In the News

Jan 19 2015

YNS Alum Tamara Wilson performs "Aida" at the Met!

Tamara Wilson, internationally acclaimed opera star and YNS Alum was recently tapped to play Aida at the New York Meropolitan Opera.  Tamara is also the benefactor of the annual "Tamara Wilson, Excellence in Music Scholarship" given annually in the spring to deserving YNS singers. Read More »

May 04 2014

May 4, 2014 declared "Young Naperville Singers Day"

Naperville is so proud to have such talented and dedicated singers residing in our city.  This year I was thrilled to listen as Young Naperville Singers sang at the "Kids Matter" Awards Ceremony and had representation at the Mayor's Prayer Breakfast.  We congratulate you on your 30 years of serving Naperville and for your dedication to promoting the highest level of artistic excellence in choral music through extraordinary educational and performance experiences enriching the lives of young people in our community.  The commissioned piece by Maestro Bob Chilcott " The Sun and Stars and Mine" written especially for this momentous milestone will serve as a memento to this auspicious occasion. Read More »

May 01 2012

Angie Johnson Featured as "Marvelous Mom" in Glancer Magazine

As the Artistic Director of Young Naperville Singers, the wife of a Naperville Firefighter/ Paramedic, and the mother of three young children, Angie Johnson is busy and blessed. All of her children love music and love to watch her teach and direct. I want my children to know that they are the most important young people in my life, but I also want them to know that we are to live our lives to have impact, serve others, and change our world for the better,” Angie says. “For me, changing the world means working with young people and sharing my passion for music.” She hopes her children grow up to have even greater opportunities and remember to be unafraid to follow their own dreams and passions. Read More »

Mar 08 2012

Oswego Resident Heading to Singapore to Conduct Choral Clinic

Angie JohnsonOswego's Angie Johnson, Artistic Director for the Young Naperville Singers (YNS) and Young Fox Valley Singers (YFVS), will be heading to Singapore to conduct a five-day children’s choral clinic from March 12-16. Johnson was the only clinician chosen from the United States to work with choirs from select Singapore schools.  Read More »

Mission Statement

Young Naperville Singers is dedicated to promoting the highest level of artistic excellence in choral music through extraordinary educational and performance experiences that enrich the lives of young people.

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Angie Johnson

Artistic Director; Director of Bella Voce

Angie Johnson received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in music education with honors from Northern Illinois University in 1991 where she studied piano with Donald Walker. Upon graduating, she taught choral/general music for Circle Center Middle School (Yorkville, IL) and Gregory Middle School (Naperville, IL) for 7 years. Conducting choral programs of up to 350 singers in curricular and honors choirs, her choirs were given superior ratings each year. Upon several occasions, she was named a "Most Influential Educator" by the Indian Prairie Educational Foundation.  Mrs. Johnson is an active clinician, adjudicator, accompanist and festival conductor and loves working with choirs in their own classroom setting. Passionate about sharing her love for teaching, she has led panel discussions, workshops and teacher institutes for both future and current teachers specializing in creative rehearsal techniques for young voices regionally, nationally and internationally. Most recently, Mrs. Johnson was a guest conductor for the Let Freedom Sing GirlChoir festival in Philadelphia, PA. Now in her 18th season as a director and 10th season as the Artistic Director of Young Naperville Singers, she oversees the music education, artistic programming and visionary leadership of the growing organization. Under her tenure, Young Naperville Singers has grown to 360 singers (7 – 18 years of age) in eight choirs. Mrs. Johnson also directs Bella Voce.

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Esther Cook

Choir Administrator

Esther Cook began her tenure with Young Naperville Singers as Administrative Assistant to the late Helen Grubbs in 1988. She became Choir Administrator in 1993 and is responsible for many of the non-music functions of the organization. Mrs. Cook graduated from North Central College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education. She taught 3rd grade in Forest Glen Elementary School in Glen Ellyn District 41. A long-time Naperville resident, Mrs. Cook has been an active community and school volunteer and has served on numerous Boards of Directors. Celebrating her 26th year with YNS, Mrs. Cook treasurers the many wonderful singers and parents she has met and worked with during that time.

