Our Hope Staff

Melissa Albano, Congregational Music Leader

Melissa Albano is a teacher for the Clarke County School District.  She has a Bachelors Degree in Music Education with a Masters Degree in Special Education. Melissa grew up in Athens and has been a member of a church choir since childhood. She is also an accomplished flutist.  Melissa has been a member of the Our Hope MCC Choir for the past eleven years and successfully led their music program for the past two years. Melissa and her wife and both her parents live in the Athens area and regularly attend Our Hope MCC. Having the opportunity to attend church with her entire family is one of the church’s greatest aspects.

Peng-Chian Chen, Pianist/Accompanist

A native of Taiwan, Peng-Chian Chen, has gained recognition as an accomplished performer in both the United States and Taiwan. Her lists of achievements include first prize in TNUA Chamber Music, NTSO Youth International Piano Camp Concerto Soloist, Taichung Music Contests of Senior Professional Degree and Concerto Competition in Stella Matutina Girl’s High School, University of Georgia Concerto Competition as well as many other awards and scholarships. As a soloist, she made her orchestral debut with Stella Matutina Orchestra; since 2013, she has been invited by Hualien government to hold several lecture recitals in Taiwan. A passionate and committed teacher, Chen currently serves as a piano faculty at UGA community music school, and maintains an active studio.

Chen holds her bachelor degree from Taiwan National University of the Arts and master double degrees from the University of Michigan in Piano Performance and Chamber Music with Prof. Louis Nagel. Currently, Chen is pursing the doctor of musical arts program in piano performance as a full scholarship student with Prof. Evgeny Rivkin and is also nominated for a teaching assistant at the University of Georgia.

Megan Ward, Web Developer

Megan is a graduate of the University of Georgia with undergraduate and graduate degrees in Public Relations. She currently teaches in the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication.