The National Association of Medical Orchestras (NAMO) was founded when a medical student and a conductor put their heads together about how to improve communication and share information among medical orchestras nationwide. After collaborating with a violinist and medical orchestra advocate, the founding team developed the organization you see today.
Matthew J. Brooks is Assistant Professor and Director of Orchestral Activities in Music & Medicine at University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) where he serves on the School of Music faculty, but also the UNO Medical Humanities and the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) College of Medicine faculties. As part of a collaboration between UNMC and the UNO School of Music, Dr. Brooks was critical in creating the Nebraska Medical Orchestra, for which he is the founding music director and conductor. Dr. Brooks maintains an active schedule as a guest conductor, clinician, and adjudicator having worked with musicians both here and abroad. Recently, he guest conducted an Omaha Symphony Music Mentors program in addition to numerous student honor orchestras. He has presented at state, national, and international conferences on topics ranging from conducting pedagogy to medical humanities, and is currently engaged in research related to music and wellness in addition to participating in UNMC medical student research activities.
Theresa Erichsen is a Registered Nurse and French hornist who began playing music at the age of 5 in Indiana. Growing up with a strong family background in music and science, Theresa fell in love with both at a young age. She combined her passion for music and science during her Nursing studies at Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame while playing in the University of Notre Dame marching band, pep band and brass ensembles. Continuing to perform in music became a natural progression after college and beyond as Theresa performed in Chicago while pursuing advanced nursing certifications in childbirth education at University of Chicago and later in lactation education. She is a Co-Founder and the Executive Director of the VCU Health Orchestra which began in 2017. This ensemble has been featured on the Today Show, NPR, Richmond Magazine and local media outlets. Theresa performed in the Richmond Pops Band and Richmond Philharmonic Orchestras for many years prior to beginning the VCU Health Orchestra. Within the field of nursing Theresa has specialized in maternal and public health working in hospitals, health departments and nonprofits.
Matt Lordo is an MD/PhD student in the Ohio State University Medical Scientist Training Program. He holds a bachelor's degree in Biomedical Science from the Ohio State University. He has served as an executive board member of the Ohio State University Professional School Orchestra since 2017. Since 2012, he has also been a member of the Dublin Silver Band, a British-Style Brass band based out of Dublin, Ohio. The band competes in national and international events each year, most frequently in the US Open Brass Band Championship, where it has won the award for "Most Entertaining Band" on a record seven occasions. In 2015, DSB placed 1st overall at the US Open, which earned the band the opportunity to compete with the top band sin the world at the November 2016 Brass In Concert Championship in Gateshead, England (one of the most prestigious by-invitation-only events in the brass band world). More recently, the band was the winner of the 2017 Dublin Festival of Brass Shield, the 2017 & 2018 Ohio Brass Arts Festival Cup, and the 2019 North American Brass Band Championships (First Section). Matt is a member of the Ohio State University Professional School Orchestra and is also a member of the National Virtual Medical Orchestra.
Nicoletta Moss is a Greek-American conductor known for her passionate energy and enthusiasm, commitment to inclusivity, and support of lifelong musicianship. Nicoletta is the newly-appointed music director and conductor of the Mandoleers, a mandolin-guitar orchestra based in Arlington, Virginia. Nicoletta also conducts the adult orchestras at Levine Music at Strathmore and leads a youth string ensemble in the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra's El Sistema-inspired Sympatico program. During the 2021-2022 season, she was an assistant conductor for the Greensboro Symphony, awarded an honorable mention in The American Prize's national arts competition, and made her European debut with the Athens Philharmonia. Nicoletta received her Master of Music degree in instrumental conducting from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and Bachelor of Music in music education and minor in music in human services from James Madison University. Nicoletta fervently believes that ensemble experiences are essential to developing musicianship, along with empathy and trust, and strives to be a champion for arts in her community. Throughout the years, Nicoletta has been instrumental in curating musical experiences in hospitals, retirement communities, and other health-related spaces. These moments inspired her to research medical orchestras across the United States where she met her NAMO colleagues!
Additional Founding Members
Gabriella Rizzo is a medical student in the MD/MBA program and Arts and Humanities Enhanced Medical Education Track at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, where her focus is on how relationships among various healthcare industries affect healthcare structure, payment, and delivery. She has experience as a healthcare consultant for several national and local organizations and is a former Student Co-Chair of the student-run, free SHARING clinics at UNMC. Prior to attending medical school she worked as a writer and editor at Becker's Healthcare in Chicago and a fellowship coordinator at Rush University Medical Center for the departments of Vascular and Cardiothoracic Surgery, also in Chicago. She holds a bachelor's degree in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Princeton University in Princeton, NJ. In her free time she enjoys playing violin (and sometimes viola), cooking, gardening, and reading. She is a member of the National Virtual Medical Orchestra and the Nebraska Medical Orchestra.
An artist, educator, and community leader, Dr. Mary Perkinson began her violin studies at the age of 5 in the Philadelphia public schools and has been a visiting artist/presenter in Europe, Asia, South America, and 35 U.S. states. Recent artistic collaborations and projects include recitals of the six J.S. Bach sonatas for baroque violin and a national tour of Timeless Music, Timeless Disease; Classical Composers and Consumption, a collaborative recital with microbiologist Dr. Yolande Chan. In 2009 she founded Sound Health; Bringing Music to Medicine, a program that contributes to the environment of care through live music and has served as a mentor for the Nebraska Medical Orchestra since its inception in 2018. Dr. Perkinson holds degrees and certificates from Boston University, The Boston Conservatory, and University of Wisconsin-Madison. She has held PreK-12 and collegiate positions and is currently Associate Professor of Violin and String Education at University of Nebraska-Omaha.