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Andrea Burck

Director of Primo; Accompanist for Cantabile

Andrea Burck is a kindergarten through fifth grade music educator and chorus director at Georgetown Elementary Schools in Indian Prairie School District #204. Mrs. Burck has over 20 years of experience as a musician and educator including early childhood, elementary and middle school music education, church music director, private piano instructor and accompanist. She holds a Bachelor of Music in Music Education degree from the Eastman School of Music, Rochester, New York and she spent seven summers as a faculty member of the Sitka Fine Arts Camp in Sitka, Alaska as a piano instructor and accompanist. Mrs. Burck is the director for Primo and accompanist of Cantabile.

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Matthew Gemmill


Matthew Gemmill enjoys a varied career around Chicago as a pianist, accompanist, and vocal coach. He teaches accompanying, vocal coaching, and opera at Wheaton College, and has also taught at the Chicago College of the Performing Arts at Roosevelt University. Mr. Gemmill is faculty at the Collaborative Arts Institute of Chicago and spends his summers teaching at the Up North Vocal Institute in Boyne City, Michigan. For Lyric Opera of Chicago, he supervised music for Jason and the Argonauts (World Premiere) by composer Gregory Spears.

A frequent recitalist, Mr. Gemmill appeared in the 2016 Collaborative Works Festival with soprano Sarah Shafer and mezzo-soprano Kelley O’Connor at the Poetry Foundation in Chicago. In fall 2015 he was a competitor in the Wigmore Hall/Kohn Foundation International Song Competition at London’s Wigmore Hall. Other recital partners include Michelle Areyzaga, Kristina Bachrach, Emily Fons and Richard Ollarsaba. He has accompanied recitals at the Tanglewood Music Festival, where he was twice a piano fellow, the Chicago Cultural Center and Fourth Presbyterian of Chicago.

Also passionate about choral music, he currently serves as accompanist for the Young Naperville Singers of Naperville, Illinois and the Spirito! Singers of Elmhurst, Illinois. He has performed with choirs throughout the United States, Europe, and Latin America.  Mr. Gemmill accompanies our Bella Voce and Ragazzi choirs.

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Brett Goad

Director of Canto Vivo

R. Brett Goad is a native of Galesburg, Illinois. He received his BA and MA in Choral Music Education from Western Illinois University. He has taught choral music in six high schools and has also served as the Director of Student Activities at Hinsdale South High School.  At present he serves as a student teaching supervisor for Illinois State University. 

Mr. Goad is a 2014 recipient of the Mary Hoffman Award of Excellence from the Illinois Music Education Association, in recognition of teaching excellence in music education.  He has held various leadership positions within the Illinois Music Educator Association and the Illinois Chapter of the American Choral Directors Association. He currently serves as the Vice-President-ACDA Central Division. Mr. Goad also serves on the Western Illinois University Alumni Council.  

Mr. Goad directs Canto Vivo.

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Ryan Henry

Director of Ragazzi

Ryan Henry graduated Summa Cum Laude from Millikin University with a degree in Vocal Music Education.  He studied conducting under Dr. Brad Holmes and composition under Dr. Jeremy Brunk and John Stafford II.  He both composed and conducted literature for ensembles including Millikin’s Rebirth of Cool and Children’s Choir III. 

Mr. Henry began his career in District 204 as music teacher at Nancy Young Elementary School.  He also directed choral music and taught music  theory at Waubonsie Valley High School for four years.  Currently, he is the general music, chorus and Orff ensemble director at Fry and Clow Elementary schools.  Mr. Henry has been actively leading worship and directing church music for the last nine years. 

In his sixth year Directing Boys Choir, he counts himself privileged to work with such amazing students.  Mr. Henry and his wife, Marianne are proud parents of five children: Dominic, Madison, Caleb, Reese and Josephine. 

