Donna Blanchard founded Apple Tree Arts in 1989. She has a BA from Connecticut College in clarinet performance and is a certified K-12 music teacher. Donna received her Masters degree in Education from Worcester State College and has completed courses of study in Executive Director Management through the Greater Worcester Community Foundation, Arts Management in Community Institutions through The National Guild of Community Schools for the Arts, and Choral Conducting at Boston University. Donna is certified in Orff and by the Early Childhood Music and Movement Association.
Donna Blanchard, Executive Director
Kathy Vandenengel, Business Director
Kathy graduated with a BSC in Physical Therapy in 1979 from McGill University in Montreal, spent 10 years working in that field, then left to become a stay at home mom for her son and daughter.
She found Apple Tree Arts through her church in 1991, when she and her daughter joined one of the very first Tots & Tunes classes, taught by Donna Blanchard. She has been involved ever since, serving many years as a volunteer, and progressing to Business Director. Currently she oversees all business operations at Apple Tree Arts.
Kathy plays the flute, sings in our Community Chorus and is a member of the choir at her church.
Alaina Calloway Bolton, Music Education Director
Alaina graduated from the New England Conservatory of Music with a Bachelor of Music, and from Longy School of Music, with a Master of Music in Vocal Performance. Since then, she has taught private voice and piano lessons to children and adults of all levels in MA and CT, as well as prepared students for recitals, adjudicated events, college auditions, and other events and performances. She has recently moved from Boston to central MA.
Lisa Scarlett, Theatre Arts Director
A trained voice student and community theatre member, Lisa brings much experience to the stage. She has been involved with numerous theatrical productions at many different levels both on and off the stage since the age of 13. Joining Apple Tree Arts in 2000, she began teaching early childhood music classes. Since 2004, she has directed and produced over 30 youth theatre productions for Apple Tree Arts. Lisa earned a BA at Tufts University and also holds a MA degree in Education from Elms College.
Matt Mariner, Creative Dramatics Manager
Matt Mariner graduated from Assumption College with degrees in Theatre/Media Studies and Psychology. Matt has been teaching theatre programs in schools and performing arts centers in Central Massachusetts since 2007. His directorial credits include: The Wizard of Oz, Peter Pan, You're Good Man, Charlie Brown and more. As a performer, Matt has appeared as Marius in Les Miserables, Perchick in Fiddler on the Roof, The Prince in Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella and The King in The King & I. He hopes to continue developing workshops that employ theatre for self-exploration.
Dana Wilson, Marketing Director
Dana joined Apple Tree Arts in 2006. She has experience in many areas of marketing including product marketing, market development, program management and public relations. She has worked for high-technology companies, manufacturing firms, and advertising agencies. (MBA, Suffolk Universty, BA, Syracuse University, English and Magazine Journalism.)
Liz Colognesi, Development Assistant
Liz Colognesi graduated from Bucknell University with a degree in Russian Studies, which resulted in a varied (if unrelated) career that included everything from human resources to corporate event planning to graphic design. She loves living in Grafton and is on the Grafton Farmers Market Committee and helps out at the Community Harvest Project as a Team Leader. She is now the parent of two young sons who have benefited from the Early Childhood Classes at Apple Tree Arts. She is also a big fan of music and theater and is excited to help the historic Grafton Town House into a beautiful performance space for the entire community to enjoy.