Who We Are

The MusicianShip was founded by a passionate group of music enthusiasts who view music as a vehicle to change lives. Since our founding, we have garnered the support of internationally recognized musicians and constantly work to engage people who are willing to serve a dual role as not only music educators, but also as mentors.

Dianne's Story A love for music fueled the dream

Dianne Nichol Grainger was born October 12, 1984, to Joyce and Gregory Grainger. She has two brothers, Gregory Grainger Jr. and Eric Grainger. From an early age, it became evident to Joyce and Gregory that she was beautiful, special and caring, having a strong love for her friends and family. It was also apparent that she was outspoken when it came to issues that she believed to be unfair. This was demonstrated in elementary school where, while receiving an award in scholastic achievement, Dianne spoke out against what she felt was unfair treatment to some of her classmates.

Having come from a musical family, Dianne always loved music and would pursue percussion at the age of 14. While in her first year at Baltimore City College High School, she joined the marching band as a cymbalist. Because of her drive and thirst for knowledge, she quickly advanced to the snare drum, became one of the best overall percussionists in the entire area, and would eventually teach inexperienced, inner-city youth through multiple programs that she founded, some of which are still in existence. Dianne refined her skills by taking private lessons and refining what she had learned with her father and professional drummer, Gregory Grainger. Through hard work and determination, Dianne was awarded a music scholarship to Howard University.

While at Howard, she played in both the concert and marching bands, eventually becoming one of the most celebrated percussionists in Howard’s history. Her love for music expanded even more when she became a member of Sigma Alpha Iota International Music Fraternity for Women. Dianne graduated Cum Laude in 2007 with a B.A. in Music Education and a minor in Percussion. She also received The Avedis Zildjian Percussion Scholarship, which is awarded to the most outstanding percussionist in the graduating class.

After graduating from Howard University, Dianne became a full time music education teacher at Deer Park Middle school in Baltimore County. There she would continue to enrich the music program and introduce computer music to her students. Dianne was also a professional musician, playing drums behind artists like Orianthi and Jaared. She even did tech work from time to time with Earth, Wind and Fire. Dianne was a member of Shiloh Baptist Church of Washington DC, where she was also the full-time drummer. She had a strong Christian faith, which was just as important to her as her music.

Once Dianne became a music educator, she could feel the void of not having music in primary and secondary schools. She witnessed all the inner-city youth that did not have the same opportunity to continue their education and eventually get music scholarships like she did. She was inspired to start a music program from a concept created by her “Uncle Glen.” Dianne and her dad, Gregory, talked about trying to make that plan a reality. Soon thereafter, Dianne connected with one of her Howard ensemble mates, Jeffery Tribble, Jr., who had also begun developing a similar concept. Dianne, Jeffery and Gregory had a meeting about their shared vision and the beginnings of The MusicianShip were born.

Unfortunately for all, Dianne died in a tragic accident on August 5, 2009 at the age of 24. She never had the chance to see her dream become a reality. But with the help of Jim Reznikoff, Eric Jacobs and Anja Broer, Jeffery and Gregory made The MusicianShip come to life. We are constantly sailing forward in memory of Dianne, all that she believed in, and her spirit is ever-present in The MusicianShip’s ongoing effort to change lives with music.

Board of Directors Our Leadership Team

Jeffery Tribble Jr.

Biography

Jeffery is a magna cum laude graduate of Howard University with a degree in Legal Communication. Jeffery is also a graduate of The George Washington University Law School, where he felt compelled to start The MusicianShip with Dianne Grainger (1984-2009), and her father, Gregory Grainger. As a result of Jeffery’s work with The MusicianShip, he has received five civic awards in the past three years alone, including being named one of “DC’s Top 30 Under 30.” Jeffery was inducted—as an honorary member—to Phi Mu Alpha, the world’s largest and oldest music fraternity, after negotiating a partnership with them to help expand The MusicianShip nationwide. In April 2014, Jeffery completed Georgetown University’s Nonprofit Executive Leadership Program. Jeffery serves as the President of The MusicianShip and plays the drums every Sunday at his local DC church.

Greg Grainger

Biography

No novice to his instrument and a skilled architect of rhythm, Gregory is surprisingly fresh in his artistry and musical perspective. Greg, at the age of 14, was awarded a scholarship to the highly respected Peabody Conservatory of Music at Johns Hopkins University. His world debut came at the age of 19 as the youngest member of the group Pockets the protégé band of Earth, Wind and Fire. The group produced three albums with Earth, Wind & Fires’ Verdine White. Upon hearing him, it is easy to see why Whitney Houston signed him for her 1988 world tour and why Britain’s Rhythm Magazine called his work “solid and tasteful” dubbing him a “rhythm master.” He is the drummer for national smooth jazz artists such as Acoustic Alchemy and Kim Waters, along with being drummer and Musical Director for Maysa (the voice of Incognito’s Deep Waters and A Shade of Blue). He founded The MusicianShip to help students achieve through music, as he himself has done. You can catch Greg playing the drums at places like Blues Alley and Arena Stage, when he is not touring around the world.

