Arts Faculty Bios
Natalie Pitchford, Director of Fine Arts
Natalie Pitchford’s life is owed to the arts. In the mid-1970s, her father - a guest conductor at Eastern Music Festival - met her mother, a receptionist and pianist at EMF. The rest is history, and Natalie’s earliest memories are made of symphony hall balconies and her dad in tails. Growing up in a home filled with classical music and performing in the Nutcracker, it is no surprise that Natalie has never left the world of the arts. In the mid-90s, Natalie auditioned for her first musical and never looked back. Following a BFA in Musical Theatre from Elon University, a MM in Classical Voice from Southern Illinois University, contracts in professional theatre, and bouncing around between New York City, Perugia, Italy, and more, Natalie met her husband: a professional jazz trombone player who had just finished touring with a major pop icon and had settled down with his doctorate to teach at the university level. She joined him, cutting her teeth as an educator with years of professional performance experience as faculty of Voice for Music Theatre at Illinois Wesleyan University in the BFA Musical Theatre degree track. She directed productions, industry showcases, and began conducting - like her father - while at IWU.
A desire to return to the south brought the Pitchfords to the prestigious Lovett School in Atlanta in 2016. Natalie assumed the role of Director of the Lovett Conservatory of Music, managing a major-income program with a staff of 25 music faculty and became Musical Theatre Coordinator, directing and managing Lovett’s historic legacy of professional quality musical productions.
2020 brought Natalie to the Galloway School, directing the Middle and Upper Learning Choral Program as well as Directing and Music Directing productions. In 2022, Natalie began the role of Director of Fine Arts, overseeing the entire arts program from PreK3 through 12th grade. Natalie continues to perform professionally in and around Atlanta and is mother to two Galloway Early Learners, Lucy (8) and Hudson (3).
Misao Cates, Chaddick Center for the Arts Manager
Misao Cates is a maker. With roots as a visual artist, she begin her artistic career as a graphic designer. She eventually discovered working in 3D to be more fulfilling and presently enjoys working with fabric, paper, foam, found objects, and just about anything with interesting color, shape and texture. She has designed and created hats and bridal veils, centerpiece sculptures for special events, and props and set pieces for the film industry. She has been a participating artist a number of years for Art on the Atlanta Beltline with her site-specific interactive installations. She has lead a Galloway Beltline Excursion and worked with a group of UL students to build and install an interactive sculpture on the Eastside Trail.
Misao has been a part of the Galloway community for many years as a parent of two “lifer” students, and as costumer with the Galloway Theatre Company where she has designed and built costumes for every Galloway level. She finds it incredibly rewarding to work and collaborate with UL Technical Theatre students in building costumes and props to bring stories to life on the stage.
Kerren Berz, Upper Learning Orchestra
Kerren Berz's talents span the musical spectrum. She has worked with strings students throughout the Atlanta area and is a former orchestra director for Spelman College and for the Chattanooga School for Creative Arts. Currently Concertmaster of the Columbus (GA) Symphony Orchestra, Ms. Berz has also performed, recorded, and toured with the Atlanta Symphony, the Harlem Festival Orchestra, and the Nashville Chamber Orchestra. In addition, Ms. Berz is well respected in the popular music industry. She has shared the stage with music legends, including Ray Charles, Sarah Vaughan, Stevie Wonder, Earth Wind and Fire, Rod Stewart, and Joni Mitchell, among others, and toured with Amy Grant and Vince Gill. As a music arranger and performer, she is featured on albums by Outkast, Pink, Cartel, Sinead O'Connor, and on the hit single "Survivor," by Destiny's Child. She is a voting member of The Recording Academy and has participated on nominating committees for the annual Grammy Awards.
Linda Floyd, Early Learning Music
Linda Floyd has been teaching music for 30+ years, 28 of which have been at The Galloway School. She has a Bachelor of Music Degree in Music Education and Music Therapy from East Carolina University and a Master of Music Degree from Georgia State University. She has taught elementary, middle and high school choral and general music. In addition to her duties as music educator, Mrs. Floyd frequently accompanies choral groups on the piano and plays in the pit orchestra for the high school musicals. She was the musical director for eight of Galloway's Upper Learning musicals.
Mrs. Floyd has worked in the afterschool program at Galloway for many years as a co-teacher with one of the theatre instructors and has taught summer music camps at Galloway and in other settings.