Mr. Henry currently directs Ragazzi.


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Anne Kasprzak

Director of Cantabile

Anne Kasprzak received a Bachelor of Music Degree in Music Education with highest honors from Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame, Indiana, where she received the top department awards in both Music and Education. Mrs. Kasprzak is also a graduate of VanderCook College of Music with a Master’s Degree in Music Education. Mrs. Kasprzak is currently the director of the Chamber Singers at Neuqua Valley High School.   She was the choral director at Crone Middle School for seven years. During that time, she directed a choral program of over 350 students and directed the yearly school musicals. 

Mrs. Kasprzak has also taught elementary vocal music in District 204.  Mrs. Kasprzak has been named a “Most Influential Teacher” by the Indian Prairie Educational Foundation on numerous occasions. She served as guest conductor for the Elgin Children’s Chorus in 2008 and has been a member of the New Classic Singers at the College of DuPage.  Mrs. Kasprzak serves as a piano accompanist at Holy Spirit Catholic Community in Naperville and is an active soloist at churches in the Chicagoland area. This is Mrs. Kasprzak's 13th year as a member of the YNS artistic staff.  Outside of her musical endeavors, Mrs. Kasprzak dedicates all of her time to her husband and their three young children. 

Mrs. Kasprzak currently directs Cantabile.

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Bob Chilcott

Guest Composer

The Sun and Stars are Mine - commissioned for YNS 2014

Bob Chilcott has been involved in choral music for most of his life. He was a chorister and choral scholar at King’s College, Cambridge, and for twelve years was a member of the vocal group The King’s Singers. Since 1997 he has worked as a full-time composer and has written a wide variety of choral music, including a significant amount of music for young choirs. He has over one hundred pieces published by Oxford University Press, and a number of his choral works have been published in German, Swedish, Norwegian, and Slovenian.

As well as being Principal Guest Conductor of the BBC Singers, he has conducted many other leading choirs in their field, including the World Youth Choir, the RIAS Kammerchor, Orphei Drangar from Sweden, Jauna Musika from Lithuania, the Taipei Chamber Singers, and the Tower New Zealand Youth Choir. He has worked in 23 countries on six continents, and at festivals from Festival 500 in Newfoundland to Tallinn, where in 2004, as the first foreign musician to be invited, he conducted a choir of 7000 young singers at the Estonian Song Festival in one of his most popular pieces, Can you hear me?.

In our spring concert this year the YNS Choirs are singing The Sun and Stars are Mine.  This piece was commissioned from Bob Chilcott by the Young Naperville Singers to celebrate our 30th Anniversary!

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Paul Carey

Guest Composer

2012 - Alone in Winter, Come Christmas the Morn, The Rainbow Dawn, Bumblebumblebee

Paul Carey studied composition with Alfred Blatter and Ben Johnston at the University of Illinois. Mr. Carey's graduate studies were at Yale University.

Mr. Carey’s compositions have been performed by choirs worldwide and at ACDA, MENC, OAKE, and AGO conventions across America. His Rise Up, Emma Lazarus was the winner of The New York Treble Singers 2003 composition competition Esta Tarde, mi bien (This Evening, my love) was the winner of the Cambridge Madrigal Singers Competition in 2004.

In 2009 Mr. Carey was appointed lead choral teacher and conductor of the famed North Carolina Governor's School, held each summer in Raleigh, NC for 800 of the state's finest students in ten different disciplines. In 2009 and again in 2011 he was a featured guest composer/conductor of choirs in South Korea and Hong Kong.

