2020 Board of Directors Election

The FAME Board of Directors shall consist of seven members, and shall include a President, a President-Elect, a Vice-President, a Secretary, and a Treasurer, and two Members-at-Large.  Each year, half of the Board of Directors are elected, For 2020, candidates are running for Vice President, Secretary, and a Member-at-Large positions. 

The 2020 Nominations Committee reviewed all candidates, submitted recommendations to the Board of Directors who then approved and confirmed the nomination ballot to present the following slate of candidates for general membership elections for 2020. These positions are two-year terms (2020-2022).

Please read each candidate’s bio and vote by May 22, 2020. You must be a FAME Member in good standing to cast a vote.

Cast your VOTE HERE!


Vice President

Rachel Grimsby
Candidate for Vice President

Rachel is a passionate educator, with experience teaching elementary general music, choral music, and music in early childhood. In 2002 she earned her Bachelor of Music in Music Education from East Carolina, and in 2010 graduated from The University of Hartford’s Hartt School of Music with a Master of Music Education. Rachel is a A.B.D. at Michigan State University and recently accepted a position at Illinois State University as an Associate Professor of Music Education. Her research interests include the professional development and collaborative needs of inservice teachers and paraprofessionals, course work for undergraduates and graduate students in teaching music to students with disabilities, music and language acquisition in students with disabilities, and how music may benefit those with language delays.

Rachel is the co-author of two publications; First Steps in Music with Orff Schulwerk, and Feierabend Fundamentals: History, Philosophy, and Practice. She also has been published in the Orff Echo and the Journal of Music Teacher Education. Rachel is fully certified in Feierabend, Kodály, Orff, and holds GIML Elementary I and II certificates. She also is a teacher trainer for both First Steps in Music and Conversational Solfege Level 1 and 2. Rachel is a member of AERA, AOSA, GIML, OAKE, NAfME, ECMMA and is a founding member of FAME. She lives with her husband and two children in Lansing, Michigan.



Ben Batman
Candidate for Secretary

Ben Batman is in his 8th year teaching musicand 5th year at Mount Comfort Elementary School located outside of Greenfield, Indiana. He teaches K-5 general music, 4th – 5th choir, and 4th – 5th mallet ensemble.He has taken both First Steps in Music (July 2015) and Conversational Solfege (July 2017) withDr. John Feierabend at Anderson University in Anderson, Indiana. He has also completed all his levels ofOrff Schulwerk at Anderson University and has taken additional coursework in Dalcroze Eurhythmics. This past July, he completed his first level of Kolday at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Ben was first introduced to the “Feierabend Philosophy” through teacher trainer Andrew Himelick in 2012. He observed Mr. Himelick’s classroom and was impressed with the results of his students. Since then, he has been “hooked” on Dr. Feierabend’s materials. He joined FAME in 2018 when he registered to attend the 2018 FAME Conference in Chicago. He was honored to meet, network, and learn from many FAME educators at the FAME Conference in Chicago. Since this experience, Ben has maintained active membership in FAME. He has also presented sessions that utilize the Feierabend philosophy at the Indiana Music Education Associaiton’s State Conference and his alma mater, Indiana Wesleyan University. He would be honored to become more involved with the work of Dr. Feierabend by serving as the secretary of the FAME Board. Thank you for your consideration!



Alyssa DiNapoli
Candidate for Secretary

Alyssa DiNapoli currently teaches K-5 vocal general music in Clifton, NJ where she uses both First Steps in Music and Conversational Solfege. Alyssa has earned her Kodaly levels and FAME certifications from the Hartt School with Dr. Feierabend.

She is currently the interim secretary for the FAME Board of Directors and is a member of the finance, membership, and conference committees. In addition to her graduate coursework at Hartt, she holds degrees in both flute performance and music education, a minor in dance, and a masters degree in library and information science. Alyssa has also presented clinics at the state and local levels on incorporating children’s literature into the music classroom and on the benefits of First Steps and Conversational Solfege.



JoEllyn Sumner

My name is JoEllyn Sumner and I am applying for the Member-at-Large Executive Board position. Although I am new to FAME, I am very passionate about the organization and where it can go!

Mrs. JoEllyn Sumner humbly submits herself to the FAME membership, to consider her for the Member-at-Large Executive Board position. Over the last twelve years, she has been a progressive music educator as well as a zealous learner. In the summer of 2019, Mrs. Sumner took both First Steps in Music AND Conversational Solfege, fully immersing herself in the pedagogy and practice of Dr. John Feierabend. Her passion and enthusiasm for the 30 year plan led her to start infant/toddler classes in both her school district and her park district. Since recent times are keeping us all indoors, Mrs. Sumner has quickly created an online presence as The Tuneful Teacher – to bring First Steps in Music virtually, to parents at home with their children. Mrs. Sumner is an academic and artistic leader who captivates children and parents alike with her teaching style. She is a true advocate for Dr. John Feierabend, and making families musical again.


Chris Tranburg

Christopher Tranberg is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Educational Leadership, Policy, and Administration at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Prior studies include Administrator Certification from Sacred Heart University, an MMEd from The Hartt School at the University of Hartford, and a BME from Baldwin-Wallace Conservatory of Music. With twenty years of experience in education, Chris is currently the Assistant Superintendent of the Granby Public Schools (Granby, CT). Previous leadership experiences include: Principal of Avon High School (Avon, CT), Assistant Principal of Simsbury High School (Simsbury, CT), and Director of Performing Arts (Simsbury, CT).Before his work in administration, Chris enjoyed several years as an elementary music teacher in Connecticut, New Jersey, and Ohio.

Chris is a founding member of the Feierabend Association of Music Education (FAME) and served as the initial chair of Teacher Training at the inception of the organization. Recently, Chris co-authored First Steps in Music with Orff Schulwerk, and the upcoming Conversational Solfege with Orff Schulwerk published by GIA Publications, Inc. Notably, he is past president of the Connecticut Chapter of the American Orff Schulwerk Association and a former editorial board member of AOSA’s national publication, The Orff Echo. Chris completed his Kodaly training at the Hartt School where he worked as John Feierabend’s graduate assistant for two years. Chris also completed his Orff Levels and Masterclass at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN.

Chris is an active presenter and consultant in the areas of equitable instructional practices, curriculum development, measurement and evaluation, teacher collaboration, and various topics in music education. Chris was recently elected to the Board of Directors of the Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents (CAPSS) as a representative of Assistant Superintendents and executive district leaders who support Superintendents.