Staff

Artistic Staff

 
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Lynn Swanson, MME

Executive Artistic Director
Conductor, Lyric Chorale, Treble Chorale (Milwaukee Youth Chorale)

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Lynn Swanson is completing her first season as Executive Artistic Director of Milwaukee Children’s Choirs. She holds the Master of Music Education in Choral Pedagogy from the University of Kansas, in addition to the Bachelor of Music in Organ Performance from Shorter University as a recipient of the Theodor Presser Foundation Scholarship. 

She most recently served as Assistant Director of the Zhuhai Classical Children’s Choir in Zhuhai, China while concurrently serving as the Director of the Institute for  Healthy Singing under the William Baker Choral Foundation. She is editor of the Developing Voices, an educational blog promoting a science-based approach to singing. 

As Executive Associate Music Director with The William Baker Choral Foundation, Ms. Swanson held the position of Music Director and Conductor for the Lynn Swanson Festival Singers, a professional-level ensemble based in Atlanta, Georgia, specializing in short form a cappella music. She is the Founder and Music Director Emeritus of the one hundred voice Cobb Summer Singers now in its 14th season annually performing masterworks with professional orchestra. 

She previously held the position of Organist/Choir Master at St. Benedict’s Episcopal Church in Atlanta. Prior to this post, she served as Assistant Organist for the Choir of Christ the King Anglican Church in Frankfurt, Germany giving choral performances at the Norte-Dame Cathedral, the American Cathedral in Paris and the Alte Nikolai Kirche in Frankfurt. During her tenure in Germany, she also served as Assistant Organist to Herr Helmut Melzer, Music Director of St. Johann Kirche in Kronberg.

Recent choral/orchestral masterworks conducted by Ms. Swanson include Bach: Mass in B Minor, Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 in F, Magnificat, Cantata No. 51 “Jauchzet Gott in allen Länden,” and Cantata No. 4 “Christ lag in todes banden” and Cantata No. 140 “Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme”; Brahm’s A German Requiem; Mozart: Solemn Vespers, Exsultate Jubilate, Eine kleine Nachtmusik and Coronation Mass; Handel: Messiah, Dettingen Te Deum, Water Music Suite, and Israel in Egypt; Mendelssohn’s Elijah; Faure: Requiem; Schubert’s Mass in G; Haydn: Te Deum; Beethoven: Mass in C; Vivaldi: Beatus Vir; and Bernstein: Chichester Psalms and Missa Brevis.

Ms. Swanson’s choral ensembles have toured throughout the United States and have been featured on Central China Television Network; the Tenth Annual Chamber Concert Series, Central Conservatory Beijing, China; International Beijing Choir Festival; Piccolo Spoleto Festival in Charleston, South Carolina; Christmas Atlanta Festival, and Arts International Festival of Frances Marion University among many others. She is a member of the International Voice Care Network of St. John’s University, Wisconsin Music Educators Association, Wisconsin Choral Directors Association, American Guild of Organists and the American Choral Directors Association.

 

 

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Emily Crocker

Founder and Music Director Emeritus

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Emily Crocker earned the Master of Arts in Music Theory from Texas Woman’s University and the Bachelor of Music Education from University of North Texas. Further studies have included Conducting and Voice-Building at Westminster Choir College and Kodaly Techniques at Sam Houston State University.

Ms. Crocker taught public school music at all levels for 15 years in Texas. In1989, she joined the music publishing industry and served as Vice President of Choral Publications for Hal Leonard Corporation in Milwaukee. She founded the Milwaukee Children's Choir in 1994 and served as artistic director until 2009. Under her leadership the choir grew from 35 members to over 400 and received acclaim for performances with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, the Milwaukee Chamber Orchestra, the Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra, the American Choral Directors Association, Present Music, an MENC national convention and at international festivals around the world. She is a nationally recognized expert in children's and youth choirs and maintains an active guest conducting schedule.

Ms. Crocker's compositions have been performed across the globe. She has received ASCAP awards for concert music since 1986. She is well known for her work in developing choral instructional materials and is an author of Experiencing Choral Music, a choral textbook series for grades 6–12 published by McGraw-Hill/Glencoe, and Essential Elements for Choir, a choral textbook series for grades 6–12 published by Hal Leonard.

The Civic Music Association of Milwaukee awarded her the Excellence in Youth Music award in 2002 and, in 2009, the Distinguished Citizen Award—Professional in the Arts. She has been named a Distinguished Alumna by the Texas Woman's University Department of Music and an Honored Alumnus by the College of Music of the University of North Texas.

She maintains membership in the American Choral Directors Association (Life Member), Wisconsin Choral Directors Association, Music Educators National Conference, ASCAP, Chorus America, ΣΑΙ music fraternity, (Iota Omega)—Member Laureate, ΠΚΛ national music honor society.

 

 

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Corynn Nordstrom, MME

Associate Music Director
Conductor, Introductory Choirs

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Corynn Nordstrum received the Bachelor of Music in clarinet performance and music education from the University of Michigan. She also obtained the Master of Music Education from the same institution with a focus on curriculum and choral directing for young voices. Ms. Nordstrum is a National Board Certified Teacher and has been teaching young children for 14 years. She currently teaches Kindergarten through 2nd grade general music for the School District of Menomonee Falls. She is Level 1 certified in Music Learning Theory and Kodaly. In 2009, she received the Michigan Music Educators Association Hilda Humphreys Award for service to music education early in her career. Ms. Nordstrum is currently the Early Childhood Chair for the Wisconsin Music Educators Association and writer for the Wisconsin School Musician magazine.

