Sopranos and Altos of Chor Anno
(See Basses and Tenors HERE)
Courtney Rowley Pelavin is in her eleventh year as Director of Choirs at Ballard High School, where she directs the Concert Choir, Treble Choir, Vocal Jazz, Women’s Chamber Choir, and Men’s Ensemble.
Courtney is originally from Michigan. She earned a Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance and Choral Music Education from the University of Michigan, and a Master of Music in Choral Conducting from Michigan State University.
Under her direction, the Ballard choirs have grown from 36 students to over 120 members strong, and have consistently received Superior ratings at both regional and national choral festivals.
Anne Lyman is director of choral activities at Tacoma Community College, Tacoma Music Ensemble (formerly Canonici), and music director at Skyline Presbyterian Church in Tacoma. At Tacoma Community College, Dr. Lyman’s students come from all walks of life. “It’s so great to have them in a choir together because they bring so many different kinds of experiences.”
She has impressive credentials, including a DMA in choral conducting from the University of Iowa, a Master’s degree from University of Cincinnati, and a Music History and Literature degree from The College of Wooster in Wooster, Ohio.
In addition…Anne says,
“I love being a parent,” She has two children. “Being a parent is one of the most important things in my life and it affects my work in an immeasurably positive way.” Dr. Lyman also enjoys singing, cooking, and hiking.
Rebecca teaches French at Astoria High School in Astoria, Oregon. She has enjoyed singing since childhood. Starting out in the children’s choir in her church, Rebecca then participated in the choral program in the Central School District in Monmouth/Independence, Oregon, and continued to sing at Western Oregon University during her undergraduate years including in choirs in Poitiers, France during her junior year study abroad. She has also sung with the North Coast Chorale in Astoria. Rebecca holds both a BA in French and an MAT from WOU. She plans to pursue a Masters Degree in French soon.
Leora Schwitters is the Artistic Director/Founder of Rainier Youth Choirs in Kent, WA. Leora retired from directing high school and junior high choirs in the Kent schools. Her Cedar Heights Junior High choirs performed in state and regional conferences for WMEA and ACDA. She earned a B.M. from Yankton College Conservatory of Music, SD, and a MAT in Music Education from the University of Washington. A Past-President of WA-ACDA, she remains active as a clinician, adjudicator, and honor choir conductor. Leora is a member of ACDA, NAfME, NW Kodály Educators, Chorus America, and NATS, and currently sings with the Lyric Arts Ensemble. She and her husband Larry enjoy trail running and are avid birders.
Shannon studied music at Marylhurst University and at Clark College. She has had numerous opportunities to perform both as a soloist and in choirs. She teaches piano in her home studio, Shannon enjoys working with people of all ages. She lives in Vancouver Washington.
Soprano Molly Holleran performs frequently as a concert soloist, as well as appearing in opera and musical theatre. Favorite recent solo concert appearances include Melissa Dunphy’s Gonzalez Cantata, Reginald Unterseher’s Hanford Songs, Poulenc’s Gloria, and Orff’s Carmina Burana. Her many opera and musical theatre roles have ranged from Queen of the Night in Die Zauberﬂöte to Marian the Librarian in The Music Man. Molly has degrees in voice and theatre from Lawrence University in Wisconsin, and a master’s degree in voice from the University of Arizona. In addition to performing, she maintains an active independent voice studio in Richland, Washington.
April Brookins Duvic, Professor Emeritus, retired from Clark College after teaching in the music department for 26 years. She was the first two-time recipient of the College's Exceptional Faculty Award. Prior to Clark College, she taught public school choral music for 13 years. She is a member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing, the American Choral Directors Association, and the Music Teachers National Association. She teaches private voice in Vancouver, WA, enjoys vocally directing musical theatre productions, is a frequent adjudicator for both choral and solo vocal competitions, and along with Janet Reiter, is co-founder and co-director of Reprise Choir in Vancouver, WA. www.reprisechoirsings.org. Ms. Duvic earned her Bachelor of Arts in Music from Whitman College and her Master of Science in Teaching from Portland State University.
Lori Wiest joined Chor Anno in 2014. She is Director of Graduate Studies at the University of Arizona in Tucson. She previously served as Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and the Graduate School and interim chair of the departments of Fine Arts and Foreign Languages and Cultures at WSU,. Lori has been recognized for her leadership and teaching skills with multiple awards. She has served the American Choral Directors Association as the national chair of Youth and Student Activities and as president of Washington ACDA. Lori received degrees from North Dakota State University, Arizona State University, and University of Arizona.
Rhonda directs choral music at La Center Middle School in La Center, WA. She also teaches at La Center High School. She received her BS in Music Education at Warner Pacific College and her Masters Degree in Education at WSU in Vancouver. Rhonda sings in the Portland Symphonic Choir and frequently sings on the worship team at her church. She also teaches a middle school drama class and coaches cross country and track. She is Repertoire and Resources Chair for Junior High and Middle School Choirs for the Washington ACDA chapter. Spare time activities include spending time with her beautiful dog, along with hiking, running and playing the piano.
