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Songbook Team including Chelsea Renowsky, Jo Garcia, Emily Rapoza, Michael Feinstein, Renée La Schiazza, Chris Lewis and Anna LoPrete


The Great American Songbook Foundation has a staff of seven full-time members solely dedicated to the Foundation’s development and programs. Officially a sister-organization to Carmel’s Center for the Performing Arts, the Foundation is proud and humbled to share efforts and human resources relating to philanthropy, marketing, finance and facilities.



Chris Lewis (he/him)
Executive Director


Emily Rapoza (she/her)
Director of Library & Archives


Anna LoPrete (she/her)
Music Librarian


Elisabeth Hedges (she/her)
Processing Archivist

Renée La Schiazza (she/her)
Director of Programs


Jo Garcia (she/her)
Assistant Director of Individual Development


Chelsea Reynowsky (she/they)
Program Coordinator


Staff Background


Chris Lewis (he/him) is Executive Director of the Great American Songbook Foundation, a role he assumed in January 2017 after five years as Director of Programs. He oversees all the organization’s activities, including management of the Songbook Archives & Library, the Songbook Exhibit Gallery, the Songbook Hall of Fame and all educational and outreach programming. 


During his tenure, Lewis has spearheaded the national expansion of the Foundation’s most prominent education program, the annual Songbook Academy® summer intensive, as well as the development of Perfect Harmony, a research-based program of therapeutic musical activities designed for people living with Alzheimer’s, dementia and other neurodegenerative diseases.  Lewis also cultivated the Foundation’s relationship with the Los Angeles-based Grammy Museum®, which now recognizes the Foundation as one of its five Cultural Affiliates around the world.


An accomplished musician with professional vocal experience, Lewis holds a master's degree in education from Mercy College and has worked as a history teacher and special education liaison for the New York City Department of Education. He earned a graduate certificate in nonprofit executive leadership through the IUPUI School of Philanthropy and is a graduate of the Hamilton County Leadership Academy.  Lewis is a member of the Indianapolis Consortium of Arts Administrators, the National Association of Music Educators, the National Association of Teachers of Singing, the Jazz Education Network and the Recording Academy.

Renée La Schiazza (she/her) joined the Great American Songbook Foundation staff in February 2018 after participating as a student in the 2012 Songbook Academy and interning for the organization in 2013.  Renée holds a B.F.A. in Music Theatre and a B.A. in Arts Administration from Elon University and she is an accomplished performing artist with experience at regional theaters and performance venues across the country. Prior to joining the Songbook Foundation staff, Renée worked at Flat Rock Playhouse, the State Theatre of North Carolina, in Marketing and Development. 
Since joining the Foundation, Renée has led the growth and development of the organization's two premier programs, the Songbook Academy and Perfect Harmony, conceived new virtual programs including the popular the In the Archives web series, managed the creation of new online and in-person exhibits, and facilitated several conferences and workshops that have hosted international audiences. 


Emily Rapoza (she/her) has served most recently as Senior Lincoln Librarian with the Lincoln Financial Foundation Collection in Fort Wayne, Indiana, one of the world’s most comprehensive collections of artifacts related to former president Abraham Lincoln. She holds a master’s degree in Library and Information Sciences from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, as well as a master’s in Digital History and a bachelor’s degree in History from Ball State University.


Jo Garcia (she/her) joined the Great American Songbook Foundation in 2021 as the organization's Individual Giving Officer and has since been promoted to the Assistant Director of Individual Development. A Bradley University graduate, Garcia served most recently as community outreach manager for the Indianapolis Indians, leading fundraising efforts for the new Indianapolis Indians Charities and also chairing the organization’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee. She previously worked several years overseeing multi-million-dollar fundraising campaigns for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society in Indianapolis. She was named 2021 Community Ambassador of the Year at the United Way of Central Indiana’s ELEVATE Awards, and she serves on the board of the Carmel-based Children’s TherAplay Foundation.


Anna LoPrete (she/her) joined the Great American Songbook Foundation in 2021 as the organization’s Music Librarian. She has served most recently as a cataloger at Indiana University’s Cook Music Library. Anna is an active participant in the field of music librarianship and presents regionally and nationally. Anna holds a Master of Library Science with music librarianship specialization from Indiana University, a Master of Music in music history and literature from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, and a Bachelor of Music in piano performance from the University of Utah.


Chelsea Reynowsky (she/they) joined the Great American Songbook Foundation in 2020 as the organization's Program Coordinator. After earning her M.M. in Voice Performance (2015) from the Chicago College of Performing Arts, Chelsea relocated to Indianapolis and shifted her focus to nonprofit organizations. Prior to her work with The Great American Songbook Foundation, she served in Butler's Music First! program―a study on how personalized music affects sundowning symptoms for older adults living with Alzheimer's. Ms. Reynowsky has created a presence in the Indianapolis music community―lending her talents to sacred music, benefit concerts, and recording sessions with Aire Born Studios.


Elisabeth Hedges (she/her) joined the Great American Songbook Foundation in 2022 as the processing archivist. For her first year here, her primary focus is processing the Meredith Willson papers. Elisabeth holds a Master of Library Science with a focus on Archives Management from Indiana University-Bloomington. She also has a bachelor’s degree in International Studies and History from Bradley University. Since earning her MLS, she has worked in both the library/archives and education worlds, working at the Indiana State Library and also as a high school history teacher and elementary school media specialist.