We are a team of individuals with a wide range of skills and experience who are all dedicated to the advancement of the arts in our community and beyond. We love what we do, and we do it with passion.
Kellie LaMar grew up in California until meeting her husband and beginning the 20 year long adventure of moving around the world with his Air Force career. Their first assignment was to Maryland, where Kellie attended the University of Maryland and earned a degree in Elementary Education, and subsequently taught 2nd grade. From there they moved to Texas and started their family, and Kellie began her “second career” as professional organizer and caretaker of the family through 9 more assignments with the Air Force, including two years in South Korea. They have now been in Phoenix for two years and have decided to settle down and call Arizona home.
Kellie has always loved music and began singing in high school with her church. She has kept this a part of her life throughout all the moving and has found music to be a meaningful way to connect with people and be involved in the community in each new place. Her four children are also involved in the performing arts in various ways including piano, ballet, voice, and theatre. This has given Kellie the opportunity to volunteer with many productions over the years, utilizing her skills in photography, sewing, and organization, among other things.
It has been a rewarding experience watching her children gain confidence, take risks, express themselves and find purpose through the performing arts. She is excited to be a part of Triad, and to help facilitate opportunities that will allow others in our West Valley community, children and adults alike, to experience those same rewards.
Judi (McDonald) Holdorf
Judi Holdorf’s career in nonprofit leadership has afforded her the opportunity to work in varied nonprofit organizations where she could help others improve their lives. A native of Iowa, she earned her Bachelor of Arts degree Cum Laude from Marycrest College, Davenport, Iowa, and later earned her credentials and certification from the national Association of Fundraising Executives.
As a top administrator with Scott Community College of the Eastern Iowa Community Colleges, she also led the college foundation which funded scholarships, educational programs and building projects. She spearheaded a multi-million dollar capital campaign to create the Kahl Educational Center in downtown Davenport bringing education and business training to better serve inner city residents.
Judi most recently served as executive director of the Community Foundation of Greater Muscatine which actively works to improve the quality of life in Muscatine County through philanthropy. Through investment of donors’ gifts, grants are awarded to nonprofit groups and scholarships to students. Following a devastating flood on the Mississippi River, she worked to create a permanently endowed fund called the Cares and Shares which ensures resources will be available in perpetuity to assist people in need and help nonprofits that provide important services.
However, it was her role as executive director of Quad City Arts, Rock Island, Illinois, that eventually led her back to the arts and her involvement with Triad Performing Arts of Arizona. As an arts advocacy agency, it serves 350,000 annually in a six-county region in eastern Iowa and western Illinois. It won the national William B. Dawson Award for Programmatic Excellence for the Visiting Artist Series under her leadership. During her ten-year tenure, she initiated numerous programs to bring awareness to artists and take the arts to the people. Among the notable programs were a visual arts exhibition and sales gallery at the Quad City International Airport; a bi-state public sculpture program and a comprehensive literary arts program. Additionally, she spearheaded the efforts to create a youth arts-education and job-training program called Metro Arts which utilizes professional artists as faculty and interested students as paid apprentices. She saw firsthand how the arts build self-esteem in youth as well as employable skills. The successful program continues today under new leadership and has served more than 1,000 apprentices and produced nearly 100 public projects in the visual, performing and literary arts.
Judi retired from a 34-year career in nonprofit management in 2018 and moved to Goodyear with her husband of 50 years, Dennis. She enjoys an active lifestyle and is taking time to create her own art now.
Summer Benton Nickerson
Summer Benton Nickerson is a musicologist whose focus is 20th century American music and politics. She earned a Bachelor’s degree from California State University, Chico in Music Education (choral/vocal emphasis) and a Master’s degree in Music History and Literature from California State University, Sacramento. Mrs. Nickerson has been teaching courses online and on campus at various of colleges in the Bay Area and Arizona since 2009. These courses include Music Appreciation (Western Music), American Music, African American Music, World Music and Music Fundamentals. She has presented papers at national conferences including the Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association and the Society of American Musicology. Titles of these papers have included “The Federal Music Project: Government Funded Music” and ““Seeger Sings Anti-American Song in Moscow,” Pete Seeger and the New York Times, 1965”. Mrs. Nickerson has also guest lectured on a variety of topics at CSU Sacramento, Tarleton State University (Texas) and Lon Morris University (Texas).
