Board of Directors
Barry Adelman was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1949. His involvement with music began when he started taking guitar lessons at the age of 12.
He stopped however (within 6 months), in favor of playing sports.
He became a starting player on his high school (New Utrecht) basketball team.
Upon graduation from high school he wanted to refocus his energy from sports to an activity he could do throughout his life, even into old age.
He chose music and began taking flute lessons.
After graduation from college (University of Michigan) he began taking classical and flamenco guitar lessons while continuing to play flute.
Eventually he began writing songs. He has donated the use of his original compositions to Music for Humanity.
Barry is also a successful businessman; he is the owner of Outdoors of Chester, a retail clothing/footwear store he opened in 1978. He resides in Walker Valley NY.
Johnny Karas, originally from Buffalo, New York, is the lead vocalist and tenor saxophonist for the Grammy Award winning Jimmy Sturr Band. Johnny has regaled audiences with his virtuosity for over forty years. His intensity, versatility and creativity on the tenor sax have resulted in most observers describing him as one of, if not the best saxophonist ever in the polka field. His unique vocal styling and phrasing have afforded him the recognition of being one of the finest vocalists in the industry. Bobby Vinton has called Johnny the “heart and soul” of the Jimmy Sturr Band. His performances are a trademark of the Jimmy Sturr Band.
John has performed and recorded with Bobby Vinton, Willie Nelson, The Oakridge Boys, Bill Anderson, Mel Tillis, Myron Floren, and the legendary Boots Randolph. He has appeared in numerous videos as well as nationally televised shows and at prestigious venues such as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and The Grand Ole Opry. Johnny was inducted into the International Polka Association’s Hall of Fame located in Chicago in 2001. In 2002 while performing in Buffalo, Johnny was presented with resolutions acknowledging his contributions and commitment to music and the Polish-American Community. The Buffalo City Council and Erie County Legislature named October 13th as Johnny Karas Day. He is also a consultant with Quest Financial Services in Goshen, New York.
Charles has been on the Music for Humanity Scholarship Committee since 2014.
He holds Bachelors and Masters degrees in guitar performance from Syracuse University and Ithaca College, respectively.
He has served on the faculties of numerous colleges and universities in New York and the New England area as a lecturer in classical guitar and lute.
Prior to settling in the Washington, DC area in 1991, Mr. Mokotoff made his home in New England where he was widely recognized as an active guitarist and lutenist.
During that period his career culminated with two Far East tours and a well-received New York City debut at Carnegie Hall in 1987.
Solo and ensemble recitals over the past few seasons have centered around the Mid-Atlantic states, but include performances in Chicago, Boston, and most recently two performances at the Lincoln Center Performing Arts Library in New York City.
Past Board Members
Eileen Moon is currently Associate Principal Cello with the New York Philharmonic.
In her 20 years living in New York, she has immersed herself in community interaction and animal advocacy.
She is co-founder and Vice President of The Artemis Project, a NYC-based organization which has served homeless cats and dogs through TNR and adoption.
In her current hometown of Warwick, New York, Eileen has founded the Warwick Music Series and co-founded the auxiliary group, Friends of Warwick Valley Humane Society, whose main goal is to raise money on behalf of abandoned, rescued, and injured animals, wild and domesticated.
She has served on the boards of Warwick Valley Chamber of Commerce and the Orange County Arts Council, has taught at NYU and teaches privately at her home.
While growing up in Clemson , SC, Kurt’s first entrepreneurial effort was a lawn cutting business at age 12, fifty something years later, he has owned and operated an entertainment booking agency, festival food concession, college corner bar, web development company, rental real estate, an ice cream/sandwich shop and was co-founder of FestivalNet.com (recently sold).
Along the way he managed a movie theater, picked peaches, was an insurance claims adjuster, ran a ball park concession and managed his singer/comedian brother, Kier.
A music lover from his early teen years singing with his brothers and playing drums in garage bands through working in the music business for 15+ years, Kurt still loves music.
He and his wife Connie live in Englewood, FL. Kurt plans to be an entrepreneur the rest of his life.
Robin Rabii’s love of music and musicians began at an early age. Growing up one block away from the St. Albans, New York homes of James Brown (the “Godfather of Soul”), Count Basie and Brook Benton, his parents introduced him to an eclectic mix of calypso, classical, pop, gospel, opera and R & B. This blend of sounds, beats and harmonies paved the way to his appreciation of music from all corners, cultures and countries. At 8, he started playing drums, and at age 10, guitar lessons. In college, it was the electric bass and after graduation, it was the banjo.
Earning a Masters in Public Administration from Stony Brook University, and then becoming their Director of Human Resources and Payroll Administration for 11 years, delayed, but did not damper his passion for music. He returned to his “roots” and with his brother, son, daughter, nephews and cousin, started the Drummers, a unique all-drum band that plays instrumental compositions to ignite the flames of harmony in the hearts of humanity.
Currently, Robin is the Director of the New York State Payroll. In this capacity, he provides oversight and direction of the organization that is responsible for making the salary payments to over 250,000 employees of the New York State Government.
Robin is also a small business owner; he is co-owner of Riverview Laundromat & Car Wash in Narrowsburg, NY.
He resides in Lake Huntington, NY with his family.