Sounds of the Season: The Holiday Music of Mark Hayes and Pepper Choplin

Sounds of the Season: The Holiday Music of Mark Hayes and Pepper Choplin
Monday, Dec 2, 2019
7:00 PM
Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage, Carnegie Hall
Mark Hayes, Composer/Conductor
Hayes: Magnificat
Selections of Holiday Favorites
Featuring Distinguished Concerts Orchestra and Distinguished Concerts Singers International
Pepper Choplin, Composer/Conductor
Choplin: Heaven's Child
Featuring Distinguished Concerts Orchestra and Distinguished Concerts Singers International
Contact us about this concert and future performance opportunities.

Participating Ensembles:

The Cross & Crown Chancel Choir
Muir's Chapel United Methodist Church Chancel Choir
Raleigh Court United Methodist Church Chancel Choir
High School Choir of the American International School of Vienna Austria
First United Methodist Church of Arroyo Grande Chancel Choir
The Ripple Effect Vocal Visionary Project
Meridian Street United Methodist Church Chancel Choir
Cantorei sine Nomine
Centenary UMC Chancel Choir
Manassas Chorale
Manhattan Beach Community Church Choir
Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle UK
Windsor United Church Choir
Mentor United Methodist Church Chancel Choir & Charter Members Men's Choir
Wesley United Church Choir (Regina, SK., Canada)
Poplar Springs Adult Choir
Ridge Road Baptist Chancel Choir
Apex UMC Chancel Choir
Galesville United Methodist Church Chancel Choir
Church of the Palms
First Baptist Huntersville, Worship Choir
Arma Community Choir
Christ Community Church Chapel Choir
North Carolina Baptist Singers & The Encore Entertainment Singers of Goldsboro, NC
Living Christ Lutheran Church Choir
Woodhaven Baptist Church
Trinity United Church, Ottawa
Saint Pius X Parish Choir, Grandville, Michigan
Wallace Presbyterian Church Choir, Wallace, North Carolina, Karla Casteen, Director
Community Church of New Boston
Bethel Presbyterian Church Chancel Choir
Magnolia Road Church Choir
St. Helen Catholic Church

The Cross & Crown Chancel Choir

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Mitchell M. Olson

Dr. Mitchell ("Mitch") M. Olson has served as director of music at Cross & Crown Chancel Choir for the past 17 years. Dr. Olson has served professionally as a choral conductor and church musician in the Rockford, IL area for over 35 years. Dr. Olson is also a professor in the music department at Rockford University where he teaches courses and provides student lessons in organ and piano. Mitch is married to his wife, Rev. Sharon Olson, for 37 years and they have 4 children, Krista, Kara, Tray, & TJ, and 2 grandchildren, Addy & Lucas. They enjoy RVing and camping together, and everyone plays some kind of musical instrument.


The Cross & Crown Chancel Choir sings at the first service at Cross & Crown Lutheran Church every Sunday morning from Labor Day (Rally Day Sunday) through Pentecost Sunday each year. This singing season brings together a faithful ensemble of volunteer singers that support the worship and singing of the Cross & Crown Congregation. Several members of the choir also sing during the year as soloists and during the summer months. The Chancel Choir presents 2 cantatas during the church year, the first being the 4th Sunday of Advent (a Christmas Cantata), and the other on Palm Sunday (and Easter Cantata). The choir became familiar with Mark Hayes' music by singing several of his offerings for both the Christmas Season and Easter Season.

Muir's Chapel United Methodist Church Chancel Choir

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Laurin Daniels Allred

Laurin Daniels Allred is proud to be the Director of Music & Worship Ministries at Muir's Chapel UMC, and especially this great choir! She graduated Appalachian State University's Hayes School of Music and Duke University Divinity School--where she developed a passion for engaging people in worship through music and art. She believes we are created for worship and seeks to use the gifts and passions of as many people as possible in the ensembles of MCUMC. Laurin is wife to Alan, and mother to 1-year-old Jonah! They love making music together, hosting great parties, and roping others into their love of board games.