Summer currently sings in the alto section of the Sounds of the Southwest Singers, a community choir in Glendale, AZ. She is excited to be on the board of Triad Performing Arts of Arizona to help bring performance opportunities to students of the arts in the West Valley
Katarzyna Honsberger, (soprano) was born into a musical family in the beautiful city of Krakow, Poland. Mrs. Honsberger has been a featured solo performer in festivals in Germany, France, Italy, Switzerland, Mexico, the United States, Singapore, and Malaysia. Although Katarzyna holds diplomas in classical piano performance and music education through movement from the Fryderyk Chopin Conservatory in Krakow, it was Katarzyna’s voice that brought her to the United States in 1999. Living in Chicago, Mrs. Honsberger earned a Master’s Degree in Vocal Performance from DePaul University with honors (2007) and a Bachelor’s from Roosevelt University (2005). Mrs. Honsberger earned recognition as an award winner in the acclaimed Bel Canto Competition and in The Cliff Dwellers Arts Foundation Competition. In addition, Katarzyna was a Margaret M. OMalley-Liput Endowed Scholarship Recipient and took part in the Czech Vocal Competition in Green Bay, WI
Katarzyna has performed frequently with both the Phoenix Opera and Phoenix Symphony, including productions of Aida, Carmen, Madama Butterfly, Die Zauberflote, and La Traviata. Some of her favorite roles to perform have included the Countess from Le Nozze di Figaro by W.A. Mozart, Madame Glawari in The Merry Widow by Franz Lehar, Damigella and Venus in lincoronazione di Poppea by Monteverdi, and the Zweite Dame in Die Zauberflote by Mozart. Other roles she has performed include Antonia from Tales of Hoffman, Frasquita (Carmen), Zerlina (Don Giovanni), Lucia (Lucia Di Lammermoor), Norina (Don Pasquale), Musetta and Mimi (La Boheme), Rusalka (Rusalka), and Susanna (Le Nozze di Figaro) and more.
Katarzyna has formed a musical partnership with Larry Loeber, renowned pianist of the Phoenix Symphony since 2010. Together, they have performed countless chamber music concerts throughout the Valley and released a CD of Polish and American songs. Her concert soloist credits include the Saint-Saens Christmas Oratorio, Idomeneo by W.A. Mozart, La Demoiselle Elue by Debussy, and the Mozart Great Mass in C Minor amongst others.
In 2012, Mrs. Honsberger established Kat’s Artist Tree, a Music Dance and Arts Academy in Goodyear, Arizona which has served over 1000 students since its inception. Mrs. Honsberger works with both professional and amateur singers and has become one of the Valley’s most sought after vocal coaches. She has helped numerous students gain exposure, earn scholarships, and achieve success as singers. She has also directed annual Musical Theatre productions at Kat’s Artist Tree as well as up to 40 concerts, recitals, and showcases each season.
Mrs. Honsberger looks forward to bringing her passion for excellence to Triad Performing Arts of Arizona as its Artistic Director.
Brian Honsberger is an entrepreneur and active Audio Engineer and Musician throughout Arizona. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Music and Audio Production from Ithaca College and a Master’s in Music from the University of North Texas. In the past ten years, Mr. Honsberger has started two successful businesses in the state of Arizona. UPstage Group is an A/V production company that provides equipment and expertise for concerts across the state as well as providing design and installation services of theatrical sound and lighting systems. Kat’s Artist Tree is a Music, Dance, and Art Academy located in Goodyear which serves to help students of all ages develop their skills and reach their dreams in the creative and performing arts.
As a musician, Mr. Honsberger has been a frequent performer with the Phoenix Symphony, as well as the Musica Nova Orchestra, the Spokane Symphony and he has toured throughout the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and Thailand. Mr. Honsberger was the 2006 winner of the Eastern Trombone Workshop National Solo Competition and an Alternate in the 1999 Donald Yaxley Bass Trombone competition held by the International Trombone Association. He is also a former member of the internationally acclaimed One O’clock Lab Band and has appeared on numerous CD releases.
In addition, Mr. Honsberger has had a successful teaching career which began in 2001 as a Teaching Fellow at the University of North Texas. Since then he has served on the teaching staffs of Gonzaga University, Whitworth College, Eastern Washington University, and Arizona State University.
Mr. Honsberger’s sound design credits include over 50 productions within the state and his work has frequently been nominated for the AriZoni Theatre Excellence Awards. He has enjoyed working with Arizona Broadway Theatre, Actors Theatre, Khris Dodge Entertainment, The Phoenix Opera, and Valley Youth Theatre amongst others.
Brian is thrilled to be joining the Board of Triad Performing Arts of Arizona and looks forward to bringing top-quality performance opportunities to the West Valley and beyond.
Karen grew up in St. Louis, Missouri. Through her childhood she was involved in music and arts. She played the flute in elementary and middle school as well as dance. She moved to Arizona when she was 17 where she met her husband and decided to make Arizona home.
Since becoming a mother she has enjoyed being involved in her daughters activities and has always wanted to be a part of something that helps the community she lives in. After having to drive a distance to have her daughter be involved in ballet she found Triad which was much closer to home. She is excited to be able to be apart of Triad and helping bring performing opportunities to our upcoming artists in the west valley.