Classical Kids Music Education NFP is fortunate to have a strong group of professionals who are dedicated to our guiding organizational philosophy and who believe strongly in our ability to inspire an excellence in children that can reach beyond themselves and their own potential.

  • The Board of Directors

Alan Salzenstein


Alan Salzenstein is a Professor at DePaul University in Chicago, as head of the MFA/Arts Leadership and Performing Arts Management programs; and is currently President of the international academic organization, Association of Arts Administration Educators (AAAE). Salzenstein has held various Executive Director positions for a wide array of arts organizations over the past thirty years, and is pleased to bring his skills in organizational development, fundraising, and arts law to Classical Kids Music Education. In addition to a long history of theatrical producing, he has devised and overseen many special events and maintains an active consulting service for artists and arts organizations. He is a frequent invited speaker on topics of arts management and legal issues in the arts, having presented across North America, Europe and Asia. Salzenstein is also an attorney, focusing on issues relating to the performing arts industry.

Paul Pement

President (& interim Secretary)

Paul Pement serves as Executive and Artistic Director of Classical Kids Music Education, a non-profit arts organization focussed on introducing children to the extraordinary lives and musical masterpieces of the great classical composers. A BFA in theatre from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and professional experience as an actor, singer, dancer, director, choreographer and stage manager have enabled Paul to achieve success with Classical Kids LIVE! programming – the leader in the field of family concert programming presented by orchestras throughout North America and abroad. Over the past decade Mr. Pement has led the organization in processes that include strategic planning, board and committee development, financial accounting, funding development, community engagement, and marketing and communications. With the help of dedicated consultants, staff, and passionate board and committee members, Paul produces the Classical Kids theatrical symphony concert series reaching nearly 100 thousand children and their parents annually.

Natalie Berg

Vice President

Natalie Berg is the former President of Julius Meinl North America, serving for 4 years as Managing Director and 8 years as Director of Marketing. She lends her 12 years of marketing and management experience towards Classical Kid’s development, fundraising and community events. Natalie’s involvement with Classical Kids began as a performer in Tchaikovsky Discovers America, adding her 23 years of professional acting skills to the company in 2006. Natalie has seen first-hand the impact these productions have on the thousands of children and families in attendance and cannot ignore this company’s need to reach more children. Natalie continues to serve abroad with Kids Alive International in Guatemala and fundraises for International Justice Mission annually.  She is pleased to be able to partner with Classical Kids on the board level and is most excited for the creation of the newest production, Gershwin’s Magic Key. Natalie and her husband Matthew live in Chicago.  Together they support the arts and work for every child to have an equal opportunity at life’s blessings.

Andrew Kipe

Development Strategy

With twenty-five years of experience, Andrew T. Kipe has served orchestras in five states and built a reputation for successfully rebuilding orchestral organizations. Most recently, Mr. Kipe served as Executive Director of the Louisville Orchestra. Prior to his appointment in Louisville, he served as the General Manger for The Phoenix Symphony, as Executive Director of the Maryland Symphony Orchestra, and as General Manager and Orchestra Manager of the Portland Symphony Orchestra.  Currently he serves as Director of Concert and Ensemble Operations at Baltimore’s Peabody Institute. At the Peabody Institute he leads the four departments responsible for all concert activities, dance and opera performances, as well as the performance activities associated with Peabody Preparatory.  Andrew will also continue to have an active role with the professional orchestral world through professional affiliations and project-based consulting work with orchestras and performing arts organizations. 

Travis Newton

Development Strategy

Travis Newton is an Associate Professor at Le Moyne College, where he directs the Le Moyne College Symphony Orchestra and teaches courses in music and arts administration. An experienced musician, arts administrator and educator, Mr. Newton previously served as Operations Director of The Florida Orchestra in Tampa Bay. He also served in numerous roles at the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra, including Operations Manager, Education Manager, and Director of Community Engagement. Newton serves on the Board of Directors of the Association of Arts Administration Educators and presents regularly at arts administration conferences in the United States and abroad. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Syracuse Friends of Chamber Music and is the organization’s Director of Music Programming. Travis holds a Bachelor of Music in violin performance with secondary studies in voice and conducting from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and a Master of Business Administration from Le Moyne College.