The Chancel Choir of Muir's Chapel UMC is an SATB choir of singers of all abilities and ages! The ensemble makes beautiful music to the glory of God through hard work, love for each other, and lots of grace! They meet weekly for rehearsal and prayer, and believe that the most beautiful music stems first from deep trust and great joy! The MCUMC Chancel Choir enjoys singing music of many sacred styles and composers, but a few favorites are Pepper Choplin, Mark Hayes, Dan Forrest, Jay Rouse and Joel Raney. The Chancel Choir of MCUMC is so excited to be included in this program by one of their favorite composers!

Raleigh Court United Methodist Church Chancel Choir

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Debra LeBrun

Debra LeBrun received her B. Mus. from Syracuse University and her M.M. in Organ Performance from the University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign. Originally from Massachusetts, Debra moved to Roanoke to become the Director of Music and Worship at Raleigh Court United Methodist Church after serving for 24 years at the Congregational Church of Littleton in Massachusetts. At Raleigh Court UMC she directs a busy music program for all ages. In addition, she performs on the organ, piano, and as a handbell soloist. Debra is active in leadership in both the Handbell Musicians of America and the American Guild of Organists.


The Chancel Choir at Raleigh Court United Methodist Church has a long tradition of providing high quality music for church services and concerts in the Roanoke area. In addition to singing for Sunday morning worship services, they present a Christmas Concert and present a Good Friday Cantata accompanied by orchestra each year. They have also participated in local massed choral concerts and have performed under the direction of various composers at choral events in Roanoke. This is the choir's first performance at Carnegie Hall.

High School Choir of the American International School of Vienna Austria

Kathy Heedles has taught music at the American International School of Vienna since 1986. Originally from the state of Iowa, Kathy has taught in schools in Iowa as well as overseas in Honduras and Austria. Singers from AIS Vienna participate in international festivals organized by the Association of Music in International schools- AMIS, as well as in beautiful venues in Vienna. Large important choral works such as Carmina Burana, Masses of Mozart, Schubert, and Haydn, are important to the choral studies at AISV. Kathy has worked closely with the Vienna Boys Choir during a sabbatical leave and as a consultant to the Wirth Music Academy in Austria and India. Kathy and Henry Heedles have three children at University.


The American International School in Vienna has 800 students from 64 nationalities. The choral classes meet every other day for 75 minutes to rehearse and improve their musical skills. Students enjoy a variety of world music, holiday music, and important classical works each year. The singers range in age from thirteen to eighteen and take choir class as a fulfillment of their diplomas- both the US diploma and the IB diploma CAS credits.

First United Methodist Church of Arroyo Grande Chancel Choir

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Julia M. Burns

Julia Burns has been profoundly blessed as serving as the Director of the 1st United Methodist Church of Arroyo Grande, CA for the past 10 years. While she has studied voice, piano and flute for over 40 years, her love for directing came about in 2008 when she began her career as choral conductor. She stepped out of the choir she had loved and sang with over 30 years to direct. Julie has studied under Dr. Gary Bonner (formerly of Cal Baptist University) who instilled the connection of voices and love to make beautiful music. “It’s all about the connection between director and singers.”


The Chancel Choir of the 1st United Methodist Church of Arroyo Grande, CA is made up of 23-28 multi-generational singers. The church established over 130 years has always had a strong choir. They are located on the beautiful Central Coast of California. Along with rehearsing and singing in church every Sunday from Sept - June, they have sung at many festivals and traveled to England to sing praise to God in amazing cathedrals.

The Ripple Effect Vocal Visionary Project

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Sherry Klinedinst

With a degree in Piano Performance from Indiana University School of Music (Bloomington), “Sherry K’s” eclectic style includes everything from light jazz and new age, to rockin’ gospel, classical and blues. Sherry is the founder/director of the ground-breaking vocal group, The Ripple Effect, since 2014. Her musical theatre credits include Music Director at various regional theaters, as well as pit pianist for the touring productions of Wicked, Beauty and the Beast and Chicago. Her piano recording projects include: Westbound, A Whole New Woman, Sunday Best, and Have Yourself a Sherry Little Christmas.


The Ripple Effect is dedicated to the unification of communities and transformation of social awareness. The singers place emphasis on diversity, hope, and healing, as well as mega doses of fun! Their eclectic, challenging repertoire includes everything from hymns and spirituals to jazz and musical theater. Led by Sherry K, the choir seeks to encourage others to make a difference by building bridges, promoting kindness, and "rippling" out in their own lives. The Ripple Effect is not just a group of voices, but a collective truth-speaking voice in the world by way of the enormous healing power of music.

