Meet Our Team

Paul Reisler (Founder and Artistic Director) is a composer, songwriter, recording artists, performer and teacher. He’s the founder and artistic director of Kid Pan Alley, co-founder of Trapezoid, as well as his current bands, Paul Reisler & A Thousand Questions featuring Howard Levy, and Three Good Reasons. Over the past 45 years, he’s performed in over 3,000 concerts, recorded close to three-dozen albums, co-wrote Aesop’s Fables for Orchestra and Narrator, as well as the script and songs for two musicals Bouncin’ and The Talented Clementine.

Paul has written more songs than the Beatles, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, and Stephen Foster combined—somewhere north of 3,500 compositions.  Certainly, his 65,000 short collaborators as well a handful of Grammy-winning co-writers have helped. Artists including Sissy Spacek, Raul Malo, Darrell Scott, Cracker, Corey Harris, Jesse Winchester and many others have recorded his songs.

He’s one of the most popular songwriting teachers in the country and has taught at workshops and songwriting schools including Rocky Mountain Song School, Utah Song School, New Song Academy, Swannanoa Gathering, Augusta Workshop, Hollyhock, Kerrville, NSAI, Songcamp in the Mountains, Puget Sound Guitar Workshop, Berklee College of Music, University of the Pacific, and Moulin a Nef (France).

Cheryl Reisler (Grants & Education Specialist) loves to sing. When she started school, her ability to sing harmony landed her invitations to join her first choir at the age of 9. This passion led to earning a bachelors and master degree in music education.

Cheryl is an avid music educator. She believes in the creative process integrating voice, movement, improvisation and instrumentation as a means of inspiration and discovery. She started her professional career as an elementary school music teacher. This led to a position supervising the elementary music program for 136 schools for the Fairfax County Public School district. Then she served as an elementary school principal for 8 years before joining Kid Pan Alley.

Her experience includes teaching preschool students with special needs through high school.  She has served coordinator of the All County Choral Festival for 900 voices and assistant conductor for the George Mason Symphonic Chorus.  She has performed with the Symphonic Chorus at the Philharmonic in Koln, Germany.

Candace Mraz (Marketing & Business Development) is an entrepreneur, development expert, event strategist, and ally to people with disabilities and the LGBTQ+ community, especially in the workplace.  With over 25 years of business development, marketing, hospitality and strategic planning experience, Candace infuses the arts into work and uses her professional & personal experiences, creative intelligence and dedication to inclusion to engage and inspire audiences, both internal and external.

Candace is a Co-Producer of the Emmy Award winning Documentary Film: FROM THE WINGS: The LIVE ART Story and former Executive Director and Vice President of Development for the American Heart Association in Richmond, Charlottesville and Roanoke, Virginia. Candace modernized the Heart Walk, Heart Ball & Go Red for Women events with an emphasis on digital media production and innovative donor engagement.

For 8 years, as the Senior Director of Development for the School of the Performing Arts in the Richmond Community (SPARC), Candace led efforts to raise nearly $13 million to fuel SPARC’s program and capital growth.  Candace was also instrumental in developing and implementing the funding and marketing strategies for SPARC’s nationally recognized inclusive arts education program, LIVE ART.

Candace holds a certificate in Fundraising & Development from the University of Richmond’s Institute on Philanthropy and studied Business Administration at Meredith College in Raleigh, North Carolina.  Candace also volunteers for Virginia Ability and her proudest development project is raising her two daughters in the “Center of Universe”, Ashland, VA.

Jane Woodcox (Director of Programs) brings over 30 years of diverse leadership experience working in both for-profit and non-profit organizations in business development, marketing and strategy, and start-up programming, including a decade of health care delivery system strategy, contracting work and client relations in positions in San Francisco, Philadelphia and Honolulu.

Jane earned her degree in Boston at Simmons University with a B.A. in Economics, and also participated in an economics policy exchange program at the American University while working at the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development. In her healthcare career, she developed an expertise in serving diverse, under-resourced communities.

In more recent years, Jane completed the Yale School of Management Executive Education Women’s Leadership Program and developed an expertise in program development in the arts, community building, social justice work and offering family support services after settling in the Hartford, CT area.

Building upon her varied experiences, in 2018, Jane founded CT Inclusive Arts, with non-profit fiscal sponsorship via Fractured Atlas and secured funding, designed programming, marketing and publicity campaigns, creating a network of community partners (Hartford Stage, The American School for the Deaf, The Ethel Walker School, The Hartford Dance Collective and more) and engaged over 100 people in various roles to offer a pilot program and then a second season of inclusive arts classes scheduled to conclude in a major performance experience for young people with varying abilities, in greater Hartford. The in-person production BELIEVE, was cancelled in March 2020 due to COVID-19.

Ryan Benyo (Director of Music and Technology) is a Los Angeles based record producer, songwriter and pianist. He got his start in music at an early age studying Classical and Jazz piano in his hometown in Virginia which flourished into a passion for songwriting and music production. After working with Kid Pan Alley’s Paul Reisler, Ryan decided to peruse a career in music full-time and went on to study at Berklee College of Music in Boston and he received a B.S. in Music Production from McNally Smith College of Music in Saint Paul, MN in 2012.

With an electric taste in music, Ryan has worked with a variety of artists including Parachute, Sheppard, Baker Grace, Alberta Cross, Through Fire, Vusi Mahlasela, Caro Emerald, Lisa Loeb, and Owen Danoff. He has also released 6 solo albums as an independent artist.

As the Director of Music and Technology for Kid Pan Alley, Ryan’s focus is on the recording, development and marketing of our growing catalog of songs, as well as to aid in music and entertainment industry relations on the west coast.

Teaching Artists


Justin Roth is a nationally touring singer/songwriter and fingerstyle acoustic guitarist based in Colorado who combines his indie folk sensibilities over a bed of brilliantly inventive guitar technique. He has toured with John Gorka and David Wilcox, and opened for some of folk music’s finest singer/songwriters, including Shawn Colvin, Martin Sexton, Peter Yarrow (of Peter, Paul and Mary) and Darrell Scott. In the guitar world, he has shared stages with some of the greatest fingerstyle players of today, such as Tommy Emmanuel, Andy McKee, and Billy McLaughlin. Roth’s fan-funded fourth solo album, Now You Know, was voted as one of the Top 100 Folk Albums of 2011.



Teaching Assistants


Emma Sloniker is a vocalist from Fort Collins, CO. Raised in a musical family, she was purportedly singing long before she could talk, and was exposed to a variety of genres that inform her style and tastes to this day: from folk, to jazz, bluegrass, and musical theatre. Performing jazz and blues since 2013, her band ThreeShots is a local staple on the Northern Front Range and regularly features on local favorites lists. This year alone they competed at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis and opened the Greeley Blues Jam for headliners Tab Benoit, Matt Anderson, Carolyn Wonderland, and Southern Avenue.