Jeanne Wohlgamuth, Artistic Director
Internationally celebrated for her artistic vision and top-tier choirs, Jeanne is a champion for choral education. Since beginning her tenure as the Columbus Children’s Choir Artistic Director in the spring of 2011, Jeanne has paved the way for a new and exciting era of the organization. Under her direction, the New World Singers have toured abroad performing for audiences throughout Europe including a performance with the Vienna Boys’ Choir this past summer. In June 2018 they will perform at Carnegie Hall. Beyond tours and accolades, Jeanne has expanded community engagement efforts to make Columbus Children’s Choir a point of pride for our city.
Alongside her work with Columbus Children’s Choir, Jeanne is the Fine Arts Department Chair and Director of Choirs at Dublin Jerome High School, a sought after clinician and adjudicator, the Vocal Affairs Chair for the Ohio Music Education Association, and a recipient of countless awards including the Community Champion Award presented by the Dublin Chamber of Commerce.
Jeanne is a fervent advocate for higher education. She serves as an adjunct professor in the Master’s of Music Education program at the Kodály Institute at Capital University and teaches Choral Methods. She has presented workshops on developing sight-reading in the choral rehearsal and middle school choral techniques and repertoire for The Midwest Kodály Music Educator’s Conference, The Ohio State University, Capital University, Columbus City Schools, the Tri-City Kodály Music Educators, and The Ohio Music Educators Association state professional conference.
Jeanne currently serves as Vocal Affairs Chair for the Ohio Music Education Association and is a member of the Repertoire and Standards Committee for the Organization of American Kodály Educators (OAKE). She has served as the National Children’s Choir Coordinator and Secretary for the Organization of American Kodály Educators (OAKE) and Treasurer for the Tri-City Kodály Music Educators (TRIKE) and Creative Affairs Chair for the Ohio Music Education Association (OMEA).
Jeanne is the recipient of the Teacher of the Year award at Dublin Jerome High School, Karrer Middle School, Wright Elementary, and Bowen Elementary. She was also honored with the Golden Shamrock Award for Excellence in Education from Dublin.
Kerry Haberkern, Managing Director
Dr. Kerry Haberkern’s work with Columbus Children’s Choir brings her full circle to the music and theatre education programs she enjoyed while growing up in Columbus, Ohio. As an active performer, educator, and administrator, she is devoted to reaching new audiences. Since she assumed the role of managing director in 2015, Columbus Children’s Choir has commissioned and premiered new choral works, received one of just four Kiwanis Centennial Grants, and booked debut performances at the Independents’ Day Festival and the Columbus Arts Festival. In June the New World Singers will travel to New York and perform at the famed Carnegie Hall.
Dr. Haberkern is the faculty instructor of bassoon at Otterbein University and a founding member of the Columbus Ohio Discovery Ensemble (CODE). She is the second bassoonist for the Central Ohio Symphony Orchestra and held past appointments with the Niagara Symphony Orchestra and the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra. In 2013, she earned the doctor of musical arts degree from The Ohio State University, where her research focused on bassoon pedagogy. Dr. Haberkern also served as a facilitator for the university’s Center for the Advancement of Teaching, where she worked with artists to translate their skills into tools for the classroom. She was a resident artist of the Music and Sound Program at the Banff Centre for the Arts, and holds degrees from the Louisiana State University and the Glenn Gould School of the Royal Conservatory in Toronto, Canada, as well as The Ohio State University. She lives in Clintonville with her husband, clarinetist Justin Johnston, their cat Kissy, and their dog Wellington.
Tammy Gebara, Program Manager
Tammy has been involved with Columbus Children’s Choir since 2007 when her daughter joined the Isabella Choir. Over the past ten years as her daughter developed into a strong confident musician, Tammy has been actively involved in the program, volunteering and serving as a choir manager for several of the choirs. Now, as Program Manager, Tammy is a passionate advocate of the program’s mission and vision. Tammy is also a life-long educator with over 25 years teaching experience. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Baylor University, a Master of Education in Teaching from University of Texas at Arlington, and a PhD in Psychological Perspectives in Education from The Ohio State University.
Sarah Santilli, Santa Maria Director
Sarah Santilli teaches Vocal/General Music at Jones Middle School in Upper Arlington. Sarah’s background in music includes Vocal, Instrumental, Jazz, Gospel, Musical Theater, and Dance. As an active performer, Sarah was Vice President and Producer for the Findlay Light Opera Company where she held several leading roles. She is a member of American Choral Directors Association, Ohio Choral Directors Association, Organization of American Kodály Educators, and Ohio Music Educators Association, through which she presented at state conference and chaired district level events. Sarah received her Bachelor Degree from The Ohio State University and Masters in Choral Education and Kodály Certification from The Kodály Institute at Captial University where she has been featured as a soprano and clarinet soloist.
