Our Story

Our Vision

A world where music is a catalyst for all children to unlock their unique potential.


Incorporated as 501c3 “Musical Empowerment”
Wake Forest University Chapter Founded
Hunter College Chapter Founded
High Point Chapter Merged with Wake Forest Chapter
20 Year Celebration!
Duke University Chapter Founded

Meredith Richard Scholarship

The Meredith Richard Scholarship was established by previous Musical Empowerment board chair, Bernard Glassman, to honor Musical Empowerment’s first Executive Director, Meredith Richard. Meredith transformed Musical Empowerment from a small student organization to a national nonprofit serving hundreds of children each year. In the spirit of Meredith’s hard work and dedication, this scholarship has been created in her name to benefit a young musician at Musical Empowerment who demonstrates the same passion and commitment to music education.

This award supports one year of music lessons (up to $2,500) for a deserving student who strives for music excellence. The scholarship will be paid directly to the certified, Musical Empowerment-approved music teacher who is selected by the student and mentor.

Donate directly to the scholarship fund here.

Apply Now


Board of Directors

Ayeza Nxumalo

Analytics Advisor at SAS, Board Chair

Musical Empowerment Board Chair, Ayeza, is a passionate and driven individual born in Manzini, Swaziland, and raised in Greensboro, NC. Since the age of 9, she has been involved in musical theatre, bringing her love for performing to the stage. Additionally, she played the clarinet for eight years, showcasing her passion for music. Ayeza received her Bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Georgia State University and attended Wake Forest University, where she obtained her MBA. Currently, Ayeza enjoys using her problem-solving skills to help clients at SAS. 


Dr. Bryan Gilliam

Professor Emeritus of Music at Duke University

Inspired by his youth chamber ensemble, Bryan’s deep passion for music and history led him to earn a PhD from Harvard University and Honors in Music History from the University of Cincinnati. As an author, Bryan’s research focuses on various areas such as German opera, Viennese culture, Wagner, Strauss, Korngold, Weill, film music, and German musical aesthetics. Bryan is also a member of the East Chapel Hill Rotary Club and a board member of the North Carolina Opera Board of Directors.

Sally Hogan

Retired International Programs Executive, Bechtel Corporation

Sally Hogan spent over 3 decades at the Bechtel Group and travelled the world as an international Program Manager. Sally grew up in Indiana near a musical instrument manufacturer. Music has always been important in her life. Sally is a member of the Duke Chapel Choir and currently sings and plays the piano. Sally believes in the transformative power of music and is a patron of the arts.

Cody Lopez

Mid-Atlantic Relationship Manager Secured Tech Solutions

Cody Lopez is a music entertainment entrepreneur and seasoned advocate for youth mentorship. His nonprofit leadership experiences through 4-H and College Mentors for Kids have prepared him well for board service. Cody has a great appreciation for music and deep respect for mentorship. His college years as a mascot (Virginia Tech Hokie) and current gigs as a DJ prove that Cody’s enthusiasm and winning attitude will be a great addition to the M.E. team.

Lynne Chen

Account Executive, Racepoint Global

Lynne Chen is a Musical Empowerment mentor alumni, who is coming back to the organization to support the Board of Directors. Chen participated as a student mentor for Musical Empowerment all four years at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. While mentoring she studied journalism with a concentration in advertising and public relations. She now works at a public relations agency that shapes conversations for tech-forward brands. She is thrilled to bring her passions for music and communications together to support Musical Empowerment moving forward.

Katharine Batchelor

Associate Attorney, Milberg Coleman Bryson Phillips Grossman, Board Secretary

Katharine Batchelor is a Musical Empowerment mentor alumni, returning to the organization now as an Attorney. Katharine was a mentor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she taught students the piano. She experienced firsthand the unique platform that music lessons provide for mentorship and her time as a mentor was an immense privilege. In addition to volunteering with a variety of community organizations, Katharine currently works as a complex civil litigation attorney in Raleigh, NC.

Woodrow Battle

Finance & Management Consulting, Baker Tilley, Board Treasurer

Woodrow Battle comes to Musical Empowerment with multiple years in the finance and management consulting world. However, from the earliest age, music has been a huge force of motivation and joy in his life, having spent countless hours practicing, performing, and enjoying all types of music. Woodrow obtained his Bachelor’s Degree in economics and political science from Moravian University, in Bethlehem Pennsylvania, where he furthered his musical passions in groups like the jazz big-band and orchestra. Woodrow was inspired to join Musical Empowerment through its mission of bringing a musical foundation to students and mentors in all walks of life. Woodrow currently works in Philadelphia and is an experienced consultant for governments and utilities.

