Meet our Team

Andrea Magee

Executive Director & VISIONARY

Andrea is an established, Belfast- born artist who has been living and sharing her gift of music in the Austin community for the past 9 years.

“Music Helps EVERYTHING. For me music is love and has been a healer in my life in so many ways. I felt in my heart it was time to give back and I am genuinely so excited to be a facilitator for music to work it’s magic again but this time through our non profit Music Helps 💚” - Andrea Magee, Founder

Kathryn J. Kotrla, M.D.

Co-Founder and Board President

Dr. Kotrla is a psychiatrist specializing in the neuroscience of trauma and recovery. She has decades of executive leadership in academic medicine and organizational development, including founding national, state, and local collaborations to support veterans and their families, and building a medical school.

“Healing trauma requires safety, trust, emotions, and memory reconsolidation. Music is one of a few keys to unlock the door to our authentic selves, allowing us to feel, trust, and heal. Through Music Helps, we bring music and nurturing to uplift individuals and our community.”

Carol Britian

Executive Assistant and Board Secretary

Carol Britain has been an Executive Assistant for 20+ years and brings diverse industry experience and the ability to jump in and wear a variety of hats spanning administrative, legal, finance and office management.

Kris Wade


Kris is a 20 year veteran of the Austin music community. He has shared the stage with handfuls of Austin music legends (and more than a few Grammy winners.) He’s also helped to lead local non profit The Other Ones Foundation through four years of explosive growth with no signs of stopping!

“Music helped me understand the mathematical relationships of money, accounting and finance, and the emotional relationships between people, as a business manager, a friend, and as a band mate. From harmony to dissonance, music has helped me to see relationships in everything — most importantly though, music helps me understand myself and the world around me and I am honored to be but a small part of this INCREDIBLY IMPACTFUL MISSION!”

Cari Hutson

Music Helper

Cari Hutson is an Austin Native professional singer/songwriter that has been delivering powerfully soulful performances for over two decades. She is excited to be a part of the facilitation and mentorship program with MUSIC HELPS.

“For most of my life, music has been a safe haven - a place I could go and be completely myself. Because of music, I have a deeper understanding of self. My experience has taught me that Music can heal. MUSIC HELPS gives me the opportunity to pass along what I have learned along the way to those who need healing the most.“

Ashlyn Shanafelt

Music Helper

Ashlyn Shanafelt is an independent drummer based out of Austin, Texas. She spends her time playing gigs, teaching drums and recording, as well as doing drum maintenance for studios around Austin. If she's not drumming, you can find her behind the yoke of a Cessna, training to be a private pilot!

“Music truly helps bring people together and creates happiness, and introducing drums and new music to someone always brings so much joy!”

Denise Grode

Board Member

"With over 20 years of experience, Denise is an accomplished leader with a proven track record aligning human resources strategy with business objectives, furthering Cirrus Logic's HR programs to attract, retain and manage global talent.

Music Helps is so excited to have Denise on our Board, combining her love of Music with her organizational skills and prowess!"

Become A Music Helper!

Music Helps offers outreach programs that utilize the healing and enrichment benefits of music. We currently partner with Helping Hand Home to deliver concerts using local Austin musicians to bring the healing power of music to children affected by trauma. We would love to partner with you to spread the healing magic of music.