Bios

Teaching Artists
 

Joaquin Contreras is a multi-instrumentalist and documentary songwriter. He focuses on writing documentary songs with families and communities in order to help them preserve their histories and cultures. He attends Bennington College, where he works with a student-led organization called Ganas, focusing on providing support to Latinx migrant workers in the greater southern Vermont area. His email address is jcontreras@docsong.org


Hazel Delehey is a documentary songwriter and studio vocalist. She pioneered the first documentary song for a documentary film for the High Mountain Institute in Colorado. She is also the first to offer her voice to represent women in the #Me Too Songs project. Additionally, Hazel is interested in writing songs with people who look to nature to guide them through struggle. Her email address is hdelehey@docsong.org


Nora Willauer is an award-winning studio and concert cellist and documentary songwriter. With Alex Wilder and Will Foote, she pioneered documentary songwriting sessions in Spain. She is an alumna of University of Oregon and Bay Chamber Concerts and Music School. Her thesis on cello arranging for documentary songwriting has earned a place in the University of Oregon’s permanent collection. She currently studies at the Cleveland Institute of Music and leads the #MeToo Songs project. Her email address is nwillauer@docsong.org


Melodi Var Öngel s the recipient of the Davis for Peace Project grant, which funds her documentary songwriting project on Cyprus. She lives in Adana, Turkey, and travels to work with people who live in conflict zones and who have limited interaction. She holds a B.A. from Bennington College and is a graduate student at the London School of Economics. She would like to write songs with people who live in conflict zones. Her goal is to use music as a way to increase communication and to construct alternative futures. Her email address is mvarongel@docsong.org


Chloë Isis is a songwriter and vocalist. In 2018, she composed and recorded with the Bay Chamber-Carnegie Hall Lullaby Project. Chloë conducted the first-ever live documentary songwriting session on radio. She is earning her undergraduate degree at Warren-Wilson College. Chloe is interested in writing documentary songs with people who are deaf, children, and people who are processing grief. Her email address is cisis@docsong.org


Caroline Rex-Waller pioneered the first-ever documentary songwriting workshop in a high school. Under her leadership, 37 students generated 37 lyrical and melodic sketches in 4 days. She directs the curriculum design project for Documentary Songwriters and teaches at Open School East in Portland, Oregon. She graduated from Smith College and is currently enrolled in a long-distance Master’s program at Middlebury. Her email address iscrexwaller@docsong.org


Zach Arfa is a documentary songwriter and dancer. Through his work at Hilltown Youth Performing Arts Programs, he has pioneered documentary songwriting in summer musicals and in camps addressing addiction and mental or health challenges. He attends Oberlin College where he is majoring in psychology and dance. Zach believes that it may be healing for individuals to be listened to openly, without judgment, as in documentary songwriting. He is interested in exploring the connection of that relationship and a therapeutic one. His email address is zarfa@docsong.org


Malcolm Brooks, PhD, is a composer and documentary songwriter. His work is heard on PBS, NOVA and the History Channel. He has written music for films that have won honors, including two Emmy nominations and a Peabody award. He serves on the faculty at Bay Chamber Concerts and Music School and holds degrees from Columbia, Berkeley, and Prescott. Malcolm is interested in writing documentary songs with people who have lost loved ones, people in recovery from addiction, and students of all ages. His email address is mbrooks@docsong.org


Alex Wilder is a producer and songwriter. He has arranged and produced recordings for Mostly Brothers, the Push Farther Project, Chloë Isis, and Hazel Delehey. He has led sessions in documentary songwriting, both in English and Spanish, in the U.S., Cuba, and Spain. He is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Oberlin College. Alex is interested in writing documentary songs with populations affected by violence and harassment. He’d like to help people express their difficulties and share their coping mechanisms with those in similar situations. You can read more about Alex at alexwilder.com. His email address is awilder@docsong.org


Will Foote is a vocalist and songwriter. He organized the first ever concert of documentary songs at a university folk festival. In the role of a participant, he has composed melodic themes live on radio. He has traveled to remote regions in upstate New York to document in music the emotions and experiences of contemporary farmers. He is a graduate of Brewster Academy and of St. Lawrence University. Will wants to write documentary songs with people who have learning differences, as well as people who feel alienated in their communities. His email address is wfoote@docsong.org


Tori Arau heads up the podcast project for Documentary Songwriters. Tori attends Gordon College in Massachusetts and has conducted research in the analytical chemistry of perovskite nanoparticles at the University of Alabama. She is the recipient of a 2018 research position in analytical chemistry at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Tori is interested in writing documentary songs with women who have struggled with chronic health disorders. Her email address is tarau@docsong.org


Mimi Bornstein is a documentary songwriter, singer, pianist, and choral director. She serves as Director of Music Ministries at Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington, Virginia. She is the founder of the 100+ singer Midcoast Community Chorus, which raises money through yearly concerts and then donates the proceeds to causes in Maine. This year, Mimi has partnered with Charles Brown to form the Voices United Community Chorus, a multi-racial interfaith chorus in Arlington. Her email address is mbornstein@docsong.org


Chris Finn is a documentary songwriter and guitarist who has sung and played in churches since childhood, spending 13 years leading a Los Angeles based contemporary music church band. Chris currently plays guitar in an 18-piece jazz orchestra and assorted combos as well as serving as a supporting church musician in Maine. His email address is cfinn@docsong.org

Board of Directors
 

Anastasia Fisher serves on the Board of Directors and as Secretary for Documentary Songwriters. She is the founder and Chief Experience Officer of Total Experience Solutions. Anastasia pioneered and designed the first-ever website for a major U.S. bank. She is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of Bowdoin College, with a major in History.
 

Monica Kelly serves on the Board of Directors as Treasurer for Documentary Songwriters. She is Executive Director of Bay Chamber Concerts and Music School. She is also the founder of the Odeon Orchestra, the first youth orchestra for young instrumentalists in the midcoast of Maine. She is graduate of Bowdoin College, with a major in Visual Arts and Art History.