The Staff

David Robinson – Founder & Artistic Director

DavidMr. David E. Robinson III, a Detroit, Michigan native of musical progeniture, is the founder and artistic director of the Still Waters Youth Sinfo-Nia of Metropolitan Atlanta. He is also co-founder of the DeKalb Youth Pops, of which electric jazz violinist extraordinaire Ken Ford was a member. This Morehouse College alumnus is a 30-year veteran music instructor for Dekalb County Schools. He often conducts its premier Dekalb Elementary Honor Orchestra. David is a Life Member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity and the National Association of Negro Musicians (where he is the conductor of the D. Jerlene Harding Memorial/NANM Youth Orchestra), and served as organist and assistant music director at Providence Missionary Baptist Church under the pastorship of Dr. Gerald Durley.

He is often called to do workshops and summer camps with Urban Strings of Columbus, OH, an orchestra he helped establish. This musical genius is a composer and arranger of a full genre of music (classical, Negro spirituals, gospel, jazz, bluegrass, R & B, “hip-hop”, etc.). As such, he arranges for many marching bands including The Ohio State University, orchestras, and choirs in metro Atlanta, across the nation and abroad. He hails from an influential musical heritage. His great-grandmother, Anna Gardner Goodwin was pianist, composer and accompanist for the Morehouse-Spelman College Glee Clubs. His brother, Richard Robinson, was a double bassist for the Detroit Symphony who now has his own performing arts production company called Cuttime. His sister, Dr. Amorie A. Robinson is a clinical psychologist in Detroit who also plays violin and African drums. His three daughters are also musicians: Raziya (viola), Ayanna (cello and violin), and Briana. (violin). He also has one grandson named Marley (cello).

A few of David’s most notable Sinfo-Nia performances include: Inauguration of Atlanta’s Mayor, Shirley Franklin; “No Child Left Behind” speaking tour of US Secretary of Education, Dr. Rod Paige; National Library Association’s Coretta Scott King Book Award Breakfast; Trumpet Awards Future Trumpeters’ Breakfast; Divorce Court Judge Mablean Ephraim’s “Honoring Unsung Fathers” Awards; Concerned Black Clergy’s “Make-A-Way” Foundation Awards; SCLC Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. “Ground Crew” Awards; Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Concert at the Episcopalian Cathedral of St. Phillip; “HBO Cares” for “Music in Our Schools” Month featuring recording artist, Monica; Several performances for the National Black Arts Festival at the Woodruff Arts Center; 80th Birthday Celebration for Dr. Richard Long, Historian; Honorable Judge Thelma Moore’s Portrait Unveiling; “A Conversation with C.T. Vivian and Harry Belafonte”; Christmas Day performance at the estate of Ghana, West Africa’s President, Dr. John A. Kuffour; Concert at the estate of US Ambassador, Pamela Bridgewater (UN Secretary General, Dr. Kofi Annan was also present) in Accra, Ghana, W. Africa; artist-in-residence and principal cellist for the Jamaica Symphony. Sinfo-Nia recently did a YouTube music video with Ashanti Floyd, also known as “The Mad Violinist” called “Battle Field.”


Alycia Robinson – Operations & Dance Director

Alycia_Website PicAlycia W. Robinson is the Operations and Dance Director of Still Waters Youth Sinfo-Nia Orchestra of Metropolitan Atlanta, one of the few African American Community Youth Orchestra in the world, with its own Dance Company. Alycia was National Dance Director for the National Association of Negro Musicians for nearly a decade.

With a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Sweet Briar College, nearly 4 decades of experience in dance performance, instruction and troupe management, Alycia’s specialty is developing private dance programs and managing orchestra programs specifically geared toward youth, including event production, fund raising, promotions and international performance tour scheduling.

Major performances include: 1996 Olympics Children’s Performance, Trumpet Awards Future Trumpeters Youth Breakfast, Divorce Court Judge Mablean Ephraim’s H.U.F. Awards, National Black Arts Festival Children’s Village Performances, Holiday Season Tour Mission in West Africa including concerts at the estates of the President and US Ambassador of Ghana.


​Khaleelah Benson

​Khaleelah Atiya Mack is a classically trained violinist from Atlanta, Georgia. Since her introduction to this instrument, she has gained much recognition and success. Khaleelah has traveled to West Africa and had the opportunity to perform for the president of Ghana.
Khaleelah served as the concert master for the Alabama A&M University String ensemble; she played alongside the University’s choir and has been a feature performer with the Alabama A&M University Vocal Jazz Ensemble.

Although Khaleelah enjoys performing, her passion is to teach. Khaleelah has created and facilitated a violin program for the Alabama A&M University Edmonton Heights Family Life Center After School tutoring and mentoring program. This program offers free violin lessons to children after school. During this time, she provided music classes to children at the Alabama A&M University Child Development Center.

Khaleelah has a bachelor’s degree in Music Business. She now teaches at Benjamin Banneker High School and has future plans to have her own school of music for underprivileged children. She gives God all praise for all He has allowed her to accomplish. Khaleelah has made it a point to strive for her goals, which are nothing less than her grandest dreams.

