Music Director, Pennsylvania Girlchoir Melissa Keylock is the newly appointed Music Director of the Pennsylvania Girlchoir. For the last ten years she has served as Associate Director of the Princeton Girlchoir. Since 2014, she has served as Adjunct Professor at Rider University, supervising graduate music education student teachers. For the past several years, Melissa worked as Director of Admissions and Recruitment at the American Boychoir School, and conducted the Boychoir’s community after-school program. Prior to that, she worked at the Indianapolis Children’s Choir, and taught public and private school, including K-12 vocal music and AP Music Theory. Melissa has spent her career in various leadership positions in the American Choral Directors Association. Currently she serves as its Eastern Division Repertoire and Resources Chair for Youth Choirs. Melissa holds an undergraduate degree in music education from Wheaton College and a master of music in conducting from Butler University, where she directed the collegiate Women’s Glee Club. Melissa completed her Kodály studies at Capital University, and Orff Level One at Kansas State University. She is listed in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in Emerging Leaders, and Who’s Who in American Women. Melissa enjoys traveling as a guest clinician and presenter at choral conferences and festivals. Engagements include Music in the Parks, the Piedmont Invitational Choral Festival (NC), BCMEA MS Honor Choir (PA), Let Freedom SING! Girlchoir National Convention in Philadelphia, Fellowship of American Baptist Musicians (WI), Kentucky Music Educator’s Conference Children’s Choir, North Carolina Sings! Women’s Choir, First Coast Honor Choir in Florida, New Jersey Children’s Honor Choir, Appleton (WI) Boychoir, Pennsylvania Elementary Song Fest, Philadelphia Festival of Young Musicians, New Jersey Intermediate Chorus, seven Circle the State With Song festivals in Indiana, and serving as Artist in Residence at the Peck School. She regularly leads teacher workshops, including the New Jersey Association of Independent Schools, New Jersey Music Educators Association, Pennsylvania Music Educators Association, and New Jersey chapter of the American Choral Directors Association, and the New School for Music Study. She is a Yoga Alliance certified yoga instructor, who infuses yoga breathing, strength, balance, and posture into her choral rehearsals. She teaches at several local yoga studios. Melissa and co-writer Jill Friedersdorf have published over twenty songs, and are published with Colla Voce, Chorister’s Guild, Galaxy, and Hal Leonard Publishing. As PG Music Director, Melissa will also serve as Assistant Artistic Director of Commonwealth Youthchoirs (CY), partnering closely with Founder and Artistic Director Steven Fisher. CY serves over 700 singers, half of whom are underserved, in six different award-winning programs: Keystone State Boychoir, Pennsylvania Girlchoir, Find Your Instrument!, Good Mornin’ Music, Garden State Girlchoir, and New Jersey Boychoir.
Conductor, Pennsylvania Girlchoir Dr. Elizabeth Cassidy Parker, conductor of the Pennsylvania Girlchoir Troubadors, is an Associate Professor of Music Education at the Boyer College of Music and Dance at Temple University. An active clinician for children’s and youth choirs, Parker held the position of Director of Music for a large New York City not-for-profit where she grew a children’s choir program of more than 250 voices. While on music faculty at Columbus State University in Georgia, she was appointed the Artistic Director of the Voices of the Valley Youth Choir. Parker has also taught P-12 school and community choirs in New York, Nebraska, and Georgia, focusing on the vocal development of young people in choral contexts. As a choral singer, she performed for several seasons with the Marble Collegiate Sanctuary Choir in New York City, and sang in Carnegie Hall with James Conlon and Robert Shaw. Her choirs have engaged in several tours and commissions of emerging composers. Parker’s research interests include the social and philosophical development of adolescent choral singers as well as emerging identities of preservice music educators. She frequently presents her research nationally and internationally at such conferences as the American Choral Directors Association, The American Educational Research Association, NAfME’s Society for Research in Music Education, the Society for Music Teacher Education, and the International Society for Music Education. Parker is published in research journals such as The Journal of Research in Music Education, The Choral Journal, Music Education Research, Research Studies in Music Education, and The International Journal of Music Education. She frequently engages educators in practitioner workshops, guest conducts in honor choirs, and adjudicates choral festivals. Parker holds degrees from Oberlin Conservatory (BME and MME) and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (PhD). Her daughter, Sara, is a Motet.
