Fueled by the power of a girl’s voice, Princeton Girlchoir presents extraordinary performances at home and throughout the world, while educating the musician, building confidence, and fostering a life-long love of singing together. Founded in 1989 as an after- school activity for girls interested in choral music, Princeton Girlchoir has grown into the area’s premier training and performance choir for girls, with over 300 choristers participating each year. The organization has seven choirs, comprising girls in 3rd through 12th grade. These choirs present music from a wide array of genres, conductors and composers. While honing their musicianship, choristers begin life-long friendships, enjoy professional performance opportunities, and travel the world.
Princeton Girlchoir has been honored to perform in a wide array of venues for audiences both nationally and internationally. Notable performances include the North American premiere of Tan Dun’s Symphony 1997 with Yo- Yo Ma at Avery Fisher Hall in Lincoln Center; multiple appearances at Carnegie Hall; performances for dignitaries such as Hillary Rodham Clinton, Jeb Bush, Rush Holt, and Sandra Day O’Connor; performing the national anthem at several professional sporting events; and appearances at conferences of the American Choral Directors Association, Organization of American Kodály Educators, and NJ Music Educators Association.
Princeton Girlchoir is a program of Westrick Music Academy, home to choirs, music classes, and summer camps for musicians from kindergarten through adulthood.
Lynnel Joy Jenkins (Artistic Director, Concert Choir and Ensemble) is Artistic Director of Westrick Music Academy and Choral Teacher at Timberlane Middle School of the Hopewell Valley Regional School District. At Westrick Music Academy, Dr. Jenkins conducts advanced groups, Princeton Girlchoir Ensemble and Concert Choir. She is a choral educator of international stature, having lectured and conducted choral festivals or music programs in Switzerland, China, Hong Kong, Iceland, and South Africa. Nationally, she has conducted honor choruses for one national, four regional, and several state conferences for American Choral Directors Association, two national conferences for OAKE, and numerous All-State choruses. Jenkins has earned degrees from Westminster Choir College (B.M.), Temple University (M.M.), and University of Arizona (D.M.A.), and at the first two institutions was awarded the Elaine Brown Conducting Award.
Chaequan Anderson (Associate Director, Cantores) is an active choral conductor and music educator based in Princeton, New Jersey. Mr. Anderson has varied choral experience directing school, community youth and children, and professional choirs. In addition to his work with Princeton Girlchoir, Mr. Anderson is Director of Middle School Choirs at Montclair Kimberley Academy, Intermediate Choir Director at Trenton Children’s Chorus, Cantus Choir Director at Westminster Conservatory, and Co-Founder & Artistic Director of Glassbrook Vocal Ensemble, a professional choir based in Ewing, NJ.
He has performed with several choral ensembles in the area, including the Philadelphia Orchestra Symphonic Choir, Princeton Pro Musica, and VOICES Chorale of Hopewell. Additionally, he was a member of the highly acclaimed Westminster Choir of Westminster Choir College. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music and Kodály Certification from Westminster Choir College, and professional member-ships with American Choral Directors Association, National Association for Music Educators and Organization of American Kodály Educators
Fred Meads (WMA Education Director, Eighth Notes and Quarter Notes) has been director of choirs in public and private schools, churches and at the collegiate level for the past twenty-five years. He currently serves as Director of Children and Youth Choirs at Marble Collegiate Church in New York City. Most recently he was Director of Vocal Studies at the American Boychoir School and served as Artistic Director of the Fort Wayne Children’s Choir in Fort Wayne, IN before moving to New Jersey. He has conducted honor and all-state choirs in Wyoming, Georgia, Indiana, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Virginia, Nebraska, Ohio and Oklahoma. In 2017 and 2011, he conducted the OAKE National Children’s Honor Choirs. In 2014, he served as guest conductor for the Northwest ACDA Children’s Honor Choir.
Internationally, he traveled to Hong Kong to present choral workshops for music educators. Fred has presented workshops for IMEA, ACDA, OAKE and Westminster Choir College. Each summer he teaches in the Kodaly program at Westminster Choir College. Fred received his Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education from Ithaca College, NY and the Master of Music degree in Choral Conducting from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He completed his Kodály training at Capital University in Columbus, OH.
Tom T. Shelton, Jr. (Associate Director, Semi-Tones) is associate professor of Sacred Music at Westminster Choir College, in Princeton, NJ. Focusing on children’s and youth music at Westminster, Professor Shelton teaches classes in conducting, sacred music, music education, and conducts the Williamson Voices Treble Ensemble. In addition, he is the director of Children’s and Youth Choirs at Princeton United Methodist Church.
Before moving to NJ, Mr. Shelton taught middle school choral music in Winston-Salem/Forsyth County, (NC) for 18 years. During that time he was selected Teacher of the Year multiple times and was presented the North Carolina Middle School Music Teacher of the Year award by the North Carolina Music Educators Association.
Mr. Shelton has conducted choral festivals and presented workshops in throughout the United States and Hong Kong. He has served as an adjudicator for the Penabur International Choral Festival (Jakarta, Indonesia); the Rovdo International Choral Festival (Belarus); and worked on several projects with the “Soul Sounds Academy” (Sri Lanka). He is the Series Director for the Music for Young Voices Series with GIA Publications and has over 60 compositions published by Choristers Guild, Colla Voce Music, G. Schirmer, Galaxy, GIA Publications, Growing in Grace Curriculum, Heritage Music Press, Hinshaw Music Company, Musicspoke.com, Santa Barbara Music Press, and Walton Music.
An active member of the American Choral Directors Association, Mr. Shelton served as the National President (2017-2019).