Solveig taught for seventeen years as Director of Choral Studies at Western Oregon University in Monmouth, Oregon, where she conducted two choirs, taught graduate and undergraduate conducting, and served as Music Director for yearly musical theatre productions. She continues as Founder and Artistic Director for the Salem OR-based civic choir Festival Chorale Oregon, now in its 34nd year, and whose primary repertoire is choral/orchestral masterworks. FCO often schedules performing tours abroad, and has participated in five Carnegie Hall concerts with Solveig as guest conductor. Solveig has been a member of the Oregon Bach Festival's professional chorus for 26 years under Conductor Helmut Rilling. She was president of the NW Division President of ACDA from 2010-2012. Solveig is an active clinician and adjudicator.
Janet Reiter taught for 21 years in the Evergreen School District where she directed choirs at Mountain View High School. After her retirement she taught at Skyview High School for 3 years and directed the Clark College Vocal Jazz Ensemble in Vancouver, WA. until 2014, Her vocal jazz ensemble performed at IAJE conferences in Chicago, New Orleans, and San Antonio. Janet was a 2002 recipient of the WMEA Hall of Fame award. She was founding director of the Seton Catholic College Prep High School Concert Choir until 2017. She continues to be an adjudicator at festivals and competitions throughout Washington and Oregon. Janet holds degrees from Central Washington University and Lewis and Clark University. She is co-director of the newly formed chamber community choir, “Reprise.”
Stacy teaches middle school choir. She is a National Board Certified Teacher. She has performed with the Oregon Catholic Press recording ensemble, the Portland Symphonic Choir, Joan Szymko’s Pleiades, the David York Ensemble, The Trinity Consort, and the Opus 7 Vocal Ensemble. Stacy directs choirs at Washington Middle School in Olympia, Washington. She and her husband JaWanne are the parents of talented and beautiful Gracie, born in 2014.
Karen graduated from Kelso High School and sang in groups there under Howard’s direction. Her degrees are from PLU. She taught choral music for thirty-one years in Sumner, as well as serving as music coordinator for the district. Her service on the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Commission helped develop academic learning requirements in the arts for the state. She helped create classroom-based performance assessments in music. Karen has served as president at three levels for ACDA; state president, NW president, and national president of the 20,000 member organization. Other honors include an award for professional excellence from WWU, the 1996 Christa McAuliffe Award, the 1997 State Teacher of the Year Award and the 2008 Leadership and Service Award from WA-ACDA. Karen is currently the Executive Director of Rainier Youth Choirs of Kent.
Alison directs the choirs at R. A. Long High School in Longview and heads the music program at St. Stephens Episcopal Church in Longview. A native Montanan, Alison holds two Bachelor Degrees from the University of Montana, one in Vocal Performance and another in Music Education. Alison also holds a Masters Degree in Education from Lesley University. At home, Alison stays busy with her husband Eric, an elementary music specialist, raising two boys, Leo and Luke.
Carrie Scott (Auburn) is a graduate of Pacific Lutheran University with a bachelor’s degree in Music Education and a master’s degree in Creative Arts in the Curriculum from Lesley University. She has taught middle school/junior high choir in the Sumner School District for the past 18 years where she also acts as the district music coordinator. She has previously performed with Choral Arts (under the direction of Richard Sparks) and currently sings with PLU’s Choral Union (under the direction of Richard Nance). Some of her favorite choral experiences have been with the 5th Avenue Theater performing in the chorus for “Titanic the Musical: In Concert” and in “Carmina Burana” with the Pacific Northwest Ballet. Besides her love of performing she is a passionate football fan and attends all Husky and Seahawks home football games. She and her husband Tim are also avid travelers and have visited six continents with only Australia left to complete all seven!
Twyla Brunson is a graduate of the University of Idaho and holds Bachelor's and Master's degrees in vocal performance, Twyla taught junior high choral music for 33 years in Walla Walla and Sumner, WA, retiring in 2002. She has studied at the Kodaly Institute, Esztergom, Hungary, Orff Institute, Salzburg, Austria, and St. John’s and Kings’ Colleges at Cambridge University, England with John Rutter. She has sung with the Oregon Bach Festival Choir, Seattle Symphony Chorale, Walla Walla Choral Society, and currently Opus 7. In 1988, she was a member of the Washington State Delegation of Visual and Performing Artists to the Peoples’ Republic of China. Twyla received the Christa McAuliffe Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2000. She is a past president of the Northwestern Division of American Choral Directors and Washington ACDA.
Tracy Schwab is a graduate of Portland State University where she studied with both Bruce Browne and Ethan Sperry. It was Bruce who told me a long time ago we should be considering Tracey for our alto section. Tracey teaches elementary music in the North Clackamas School District, having previously taught choir at the middle and high school levels and twenty years in church music ministry. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Music, MEd, and Master’s in Choral Conducting from Portland State
University. She and her husband of 40+ years live in Gresham, Oregon. Interests include enjoying her seven grandchildren, swimming, cooking, and a hobby gone wild of making candles and personal care products.
Tracey Schwab, Alto