Academy Advisory Board

JP Phaup Board Member

JP Phaup
Wells Fargo Bank, Arts at Mason Board

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John Paul (JP) Phaup is Managing Director – Investments of the Phaup Wealth Management Group of Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC, in McLean, VA.  He has focused on wealth management and charitable strategies since 1991. Mr. Phaup was an adjunct professor in the Department of Finance at GMU’s School of Management.  He serves on the Board of Trustees for the George Mason University Foundation and is Chairman of the Arts at Mason Partnership.  He previously served on the boards of Capital Hospice and the Country Club of Fairfax. Mr. Phaup earned his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern California, an MBA from George Mason University, and was named Mason’s Alumni of the year 2009.

Jenna Day Board Member

 Jenna Day
Day Violins Music Store

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Jenna Day has been surrounded by music her entire life. Coming from a musical family, Jenna grew up listening to her mother and father singing harmony while her father played the baritone ukulele, or her mother played the piano in accompaniment. During her youth, singing, playing instruments of various types, and involvement in music became an important and integral part of Jenna’s life. Entering school, Jenna’s instrument of choice became the piano. By high school she was an accomplished musician, and served as accompanist to the school choir. She also sang in choir, both at school and at her church. She further played flute. Over the years, Jenna has served as accompanying pianist for various choirs, groups and individuals, both instrumental and vocal. She has also sung in various choirs and groups. A highlight of her musical experience has been to serve as the children’s music director of her church, where she has had the privilege and delight to teach young children the joys and beauties of music. Besides working in Day Violins L.L.C., Much of Jenna’s daily efforts are spent as a mother to her 4 children—where one of the primary undertakings is helping her own children explore and develop their musical talents. In her spare time, Jenna has an active “Design” business where she does calligraphy, floral design and event planning.

Scott Nurmi Board Member

Scott Nurmi
Mojo Factory Productions

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Scott Nurmi is the co-owner of Mojo Factory Productions, a full-service video production company focused on supporting the arts, arts education, non-profits and associations. With more than 25 years of experience in the video industry, Scott produces documentaries, web content and live video performances for professional music, dance and theater companies, along with high school and community theater and dance companies. Scott’s on-going video productions for arts organizations include projects for The Washington Ballet, National Association for Music Education, Shakespeare Theatre Company and Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts. Scott is passionate about the arts, and supporting the Mason Community Arts Academy is a natural fit!

Susan Graziano Board Member

Susan Graziano
Mason College of Visual and Performing Arts

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Susan Graziano, Director of Development, joined George Mason University in 2003 as the Global Grant Coordinator, Office of the Provost.  

From 2003 to 2014, she provided leadership and support for the advancement of the university’s global initiatives by securing more than $12 million in external funding from the U.S. government, foundations, and foreign governments. Susan supported the conceptualization of global research and education projects across the university, and developed strategic plans for the global goals of the university through her participation in the Vision process.

As Director of Development for the College of Visual and Performing Arts since 2014, Susan plays a leadership role in the College’s overall development efforts. She works with the senior leadership of the College, University Advancement and Alumni Relations, the volunteer leadership of the numerous advisory boards and friends groups, and alumni and community members to provide philanthropic support for the College’s seven academic units, the Center for the Arts, and Potomac Arts Academy. Susan oversees the major fundraising events of the College, including ARTS by George!, Off the Wall, and the Dance Gala Celebration.

Prior to Mason, she was an independent consultant for cultural projects, and Director of the Museum Assessment Program at the American Association of Museums (now American Alliance of Museums), which focuses on the development and evaluation of professional standards for museums nationwide. 

She has been awarded the George Mason University Impact Award and the Outstanding Achievement Award.

She is member of the Grants Committee of the Arts Council of Fairfax County.


  • MA, Arts Management, George Mason University
  • BA, Art, Bucknell University

Kevin Murray
Mason School of Theater, Acting For Young People

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Kevin Murray teaches Audition Techniques for Stage and Camera and Acting for the Camera at George Mason University’s School of Theater. He works frequently as a freelance actor in films and on television, having appeared in HBO’s Veep and The Wire, House of Cards for Netflix, Paramount’s Runaway Bride, and many other independent films and television programs. As Program Manager, Kevin oversees new student recruitment, marketing and promotion, and special events. He is also a board member of Acting For Young People.

Anne Sharp
Mason Friends of Music, former FCPS teacher

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More information coming soon!

