Maestro Robert Nance is a multi-talented conductor, keyboardist, teacher, composer, clinician, performer, arts advocate and entrepreneur.
He is a distinguished graduate of DePauw University School of Music (Indiana) where he earned a Bachelor of Music degree in keyboard performance; and from the Peabody Conservatory (Baltimore) where he earned is Master of Music degree in conducting.
For much of his 30 year career, Nance has been an entrepreneurial producer of concerts, ranging from his own performances as a keyboardist to managing large-scale productions as a conductor. He has a proven track record of bringing a unique flair to an otherwise traditional performance. He possesses the rare ability to serve equally well as a performing artist, an artistic director, a fundraiser, a producer and business executive.
These combined skills have helped him navigate Heartland Sings, Inc. for the past 25 years, growing the company from its infancy into a major arts organization.
Maestro Nance is the President and Founding Artistic Director of Heartland Sings, Inc., a professional company of vocal artists and ensembles. Founded in 1997, this Fort Wayne-based company is “…Changing Lives through Song” through entertaining and culturally impactful programs.
As the Founder and President of Mobile Performing Arts, Nance is yet again taking an bold step toward solving the problem of access to the arts, leading the arts industry with a unique concept that will connect artists and arts organizations with new audiences and underserved communities, and building relationships along the way.
Throughout his career, Nance has received many awards and accolades including being a guest conductor of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, appearing on the Millennium Stage at the Kennedy Center with Heartland Sings, recipient of the Indiana Arts Commission Individual Artist Fellowship, and panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts. His Attitude Series of keyboard recordings and the recording of Heartland Sings’ The Spirit of Christmas are favorites with fans.
Maestro Nance has made Fort Wayne has been Maestro Nance’s home for the past 30 years, where he has distinguished himself as a dedicated performer, teacher, community leader, entrepreneur, innovator, and arts composer and producer. In 2017, in honor of his commitment to the arts, he was awarded Fort Wayne’s Artist of the Year by Arts United. www.MaestroNance.com
Laurel Canan, Performing Arts Consultant
Laurel brings a unique perspective with her experience as a booking agent/artist manager and former presenter with over 22 years of industry experience. She has become a recognized and respected arts industry professional.
As an artist manager, she has worked with numerous artists, managing and booking them in a variety of venues from concert halls to festivals to special event/galas all over the world.
Laurel also served as executive director of the Janesville Performing Arts Center (Janesville, Wisconsin). Managing the capital campaign for the project, Laurel was instrumental in raising $3.4 million for the restoration project. She has extensive experience in all facets of arts management, programming, arts marketing, organization strategic planning, and fundraising.
Laurel was recognized for her work the arts as recipient of Forward Janesville’s “Woman of Excellence- 2008” award and induction into the Rock County (WI) Arts Hall of Fame in 2009. She also received a Citation of Commendation from the Wisconsin State Assembly and Senate for outstanding work in the arts in November, 2008.
Laurel is committed to continuing education, professional development and mentoring. She participated in the Prairie Arts Management Institute in Sioux Falls, South Dakota and the Professional Arts Management Institute at Columbia College in Chicago, Illinois. Laurel regularly serves as panelist or facilitator for professional development sessions at regional conferences and industry gatherings nationwide on a variety of performing arts related topics. She has led strategic planning for performing arts and non-profit organizations.
Laurel has been a guest lecturer on Arts Administration and Development for several university programs. She has served as an adjunct faculty at Butler University (IN), Viterbo University (WI) teaching Arts Administration.
During her time in Wisconsin, Laurel was a State Captain for Arts Wisconsin working on arts advocacy issues around the state and the national level. Laurel served on grant review panels for the Wisconsin Arts Board and the South Dakota Arts Council.
Laurel is past president of the North American Performing Arts Managers and Agents (NAPAMA) board and served as treasurer, completing two terms on the board. In 2016, she served as co-chair of the Arts Midwest Conference. She is also past president of Ohio Arts Professionals Network (OAPN).
She earned her MPA (Masters, Public Administration Degree) from Ball State University (IN) focusing studies on Organizational Management and Policy.
Rob Rider, Production Consultant
Rob Rider brings over three decades of professional live audio engineering and show production experience to Heartland Sings. As owner of Rider Productions Inc. Rob has provided audio, video, lighting, staging, tour management, and other critical services for a diverse clientele of national and international touring acts including orchestral, theatrical, ballet, rock, country, jazz, blues, hip hop, R&B, and rap concerts, as well as church and corporate events of all kinds. This experience provides the background to know what is required for any given situation both technically and also within the realm of artist management.
Having earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Hanover College, Rob gives back to the Northeast Indiana community by mentoring up and coming technical talent and conducts formal internship programs in cooperation with several local universities.
The road is a demanding taskmaster. Traveling with shows all over North America and China has both its rewards and hard learned lessons. This is the stuff of which dreams are made. The entertainment industry is in the business of the realization of dreams for both the artist and the audience. Rob brings the know how to achieve this goal to make these dreams a reality while respecting the artistic, cultural, logistical and budgetary parameters.
Sara Fiedelholtz, Creative Strategist
Sara Fiedelholtz believes newness is important, but it is also essential for an organization to grow through exploration of its current brands, strategies and marketing initiatives. Sometimes the best opportunities for the new and innovative come from the ability to see the old and established in new and different ways.
Her ability to mix magic with logic has allowed Fiedelholtz to work not only with major national and international media companies, but also with corporations and organizations in a wide range of industry sectors including: Consumer goods, city governments, non-profits, healthcare, travel/tourism and real estate development.
It is through Fiedelholtz’ unique skill to see, think and act differently that she is able to layer her ability to effectively communicate with honed analytic skills to create a balanced recipe of well-constructed narratives and best business practices to establish organic growth initiatives that maximize potential AND opportunity.
For over two decades, Fiedelholtz has constructed and run multi-media content-driven properties as well as overseeing new business development, branding and marketing initiatives and executing strategic initiatives. She has also worked on staff for several Fortune 500 companies as an editorial director, publishing director, editor/reporter, creative strategist and special projects editors. As a media entrepreneur, Fiedelholtz has launched three successful magazine publishing companies.
Fiedelholtz earned a B.A. from Tufts University, a M.S.J. from The Journalism School at Columbia University, an executive M.B.A. from the Kellogg Management Institute at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and a certificate from the Bank of America Institute for Women’s Entrepreneurship, Cornell University. For the 2021/2022, Fiedelholtz has been selected as a Newstart Knight Foundation Fellow in Media Innovation & Solutions at the Reed School of Communications, West Virginia University. thinkboxstrategies.com.
Lee Pomerantz, Digital Marketing Consultant
Lee Pomerantz has over 35-years experience as a sales and marketing executive. In 2000, he established eMedia Technologies. In addition to eMedia, Pomerantz has been involved with the purchase, operation and selling of several other businesses.
Prior to establishing eMedia, Pomerantz spent 18-years as a senior-level sales and marketing executive in the professional audio and music technology industry. This included serving as the director of sales for Sweetwater, the premiere U.S. online music instrument and pro-audio. In addition, he spent several years as a recording engineer in recording studios in New York.
Pomerantz has a BA in Music Engineering from the State University of New York (SUNY) – Fredonia. eMediaTech.com