Meet the Team

Executive Staff
Michelle Oesterle

Artistic and Executive Director

Michelle Oesterle, conductor and career music educator, has been an inspirational teacher and mentor to adult and children’s choruses. She was immersed in the world of music at a very early age having been the stepdaughter of Metropolitan Opera star Eleanor Steber. Her early music education was in church music as a member of an 800-voice music program. This experience proved to be the foundation for her life-long passion. Using her life experiences, Michelle has founded several choruses and initiated numerous innovative projects.[read more=”Read more” less=”Read less”]

Ms. Oesterle is the Artistic Director and Founder of the Manhattan Girls Chorus and empowers young women to find their voice by providing a community of trust and caring.

Ms. Oesterle has prepared choruses for major American and international orchestras and renowned performing artists including Israel Philharmonic Orchestra with Maestro Zubin Mehta, American Symphony Orchestra with Maestro Leon Botstein, Thomas Hampson, Eric Owens, Camille Zamora, Sting, Steven Tyler, Idina Menzel, Bruce Springsteen and Demi Lovato. Events have ranged from the nationally-televised CBS Christmas Special, the United Nations Ambassador’s Ball, and the Women in the World Summit at Lincoln Center, to The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Ms. Oesterle has conducted numerous World Premieres.

In addition, Ms. Oesterle has performed under the baton of some of the world’s leading conductors, including Robert Shaw, Sir Simon Rattle, Pierre Boulez, Zubin Mehta, Riccardo Muti, Christoph von Dohnanyi, Franz Welser-Most, and Valery Gergiev, among others, at prestigious venues around the world.

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Liana Pailodze

Music Director

Liana Pailodze is a versatile pianist and educator who is accomplished in both classical and contemporary styles of music. A soloist since the age of eight, she has been featured with the Shilakadze Chamber Orchestra, the Georgian Television Orchestra, and the Georgian Symphonic Orchestra. In 2007 she performed Stravinsky’s Concerto for Piano and Wind Instruments with Frost Wind Ensemble. Equally at home as an ensemblist, Liana has performed in varying chamber settings at venues across the United States and Europe, including Carnegie Hall, Benaroya Hall, Arsht Center, Lincoln Theatre, and the New World Center.[read more=”Read more” less=”Read less”]Born in Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia, Liana first studied piano at the Paliashvili Special Music School for Gifted Children. She grew up in a unique musical setting. Her father is a prominent jazz drummer, and her mother, a computer engineer, was her first piano teacher. The strong presence of music in Georgian culture continues to have a strong effect on her musical identity.

Liana received her Doctorate, Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees in piano performance at the University of Miami, graduating cum laude, and was inducted into the National Scholars Honor Society in 2008. As a student she received several scholarships and awards, including the Bertha Foster Scholarship Award, the Lillian Brown Scholarship award, the Sigma Alpha Iota Scholarship Award, and the Vansteinberg Scholarship Award.

Upon her arrival in New York City, Liana found a musical home as the principal pianist with the Manhattan Girls Chorus, a nurturing community of young women grades five through twelve from all ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds seeking an extraordinary music education and opportunities for performing excellence. She also works as a pianist with Education Through Music, an organization that has formed long-term partnerships with New York City schools to help principals establish and sustain school-wide music education programs that reach every student. And most recently, she joined the piano faculty at 92nd Street Y School of Music. Liana is currently working on a book and recording her first solo album, to be released in late 2015.[/read]

Advisory Board

Malynn Utzinger-Wheeler

Dr. Malynn Utzinger-Wheeler is currently the Director of Integrative Practices at Promega Corporation and the founder of Dr. Malynn, where she consults with patients and organizations on the use of Integral Medicine, teaching mind-body skills for health, self-esteem, management of anxiety and stress, and development of leadership skills. Read More

Shyamli Milam

Shyamli Milam is a co-founder and Partner of Perennial Advisors, LLC, a wealth advisory and investment management firm, where she is responsible for overseeing all activities related to portfolio research and analysis. Read More

Colin Fowler

A versatile musician and conductor, Colin Fowler works in many arenas of the music scene in New York City. He is currently the music director for Mark Morris Dance Group (MMDG). He is also a veteran of numerous Broadway shows, most recently performing in the Tony Award-winning musical Jersey Boys. Read More

Camille Zamora

“A singer blessed with intense communicative ability who blazes with passion” (Opera Magazine, UK), Camille Zamora balances a vibrant career of opera, recital and concert performances. In repertoire ranging from Mozart to tango, and in collaboration with artists ranging from Plácido Domingo to Sting, Camille has garnered a passionate following for her “magnificent voice and impeccable technique” (Diario Dan Luis). Read More

Alistair Reid

Alistair Reid, MA FRCO, studied music at the University of Oxford and, during this time, was Organ Scholar at Hertford College, Assistant Organist of the University Church, and Conductor of the Oxford Chamber Choir. He is currently Director of Music at St. Joseph’s Church Yorkville in Manhattan. Read More

Susan McMane

Susan McMane is a world-renowned choral conductor specializing in treble choral music and is the Artistic and Executive Director of the Young Women’s Choral Projects of San Francisco (YWCP). In 2012, she became the founding director of YWCP, where she conducts the auditioned chorus of young women from grades 7-12 and oversees a training chorus program for younger girls. Read More