Meridian Street United Methodist Church Chancel Choir

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Peggy Marshall

Peggy Marshall has served as Director of Music at Meridian Street UMC in Indianapolis for 15 years. She has previously held positions in Missouri, Colorado and Iowa throughout her musical career. This is the second performance opportunity for members of Meridian Street UMC Chancel Choir with DCINY.


Members of Meridian Street UMC Chancel Choir are thrilled to be returning for a second performance with DCINY. We are a choir of approximately 28 singers, providing quality choral music and leadership for weekly worship services in Indianapolis, IN. We were honored to be invited for Pepper Choplin's "Go Sing it on the Mountain" in 2016 at Lincoln Center. It is an honor and joy to be part of the Mark Hayes "Magnificat" chorus this year. Thank you!

Cantorei sine Nomine

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Stuart Beaudoin

Stu Beaudoin, a retired financial investment officer, has been a church organist and music director since 1978. MA in English 1970, ARCCO 1985 and Master of Sacred Music 2016. Stu has a keen interest in the theology of music. A music director at various churches in the Toronto area over the years, he has retired with his wife Tiina to focus on composition. Stu has directed choir and orchestra throughout his career and in 2004 founded a chamber choir, Cantorei sine Nomine. They focus on Baroque and Renaissance music. The orchestra, Orpheus Symphonietta, performs music of all eras, Vaughan Williams Sym #3 and Sibelius’ Sym #4 this past Nov 11.


Cantorei sine Nomine is a chamber choir of about 18 members. It was founded in 2004 to perform Buxtehude's Membra Jesu Nostri cantatas. Since that time they perform each Holy Week at various locations appropriate early music for the celebration of Tenebrae. Their music ranges from Josquin to Charpentier, Victoria to Tallis with occasional modern works.

Centenary UMC Chancel Choir

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Christopher Hart

Christopher Hart is the Director of Music and Arts at Centenary UMC, in McComb, MS. He is a graduate of Drake University and the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Christopher has been involved with the Natchez Opera Festival and local community theater as both director and performer. This is his second trip to Carnegie Hall.


The Centenary UMC Chancel Choir is a 25 member ensemble of various ages. The choir sings weekly, and performs one major work at Christmas. Many of the members are former (or current) music directors and seasoned musicians.

Manassas Chorale

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Rebecca Verner

Rebecca Verner has served as the Artistic Director of the Manassas Chorale since 1997. Under her leadership, the Chorale has sung locally in Manassas, in Williamsburg and Washington DC, performed at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center in New York City, and sung internationally as part of several European tours. She is also Director of Music at Manassas Baptist Church. Past Dean and Auditor of the Northern Virginia chapter of the American Guild of Organists, Ms. Verner is also a member of the American Choral Directors Association and serves on a state committee for her denomination.


The Manassas Chorale was founded in 1994 with about 25 singers and has since grown to a 100-voice auditioned community chorus. As the official choral group in residence at the Hylton Performing Arts Center on the Prince William Campus of George Mason University, we perform four major concerts a year in addition to singing at many local community and civic events. We also perform annually at Bruton Parish Church in historic Williamsburg, Virginia. The Chorale supports outreach programs such as the Greater Manassas Children’s Choir, Voices United, and multiple local charities through donations collected at “Concerts with a Cause.”

Manhattan Beach Community Church Choir

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Patricia Edwards
Patricia Edwards received her Bachelor of Arts in Music from Pomona College, Claremont, CA. The major focus of her studies was voice and she continued her graduate studies at UCLA. Her diverse career has led her to teach music both in LA and Manhattan Beach. She taught in the Manhattan Beach schools and became a part of the Manhattan Beach Community Church (MBCC). She is now the Director of Music at MBCC where she administers the music program and directs two children’s choirs and the adult Senior Choir. She is past president of the LA Chapter of the National Association of Church Musicians.

The Manhattan Beach Community Church Senior Choir is an integral and very important part of the church life at MBCC. The Choir numbers about 50 men and women with a versatile mix of ages and voices. In addition to our regular Sunday anthem, the Choir has enjoyed performing major orchestral concerts such as Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Mozart’s Requiem, the Faure Requiem, Handel’s Messiah, Rutter’s Magnificat, and others. The Choir has performed in many European venues as part of our five European concert tours over the past 20 years. Special tour memories include concerts at St Peter’s Basilica, York Minster Cathedral, and Notre Dame Cathedral.

Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle UK

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Veronica Christie
This group consists of three sopranos who have been members of the Hexham and Newcastle Diocesan Music Group for more than 20 years. They sing at all major diocesan events, including ordination of bishops, priests and all others diocesan events.

Windsor United Church Choir

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Steve Roe
Steve Roe has been directing the Windsor United Church choir from Windsor Nova Scotia for over 10 years. He uses his experience singing in professional choirs (such as the Nathaniel Dett Chorale, and The Orpheus Choir of Toronto) and his education in voice from the University of Toronto, to lead the choir in Sunday services and special concerts and events. In addition to conducting the choir, Steve also teaches and plays the organ, piano, guitar, and trumpet and performs across Nova Scotia in music and theatre.

The Windsor United Church choir is comprised of volunteer singers from the community of Windsor, Nova Scotia. Singers from varied backgrounds meet once a week for rehearsals and perform at church services regularly throughout the church year. The choir sings a wide range of musical styles and is valued greatly by the congregation of Windsor United Church. In addition to their contributions to services, the choir performs at concerts and special events.

Mentor United Methodist Church Chancel Choir & Charter Members Men's Choir

Amy Bender has been part of the music staff of Mentor United Methodist Church since 1982. She serves as the organist, director of the Chancel Choir, Charter Members Men's Choir, and Canticle Bell choir. A graduate of Baldwin-Wallace University, she taught music for Mentor Public Schools for 31 years as well as being the district's Coordinator of Music.

The fifty-voice Chancel Choir ministers through music weekly at Sunday morning worship services. They present two major works each year during Advent and Lent. The Charter Members Men's Choir sing monthly during worship services, present an annual evening of Christmas music, and sing the National Anthem yearly at the Cleveland Indians and Lake County Captains baseball games.

Wesley United Church Choir (Regina, SK., Canada)

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Lee Stubbe

Lee earned a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance and Music History from the University of Regina, SK. in 2011, and a Masters in Musicology from Western University, London, ON. in 2015. He is Music Director of Wesley United Church, teaches piano at the Conservatory of Performing Arts, is harpsichordist of Regina's early music ensemble Per Sonatori, and accompanies soloists and choirs.


Music provided by the choir has been a prominent and valued dimension of worship services since the Church's inauguration in 1958. The choir sings a range of music from important sacred works of Classical Masters to cantatas to contemporary anthems and pop. The choir offered several cabaret productions and frequently sang in the annual Rotary-sponsored Christmas Carol Festival. Members range in age from mid-twenties to eighties, and have varied from 20 to 30 of which seventeen are participating in this our first performance with DCINY. Lee Stubbe, an accomplished musician, is the current Director and Accompanist.

Poplar Springs Adult Choir

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Katherine Asis

Katherine Asis has been the director of the Poplar Springs Baptist Adult choir since October of 2012. She received her bachelors in Sacred Music from Appalachian State University and her masters in Christian Education from Gardner-Webb University. She has been married to her husband, Billy, for 13 years and they share one daughter, Sadie, and two dogs, Dakota and Katie.


The Poplar Springs Baptist Adult Choir has a history of musical excellence within their hometown of Shelby, NC. The group consists of 25-30 regular singers, from high school to senior adults. These talented musicians enjoy sharing their love for music through worship ministry.

Ridge Road Baptist Chancel Choir

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Kerry Johnson

I look forward to joining my long time friend (since age 15!) and mentor Pepper Choplin for this performance. My background is piano performance, with a master's from the Eastman School of Music. I've directed the music program at Ridge Road Baptist in Raleigh NC since 2013. I'll be at the piano for this Carnegie Hall performance of Pepper's beautiful "Heaven's Child". It will be an exciting adventure!


The Ridge Road Baptist Chancel choir greatly looks forward to joining the rest of you for this Carnegie Hall performance. They are a tight knit group of singers, able to use their talents and tenacity to bring meaningful anthems to us each and every Sunday. See you in NYC!