Kara Kane

Education Liaison

C.J. de Vera


C.J. de Vera is a Sr. Financial Accounting Analyst at The Walt Disney Company. He holds a Masters in Accounting and has prior management experience in the entertainment, food & beverage, and retail industries. Mr. de Vera has served as Sr. Accountant Manager for Gibsons Restaurant Group (Lake Buena Vista, FL), Finance Analyst for Entertainment Partners (Burbank, CA), and Accounting & Finance Manager for Julius Meinl North America (Chicago, IL).

  • The Committees

Funding Development

Holly Robison (Chair)
Gina Sparacino
Julia Mendelsohn
Susan Marks
Maria Gray
Amy Aldrich
Andrew Kipe
Paul Pement (Ex-Officio)
Alan Salzenstein (Ex-Officio)

Marketing & Events

Holly Robison (Co-Chair)
Natalie Berg (Co-Chair)
Jim Jensen
Gina Sparacino
Steve Hiltebrand
Roger Anderson
Paul Pement (Ex-Officio)
Alan Salzenstein (Ex-Officio)

Education & Community Engagement

Kara Kane (Chair)
Stacey McConnell
Susan Marks
Mary Poole
Sarah Cartwright
Paul Pement (Ex-Officio)
Alan Salzenstein (Ex-Officio)


Tim Holbrook (Chair)
Seth Parker
C.J. de Vera
Paul Pement (Ex-Officio)
Alan Salzenstein (Ex-Officio)

Advisory Council

Seth Parker (Business)
Sara Murphy (Development)
Gina Sparacino (Development)
Steve Robinson (Media)
Gideon Blustein (Political)
Susan Hammond (Creative)

  • The Artistic Center

Paul Pement

Executive & Artistic Director


Paul Pement
Executive & Artistic Director

As Founder, Artistic Director and Executive Director of Classical Kids Music Education, NFP, Paul Pement puts forward his passion for the exploration and understanding of the human experience combined with his commitment to do good, give back, and help to make the world a better place.

As a child, Paul was drawn to all things music related. Singing with his musically talented family, especially his sister, laid an early foundation for his future as a professional actor and singer. Years in band and choir fed his developing musical passion. Musical Theatre became his performing platform. A Bachelor’s Degree in Acting from the University of Illinois combined with voice lessons and dance classes provided the training necessary to achieve membership in the professional actor’s union, Actor’s Equity Association, and perform in over 50 productions throughout Chicago and abroad. As a young adult, his boyish appearance led to countless kid roles in Theatre for Young Audience productions. His connection to children’s entertainment led him to produce two award-winning children’s educational music CDs. And so it seems fitting that the demands of Classical Kids culminated to this point, uniquely calling on all of his past experience and passion. As he puts it, “It’s interesting, when you feel you aren’t sure where you are going, to be able to look back and see a clear, seemingly deliberate path that led you to exactly where you are now.”

Paul’s professional theatrical training and experience as an actor, singer, musician, dancer, director, stage manager, arts administrator and producer as well as his instinct for choosing and working with talented collaborators who possess strong artistic and working values, make him all things central to the philosophy and decision making of the organization.

  • Administrative Support

    Seth Parker

    Finance and Business Consultant

    Seth has been involved with Classical Kids at various levels for over 15 years and has helped the organization grow over the years by providing a range of supportive services, including financial management, graphic design, website design and creation, information technology, organizational management, grant writing, fundraising, and marketing. Seth holds a Bachelor’s degree (Honours First Class) from the University of Otago in New Zealand as well as a Master’s degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and currently lives in Portland, Oregon.

    Holly Robison

    Development & Communications Manager

    Sarah Cartwright

    Producing Assistant

    • Leadership Support

    Internal organizational support is provided by our valued consultants.

    Kristin Patton

    Ensemble Consulting

    Board Building & Organizational Development / Arts Action Research Philosophy.

    Bruce Thibodeau

    Arts Consulting Group

    Strategic Planning.