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Board of Directors

Founder / President / General Director

Elisabeth Kotzakidou Pace earned her Ph.D. and M.Phil. in Music Theory from Columbia University, and her Master’s in Vocal Performance from The Juilliard School. Her major teachers were Doris Yarick Cross, Hermann Prey, Ena Thiessen, Edith Bers, George Trovillo, and Albert Fuller. She holds additional postgraduate degrees in Philosophy, Linguistics, and Science from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) and the Georgia Institute of Technology. As an undergraduate she studied Physics at the National University of Athens, and Vocal & Piano Performance at the Conservatory of Athens, Greece. Her sojourn at the University of Paris I, Sorbonne was in Philosophy of Science under the direction of Suzanne Bachelard. Her graduate work in Cognitive Science she conducted at UCSD and Princeton University.

The recipient of numerous awards and scholarships in music, science, and the humanities, Dr. Pace was a US Department of Education Language and Area Studies Fellow in Germany, an A. W. Mellon Research Fellow, a President's Fellow at Columbia University, the recipient of the B. & H. Lewine and Max Dreyfus Scholarships at The Juilliard School, a first place winner of a NATO Scholarship, and a finalist in the 2002 competition of the Princeton Society of Fellows in the Liberal Arts.

After a decade as an opera singer and recitalist, Dr. Pace returned to scholarly work specializing in Music Analysis and the History of German Music Theory during the late Renaissance and Baroque eras. She has presented invited lectures and colloquia at the Sorbonne, Harvard, Yale, University of California in Santa Barbara, the California Institute for the Arts, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the University of Maryland, and the University of British Columbia. She has given dozens of conference papers at regional and national conferences of the American Musicological Society, the Music Theory Society, the American Bach Society; and internationally, at the German Society for Music Theory, the European Society for the Cognitive Science of Music, the International Society for Systematic and Comparative Musicology, and the Austrian Society for Semiotics.

She has taught at Columbia University, the University of California in San Diego, and Washington University in St. Louis. A frequent lecturer at UCSD’s Osher Institute, where in February 2013 she was featured in their Distinguished Lecture Series, Dr. Pace has also served as visiting professor at St. Katherine College. Her scholarly work appears in American, British, Swedish, German, and Austrian publications. She is the founder and general director of The Musical Oratory Foundation and artistic director of the Baroque Ensemble 'Musical Oratory', comprised of some of the finest alumni of the acclaimed Juilliard and Yale Programs in Historical Performance.

An enthusiastic supporter of cultural and educational causes in the San Diego community, Dr. Pace is a longtime volunteer Admissions Interviewer and College Fair Coordinator for Princeton University. She is a past board member of the local Columbia University Alumni Club, and currently serves on the board of directors of The Musical Merit Foundation of Greater San Diego. Dr. Pace is the founding president of the San Diego Chapter of the International Society of Friends of Nikos Kazantzakis.

Co-Founder / Secretary

Jean Weng is the Senior Vice President, Deputy General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of Voya Financial (formerly ING U.S.). She began her legal career in 2002, working first as an associate, and then as counsel, in the capital markets group at Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP. During her tenure in private practice, she focused on corporate governance issues and capital markets transactions for financial institutions in the U.S., Canada, China, and Brazil.

Ms. Weng is also a classical pianist. In New York, she has performed at Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center, Paul Hall at The Juilliard School, Miller Theatre at Columbia University, and on WQXR-FM. She has also performed at Aspen Music Festival and Tanglewood Music Festival. Internationally, she has performed in Switzerland, France, Japan and Taiwan. She also competed in the 13th International Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw, Poland.

Ms. Weng holds an M.A. in Musicology from Columbia University, a B.A. from Columbia College, and an Artist’s Certificate from The Juilliard School. She received her J.D. from Columbia Law School, where she was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar. In 2014, the New York Times Magazine recognized Jean Weng as a "Rising Star" among "Top Women Attorneys in New York." Ms. Weng is a board member and co-founder of The Musical Oratory Foundation.


Tim McConnell is Executive Vice President of Engineering at Solekai Systems, a software and hardware engineering services firm based in San Diego. He is responsible for project execution, engineering processes, and overall management of the engineering team. Mr. McConnell has over 20 years of experience in the San Diego engineering community, and has been engaged in digital video development since the first days of digital satellite broadcast.

Prior to joining Solekai in 2009, Mr. McConnell was a program manager at Doctor Design, overseeing a group of 40 to 50 employees and 30 to 40 contract staff in the $10M/year digital video service line. He has also managed multi-million dollar robotic development projects at Vision Robotics Corporation, specializing in autonomous, stereo vision based, mobile robots for commerce, agriculture and government.

Mr. McConnell received both his BS and MS in Mechanical Engineering from MIT.