Selections of Holiday Favorites
Artist's NameMark Hayes
Artist's NameMark Hayes
Artist's NamePepper Choplin
Participating Group Directors
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.