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Leadership

Meet our board!

Julie McGinnity, President

Julie

As a vocalist and advocate, Julie McGinnity strives to use her experience and talents to serve her community and empower others. She began studying classical voice as a teenager when she participated in the Opera Theater of St. Louis Artist in Training program. At that time she also studied acting and contemporary voice. In 2013 she graduated with a bachelor of arts in German and a bachelor of music in vocal performance from Webster University in St. Louis. Julie went on to receive her master’s degree in vocal performance from the University of Missouri Columbia in 2015. Since she acquired her master’s degree, Julie has worked as a voice teacher, church choir director, worship team leader, and soloist. In all of her work she seeks to advocate with and for others while helping them reach their full potential and making a difference where she lives. For eight years she has served as a leader in the National Federation of the Blind. She currently works for the federation where she blends her love of advocacy and her knowledge of performing by leading efforts to increase opportunities for the blind in the performing arts.

Katelyn MacIntyre, Vice-president

Katelyn

As a blind vocalist, actress, dancer, and motivational speaker, Katelyn MacIntyre enjoys sharing her inspirational life story and dynamic music with all audiences. Studying with Maria Spacagna for her Master of Music in Vocal Performance at Carnegie Mellon University, she premiered the opera Cold Hands with CMU and Pittsburgh Opera, soloed with the AIMS Festival Orchestra around Austria, and covered the soprano solos of Mozart’s Requiem with Maestro Manfred Honeck and the CMU Philharmonic. She has performed numerous operatic roles including The Countess (Le nozze di Figaro), Beth (Little Women), and Monica (The Medium). She has soloed as a soprano at such notable venues as Tokyo Billboard Live! Japan sponsored by Fox International, the Völkerkundemuseum Heidelberg, Germany, the Kennedy Center, DC, and all across North America. Katelyn received the 2012-13 Presser Scholar Award, won the VSAarts International Young Soloists Award, and has garnered top prizes and scholarships in the US and Canada. www.katelynmac.com

Lizzy Muhammad, Secretary

Lizzy

Lizzy Muhammad has been involved in the performing arts since age five. Over the years she has sung in various choirs and musicals and has most recently graduated from a collegiate a cappella group. She also enjoys dancing and horseback riding for fun. She currently serves as secretary of the performing arts division and invites interested performers to contact her at lizzym0827@gmail.com

Leslie Hamric, Board Member

Leslie playing cello

Leslie Hamric has been playing cello since age 8. She has appeared as soloist with the Park Ridge Fine Arts Orchestra, Lewis University Orchestra and the Northern Illinois University Philharmonic. Leslie received a bachelor’s degree in Cello Performance from Northern Illinois University and a Masters in Cello Performance and Literature from the Eastman School of Music. She also attended the Meadowmount School of Music during two summers and completed coursework in Music Therapy at Western Illinois University. Her teachers include Marc Johnson, Tanya Carey, Alan Harris, Moises Molina and Wyatt Sutherland. She also studied piano for 11 years and voice for 4 and a half years.

Leslie lives in Schaumburg, Illinois and has been a member of the Elmhurst Symphony Orchestra since September, 2017. she also teaches privately. In addition to cello and piano, she teaches the reading and use of braille music. Leslie has been an active member of the National Federation of the blind since 2011. Her various roles have included serving as At Large Chapter President in Illinois, serving on the NFB of Illinois board, and testifying at the Illinois House of Representatives as a proponent to the Parental Rights for the Blind Act in Illinois which was signed into law last year. At the past two national conventions, Leslie has enjoyed performing in and assisting with various events of the Performing Arts Division, such as the Showcase of talent. In her free time, she enjoys socializing, reading, hanging out with her son, Michael and playing cello duets with her husband, Andy. She is excited to bring her current knowledge and experience to the Performing Arts Division board.

Precious Perez, Board Member

Precious Perez is a classically trained pop R&B vocalist/songwriter currently pursuing a double major
in Music Education and Vocal Performance with a minor in psychology at Berklee College of Music. Her goal is to make a difference through doing what she
loves and showing the world that blind people are as capable as
everyone else. Ms. Perez is an alumna of the Handel and Haydn Society Vocal Arts Program and was an intern with Education and Community Engagement during the 2017-18 season. She hopes to inspire future generations to pursue their dreams and be successful in the same way that she has. As a singer/songwriter and music educator, she seeks to use her reach as a Puerto Rican Spanish speaker to break stereotypes by sharing her experiences across cultures. She can be the one who alters the way people see.