Mr. Carey's music is published by Oxford University Press, Walton, Roger Dean, Santa Barbara, Colla Voce, and Kjos. His music is also available directly at

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Stephen Paulus

Guest Composer

2009 - Dream of Harmony

Composer Stephen Paulus has been hailed as "...a bright, fluent inventor with a ready lyric gift." (The New Yorker) His prolific output of more than 450 works is represented in many genres, including music for orchestra, chorus, chamber ensembles, solo voice, keyboard and opera. Commissions have been received from the New York Philharmonic, Cleveland Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, The Houston Symphony and St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, with subsequent performances coming from the orchestras of Los Angeles, Philadelphia, St. Louis, the National Symphony Orchestra, and the BBC Radio Orchestra. He has served as Composer in Residence for the orchestras of Atlanta, Minnesota, Tucson and Annapolis, and his works have been championed by such eminent conductors as Sir Neville Marriner, Kurt Masur, Christoph von Dohanyi, Leonard Slatkin, Yoel Levi, the late Robert Shaw, and numerous others.

Paulus has been commissioned to write works for some of the world's great solo artists, including Thomas Hampson, Hakan Hagegard, Doc Severinsen, William Preucil, Cynthia Phelps, Evelyn Lear, Leo Kottke and Robert McDuffie. Chamber music commissions have resulted in works for The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Friends of Music at the Supreme Court, the Cleveland Quartet and Arizona Friends of Chamber Music. He has been a featured guest composer at the festivals of Aspen, Santa Fe, Tanglewood, and, in the U.K., the Aldeburgh and Edinburgh Festivals.

As one of today's pre-eminent composers of opera, Paulus has written twelve works for the dramatic stage. The Postman Always Rings Twice was the first American production to be presented at the Edinburgh Festival, and has received nine productions to date. Commissions and performances have come from such companies as the Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Washington Opera, Boston Lyric Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Berkshire Opera Company, Minnesota Opera, and Fort Worth Opera, among others, as well as many universities and colleges.

His choral works have been performed and recorded by some of the most distinguished choruses in the United States, including the Dale Warland Singers, the New York Concert Singers, Los Angeles Master Chorale, Robert Shaw Festival Singers, New Music Group of Philadelphia, Master Chorale of Washington DC, Vocal Arts Ensemble of Cincinnati, VocalEssence, Mormon Tabernacle Choir, and dozens of other professional, community, church and college choirs. He is one of the most frequently recorded contemporary composers with his music being represented on over fifty recordings.

A recipient of both Guggenheim and NEA Fellowships, Paulus is also a strong advocate for the music of his colleagues. He is co-founder and a past Board Vice-President of the highly esteemed American Composers Forum, the largest composer service organization in the world. Paulus serves on the ASCAP Board of Directors as the Concert Music Representative, a post he has held since 1990.

Paulus' music has been described by critics and program annotators as rugged, angular, lyrical, lean, rhythmically aggressive, original, often gorgeous, moving, and uniquely American. He writes in a musical language that has been characterized as "...irresistible in kinetic energy and haunting in lyrical design." (Cleveland Plain Dealer) "Mr. Paulus often finds melodic patterns that are fresh and familiar at the same time....His scoring is invariably expert and exceptionally imaginative in textures and use of instruments." (The New York Times)

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Daniel Brewbaker

Guest Composer

Naperville, My Naperville—commission funded by a grant from the Naperville Sunrise Rotary Fund for the Arts for the 175th Anniversary of Naperville, Spring 2006

