Meet our Board of Directors

Dr. Artie Almeida has 37 years of public-school teaching experience and was the music instructor at Bear Lake Elementary in Orlando FL, where she taught 1200 K-5 students.
Her dynamic performing groups have performed for Florida Music Educators Association, American Orff-Schulwerk Association, Music Educators National
Conference, Walt Disney World, American Express International, many educational organizations and on the NBC Today Show. Artie has recently retired from the public
school system. For the last 35 years she has traveled to provide elementary music symposia to teachers around the globe. Each year she presents workshops for many
state music education conferences, Orff chapters, school districts and other education organizations.

Artie’s accolades include Florida Music Educator of the Year, Runner-Up for Florida Teacher of the Year, Seminole County Teacher of the Year, International Educator 2006
(Cambridge UK Biographical Society), school-level Teacher of the Year six times, and University of Central Florida Alumni of the Decade. Artie is included in the publications Who’s Who in American Education and Great Minds of the 21 st  Century.

Artie’s 30 music education publications celebrate innovative delivery systems for K-5 music instruction. Her themes in teaching are “Heavy Academics: Delivered Joyfully!”
and “Where There’s Passion, There’s Retention!” Artie was an adjunct professor of music education at the University of Central Florida for 34 years, the saxophone instructor at Valencia State College, the music and movement instructor at Seminole State College and a saxophone performer and teacher. Additionally, she performs early music with Ars Antiqua and the Halifax Consort.

John Almeida
, a native of Newport, R.I., holds the Bachelor of Music in Performance from the University of Alabama and the Master of Musical Arts from Appalachian State University. Mr. Almeida was a member of the Applied brass faculty at the University of Central Florida from 1993 – 2017. His duties included teaching applied trumpet and high brass methods. He also coached the UCF Trumpet Ensemble, and the Colbourn Brass Quintet. In 2011, the UCF Trumpet Ensemble, under Mr. Almeida’s direction, appeared at the 2011 Schagerl International Brass Festival in Melk, Austria. They were the only American brass ensemble invited to perform at this prestigious festival.

He remains active as an adjudicator for the Florida Bandmasters Association. Mr. Almeida has been a guest artist/clinician in Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Rhode Island, Maine, Massachusetts, Virginia, Wyoming, Colorado, South Dakota, New York City, and Florida. John Almeida is a Yamaha Performing Artist, and he performs frequently as a soloist and is in demand as a trumpet clinician. Mr. Almeida’s principal teachers include William Adam, Indiana University, Thomas Wholwender, 2nd. Trumpet, The Cleveland Orchestra, and Joe F. Phelps, Appalachian State University.

Judy Berger
has over twenty years of experience serving on non-for-profit boards, primarily focusing on fundraising and development. Those boards including Rose Island (Newport, RI) and the New School of Music (Cambridge, MA.) Now retired, she spends most of the year living in Porto, Portugal with her husband Bob Peckham and their two dogs. Newport beckons in summer of family time and all of the beauty and music to be found in the city-by-the-sea. Judy is thrilled to be a member of the of the Historic Music of Newport Board of Directors.

Jim Blumel 
is a senior level executive with over 20 years of diverse general management, business development, and sales/marketing experience. He has been successful at executing business growth strategies, forging strategic partnerships, expanding national and international markets, leading high performance management teams, and building value across multiple industries including technology, service, and banking. Jim is currently the General Partner of Broadway Partners LLC, and owner of Tavern on Broadway, in Newport, RI.

Dr. Christopher Brellochs
 is an internationally recognized lecturer, performer, music historian, and educator, who currently serves as the Dean of the School of Music at the State University of New York at Schenectady and Adjunct Artist in Music at Vassar College. His scholarship is dedicated to unearthing forgotten gems of the late 19th and early 20th-century American repertoire, and, whenever possible, recreating them in the salons and concert halls for which they were originally conceived. He appeared in season one of HBO’s “The Gilded Age,” as composer/conductor John Knowles Paine and worked with the production company to ensure the historic accuracy of the scene.

