Diane Foglizzo (Program Director): Diane is the Program Director at Girls Rock Philly and has been active in the international Girls Rock movement for over 7 years. She is currently the President/Co-Chair of the Board of Directors of the Girls Rock Camp Alliance, an alliance of over 40 girls rock camps from all over the world. After graduating from high school outside of Philadelphia, Diane lived in Washington, DC for 9 years, where she was involved in different projects including helping to found Girls Rock! DC in 2007. She also worked as a union organizer and spent two years as a political analyst/lobbyist for the Prometheus Radio Project, working to successfully pass federal legislation expanding access to community radio. Diane is currently on break from being a student at CCP, working towards a degree in ASL/English Interpreting. She plays in a band called Trophy Wife and organizes with the statewide organization, Decarcerate PA.
Andrea Jácome (Creative Director): Andrea is the new Creative Director at Girls Rock Philly. She hails from Atlanta by way of Colombia and Ecuador with a background in popular education, cultural organizing, and booking. For the past 4 years, she was involved as a facilitator and core-member of Taller de Paz, a transnational project empowering internally displaced youth in Suba, Colombia by way of creative workshops ranging in urban agriculture to ¡Mujeres Unidas! A recent graduate from Swarthmore College majoring in History and Latin American studies, she was the former booking director of Olde Club where she co-curated shows ranging from hip hop to burlesque. She likes to organize around food and music.
Dorie Byrne, Cheshire Agusta, Melanie Hsu, Candice Johnson and Jennifer Swanson are our after school instructors. Combining their extensive volunteer experience at GRP with their strong educational and musical backgrounds, they make up an invaluable program staff cohort.
Cheshire Agusta has been GRP’s resident drum instructor. She comes to GRP with boundless enthusiasm and a BA from Bryn Mawr College in music history and composition, graduate work at Lowell University in the Kodaly method of teaching music to children, fifteen years experience teaching both privately and at Philadelphia community music conservatories and rock schools. She has been the set drummer for bands of various styles and her current band, Stinking Lizaveta has been writing, recording and touring US and Europe for twenty years.
Dorie Byrne began volunteering at Girls Rock Philly in 2010 as an instrument instructor, and joined both the board and the staff in September 2012. She has a Bachelor of Music in Music Education from the University of Miami. Dorie runs a dog-walking business and teaches piano and voice lessons when she’s not working at the Girls Rock after-school program. She enjoys composing live scores for theatrical performances and plays accordion in the band Upholstery.
Mel Hsu and her cello, Charles, are rather inseparable. Mel’s high school band teacher once told her that there was no place for her or her cello in the school jazz band. Amused by this assertion, Mel has since had no interested in remaining complacent within stylistic expectations for her instrument. Although Mel was raised as a classical cellist, she and Charles have been coaxing each other into realms of indie soul, folk, hip-hop and jazz for the past seven years. In the spirit of musical restlessness, Mel adventured into the realms ofjazz on the “big cello” while at Wesleyan University and now has the honor of teaching upright and electric bass at Girls Rock Philly.
Candice Johnson started volunteering with GRP in summer of 2013 and is now the Barracuda Club Coordinator. After graduating from Rutgers University, Candy taught English in France and worked in Student Services at the English Language Programs at Penn. In addition, Candy has been organizing shows with Permanent Wave Philly since 2012 and currently plays guitar and bass in local bands Bike Crash and Mermaid Parade.
Jennifer Swanson, MMT, MT-BC, is a board certified music therapist. She received her Masters in Music Therapy from Temple University. She has experience working with individuals and groups, including adolescents experiencing grief/loss, LGBT identity, depression, and anxiety. She loves witnessing people find enhanced strength, confidence, and connection through writing music. She enjoys songwriting on her own, and with her wonderful musician friends and colleagues. She plays flute, guitar, piano, and djembe.