Daniel Brewbaker began music lessons at age 5 and formal training in composition at age 17 with Gordon Binkerd at the University of Illinois, continuing with Roger Sessions and Elliott Carter at the Juilliard School in New York where he received the Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts Degrees. Since then his works have been performed by leading conductors and soloists worldwide. In recent years Dr. Brewbaker has been commissioned to compose several large choral/orchestral works: The Poet for Valery Gergiev and the Kirov Chorus and Orchestra in St. Petersburg, Russia, Cincinnatus Psalm for James Conlon and the Cincinnati Symphony and Chorus, Fields of Vision for Gerard Schwarz, The Young People’s Chorus of New York City and The New York Chamber Symphony, and Out of the Mist, Above the Real for Doreen Rao, The Irish Chamber Orchestra, Soprano Noirin Ni Riain, Uilleann Pipes and the CME Festival Chorus in Dublin, Ireland. Other recent commissions include Piano Concerto No. 2 for Kent Nagano and the Berkeley Symphony, Song of the Vine, premiered by Chanticleer for the inauguration of Copia in Napa, CA, The Journey, premiered by Frederica von Stade and Music in The Vineyards Chamber Music Festival at the Napa Valley Opera House, a Violin Concerto, Playing and Being Played, for Vadim Repin, Yuri Temirkanov and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, a little innocence for the Children’s Aid Society Chorus of NYC, String Quartet No. 2, Dance for my Fathers, for the 100th Anniversary of the Juilliard School, a number of choral works and two Ballets. Current commissions include a Viola Concerto for Yuri Bashmet and the Moscow Soloists, a work for chorus and piano for the 25th Anniversary of The New Classic Singers in Glen Ellyn, IL, and a work for brass choir for the 30th Anniversary of the Elgin Youth Symphony Orchestra.

Dr. Brewbaker’s music has been performed in recent seasons by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and Youth Chorus, the Seattle Symphony and Children’s Chorus, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the Brooklyn Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, American Composers Orchestra, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Chanticleer, The Macmillan Singers, Belle Voci women’s chorus, and soloists such as Yo-Yo Ma, Carter Brey, Kristine Jepson and Richard Goode.

Dr. Brewbaker has been Composer-in-Residence at the Spoleto USA Music Festival in Charleston, S.C., the Prince Albert Music Festival in Hawaii, the Camargo Foundation in Cassis, France, the Fundación Valparaíso in Spain, the Ligurian Study Center in Italy, the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation in Taos, New Mexico, Yaddo and the MacDowell Colony as well as visiting artist at the American Academy in Rome. He has received awards from, among others, the American Academy of Arts & Letters, The Nadia Boulanger Foundation, Outstanding Young Men in America and the International Rotary Foundation, and the Fox Valley Arts Hall of Fame. He has held teaching positions at Juilliard, Hunter and Queens Colleges (CUNY), St. Stephen’s School in Rome, and the Westminster Choir College. Dr. Brewbaker is also active as a guest conductor and lecturer. He has lived and worked extensively abroad, working with composers Hans Werner Henze, Luciano Berio and Henri Dutilleaux. His music is published by Boosey & Hawkes. Dr. Brewbaker currently lives in New York City.

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David L. Brunner

Guest Composer

Daring to Be—for the 20th Anniversary of YNS Spring 2004

David L. Brunner brings to the podium the dynamic perspective of conductor, music educator and composer. His wide and varied expertise embraces all ages in professional, university, public school, community, church and children's choruses. Dr. Brunner is Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities at the University of Central Florida, where he conducts the University Chorus and Madrigal Singers, teaches courses in conducting and music education, and coaches private composition students. In both 1995 and 2000 he received a College of Arts and Sciences Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award and in 1995 the University Excellence in Teaching Award, UCF's highest teaching honor. He is also the recipient of a Research Incentive Award (2002) and two Teaching Incentive Awards (1993 and 1996). In 1996 he received a National Award for College Teaching from the Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning. He has been Artistic Director and Conductor of Gloria Musicae, Florida's professional chamber chorus; Guest Conductor of the Master Chorale of Tampa Bay, the Principal Chorus of the Florida Orchestra; and Music Director of the Florida Ambassadors of Music, which tours Europe biannually. His European appearances include performances at the Seminar für Klassiche Musik at the Eisenstädter Sommerakademie in Eisenstadt and Vienna, Austria, in St. Mark's Basilica, Venice, at St. Martin-in-the-Fields and Wesley's Chapel, London, and at the Vatican for Pope John Paul II. His choirs have appeared at state and divisional conventions of both the American Choral Directors Association and the Music Educators National Conference.