Marianne Gruzwalski is a newly appointed conductor with the Pennsylvania Girlchoir and currently serves as a middle school chorus teacher in Springfield, Pennsylvania. She has previously worked as the church pianist and choir director of the Unitarian Universalist Church of the Restoration in Mt. Airy as well as an adjunct professor of music at Manor College. Marianne studied music education at the University of Michigan and completed her masters in choral conducting at Temple University. She has worked with singers aged five to eighty-five throughout her budding career and continues this trend in the Commonwealth Youthchoirs (CY) organization by conducting the youngest Schola and Katorei as well as assistant conducting the select high school singers of Anonymous 16. Previously, Marianne has been selected to participate in conducting master classes with masters such as Helmuth Rilling, Craig Hella Johnson, Simon Carrington, and Robert Spano of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.
Carli Visconti has enjoyed a multi-faceted career as an educator and administrator in both nonprofit settings and for-profit settings. A Connecticut native, Carli pursued her love for music at Temple University’s Esther Boyer College of Music and Dance and has since called Philadelphia home. Carli has worked with youth from nursery school through high school, both in and out of the average music classroom.
Carli has served as a chorister, soloist, and section leader for professional, community, and church choirs throughout the tri-state area. She is thrilled to be joining the ranks of not only great musicians but passionate educators. Carli draws on her logistical and event-based experience to bring this expertise to the ranks of Pennsylvania Girlchoir serving as the Interim Program Manager for the 2017-2018 season.
Ya-Jhu Yang was educated at the National Taiwan Normal University in Taipei, and completed graduate degrees at the Manhattan School of Music and the Curtis Institute, where she studied with renowned composers including Richard Danielpour and Jennifer Higdon Upon graduating from Curtis in 2011, Ya-Jhu’s opera scene “The Falcon” was on tour in northern Italy for 4 productions with the International Opera Theater.The same year, she also produced the inaugural gala concert for the Main Line Chinese Culture Center, an organization strives to foster a tie between the east and the west. Choral music holds a special place in Ya-Jhu’s heart. Starting in college years, she has performed as a sectional alto in John Rutter’s Magnificat, Mozart’s C minor Mass, Brahms’ German Requiem, and many other masterworks of sacred choral repertoire. These masterpieces have since nurtured her and become the foundation and unending inspiration to her musical life. Ya-Jhu has served as the accompanist of PG’s Motet and Anonymous 16 since 2013, and the music director and organist at Gloria Dei Church in Huntingdon Valley since 2011.
Elizabeth Manus is a collaborative pianist/vocal coach. She accompanies Bucks County Choral Society, Neumann University Chorale, and is on the piano faculty of Muhlenberg College. Elizabeth recently joined the accompanying staff of the Pennsylvania Girlchoir. She has served as a pianist for the Lutheran Summer Music Festival, Foulger International Music Festival, and as accompanist/vocal coach for the Germantown Institute for Vocal Arts.
While accompanying for Strings International Music Festival, Philadelphia, Elizabeth performed with chamber orchestra in Verizon Hall. She performed with Choral Arts Societies of New York and Philadelphia, and Delaware Symphony in Mahler’s 8th, presented at Avery Fisher Hall, NewY,ork and Academy of Music, Philadelphia.
A graduate of University of Michigan, Curtis Institute, and the University of Arts, her piano teachers have included Susan Starr and Vladimir Sokoloff. Organ studies have been with David Spicer, and Robert Elmore. You are invited to see elizabethmanus.com.
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