Liz Matta: Program Director
Liz Matta is a native of Foxboro, Massachusetts. She credits her many great musical experiences in Foxboro, including a performance at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland, and being challenged to think like a band director from an early age by Stephen C. Massey and Edward M. Hagarty as the reasons she has such a passion to work with kids, teach music and continue to perform. Ms. Matta received her B. M. in Music Education and Saxophone Performance from the University of Massachusetts. Liz moved to Maine to teach band at the Great Salt Bay Community School before starting her tenure at Lincoln Academy where she teaches Instrumental Music and AP Music Theory. Under Liz’s direction, the Lincoln Academy Band Program doubled in student participation and in the number of instrumental performing ensembles offered in just her first four years. Ms. Matta has worked with bands and jazz bands throughout the state as a clinician, is an auditions adjudicator for the MMEA All-State Music Festival, and has conducted Honor’s Festival Bands throughout Maine. In addition to teaching, Liz can be heard playing with the Edith Jones Project, with the Matta-Wing Duo and as a freelance saxophonist. Ms. Matta has been involved with the Haiti Project since it’s inception in 2012 and is thrilled to continue her work in Haiti each July. Liz resides in Newcastle with her family.
Abigail Nash: Assistant Music Director 2017
Abigail Nash began her musical endeavors on the piano when she was five years old. She graduated Summa Cum Laude as a classical violist with a degree in music education from the University of Maine in May 2012. While studying at the University of Maine, Abigail was a member of the orchestra as well as the principle violist for all four years. In addition to Abigail’s studies and work on violin and viola, she also is an accomplished pianist and often accompanies for other musicians or ensembles. Abigail has been teaching for eight years; currently she is a middle school band director and privately teaches piano, violin, viola, and voice. Abigail loves teaching her students and sharing her joy and passion for music with them. In the summers she enjoys performing in numerous venues and with many groups around the state, including performing with members of the Bangor Symphony Orchestra, playing for the Bagaduce Chorale, the Penobscot Theater, and others. She also seeks out unique music opportunities: last year she was the recipient of a vocal scholar position for Berkshire Choral International and this year she is traveling to Haiti to teach. In her spare time she enjoys making music with other musicians and riding her beautiful horse, Indy.
Isaac Vesery: Assistant Program Director and Web Master 2015 – 2016
Isaac Vesery earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Music from Brandeis University in 2014, where he also studied Anthropology and Business. He currently teaches Middle School Humanities and Music at the Tremont School in Weston, Massachusetts. As a musician, Isaac enjoys a wide range of musical styles, including jazz, rock, funk, and non-western music cultures. Isaac’s other recent musical involvement has included the direction of a 40-piece undergraduate orchestra, participation in several jazz, wind, and non-western music ensembles, as well as musical pits. A native of Maine, Isaac was instilled with a love of the outdoors from an early age, and enjoys outdoor recreation such as mountain biking, rock climbing, camping, and hiking.
Jim Johnson is a musician who has had the opportunity to explore many styles of music. Jim received his MFA at the California Institute of the Arts and had the pleasure of studying and performing chamber, jazz and world music. Improvisation is an art form that he has always desired to get to know on a more intimate level.
Jim has studied under many great artists, such as: Alexander LePak, Richie LePore, John Bergamo, David Johnson, Bobbie Bradford, Gary Burton, Dave Samuels, Victor Mendoza, Ed Saindon, and many others. He also had the great honor of recording at Capitol Records in Los Angeles.
While living in Los Angeles, Jim was a freelance musician performing throughout the western United States. He enjoyed recording in the studios, performing in concert halls and night clubs. Currently Jim is directing the music department at Erskine Academy in South, China, Maine; where he truly enjoys exploring all disciplines and styles of music with the students.
James received his BA in Music Education From Westfield State College (MA) in1994 and his MFA in Multi-focused Persussion Performance from California Institute of theArts in 1996. Since relocating to Maine, James has enjoyed bicycling throughout the northeast, hiking, and rollerblading with his dogs, Frankie and Pepper. Currently, James resides in Hallowell with his wife and two dogs.