Brunner is well known for his compelling and imaginative work with singers of all ages and has conducted All-State and regional honor choirs throughout the United States at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. He has appeared in twenty-five states and abroad, as a clinician for the American Choral Directors Association, the Association of British Choral Directors, the Kodaly Society of Canada, the International Cathedral Music Festival at Salisbury and Canterbury, the International Band and Choir Festival at the Hague, the American Schools in London and Paris and the International School of Munich, the Allerton Retreat for Choral Music Education at the University of Illinois, the Hartt School Summerterm, the National Association of Pastoral Musicians, the Music Educators National Conference, the American Guild of Organists, the Choristers Guild, the Perspectives Choral Workshop in Santa Fe, and the Choral Music Experience International Institute for Teacher Training, and is a popular clinician and guest conductor of honor choirs, choral festivals and educational workshops throughout North America and Europe.

David Brunner's compositions resonate with imagination, lyricism and vitality. His music has been performed worldwide by children's choirs, middle and high school singers, college, community and professional choirs; at state, regional, and national meetings of the American Choral Directors Association and the national Kodaly Conference; the Choral Music Experience Institute for Choral Teacher Training in England, the U.S., Sweden and Scotland; the International Academy of Choral Music in Parthenay, France; the Voices 500 Festival in Newfoundland, Canada; the Europa Cantat in Germany; the American Cantat in Venezuela; the International Cathedral Music Festival at Canterbury Cathedral and Queen Elizabeth Hall in London, on the Today Show, and at EPCOT and Carnegie Hall. In October 2000 his Hold Fast Your Dreams was sung by children from around the world at a pre-Olympics cultural event in Salt Lake City. The New York Times has regarded him as a notable figure in choral music, a "prolific choral writer whose name figures prominently on national repertory lists." (24 April 2003).

Brunner has been Composer-in-Residence at the Summer Arts Institute of the University of Michigan and the Choral Music Experience Institute for Teacher Training at Northern Illinois University, the Hartt School of Music, Queenswood School in England and St. Andrew's, Scotland. He joined a prestigious list of American composers when he was named the Raymond W. Brock Commissioned composer for 2000 by the American Choral Directors Association (The Circles of Our Lives) and that year was also commissioned by the Copland foundation to contribute new adaptations of several of the Old American Songs to Boosey & Hawkes' Copland 2000 series. His work can be heard on the compact disc We Are the Music-Makers: The Choral Music of David L. Brunner and many independent recordings by choirs around the world. He is the recipient of yearly ASCAP awards since 1997 and is published exclusively by Boosey & Hawkes, Inc. He is editorial advisor for Boosey & Hawkes popular Conductor's Choice series and has served on the editorial board of the Choral Journal. He is the author of articles in the Choral Journal and Music Educators Journal.

The past year he conducted choirs in Illinois, Wisconsin, Tennessee, West Virginia, Florida, New York and Vancouver; appeared as a clinician for the Tennessee ACDA state conference, Northern Illinois University School of Music, Cascade 2002 for the Ontario (Canada) Music Educators Association, and conducted his Ode to the Present and Future Days with 180 singers and orchestra at Carnegie Hall.

This year he conducts choirs in Oklahoma, Illinois, Pennsylvania and California and the National Mennonite High School Choral Festival in Virginia; appears as clinician for the Tennessee Arts Academy in Nashville; and serves on the conducting faculty for the New Millennium Festival and Choral Music Experience Institute in Cardiff, Wales. In November his university singers collaborate with the Orlando Opera and Cirque du Soleil in a new production of Orff's Carmina Burana. New works premiere in Boston for the Eastern Division ACDA, in Louisville for the Kentucky Music Educators Association All-State Children's Chorus, and in Illinois for the 20th anniversary of the Young Naperville Singers.

