Executive and Artistic Director, Dr. Fiona Chatwin completed a Doctorate of Musical Arts from UCSD with a view to a joint career as both teacher and performer. With more than twenty-five years experience as a teacher of voice both here in San Diego and in Melbourne Australia (where she is from), Chatwin has worked with students of all ages, backgrounds and vocal disciplines. Chatwin has worked at both Community College and University levels designing curriculum for programs that range from music theory to opera, vocal music of the 20th century to improvisation.
In 2005, Chatwin founded Villa Musica – San Diego’s Community Music Center. Since its humble inception Chatwin has built Villa Musica into a musical home for aspiring musicians of all ages, providing a stable work environment for local teaching artists and, enabling access to music education for low income families and seniors across San Diego county through Villa Musica’s satellite initiative.
Chatwin’s affiliation with the National Guild for Community Arts Education has provided her with many opportunities to learn about administrative best practices and national standards of excellence. In 2013 she was chosen to participate in the highly competitive Community Arts Education Leadership Institute, and then in 2015 she was invited to participate as a guest faculty member. Chatwin is an ongoing presenter at the Guild’s National Annual conference, specializing in sessions pertaining to small organization start-up strategies, mentoring first time ED’s, and initiatives that highlight the power of collaboration. Chatwin’s practical and straight-shooting style is well received by guild members across the country and she has mentored many leaders through organizational growth and restructuring. Chatwin currently serves on three advisory boards for small organizations across the country.
Balancing the roles of CEO and Artistic Director, Chatwin embraces the entrepreneurial challenges that a young organization reveals, and has guided it through significant growth. It is with a steady and unyielding focus that she maintains Villa Musica’s mission in her sights as she navigates the challenging terrain of the non-profit arts organization of the 21st century.