Apex UMC Chancel Choir

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Todd Arant

Dr. Todd Arant serves as Director of Traditional Worship Arts at Apex United Methodist Church in Apex, NC, where he oversees a vibrant worship arts ministry including vocal and instrumental choirs for adults, youth, and children. Dr. Arant holds degrees from Furman University, Emory University, and The Institute for Worship Studies. He serves as the President of the North Carolina Chapter for the Fellowship of United Methodists in Music and Worship Arts and also serves on the board of directors for Choristers Guild. Todd is married to Allison and is a proud father of three children: Clarkson, Anna Rast, and Sims.


The Apex UMC Chancel Choir is the primary adult vocal choir of Apex United Methodist Church in Apex, NC. The choir provides musical leadership for two traditional worship services each Sunday and also presents music for special services during Advent/Christmas and Holy Week/Easter. The Chancel Choir is comprised of 65 volunteer singers who rehearse together weekly in preparation for worship and sings a variety of sacred choral repertoire.

Galesville United Methodist Church Chancel Choir

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Cindy L. Hardesty

Cindy L. Hardesty has been the Music Director at Galesville United Methodist Church for over 28 years. She attended Towson State University where she received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Music Education. She currently works as an accounting specialist in addition to her work at the church where she plays the organ, directs the Chancel Choir and handchimes choirs as well as accompanies various soloists and small groups. She lives with her husband, Ray, on a farm in Edgewater, Maryland.


Galesville United Methodist Church Chancel Choir is a multigenerational volunteer choir that meets weekly for rehearsals and provides vocal music for the Sunday morning worship at Galesville United Methodist Church, a small community church along the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland. The choir currently has families of three and four generations who make up the majority of the 20 -25 members. In addition to weekly musical offerings, the choir performs an annual Christmas cantata which is one of the most anticipated services in the church and community.

Church of the Palms

Norma Brown has been Director of Music at Church of the Palms UMC for 8 1/2 years. Norma has served as Pipe Organist, Pianist, and Choir Director for over 50 years throughout the states of WV, NC and SC. Professionally, Norma is a retired Director of Nursing, Western Maryland Health System, Cumberland, MD. Norma resides in Bluffton, SC with her retired husband, Max, and Bassett Hound, Lottie Belle.


The Church of the Palms UMC is a SATB Choir of volunteer singers of all abilities and ages. Several members also sing during the year and summer months as soloists. The choir provides musical leadership for two traditional services each Sunday and present a Christmas and Easter Cantata each year. The Choir has presented 10 Pepper Choplin Cantatas over the last eight years.

First Baptist Huntersville, Worship Choir

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Kyle Murphy

Kyle Murphy, Associate Pastor of Worship at FBC-H, is a graduate of Gardner-Webb University. While there he earned a Bachelor of Music in Sacred Music, concentration in Trumpet, and the Master of Divinity in Christian Formation. He has been at First Baptist of Huntersville since 2017 where he oversees the Music and Worship ministry.


The FBC-H choir has been an integral part of the worship life of First Baptist for many years. Over the years they have performed under the directions of acclaimed Church Music directors such as Pepper Choplin and Mary Mcdonald. They sing regularly as leaders of the FBC's Intergenerational worship service.

Arma Community Choir

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Michael John Doue

Currently resides in Pittsburg, Kansas and is Vice President and Compliance Officer for Exchange State Bank. Native of Arma, Kansas and was a member of the choir for over 25 years before taking the reins of director. Michael has been involved in music since grade school participating in band and vocal groups. He competed a number of years in the Mid America Music Association's competitions on accordion, completing the level of virtuoso. He serves as Treasurer of Pittsburg Community Theatre and has been involved in numerous productions as director, actor and production staff.


The Arma Community Choir has been in existence for over 45 years. Membership was previously held by members of St. Joseph's Catholic Church and the Arma Methodist Church. In the beginning, members presented an Easter and Christmas cantata each year and alternated performances between the two churches. The choir now only presents a Christmas cantata each year as a fundraiser to assist families in need during the holiday season providing food baskets, clothing, personal items and gifts. But performances are still alternated between the two churches. It is estimated that over 700 families have benefited from these fundraising efforts over the past 20 years.

Christ Community Church Chapel Choir

Christ Community Church Chapel Choir is a vocal fellowship focused on glorifying God through song. They sing in weekly worship services, present seasonal cantatas, and serve through music in the community.