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Rollo A. Dilworth

Guest Composer

Walk, Children, Walk!—commissioned by Kay Stephens in Spring 2003 for YNS

Rollo A. Dilworth is Assistant Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities and Music Education at the North Park University School of Music in Chicago, Illinois. He recently completed requirements for the Doctor of Music degree in Conducting Performance at Northwestern University, and he holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from Case Western Reserve University and the University of Missouri - St. Louis, respectively.

An award-winning composer and active conductor, educator and clinician, Dilworth has taught choral music at the elementary, secondary and university levels. His performing endeavors have taken him to the continents of Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia. In addition to composing music in the choral genre, Dilworth’s research interests are in the areas of African-American music and music education curriculum and instruction. He is associate conductor and composer-in-residence for the Jubilate Children’s Choir of the North Shore, in Northfield, and he serves as Minister of Music at Martin Temple African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church in Chicago, Illinois. Dilworth was born in 1970 in St. Louis, Missouri.

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Betty Bertaux

Guest Composer

The Gift of Song—commissioned for YNS in 2000

Betty Bertaux is the founder of the Children’s Chorus of Maryland for which she was Artistic Director for its first eleven years. Regarded as an authority on vocal and music development in children, in the summer of 2001 she was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Music Education from Vandercook College of Music, Chicago, for her contribution to the field of choral music education. Dr. Bertaux also holds the degree of Master of Music with Kodály Emphasis from Holy Names College, Oakland, the degree of Master of Music in Composition from the Shepherd School of Music, Rice University, Houston, and a Certificate of Study with Dr. Edwin E. Gordon in Music Learning Theory from Temple University, Philadelphia. A former faculty member of Peabody Conservatory and Holy Names College, she has just completed her twentieth year as a member of Vandercook College of Music’s summer MECA faculty. Professionally active for 40 years, Dr. Bertaux has worked with music students of all ages and, along with her continued interest in working with young singers, is currently active in teacher training. She is also internationally established and frequently commissioned as a composer and arranger of music for treble choirs. Her music is published by Alliance Music Publishers, Houston, TX and she is editor of the Betty Bertaux Choral Series published by Boosey & Hawkes, New York. Having trained and conducted children’s choirs of all skill levels, she is widely experienced as a guest conductor and choral adjudicator. Her successful career has been built on the belief that a children’s choral director can guide young singers toward a life enriched by music through an instructive, artistic and joyful singing experience.

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James Mulholland

Guest Composer

How Can I Keep From Singing—commissioned for YNS in 1999

Currently a Professor at the Jordan College of Fine Arts at Butler University, James Quitman Mulholland is a much published and performed composer and arranger. He started the study of composition, voice, piano and various musical instruments at the age of twelve. A native of Laurel, Mississippi, Mr. Mulholland completed his BM and MM Degrees in Voice and Composition at Louisiana State University, followed by four years as a Graduate Assistant at Indiana University, working toward the degree of DMA in Performance and Literature.

His compositions have been performed at the last four national conventions of the American Choral Directors Association. Many of his compositions have become standard repertoire for children's choirs throughout the country, as well as most collegiate and professional ensembles. In addition, they are performed regularly by universities and choral associations throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe. Mr. Mulholland has done commissioned works for many choirs throughout the world, including the Los Angeles Children's Chorus, and the International Children's Choir Festival, and also for the American Choral Directors Association.

In 1995 he was named as Louisiana State University's School of Music Alumnus of the Year. In 1996 he was selected by the ACDA to compose the Raymond W. Brock Memorial Composition which was performed at all of the Regional Conventions. Outside of his selective writing, he accepts approximately ten commissions a year. He has received commissions and performances in Canada, Australia, New Zealand and throughout Europe.

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Malcolm Dalglish

Guest Composer

Swift—commissioned for YNS in 1997

Malcolm Dalglish is a choral composer and director, hammer dulcimer, spoons, bones, and chin music virtuoso who presents programs of original folk choir and dulcimer music, stories, mime, rhyme, rhythm, and song.

