The UN Singers Leadership

Get to know our Conductor and Executive Committee. 


Guillermo Vaisman Conductor and Music Director  

Originally from Entre Ríos, Argentina. Choral conductor, accordionist, arranger, and teacher. After relocating to New York, Guillermo Vaisman was appointed Music Director of the United Nations Singers in 2004.

He is a founding member of the Argentine Association of Choir Conductors (ADICORA), a member of the International Federation for Choral Music (IFCM) and a member of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA). In New York, he founded the chamber choirs Canopus Singers in 2005 and later Cappella Sur, mixed groups focusing on the choral literature of South America and Spain.

Over the past 30 years, Maestro Vaisman has conducted more than 600 concerts in Argentina, China, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Philippines, Spain, Switzerland, the United States, and Uruguay.

He conducted the world premiere of the "Preamble for Peace", commissioned by the United Nations Singers, at the opening of EXPO 2010 in Shanghai.

Maestro Vaisman is invited regularly as an accompanist to the young “Tarumi Violinists”, both in the USA and Japan. In 2012 he had the honor of conducting the UN Singers in performances with the Japanese singer and songwriter Tokiko Kato at Carnegie Hall and in Hiroshima, Japan. He appeared again at Carnegie Hall in 2016 conducting the Children’s Choir Redes USA.

At present, he is also Cantor of the congregation Sion Iglesia Luterana in Manhattan, New York. Apart from his choral activities, Guillermo Vaisman is an active musician on the New York tango scene, regularly performing at the Summer Tango Festival in Central Park and at venues throughout the city.


  Said Maalouf   President

Said Maalouf  President

Said Maalouf is a UN Staff member since 2013. He currently works in the Department of Economic and Social Affairs in Public Administration, and is very happy to be serving as the new president of the UN Singers’ Executive Committee. Said is from Greece and Lebanon. He moved to the U.S. 6 years ago after living in France and Greece. He was a member of many choirs prior to coming to the U.S. and had the privilege to sing many big choral works of classical composers with symphony orchestras. He was also a member of the Glee Club at Penn State University, an all-male A Capella group of over 100 people, where he studied for his Master’s degree. Said speaks 6 languages and sings Tenor in the UN Singers choir. During his early 20’s he studied classical singing at the Lebanese Higher Conservatory and was part of the Conservatory’s professional choir. Said was very happy to sign many compositions in Aramaic and Syriac, the original languages of Jesus Christ, spoken in the Levant region during Biblical times. His love for classical music started at a very young age when he started learning the cello. His favorite composer is Mozart and he enjoys singing his many masterpieces.


  Marie Deblonde-Vallet  Vice President

Marie Deblonde-Vallet Vice President

Marie Deblonde-Vallet has been a chorister for more than 15 years. She sang with the Youth Choir of La Monnaie Opera House of Belgium and in various university choirs. She joined the UN Singers in April 2015. She is currently working with the Capacity-Building Unit of the Office of Counter-Terrorism. Before joining the UN, where she has been working for OCHA for the Central Emergency Response Funds in the Resource Mobilization and Communication section and for DGACM, she worked in Vienna, Strasbourg, Brussels and Luxembourg as a translator, editor and journalist. She has a degree in multidisciplinary translation and speaks 7 languages.


  Leeza Shirokova  Personnel Officer

Leeza Shirokova Personnel Officer

Leeza Shirokova enjoys singing in groups.


  Charles Appel   Secretary

Charles Appel  Secretary

Chuck Appel's interest in choral music started in High School, when he sang in school choruses, Up With People, and participated in town produced musicals.  In college he sang in the glee club and joined the music fraternity Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia.  Chuck joined the United Nations Singers almost as soon as he started working at the UN in 1974 and he remains an active member several years into his retirement. Over the last several decades he has also sung with The Collegiate Chorale, The Greenwich Village Chamber Singers, many Gilbert and Sullivan choruses and several church choirs. Though currently serving as Secretary on the Executive Committee, Chuck has previously been President, Vice-President, Personnel Officer, Programme Coordinator and Librarian.

Chuck Appel's interest in choral music started in High School, when he sang in school choruses, Up With People, and participated in town produced musicals.  In college he sang in the glee club and joined the music fraternity Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia.  Chuck joined the United Nations Singers almost as soon as he started working at the UN in 1974 and he remains an active member several years into his retirement. Over the last several decades he has also sung with The Collegiate Chorale, The Greenwich Village Chamber Singers, many Gilbert and Sullivan choruses and several church choirs. Though currently serving as Secretary on the Executive Committee, Chuck has previously been President, Vice-President, Personnel Officer, Programme Coordinator and Librarian.


Carmela Zenarosa

Treasurer


  Mi Pengfei      Librarian

Mi Pengfei     Librarian

Mi Pengfei, better known as Micky, joined the UN Singers on the second day when he started his job at the UN in 2006. During the last decade, with his coordination efforts, the Singers successfully visited China (2010 and 2015), Japan (2012 and 2017) and South Korea (2017). Micky sings baritone in the choir.


  Carlo Zenarosa                 Wadrobe Officer

Carlo Zenarosa                Wadrobe Officer

Carlo Zenarosa started with music in grade school where he played 8 different musical instruments. He played guitar then stand-up bass with the Guitar Ensemble in De La Salle grade school. He was the grade school commencement exercise/graduation mass pianist-accompanist. He received the AMASFI Music Award then. In high school he conducted the La Salle Green Hills High School Band as requested by the assistant bandmaster when the primary bandmaster was absent. He was the musical director in a play in high school. Later on he formed a cover pop band playing bass guitar. He has completed Music Certification in both the Specialist and Professional level with Berklee Online and is currently finishing up a Masters Certificate in Music Theory, Harmony and Ear Training with the same college. He first joined the UNSRC Singers in 2015 as an add-on to the 70th Commemoration of the Hiroshima-Nagasaki bombings in Japan. He has never left since. He currently sings as a baritone for the UNSRC Singers. His active participation as club photographer and videographer posting on social media landed him a spot as Wardrobe Officer.


  Cynthia Lully   Public Relations Officer

Cynthia Lully

Public Relations Officer

Cynthia Lully's choral training began with her high school choir in New York City. She learned liturgical song, Broadway musicals and acapella harmony with Madrigals. In college, Cynthia studied information management and performed gospel, jazz and rhythm & blues for receptions, galas and talent shows.  She started her UN career as an intern in 2010 and has been a technical focal point for Department of Public Information since.