Our singers come from all around the South Puget Sound region, from Port Orchard to Enumclaw to South King County to North Thurston County. Our singers go to public schools, private schools, parochial schools, and are homeschooled. They have a diversity of interests but a shared love of music. Our alums are teachers and nurses and opera singers and music teachers and artists and military personnel and entrepreneurs.
OUR ARTISTIC STAFF
Judith Herrington is the Founder and Artistic Director of the highly acclaimed Tacoma Youth Chorus, a choral education program of seven select choirs, grades Kindergarten through 12, serving more than 240 young people in the South Puget Sound region of Washington since 1991. Noted for its collaborations, Tacoma Youth Chorus has performed with the Tacoma Symphony Orchestra, Northwest Sinfonietta, Tacoma Opera, Choral Union, Northwest Repertory Singers, the University of Puget Sound Adelphians, and Tacoma Symphony Chorus. Under Ms. Herrington's direction, Tacoma Youth Chorus has performed for National Orff-Schulwerk Conventions, Northwest MENC convention and the Northwest ACDA conventions (1998, 2002, 2006, 2010, 2014). The chorus has performed internationally, as well, with cathedral tours in France, England, Ireland, Wales, Austria, Hungary, Czech Republic, and Slovakia.
Ms. Herrington brings more than 35 years of teaching and conducting experience to her work at Charles Wright Academy in Tacoma, Washington, and is a recipient of the Inspirational Faculty Award and Murray Foundation Chair for Teaching Excellence. A graduate of the University of Oregon, Ms. Herrington earned her Master of Education degree from Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon.
Having served in several leadership positions for the WA-American Choral Directors Association Board, she is the 2011 recipient of its Leadership and Service Award. She was inducted into the Washington State Music Educators Association Hall of Fame in 2016. She is an inaugural member of the School of Arts and Communication Advisory Board at Pacific Lutheran University.
Ms. Herrington is highly regarded as a guest conductor, workshop and choral clinician and served as visiting faculty at VanderCook College of Music. A noted composer and arranger, she has published through Pavane Publishing, Hal Leonard Publishing, and Colla Voce Publishing. She also edits two choral series for Pavane Publishing. Email Mrs. Herrington.
Alonso Brizuela, director of the Men's Choir, graduated from Pacific Lutheran University where he received a Bachelor of Music Education with an emphasis in Choral Conducting. While at PLU, Alonso was a student director for the PLU Men’s Chorus and president of Choir of the West. After his time at PLU, he taught Choir and Guitar at Ridgeline Middle School in Yelm, WA for two years. He is currently a Graduate Student at the University of Washington pursuing a Masters of Music in Choral Conducting. A native of Tacoma and alumnus of TYC, Alonso is an active participant in the local music community where he sings in PLU Choral Union and participates in many ACDA and NAfME activities around the region. Email Mr. Brizuela.
Leann Conley-Holcom completed her doctoral studies in choral conducting at the University of Washington in Spring 2017. She holds degrees from Northern Arizona University and Pacific Lutheran University. Prior to her doctoral work, she was Director of Choral and Vocal Activities at Chabot College and Associate Music Director of the Grammy-award-winning Pacific Boychoir Academy. An active professional singer, she performs with the Oregon Bach Festival, True Concord Voices and Orchestra, Maryland’s Mountainside Baroque, and Vox Humana Dallas. In 2015 she was festival conductor with the Shaoxing Philharmonic Children’s Chorus in China, and in 2016 was guest conductor with the Seattle Men’s and Women’s Choruses. For more information about Concert Choir, please email email@example.com.
Connie Schmidt grew up in a musical family, singing, playing piano and cello before graduating from the University of Texas at Austin. Singing and teaching in San Antonio, New York City, Alaska and now Washington has led to directing the Tacoma Youth Chorus training choirs since 2002 - Music Makers (K-1) and the Choristers (2-3). Her education has continued through studies with Rodney Eichenberger, the American Choral Directors Association, the Organization of American Kodaly Educators, the International Voice Care Network and in co-authoring articles for Hal Leonard Publisher music magazine. She currently teaches elementary music and a junior high marimba ensemble at Concordia Lutheran School. Email Mrs. Schmidt.
Amy Elizabeth Boers is one of the region’s most sought after collaborative artists. As such she is well-known as a pianist, coach, teacher and music director. Her playing for conductors and professional soloists has been characterized as deeply expressive, artistic, and insightfully supportive. Amy’s work as conductor, director, and pianist ranges from musical theater, church, ACDA regional honor choirs, to choral organizations throughout the Puget Sound. She is currently serving as collaborative artist with the Tacoma Youth Chorus, Pacific Lutheran University, Charles Wright Academy, Symphony Tacoma Chorus, and is Principal Pianist for Symphony Tacoma. Amy has conducted honor choirs, coached choral conductors, and most recently led workshops for choral conductors and collaborative artists. Known for her insight and “getting inside the conductor’s head,” Amy provides feedback through the special lens of accompanist, singer and conductor combined.
Jinshil Yi is delighted to work with TYC’s two youngest choirs, Music Makers and Choristers. An avid freelance collaborative pianist, Jinshil performs regularly throughout the Tacoma-Seattle area. She has appeared in concerts with Northwest Sinfonietta artistic partner David Lockington and is scheduled to perform in the 2016-2017 Second City Chamber Series with soprano Christina Kowalski. Jinshil has served as staff accompanist at the University of Puget Sound, working extensively with the acclaimed Adelphian Concert Choir, Wind Ensemble, Dorians, and Chorale. She continues to perform with the University’s School of Music, most recently joining the Adelphians on their Spring 2017 concert tour to Victoria, British Columbia. A heartfelt enthusiast for sacred music with two decades of experience, Jinshil loves expressing her faith through her work as pianist and organist for two churches in Lakewood, WA. In addition, she regularly partners with schools, choirs, and private music studios at choral festivals, competitions, concerts, recitals, and musical productions. Jinshil holds three undergraduate degrees from the University of Puget Sound in music, biochemistry, and politics and government with an international relations emphasis.
OUR ADMINISTRATIVE STAFF
Martha Leonhardt, Managing Director (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Cynthia Flores, Member Coordinator (email@example.com)
Jill Westwood, Volunteer Coordinator (firstname.lastname@example.org)
OUR REHEARSAL STAFF
Alexis Silva, Music Makers Classroom Assistant
Alexis Silva, Choristers Rehearsal Assistant
Cassidy Sharrett, Concert Choir Rehearsal Assistant
Cynthia Flores, Chamber Choir and Chorale Rehearsal Assistant
OUR BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Ken Sharp, Board President
Kurt Graupensperger, Vice-President
Fanny Roberts, Secretary
Matt Rettig, Treasurer
Rebecca Bowlby Peters
Zari Semerdjian, Lifetime Member
“Serving as the President of Tacoma Youth Chorus has been a very gratifying experience, allowing me to give back to a group that provides so much to young people. My personal journey began when my daughter Chloe joined TYC three years ago. Like many other parents, I first thought Tacoma Youth Chorus was simply a place where kids would learn to sing. But I quickly learned that it’s so much more than that, captured eloquently in our mission statement: “Lifting young hearts and minds through excellence in choral music.” The gifted artistic staff of Tacoma Youth Chorus truly inspires young people in a rich and collaborative learning environment, allowing them to grow in poise and self-confidence, reaching heights they had not imagined. When the practice and the artistry come together during a performance, you are witness to a wonderful transformation that has taken place in these young people that is simply magical. Tacoma Youth Chorus provides our community with beautiful musical performances and I’m proud to be a part of this wonderful organization.”
~ Ken Sharp, Board President