Artistic Staff

We are proud to announce that Kris Mason, Artistic Director of the Seattle Children’s Chorus recently received the WA ACDA Leadership and Service Award for 2012. Since 1996, WA-ACDA has given this prestigious award to a member of the association who has exhibited outstanding qualities in the areas of musicianship and leadership. These qualities Include, but are not limited, to:• Producer of outstanding choirs, worthy of performing at regional or national ACDA conferences;• Programmer of a wide variety of literature of the highest quality;• Proven abilities as an inspiring and effective clinician, adjudicator, and/or conductor;• An effective communicator;• Demonstrated loyalty and service to ACDA at local, state, divisional, and/or national levels;• A model of strong character and integrity.

SCC_-2Kris Mason founded the Seattle Children’s Chorus in 1989. Under Kris’ leadership, the organization has grown from one small neighborhood choir to a recognized and respected choral arts program, offering six choral levels to young musicians between the ages of three and eighteen.  Along with her work as Artistic Director, Kris conducts Arioso and Intermezzo, the upper- level and intermediate level treble choirs.  ARIOSO has been honored to receive three invitations to perform for Northwestern Regional Conferences of the American Choral Directors Association and one invitation to the ACDA National Convention in Los Angeles, 2005.  Her choirs have been privileged to travel throughout Great Britain, Scandinavia, Central Europe, Canada and Brazil, sharing the beauty and joy of singing for audiences at festivals, competitions and in some of Europe’s most exquisite cathedrals.  Kris has served as a past president for Washington State Choristers Guild and the Repertoire and Standards Chair of Children’s Choirs for Washington State American Choral Directors Association. In 2012, Kris was the recipient of the American Choral Directors Association “Leadership and “Service Award” for the state of Washington.  Kris holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Music Education from Seattle Pacific University.
SCC_-4John Hendrix has been the director of Camerata since 1999, when the newly formed group was called the Chamber Singers.  He has worked in both public and private music education, as well as church music for over 30 years.  Currently, John teaches choral music at Shorewood High School in Shoreline, Washington, and is the choir director at Grace Lutheran Church in Edmonds, Washington.  Under his direction, his choirs have received national recognition, having been invited to perform at a variety of concerts, festivals, and competitions, where they have consistently received top ratings.  John is also a vocalist and has had the opportunity to sing under many conductors and teachers who have had a profound influence, including Robert Shaw, Eric Ericson, Dale Warland, Paul Salumonivich, and Weston Noble.  John has served as Repertoire and Standards Chair for both Community Choirs and Jazz Choirs for the American Choral Directors Association in Washington State.  He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Education from Seattle Pacific University, and a Master’s Degree in Choral Conducting from Western Washington University.
SCC_-16Jennifer Hanson is director of Brio, the training level of Seattle Children’s Chorus. Jennifer has a degree in Music Education from the University of Indiana. Her 12 year instrumental music teaching experience has included conducting award winning orchestras, wind ensembles and jazz bands. She is actively involved with the music ministry at her church, where she plays piano for services, directs the adult choir, a young teen treble voice choir and a young children’s choir.
SCC_-10Gillian Malacari, director of our recently formed Poco a Poco, has a Bachelor of Music Education with Honors from the University of Western Australia majoring in Primary and Secondary Education and String Pedagogy (violin). Her Honors thesis was on ethnomusicology and she became interested in how different cultures approach music education. Gillian has taught in several international and independent schools in Australia and Asia and is trained in Orff, Dalcroze and Suzuki methods. She is currently an examiner for the International Baccalaureate music performance and paper exams and maintains a small number of students in her private studio. Gillian‘s educational  experience is broad and includes the start-up and development of several K-12 Music programs and several string programs. In every program she has developed she has compulsory K-5 choral classes (in addition to class music time). Gillian has a strong belief that voice exploration and movement activities, in early childhood music education are one of the most robust ways to develop well-rounded musicians who feel confident interacting with music for life.
SCC_-8Dianne Beckman-Engelbrekt has been accompanist for Seattle Children’s Chorus since 1991.  She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in piano performance and psychology from Seattle Pacific University and a Master of Music in piano performance from the University of Washington.  Dianne has been an active piano teacher and accompanist for various groups in the Seattle area for many years.  She has taught at the college level and in her private studio.
SCC_-6Randi Teigland-Hendrix has been accompanist for Seattle Children’s Chorus since 1997.  She currently plays for Camerata and Coro Vivo. She is a graduate of Seattle Pacific University, holding a Bachelor of Arts degree in piano performance.  Randi has taught at the college level and privately for many years.   She is an active accompanist, playing for various conductors and performers in the Pacific Northwest, and also serves as pianist and organist at Grace Lutheran Church in Edmonds, Washington.
SCC_-14Jessica Choe recently joined the SCC staff as our Brio accompanist. Jessica has a distinguished background and has won numerous prizes in the U.S. and abroad. She was a recipient of the Presser Award in 2003 and gave her Carnegie Hall debut under the auspices of La Gesse Foundation in 2004. A graduate of The Julliard School and the Peabody Conservatory of Music, Jessica enjoys a busy performance schedule in the Northwest. She is founder and co-director of Chamber Music at Richmond Beach and serves as the Director of Music at the Richmond Beach Congregational Church.
Sonja Sarr is our accompanist for the Brio program in Marysville.  Sonja has taught high school choir, jazz band, elementary music, middle school and elementary private choir, and private piano, electric bass, and composition.  Her compositions and arrangements are published through UNC Jazz Press and Sound Music Publications.  Along with accompanying, she currently teaches private piano, and has a passion for her family, homemaking, exercise, creating healthier recipes, and frugality that she shares in her stewardship website that she manages with her husband.


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