FAC@40 Performers

janelle_gillJanelle Gill

Janelle Gill, pianist, is a rising star in the tradition of Washington jazz pianists. She was commissioned by the Phillips Collection to create an original composition in 2010 in conjunction with an exhibition there. She has appeared at the Mid-Atlantic Jazz Festival and the Smithsonian’s Women in Jazz tribute and has performed with Oliver Lake, the Blackbyrds, Delfeayo Marsalis, David Murray, Kenny Rittenhouse, and Marshall Keys. An ambitious composer, she is currently preparing her own debut recording. She attended Fillmore Arts Center in the late 1990s.

Listen to Janelle playing on YouTube

Mike-Bowie-Picture-225x300Michael Bowie

Michael Bowie is a former Fillmore Arts Center music teacher, as well as longstanding presence in the Washington, DC jazz and gospel community and internationally known musician, playing electric and contrabass. He received a NEA Award in Jazz Studies and trained with Betty Carter and Keter Betts, had a Verve Records contract, and has performed with a panoply of musical legends, including Abdulla Ibrahim, Abbey Lincoln, Joe Williams, Sarah Vaughn, to name just a few, and appeared at most major concert venues and festivals, including Carnegie Hall, the Newport Jazz Festival, and Montreux Jazz. A committed musical educator of young people Mr. Bowie has been involved in Wolf Trap’s Institute for Early Childhood Learning, the Thelonius Monk Institute, and created his own organization, called The Music Teaching Project.  Also, he’s the Director of Blues Alley’s Youth Orchestra and has produced the National Cathedral’s Summer Arts Festival.  Mr. Bowie taught music at Fillmore Arts Center for more than 15 years.

Visit Michael Bowie’s Page on Facebook


Blue Sky Puppet Theatre

Similar to Fillmore Arts Center, Blue Sky Puppet Theatre was founded in the mid-1970s.  The cofounders are Michael Cotter and Judith Cayo Cotter.  Both Michael and Judith taught at Fillmore Arts Center in the early days, and they actually met and got married there!  In addition to teaching at Fillmore and running their puppet theatre, Michael has also taught for the Montgomery County School system and been an adjunct professor of theatre at the University of Maryland; Judith currently teaches art at the Beauvoir School in D.C., as well as performing, producing, and advising on Blue Sky productions.

Hear the song “Fizz, Boom, Read” from the show of the same name

sherierThe Sherier Mountain Boys

The Sherier Mountain Boys are a moveable feast of pickers, grinners, sinners, saints, scalawags and pilgrims on a wayward path to musical enlightenment. The “Boys” include Josh Wein on six steel strings, Michael Dolan on stand-up bass, Morgan Prust on lead guitar, Niall Sullivan on alto sax, Frank Nagle on tenor, Steve Seem on harmonica, Rich “Handyman” Goldburg on bongos, and Jonathan Quigley, on vocals and washboard.  Mr. Dolan is a parent of former Fillmore student.

Listen to the Sherier Mountain Boys on YouTube

Rachel Cross

Rachel Cross started her musical career in 1983 as a street musician in Paris, France. She has been playing guitar, writing songs, singing and recording ever since. Rachel was the lead singer and rhythm guitarist for the award-winning world beat band Big Village for eleven years. Rachel is known for her high-energy performances, positive vibe, and powerful voice. She has performed at countless venues, colleges, and festivals and shared the state with luminaries likeShawn Colvin, The Neville Brothers, and Los Lobos.

She won a Mid-Atlantic Song Contest award and named Best World Music Vocalist by the Washington Area Music Association in 1996, 1997,1999 and 2000.

When not performing, Rachel enjoys being a session vocalist and educator. Rachel recently received her fourth grant to create and record original songs with eighty students from School-within-school at Peabody in Washington, DC. She has also written and recorded music with Henry Cross for nine theatrical productions of The Bethesda Academy of Performing Arts.

Sample Rachel’s music on iTunes

Christine Kharazian

Christine Kharazian is a concert violinist, a graduate of the Komitas State Conservatory and the Tchaikovsky Advanced School of Music in Yerevan. Her early performance experience includes 5 years with the Armenian National Opera’s Symphony and as a soloist with the Sharakan Ensemble of Ancient and Medieval Music of Armenian TV and Radio.

Christine performs regularly at area concert halls and venues, as well as being an experienced educator who teaches at Sidwell Friends School and Fillmore Arts Center. Also, she is an alumna of the Inspired Teaching Institute and is a teaching artist for the Washington Performing Arts’ Capitol Strings program.

Christine is also the author and presenter of interactive programs in music education. She collaborates with CHIME (Community Help in Music Education), offering programs to hundreds of students through Arts for Every Student – a project of the DC Arts and Humanities Education Collaborative. Currently she serves as a Chair of Student Activities at Friday Morning Music Club, coordinating concert series for young aspiring musicians.

Visit her website to hear Christine perform

Zachary Lawrence and Friends

Zack Lawrence completed his elementary studies at Hyde-Addison this past Spring.  He has been a Fillmore Arts student throughout his elementary years and an attendee of the Fillmore Arts Summer Camp.  He will be playing a musical number with some other students.