Staff

Nathan Bramhall

Nathan grew up in Gloucester, Massachusetts, where he developed a love of boating and the outdoors. During high school and college, Nathan became passionate about travel. He moved west to study sociology, music, and French at Colorado College, and spent his twenties living in Francophone countries, where he gained fluency in French. Nathan spent time in Paris and Perpignan, France, and has lived in Senegal and Morocco. Now that he has settled in Vermont, he appreciates living in proximity to Montréal and Québec City, where he can exercise his language skills.

In 2004, Nathan joined Music Contact International. He presently works as Operations Team Manager, overseeing most phases of the tour-planning process. Nathan manages International Choral Festivals in Vienna, Austria; Ponce, Puerto Rico; Ghent, Belgium; the Czech Republic, and Ghana. He loves to share his ideas about different countries and performance venues with directors choosing destinations for their groups.

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Vicky Raymond

Vicky joined Music Contact International in 1999. She grew up in Vermont and lives in Burlington with her son and daughter.

 For years, Vicky has been the voice of Music Contact International, receiving calls to the office with her friendly greeting. Clients always want to meet Vicky when they visit our main office - she forges friendship through her caring reception of incoming calls. As our office manager, Vicky is the go-to person for all office staff. She knows everyone’s schedules and can find anything they might need. In addition to keeping the office in top order, she is the company bookkeeper.

 Outside of work, Vicky is active in her church and enjoys spending time with her kids. She also has her hands full with a dog and a cat at home.

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Paige Betten

Paige grew up in New England and came to Vermont for college. She began traveling and adventuring during childhood, and has fond memories of wintertime camping, hiking out west, canoe trips and dude ranches. After studying marketing and sociology, she went onto teach English in Japan and sell elephant treks in Thailand before earning a Masters degree in TESOL and moving to California to teach ESL and work in the field of international education. 

In 1999, after returning to Vermont, she began working at Music Contact International and has traveled to nearly every corner of the world with choirs since that time.

Paige is Director of Sales at Music Contact International. Drawing on her background in global studies, business and hospitality, Paige works extensively on conceptualizing and developing unique concert tours in interesting places such as Cuba, Italy, South America and Asia. She'll use her wealth of information to help you narrow down your choice of destination or choose which festival would best suit your ensemble.

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Katherine Stumpfer (Trinka)

Trinka grew up in Cambridge, Vermont, where she sang in choirs and played the flute for three years with the Vermont Youth Orchestra. Six weeks of travel in France and England at age sixteen expanded her cultural frame of reference and, she says, the experience made her world feel little larger even after she returned home. Trinka studied French and German at the University of Vermont. After receiving her degree, she traveled to Austria on a Fullbright scholarship and has lived there ever since. She now resides in Melk, Austria, with her three children.

Trinka connected with Music Contact in the 1990s, while working as a tour guide at Melk Abbey. As a Tour Manager, she shares her love of history, culture, and travel with each of her tour groups. She especially enjoys traveling with musicians because of the way sharing music helps people form bonds that transcend cultural and linguistic barriers.

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Lauren Driscoll

Lauren was born in New York and grew up in Connecticut. In high school, she had the opportunity to travel with her state ice hockey team (the Connecticut Clippers) to France, Switzerland and Germany.

She came to Vermont for college and moved to Boston after graduateion, where she worked in the medical field and developed wonderful customer service skills through her work helping patients and their families during their most vulnerable times.

Before returning to Vermont, she continued to travel and added countries such as Ireland and Guatemala to her passport, along with several road trips across the United States. When the opportunity to travel with her family to Japan and the Far East arose, Lauren booked her flight without a moment's hesitation.

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Kate Hennessey

Kate Hennessey

Kate has worked in the travel industry for over 33 years.  Her experience in travel ranges from working at hotels in Florida and Vermont, to working for numerous Vermont travel agencies - most recently, in-house at Music Contact International's Flight Department. When Kate is not working, she enjoys gardening in her yard and spending time outside.

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Jodi Breckenridge

Jodi and her husband Manfred Hilker founded Music Contact International in 1987. The company grew out of their mutual love of travel and passion for fostering cultural exchange. 

 While growing up in New Jersey, Jodi and her family traveled extensively with her school-teacher father, who led tours for school groups. At fourteen, she spent six weeks in Greece and, at seventeen, backpacked around Europe for two months. She has been traveling ever since. While studying Art History at Barnard College in New York City, Jodi spent a semester in Salzburg, Austria, where she secured fluency in German.

When not working, Jodi enjoys raising funds for women’s issues in developing nations through The Vermont Women's Giving Circle and being active outdoors by running, skiing or hiking.

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Trixie Lebenzon

Trixie was born in Santa Cruz, California and grew up in coastal Maine. Early adventures with her family sparked her wanderlust and exposed her to an eclectic range of music. She sang in chorus throughout her school years.

While studying International Studies and French at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Trixie spent a year abroad in Rennes, France. Her time in Rennes allowed her to achieve fluency in French and to explore much of Europe.

 As a Project Manager at Music Contact International, Trixie is full of excellent ideas and always willing to help. Her friendly, enthusiastic spirit is appreciated by the directors she works with during tour coordination and brightens any tour she manages.

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Jesse Landberg

Jesse grew up primarily in the New York metropolitan area and in sunny San Diego, California. For college, he returned east and studied film production at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts, a program that included a semester of music video production in Dublin, Ireland. Research for his thesis project also saw him traveling extensively throughout England and the Pacific Northwest.

