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Artistic Team & Personnel

Jeanne Wohlgamuth, Artistic Director | jeanne@columbuschildrenschoir.org|

Jeanne Wohlgamuth signed on as the new Artistic Director of CCC in June, 2012. She is the vocal music teacher at Dublin Jerome High School, where her choirs have consistently received superior ratings at the Ohio Music Educators’ Association contests. The Jerome choir traveled to Austria and “wowed” audiences with their beautiful singing in the spring of 2011, and the Santa Maria Choir toured Western New York and Niagara Falls, Canada in 2008. Jeanne is a graduate of Lowell University in Massachusetts and has studied at the Voice Care Network. She is on the faculty of the Master of Music in Music Education program at Capital University.

 

Dr. Mara Balk, Managing Director  |  mara@columbuschildrenschoir.org  |

Mara Balk joined the Columbus Children’s Choir in October of 2011. She is a graduate of The Ohio State University’s doctoral program in Arts Administration, Education, and Policy where she received the 2011 Barnett Dissertation Fellowship. Dr. Balk is Vice President of the Board of Directors for the Ohio Alliance for Arts Education, and has worked on projects with local organizations including Ohio Citizens for the Arts, BalletMet Columbus and VSA arts of Ohio for the last eight years. As an educator, researcher, and artist, Dr. Balk has collaborated with teachers and students of all ages from elementary school through college. She has dedicated her career to promoting the arts as a valid and necessary element within all educational settings, and continually advocates for the arts and education in local, statewide, and national forums. Dr. Balk earned her B.A. in Dance and Psychology from Wesleyan University and her M.A. in Cultural Policy and Arts Administration from OSU.

 

Karen Munnelly, Program Coordinator  |  karen@columbuschildrenschoir.org  |

Karen Munnelly is a second year Doctoral student studying Arts Policy & Administration at The Ohio State University. Prior to coming to OSU Karen enjoyed a successful career in arts administration. She served as the Director of Operations for the Aspen Music Festival & School, the Artistic & Operations Director for the National Repertory Orchestra and the Artistic Assistant for the National Symphony Orchestra at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Karen also served on the 2014 Coordinating Committee for the Columbus Arts Festival. Karen received her Bachelor of Music in Flute Performance from the University of South Florida and her Master of Arts in Arts Administration from Florida State University.


Jamie Blair, Program Assistant  |

Jamie Blair graduated from Ohio Northern University with a Bachelor’s of Music in Music Education under the tutelage of P. Lance Ashmore in 2009. While at ONU, she participated in various vocal ensembles, instrumental ensembles, Kappa Delta Pi Education Fraternity, and was a First-Year Experience Teaching Assistant. Ms. Blair taught K-8 choir and general music in the Lima City School District for three years. Upon moving to Columbus, Jamie has become active in the Columbus Symphony Chorus and currently serves on the board as Communications Chair. Jamie is a member of Tonic: Columbus Symphony Young Professionals, hoping to advocate for the orchestra’s position in our young adult community. She also sings with various churches and opera ensembles in the Central Ohio area.


Katie Thornton, Young Musicians Director   |  katie@columbuschildrenschoir.org  |

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.


Matthew Parker, Isabella Director |

Matthew Parker received his Bachelor of Music, and Master of Music in Music Education with and emphasis on Kodály, from Capital University.  He currently teaches at Johnnycake Corners Elementary School in the Olentangy Local School District.  Matthew was voted as Teacher of the Year during the 2008-2009 school year.  At his school, Matthew directs three choirs with a total membership around 200 students.  He has presented at MKMEA and TRIKE conferences.   Matthew also enjoys composing music and has previously written a song that was performed by the New World Singers.


Jayne Wenner, Nina Director | jayne@columbuschildrenschoir.org |

Jayne Wenner recently retired from teaching general music and strings at Norwich Elementary School in Hilliard.  She completed her BME and MA degrees at The Ohio State University. She holds a Kodály certificate from the Kodály Musical Training Institute and studied at the Kodály Institute in Kecskemét, Hungary. She earned her Dalcroze Eurhythmics certificate at Carnegie Mellon University. Jayne has been a presenter for local, state and national music conferences. She has sung in the Columbus Symphony Chorus and performed with ZIVILI. She was awarded the 1998 Elementary Music Educator Award from the Columbus Symphony Orchestra.


Molly Rule, Pinta Director | molly@columbuschildrenschoir.org |

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.  She taught music for several years at Fairfield Elementary School in Pickerington, where she was chosen Teacher of the Year for 04-05. Currently, she teaches early childhood music classes for WeJoySing and the Hilltop Learning Center Preschool, while primarily being at home with her two young children. 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.


Sarah Santilli, Santa Maria Director | sarah@columbuschildrenschoir.org |

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.


Chad Baker, Accompanist | chad@columbuschildrenschoir.org |

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.


Anna Tornero, Accompanist | anna@columbuschildrenschoir.org |

Anna Tornero is a 2009 graduate of Capital University’s Conservatory of Music, where she majored in Piano Performance and Piano Pedagogy. Anna serves as the pianist/accompanist and youth choir director at the Reynoldsburg Baptist Church. Ms. Tornero is the accompanist for our Isabella, Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria Choirs.

 

Dr. Sandra Mathias, Director Emerita

Professor Emerita of Music -Capital University, Dr. Mathias received her BS in music education from SUNY Fredonia; MA with Orff concentration from Ball State University; Ph.D. in Music Education from The Ohio State University; and her Kodály certification from the Kodály Institute of America.  Dr. Mathias is the recipient of the Kodály Institute Intézetért, Award, the 2001 Community Music Educator of the year from the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, the Arts Freedom Award presented by the Southside Settlement House and the 2006 Outstanding Educator Award from the Organization of American Kodály Educators (OAKE).  She has served as guest conductor for the Georgia All-State Middle School Treble Chorus and the National Children’s Choir of OAKE. Dr. Mathias has been a guest lecturer in England, China, Hungary, and the Canary Islands. Recently retired, Dr. Mathias served as the Founder and Artistic Director of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra Children’s Choir and the Columbus Children’s Choir for 25 years.