A non-profit organization based in Pontiac, Michigan.



Accent Pontiac: Strengthening Pontiac's youth and community through equitable access to intensive and consistent music making.


All children in Pontiac will achieve their full potential through equal access to quality music learning.



In 2014, Kirk in the Hills launched a capital campaign, raising funds to be used, in part, for outreach in the Kirk’s neighboring community of Pontiac, Michigan. Soon after, a committee was formed to decide how the funds would be used, ultimately deciding on an El Sistema-inspired music program. The Kirk has a long history of musical excellence as well as a dedication to supporting the Pontiac community. Accent Pontiac was the perfect fit.

In April 2016, Dan Trahey, founder and Artistic Director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s OrchKids program, joined the team as a consultant, guiding Accent Pontiac through its initial stages and helping to secure Walt Whitman Elementary School as our partner. Tina Rowan was hired in September 2016, and Accent Pontiac began its soft launch phase. Accent Pontiac’s pilot program launched on January 10, 2017, and served approximately 105 students at Whitman. Now in its third year, Accent Pontiac serves approximately 260 students at Whitman and Alcott Elementary Schools. In addition to the student participants in our program, Accent Pontiac serves all students at Whitman and Alcott Elementary schools by bringing assemblies and guest artist performances to the schools, approximately 750 students. 

In the upcoming years, Accent Pontiac hopes to expand to support all schools in the Pontiac School District.


Meet the Staff


Tina Rowan

Tina Rowan is the Executive Director of Accent Pontiac, and has been in this role since July 2018. Previously, Rowan served as the founding Artistic and Program Director for Accent Pontiac since September 2016. Before beginning her work with Accent Pontiac, Rowan was the founding music teacher at Pride Academy in East Orange, New Jersey, where she started a world drumming program.

Rowan is a graduate of the University of Michigan, where she received degrees in Violin Performance, Organizational Studies and Performing Arts Management. While at the University of Michigan, she co-founded the Mentors for the Ypsilanti Youth Orchestra, a student organization partnering with the Ypsilanti Youth Orchestra that provides mentorship to orchestra members. Originally from Ann Arbor, Michigan, Rowan is excited to be back living and working in her home state.

Mary Ann Mohring


Mary Ann Mohring is the Resource Development Director for Accent Pontiac. With more than 12 years of Development and Marketing experience, she is eager to marry her passion for music to her expertise to help grow the organization. Her desire to make a difference in the local community has defined her career. Prior to this position, Mohring was Development and Marketing Manager at Accounting Aid Society, a Detroit-based non-profit that touches more than 25,000 lives each year through tax preparation and financial literacy. Mohring was instrumental in restructuring the agency's fundraising initiatives to increase revenue through individual giving, annual campaign development and donor relations. She also led a rebranding campaign that elevated the non-profit's footprint in the region through new brand awareness for a 45-year-old moniker. Leading up to her role at Accounting Aid, she was Stewardship Director at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Lake Orion where she integrated fundraising strategies into the development of new programs such as 'Find Your Mission' and 'Awaken' to engage church members to boost their Sunday giving and become generous patrons of their time, talents and treasures. 

Mohring is excited to get back to work in Pontiac and is familiar with the landscape. She worked as a Volunteer Coordinator at Michigan Animal Rescue League (MARL) for three years and then at Grace Centers of Hope in downtown Pontiac where she mobilized hundreds of volunteers to share their resources to benefit the homeless community. Although not a trained musician, she shared her musical talents with the St. Hugo Church Choir for two years until they began singing Latin chants and she realized she was out of her league. She's also performed Barbershop music with her mother, family and friends. Mohring received her BA Degree in Mass Communications from Wayne State University. She lives in Bloomfield Township with her husband, teenage daughter and Lucy the dog. 

