Board of Directors
The Schola Board
Alyson Brown Navarro, Chair, hails from the beautiful covered bridge countryside of Indiana where her family has farmed the same land for over 100 years. She attended college at DePauw University where she earned a double degree in Music and Business. After graduation she began a career in music, working for Bands of America, and later Creative Artists Agency. A move to the New York area continued her career in the music business with a shift in focus to new technologies. Eventually she launched her own internet development company which she grew for 10 years before selling and moving into consulting. She is now a Senior Manager at Ernst & Young where she consults with companies on Digital Enterprise Transformation.
Throughout her career she never lost her love of music, spending time singing with church choirs and playing flute and piano. Currently she loves teaching her two children singing and piano. Alyson started singing with Schola in 2012, she joined the board in 2015 and was elected chair in July of 2016.
Mark Aro, Secretary, is serving his first term as a member of Schola’s board of directors. He assumed the role of secretary at the beginning of Schola’s 21st season in August 2015. He has been a singing member of Schola since September 2013 and has also been involved in developing the companion media imagery that is presented with Schola’s concert performances.
He holds a Bachelor of Arts (A.B.) degree in Music from Princeton University and is a resident cantor at the Church of Our Lady of Czestochowa in Jersey City. He is employed at Morgan Stanley as an operations specialist in the Client Reporting Services department of Morgan Stanley's Wealth Management division.
Richard Seeger, Treasurer, was born in Saline, Michigan a few miles south of Ann Arbor. Growing up on his father's dairy farm, he soon learned that agriculture was not for him.
He went to the University of Michigan School of Music for a couple of years and especially loved being in the Michigan Marching Band under William D. Revelli, but again decided that this was not the right career path for him. He then obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from Cleary College in Ypsilanti, which turned out to be the right choice.
Seeger worked for some 40 years in accounting, the last 30 years of which were at American Standard Inc., mostly in the Corporate Tax Department. He retired at age 62 in 2005. He became aware of Schola through volunteer singing with the St John’s in the Village choir, where several Schola members have sung.
Gordon King, Chair Emeritus, is an accomplished organist, choir director, composer, and has been a tenor with Schola since 1995. He received his Bachelor's and Master's degrees from the University of Texas majoring in music with concentrations in organ and choral studies. He is the organist and choir director at St. John's in the Village Episcopal Church in New York. Prior to his moving to NJ from Texas in 1991, he was the Music Director at All Saints Episcopal Cathedral in Fort Worth for many years where he directed three choirs and also taught music in the parish day school. He founded the Diocesan Choir which gave annual concerts of major choral works with orchestral accompaniment.
King studied composition with Merrill Ellis, Daniel Pinkham, and Noel Goemanne. His works have been published by Warner Brothers, Mark Foster, Concordia, Choristers Guild, and GIA. The King Chorale, a professional ensemble, produced a favorably reviewed recording of American choral music on the Orion label. He taught at Kean University for many years, and he is active in the New Jersey and New York chapters of the American Guild of Organists (AGO). He has two sons, Patrick and Michael. Patrick is a senior segment producer for The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Michael and his wife, Hannah, are students at Redeemer Seminary in Dallas, Texas.
Alexander Wentworth, Member, is a Senior Staff Engineer at ITT Aerospace/Communications Division in Clifton, NJ, with 26 years of experience. Working as a software engineer, he has designed and developed software for military radios and other networking equipment.
He has been a singing member of SCH since its inception. He has been a board member since July 2002, and served as Treasurer from July 2003 to June 2005. A longtime Hoboken, NJ resident, Mr. Wentworth was a founding trustee of the Hoboken Evangelical Free Church, and served as its treasurer from 1985 through 1986. He has sung in a number of ensembles and choirs in Hudson County.
Susan Baer, Associate Member, joined Schola in the fall of 2014. She is a lifelong choral singing enthusiast, having performed with more than 20 ensembles of varied sizes and genres starting in high school, throughout college, and as an adult in Philadelphia and New York City. She works as a management consultant and lives in lower Manhattan with her husband and school-aged son.
Carly Baron, Associate Member, soprano, has been singing with Schola for one year. She graduated in 2015 with a B.A. in music from Muhlenberg College, with concentrations in vocal performance, music theory, and music history. Carly additionally had the wonderful experience of studying opera in Italy for a semester at Florence University of the Arts. Carly is a voice, piano and musical theater teacher at the Music Academy of Garden City, and an elementary teacher at Congregation Tifereth Israel’s Limud.
This season, Carly was featured as Yum Yum (Tsipe Tsviele) in the Gilbert & Sullivan Yiddish Light Opera Company of Long Island's production of Der Yiddisher Mikado, as Ada in Utopia Opera’s production of Princess Ida and in the Westchester Summer Vocal Institute. Carly has also presented and been featured as a guest artist in several early music and English Ayres recitals, performing late Renaissance and early Baroque pieces for solo lute and voice.
James Edward Splond III, Associate Member, joined Schola in 2011 singing baritone. He joined the Board in 2016. He received a B.A. from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and a Masters of Music from Southern Methodist University. While at UNLV, James was the recipient of the Liberace Scholarship and the Outstanding Music Student Award.
It was at Northpark Presbyterian Church in Dallas, TX, where Mr. Splond began to cut his teeth as an artist. The choral ensembles from NPC produced several recordings with Splond as a soloist: Gabrielle Fauré’s Requiem, Ron Nelson’s The Christmas Story, and Beethoven’s Mass in C. Dallas is also the home of the Regal Opera Company where James performed in the Magic Flute, Dr. Heidigger’s Fountain of Youth, and several benefit concerts. Splond performed the role of Germont in the Monterey Opera Association’s production of La Traviata.
James has been a soloist for Schola Cantorum on Hudson, singing Messiah and more. Splond has worked as a music educator in Northern New Jersey for the past fifteen years. His theater credits include the Forest Guild Theater’s production of The Man of La Mancha as The Governor/Innkeeper and The Exonerated as Robert Earl Hayes, Civic Theater’s production of Parade — the Musical as Newt, Mike Dillard in the Attic Ensembles production of Steven Schwartz Working, and recently, The Man in Crowns also at Attic.
Tully Cheng, Candidate, is a composer, pianist, and violinist. Since he was young, music has been a big part of his life — from performing in numerous orchestras and bands to tutoring young musicians in violin and piano.
He was part of an a cappella choir in high school where he performed a mix of traditional and contemporary pieces. He has performed around the world in North America, Europe, and Asia. He hopes to continue bringing the cathartic experience of musical arts to his neighbors in Jersey City.
Tully attended college at Cornell University where he majored in mathematics, statistics, and economics. He is currently employed with Prudential Investment Management as a Director in the Institutional Advisory and Solutions Group where he focuses on investment research and providing portfolio construction solutions to clients.
We remain grateful to the dedicated individuals who have grown this organization from the position of Chairperson of the Board of Directors:
- Gordon King, 2013-2015
- Andrew P. Jones, 2010-2012
- Salvatore A. Diana, 2005-2010
- Mark Davies, 2002-2005
- Roger West, 1999-2002
- Mary C. Quinn, 1995-1999