 

 

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Michael Werni

Associate Music Director
Conductor, Preparatory Choirs

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Michael Werni, a native of Cedarburg, WI, holds a Bachelor of Arts in choral and instrumental music education degree from Wisconsin Lutheran College. Over the past four years he has taught in the Merton Community School District, tripling the number of students involved in choir, as well as expanding academic and co-curricular choral music opportunities for students. In addition to choral music, Mr. Werni is also enthusiastic about musical theater education, and has worked to revive the musical theater program within his district, which currently involves nearly a quarter of the school’s student population. Mr. Werni is an active performer in the Milwaukee area, and has performed as a member of the Milwaukee Symphony Chorus and Bel Canto Chorus of Milwaukee, and has also performed with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chorus. In 2019, Mr. Werni was recognized by the Wisconsin Association of Colleges for Teacher Education and his alma mater, Wisconsin Lutheran College, with the Early Career Educator Award. Mr. Werni is passionate about providing engaging and eclectic vocal music opportunities for his students that they may grow to learn more about themselves, and in turn, the world in which they live.

 

 

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Scott Foss

Associate Music Director
Conductor, Bass Chorale (Milwaukee Youth Chorale)

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Scott Foss obtained the degree of Music Education with an emphasis in choral conducting from the University of Wisconsin in Madison where he directed the Wisconsin Alumni Association Choir and the University of Wisconsin Theatre Department. As Musical Director he trained singers, prepared orchestras and conducted countless performances. 

Mr. Foss has been a choral editor and champion of America’s young composers throughout his distinguished career. After serving as Choral Music Manager at Ward Brodt Music Company then Editor of Roger Dean/Lorenz Publishing he became Classical and Concert Choral Editor of Hal Leonard Publishing in 2012. The Hal Leonard Publishing Corporation owns the publishing rights of such world-renowned composers as Leonard Bernstein, Bela Bartok, Aaron Copland, Charles Ives. He works with contributing editors such as G. Schirmer, Dale Warland, Craig Hella Johnson, Andrea  Ramsey, Rollo Dilworth and many more.

Scott Foss has for more than a decade conducted the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra and Chorus in its annual performance of Handel’s Messiah at the Overture Center in Madison. He has directed more than forty musical theatre productions ranging from full Equity Theatre productions to UW-Madison productions and community theatre at all levels. Simultaneously, Mr. Foss served as Director of Music at Madison First United Methodist Church, directing its Chancel and Chamber Choir, Brass Choir, Handbell Choir, and Youth Choirs. Mr. Foss has served as Repertoire and Standards Chairman for Sacred Music for the Wisconsin Choral Directors Association. He has been clinician at numerous state ACDA conventions around the country while also leading countless All-Conference, All City and Festival Choirs around the Midwest. His masterworks include Gloria, John Rutter; Requiem, John Rutter; African Sanctus, Fanshawe; Elijah, Mendelssohn; Creation, Haydn; Mass, Bernstein; Aids Quilt Songbook, Bernstein; Sacred Concerts cycle, Duke Ellington and To Hope, Dave Brubeck.

 

 

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Janeen Roska

Music Instructor, Music Explorers

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Janeen Roska has been involved with Milwaukee Children’s Choir for many years as a parent and as a Rehearsal Assistant. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education and Elementary Education from Wisconsin Lutheran College.  She teaches remedial education and also teaches the upper grade music classes at Star of Bethlehem Lutheran School in New Berlin.  She also serves as an organist at her home church and is the current chairperson of WELS Handbell Festivals. Over the years, she has taught private piano lessons, directed children’s and adult handbell choirs and children’s choirs in parochial schools. 

 

 

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Catherine Fettig

Staff Accompanist
Preparatory Choirs

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Catherine Fettig is native of Fort Atkinson, WI, where she served as high school choral accompanist and theater manager. Ms. Fettig now serves in the music ministry at Lakewood Baptist Church here in Milwaukee. She holds a Bachelor of Music in piano performance from Maranatha Baptist University and a Master of Music from Bob Jones University.

 

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Kai-i Tien, DMA

Staff Accompanist
‚ÄčLyric Chorale

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Kai-I Tien is a native of Taiwan where she served as Adjunct Assistant Professor of Piano in several universities in Tainan City. Dr. Tien holds the Master of Music from Mannes College of Music in New York and the Doctorate of Musical Arts in piano performance from the University of Kansas. She serves as pianist for the First Congregational Church in Port Washington where she performs regularly. She frequently accompanies students from the various studios in Greater Milwaukee.

 

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Jason Meissner

Staff Accompanist
Milwaukee Youth Chorale

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Originally from Racine, WI, Jason Meissner holds the Bachelor of Science in Secondary Vocal Music Education with concentration in piano performance from the University of Wisconsin La Crosse. He is in his 15th year as Director of Music at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Oconomowoc. Mr. Meissner has served as accompanist for All State Choir for the Wisconsin Choral Directors Association and Wisconsin School Music Association. He serves as choral accompanist for countless soloists, instrumentalists and choral ensembles across the state as well as for musical theatre productions. In 2015, Mr. Meissner received the “Outstanding Church Musician Award” from the Wisconsin Choral Directors Association.

 

 

 

Administrative Staff

 
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Bill Busch
General Manager
 
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Tasha Sorenson
Director of Development