Artistic Director and Encore Conductor
Troy Meeker, Phoenix Children’s Chorus Artistic Director and Conductor of Encore, has taught with the organization since 2011. Mr. Meeker is a graduate of Northern Arizona University, where he earned a Bachelor’s in Music Education, and Master’s degrees in Educational Technology and Choral Conducting while studying under Dr. Edith Copley and Dr. Ryan Holder. While attending NAU, Mr. Meeker conducted Men’s Chorale and High Altitude Vocal Jazz Ensemble.
Mr Meeker has taught at the middle and high school levels. Currently, he is the Associate Choir Director at Trevor G. Browne High School, a thriving urban choir program which he helped grow to 300 singers. He has also served as a director for the Church of the Red Rocks Choir and the prestigious Sedona Academy of Chamber Singers.
Mr. Meeker is an in demand presenter and clinician. He has presented at the Western Division and Arizona Choral Directors Association (AzACDA) Conventions as well as the AZ Music Educators Convention on topics ranging from rehearsal techniques to technology integration in the choral classroom. He has served as a clinician for Arizona Choral Educators (ACE) and AzACDA, as well as a conductor for various honor choirs throughout Arizona. Mr. Meeker has also performed auxiliary percussion in Carnegie Hall and the Sydney Opera House.
In his free time, Mr. Meeker enjoys watching movies, creating websites, cooking, and cycling. He is also proud parent of a PCC chorister. His home is in Glendale, Arizona, with his wife, Adrienne, and their children Grant and Annika.
Bravo Conductor & Music Literacy Instructor
Jennifer Paz joined the artistic staff of Phoenix Children’s Chorus in the summer of 2019. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Arizona State University with a Bachelors in Choral/General Music Education. Mrs. Paz has been fortunate to use both aspects of her degree as a General Music Teacher for Gilbert Public Schools and then served as a Director of Choirs and Piano Lab Instructor for the Paradise Valley Unified School District. Mrs. Paz is certified in Level 1 Orff and Levels 1-3 of the Kodály Coursework.
During her time in the classroom, Mrs. Paz increased the enrollment of the ensembles and the collaboration of the fine arts. The students in her ensembles established a dominant presence in the West Region Honor Choirs and the Arizona All State Choir. Mrs. Paz instructs students in her own private voice studio in classical, jazz and music theater technique. Mrs. Paz has continued to be an active member for local and state organizations to further the choral music education community. Through her workshops as a music literacy and vocal instructor, Mrs. Paz continues to work with multiple schools and choral groups to successfully learn techniques to refine the rehearsal process in pursuit of greater literacy and passion for the choral art.
Mrs. Paz lives in north Phoenix with her husband and two dogs.
Concert Choir Conductor & Music Literacy Instructor
Andrea Squires, Conductor of Concert Choir since 2012, is a native of upstate New York. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Vocal Performance from the State University of New York at Geneseo. She continued her studies at Arizona State University, where she received her post-baccalaureate certification and Master of Music degree in Choral Music Education.
Ms.Squires runs a private voice studio in Phoenix and loves helping students realize their potential. She previously taught at Desert Canyon Middle School in Scottsdale for 13 years. Under her direction, the size of the choral program doubled and DC Voices was invited to sing at the Arizona Music Educators Association Conference three times. Ms. Squires and the choirs have presented at Arizona Choral Directors Association (AzACDA) conferences and even had one of 2017’s most popular viral videos.
Ms. Squires is an active member of American Choral Directors Association and the National Association for Music Education, having served on both organizations’ boards. She has made conference presentations on topics from teaching music reading to young singers to selecting repertoire. Multiple honor choirs, including Junior High All State and Cantaremos Honor Choir, have invited Ms. Squires as a guest conductor and clinician. Ms. Squires has had the honor of conducting the Phoenix Children’s Chorus Concert Choir at the Oregon Bach Festival, at Carnegie Hall, and at the Sydney Opera House.
In her free time, Ms. Squires loves to hike and spend time with her husband, Nate, their 3 cats, and sheltie.
Cadet Choir Conductor & Music Literacy Instructor
Mrs. Wade has been conducting the Cadet choir since 2016. She holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Choral Education from California State University Fullerton and has also completed Kodaly II and Orff I certification at ASU. Since moving to Arizona in 2015, Mrs. Wade has taught choir and general music in the Deer Valley School District. She also enjoys teaching private voice and beginning piano lessons at Desert Ridge Music Academy. Mrs. Wade has served as the Vice President of Middle/Elementary School Choral activities for ACE (Arizona Choral Educators), as a current member at large on the Organization of Arizona Kodaly Educators board, and is an active member of AMEA and AzACDA. A sought-after clinician, Mrs. Wade has conducted at the DVUSD elementary Honor Chorus, the Dysart District Elementary and Middle School Honor Chorus, and for the AzACDA Cantaremos Festival.