 

 


Briana Robinson

Briana Robinson_picBriana Noelle Robinson is the daughter of David and Alycia Robinson. She is a sophomore at Agnes Scott College majoring in Music and Biochemistry. Briana began performing solos on the violin at three years old and has been a member of Still Waters Youth Sinfo-Nia since the age of eight. Briana’s five years study under the highly revered concert master, Felix Farrar greatly helped refine her skills. She served as concertmistress of Sinfo-Nia’s youth orchestra for 3 consecutive years. Briana was the associate concert mistress for the Dunwoody High School Orchestra and concert mistress for three consecutive years for the National Association of Negro Musicians Youth Convention Orchestra. In the past, she has also performed with the DeKalb Youth Symphony Orchestra, Georgia Statewide Honor Orchestra, the Ken Ford Foundation Symphony and various Chamber Ensembles.

She is a violin and viola instructor at Cambridge Academy for pre-school and primary students, and completed internships as an instructor for Sinfo-Nia’s 2012 and 2013 Summer Academies. She was also beginning and intermediate instructor for the 2012 and 2013 Summer Camps for Urban Strings Orchestra of Columbus, Ohio. Through the violin, Briana has traveled coast-to-coast around the United States and internationally to Ghana, Togo, and Benin in West Africa, Edinburgh, Scotland and Montreal, Canada. Briana is currently studying under the direction of Violinist and Violist Amy Chang, a member of the Atlanta Ballet Orchestra and Atlanta Opera Orchestra. With her Biochemistry Major, she plans to go into Biomedical Research and is yet exploring future possibilities to pursue with her music major.


Lewis Eichelberger


Lewis Eichelberger_picLewis Eichelberger is a violinist and composer from Atlanta, Georgia. He started playing the violin at the age of four and made his professional debut at 14 when he performed a recital to benefit the German School of Atlanta at the Callanwolde Performing Arts Center. Lewis is currently a senior music major at Morehouse College and his concentration is violin performance and composition. He currently studies under Professor Jessica Wu.

Lewis is also a cofounder of the artistic community/media site, Gatherture and performs violin in his band “The Griots.” He also recently won 3rd Place in the National Association of Negro Musicians scholarship competition. Lewis’ post graduation goals are to pursue master’s studies in violin performance, composition, and music technology. He also intends to tour around the world. Lewis has a strong belief that art has the power to move people in profound ways and can potentially change the world for the good.


Khadija Copeland

Khadija Copeland_picKhadija Christina Copeland is a life-long dance company member of Still Waters Youth Sinfo- Nia of the Metropolitan Atlanta Area. Khadija has danced for Superior Court Judge Thelma Cummings-Moore, DeKalb County State Representatives, Richard Long, the acclaimed African American Dance Historian, The National Black Arts Festival, The National Association of Negro Musicians, The Trumpet Awards, Divorce Court Judge Mablean Ephriam, Ruben Studdard’s Music Camp 2008, and a solo Black History Pointe performance at Creekside High School in which she was featured as Madam Black Butterfly to the arrangement of the song by recording artist Denise Williams.

Khadija recently graduated from the American Musical and Dramatic Academy (AMDA) College and Conservatory of the Performing Arts in Los Angeles, California with a BFA in Performing Arts. She has also studied one-act plays and directing scenes of various student-involved plays. It was at AMDA where she made her debut as “Tituba” from the Arthur Miller play The Crucible. Currently she is a proud performer of Actors, Models, and Talent for Christ (AMTC) in Atlanta, Georgia.

Khadija continues to work hard pursuing her dreams to perform professionally as an actress, dancer, and vocalist in theatres around the world. Khadija was born to minister her gifts and talents, spreading love, joy and happiness to all. That is why she is called “LOVE ME, KHADIJA…”


Safiyya Sharif

Safiyya Sharif_picSafiyya Sharif is a Supply Chain professional in Atlanta, GA. She was a member of the orchestra group at Miller Grove Junior High School playing the violin and cello. She also belonged to the Dekalb Youth Pops Orchestra before deciding to pursue other interests. After several years hiatus from music, she has decided to return to her roots and begin playing the violin again.

She also has an interest in studying both the guitar and the piano. “It’s been a pleasure being able to volunteer and play with the Still Waters Youth Sinfo-Nia. I believe the group is providing wonderful experience and opportunity for our youth to be able to cultivate their gifts and talents for presentation to the world as an audience.”

 


Aaron Owens

AaronA Wisconsin native, Aaron Owens, has received classical training since the age of 10. He has performed with the Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra [MYSO] during his time as a middle and high school student. Acknowledged by the MYSO committees for his musicianship and work ethic, Aaron was offered the opportunity to teach music theory to the underrepresented youth of southern eastern Wisconsin in a program now referred to as MYSO Progressions.

Aaron continues to perform for venues and help organizations when he is needed. He plans to pursue graduate studies in cognitive neuroscience at the University of California, San Diego.