Alex Krawczyk


Alex Krawczyk is the Program Manager and Lead Brass teacher with Accent Pontiac and has been in this role since September 2018. Krawczyk is an active performer and music educator based in Detroit. Currently, he serves as the principal trombone with the Richmond Symphony Orchestra in Indiana. As an activist for music education, Krawczyk has worked with other El Sistema-inspired programs such as Sistema Ravinia in Chicago and La Orquesta Juvenil del Sodre in Uruguay. As a performer, he keeps an active concert schedule performing with the Fort Wayne Philharmonic, Eastern Music Festival, Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra, Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra, Terre Haute Symphony Orchestra, and the Muscaine Symphony Orchestra. Along with performing regularly with many orchestras, Krawczyk is able to move fluidly through many other genres of music from early music, pop, and jazz, performing regularly with such ensembles as Sacabuche, the Bach Collegium, Forgotten Clefs, and Musica Ecclesia. 

Krawczyk holds a bachelor of music in trombone performance with a teacher's certification from University of Iowa, under the tutelage of David Gier and Jonathan Allen. Krawxczyk also received a master of music in trombone performance from Indiana University, where his education included studies with Carl Lenthe, Pete Ellefson, and Dee Stewart. 

Tia Harvey


Tia Harvey is the Bucket Band teacher at Accent Pontiac and has been in this role since January 2017. She is a percussionist and educator in Michigan and is pursuing a doctoral degree from Michigan State University where she studies with world-renowned percussionist Gwendolyn Dease. As a percussionist, Harvey is building a career as a chamber musician, music educator and music activist. She is passionate about bringing music to non-traditional venues and commissioning new works as well as instilling an appreciation of music and empowering the next generation through music education.

In addition to Accent Pontiac, Harvey is a percussion instructor at the MSU Community Music School, East Lansing, and MSU Community Music School, Detroit. She is a Teaching Assistant at Michigan State University, and holds degrees from Michigan State University and the University of Central Florida. Harvey currently resides in Ferndale, Michigan, with her partner, Erik, and cat, Elliott, who has a mustache.

Kening Law


Kening Law has been with Accent Pontiac since September 2018 and currently serves as the Site Coordinator. Law graduated from Michigan State University. Before beginning her work with Accent Pontiac, she worked as an administrative intern at the MSU Community Music School and also served as a visiting artist at Post Oak Elementary School in Lansing. Law has loved music her whole life and is building her career as a music educator and arts administrator. In her free time, she enjoys travelling, playing clarinet, and video games. 

Natalie Frakes

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Natalie Frakes is the Program Assistant at Accent Pontiac and began this role in September 2018. She is a Detroit-based violinist and music educator who believes deeply in using music as a vehicle for social change. When she's not teaching, she keeps a busy schedule performing with some of Detroit's best musicians and current artists (Evanescence, Lindsey Stirling, Eminem, and more.)

Frakes is a passionate educator and has a diverse background as a teaching artist and educator in the public schools and with El Sistema-inspired programs. She was Director of Orchestras for Oxford Community Schools and works with projects in Metro Detroit such as the Detroit Metropolitan Youth Symphony and the MSU Community Music School. She has been a teaching artist with the Sphinx Organization, the Detroit Symphony's Civic Youth Ensembles, and El Sistema-inspired programs including the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra's OrchKids Program, Costa Rica's SiNEM, the Archipelago Project, and recently completed an intensive Global Leaders Bootcamp in Chile. 

Ebony Simms-Peoples


Ebony Simms-Peoples is the School Liaison/Program Assistant at Accent Pontiac and began this role in September 2018. Simms-Peoples is a para-professional at Walt Whitman Elementary School and has been employed by the Pontiac School District for 22 years. She is a proud parent of 3. Her daughter, De’Onnie, was an original member of Accent Pontiac, joining the program in January 2016. Simms-Peoples began her journey with Accent Pontiac as a parent, transitioned into a parent volunteer, and is now proud to call herself an employee with the Accent Pontiac family. She greatly looks forward to new beginnings of working with students, parents, and volunteers.