Vivace Conductor & Music Literacy Instructor
Melanie Openshaw, Vivace Conductor, started with Phoenix Children’s Chorus in 2016. Ms. Openshaw graduated from Northern Arizona University with her Bachelors in Music Education with a Choral Emphasis. She has been teaching at Stapley Junior High School in the Mesa Public School District since 2012. Her choirs have performed at the Arizona Music Educators Association Conference and consistently receive superior ratings. Along with teaching, Ms. Openshaw in involved in both state and regional professional organizations. She is currently serving on the Arizona American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) board as the Cantaremos Honor Choir Chair and on the Western Region ACDA Board as the Junior High/Middle School Repertoire & Resources Chair. Ms. Openshaw has presented at both state level and regional level conferences on various topics including age appropriate repertoire selection and classroom management. In her free time, Ms. Openshaw enjoys watching baseball, going on hikes, and visiting her family.
Prep Choir Conductor & Music Literacy Instructor
Mrs. Huyett began working with Phoenix Children’s Chorus in 2006. Her first role with the organization was as a Prep Choir parent and music literacy instructor. She became the Prep Choir director in 2008.
Mrs. Huyett is originally from the mid-west but considers Arizona her home. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Music Education from the University of Iowa and a Master of Arts in Education: Administration and Supervision from the University of Phoenix.
Additionally, Mrs. Huyett serves as a general music teacher in the Mesa Public School District. Mrs. Huyett is a member of the American Orff-Schulwerk Association, the
National Flute Association, the American Choral Directors Association, and the Arizona Music Educators Association. She has presented conference sessions on elementary vocal warm-ups and has had both her elementary band and choir perform at state conferences.
Bravo Accompanist & Music Literacy Instructor
Lori Woods joined Phoenix Children’s Chorus in 1996 as the accompanist for the newly formed Encore Choir. Over the years, she has worked as the Encore Choir Director, the Prep, Concert, and Encore accompanists. She is currently enjoying working with Mrs. Paz in Bravo as her assistant.
She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Secondary Choral Education and has worked in the Mesa Public School District since 1996. Her work as a vocal coach, and accompanying choirs gave her opportunities at Summit Academy, Poston Jr. High, Dobson and Mtn View High where she is currently working. Her work also included 15 years in the Maricopa Community Colleges, in Scottsdale, Mesa and Chandler. She also accompanies many Regional Honor Choirs, both in the Junior High and High School Divisions.
Lori runs a professional vocal studio from her home in Mesa since moving here in 1995. She has extensive expertise in teaching languages and sightreading. She prepares numerous students for successful auditions for the Regional and State Honor Choirs, and for Musical Theatre.
She started her studies as a pianist at age six, spending four of her early years enrolled with the Royal Schools of Music, and the Trinity College of Music through the British system. Lori is married to Scott Woods and three of her four children are PCC alumni.
Encore Accompanist & Music Literacy Instructor
Caia O’Toole attended Northern Arizona University on full scholarship from 2009-2013 earning dual degrees in Choral Music Education and Piano Performance with collaborative emphasis. She moved to the valley in early 2014 to begin her teaching career. She is currently in her 6th year teaching choir, general music, and piano in DVUSD. Joining the artistic staff of Phoenix Children’s Chorus in July 2014, Mrs. O’Toole has accompanied Bravo through Spring 2018 and is now in her second year as accompanist for Encore. Mrs. O’Toole also teaches music literacy classes for the organization. With an extensive collaborative background, Mrs. O’Toole has accompanied various groups throughout Arizona. She accompanies several middle school and high school programs in Deer Valley as well as vocalists and instrumentalists for various state/region festivals and performances. In her spare time, Mrs. O’Toole teaches group fitness, private piano and voice lessons, and enjoys spending time with her husband, Brett, and her dog, Archie.
Concert Choir Accompanist & Music Literacy Instructor
Jennifer Griffith has taught since 1997 for Noah Webster Schools in Mesa and Scottsdale where she teaches General Music, Orchestra and Ukulele, as well as Yearbook and Student Council. She also works with the Trevor G. Browne High School choir program as their collaborative pianist. Mrs. Griffith has taught private piano, voice, violin, and music theory lessons since 1988. She also performs with “Cinematic Pop”, a group that appeared on “America’s Got Talent”. Mrs. Griffith has been with the Phoenix Children’s Chorus since September 2000. Jennifer was married on 11-11-11 to her husband, Gravity and they live in Glendale with their three dogs.