Dr. Justin P. Sutters

Program Director
Assistant Dean of Research and Assessment, College of Visual and Performing Arts
Associate Professor, Art Education
Director, Master of Arts in Education (MAT)

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Dr. Sutters was a K-12 art educator in an urban school district and also taught at an international school in São Paulo, Brazil. He attained his doctorate degree from the Ohio State University receiving national recognition for his dissertation. He currently serves as the Director of the Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program in Art Education at George Mason University and is an Associate Professor in the School of Art as well as an Affiliate Faculty in the College of Education and Human Development (CEHD). He recently completed a two-year term as the Faculty Fellow for the SACSCOC Reaffirmation Committee and also another two-year term as the Stearns Center Faculty Fellow for Faculty Writing Support.

Dr. Sutters is published in numerous peer-reviewed journals and has presented his research at the state, national and international level in Brazil, China, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. He served as the Chair of the Professional Learning through Research (PLR) working group of the National Art Education Association (NAEA) Research Commission and in other capacities within NAEA. He served on the review board of Art Education and Visual Arts Research and has been a contributing member of the Data Visualization Working Group. His research focuses on pre-service practices, teacher licensure, national demography data, comparative studies/Brazilian studies, and theories pertaining to space and place. In 2019, he received a competitive grant from the National Art Education Foundation pertaining to his academic genealogy project and data visualization. In the summer of 2022, Dr. Sutters was selected to participate in the School for Art Leaders at Crystal Bridges, AK, and also was appointed to a two-year term with the NAEA Research Commission and he also attended the annual meeting in Park City, UT. He also was awarded an Emerging Administrator Fellowship from the National Council of Arts Administrators (NCAA) and will attend the annual conference in October,

He teaches numerous courses in the MAT program, is the Advisor for the NAEA Student Chapter, and mentors students on their research capstone. His studio practice and background currently centers around printmaking and he co-teaches a summer graduate course called Print/Paper/Books. He is the School of Art Liaison and an Advisory Board Member for the Mason Community Arts Academy, where he also teaches Portfolio Preparation courses in the summer for high school students.

Ina Mirtcheva Blevins Piano Lessons

Dr. Ina Radeva Mirtcheva Blevins
Academy Teaching Artist and Liaison for Mason Students

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Dr. Ina Radeva Mirtcheva is a May 2014 graduate of George Mason University with a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Piano Performance. Having earned her Bachelor and Master of Music Degrees in Piano Performance from George Mason University, she subsequently earned a Master in Instrumental Collaborative Piano at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. Dr. Mirtcheva currently teaches keyboard skills and is a member of the applied piano faculty at George Mason University’s School of Music, as well as a faculty member of the Mason Community Arts Academy.

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Matt Morris

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More information coming soon!

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Jen Gibson
Academy Parent Representative

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More information coming soon!

Mary Ann Tortolano

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Born and raised in Albany, NY, Mary Ann Tortolano began the violin at age 6 as part of the first wave of Suzuki method instruction hit the United States. After receiving a BM from Oberlin College, where she studied violin with Stephen Clapp and viola with Katherine Plummer, she became a certified Suzuki teacher, studying with the Preucil family in Iowa City. Later she became a Suzuki “parent” and sent all three of her children to Institutes.

As Principal Second Violin of both the Spoleto and Graz Festivals, she toured the U.S. and Europe before accepting a position as Principal Viola with the Whitewater and Sorg Opera companies. While teaching in Richmond, Indiana, she hosted the 1991 Suzuki Talent Education Tour from Japan at Earlham College.

A former member of the New England Conservatory of Music Prep Division, Newton Music School and the Levine School of Music
(Georgetown, DC), she is a freelance violin/violist in the DC area and performs with the Amadeus Chamber Orchestra, the Manassas Ballet and the American Festival Pops Orchestra at George Mason University. She teaches at various workshops and Institutes and was on the faculty of New England Music Camp in Sydney, Maine
for 20 years. She has maintained a private studio in Alexandria, VA for 25 years.

Bill Tortolano
Arts Management Consultant

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Bill Tortolano is an arts management consultant, arts commission/grants panel member and active freelance violinist in the Washington, DC area.

He served for over 20 years with The United States Air Force Band, performing at the White House, Vice President’s residence, State Department, Pentagon and other high level venues. Additionally, he served as Chief Flight Arranger, Director for Audience Development and Director of Alumni & Veterans Affairs. Promoted to the rank of Senior Master Sergeant in just eight years, Bill returned to school and received an Arts Management degree from George Mason University. As Manager of the USAF Strings, he created and marketed a string orchestra concert series that showcased the ensemble at the Kennedy Center, National Gallery of Art, Smithsonian Institution and other historically significant performance sites throughout the DC area. He conceived of, and programmed the well-received orchestral CD, “An American Dream,” which received favorable reviews and was featured on NPR’s “Performance Today.” Bill enlisted in 1996 and was appointed principal second violinist of the US Air Force Symphony Orchestra. After 9-11, he cross-trained and served as a Command Post Controller during OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM. He is the recipient of two Meritorious Service Medals, Commendation Medal and two AF Achievement Medals.

