Alyssa grew up in Cedar Grove, NJ, and began piano lessons at a very young age. She began singing at around age 8 when her dad took her to his choir rehearsals, where she sat in the alto section and occasionally sang along! She eventually ended up a music major at the University of Rochester, where Alyssa directed an a capella group there called Vocal Point, and also sang in the Eastman Rochester Chorus. Other ensembles and recordings include Simplicity (singing arrangements of shaker songs), NJ All-State choir, the Sound of America national choir, and the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart choir.
Alyssa moved to Philadelphia in 2000 to pursue a Master’s degree in music therapy at MCP Hahnemann University (now part of Drexel). She is currently a board-certified music therapist, and believes in the healing power of music and creativity. She lives in East Falls with her husband Ryan, and enjoys traveling, softball and other stuff.
Amanda Albright grew up in the Poconos. She began singing in parochial school, eventually joining the church folk group and playing guitar for children’s masses. In high school, Amanda sang in the choir.
Amanda lives in Rosemont, PA and works at Immaculata University as an Instructional Designer. She enjoys kayaking, softball, backpacking, and hiking (preferably in the Rocky Mountains at 8 – 10, 000 feet). Prior to joining SheWho, she was a member of the Anna Crusis Women’s Choir for three years.
Anne Cummings’five years in Philadelphia marked the longest continuous period she’s lived in one place, and she has begun to call Pennsylvania one of her homes. She was born in Berkeley, CA (yes, this explains a lot), and has been privileged to live in glorious places like Madison, WI and Vancouver, BC as well as northern California, NYC, Indiana, Brussels, Belgium, and rural Illinois. She loves to travel (Colorado, Arizona, Greece, and Nepal are her favorites), fly, read, and do just about anything in or on the water. Her latest love is kayaking.
Anne has been playing piano since she was 8, but singing is a relatively new adventure for her. She took it up in order to join Amasong, “Champaign-Urbana’s premiere lesbian-feminist chorus” – an effort to stay sane and be among women while completing a PhD in the School of Commerce at the University of Illinois. She spent 8 years at one point working for Planned Parenthood on Wisconsin. After 5 years of teaching Organizational Behavior at the University of Pennsylvania (Wharton), Anne recently left the Philadelphia area to work and live in the mid-west.
Gili Ronen was born in Jerusalem, Israel and moved to America when she was 4 years old, just in time to completely lose all the Hebrew she had learned up until that point. The next pivotal time in her life was when she transferred to a new school (Pierce Elementary in Brookline, MA) in the 6th grade. There, Ms. Coverdale had her share the role of Snow White with Claudia Lopes. Ms. Coverdale explained that while Gili’s strength was in her singing, Claudia could actually act.
From there, Gili sang a lot in high school (danced some and tried desperately to act, too): show tunes, Gilbert and Sullivan, and lots of classical choral music. At that time, believe it or not, she was and Alto (gasp!!) and her voice teacher kept insisting that she was a soprano. Not to listen to someone with more experience than she, it wasn’t until her voice teacher at Oberlin College joined the campaign. Gili begrudgingly obliged and sang soprano in the Oberlin College Choir as well as her co-ed acapella group, In A Chord.
Since college, Gili has sung with Singing City Choir, Anna Crusis Women’s Choir, Porta Farm Women’s choir in Zimbabwe, and at all of her friends weddings. She’d sing at your wedding too if you paid her. In addition to singing, which happens to be one of her favorite things to do in the world, she is a training consultant seeking full time employment in the non-profit world, co- captains ultimate Frisbee teams, volunteers for Women Organized Against Rape, serves on the Five County Democratic Women’s Coalition, and was elected in 2002 as a Democratic State Committee person. In her spare time she talks to her nephew and his mother on the phone in Ithaca and her friends in Philly, DC, NYC, etc., plays Scrabble with her sweetheart Derek, and spoils their pooch Nyala.
professor, a student and a social justice activist, I passionately believe in the transformative power of community. I have been a part of the SheWho community since the summer of 2010 when I joined as an Alto 2. I have been doing music all my life – mom was the church organist & choir director, I was a band nerd in high school and then I started doing musical theater. SheWHo has given me an opportunity to join the music nerd and activist sides of my life. For that, I am deeply grateful.