Anthony De Luca 
was the Newport location orchestra Manager and one of the musicians for Season One of HBO’s Emmy-Award winning series The Gilded Age. He was responsible for hiring the on-screen musicians, ensuring the historical accuracy of the instruments, and performing the music in a historically informed manner.

Between 1993 and 2002 Anthony worked professionally as an engineer with two multinational corporations, the first based in France, the second in Japan. From 2002 until 2019, he was an Academics & Research Specialist with Care New England, and since 2019 has led the multi-disciplinary Research Computing team at Lifespan, Rhode Island, largest employer. 

Anthony was a member of the Warwick Symphony Orchestra from 1900 until 2008, serving four terms on the Board of Directors. In 2002 He was a founding member of the Ocean State Pops Orchestra in 1993, playing clarinet until its dissolution in 1998. In 2002 Anthony, along with several members of the that orchestra, established the New England Festival Orchestra, which was later re-named the Ocean State Pops Orchestra. He served eight years as the President of the orchestra’s Board of Directors. Anthony is a graduate of the University of Rhode Island. As an undergraduate he studied Mechanical and Ocean Engineering, and as a graduate student he studied Manufacturing Engineering. He also pursued graduate studies in Ocean Engineering at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute. Anthony is a native of Rhode Island, where he currently resides with his wife Anita, a professional musician. 


Dr. Robert Franzblau has lived and worked at the intersection of musical performance and music education for over forty years. Recently retired from teaching and conducting music at the college level, this fall he begins his thirteenth year as conductor and artistic director of the Rhode Island Wind Ensemble. Franzblau earned the Bachelor of Music in music education from the University of Iowa, Master of Music in conducting and music education from Northwestern University, and Ph.D. in music education from the University of Nebraska‐Lincoln. In 2021, he earned RYT® 200-hour instructor certification in Integrative Yoga Therapy at One Yoga Center in Foster, RI.

His 2013 book, So You Want to Be a Music Major: A Guide for High School Students, Their Parents, Guidance Counselors, and Music Teachers, published by Meredith Music Publications, received very positive reviews in The Instrumentalist and the Journal of the National Band Association. He has presented clinics at numerous conferences including the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic and state music education associations in Texas, New York, Wisconsin, Ohio, and Massachusetts, among others. Other publications include “Why Music Isn’t Basic” in the WASBE Journal, “A Conducting Analysis of Eric Whitacre’s October” in The Instrumentalist, “Serve it Fresh!” in The Music Director’s Cookbook, and an analysis of Steven Bryant’s Anthem in Volume 9 of Teaching Music Through Performance in Band.

He serves as reviewer for the Music Educators Journal, as editor of the Rhode Island Music Educators’ Review, and as a guest conductor, clinician, and adjudicator for bands throughout the country.

Dr. Mark A. Stickney
(founder) was appointed the Artistic Director of the Seacoast Wind Ensemble in 2016. Throughout his 20-year college teaching career, he held conducting, brass teaching, and music education positions at the Community College of Rhode Island, Oklahoma Panhandle State University, Plymouth State University, Salve Regina University, and Southern Utah University. An active clinic and guest conductor, Dr. Stickney has traveled throughout the country working with bands and orchestras of all levels. 

Dr. Stickney lives in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, and is the founder of Historic Music of Newport, a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving the rich musical heritage of Newport. He also works part-time for the Preservation Society of Newport County and serves on the board of Newport Live Presents. He received his BA in Music and Religion from Gettysburg College, his MA in Tuba Performance from Montclair State University (N.J.), and his DMA in Wind Conducting from Rutgers University (N.J).

Historic Music of Newport is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. Help support our mission to preserve Newport’s rich musical heritage.

P.O. Box 539
Newport, RI 02840