Nathan Medley, Middle and Upper Learning Chorus and Musical Theatre
Nathan Medley balances a rich career on the stage, in the classroom, and leading music programs. As a performer, Mr. Medley has emerged in recent years as one of the leading American countertenors, with notable success internationally in concert and opera. He has sung at some of the major stages of the world including the English National Opera and Barbican Centre in London; Carnegie Hall; Philharmonie de Paris; Kölner Philharmonie; La Salle Pleyel in Paris; St. Cecelia Orchestra; Palais de Musique, Strasbourg; Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw; The Lucerne Festival; Avery Fisher Hall in New York, and Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles.
Recent performances have taken him to the Boston Early Music Festival, Berlin Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, London Symphony, the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, St. Cecelia Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, St. Louis Symphony, Chicago’s Ravinia Festival, Opera Omaha, Pacific MusicWorks, Mercury Baroque, Seraphic Fire, Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra, and Atlanta Baroque Orchestra. Nathan Medley made his professional debut in 2012 in John Adams’ The Gospel According to the other Mary with the Los Angeles Philharmonic conducted by Gustavo Dudamel, which was recorded for Duetsche Grammophon and more recently by the Berlin Philharmonic under Sir Simon Rattle.
As a teacher, Mr. Medley has taught thousands of private students with studios in Houston, Indianapolis, Columbus (OH), and Atlanta. Most recently, Mr. Medley was the head of the vocal department at Cobb County Center for Excellence in the Performing Arts (CCCEPA) at Pebblebrook High School. While at Pebblebrook, he upheld a high standard of excellence taking an average of 70 students to GMEA All-State Choir annually, offering 11 inspired concerts annually, and sending hundreds of young artists to major collegiate programs. His students have gone on to study vocal performance and musical theater at University of Michigan, Peabody Conservatory, NYU, Indiana University, Northwestern University, Oberlin, University of Houston, Syracuse, Boston Conservatory, FSU, Mannes, and Manhattan School of Music, to name a few. In demand as a vocal technician, he taught for many years at Vocal Arts Institute at the University of Indianapolis, AIMS in England and The Hague, Netherlands. He was an adjunct instructor of voice at Marian University in Indianapolis from 2010-2014. Sharing his love of music, in 2014 he helped the Columbus Children’s Choir launch their ‘In Your School’ program, an educational outreach program building relationships with city schools. He is often called to offer masterclasses and choral clinics, giving instruction at Georgia Tech, University of Nebraska, and KAUST in Saudi Arabia to name a few. As a director, Mr. Medley was head of the Boys and Girls of Christ Church Cathedral, Indianapolis; Director of Music at Our Lady of Peace in Columbus, OH and currently directs the music program at St. Patrick’s Episcopal in Dunwoody, GA.
Mr. Medley is a 2009 graduate of Oberlin Conservatory with a major in vocal performance and historical performance practice.
Brian Mitchell, Middle and Upper Learning Music and Guitar
Brian Mitchell is a professional guitarist, music educator and composer. He has served on the faculties of the University of West Georgia and Georgia Perimeter College where he directed the guitar ensemble in addition to teaching individual and group lessons on guitar. As a composer, his works have been performed at The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., Piccolo Spoleto Festival in Charleston, S.C, the High Museum of Art and at colleges and universities throughout the eastern United States. In 2006 he was commissioned by the High Museum of Art in Atlanta to compose a new score for Sergei Eisenstein’s legendary silent film Que Viva México! The score for mixed chamber ensemble received its premiere at the opening of The High’s 2006 Latin American Film Festival. Linda Dubler, former Curator of Media Arts at The High Museum said, “Finally, QUE VIVA MEXICO’s exquisite black and white imagery has a fitting accompaniment in composer Brian Mitchell’s subtle, understated score.” In 2017, he completed an arrangement of Anne Richardson’s score for “Claire”, a silent film based on the Japanese fairy tale "Kaguyahime” by Atlanta filmmaker Milt Thomas. The new arrangement received its premiere at The Plaza Theatre in Atlanta as well as an additional performance at the Braunschweig International Film Festival in Germany in the fall of 2018.
Daniel Solammon, Middle and Upper Learning Band
Daniel Solammon became involved in music by playing woodwind and brass instruments, as well as arranging music in his hometown of Decatur. Deciding to pursue music professionally, Mr. Solammon earned a B.M. in Composition at Michigan State University and M.M. in Jazz Studies at University of New Orleans. His music endeavors have included stints in New Orleans, performing and arranging music with Harold Batiste, Wynton Marsalis, Ben E. King, and Ellis Marsalis; and Los Angeles, CA, performing and composing music with Grammy-nominated recording artist Dionne Farris and Grammy-winning recording artist Van Hunt. Mr. Solammon has 14 years of experience teaching band, piano, guitar, bass, drums, and composition across a wide variety of genres. Alongside his work in education, Mr. Solammon continues to perform and compose, including projects with Fox Networks, BET, Aspire TV, Bounce TV, and Bravo.
THEATRE & DESIGN AND PRODUCTION
Sarah Day, Middle Learning Theatre
Sarah Day is thrilled to be joining the Galloway performing arts faculty as the Middle Learning Theatre Teacher. After moving to Atlanta in the summer of 2020, Sarah spent two years teaching English at The Weber School in Sandy Springs. Prior to that, Sarah worked for six years as the lead theatre teacher and director at Thomas Dale High Schoo/Specialty Center for the Arts in Chesterfield, Virginia, where she helped develop a rigorous four-year, audition-only, honors theatre curriculum. Before teaching at TDHS, Mrs. Day worked in varying degrees as an arts administrator, teaching artist, director, and actor for a variety of regional theatres including Virginia Repertory Theatre, TheatreLab, and Sycamore Rouge in Richmond, Virginia; Seattle Repertory Theatre, Seattle Children's Theatre, Youth Theatre Northwest, and Taproot Theatre in Seattle, Washington; and The Studio Theatre in Washington DC. Sarah holds a B.A. in Theatre and Dance from James Madison University, where she also majored in English. A lifelong learner, Sarah has completed professional training courses through The Kennedy Center, the National Endowment for the Humanities, Southern Oregon University, and the American Alliance for Theatre & Education. She can't wait to start making theatre with Galloway's fantastic Middle Learning students!
Antonia Fairchild, Upper Learning Theatre
Antonia Fairchild is a theater educator, producer, director and storytelling consultant. She began her career as a television producer in local news in San Francisco and later moved into the theater producing world after completing her Master of Fine Arts in Drama. She worked in play development for over a decade in New York City, producing, directing and acting in many new play readings and workshops, and produced two award-winning world premiere productions. She directed and produced digital learning content for grades 6 through 12 for Duke University's Talent Identification Program for several years and has served as a digital producer and consultant at Duke University’s Sanford School since 2020. She has directed and taught theatre at both the high school and collegiate level throughout North Carolina, including at the North Carolina Governor’s School, Durham School of the Arts and Central Academy of Technology and Arts, a magnet school for the arts in North Carolina. Her high school theatre productions and students have been recognized by the North Carolina Theatre Conference, the Blumey Awards and the Jimmy Awards, the National High School Musical Theatre Awards. She holds a B.S. in Radio/TV/Film from Northwestern University and an M.F.A. in Acting from the American Conservatory Theater. She is a member of Actor’s Equity Association.
David Morgan, Upper Learning Design and Production
David N. Morgan is an Atlanta-based scenic designer, technical director, and educator. With more than 20 years of experience in professional theatre, David has designed, built, or painted shows across America at companies such as Theatre on the Square (Memphis, TN), Bigfork Summer Playhouse (Bigfork MT), Peach State Summer Theatre (GA), Charleston Stage (Charleston SC), and Krannert Center for the Performing Arts (IL). He has taught various courses in technical theatre at both the high school and college levels in multiple states and has presented workshops at SETC in recent years on creative construction techniques. David served as the Technical Director for the Murray Arts Center at Mount Paran Christian School in Kennesaw, Georgia for seven years. He holds a graduate degree in Theatre from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and is also a proud graduate of the Auburn University Theatre Department.
Liz Whalen, Middle Learning Design and Production
Liz offers Middle Learning classes in Woodworking, Technical Theatre and Creating Props as well as Upper Learning classes in stagecraft. Ms. Whalen will be an important part of the theatre creative team and will run the afterschool Galloway Theatre Company Tech Crew. A lifelong theatre kid at heart, Liz received her BA in Theatre from Saint Mary's College in Notre Dame and her MFA from the University of Alabama in Technical Theatre Production. A Midwest native, Liz has worked with theatre companies across the country including Notre Dame Shakespeare Festival, Contemporary American Theatre Festival, Brevard Opera Company, and more.
