Emerging Professional Leadership Council

The EPLC is a committee of young professionals who serve the field of early music by working with the EMA staff and Board of Directors to encourage the development of programming and resources for emerging artists and professionals. Past EPLC projects include hosting networking events at the Boston, Berkeley, and Bloomington Early Music Festivals, the EMA Summit, developing a resource packet for establishing a non-profit or ensemble, developing a fund to assist artists and ensembles with travel to EMA’s summer programming.

2023-2024 EPLC Members

Julia Bengtsson, co-chair
Sophie Genevieve Lowe, co-chair

Ibis Laurel Betancourt
Chan Wei En
Theodore Cheek
Julia Connor
Michael Delfin
Teresa Deskur

Iván María Feliciano, Jr.
Patricia García Gil
Alvaro Ibarra
Ashley Mulcahy
Curtis Pavey
Matthew Shorten

EPLC Member Guidelines

  • The EPLC will comprise a maximum of 15 members.
  • Members will serve a 2-year term, renewable once for a 1-year term extension. (3-year term max)
  • To be an EPLC member in good standing, members are expected to attend a minimum of three of the four quarterly Council meetings (August, November, February, and May) and actively participate in Council projects.
  • Members should expect a commitment of four hours per month over 10 months each year.
  • All council members receive a complimentary EMA Personal membership.
    • Membership is not required at the time of application.
  • EPLC members are invited to attend EMA Board meetings (in person or via Zoom), as observers; to participate in EMA Board training programs, and actively participate in Board committees.  
  • Candidates should be no older than 35 at time of application.


The Emerging Professional Leadership Council (EPLC) provides young professionals valuable non-profit board experience by working alongside the board of Early Music America to support and advocate for the next generation of early music professionals, performers, scholars, patrons and enthusiasts in North America.

The EPLC is committed to inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility and building a diverse council.

If you have comments or questions for members of EPLC, Contact EMA.

EPLC Programs

Connect with your early-music community across the Americas! Join us for fun and conversation with special guests on a range of topics hosted by EMA’s Emerging Professional Leadership Council with special guests and a wide range of topics. And stick around afterwards to test your early-music knowledge in a low stress game of trivia… with prizes!

Learn more and register for upcoming Mixers.

EPLC presents Early Music: the Americas

Peter Thacher and the Viol in Colonial Massachusetts

Massachusetts is full of lovingly preserved homes from the 17th century. But what did life in these homes sound like? The latest essay in ‘Early Music: the Americas’ explores the world of a Puritan reverend who left us tantalizing clues.

Julia Bengtsson

I am a choreographer/dancer from Sweden. My productions span from 18th-century opera-ballets to contemporary dance works and have been presented at Carnegie Hall, UN Headquarters, Bruno Walter Auditorium, and Alvin Ailey Dance Center. I dance with the New York Baroque Dance Company led by my mentor Catherine Turocy.

Ibis Laurel Betancourt

I’m Ibis Laurel from Baja California, Mexico. I´m the founder and Artistic Director of the Camerata XXXI Non-profit, an emergent vocal & instrumental ensemble that brings to life some of the early music repertoire from Colonial America, in an attempt to better understand our musical past and history.

Chan Wei En

I’m a countertenor from Singapore, now based in Boston. Apart from my work as a soloist, I’m a founder of my chamber choir, Carduus, and a song series featuring songs and stories outside the European canon. I enjoy the entire creation process from research to logistics to the stage!

Theodore Cheek

A lutenist, violinist, and opinionated video-essayist, I split my time with a resurgent career between performing and teaching, alongside a growing demand for web-based performances and video content. Although I remain based in Philadelphia, I have planned solo and ensemble appearances
ranging from Lewes, DE to Charleston, SC.

Julia Connor

I have co-founded both the Berwick Fiddle Consort, which performs historical folk music on period instruments, and Room to Spare, which composes and performs original music blending jazz, classical, and folk traditions. Recent highlights include a performance with Rumbarroco and La Donna Musicale at the Boston Early Music Festival, a residency at Avaloch Farm, multiple solo recitals, and teaching at the Panama Jazz Festival. When not performing, I like to hike and make pies.

