Board of Directors
Standing left to right: Jian Sun; Dr. Greg DeNardo, Tiffany Chang, Christine Harris, Dr. Gail Waring, Geoff Trotier, Dr. Matt Gibson.
Chairman of the Board
DR. MATT GIBSON is an educational and community leader. He served as superintendent of the School District of Elmbrook for 17 years, elevating student achievement while successfully guiding three successful building referendums.
In “retirement”, Dr. Gibson serves as principal of Wisconsin International Academy (WIA). He also consults for executives and organizations and serves on a variety on non-profit boards.
Dr. Gibson earned a Ph.D. in Educational Administration from UW-Madison. He has always loved music. It is interesting that his first professional job was as a music educator.
WIO is thrilled that Dr. Gibson will be an advocate for our powerful mission.
CHRISTINE HARRIS has been working with creative enterprises and community development for over 30 years. After two decades in executive arts leadership, in 2010 Christine co-founded the National Creative Economy Coalition following the design and execution of the nation’s first review of defining the creative economy. In 2011 Christine formed her own consulting company focusing on helping build more creative communities.
Christine has worked on creative sector development with the Greater Des Moines region; City of Hillsboro, OR; City of Austin, TX; Arts United/the City of Fort Wayne, IN; City of Lawrence, KS; City of Marquette, MI; Arts Alliance Illinois; ArtServe Michigan; Americans for the Arts; National Endowment for the Arts; National Creativity Network; Arts Wisconsin; and many others. She also presents on creative sector development around the country. Prior to her consulting work, Christine was CEO of Creative Alliance Milwaukee, United Performing Arts Fund, Milwaukee Ballet, and was Director of Audience Development for the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. In addition, she sat on many arts organization boards.
Christine is considered a key national figure in this work, with her significant background in cultural administration leadership, cultural economy research and field leadership. Christine has been a consulted advisor and presenter for both the Americans for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts and currently serves on the National Creative Economy Advisory Committee for Americans for the Arts.
JIAN SUN is the founder of Wisconsin International Academy (WIA) and Greater Chicago International Academy (GCIA), a Total-Care Program for international students enrolled at high schools in the United States. By partnering with private high schools, WIA/GCIA provides opportunities for students to improve their English skills and to learn about American culture through both classroom learning and interactive extra-curricular activities. In addition, the Total-Care Program provides students with room and board, transportation, tutoring, and other needs for their daily lives.
Mr. Sun has loved music since his childhood. He is very excited to be part of this unique opportunity – a new orchestral program that seeks to bring the generations together! After living in Wisconsin for over 20 years, Jian feels it is time to give back to the community where he has gained so much. Serving on the board as well as playing an active role in administration for this program provides Jian with a great opportunity to serve the community.
Mr. Sun came to the state of Wisconsin in 1992. Jian earned both MBA and Master of Science degrees from Marquette University. Mr. Sun received a Bachelor of Science from Beijing University.
VIce Chair of the Board
DR. GAIL WARING a California native, grew up playing violin in her formative years. After receiving her B.S. and M.S degrees in Biology from San Francisco State University, she earned her PH.D in Molecular Biology at the University of Oregon. Following three years of postdoctoral study at Indiana University, Gail accepted a faculty position in the Biology Department at Marquette University. After 37 years of teaching and research, she retired in Dec 2014 as Professor Emerita of Biology. In retirement Gail has maintained her ties with Marquette, currently serving as Executive Director of the Marquette University Retiree Association. After sporadic violin playing during her working years, she was thrilled to join the inaugural Wisconsin Intergenerational Orchestra in spring of 2016. Making new friends of all ages as well as rehearsing and performing with such talented colleagues, has been a truly transformational experience. By joining the WIO Board, Gail hopes to serve an organization and community that has brought much joy into her life.
TIFFANY CHANG is currently a high school orchestra teacher in the Wauwatosa School District, and was previously an orchestra teacher in the School District of Beloit. She earned her Bachelor of Music in Music Education from the University of Wisconsin - Madison.
Ms. Chang has played in a variety of groups, including the Beloit Janesville Symphony, Manitowoc Symphony, Dubuque Symphony, the Wisconsin Intergenerational Orchestra, and was a founding member of Turtle Creek Chamber Orchestra. During the first year of Turtle Creek Chamber Orchestra's existence, she organized a fundraising concert to benefit Project 16:49, which served homeless teenagers living apart from any family. As a board member, Tiffany is interested in making connections between music groups and the community, especially with an eye on impacting youth through music.
DR. GREGORY DENARDO began his teaching career as an elementary general music specialist grades 1-6 and music specialist for students with behavioral, cognitive, and physical disabilities at several schools in the West Allis-West Milwaukee School District (1972-1983). After completing graduate studies he accepted his first college teaching position at Bowling Green State University, Ohio (1986-1996). He subsequently served as a professor of Music Education at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (1996-2015). Dr. DeNardo taught undergraduate, masters, and doctoral level courses in the areas of elementary general music, music for special learners, teaching music in diverse settings, curriculum design and assessment, and the psychology of music teaching and learning, as well as, serving as chair and committee member of master degree projects and doctoral degree dissertations. He was the Editor of the Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education (2002-2012) published by the University of Illinois. The Bulletin is widely considered to be among the most prestigious venues for the dissemination of peer-reviewed research in music education.
Dr. DeNardo collaborated with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra’s Arts in Community Education Partnership (ACE) administrative team and teachers to develop and assess student learning through engagement in annual, grade level and theme specific multidisciplinary projects (1991-2002). A highlight of his tenure as Assessment Specialist was serving the principal investigator of “A Case Study of Six Schools that Flourish in the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra’s Arts in Community Education Partnership” (2002) funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.
He holds an undergraduate degree in music education from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, a Master of Music Education degree and a Ph.D in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Dr. DeNardo currently resides in New Berlin, WI and enjoys playing the piano and spending time with Brodie, his West Highland White Terrier.
GEOFF TROTIER is a Wisconsin native, growing up in many of the Milwaukee-area arts organizations. Geoff studied Horn Performance at Northwestern University and the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, later returning to school at the University of Minnesota Law School, where he received his J.D. Geoff currently is an employment attorney at von Briesen and Roper, s.c., representing businesses and non-profit organizations in employment disputes.
Geoff has been fortunate to have the opportunity to perform throughout the U.S., Japan, and Portugal with the Cincinnati Symphony, the Cincinnati Pops, the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, the Pacific Music Festival, the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory Philharmonia, the Music Academy of the West Orchestra, the Cincinnati Ballet, the Lexington Philharmonic, and the Dayton Philharmonic. He is extremely excited to become involved with the Wisconsin Intergenerational Orchestra, both onstage and behind the scenes by serving on the Board of Directors.