Ryan King

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Ryan King is the Lead Woodwind teacher with Accent Pontiac and has been in this position since September 2018. He holds a bachelor of music in Clarinet Performance from the University of Michigan, where he studied with Daniel Gilbert. King has performed and recorded with many notable ensembles, such as the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the River Raisin Ragtime Revue, the Dearborn Symphony, and the Cut-Time Players. He attended the Aspen Summer Music Festival, Brevard Music Festival and the Imani Winds Chamber Music Festival in New York City. He performed as principal clarinetist on the GRAMMY award nominated recording of Milhaud's opera L'Orestia d'Eschyle with the University of Michigan Symphony Orchestra. 

In addition to his classical performance, King has a strong presence in the Michigan rock scene. As a founding member of Ypsilanti-based progressive jam band Stormy Chrome, King has spent years touring the midwest's rock clubs and bars. Though his role is primarily that of bassist and songwriter, every now and again the clarinet will make a guest appearance!

Sarah Cracknell

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Sarah Cracknell is the Introductory Brass assistant teacher at Accent Pontiac and began this role in January 2018. Cracknell is currently a student at Oakland University, studying both music performance and music education. She has had the opportunity to teach at band camps, and to teach beginning fifth grade band at Gardens and Washington elementary schools. She loves children and the opportunity to teach! Cracknell plays trumpet as her main instrument in many of Oakland University’s ensembles, along with cornet in the Oakland University Brass Band. She has many roles at Oakland University, including being the music librarian for some of the ensembles, playing for the basketball games, and being an assistant equipment manager.

Besides teaching and being a full time student, Cracknell also has a passion for animals, reading books, and playing video games. She is a proud owner of a hedgehog named Penelope, and two cats named Mikey and Nova.


Chelsea Koziatek


Dr. Chelsea Koziatek is the Assistant Woodwind teacher at Accent Pontiac and has been in this role since September 2018. She is a performer and flute teacher in the southeast Michigan area and recently obtained her Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Michigan State University. She also holds a Master of Music degree from MSU and a Bachelor of Musical Arts degree from Bowling Green State University. Koziatek also teaches for Michigan State University's Community Music School in East Lansing and Detroit while maintaining an independent private studio. In the summer, she works with several competitive marching programs across the state of Michigan. 

Koziatek is an avid home-cook and founded a performing group in 2015 called Consuming Arts which fuses the arts of cuisine and music through performance. In additional to her musical accomplishments, Koziatek also wrote a review published in the journal Jazz Perspectives in 2014.


James Tyner


James Tyner is the Brass Lessons Teaching Artist at Accent Pontiac, and has been in this role since January 2018. He graduated from Central Michigan University with a Bachelor of Music Education in 2014 and is currently the Band Director at St. Mary’s Preparatory High School in Orchard Lake, Michigan. In addition to band, Tyner has taught choir, music appreciation, and elementary music. James was a Tuba Player in the 338th Army Reserve Band out of Livonia, Michigan for eight years. Performances with the 338th included Detroit MI, Columbus OH, Norfolk VA,  Cody WY, Seattle WA, and Honolulu HI. He currently plays tuba with the Genesee Wind Symphony, East Shore Wind Symphony, and the Ferndale Community Band. In his free time, Tyner enjoys traveling, camping, kayaking, and is a very competitive board game player.


Dan Trahey


Dan Trahey is a musician, composer, educator, social entrepreneur and architect for dozens of "social change through music" programs in the United States, South America and Europe. He was instrumental in the creation of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s OrchKids program, where he currently serves as Artistic Director. Trahey also founded the El Sistema-inspired program Tuned-In at the Peabody Conservatory, where he teaches creative composition and community engagement.

As a tuba player with the Archipelago Project, he promotes cross-genre performances and has performed for hundreds of thousands of children, specifically targeting impoverished areas with little access to live performance. Trahey received a master's of Music from Yale, and a bachelor's of Music Education from Johns Hopkins University. Trahey is a sought-after consultant for programs desiring to use music as a vehicle for social change. In addition to founding two El Sistema programs in Baltimore, he has helped structure, nurture and grow many programs in cities around the world. Originally from Detroit, Michigan, Trahey’s latest project is Accent Pontiac.