Kyle Blackburn (Collaborative Pianist, Semi-Tones) is currently a music educator and accompanist in New Jersey. He is a graduate of Westminster Choir College and specializes in choral accompaniment, musical theater direction, and music technology. As a singer, he has performed at Carnegie Hall, David Geffen Hall, and Verizon Hall, along with orchestras such as the Berlin Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic, and the Philadelphia Orchestra.
Ryan Brechmacher (Collaborative Pianist, Cantores) is an active performer, composer, teacher, and pianist. He earned his Bachelor of Music degree in both Piano Performance/Pedagogy and Theory/ Composition, studying with Ingrid Clarfield and Stefan Young at Westminster Choir College of Rider University. Ryan has served as an accompanist for the Westminster Youth Chorale, Voices Chorale, and singers and instrumentalists in the area.
An accomplished composer, his works have been heard throughout the United States and Europe. He has had pieces premiered by the Westminster Schola Cantorum, Westminster Youth Chorale, Bowling Green Junior High School Bands, the Bowling Green Area Community Band, VOICES Chorale, Princeton Day School choirs, and Princeton Girlchoir’s Concert Choir. His choral and piano compositions have been published by Alfred Music Publishing, GIA Publications, and Trans-continental Music.
Mr. Brechmacher is also the full-time Staff Accompanist at Princeton Day School, where he also teaches AP Music Theory.
Pianist Julia Hanna (Collaborative Pianist, Concert Choir) has performed widely in the New York and Philadelphia metropolitan areas, building an extensive repertoire of solo and chamber music. Currently, she serves as a coach and accompanist at Westminster Choir College. As an accompanist she has also performed and toured with several choirs from the New York area, in which capacity the New York Times has praised her performances as “vivid” and “deft.” In 2018 Julia was honored to be a featured performer in a Philip Glass opera workshop in North Adams, MA.
François Suhr (Collaborative Pianist, Eighth Notes) is the choral and general music teacher at Monmouth Junction and Constable Elementary Schools of the South Brunswick School District. During the summer, he acts as the professor of musicianship classes for the Kodály certification and Masters degree program at the American Kodály Institute at Loyola University Maryland. It is from this institution that François earned his Kodály certification and Master of Education in Kodály Music Education. He also holds a Bachelor’s of Music in Music Education from Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University
In addition to teaching, François works as a pianist and music director for many different community theatres throughout the state of New Jersey most recently completing projects at the Villager’s Theatre, Kelsey Theatre and with Phoenix Productions.
Stefanie Watson (Collaborative Pianist, Quarter Notes and Ensemble) serves as pianist with Princeton Girlchoir. She also accompanies area choirs, including many state and regional honor choirs and the Hopewell Valley Chorus. Stefanie works at The College of New Jersey as staff pianist, adjunct professor, and music director of the Lyric Theatre program. She is also the music director of Emanuel Lutheran Church in New Brunswick and maintains a private piano studio. Stefanie studied Piano Performance at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (B.A.) and Collaborative Piano at Rutgers University (M.M.)
Princeton Girlchoir and Westrick Music Academy wishes to thank the following individuals and organizations for making today’s concert possible:
- New Jersey State Council on the Arts
- Discover Jersey Arts
- Princeton Area Community Foundation
- Morven Museum and Garden: Jill Barry, Executive Director; Diana Griffin, Private Events Manager
- Robert Bullington, Front Row Seat Productions, LLC
Board of Directors
Michael Wasden, President
Archana Pradhan, MD, MPH, President-Elect
Mark J. Badros, Treasurer
Daniela M. Phayme, Secretary
Frederick A. Pettit, Esq.
Eeraj J. Qaisar
Laura Fenster Rothschild, PsyD
Raegan M. Ruiz
Joan A. Valcin
Jason Vodicka, DMA
Lynnel Joy Jenkins, DMA, Ex Officio
Hilary K. Butler, Ex Officio
S. Tina Biswas
Jordan M. Corn
Barbara Burke DiCostanzo
James M. Jordan
Peter F. Kelly, Esq., Legal Advisor
Janet H. Perkins
Jan A. Westrick
Princeton Girlchoir Staff
Lynnel Joy Jenkins, DMA, Artistic Director, Concert Choir and Ensemble
Hilary K. Butler, Executive Director
Fred Meads, Education Director, Eighth Notes and Quarter Notes
Chaequan Anderson, Associate Director, Cantores
Tom Shelton, Associate Director, Semi-Tones
Rachel DiBlasio, Operations Manager
Blanca Gonzalez, Office Manager
Kyle Blackburn, Collaborative Pianist
Ryan Brechmacher, Collaborative Pianist
Julia Hanna, Collaborative Pianist
François Suhr, Collaborative Pianist
Stefanie Watson, Collaborative Pianist
Adrian Camano, Concert Choir Conducting Fellow
Shayna Lee, Cantores Conducting Fellow
Emily Obenauer, Ensemble Conducting Fellow
Maia Finkel, Conducting Fellow
Isabella Crapanzano, Eighth Notes Intern
Leanne Griffiths, Eighth Notes Intern
Abigail Reytblat, Eighth Notes Intern
Henna Sharma, Quarter Notes Intern
Julia Weiss, Quarter Notes Intern
Amenah Ghani, Semi-Tones Intern
Muskan Paliwal, Semi-Tones Intern
Anushya Shankar, Semi-Tones Intern
Devin Embrich, Rehearsal Coordinator
Rosemary Gurak, Rehearsal Coordinator
Allyssa Jurgens, Rehearsal Coordinator
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