Bellingham Girls Rock Camp is governed by a Board of Directors and (small but mighty) Staff
Morgan Lanza - Co-Executive Director, Founding Organizer
Mickey Wells - Co-Executive Director, Longtime Camp Volunteer
Morgan Paris Lanza (She/They) is one of the founding organizers of BGRC, former Executive Director, and current Co-Director. Morgan volunteered at the first ever Bellingham Girls Rock Camp in 2012 and started organizing the camp in 2013. From the beginning, she has worked with the community to develop and build the organization. Morgan graduated from Fairhaven College with an Interdisciplinary BA in Music & Society: The Social Context of the Performing Arts & Entrepreneurship. Their work within the Rock Camp movement shaped their studies and continues to shape Morgan’s life and reflect their passions. Morgan is a vocalist and songwriter, as well as a guest lecturer on topics related to identity and power, music history, media representation, and intersectionality. Morgan teaches voice lessons in Bellingham and Seattle, writes and composes original music, and performs regularly.
Mickey Wells (She/Her) is a Co-Executive Director at Bellingham Girls Rock Camp. She began volunteering for Rock Camp in 2015 while a student at Fairhaven College; Mickey graduated with an Interdisciplinary Concentration titled “Identity Development through Music & Audio Technology”, as well as a minor in Audio Technology, Music, & Society, and a minor in Psychology. Starting camp as an instrument instructor, and growing to become a co-director has been such an inspiring experience for Mickey; being a part of camp culture continues to move and change her every day. Mickey is a bassist in a psychedelic band called I Love You Alive, Girl, bassist in indie rock band The Lettered Streets, and has an acoustic pop-punk solo project. She has a huge passion for helping people, especially youth, to discover new parts of their identities and to learn about themselves and their strengths - Mickey believes that music is an important tool to help this process, and the international Rock Camp movement is a reflection of that.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Melanie Sehman - President
Katie Gray - Vice President
Stephanie Huss - Treasurer
Mark Miyake - Secretary
Maria A Hope - Outreach
Melanie Sehman is a drummer, percussionist and educator who enjoys performing in a wide variety of styles. A classical percussionist by training, she specializes in experimental and contemporary music that explores improvisation, gesture, the relationships between music, text and the physical experiences of sound. Melanie enjoys collaborative work with composers, performers and artists in other disciplines, exploring alternative modes of music making. She has performed at the Banff Centre for the Arts (Canada), the Bang on a Can Summer Festival (Mass), Tribeca Performing Arts Center (NYC), Issue Project Room (NYC), Princeton University, Park Avenue Armory (NYC), Symphony Space (NYC), the Americas Society (NYC), and the Bellingham Electronic Arts Festival (WA). She has worked with composers John Luther Adams, Julia Wolfe, Mark Applebaum, Carlos Sanchez-Gutierrez, Robert Morris, Cenk Ergun, Molly Herron, Bethany Young and many others. Melanie maintains a creative practice as an improviser and has performed at the Seattle Improvised Music Festival and the Creative Music Studio in Woodstock, New York. As a drummer, Melanie brings together her love of both contemporary musical language and the visceral joy of movement and music. She performs regularly with the Bellingham Symphony Orchestra, Pacific Northwest Opera, Whatcom Sound Jazz Singers, Nuages and the bands Cat Valley, and The Unknowns. Melanie received her Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Performance and Literature from the Eastman School of Music where she also earned the coveted Performer’s Certificate. She has held teaching positions at the Eastman School of Music, City University of New York and currently serves as Music Department chair at Whatcom Community College.
Katie has been an active member of the Bellingham music scene since she moved here in 2011. Her pursuit and love of music led her to jobs in radio first at KUGS in college where she met Morgan Lanza and began volunteering for Bellingham Girls Rock Camp in 2014. After college Katie continued her career in broadcast at commercial stations, and then as a manager at KZAX. In 2018, Katie’s path led her to non profit management of Make Shift, where she has been the Executive Director ever since. She continues to write, produce and perform her own music.
Stephanie Huss (She/Her) is the Treasurer of Bellingham Girls Rock Camp. She first volunteered for camp in 2016 and looks forward to it each year since; Beyond supporting the growth of the incredible young rock stars in the community, the culture the camp creates, and the human connections it fosters, “truly feeds my soul,” says Stephanie. SHe graduated from Western Washington University in 2019 with a BA in English and a Secondary Education endorsement and a minor in Psychology, with prospects to return to studying education in the future. The culture of camp has not only continuously inspired Stephanie’s development as a leader and educator, but has given her the courage to explore her own inner rock star and evolve her abilities as a musician as well. Through being a part of this camp, Stephanie is able to support the youth in our community in having the same opportunity to feel empowered by chasing their own creative curiosities. She is so excited to be more involved in camp this year and looks forward to working with such a hardworking and compassionate group of community leaders.
Mark Miyake has been teaching and advising students at Fairhaven College of Interdisciplinary Studies at Western Washington University in his capacity as Assistant Professor of Music and Society and leading their program in Audio Technology, Music, and Society since 2015. In this time, he has served on the Board of Trustees for Humanities Washington, on the Board of the Center for Washington Cultural Traditions, and on the Boards of several local organizations including Make.Shift Art Space. He has also served as President of the Northwest Chapter of the Society for Ethnomusicology and on national and regional award and funding panels for the National Endowment for the Arts and the Washington State Arts Commission. He also serves on several committees focused on equity issues in state and national organizations including the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee of Humanities Washington, and the Cultural Diversity Committee and the Committee on Contingent Workforce Concerns of the American Folklore Society. Prior to joining Western Washington University’s faculty, Mark served as Assistant Professor of The Arts and Social Sciences at Empire State College of the State University of New York and as the college-wide faculty convener for their Arts programs. During his time on the East Coast, Mark also served as the Chair of the Folk Arts Panel of the New York State Council for the Arts as well as on other boards and panels for NYSCA and the New York Foundation for the Arts, and as the President of the Middle Atlantic Folklife Association. He holds a MA and PhD in Folklore and Ethnomusicology from Indiana University, and has played in dozens of punk, heavy metal, bluegrass, jazz, country, Shona, rock, and salsa bands in Chicago, New York, San Francisco, Indiana, and Bellingham since 1990. Mark’s family immigrated to the U.S. when he was two years old; this has greatly influenced his approach to understanding the arts in their cultural contexts.
Angela Maria Hope