North Carolina Baptist Singers & The Encore Entertainment Singers of Goldsboro, NC

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Richard W. Pridgen

Richard W. ( Rick) Pridgen age 62, is from Goldsboro, N.C.. A member of Madison Avenue Baptist Church he came from a family of singers. Being a vocal performance major at Campbell University and also graduated from Gupton- Jones College in Atlanta, Ga. Rick is a financial planner, owns several businesses and recently retired from the funeral business. In addition to traveling and singing at many churches, Rick has performed with The Mississippi State Symphony, The North Carolina Symphony, sings baritone with The N.C. Baptist Singers, has performed with both Joe Martin and Pepper Chaplin at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, has performed with The Eleanor Harris Choral and for nine years has played the part of King Herod in Stormie Omartin's "Child of The Promise".

The North Carolina Baptist Singers are joined tonight with five of The Encore Entertainment Singers of Goldsboro, N.C. The North Carolina Baptist Singers and Orchestra is comprised of approximately 100 auditioned performers from Baptist Churches across the State. For 50 years they have had a retreat, learn new music for the year and travel each month to a different church across the state to share through music the gospel of Jesus Christ. Encore Entertainment, first formed almost two decades ago to provide local entertainment for military bases , civic groups and community charity fundraisers. In addition to these performances,each year at Christmas they dress in Dicken's period costuming and CHarold the Streets of Goldsboro, N.C. They also perform several theatrical plays each year at Goldsboro's renowned Paramount Theater. They are supported by The Heretige Dance Foundation of Goldsboro.
 

Living Christ Lutheran Church Choir

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Christina Swanson

Christina Swanson is the Choir Director at Millennium High School in Goodyear, Arizona. Choirs there have performed at festivals around the region. Prior to her position at, she graduated from Northern Arizona University with a Bachelor’s in Choral Music Education. While at NAU, she performed with the internationally-known Shrine of the Ages Choir under the direction of Dr. Edith Copley. Concurrently, she directed the Living Christ Lutheran Church Choir in Flagstaff for three years. Vocally, she has performed as a background singer for Josh Groban and Sarah Brightman. Christina and her partner, Seth, reside in the Glendale area.


The Living Christ Lutheran Church Choir seeks to present a musical enhancement to every Sunday service. Its goal, whether you love music of stillness or praise, is to leave you touched and inspired by the love of Christ. The LCLC Choir is under the direction of Katherine Sheridan, a graduate student at Northern Arizona University.

Woodhaven Baptist Church

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Stephanie de Jong
Stephanie de Jong has over 21 years of experience as a performer, educator, administrator, and Minister of Music and Worship. From 1997-2001, Dr. de Jong, served as the Coordinator of Vocal Studies at the University of North Alabama, where she doubled the number of vocal majors and established the first endowed vocal scholarship platform for incoming vocal majors. Passionate about returning to her home state of NC, Dr. de Jong was hired to serve on the voice faculty of Meredith College in Raleigh from 2001-2007. During her tenure with Meredith, Dr. de Jong taught voice, vocal pedagogy, vocal diction and opera workshop. In addition, Dr. de Jong collaborated with Joel Adams and Ellen Williams to begin Capital City Opera, which is now a part of the NC Opera, and mounted their very first production of Hansel and Gretel. In continuing her passion for music and wanting to have more time to raise her three boys, Dr. de Jong took the position as Minister of Music and Worship at Woodhaven Baptist Church where she currently oversees and administers all aspects of the Music Ministry. In addition, Dr. de Jong is currently serving as the Interim Program Director at the Community Music School in Raleigh. CMS is a non-profit music school that serves economically disadvantaged children by offering music lessons for $1.

The Worship Choir at Woodhaven Baptist Church Music is made up of thirty-eight singers. "Small but Mighty" is an expression used to describe our ministry group. Our music ranges from hymn tunes that take you back to newer songs of praise. We embrace beginning to advanced musicians, allowing them to share their gifts, and we also welcome those who simply like to “make a joyful noise’! The Worship Choir at Woodhaven is a pillar to the worship experience for our church. The joy and passion to share God's word through music is at the forefront of the choir's mission. Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth; break forth into joyous song and sing praises. Psalm 98:4

Trinity United Church, Ottawa

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Dr. James McGowan
James McGowan is a choral conductor, pianist (jazz and classical), organist, improviser, accompanist, composer, arranger, music theorist, and educator, in addition to his research and administrative activities as a faculty member in the Music program at Carleton University.

Trinity's adult choir is a small group of dedicated individuals who enjoy the fun and fellowship of weekly rehearsals and the musical challenges of performing SATB arrangements from a variety of genres, both sacred and secular. In addition to Sunday morning services and occasional fund-raising concerts, each Advent season we present a Christmas Cantata. Pepper Choplin's cantatas are some of our favourites and are always well received by our congregation and guests. We are delighted to be participating in tonight's performance, and want to thank James for his leadership and encouragement.

Saint Pius X Parish Choir, Grandville, Michigan

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Meghan Schaut and Jeffrey Ingle
Meghan Schaut, a native of Grand Rapids, Michigan, earned her Master’s Degree in Piano Performance and Pedagogy from Michigan State University. She is co-founder of the cutting-edge film music group Helix Collective, former director of the thriving MSU Children’s Pedagogy Program, and active collaborative pianist with various vocal and chamber music artists. Meghan is in her eighth year of working with the talented singers of the Saint Pius X Parish Choir, where she also directs a Teen Group and Contemporary Ensemble. She’s thrilled to be with her awesome choir in NY along with her husband and two young children.

Jeff Ingle began his professional career as a high school choral music and computer teacher in 1984 and was at the onset of utilizing computer technology for composition and sequencing.  In addition to his teaching responsibilities, Jeff directed civic choruses, church choirs and combined choral and instrumental events.  After his career as a teacher, he founded Optimal Solutions Inc (OSI) in 1993, specializing in implementing technology in K-12 school district environments, and is the inventor of eVideon™, designed for hospitalized patients.  In addition to OSI, Jeff currently works with St. Pius and St. Sebastian in the Grand Rapids, MI area.

The Saint Pius X Parish Choir of Grandville, Michigan, is comprised of Music Ministry members of St. Pius X and St. Sebastian Catholic Parishes. Singers from the Adult Choir, Teen, and Contemporary Groups provide music for all church liturgies, dedicating hundreds of hours every year to leading musical worship for the congregation. The group is led by Music Director Meghan Schaut and Conductor Jeff Ingle. This collaboration has allowed the group to bring several of Pepper Choplin’s gorgeous Cantatas to our community, partnering with local symphony musicians. We are honored to share this iconic stage with such talent tonight!

Wallace Presbyterian Church Choir, Wallace, North Carolina, Karla Casteen, Director

As a child of the Wallace Presbyterian Church in Wallace, NC, Karla Casteen began serving as the church organist in 1981. In 1989 she became the Music Director and has provided musical leadership at WPC since. She directs the adult chancel choir, the handbell choir and works with children's music. With a Masters degree in Music Education, Karla taught K-12 choral and band music for 25 years before moving into the world of teacher professional development, all while continuing her work with WPC choirs. Karla lives in Wallace, NC with her husband of 38 years, Wayne. She is especially proud of her 2 married musical sons, 2 beautiful daughters-in-law and 3 young grandchildren.

Wallace Presbyterian Church sits on a corner on Main Street in the small town of Wallace in southeastern North Carolina. The WPC Chancel Choir has been a part of worship there since the church's beginnings in 1884. The small but dedicated and talented group of volunteer singers leads the weekly traditional worship service as well as special services throughout the church year. Working together for 29 years, our accompanist and director guide a music program that is a vital part of WPC worship. Our WPC Choir prayer is that we open hearts, minds, and souls for worship and praise to God.

Community Church of New Boston

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Samantha Gorton
New Boston native, Samantha Hersey Gorton has been involved in music and performing her entire life. Sam was born on a dairy farm and has always had a passion for music and teaching. She has directed the choir at the Community Church of New Boston for 27 years. She’s a teacher, a mom of three, a lover of nature and finding music in her everyday life. Music is a way of teaching, moving and learning. A way of expressing who you are, what you have to say and how you feel. “To me, music is a universal language that is felt through the soul.”

The Community Church of New Boston Choir is a small community based choir of varying backgrounds that share a common bond of family, faith and service to others by our love of music. We continuously strive to convey the message of God’s love to our congregation through all the music we sing. Beyond our regular church services, we have performed holiday cantatas, participated in 4th of July parades, sung as quartets as well as soloists for a variety of community events. We are collectively an extended family where most of us have been members for decades.

