Announcement from Founding Director, Lisa Varno

I have some important news to share, which leaves me with mixed emotions. I recently accepted a job offer at the Hopkins Center for the Arts at Dartmouth College. While I am very excited about this opportunity, it is very difficult for me to peel away from working with these amazing singers and collaborating with the many fine musicians and directors on this island. Due to this news, we will be shifting roles and responsibilities this next semester. 

At the start of this next semester in January, Laura Walton, music teacher at the Edgartown School, will serve as our Artistic Director, while Casey Hayward, teacher at the Charter School will serve as our Executive Director. You can find out more about our directors below. Our students have loved working with Ms. Walton as she has been assisting our rehearsals this fall! I will continue to connected to this wonderful organization as Founding Director, offering support to both Laura & Casey during this transition. You can expect to see me at concerts and for periodic visits to family and friends on the island. 

We look forward to another wonderful semester together in January! Rehearsal dates will be updated shortly and will be held on Wednesdays from 4:15-5:15 (Lyric) & 5:15-6:15 (Concert) at the Edgartown School Music Room. 

Meet Our Directors

Casey Ann Hayward, Executive Director

Casey Ann Hayward is an educator, director, writer and performer. Currently, she is teaching 5/6 grade science and social studies at the Martha’s Vineyard Public Charter School in addition to weekly offerings such as improvisation and debate and a two week intensive on music and songwriting. She was a panellist at NYU’s International Forum for Educational Theatre and has apprenticed for The New 42nd Street Studios/New Victory Theatre and The 2009 TONY awards. She trained professionally at The Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute, Body in Space Theatre Company, and at The Yard for their “DEL Day of Dance Workshop for Island Educators.” She is an active member of Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society in Education and has taught for The National Youth Drama School, The Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse, Barrow Street Nursery, The West Tisbury School, The Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival, and Education Unlimited at MIT. Publications include “How To Be An Actor” (New Chapter Press, 2013) and “Exoskeletons: Generating Content For Popular Music” The Teaching Artist Journal (Taylor & Francis, 2016). In 2017, she co-wrote, “Gene Play” with Jonah Lipsky; directed by Joann Green Breuer (Monday Night Special Series, MV Playhouse). Education: MA, New York University. BFA, Boston University.

Laura Walton, Artistic Director

Laura Walton currently serves as the Edgartown School’s K-8 Choral/General Music Teacher and is excited to continue building this ensemble within our island community. Laura holds a Bachelor’s of Music in Music Education from Syracuse University Setnor School of Music and is pursuing a Master's Degree in Elementary General and Special Education at New York University. She has experience working in a variety of educational settings ranging from interning with the Syracuse Children’s Chorus under the direction of Marcia DeMartini, teaching early childhood music classes, and tutoring academic and literacy skills to various ages; her students have ranged as young as early childhood through high school. Laura believes all children have strengths, whether they be musical or otherwise, and that the job of a teacher is to find those strengths and foster them to their fullest potential.

I am so proud of this amazing group of singers and it has been a joy to observe their continued growth!  I am indebted to you, parents, for all of your support; our fabulous singers for their energy, enthusiasm, and dedication; our wonderful accompanist Griffin; Jan Wightman, Abigail Chandler, Peter Boak & the Island Community Chorus, Carolee Stewart, Kevin Ryan, Emily Anderson for your openness to collaborate and support our growing organization; and to our strong island community for welcoming us with open arms. 

Have a wonderful holiday season, and we look forward to celebrating the beginning of our third year with you in January!

Sincerely,

Lisa Varno, Founding Director