...is a soprano who received classical voice training in her native Germany. Kay is singing in her 10th season with The Capitol Hill Chorale in Washington, D.C., and with the choir at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Alexandria, VA. For several years she has lead parent-child music classes for toddlers and caregivers in her home and also taught music at an Elementary Waldorf School in Arlington, VA. In Europe Kay sang with the award-winning German chamber choir, Klangfarben Giessen, and the UK-based Bristol Opera Company, among other ensembles. She has been a masterclass student with Christiaan Boele in The School of Uncovering the Voice. Kay is in training to become a yoga teacher and enjoys living in Del Ray with her husband and two children.
Kay Sidahmed, Managing Artistic Director
Cambria Van de Vaarst, Accompanist
...is a harpist, organist, and pianist who graduated from Shenandoah Conservatory in Winchester, VA with a degree in Harp Performance. All throughout school she worked as an accompanist and children’s music director. She now studies under Dr. Benjamin Hutchens at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Alexandria, VA, alongside working as an organ technician in Beltsville, MD. While studying harp, Cambria participated in masterclasses given by harpists such as Bridget Stuckey, Yolanda Kondonassis, and Dotian Levalier, as well as being a part of the Shenandoah Symphony Orchestra. Cambria currently resides in Rockville, MD and when she is not engaged in music, spends most evenings rock climbing and practicing yoga.
Fostering a child's natural gift for music and singing.
Promoting choral musicianship.
Sharing the joy of song with our neighbors.
Elizabeth McMahon, Board President
....is a writer and editor at the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NIH). She was formerly a long-time producer for The Kojo Nnamdi Show at WAMU 88.5, Washington D.C.'s NPR affiliate. Elizabeth came to the D.C. area from New York, where she was a reporter for the Wall Street Journal. Born and raised in the Midwest, Elizabeth is a life-long singer and chorister who is currently in her 10th season with the Capitol Hill Chorale. Elizabeth lives in Alexandria with her husband and two daughters.
Stefan Sidahmed, Treasurer
...has nonprofit management experience as Board Chair of the Potomac Crescent Waldorf School from 2012 – 2014. Stefan spent 20 years in the US Navy operating and repairing nuclear submarines and managing submarine programs. He has been with Booz Allen Hamilton since 2012 providing program management consulting services. Stefan is a graduate of the US Naval Academy (BSEE), The Pennsylvania State University (MSEE), and The George Washington University (MBA – Finance Focus).
Carolyn Ostermann-Healey, Board Member
...started singing in choirs when she was four years old. Her first experience was in the “New York Mädchen und Knaben Chor.” She continued singing throughout school and university, and also sang in numerous choruses in Germany and Austria, including the Mozarteum Chor in Salzburg, Austria. She is a German teacher at Robinson Secondary School and incorporates much singing into her classes. She lives in Alexandria with her husband and two sons.
Hillary Hoffman-Peak, Board Member
...developed her musical roots in the theater where at the age of five, she spent every summer in a little production. She also played the piano and sang in choirs. Now, she is an attorney with the District of Columbia. She lives in Alexandria with her daughter.
Joan Miller, Board Member
...enjoyed a musical education including singing, piano, drums and trombone. Upon graduation from The College of William & Mary, Joan worked for the state and federal governments on Capitol Hill, then for private and not-for-profit organizations, and has been with Fannie Mae (currently as project manager) since 2006. While living in Georgia she served as Board Chair for the Cross Plains Community Partner, a private non-profit agency serving adults with developmental disabilities. She lives in Old Town with her husband and two children.
Alexandra Spaulding, Board Member
...is a local government attorney for the County of Spotsylvania, after having been in private practice for 14 years. Prior to law, she had careers as an advertising copywriter and a high school social studies teacher. Alexandra began singing at a very early age, and over the years has sung with various religious and secular choirs, choruses, and musical theater groups in Wisconsin, Iowa, and Virginia. Currently, Alexandra sings with the choir at The Presbyterian Church in Fredericksburg and resides in Stafford.
Pallavi Munipalla, Board Member
...is an Environmental Engineer who works for a non-profit in old town, Alexandria. She is passionate about art, water and the environment. Her introduction to choir began at an early age where she was part of a kids group that sang Christmas carols in a Catholic school in India. Choir made a comeback in her life when her daughter expressed an interest in music, and joined Del Ray Kinderchoir. In her free time, she likes to travel and read books. Pallavi lives with her husband, two kids and a dog and has been a resident of Del Ray for the past 10 years.
Melissa LaSalle, Board Member
...spent much of her childhood and young adult years singing in choirs, musical theater, and the shower. She is delighted to share this love with her daughter, Emily, who seemed to come into the world singing and eagerly joined the Del Ray Kinderchoir in the spring of 2017. With a professional background in children's literature, Melissa currently authors the website, WhatToReadToYourKids.com, where she curates newly-published children's books for the benefit of parents and teachers. Melissa brings to Kinderchoir many years of fundraising on behalf of her children's Montessori schools. Melissa and her family relocated from Chicago to Virginia in 2010 and have found in Del Ray a warm, vibrant, and intellectually curious community. She is thrilled to be helping the Del Ray Kinderchoir serve such a special community.
Every child can sing!
The Del Ray Kinderchoir provides an opportunity for children in grades 1- 4 to experience the joy of group singing in a non-competitive environment, while developing and strengthening fundamental musicianship skills.
Children will sing from the rich offerings of American and international folk music as well as from classical repertoire.
Besides singing in many different languages, children will strengthen and develop a healthy singing voice, learn to hear and sing intervals, read, write and sight-sing music and develop melodic and rhythmic improvisation skills.
In the Del Ray Kinderchoir, children do more than just sing songs. They internalize and understand music through the voice --an instrument that offers a uniquely holistic foundation to building strong musicianship skills.