Board of Directors

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Theo Economides

Theo Economides

President and Marketing & Public Relations Committee Chair

Theo Economides is a techno-creative enabler. With more than 30 years experience in the TV and radio, audiovisual, higher education, telecommunications, and legal environments plus a lifetime of musical and theatrical performing, he brings an unconventional blend of expertise to telling stories through technology-enabled performances.

Mr. Economides spends his days working for Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management as an AV engineer. His degrees are in electrical engineering from Texas A&M University, but he is also a videographer, accomplished pianist, singer, musical conductor and educator. A musician since the age of eight years, he also teaches private voice and piano students, is a ten-year member (and past administrator) of Chicago’s "Too Hot to Handel" choir and directed musical theatre orchestras, church musicians and men’s a cappella choruses for more than a decade.

He is also a skilled communicator, fluent in English and Geek and able to translate between the two for any audience.

He is a Certified Legal Video Specialist (CLVS), sat on the Board of Directors for the Visual Communications Industries Group for three years and also the advisory board of MacCormac College in Chicago for four years. He is a member of the Society of Broadcast Engineers and the Institute of Electronic and Electrical Engineers.

Ann Warde

Ann Warde

Secretary

Ann Warde is an experimental composer, sound artist, and researcher, and a recipient of a 2019 NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowship in Music/Sound from The New York Foundation for the Arts. Following her doctorate in music composition and ethnomusicology at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship in music brought her to Cornell University. Her work with sound then shifted, focusing — for 10 years — on applications of audio technology to the analysis of whale sounds at Cornell’s Lab of Ornithology. Subsequently, returning to music during a 2015-16 US-UK Fulbright Scholarship at the University of York, she developed a parallel interest in American philosophy. Recent paper presentations include the Women in Pragmatism International Conference, the Orpheus Institute, and the American Philosophical Association; published research includes articles in Asian Music, Leonardo Music Journal, Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, and the forthcoming book, Sound Art and Music: Philosophy, Composition, Performance. zsonics.org

Christophe Preissing

Christophe Preissing

Executive Artistic Director

Composer, intermedia artist, collaborator, and artistic instigator, Christopher Preissing creates music and sound for live performance, fixed media, and interactive installation. He has been Artist-in-Residence and Fellow at Beloit College, Indiana University, Ragdale Foundation, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Djerrassi, and Atlantic Center for the Arts, and has received awards from Jerome Foundation, Meet the Composer, Illinois Arts Council, City of Chicago, and American Composers Forum. He received a Pritzker Foundation Endowed Fellowship and a Columbus School for Girls Endowed Fellowship in support of residencies at Djerassi and the VCCA. Previous director of the Chicago Composers Forum, and producer of two large-scale productions of John Cage’s Musicircus, he is the founder of the Chicago multi-arts collective NON:op, Open Opera Works. Recent projects include f(H2T) from Here to There, an immersive, interdisciplinary opera (2014, Chicago); I Was Born for This, collaborative installation with 14 channels of sound (2014, Notre Dame); and The Floating City, a score for Kristina Isabelle’s multimedia dance (2013, Chicago). In addition to Thunder, Perfect Mind, an immersive sound-movement opera for soprano, percussion, chorus and dance company, he is working on a setting of Dante’s Divine Comedy with Carmen-Helena Tèllez and with Amey Miller on a sound-book collaboration, In Search of Margaretta Black.

Education
BA Major: Music Theory and Composition, Minor: Physics, Ball State University
MM Music Composition, Minor: Theatre, University of Illinois
DMA Music Composition, University of Illinois

William Brooks

William Brooks

Director and Facilities Committee Chair

William Brooks studied music and mathematics at Wesleyan University (BA 1965), then received degrees in musicology (MM 1971) and composition-theory (DMA 1976) from the University of Illinois. He taught at the University of California and the University of Illinois before becoming Professor of Music at the University of York, England. In 2009 he was appointed Senior Research Fellow at the Orpheus Institute, Ghent, Belgium, where he also serves as Editorial Officer. Brooks is active as both composer and musicologist, with the two disciplines meeting in his interest in “experimental” music and processes and in his exploration of the relationship between text and music. He has published extensively on John Cage and Charles Ives and, more broadly, on American music; his compositions often explore open form and the intersection of vernacular and cultivated idioms. Much of his music is for voice, and he is himself a singer and choral conductor. His music is published by Frog Peak Music, and he has been commissioned by The Crossing, Trio Mediaeval, The Cleveland Chamber Orchestra, the Kronos Quartet, and the Gulbenkian Foundation, among others.

Saba Ayman-Nolley

Saba Ayman-Nolley

Director

Saba Ayman-Nolley is Professor Emerita and former chair of the psychology department at Northeastern Illinois University. Her PhD in Developmental and Educational Psychology is from the University of Chicago. Her research has explored areas of non-verbal communication and creativity as they relate to Children’s understanding of social concepts and roles. She has been a board member of the Jean Piaget Society and its Vice-President of communications. She has also developed and implemented training programs and curriculum for teachers and parents. For the last ten years she has been an organizer of the Art in Response to Violence international conference. She has received over 10 research grants and authored over 75 presentations and publications.

Joshua Berngard

Joshua Berngard

Director

Mark Bersano, former Director of the INSPIRE Project, works at the Loyola University Chicago Institute of Pastoral Studies (IPS) as the Coordinator of Parish Leadership and Management Programs. In this role, he creates continuing education opportunities for adults. INSPIRE, a partnership initiative of Loyola University Chicago and the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago, was a Lilly Endowment, Inc. Sustaining Pastoral Excellence grant that did collaborative team building with parish staffs.

Mark holds an MA in Social Justice (MASJ) from Loyola University Chicago, and a B.A. in English from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. He is working on an Associate’s Degree in Fine Art, and comes to NON:op with this passion for creative expression.

Before coming to Loyola University Chicago, Mark served as both the Chief Deputy Recorder and the Systems Administrator for the Will County Recorder of Deeds in Joliet, Illinois. He has also worked as a Technical Writer at Platinum Technologies, a software Business and Quality Assurance Analyst at Geneer Software Industries, and an English Language Instructor at Northeast Normal University in the People’s Republic of China. He has done internship work with the Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions, the Jane Addams Senior Caucus, and the 8th Day Center for Justice.

Mark’s passion lies in greening the Earth through the promotion of simple living, economic justice, and viable alternatives to consumerism. He believes that the power and wisdom of local communities can transform the world through the expressive arts.