Carla Canales

Founder, Director

Carla Canales is an internationally renowned mezzo-soprano who has also received high-level recognition as both a cultural entrepreneur and a social advocate. As comfortable on the stages of the world’s great opera houses as she is advocating with senior government officials or working with young people in disadvantaged communities, she has distinguished herself both as a thought-leader and as an innovative artist.

Ms. Canales has been praised by Opera Magazine for possessing a voice that “grabs the heartstrings with its dramatic force and musicality.” In 2014, she became the first singer ever to win the prestigious Sphinx Medal of Excellence, an honor bestowed upon her by Justice Sonia Sotomayor in a ceremony and concert at the Supreme Court of the United States. In 2015, she also became the first opera singer to be named by Foreign Policy Magazine to its prestigious annual listing of the year’s100 Leading Global Thinkers for her work using music to bridge cultural barriers. In 2016 she received a medal of recognition from NAMM (the National Association of Music Merchants) for her work as a Turnaround Artist for the President of the United States’ Committee for the Arts and Humanities. Once again, she was the first opera singer to be named in 2015 to this group--which focuses on creating arts education programs for under-privileged communities. In 2017 she became the first opera singer to receive the Michigan Alliance for the Arts Lifetime Achievement Award as well as the prestigious University of Michigan Bicentennial Alumni Award. Ms. Canales is also the first singer to be selected for the Hermitage Artist Residency, a two-year program through which artist develop creative ideas and projects. Most recently, Ms. Canales was named one of Musical America’s 30 Movers and Shapers of 2018.

For more information, please visit

Joshua Cerdenia Pangilinan

Artistic Coordinator

Joshua, known professionally as Joshua Cerdenia, is an internationally performed composer of orchestral, chamber, and vocal music currently based in New York City. His work covers a wide range of styles and expressive terrain, from "graceful melancholy" (Star Tribune), to works that unfold "like the nascent radiance of a rising sun" (The Straits Times), as well as music that "pretty much explodes at the end" (The New York Times). An alumnus of The Juilliard School, he has worked with a growing number of ensembles of repute, such as the Minnesota Orchestra, the Singapore Symphony Orchestra, and the Juilliard Orchestra, among others. When not composing, he helps run The Canales Project. 

For more information, please visit

Molly Joyce.jpg


Communications Director

Active as a composer and performer, Molly Joyce’s music has been described as “impassioned” (The Washington Post), written to “superb effect” (The Wire), and “vibrant, inventive music that communicates straight from the heart” (Prufrock’s Dilemma). Her works have been commissioned and performed by several distinguished ensembles including the New World Symphony, New York Youth Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, and the New Juilliard, Decoda, and Contemporaneous ensembles. Additionally, her work has been performed at the Bang on a Can Marathon and VisionIntoArt’s FERUS Festival, and featured in outlets such as Pitchfork, WNYC’s New Sounds, Q2 Music, I Care If You Listen, and The Log Journal.

As a performer, Molly often plays on her vintage Magnus toy organ, an instrument she bought on eBay and has performed on in multiple capacities; including solo, with toy piano, and with a beatboxer. She is additionally active as a DJ, spinning under the moniker “DJ MJ.”

For more information, please visit