Yolanda obtained a Bachelor of Music degree from the Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, and a Master of Educational Administration from Columbia University Teachers College in New York City. As the founder of I’m Bilingual! Yolanda was selected to participate in an SME program at Columbia Business School's Eugene Lang Center in New York City.
Yolanda is a member of Kappa Delta Pi, International Honor Society in the field of education, and is affiliated with national and international professional organizations. Yolanda was a featured alumnus in the Johns Hopkins University Magazine for "Teaching music in many languages" and has been interviewed by programs affiliated with NPR and by EdLab at Columbia University Teachers College. She has also been featured in national and international publications including the New York Times.
A native of the Dominican Republic, Yolanda’s passion is educating young children. Founder of I'm Bilingual!, an innovative bilingual arts education program in New York City, Yolanda continues to impact children around the world through online presentations and workshops.
Her lifelong dream is to promote the highest quality music experiences for children worldwide. After fifteen years of research and testing her educational materials and activities at I’m Bilingual! Yolanda began designing illustrated song books based on all time favorite children’s songs in Spanish-speaking countries. She has created award-winning products that help support the acquisition of languages during early childhood.
Yolanda’s products include ¡Cantemos todos juntos! a Tillywig Award Winning CD (Let's Sing Together) as well as Los pajaritos (The Little Birds), La finca (The Farm) and Los pollitos (The Little Chicks) illustrated song books. She has created complementary materials such as printable activity sheets, vocabulary, rhythm and math card games to support the learning experience. Yolanda’s educational materials have received awards from Family Choice, Tillywig Toy and Media, International Latino Book, Mom’s Choice, Purple Dragonfly and Parents’ Choice awards.
Yolanda Borrás, President
John Thomas Dodson, Artistic Director
John Thomas Dodson is Artistic Director of Conciertos de la Villa de Santo Domingo and Music Director of the Lexington Bach Festival in Southeast Michigan. He has served as Music Director of Birmingham Bloomfield Symphony Orchestra, Adrian Symphony Orchestra, Bryan Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra New York, Coronado Music Festival and the Philharmonia Orchestra of Tucson. Dodson has been Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor of the Cleveland Women's Orchestra, Principal Conductor for the Atlanta Community Symphony Orchestra and Ballet Theatre of Toledo. He has conducted opera productions of Puccini's Manon Lescaut with Cleveland Opera and Suor Angelica with Yale Opera and the New Haven Symphony Orchestra.
Dodson has conducted in major venues including New York's Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, Budapest's Hungarian State Opera House, Athens's Megaron Concert Hall, Rochester's Eastman Theatre and Cleveland's Severance Hall. His career has included concerts in Greece, Hungary, Poland and Russia as well as engagements in the United States, Mexico and the Dominican Republic. His performances have been featured on a nationally syndicated program on Public Radio International and broadcast nationwide on National Public Radio stations and numerous radio and television broadcasts in Europe, Russian and North America.
As a guest conductor Dodson led concerts with the Athens State Orchestra, Budapest Philharmonic, National Philharmonic of Russia, National Symphony Orchestra of Bashkortostan, National Symphony Orchestra of the Dominican Republic, Irkutzk Symphony Orchestra, Omsk State Academic Symphony Orchestra, Bialystok Philharmonic, Rochester Philharmonic, New Haven Symphony Orchestra and Symphony Orchestra UANL in Monterrey, Mexico.
Dodson has a longstanding commitment to contemporary music. He performed under the batons of leading composers Aaron Copland, Karel Husa and Vincent Persichetti, and studied composition for five years with Robert Jager at Tennessee Technological University. He was invited to conduct at Lincoln Center’s “Persichetti Remembered” Retrospective and has collaborated with many living composers, leading over twenty-five world-premieres in the United States, Russia and Europe. Notable projects include conducting the world premiere of Theodore Antoniou’s Cello Concerto in Athens, Greece, and premiering and recording the orchestral works of Robert Jager for the Naxos label. Other contemporary music projects include premieres of music by Grammy Award-winning composer Kenneth Fuchs, collaborations with Bright Sheng and Michael Daugherty and co-commissioning a new work by Christopher Theofinidis.
A graduate of Johns Hopkins University, John Thomas Dodson holds the degree of Master of Music in Instrumental Conducting from the Peabody Conservatory of Music where he studied under renowned conducting pedagogue Frederik Prausnitz. He continued his conducting training with Paul Vermel at the Aspen Music School, and was mentored in strings by Ed Meyer, father of the bassist and Grammy Award-winning composer Edgar Meyer. A recipient of the Lenawee Arts Award from the Croswell Opera House, Dodson also received a Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa from Siena Heights University.
In addition to his work as a musician, Dodson teaches Mindfulness for Performers. He was selected for a National Endowment for the Humanities program studying Buddhist Traditions in the Himalayas at Holy Cross University with faculty from The College of the Holy Cross and Harvard University. Dodson leads mindfulness retreats, seminars, and workshops in colleges, schools, conservatories, including Greece's Thessaloniki State Conservatory of Music, Washington College, Oberlin College-Conservatory, the Dominican Republic's National Conservatory of Music and the Chopin Academy of Atlanta.