 After college, he remained in New York and joined the staff of Backstage Magazine where he eventually became a supervising editor in their casting department.

 Although a city guy at heart, he felt drawn to the bucolic Vermont, where he often spent time visiting his brother, who had relocated there a decade earlier. Jesse finally took the plunge and moved to Burlington, joining Music Contact International shortly thereafter.

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Manfred Hilker

Manfred and his wife, Jodi, founded Music Contact International in 1987.

Originally from northern Germany, not far from Bremen, Manfred began traveling at a young age. He spent time exploring Europe's cultures, landscapes, customs and art forms before he finished his studies of biology and geography at the Westfälische Wilhems University in Muenster.

Manfred's travels by land, sea, and air since then have brought him to many corners of the world, and he loves learning about the history and people of foreign places. The stories he recounts from memory  about various tour destinations have been a highlight for countless groups he has traveled with.

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Beatrix Miehl-Grabher (Trixi)

Trixi grew up in Austria and started traveling at the age of twelve. Later, her university studies and work gave her opportunities to live in Italy, England, France, Holland, the Ukraine, and Turkey.

 Trixi connected with Music Contact International in the 1990s, when she was working as a tour guide at Melk Abbey. She has been working as a Tour Manager at Music Contact International ever since, and is beloved for her caring, upbeat personality and her top-notch language skills. Trixi is vastly knowledgeable about all the destinations she travels to, and speaks English, German, Italian, and Turkish.

 Trixi lives in Turkey with her husband and daughter. She always enjoys working with Music Contact International tour groups because every trip is unique and every musical group is full of miracles.

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Gary Nihsen

Gary grew up in Iowa. He studied English and International Studies at the University of Nebraska and German at the Goethe Institute and Ludwig Maximillian University in Munich, Germany. Later, he received his MFA from Vermont College of Norwich University.

Gary first traveled abroad in 1987 during a sophomore semester abroad to Munich, Germany. This first trip was a revelation, illustrating the power of experiential learning and the consciousness-raising effect of travel through different countries and cultures, as well as the significance and ability of the universal language of the arts to bring people from different backgrounds together.

Fluent in German, Gary worked at Music Contact International's Burlington, Vermont office from 1998 until 2000, when he and his family decided to move to Germany. After gathering experience in international education, Gary returned to Music Contact International as a Tour Manager in 2009.

Gary is married to a German national and has three children. He currently resides in Berlin, Germany. When not leading tours or traveling, Gary works as a freelance writer, editor, and translator.

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Charlotte Tate

Charlotte is a life-long New Englander with roots in Connecticut, degrees from Bowdoin and St. Michael’s College, and a career at Middlebury College. Travel is a fundamental part of Charlotte's life. She is fluent in German, has spent time in Austria, and has traveled extensively throughout Europe.

In 2000, Charlotte joined Music Contact International as a Tour Manager. Since then, she has traveled with countless choirs and orchestras, bringing endless energy and knowledge to all of the places she visits. In addition to traveling as a Tour Manager, Charlotte enjoys all kinds recreational travel - on foot, on horseback, by bicycle, in the sky or on the water - and feels that journeying opens a door to new cultures, histories, and natural environments. She is privileged to experience other communities while also gaining new perspectives on her own, through travel to places near and far.

 Charlotte is usually up before the sun, swimming, running, or hiking. She lives on a farm in the Green Mountains with her husband, their dogs, and a few horses.

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Hannah Corey

Hannah first started traveling internationally as a teenager in Latin America. Her early travel experience made quite an impression and led to her working as a Peace Corps volunteer in two countries as well as pursuing a M.A. in Intercultural Communications and career in international relations. Through her volunteering, work and personal travel, Hannah has visited over 20 countries.

Before joining Music Contact International, Hannah managed international exchange programs abroad and in the U.S. for students and professionals. Hannah is happy to share her passion for cross-cultural exchange, exploring different places and meeting new people with MCI groups. Her coordination skills and understanding of group travel ensure tour participants’ experience is safe, well-organized, comfortable, and most importantly memorable!

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Lili Gundersen

Lili is from La Crosse, Wisconsin, where she traveled with the La Crosse Girls Choir to New York City, Washington, D.C., and throughout France and England.

While attending the University of Vermont, Lili traveled to India, Sweden, and Tanzania to study art, religion, and literature. Before becoming the Marketing Coordinator and Web Payment Specialist at Music Contact International, Lili worked as a Credentialing Specialist in a hospital and ensured that patients were in qualified hands.

When not working, Lili loves to get outside, explore new places, read books, and practice yoga. She is continually grateful for her opportunities to explore and connect in remarkable places, and is happy to share this experience with travelers at Music Contact International.

 

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Our Team

The integrity and dedication of our staff members is the cornerstone of our top quality concert tours and festivals. At Music Contact International we care deeply about every group’s journey and are expertly attuned to the needs of traveling performers. Our team is composed of seasoned and knowledgeable travelers, who share a passion for immersing themselves in the music, art, food, and culture of new destinations. Our tour coordinators provide you with an experienced consultation about the regions you wish to visit. We'll work with you as a team, listen to your wishes, and provide our guidance to help turn your dream performance tour into a reality.

 

Like you, we envision your performance tour as experience that create wonderful memories for years to come. Whether you would like to sing and dance with a Ghanaian choir in the heart of West Africa, or perform at St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City, Music Contact International will work for you and with you to plan every detail of your trip and ensure its success.