About The Diversity Alliance Panel
Dr. Olivia Kieffer –
Olivia Kieffer is Visiting Professor of Music Theory at Grand Valley State University. She is the newest member of smol ensemble, a quintet of percussionists and pianists. Olivia is perhaps best known for her toy piano books which contain 127 miniatures; “The Texture of Activity,” and “Playing the Changes,” and for her post-minimalist concert band piece “…and then the Universe exploded.” Since 2012, her compositions have been performed both nationally and internationally. Olivia is on the board for the SoundNOW Festival, and the advisory board for fivebyfive. She is point of contact for the PAS Diversity Professional Opportunities subcommittee, and serves on the PAS Composition Committee.
Kalani Das –
Kalani Das is a professional percussionist, having worked with music legends the likes of legends Barry Manilow, Yanni, Kenny Loggins, and Rod Stuart. He is an Orff- Schulwerk certified music educator and board-certified music therapist with numerous popular publications, including books, audio and video. He is the founder of the World Drum Club YouTube channel, the most watched channel of its kind and shares his passion for music making, percussion, ukulele, and native American-style flute with students all over the world.
Scott Farkas –
Scott Farkas is a creative artist, educator, and musician who has lived and worked with ADHD for his whole life. For the last 10 years, he served as a professor of music and the chairperson for visual and performing arts at the College of Southern Idaho, a rural community college. Scott is currently based in Tacoma, WA and pursuing a DMA in percussion at the University of Washington in Seattle. He is committed to community centered music making and the idea that everyone can and should make music for their whole lives. He is dedicated to building inclusive performances, educational experiences, and artistic communities that consider and break down barriers to participation for everyone. As a composer, Scott’s music has been performed throughout the USA.
Reynaliz Herrera –
Boston based, and originally from Mexico, Reynaliz Herrera is a musician, percussionist, composer, educator, and producer. Reynaliz has performed internationally and her compositions have been performed by universities, Public Poetry Houston, FORT percussion ensemble, and the JU Percussion Group. Since 2012, Reynaliz has been director, composer and lead performer of her theatrical percussion company for unconventional instruments IDEAS, NOT THEORIES, where she offers several programs featuring her original music for bicycles and more, and which she has presented in the U.S, Canada and Mexico, and the Caribbean. Funded by The Boston Foundation and Somerville Arts Council, in 2021 she premiered her new composition “BIKEncerto: a concerto for solo bicycle and orchestra” (featuring herself and her own “Ideas, Not Theories Orchestra”).
Sean Hayden Neely –
Sean is passionate about disability and LGBTQ rights, and is dedicating his career to help those with developmental disabilities. He works with the Chariton Valley Association and Best Buddies in Missouri. Sean is the drum major of the Statesman Marching band at Truman State University, where he is pursuing degrees in music and disability studies. Sean serves on the Accessibility subcommittee of the PAS Diversity Alliance, and is a proud member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia.