Dr. Christina Placilla*
Executive Director (Current)
Christina “Chrissie” Placilla is dedicated to creating systemic change and accessibility in arts education. In her previous role as Director of Education at New York City's Harmony Program, Chrissie directed the after school educational programming where she grew the program from 300 students to over 3000 students. She created a curriculum for diverse learning opportunities such as group lessons in instrumental and choral classes, composition, ensembles, and private lessons in person and online. She oversaw a team of over 50 teaching and administrative staff. In this role, she curated a 55+ hour teacher training program yearly. In March 2020, Chrissie led the organization to transition quickly from face to face to a completely online program, facilitating virtual performance and learning. She designed the summer camp experience at the Harmony Program to focus on communities and their cultures by creating themes around the African Diaspora, the Asian Diaspora, and the Latinx Diaspora. She managed partnerships with organizations like the New York Philharmonic, the Juilliard School, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Young Concert Artists, and Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. Creating meaningful curriculum-based programming at our school sites, she coordinated musical experiences for students with Rachel Barton Pine and Jessie Montgomery from the Black Music Composers Project, featured nationally on CBS news, and online residencies with a number of Young Concert Artists. Chrissie also served as a member of the Board Finance Committee for El Sistema USA and has worked with other El Sistema programs in a volunteer capacity- Archipelago Project (Traverse City, Michigan), Project Music (Stamford, Connecticut), and Baltimore Symphony’s OrchKids! (Baltimore, Maryland).
At Winston-Salem State University, she earned the rank of Professor, and served as both Chair of the Faculty Senate and Faculty Fellow for the Center of Innovative and Transformative Instruction. She served as the Director of Chamber Orchestra and head of the string area and musicology. She was also the department lead in assessment planning and served on the university level curriculum committee. She also helped co-create and teach a first year experience course in social justice. She has previously served on the faculties of Salem College, as instructor of violin, and the University of North Carolina School of the Arts Summer Sessions as Artist in Residence of Viola and Chamber Music.
As a violist, Chrissie has given recitals throughout the United States, Australia and Spain. As a member of the Argos Quartet, she was invited to perform at Piccolo Spoleto in Charleston, South Carolina. She was the 2007-2008 recipient of the Winston-Salem Forsyth Council Regional Artist Grant sponsored in part by the National Endowment of the Arts. Two time prize winner of the National David Dalton Research Competition sponsored by the American Viola Society, she has numerous peer reviewed journal publications. Her musicology and performance research centers around promoting the works of BIPOC and women composers; whereas her pedagogy research focuses on creating methods of success for students through using kinesthetic forms of learning to teach intonation and repertoire selection based on individual student level.