Sympatico Personnel

Meredith Riley (Education Director/Fiddle Factory) While serving as Assistant Principal Second Violin in the Richmond Symphony, Meredith performed throughout the US as part of Sphinx Virtuosi and will join the ensemble as Principal Second Violin for their national tour in 2021-2022.  She completed graduate studies with Andres Cardenes at Carnegie Mellon University and received her BMus in Violin Performance at the University of Texas. An experienced chamber musician and teacher, Meredith most recently appeared with the Chamber Music Society of Central Virginia, Wintergreen Music Festival, Collectif 9, and the Smithsonian Chamber Players. Meredith is an adjunct violin faculty member at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Kyle Tilman (Program Director/Mallet Machine) is in his tenth year teaching general music at the elementary level, and his fourth at John Adams Elementary School in Alexandria City. He previously taught in Fairfax County and Albemarle County. Born and raised in Falls Church, Virginia, Kyle is excited to be back in the Northern Virginia area teaching music. He began playing trombone in the second grade, played all the way through his years as a student in Fairfax County, and continues to play today. He earned his Bachelor of Music Education from LSU in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. At LSU, Kyle participated in numerous ensembles including their Wind Ensemble, Tiger Marching Band, and Trombone Choir. Kyle has completed his first level of Orff Schulwerk, a method of teaching that includes music, movement, drama, and speech. Orff Schulwerk is an engaging way for students to learn not only about music, but about being creative, being able to work with others, and being able to problem solve.

Cindy Gossman (Cantamos) has been singing in Alexandria since 2007 and teaching music in the city since 2012. An alumnus of the music program at Northern Virginia Community College, Cindy has led a distinguished local career as a music educator, choral singer, sacred soloist, and folk musician. She is the founder and director of the children’s choir at Blessed Sacrament and assistant director of the Alexandria Kinderchoir. Some of her fondest memories of public school include her time in band, chorus, and in school musical productions, and she is delighted to share her passion for music and the gift of tuneful singing with the children of Sympatico.

Patrick Horner (Percussion Experience/Beginning Bucket Band) is currently in his fourth year of teaching elementary band in Alexandria City Public Schools. Patrick was born and raised in Alexandria, VA and feels grateful to be able to teach in the school system that helped him pursue his passion. He began playing percussion in 4th grade and continues to play in different capacities to this day. Patrick earned his Bachelor’s of Music Education from George Mason University and participated in many different ensembles while there. Patrick looks forward to sharing his passion for music with every student that enters his classroom.

Nicholas Ro (XyloKids) has been on the music team at John Adams since August 2017. Prior to joining the John Adams family, he completed undergraduate and graduate courses at Christopher Newport University in Newport News, Virginia. He holds Bachelor’s Degrees in Instrumental Music Education and Saxophone Performance, and a Master of Arts in Teaching. A passionate musician and educator, Mr. Ro teaches general music classes and the John Adams Orchestra program. He believes every student has a voice and they should be allowed to express that voice in whatever way they choose.

Originally from Orlando, Florida, Abigail Weber (Fiddle Factory) grew up playing the violin from a young age. She participated in private lessons and orchestra throughout her entire elementary, middle, and high school careers. She earned her undergraduate degree in Elementary and Special Education from Grove City College in Grove City, PA. During her college career, the arts remained an important focus as she participated in both the Chamber and Symphonic orchestras all four years, through which she was provided with many great opportunities including performing with the Pittsburgh Symphony. After graduating in 2016, she moved to Virginia where she began her teaching career at John Adams Elementary School in Alexandria, Virginia.