Elizabeth Hopkins

Vocalist and Music Educator, Lead Singer of Delta Rae

Liz Hopkins is a North Carolina born and bred artist, vocalist, and the lead singer of Delta Rae. Delta Rae has been sharing its unique southern gothic magic all over the United States and internationally, released 6 full-length albums, played festivals including Bumbershoot, Bonnaroo, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, Austin City Limits & Lollapalooza to name a few- performed on National TV (Jay Leno, Conan O’Brien, Seth Meyers), and had the honor of meeting Michelle Obama before singing at DNC rally in North Carolina. When not on the road or in the studio with Delta Rae, Liz leads her own shows, performs in professional musical theater productions, and works as a vocal coach and music educator. She is thrilled to join the Musical Empowerment board and to serve the community that nurtured her own love for music which led her to an incredible career as a professional musician.


Katie Battle

Executive Director

A Summa Cum Laude graduate of Susquehanna University in Pennsylvania, Katie joined Musical Empowerment’s team in July 2022 after almost 10 years as a music educator in the public school system (Oregon and Durham, North Carolina). The children she served came from a variety of cultural and socio-economic backgrounds ranging in age from kindergarteners to seniors in high school. Katie primary instrument in French Horn, but enjoys singing and learning all wind, brass, and string instruments. As a teacher, Katie has long recognized the positive impact that a supportive and caring relationship will have on a child’s development. It is Musical Empowerment’s focus on mentorship that first drew Katie to the organization. She takes over the Executive Director role after a year and a half as ME’s Program Director.

Naima Pettigrew

Development Coordinator

Naima joined Musical Empowerment in the Spring 2023 as a contractor supporting our fundraising and development efforts. By Winter 2023 we expanded her role and she joined our programming team and began meeting with our chapter leadership for weekly coaching meetings. Prior to joining ME Naima worked as a media producer and journalist. Her career started in Washington, DC, where she also got her degree in Journalism and Economics from Howard University. For 10 years Naima learned the in’s and out’s of being a journalist and TV Producer in the nation’s capital. In that time Naima worked for and was published by CNN, ABC, and NBC. After a decade in DC, Naima returned to her birth place and continued her career as a TV Producer in the San Francisco Bay Area where she worked for CBS San Francisco and FOX.

In 2017, Naima transitioned into the world of non-profit’s via a production company funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and PBS. During this experience Naima was introduced to the world of fundraising and issue based reporting and education. In 2021 Naima moved to North Carolina and has since been supporting various non-profit organizations across the Triangle as a grant writer, and digital assistant.

Naima is thrilled to again expand her role with Musical Empowerment and looks forward to supporting the organization at this very exciting and pivotal time of growth and expansion!


James Moeser

Chancellor Emeritus of UNC-Chapel Hill, Professor of Music, and Senior Consultant for Special Initiatives at the UNC IAH

Christine Moseley

Founder of Carolina Music Outreach, Founder and CEO at Full Harvest

Terry Rhodes

Professor of Music and Senior Associate Dean for Fine Arts and Humanities in the College of Arts and Sciences at UNC-Chapel Hill

Michael Richard

Retired Corporate Vice President and Treasurer at McDonald’s Corporation

Meredith Richard

Former Executive Director, Fundraising Consultant @ Campbell & Company

Ketura Parker

Director of Development for Carolina Performing Arts

Adam Martin

Associate at Robinson, Bradshaw & Hinson

Alex Kim

Treasurer, Former Musical Empowerment at NC State Co-President, Consultant and Data Scientist at Deloitte

Jackie Gonzalez

Finance Director at North Carolina Democratic Party

Meera Chakravarthy

Senior Associate at Public-Private Strategies

Tivi Jones

Founder and CEO of Hey Awesome Girl studio

Lifetime Trustees

Adam Martin

Associate at Robinson, Bradshaw & Hinson

Bernard Glassman

Former Board Chair

President’s Club

Co-presidents lead their chapters with dedication and integrity. These are all of the Presidents who have contributed to Musical Empowerment’s growth:

Christine Moseley

Founder, UNC Chapel Hill

Michelle Lee

UNC Chapel Hill

Mark Frank

UNC Chapel Hill

Kara Schoo

UNC Chapel Hill

Josie Johnson

UNC Chapel Hill

Landon Meekins

UNC Chapel Hill

Wes Johnson

UNC Chapel Hill

Michele Hicks

UNC Chapel Hill

Maggie Peng

UNC Chapel Hill

Allie Howard

UNC Chapel Hill

Katie Weinel

UNC Chapel Hill

Kaitlyn Hamlett

UNC Chapel Hill

Institutional Supporters