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Elizabeth Woodhouse

Founder and Artistic Director 

Elizabeth (she/her) is a choral music educator and conductor with 20 years of experience working with choruses all across the country from Denver, Colorado to Brooklyn, New York. She is the Founder and Artistic Director of Newport Sings (RI), a non-profit organization that provides opportunities for youth and adults to discover the joy and power of singing in community with others. At Newport Sings she conducts the Aquidneck Singers, a teen and adult treble chorus, and QUORUS, an LGBTQIA+ chorus. Elizabeth has prepared and conducted ensembles at performances at Carnegie Hall and Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) as well as for a national PBS Kids Commercial.

A leader in the children’s choir community, Elizabeth has been a guest lecturer and conference presenter at Salve Regina University, the University of Colorado – Boulder, The Ohio State University, Western Connecticut State University, and state American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) conferences in Connecticut and New Hampshire. Elizabeth is a frequent adjudicator at choral festivals including WorldStrides, Fantastic Festivals and Music in the Parks as well as state festivals. In March 2019 she was the guest conductor for the RI All-State Elementary Chorus and recently conducted the New Hampshire Elementary Honor Choir, St. Vrain School District Middle School Treble Honor Choir (Colorado), the NYACDA Elementary Honor Choir, and the Westchester County (NY) All-County Elementary Honor Choir. In 2024, she will conduct the Connecticut Music Educators Association Western Region Middle School Honors Choir. 

Elizabeth is an adjunct professor at University of Rhode Island where she conducts the University Chorus and has previously taught choral methods and conducting courses. She also serves as a student teacher supervisor at Rhode Island College.

A 2019-2020 Jubilation Foundation Fellow, Elizabeth received a Bachelor of Music Education from the University of Colorado at Boulder and a Master of Music in Choral Conducting at The Ohio State University, where she was a University Fellow.  

Elizabeth is the Past-President of the RI chapter of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA). 

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Elise Felker

NCYC teacher, Empowering Voices leader, Community Sing leader and Aquidneck Singers section leader

Elise graduated from the University of Rhode Island where she earned her BA in Music Education. She is the founder of Voces Excelsis, the treble chorus at the University of Rhode Island. She started her career teaching Middle School Chorus and General Music in the public schools. Along with teaching at Newport Sings, she co-teaches a music course at MCI-Norfolk in Massachusetts. She currently serves on the leadership team of the artists collective Voices21C in Boston, Massachusetts. In 2019, she interned at the Casterbridge Music Development Academy in White River, South Africa. While in South Africa, she also taught General Music at Mshadza Disability Center. 


Sophie Garman

NCYC program assistant and Aquidneck Singers Section Leader

Sophie is a senior at The Prout School. She is honored to work with Newport Sings for her second year, and is excited to play a role in music education in Newport. When she isn’t working with Newport Sings, she is a member of various school and statewide choruses, and hopes to pursue higher education in music. She loves the welcoming community she has found through Newport Sings, and is looking forward to another year of singing with this special group of musicians!


Caleb Hilyard

NCYC after-school program accompanist

Caleb is a Music Teacher and Assistant Band Director at East Providence High School where he teaches courses in piano, guitar, electronic music, and instrumental ensembles. He also serves as the Assistant Director of the “Pride of East Providence” Townie Marching Band. Caleb graduated from the University of Rhode Island with a BM in Music Education. While he studied saxophone as a primary instrument, Caleb developed a love of singing and piano playing in college. He is the recipient of a URI Writing Award in the Undergraduate Scholarly/Research category and his writing can be found in the RIMER Journal Summer 2021 edition. When not making music, Caleb enjoys summers on the beach and baking in the kitchen.


Kristin Lafferty

NCYC teacher and Aquidneck Singers section leader

Kristin is a graduate from the University of Rhode Island where she received a BA in Music Education and graduated Magna Cum Laude. She currently teaches kindergarten through third grade music at Nayatt School in Barrington, RI. She also spends some of her time working with children 3-5 years old at URI’s Child Development Center.  Kristin served as a sectional leader and cantor at St. Gregory the Great Church for four years. Kristin is the founder and director of the new RI Community Chorus, “Better Together” that connects singers 14-22 years old. 


Loganne McKenna

NCYC Program Assistant

Loganne is a military child who currently attends Middletown High School. She is very excited to be working with NCYC for her second year. When she isn’t working with the prep chorus she can be found playing the trombone in the marching band or on stage with the drama club. She also serves at OceanPointe Christian Church in their Children’s program. She has a passion for singing, performing and serving her community.


Jan Navarro

Newport Sings Collaborative Pianist

Jan moved to Aquidneck Island from Seattle, Washington in 2020. She has enjoyed a lifelong love of music since the age of 4, singing in churches and schools, and playing piano all throughout her youth. She majored in K-12 vocal/instrumental music education with a piano performance minor at Northern State University in South Dakota. Jan's musical career spans over 35 years. During that time, she has maintained her private piano studio, and accompanied soloists, choirs, and Musical Theater shows. In addition to her work with Newport Sings, she also teaches piano at Portsmouth Abbey, and is the current Director of Music Ministry at Channing Memorial Church in Newport. When not in a music rehearsal, Jan can be found in nature, by the ocean, spending time with her dogs.


Anik Rounds

Quorus section leader

Anik (they/them) has been a musician their whole life, starting with the violin at age 4. They have played lessons in many instruments, including viola, piano, bass, and trombone, but love singing the most. In high school, Anik was part of many musical groups, and took private lessons. Now, they are the Tenor/Bass Section Leader for Quorus and a board member of Musica Dolce, another non-profit in southern RI. Professionally, Anik is a software developer and program manager, and in their free time, Anik enjoys cooking and knitting.  


Melanie Saunders

Quorus section leader

Melanie (she/they) has loved music for as long as she can remember. She grew up singing and playing the violin and toured Europe twice with her orchestra before the age of 18. She rediscovered her love for choral music in adulthood through Aquidneck Singers and found herself wanting a place for the LGBTQIA+ community to rediscover their voices through song. She has been in Quorus, Newport's first Queer chorus, since its inception in 2023.


Melanie is Community Programs Manager at the MLK Community Center and a long-time resident of Newport. She is a Pan/Bi parent of two amazing children and will forever be an advocate for her community.

Let's connect! 

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