Prior to joining the Air Force, he was an Assistant Professor of Music at Earlham College where he taught counterpoint, music theory, violin and conducted the college/community orchestra. Additionally, he was also concertmaster, orchestra contractor and member of the Whitewater Opera Board of Trustees. Prior to that, he taught at Phillips Academy (Andover) and played with the Boston Pops-Esplanade Orchestra and the Boston Lyric Opera. In 1990 he was a Visiting Fellow at Trinity College, Cambridge University. He is published and recorded by GIA, Chicago.

Mimsi Janis
Assistant Professor, School of Theater, CVPA

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Mimsi Janis is an assistant professor in the School of Theater at George Mason University. She is also an actor and teaching artist in the DC area. She has performed with Studio Theater, Signature Theater, Washington Stage Guild, The Kennedy Center, South Dakota Shakespeare, NextStop Theater, Chesapeake Shakespeare, Maryland Shakespeare, and many others. Her play, The Wedding Party, which she co-wrote, won Best Comedy at Capital Fringe 2015.

Ms. Janis has been a teaching artist and educator for Acting For Young People for over a decade and taught middle school theater for Fairfax County Public Schools. She has facilitated workshops at Strattera Conference, Women’s Theatre Conference and American Alliance for Theatre and Education. Ms. Janis is a co-director of the DC Coalition for Theater and Social Justice, through which she has facilitated numerous Theater of the Oppressed workshops.

Prof. June Huang
Director of Strings & Assistant Professor of Violin

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Prof. June Huang is the Director of Strings and Assistant Professor of Violin at the Dewberry School of Music. She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in applied violin, chamber music, and string pedagogy. Prof. Huang has a Master of Arts in music from the University of California at Santa Barbara where she was a member of the Young Artist String Quartet. She earned a Bachelor of Music in performance from the Oberlin Conservatory and attended the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music as an undergraduate. She studied at the Meadowmount School of Music, Aspen Music Festival, Banff Centre for the Arts, Round Top Festival Institute, and Kneisel Hall. Her primary teachers include Stephen Clapp and Ronald Copes.

Prof. Huang has performed with the National Philharmonic, Harrisburg Symphony, Richmond Symphony, Wolf Trap Orchestra, Washington Ballet Orchestra, Bach Choir of Bethlehem, and Amadeus Orchestra. She is a frequent collaborator and has appeared with chamber ensembles at the Kennedy Center, Staunton Music Festival, Red Lodge Music Festival, Virginia Virtuosi, and Chamber Music Society of Central Virginia. She is a former member of the Cascade String Quartet. A specialist on the baroque violin, Ms. Huang has played and recorded with Opera Lafayette, Four Nations, Bach Sinfonia, Modern Musick, REBEL Baroque Orchestra, and Vivaldi Project. Leadership positions have included concertmaster of the Washington Bach Consort and the Washington National Cathedral Baroque Orchestra.

Prof. Huang is certified by the Suzuki Association of the America and is a member of the initial cohort of Communicating Honor for Diversity. She grew up in Louisville, Kentucky and was part of the first generation of students in the United States to learn the Suzuki Method. As director of the Suzuki department at the Levine School of Music, she received a grant to study violin pedagogy with Dr. Suzuki in Matsumoto, Japan. Prof. Huang was the Founder and Director of the Levine String Camp and Strings Plus, summer programs that flourished for 27 seasons. She is currently Director of the Mason Strings Camp and Co-Director of the Mason High School String Intensive.

Prof. Huang is a member of the Editorial Committee of the American String Teachers Association (ASTA). She is an active presenter and clinician for ASTA, Midwest Clinic, Music Teachers National Association, and Virginia Music Educators Association. Recent presentations include The Quietude: Developing Communication Skills Via Chamber Music; Teaching Sight-reading Skills; Reading Session on Music by Underrepresented Composers; and Make It Practicable: Teaching Advanced Techniques for the Upper Strings in the Orchestra Classroom. Her article, What’s in Your Glinda Bubble? Finding Peace in Performing, was published in the August 2021 issue of the American String Teachers Journal. Prof. Huang is a 2023 recipient of the Purks Faculty Enrichment Grant and received a Commendation for Engaged Teaching from the Stearns Center for Teaching and Learning.