Juana Farfan, Early and Middle Learning Dance
Juana Farfan is a dance educator and independent artist/choreographer. Juana has a B.A. in Modern Dance Performance from the University of South Florida, and holds a certi cation from the Teachers Training Institute in Dance Education. Recently, Juana traveled to her hometown Bogotá-Colombia, to give an artistic residency at her school in arts curriculum integration. In the past, she has been a teaching artist for Georgia Perimeter College, Dynamic X-Change- CORE Performance Company Outreach Program, Moving in the Spirit, and Playmaking for Girls at Synchronicity Theatre Company. Juana has taught Spanish and English through/with movement at several schools in Metro Atlanta, taught dance workshops in a native community in the Amazon-Colombia, and creative movement workshops at The Children’s Museum of Atlanta. Juana has also worked with local choreographers Lori Teague, Blake Beckham, Nicole Livieratos, Greg Catallier, Onur Topal-Summer, DENSE, CORE Performance Company, and Beacon Dance, and has presented her personal work at HymHouse-Eyedrum, MAD Festival, and Skwirlhaus. Not long ago, Juana had the opportunity to take a somatic workshop with world-renowned dance pioneer Anna Halprin at her home studio in California. Juana was also recently certified in Grounded Kids Yoga and Brain Compatible Dance Education with Anne G. Gilbert. Juana loves to play and improvise.
Cara Lavallee, Upper Learning Dance
Cara has spent the last seven years as the director of dance at The Episcopal Academy, and she has additional experience in curriculum development as well. Cara says that she seeks to “create authentic connections through dance and to use dance for making connections across disciplines as well as examining identity and difference.” She is eager to continue the tradition of inclusivity in our dance program.
Mary Stuart Hall, Middle and Upper Learning Visual Arts and Photography
Graduating with a degree in Sculpture at Sewanee, The University of the South, and a Master's in Art Education from the University of Georgia, Mary Stuart Hall is currently pursuing her MFA in Studio Art at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA). Ms. Hall teaches ML and UL visual art including photography, sculpture, ceramics and AP/Advanced Art. Not only is Ms. Hall a devoted art teacher, she also maintains a studio practice outside of her teaching. A multi-disciplinary artist born and raised in Atlanta, she creates sculptural installations that mediate text and other forms of cultural artifacts into a multi-dimensional experience. She has shown her work in Atlanta and the Southeast.
Erin Ray, Middle Learning Visual Art
Erin Ray holds a BFA in Art Education from the University of Georgia, as well as National Board Certification. She has taught visual art for 13 years and still learns new ways to go about it every day! Her balanced curriculum offers students the opportunity to build skills sequentially in a variety of media while developing creativity and personal voice. Her favorite medium is printmaking, especially in the classroom. She loves to travel and go on adventures with her partner, Austin, and young son, Calvin.
Lore Ruttan, Middle and Upper Learning Visual Art
Lore Ruttan recently discovered she is a “multipotentialite”, meaning she has serious interests in a lot of different things. She received degrees in biology from the University of Chicago, Ecology and Evolution from the University of Minnesota, and in Human Ecology from the University of California at Davis. Subsequent to receiving her Ph.D. she joined the Department of Environmental Studies at Emory and taught there for nine years. While at Emory, Lore took courses in Botanical Illustration at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens and in Natural Science Illustration at the University of Santa Cruz. In doing so, she discovered a new passion for art and illustration and left Emory to start her business, Lore Ruttan Illustration. She continues to work as an illustrator creating commissioned work for scientific publications, public spaces, and private collections. She has taught science illustration at Emory University and the Highlands Biological Station in Highlands, North Carolina, and she has taught fine art at the Atlanta Montessori International School and now at The Galloway School. Lore loves working with people of all ages to help them discover their unique, hidden talents. She brings to the classroom a love of exploration and discovery, and an eagerness to find connections across the sciences and humanities.
Kyra Sampson, Early Learning Visual Art
With extensive experience and a passion for creating choice-based artistic learning environments where students learn skills and develop a love and appreciation for the visual arts, Ms. Sampson is committed to upholding Ms. G’s phenomenal legacy, while continuing to grow and develop our arts program at Galloway.