The Advisory Board

Consulting Advisors:

  • Mimi Bravar, Former Director, Music Department, Phillips Exeter Academy


With great sadness we report that Mimi Bravar passed away on January 29, 2018.  Her presence will be with us as we continue the Renaissance of string education she began in New Hampshire.

Mimi Bravar is a graduate of the Juilliard School of Music, received her Master’s degree and completed doctoral work at Boston University.  She served for many years as violist and pianist with the Buffalo Philharmonic under Josef Krips, was principal violist with the Vermont Symphony and with many other orchestras in the New England area.  She performed throughout the United States as a member of the Windsor String Quartet and various other ensembles.  Ms. Bravar has taught at the University of Buffalo, the Longy School of Music, the University of Massachusetts at Lowell, St. Anselm’s College, Phillips Academy/Andover.  She retired as Director of Music at Phillip Exeter Academy where she received the Founder’s Day Award for exceptional service to the Academy and the Brown Award for outstanding teaching.  She also received Chamber Music America’s award for excellence in chamber music teaching.  She recently retired from the University of New Hampshire where she was Resident Artist for viola.

  • Jonathan McPhee, Music Director, Lexington Symphony


JONATHAN MCPHEE is currently Music Director for the Lexington Symphony, having completed 27 years as Music Director for Boston Ballet. He has served as conductor for The Royal Ballet, Martha Graham Dance Company, National Ballet of Canada, The Australian Ballet, New York City Ballet, Den Norske Ballett in Norway, and Royal Danish Ballet, among others.  His works as an arranger and composer are published by Boosey & Hawkes, Inc. and Schott Music in Germany, and are in the repertoires of orchestras and ballet companies around the world. Mr. McPhee’s best-selling recording of The Nutcracker with the Boston Ballet Orchestra has achieved “classical gold” status and is available on iTunes with his recordings of Tchaikovsky’s Sleeping Beauty and Prokofiev’s Romeo & Juliet. Mr. McPhee received his L.R.A.M. from the Royal Academy of Music and University of London, and a B.M. and M.M. from The Juilliard School.

After graduating from The Juilliard School, Mr. McPhee created, and was conductor for, the first chamber orchestra to tour the Greater New York Area under the auspices of Lincoln Center Institute with one of their most successful educational programs ever.  Throughout his career, Jonathan has served as conductor for many All-State, Regional and District Orchestras in Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Washington. 

“As a Music Director, I have made it an important part of my responsibilities to develop educational programs that explore music and the arts both in the concert hall and in the schools.  These are designed to share the essence of what a performing art is all about – how it is created, how performers recreate a work for a live audience, the training to build skills, and how it affects both young artists and audience participants, as well as the creative process itself.  Finding ways to share this experience and encourage young people to interact has been one of my favorite topics.  For several seasons I helped develop in-school programs with From the Top (NPR Radio production) and Young Audiences in the Greater Boston area.”


  • Kristin Olsen, Director of Bands, Nashua High School North


Kristin Olsen is the director of bands at Nashua High School North. She teaches the Rhythm Workshop for Upbeat New Hampshire during Summer Week. Formerly on the faculty of Brevard College (Brevard, NC) and the Brevard Music Center, she has also taught at Mastricola and Elm Street Middle Schools.
Kristin Olsen is an active freelance musician in New England.  She is a member of Symphony New Hampshire  and Granite State Symphony Orchestras. She has performed with the Portland Opera Company, the Granite State Opera Company, the Northwinds Quintet, the New Hampshire Symphony, the Brevard Music Festival Orchestra, and the Asheville, NC and Greenville, SC Symphonies.

Ms. Olsen received her Bachelor of Music in Music Education and Horn Performance from the University of North Carolina. She received her Master of Music degree in Horn Performance at the New England Conservatory of Music.

  • Christine Reel, Chair of Parent’s Committee, Sinfonietta Strings


I have had the pleasure of volunteering with the Upbeat New Hampshire program for the past three years and look forward to volunteering for many more years to come!

