Introducing New Team Members!
We are thrilled to share that we have three new people joining our core team this spring. Learn about them here!
J. Andrés Ballesteros
Music Librarian & Community Liaison
J. Andrés Ballesteros joined the Boston Arts Academy community in 2014. He graduated from Harvard University in 2013 with a B.A. in Music, a secondary in Government, and a citation in Modern Standard Arabic. As a composer, he has won several awards and competitions, including the John Green Prize and the RED NOTE Music Festival Composition Competition. He has scored for a variety of ensembles and media, including for ensembles at BAA and short films directed by BAA students. He remains engaged in his community as an artist and volunteer, with particular focuses on the environment, gender equality, LGBT rights, and cross-cultural understanding.
Personnel Manager & Oboist
Mary O’Keefe is a recent graduate from the New England Conservatory, earning her B.M. while studying with Keisuke Wakao. As a freelance musician in Boston, she has performed with the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra, A Far Cry, the Glen Falls Symphony, Chorus Pro Musica, the Haffner Sinfonietta, and more.
She is dedicated to exploring social boundaries with music, organizing a benefit concert for the ACLU entitled “What Makes America Great” featuring 60 different performers in NEC’s Williams Hall. In April 2016, she performed in a solo recital raising money for the Nature Conservancy.
She is a strong supporter of contemporary music, performing twice with the Callithumpian Consort and playing Xenakis’s “Dmaathen” for NEC’s Chamber Music Gala: 150th Anniversary in Jordan Hall. Outside of music, Mary enjoys hardcore crock potting, thrifting for paperback books, and plump blueberry muffins.
Ismael Sandoval is a Mexican-American conductor based in Boston, MA. As a conductor, Ismael founded and directed several ensembles across the East Coast, all invested in the pursuit of bringing people together in the beauty and power of music.
In his efforts to give back to his community and promote the profound impact that music can have on people, Ismael performs in venues such as assisted living facilities, hospitals, parks, and anywhere else where music might be needed.As a major proponent of new music, Ismael frequently premieres works by composers from all around the country. Ismael has had recent engagements with the Saratoga Orchestra of Whidbey Island (Langley, WA), the Medomak Festival Orchestra (Washington, ME), the College Orchestra Directors Association National Conference Orchestra, the Florida Keys Community Concert Band, the Berklee & Boston Conservatory Recording Orchestra, the Earthstone Company production of Cabaret, and the Boston Conservatory Composers' Recital Series.
Ismael is pursuing an M.M. in Orchestral Conducting from the Boston Conservatory at Berklee, under the tutelage of Bruce Hangen, and received his B.M. in Music Education and B.M. in Composition from the University of Florida.