Cadet Choir Accompanist & Music Literacy Instructor
Kelsey McKee has been with Phoenix Children’s Chorus since 2018. Ms. McKee received a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education and Piano Performance from Grand Canyon University. In addition, she has received certification in Kodaly I, II, and Orff I from Arizona State University. Miss McKee is an Arizona native and has been teaching general music and choir. She currently teaches general music and choir teacher at Legacy Traditional School in Surprise. In her spare time, Kelsey loves to spend time outdoors, go hiking, and cook.
Vivace Accompanist, Music Literacy Instructor & Dolce Conductor
A native of Pennsylvania, Chris Granger obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Music Education with a concentration in Piano Performance from Westminster College in rural New Wilmington, Pennsylvania and his Master’s in Choral Music Education From Kent State University. Mr. Granger is currently the Choir Director at Horizon Honors High School in Ahwatukee and has been there since 2018. As an active collaborative pianist, he has performed with several school ensembles, chamber ensembles, and soloists in the Phoenix Metro area. He is also the Pianist in Residence for the La Forza Chamber Orchestra. Mr. Granger is an active member of the National Association for Music Education (NafME), Arizona Music Educators Association (AMEA), and Arizona Choral Educators (ACE), and the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA). He currently serves on the AMEA Board as the Vice President of Junior High Activities and serves as the ACDA Board Secretary. In his spare time, Mr. Granger enjoys spending time being outdoors camping, fishing, boating, and hiking.
Prep Choir Accompanist
Brenna Dorsey graduated from Northern Arizona University with a degree in Music Education with a Choral Emphasis where she studied under Dr. Edith Copley, Dr. Ryan Holder, and Rita Borden. She has taught at various elementary and middle schools in Paradise Valley and currently works at Boulder Creek Elementary School in the Paradise Valley Unified School District where she teaches choir and general music. A long-time accompanist for vocal, musical theater, and instrumental music, she is thrilled to be working as an accompanist with the Phoenix Children’s Chorus. Ms. Dorsey also enjoys teaching private piano and voice lessons in the North Phoenix area at Bender Performing Arts. She is currently an active member of the American Choral Director’s Association.
Prep East Valley Choir Accompanist
Emily Smith earned a degree in Piano Performance from Arizona State University where she studied under Dr. Baruch Meir. She has also had the privilege of studying solo and collaborative piano performance, as well as vocal performance at the Accademia Europea di Firenze. Emily has years of experience performing and collaborating with various choirs, vocalists, and other instrumentalists. She is a member of the Arizona State Music Teachers Association and has a passion for teaching. Emily has had the opportunity to teach piano to children ages 3-17 and currently maintains a rapidly growing piano studio. In addition to teaching, Emily also serves as an organist for her church. Emily lives in Mesa with her husband, Hayden. In her spare time, she loves baking, exercising, and spending time with family and her dog, Sophie. Emily is excited to share her love and knowledge of music in her first season as an accompanist with the Phoenix Children’s Chorus!
Prep Choir Assistant
Benny Dominguez has been on staff with Phoenix Children’s Chorus since 2017 as the Prep Choir Assistant. He is thrilled to begin another season of watching the youngest in the organization grow as musicians. In 2019, he took a new position as Director of Middle School Choirs and Orchestras at Sossaman Middle School in the Higley Unified School District. In his previous position at Veritas Preparatory Academy, the extracurricular choral program nearly tripled and their Elite Choir became the first middle school choir in Veritas and Great Hearts history to receive Superior ratings at AzACDA Festivals. Outside of teaching, he performs regularly as a chorister and a cellist. He sings with MCC’s Canto Vivo Chorale and the CGCC Chamber Singers, plays in pit orchestras, and loves performing cello obbligato with choirs all around Arizona.
Poco Voce Instructor
Stephen Wibe, Poco Voce Instructor, began his involvement with Phoenix Children’s Chorus in 2018. Mr. Wibe holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music from Truman State University (Kirksville, Mo) and a Master’s in Music Education with an emphasis in general music from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He also received certification in Kodaly I and Orff I from Arizona State University.
Since 2002, Mr. Wibe has been a music teacher for Mesa Public Schools. From 2007-2013, he had the pleasure of serving as the district’s general music specialist. In this position he designed curriculum, presented in-services, and advised other district general music teachers. In the fall of 2013, he returned to full time teaching for Mesa and now serves as the general music teacher for O’Connor and Salk Elementary Schools. In addition to his public-school teaching, Mr. Wibe is also an adjunct faculty member at Paradise Valley Community College. He teaches the Movement and Music for the Young Child class as part of the college’s Early Childhood program.
In his free time, Mr. Wibe enjoys watching Arizona Cardinals football, University of Illinois basketball, and BattleBots. He lives in Mesa, Arizona, with his wife Tina and their son Tyson.