Robert Brauneis

Biography

Robert is Professor of Law and Co-Director of the Intellectual Property Program at The George Washington University Law School. After earning his J.D. magna cum laude at Harvard Law School, he served as a law clerk to Judge Stephen G. Breyer of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit (now Justice Breyer) and to Justice David H. Souter. He has also served as an Assistant Corporation Counsel for the city of Chicago. He is the co-author of a leading casebook on copyright law and of numerous articles on copyright, trademark, and constitutional law. He is a member of the Managing Board of the Munich Intellectual Property Law Center and a Trustee of the Copyright Society of the USA, and has served as President of the Giles S. Rich American Inn of Court. In 2013 – 2014, he served as the inaugural Abraham L. Kaminstein Scholar in Residence at the United States Copyright Office. Robert is a long-time DC resident and upright bass player.

Eric Jacobs

Biography

Eric has 30 years of experience building and advising organizations from their start-up and throughout their life cycle. He has provided coaching and consulting services to organizations that include Wal-Mart, America Online, Federal Express, The Census Bureau, Hewlett-Packard, numerous small and mid-sized companies, and multiple Inc. 500 Companies. Mr. Jacobs has provided leadership on programs for The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that explored effective intervention strategies for Gang Involved Girls and for the U.S. Department of Education that provided assistance to improve Dropout Prevention programs at State Education Agencies. He is a past National Dropout Prevention Center/Network conference presenter and was a founder of the Federal Leadership Institute and The Federal Coaching Institute along with two non-profits, Defining Moments and The MusicianShip. Eric has a background in piano.

Anja Broer

Biography

Anja has 20 years of experience contributing to the success of organizations through her expertise in sales, marketing, and event planning. As a Dale Carnegie Coach, she enjoys the creative process of helping people find new ways to grow personally and professionally. She raises funds and awareness for non-profits including Children’s Hospital, The Polaris Project, Courtney’s House, Fair Fund (organizations focusing on fighting child trafficking), and sits on the advisory board for Wounded Warriors. Anja is currently working in sales for the Department of Defense division of Lexis Nexis and travels the country, educating high-level officials on tools used by U.S. intelligence professionals. As a former music student and founder of The MusicianShip, she realizes the impact of music in everyone’s lives and is passionate about helping children succeed in life.

Marcus Johnson

Biography

An independent Billboard-ranked musician and NAACP Image Award-nominated jazz keyboardist and pianist, Marcus is also the CEO and Founder of FLO Wine, LLC. FLO Wine is capturing the taste buds of wine lovers from California to South Carolina. To date, retail partners in various states include Costco, Wal-Mart, Target, Whole Foods, Giant, Harris Teeter, Renaissance Hotels, Kroger, Aloft Hotels, Four Seasons Hotel (DC), Farm Fresh, and Total Wine. Over the last decade, Marcus has released 15 successful Billboard-charted studio albums. On Pandora, Marcus receives 5.1 million spins per year with 2,000 new stations added each month. A graduate of Howard University, Johnson went on to simultaneously earn both his MBA and Juris Doctorate degrees at Georgetown University. He served on the faculty of Georgetown University Center for Professional Development in 2007 and taught at Bowie State University from 2008 through 2010, adjunct business development. Marcus serves as The MusicianShip’s Chair of Music Business Programs.

Jim Reznikoff

Biography

Jim offers more than 25 years of experience as an entrepreneur of MicroSystems Automation Group (MSAG), a rapidly growing company with more than 150 staff members. Over the past 25 years, MSAG has played key roles supporting programs at the Department of State, including its International Educational Exchanges such as the Fulbright Scholarship program. He is active in several organizations including Membership Chair for World Entrepreneur Organization, Entrepreneur Organization, and The Northern Virginia Technology Council and coaches a number of entrepreneurs. He is a founder of The MusicianShip and an active guitar player on the DC scene.

John Simson

Biography

John has been in the music industry since his signing in 1971 as a recording artist and songwriter. John’s career has included stints as a manager, handling the career of 5X Grammy winner, Mary-Chapin Carpenter, and special advisor to Harry Belafonte for music and television projects. He has a 30-year career as an entertainment lawyer advising clients on copyright and business issues in film, television, music, and the visual arts. He served as the Executive Director of SoundExchange from 2001 – 2010, which he helped launch in 2001 and as President of the Washington, DC Chapter of the Grammy Organization. Simson received an Emmy nomination for his music supervision of the PBS series, “American Roots Music” and was named the Outstanding Volunteer Lawyer by Washington Area Lawyers for the Arts on their 10th Anniversary celebration. John currently teaches music business classes at the Kogod School of Business at The American University in DC and has taught at American University’s Washington College of Law, Georgetown University Law Center, Harvard University, Berkley, Belmont, Berklee School of Music, McNally Smith School of Music, Loyola, WIPO, and many other colleges and universities. In addition to serving as a MusicianShip board member, John is an avid guitar player.