Michael Delfin

I am a historical keyboardist and pianist from central California and am now based in Cincinnati, OH, teaching piano at Cedarville University and performing across the US. I recently graduated from the University of Cincinnati with doctorates in both piano and harpsichord and serve as artistic director of Seven Hills Baroque, which I co-founded. My research interests include Renaissance Italian keyboard, Brahms performance practice, Latin American Baroque, and new music for early and modern keyboards.

Teresa Deskur

I’m a recorder player, horn player, and educator living in Baltimore, Maryland. I’m in my final year of studying Horn Performance and Music Education, and minoring in Historical Performance at Peabody Conservatory. I am also the co-founder of the Fanfare Youth Recorder Club and can’t wait to work with EPLC!

Iván Maria Feliciano Jr.

Praised as “An operatic showman …with an amazing bright sound — the voice of a star in the making.” Iván Maria Feliciano Jr. is a countertenor of Afro-Puerto Rican descent, and an anticipated graduate of the Aaron Copland School of Music. Feliciano recently appeared, directed, and revived the opera, “La Gara Della Quattro Stagione,” by the late composer Giovanni Bononcini. Feliciano has also appeared as a featured artist in a concert entitled “C3: Countertenors, Continuo, and a Consort of Viols,” presented as part of the Gotham Early Music Scene’s Open Gates Project. Feliciano was also the recent countertenor soloist in Leonard Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms with the Queens College Choral Society and a soprano soloist for Handel’s seasonal oratorio Messiah. Feliciano placed as a finalist of the annual Bach competition with Queens College spring 2023.

Patricia García Gil

Patricia studied piano in Spain and the UK, fortepiano in Italy, and is currently pursuing a DMA in Historical Keyboards at UNCG. Winner of international competitions, she collaborates with prestigious early music institutions all over the world. With her repertoire choices and research, she strives for IDEA by enhancing the profiles of underrecognized female composer-pianists and outreaching to audiences who tend to rarely connect with classical music. Patricia was an EMA Emerging Artist in 2022. She also serves on the Board of Directors of HKSNA.

Sophie Genevieve Lowe

Hi! I am a Baroque violinist who trained at the Royal Academy of Music in London, England in period performance. I was born in South Dakota but am now based in Washington, D.C. Currently, I am researching early music being composed and performed in the United States before 1820.

Ashley Mulcahy

I am a recent graduate of the Voxtet Program at the Yale School of Music and reside in the Boston area. I’ve sung with ensembles including Bach Collegium Japan, NYS Baroque, Newberry Consort, Music at Marsh Chapel, and Handel + Haydn Society. I also co-direct Lyracle, a voice and viol ensemble.ranging from Lewes, DE to Charleston, SC.

Curtis Pavey

I am a harpsichordist, pianist, and educator working at the University of Missouri as the Assistant Professor of Piano Pedagogy and Performance. I recently completed a doctoral degree at the University of Cincinnati under the tutelage of Dr. Michael Unger and Professor James Tocco, where I developed An Introduction to Early Music and the Harpsichord, a textbook designed to introduce pianists to the harpsichord.

Christopher Short

Matthew Shorten

I lead dual careers as an early music tenor and composer, and as an emerging curator and historian of East Asian art. I perform internationally as a soloist and choral artist with ensembles including the Bach Society of Minnesota, Cantus, Ensemble Altera, Red Dot Baroque, the VOCES8 Scholars, and Voices of Singapore, among others. I hold a B.Mus. from Vanderbilt University, and I am pursuing my M.A. in the History of Art at Williams College.

Alvaro Javier Ibarra Sosa

I am originally from Mexico and am now based in London, UK. I’m a fervent advocate for culture’s positive impact on society. Currently, I conduct the Goodensemble Orchestra at Goodenough College and serve as a Research Assistant and Junior Fellow (lutenist) at Guildhall School of Music and Drama, where I completed my postgraduate studies. Additionally, I hold a master’s degree in Arts and Culture Project Management from UNIR in Spain.

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