Board of Directors

Elisabeth Carlton Dowdy, Director of Operations and Development

Bachelor of Music, Virginia Commonwealth University

In her professional life, Elisabeth is the “Accounting Sheriff” at Advisage RVA. Artistically, Elisabeth has worked in local opera performances, regional theatres, and various concerts around Richmond. She also donates her talents to several local Asian American organizations, especially within the Filipino community. Elisabeth spends her spare time with her husband and their two beautiful children.

Michael Gray, Vocal Director

Bachelor of Music, Longwood University
Master of Music, University of South Carolina
Doctor of Musical Arts Candidate, University of South Carolina

In his professional life, Michael is an active performer for various opera companies and orchestras across the country and was formerly a Teaching Assistant of voice and opera at the University of South Carolina. Artistically, Michael has worked with Opera Omaha, Opera Southwest, Charlottesville Opera, Palmetto Opera, Florence Symphony Orchestra and others as a soloist or main stage performer. Michael spends his spare time outdoors and traveling.

Tess Ottinger, Director of Outreach

Bachelor of Music in Music Education, Virginia Commonwealth University
Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance, Virginia Commonwealth University
Master of Music (in pursuit), Peabody Conservatory

In her professional life, Tess manages her private music studio, Vissi D’arte Studios. Artistically, Tess has worked with Virginia Commonwealth University Opera, Peabody Conservatory Opera, the Richmond Symphony, and the Williamsburg Choral Guild. Tess spends her spare time reading, cooking, and outdoors.

Andrew Snead, Orchestral Director

Bachelor of Music Education, Longwood University
Master of Music Education, Virginia Commonwealth University

In his professional life, Andrew is the Director of Middle School Bands and Orchestras for Powhatan County, which have been recognized as one of the best communities for music by the NAMM Foundation, due in part to the schools Blue Ribbon status with the VMEA. Artistically, Andrew has worked with Shenandoah Conservatory, Brigham Young University, Virginia Tech, and The Ohio State University. Andrew spends his spare time with his church Wesley Chapel United Methodist Church in South Chesterfield, where he is acting Music Director.

Crystal Gray, Brand Designer

Bachelor of Arts in English, Virginia Commonwealth University

Crystal attended Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA, concentrating her studies in English, Psychology, and Creative Advertising. She currently works a learning designer for a financial instituion in the Richmond area, and also freelances as a website and graphic designer. When Crystal is not at work, you can find her spending time with her dog, traveling all over the world, and taking photographs around the city.