Christine Reel has been an occupational therapist for the Nashua School District since 2003. Prior to that Christine was an occupational therapist at the Matthew Reardon Center in Savannah, Georgia.
Christine has been busy behind the scenes since the formation of Upbeat New Hampshire.
She has organized and coordinated post concert receptions and helped maintain the Upbeat Ensembles Library. Christine has also initiated successful fund raising activities for Upbeat New Hampshire. Her son, Kenny, plays violin in Upbeat Ensembles and first began learning violin at Birch Hill Elementary School. Christine’s husband, Nathan Reel, developed the website.
 Please contact Christine if you are interested in helping with post-concert receptions, fund raising, publicity or photography.

  • Laurie Spira-Savett, Director, People and Culture, New Hampshire Public Radio


Laurie Spira-Savett is Director, People and Culture at New Hampshire Public Radio.  Prior to joining NHPR, she worked as a human resources consultant at a solar start-up in Massachusetts.  She spent eleven years in organizational effectiveness and human resources at Pfizer Inc, the pharmaceutical firm, where she led her division’s talent planning and leadership development processes.  She has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Harvard University and an MBA from Columbia Business School.  She enjoys music of all kinds and is a trustee of Symphony New Hampshire.  Laurie and her family, which includes two violinists and two guitar players. live in Nashua.

  • Anne Egan, Violinist, Symphony New HampshireAnneEgan2018

Anne Egan has just completed her 45th year as a violinist in Symphony New Hampshire (formerly the Nashua Symphony). She also has played many decades with the Nashua Chamber Orchestra.  As a music major at Grinnell College (IA), she returned to her home town of La Grange IL to set up the public school string program. She also performed with community orchestras in IL, MA, MD and a traveling group of “Gilbert & Sullivan Players” in MD.

Here in Nashua, she taught piano in her home, has played with various chamber groups, and has performed in the “pit” for many “Actorsingers” shows.

Anne is particularly pleased with the UpBeat New Hampshire as in the 70’s she performed as violist and accompanist for the Nashua String Ensemble in the schools and in 1981, she was the spokesperson for S.O.S. (Save Our Strings).

  • Carol Marine, Community Representative

CarolMarineCarol Marine is a Senior Program Manager at Citizens’ Housing and Planning Association (CHAPA) in Boston.  Since joining CHAPA in 2010, she has been responsible for many of CHAPA’s affordable housing and community development programs including Chapter 40B Monitoring efforts, foreclosure mitigation initiatives and the annual Affordable Housing Development Competition.  She previously worked for Just A Start Corporation in Cambridge. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Tufts University and a J. D. from Boston College Law School.  She is a member of both the Massachusetts and Rhode Island Bars.

Carol is the daughter of the late Anita S. Marine who, at the age of ninety, became Nancy’s oldest violin student.  Anita embodied the idea that music has the power to be life changing, particularly for those who have played from an early age.  Having played the violin from the age of five deep into her nineties when Alzheimer’s had eviscerated her memory, Anita was able to perform and enjoy the classic repertoire in ensemble with many of Nancy’s Upbeat students.

Carol also serves on the Board of Directors of the Lexington Symphony and is a founder of the Nancy Marine Studio Theatre, home to the Torrington Symphony Orchestra, in Torrington, CT.  Carol is delighted to join the Upbeat Advisory Board and work with Nancy to expand the program to offer more students the opportunity to learn and enjoy strings and ensemble playing, hopefully for a lifetime.

  • Amy DeRoche


Amy is currently a property manager for the City of Nashua. She manages the Hunt Memorial Building and the Court Street Theater. She also serves as the administrator for the Nashua Arts Commission. Amy has served on non-profit boards for many years including Symphony NH and New World Chorale. She was also the orchestra librarian for Symphony NH for 10 years.

Amy is a musician and sings with New World Chorale, a professional chorus for hire based in the Boston area. She has performed with many of the metro area orchestras including Boston Ballet, Lexington Symphony, Longwood Symphony and Boston Landmarks Orchestra. Amy was very excited to be asked to join the Sinfonietta Strings Advisory board and looks forward to great things to come.

  • Claudia Hernández-Rojas

Claudia is a biologist at U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Nashua, New Hampshire. She is bilingual and serves as a Spanish translator for Sinfonietta Strings. Her son, André, has been a student in Upbeat New Hampshire since 2nd grade, participates in ensembles and is a student intern.

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