Molly Rule, Pinta Director
Molly McCorkle Rule received her Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance and Music Education and Master of Music in Music Education with Kodály emphasis from Capital University. She completed a portion of her master’s degree at The Kodály Institute in Hungary. Growing up in central Ohio, she was part of all-state choirs, bands, and a trombonist with the Columbus Youth Symphony. She taught music for several years at Fairfield Elementary School in Pickerington, where she was chosen Teacher of the Year for 04-05. She has also taught early childhood music classes for WeJoySing. In 2013, Molly was selected as a soprano to sing under the direction of John Rutter for the Music In Worship Festival Chorus at the American Choral Directors’ Association National Conference. Currently, she teaches at The Ohio State University School of Music, preschool music classes at the Hilltop Lutheran Church, and cares for her three young children. This past year, she hosted the Link Up concert and a Young People’s concert with the Columbus Symphony. She is a member of the Organization of American Kodály Educators and the American Choral Directors’ Association, serving on the state children’s honor choir team.
Tracy Conway, Nina Director
Tracy Conway teaches vocal and general music for grades PK-6 at Oakland Park Traditional and Stewart Alternative School in the Columbus City Schools district. She graduated from Capital University with a degree in Music Education in 2012 and has since returned to begin her Masters studies with Kodály emphasis. She loves to travel and spent a semester abroad in Kecskemét, Hungary at the Kodály Institute. Her travels have also led her all over the world, some highlights include trips to: South Africa, Ireland, Italy, Austria, and the UK. Mrs. Conway currently sings alto with the Capital University Choral Union and has also performed with the Capital University Chapel Choir and the Lancaster Chorale.
Mary-Rebekah Fortman, Isabella Director
Mary-Rebekah Fortman teaches music at Hanby and Emerson Elementary Schools in Westerville. She earned her Bachelor of Music Education and a Master of Music with a Kodaly Emphasis from Capital University. While an undergraduate, she spent a semester at the Kodaly Institute in Kecskemet, Hungary. Mary-Rebekah directs the Handbell Choir and Children’s Choir at Indianola Presbyterian Church. She has sung with the Capital University Choral Union, Lancaster Chorale and Fior Angelica. She is a member of the Ohio Music Educator’s Association and the Organization of American Kodaly Educators.
Katie Thornton, Young Musicians Director
Katie Thornton joined the Columbus Children’s Choir team in August of 2013 as the Young Musicianship Class instructor. She teaches music at Scottish Corners Elementary School in Dublin. Previously, she taught at Pickerington Local Schools and Washington Court House City Schools. She received her bachelor of Music Education from The Ohio State University in 2008 and is currently working on her Master of Music Education with Kodaly emphasis at Capital University.
Chad Baker, Accompanist
Chad Baker currently serves as the Director of Worship & Music at Christ Lutheran Church in Bexley, Ohio. As a faculty member of the Capital University Conservatory of Music his assignments have included teaching organ and class keyboard as well as serving as an accompanist in the vocal area and assisting with weekly Chapel services as University Organist. In addition he also teaches in the Sacred Music program at Trinity Lutheran Seminary. Baker is a 2004 cum laude graduate of Capital University with a bachelor of music degree in keyboard pedagogy with an emphasis in church music. Chad accompanies CCC’s New World Singers.
Angie Cover, Accompanist
Angela Harter Cover received her Bachelor of Music in Music Education from Bowling Green State University, and earned a Master of Music in Keyboard Pedagogy and Performance from the University of Miami (Fla.). Angela studied at the Interlochen Center for the Arts for five summers and then returned to work in the Concert Office for three years. She has taught music courses at the University of Miami and Miami-Dade College, as well as for the Miami-Dade County Public Schools, while maintaining a private piano studio. She also accompanied throughout the Miami area. For the past 18 years, she has served as a piano adjudicator for solo, duet and concerto events in the Florida Federation of Music Clubs. In 1999, Angela was the accompanist for the United States Collegiate Choir European Concert Tour. She is a member of the National Guild of Piano Teachers, National Federation of Music Clubs, and the Ohio Music Education Association. Angela lives in Powell, Ohio with her husband and two children. She accompanies the Isabella, Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria choirs.