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Sarah Meadows teaches preschool music at the Packer Collegiate Institute in Brooklyn, New York.  She has also taught in public schools in Maryland and Virginia, as well as Kodály musicianship classes for the National Children's Chorus in NYC.  She holds a Master of Music degree in Music Education from Peabody Conservatory and a Bachelor of Arts in Music and Spanish from the University of Virginia.  She completed her Kodály Certification at George Mason University and is now part of the faculty for the summer Kodály Teacher Training program at GMU.  She currently serves as President for the Kodály Organization of New York and was involved previously as secretary.  Sarah performs as both an accompanist and a choral singer.  She sang as a member of The Washington Chorus in Washington, D.C. and The Oratorio Society of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia.



President-Elect, Secretary

Madolyn teaches General Music and Choir at Friends Seminary, a Quaker school in New York City. Prior to joining the Friends Seminary faculty, Madolyn worked at VOICE Charter School where she prepared choirs to sing at renowned performance venues such as Symphony Space, El Museo del Barrio, Nassau Coliseum, and Madison Square Garden. Madolyn is a conductor for the National Children’s Chorus where she directs the Sonata Level and teaches KodályMusicianship classes for the Junior and Senior Divisions. As a certified Kodályand Orff-Schulwerk teacher, Madolyn has continued her studies internationally at the KodályInstitute in Kecskemét, Hungary and at the Nunya Music Academy in Dzodze, Ghana. As a presenter, Madolyn has led sessions for the Organization of American Kodály Educators, the New York State School Music Association, Westchester County Arts Leadership Association, Suffolk County Music Educators’ Association, Hunter College, and UConn NafME collegiate chapter. Her writing has been published in Kaleidescope, a Collection of Standards-Based Lessons for the K-8 General Music Classroom (“Thōla Thōla Ngoana”, Alfred Publishing, compiled and edited by Denise Odegaard) and in the Orff Echo, (“Join the Line and Embrace the Band”, co-author Ardith Collins). 

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Taylor Walkup-Amos is a general music and choir teacher at VOICE Charter School. Taylor has presented workshops on teaching music to students with special needs at the national level and is a contributing author for Winding it Back: Teaching to Individual Differences in Music Classroom and Ensemble Settings and Teaching Music to Students with Special Needs: A Practical Resource. Taylor holds the degrees of Master of Arts in Teaching and Bachelor of Music from Christopher Newport University and is completing an Advanced Graduate Certificate in Music Learning Theory at the University at Buffalo. She completed her Kodály certification at Midwestern State University and early childhood certification from the Gordon Institute for Music Learning at Temple University. 

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Member at Large

This is Dan Doughty’s fourth year as a member of the KONY board and his 16th year in music education. For the past 14 years, Dan has taught at Poly Prep Country Day School where he teaches 5th-8th-grade general music, 7th-12th-grade choirs, directs the Upper School Musical and is the Performing Arts Department Chair. Dan completed his Kodaly certification at NYU in 2012. He holds a Master of Arts in Music Education from Brooklyn College and a Bachelor of Music from Westminster College. He is an active member of the American Choral Directors Association, the Organization of American Kodaly Educators, National Association for Music Educators, and New York State School Music Association.

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Member at Large

Kaitlin teaches music at The Brearley School and conducts children's choruses with the National Children's Chorus. She is the founder and artistic director of the Lux Mea Womens Chorus. Prior to her career in Manhattan, she taught choir at Canarelli Middle School in Las Vegas, NV. Kaitlin has been a guest conductor of honor choirs in Nevada and Arizona. As a classically trained soprano, Kaitlin has performed as a soloist with the Southern Nevada Symphony Orchestra and various choirs around the country. Kaitlin holds a Masters Degree in Vocal Performance from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas where she studied with Dr. Linda Lister. In addition, she holds a B.M.E. in Choral Music education cum laude from Northern Arizona University where she studied with Dr. Edith Copley and Dr. Ryan Holder. 

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Member at Large, Co-Chair Equity & Inclusion Committee

Juan Carlos Tavarez is in his seventh year as a music educator.  He currently teaches elemental music at California Ave School and Northern Parkway School in the Uniondale School District in Uniondale, NY. He works closely with at-risk males and serves as mentor to his students as the supervisor of the Male Rites of Passage Club and Young Gentlemen’s Club, leads the Boy’s Chamber Choir, and is the director of the All-District Elementary Chorus. Prior to joining the Uniondale faculty, Mr. Tavarez taught for the NYC Public Schools, where he served as founding music teacher and school culture coordinator. He received his BM in Music Education from Five Towns College and his MM in Music Education from New York University with a certification in Kodály. Tavarez is pursuing his Doctoral Studies at Long Island University. His goal is to research, hands on, how music and music education develop the student as a person. How can music guide us to better understand human action and experience? He completed Orff-Schulwerk training at George Mason University in 2018. His approach demonstrates respect and dignity for the unique needs of children through play, exploration, and kindness. His charge as a music educator is to bring all of his students into a life-long love of music, while solidifying that appreciation with practical skills and true musicianship in his teaching and learning.



Member at Large, Website

John Samonte is a choral director at the Shoreham-Wading River Central School District. He conducts the 6th Grade Treble Choir, the 7th & 8th Grade Chamber Choir, and directs the elite show choir and all-male singing group at Albert G. Prodell Middle School.
He has taught general music, choir, and orchestra at both the elementary and secondary level. John received his Kodály certificate from the Hartt School in Hartford, CT. In addition to his studies in Kodály, he has studied Orff Schulwerk, World Music Drumming, Suzuki, and holds several certificates with FAME. He is currently the Past President of the Long Island American Orff Schulwerk Association, the Treasurer of the Choral Society of the Moriches, and the East Division Assistant to the Co-Vice Presidents of the Suffolk County Music Educators’ Association.
John earned his Bachelor of Music from the Crane School of Music in Potsdam, NY. He majored in Music Business and Music Education, with concentrations in Voice, Violin, and Special Music Education. In addition to his applied music studies, John holds a Master of Arts in Music & Music Education from Teachers College, Columbia University.



Past President

Jessica Beja currently teaches Kindergarten through 6th grade music and chorus at Cold Spring Harbor Central School District.  Before relocating home to Long Island, she taught Kindergarten through 3rd grade music at the Chapin School in Manhattan, and at at P.S. 204X in the Bronx, where she created the school's music and theater programs. Jess earned her New York teaching certificates in music and theater, as well as a Master's Degree in Music Education at New York University. She also completed her Bachelor's Degree in Communications and Vocal Performance, with an emphasis in Music Theatre, at NYU.  Past-President of KONY, Jess received her Kodály Certification from NYU in 2012, and has completed Orff Levels One and Two training at Trevor Day/P.S. 51.

Get Involved!

We would love to have you on the board! Email konylist@gmail.com to get started.