnership, Plaza Theatre Foundation, Rialto Center for the Arts and the Georgia State College of the Arts. Recently, Chris became the proud owner of the oldest and only independently-owned cinema in Atlanta, the historic Plaza Theatre.
He is a graduate of Georgia State University with an M.A. in Moving Image Studies.
John Black Haberlen is Emeritus Professor of Music and served as Director of the School of Music from 1996 to 2007. Prior to his appointment as Director, Dr. Haberlen served as Associate Dean for the Fine Arts in the College of Arts and Sciences and as Director of Choral Activities for over 20 years. He earned his Doctor of Musical Arts degree in choral conducting with a minor in music literature from the University of Illinois. Dr. Haberlen serves as grant supervisor for the School of Music/Drew Charter School partnership that was established twelve years ago with the support of the Cousins Family Foundation, and he is a former national President of the American Choral Directors Association.
An Ohio native, Mike served in the US Air Force in Texas, Turkey and Southern California. He moved to Atlanta in 1973.
Mike is a former Treasurer and currently Vice President for Communications with The Opera Guild FOR Atlanta. He has also served on the Board of Directors of Friends of The Atlanta Opera, The Atlanta Opera and two different terms at Capitol City Opera Company.
As a former high school band member, Mike appreciates the quality of the Panther Marching Band. Mike is a longtime supporter of the Georgia State School of Music, including the Harrower Summer Opera Workshop. He is a Panther Athletic Club member and has regularly attended Panther football games since 2010, along with some basketball and soccer games.
Aileen Valianos is the founder of Valianos Insurance, an agency specializing in employee benefits and health insurance plans for businesses, individuals and retirees. She has won many awards from national health insurance companies. Valianos has been in the insurance industry for over 36 years and has a professional designation in health insurance. She holds a BS degree in Nutrition and an MBA, both from Georgia State University.
J. Paul Whitehead
J. Paul Whitehead III is a short number of credits away from obtaining his Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies (Piano). After a 30-year career in accounting, finance, and taxation, including roles as Chief Financial Officer of an Atlanta-based publicly held company, a political appointee with the U.S. Department of the Treasury in Washington D.C., and a partner with one of the Big Four accounting firms, J.Paul began to formally pursue his life-long interest in jazz and piano through enrolling in Georgia State University’s School of Music over five years ago shortly after turning 50 years of age. J.Paul is a licensed Certified Public Accountant and holds a Master of Science (Taxation) from Georgetown University and a Bachelor of Business Administration (Accounting) from the University of Georgia.
Gary spent decades in the banking and financial services industry in Florida and Atlanta. He began while in high school working part-time at Florida First National Bank. After moving to Atlanta, he started at Fulton National Bank and continued through the transitions to C&S Bank, C&S/Sovran, NationsBank, and Bank of America, working his way to a Vice President. During this time, he earned licenses in the General Principal series and was a qualified stockbroker. Leaving the banking industry, he worked with Fidelity Investments, FSC Securities, Combined Services and managed credit card departments at Sears Commercial Credit under Citibank. Approaching retirement, he eased into part-time accounting with the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Atlanta, which has expanded to full-time.
Gary attended Georgia State in the ‘commuter school’ days. He was thrilled to learn that GSU was building a football program and has been a supporter since the beginning. Gary became a Panther Band fan at first sight in 2010 at the Georgia Dome. He is thrilled to be able to support the College of the Arts through the Board of Visitors.
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College of the Arts
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