Bethel Presbyterian Church Chancel Choir

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Susan Birmingham O'Keefe
SUSAN O’KEEFE, is currently the Director of Music Ministries at Bethel ECO Presbyterian Church, Cornelius, NC. A graduate of Pfeiffer University holding a Bachelor of Arts in Music Education and Conducting, Susan has spent her entire adult life dedicated to Christian music at various churches and community venues. Her vast experience includes founding and directing the MAGNIFY Gospel Choir, Christian Kids Company, Grace Covenant and First Baptist Teen Choir, and TESTIFY Youth Choir. In addition, Susan has directed the internationally televised Handel’s Messiah featuring 150 vocalists and the Charlotte Repertory Orchestra. Susan and her husband, Mark, have been married 37 years and have two adult children.

BETHEL PRESBYTERIAN Church of Cornelius, NC, is an Evangelical Covenant Order (ECO) of the Presbyterian church. Bethel’s Chancel Choir, consisting of 40 singers, is under the direction of Mrs. Susan O’Keefe. We are honored to participate in DCINY’s presentation of Pepper Choplin’s Heaven’s Child.

Magnolia Road Church Choir

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Robin Martin Yates
Robin Martin Yates Robin M. Yates is a 45 year veteran Choral Director and Private Voice Teacher. She has taught grades K-12 with an emphasis in secondary vocal music education. She maintains a private voice studio in Jonesboro, Arkansas. For more than 20 years her singers from school choirs and private voice have been chosen for all-region, all-state, southwestern ACDA Honor Choirs, and National ACDA Honor choirs. Her emphasis is taking a natural voice and helping to make it a beautiful trained instrument. For 18 years Robin was Director of Music Ministries at First Baptist Church in Jonesboro, Arkansas. She was in charge of directing the Sanctuary Choir and many other ensembles., In addition to these duties, she also was in charge of planning the music for three weekly worship services. Robin earned the Bachelor of Music in Education degree as well as Master of Music from Arkansas State University. Additionally, she has studied under world renowned Choral Conductors to include; Eph Ehly, Anton Armstrong, Charlene Archibeque, Howard Swan, Paul Salamunovich, Charles Hirt, Weston Noble, Robert Shaw and her professor and mentor Alfred Skoog.

Magnolia Road Church Sanctuary Choir of Jonesboro, Arkansas The Magnolia Road Church Sanctuary Choir of Jonesboro, Arkansas is a traditional worship choir that has been singing together for many years. With many ages, the choir’s voices are a beautiful blending of each age group. The choir has 25 members enrolled. Handel’s “Messiah”, Vivaldi’s “Gloria”, and Dubois’s “Seven Last Words of Christ” are some of the great choral works the choir has performed. Having performed with the Delta Symphony Orchestra, as well as Christian vocalists Larnelle Harris, and Sandi Patti, are some of the favorite performances of this choir. In the spring of 2016, These voices blended to perform Pepper Choplin’s work “Our Father”. In the spring of 2017 the choir was honored to be invited to sing at Avery Fisher Hall under the direction of composer Pepper Choplin as he conducted his work “The Lord is My Shepherd”. The choir loves leading the congregation in music in the Traditional Worship Service.

St. Helen Catholic Church

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Dolores Mark
Dolores Mark has been performing since the age of 7. She holds a Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance and attended the Shenandoah Conservatory of Music and the University of Hawai'i. She is the Music Director for St. Helen Catholic Church in Vero Beach, FL and has worked in church music for 32 years. She enjoys an active performance career promoting her CD, "For Sentimental Reasons", and performs with Golden Oldies Dance Parties as one of "The Dolls". She has performed in Rome for an audience with Pope Benedict and in Japan, as she was Hawai'i's premiere wedding singer for destination weddings.

St. Helen Catholic Church has just celebrated its Centennial Year and strives to promote full, active and conscious participation among our congregation. The members singing for Pepper Choplin's Cantata, "Heaven's Child", were invited as they have ties to our Music Ministry, Church, and our Centennial Celebration which performed Pepper Choplin's, "Christmas Presence", in December of 2018. The music ministry is vibrant and encompasses a wide variety of music from classical, traditional and contemporary repertoires, incorporating a strong volunteer base as well as seasoned professionals.