"a metamagical experience" —Austin Chronicle

"The youngest of a large family of artists and educators, I grew up in a household where more than ideas were bouncing off the walls. Poetry, painting, music, and theater were intermingled with little league baseball, raising chickens, and building backyard junkyard playhouses."

"Two years of (American) Boychoir and a Hail Mary pass through the rest of school landed me on the steps of Oberlin College. There I joined an avant-garde theater group with some amazingly gifted cohorts who, like me, were dredging up from the depths of their psyches connections to the resounding mythologies of our time. Too bad the audience never got it. Somewhere in that mythological morass I found an empty place that could only be filled by music, something I'd abandoned way back in my Boychoir days. I was tired of befuddling audiences. I wanted to entertain them. That's when the dulcimer came on the scene."

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Lee R. Kesselman

Guest Composer

There Will Be Stars Forever—commissioned for YNS in 1996

A native of Milwaukee, Lee R. Kesselman now lives in Glen Ellyn, a suburb of Chicago, where he has been director of choral activities at College of DuPage since 1981. Conductor, pianist, teacher and award-winning composer, he founded and directs the New Classic Singers, a professional choral ensemble, with a love for the vocal art and interests in a great breadth of literature. Known for his original works, folk-song arrangements, editions, and awareness of historical and international styles, Kesselman's compositions have been published by Boosey & Hawkes, Lawson-Gould, Plymouth Music and Classic Artists Publishing. He is a member of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, and a member of the faculty of the CME Institute for Teacher Training since its inception in 1986.

"Lee Kesselman's deeply intelligent and heart warming works offer singers of every age a wealth of new ideas." —Doreen Rao

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Mary Goetze

Guest Composer

When Children Sing—commissioned for YNS in 1994

Dr. Goetze is recognized for her work as a clinician, composer and conductor. Her arrangements and compositions for treble voices are published by Boosey & Hawkes in the Mary Goetze Choral Series. She has published articles on children's singing and children's choirs and served as a coordinating author for Share the Music, a series book for grades K-6 published by Macmillan McGraw Hill. In addition to degrees from Oberlin Conservatory of Music (B.M. Voice), Indiana University (M.M.), and certifications in Kodály and Orff Schulwerk, she holds a PhD from the University of Colorado (1985), where her dissertation entitled "Factors Affecting Accuracy in Children's Singing" was named Outstanding Dissertation of 1985 by Music Educators National Conference and Council for Research in Music Education. She has received a Distinguished Teaching Award from Indiana University, Distinguished Alumnus Award (1992) from the University of Colorado College of Music, and was named Outstanding Educator of the Year (1993) by the Organization of American Kodály Educators. In 1996, she was awarded a grant from Indiana University for a project entitled "Multicultural Music Education" which allowed her to do research in Zimbabwe and South Africa in 1997 and 1998.

In addition to conducting the International Vocal Ensemble, an Indiana University School of Music chorus specializing in vocal music from the world’s cultural traditions, Dr. Goetze is Professor of Music at the Indiana University School of Music where she chairs the Music in General Studies department, teaches music education courses and acts as liaison to the IU Children's Choir, which she founded and directed it until 1995. Utilizing technology in the ensemble led to the development of innovative approaches that she shares in presentations at choral and music education conferences. She and Jay Fern developed Global Voices in Song, a series of interactive CD-ROMs for transmitting music from diverse sources. She is recognized internationally for her work with children's choirs and is active as composer, clinician and guest conductor. Other publications include numerous arrangements and compositions for treble voices. She is co-chair of the bi-annual Mountain Lake Colloquium for Teachers of Music Methods and a member of the Mountain Lake Reader editorial board.

"Mary Goetze offers music and musical situations which delight, challenge, teach and inspire children 'of all ages', with whom she has an unmistakable affinity and solidarity." —The Choral Journal

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Amanda Morris

Director of Aria

Amanda  Morris received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Education with high honors from North Central College in Naperville. While at North Central, Mrs. Morris was named Outstanding Major in Music Education. Mrs. Morris worked with the Elmhurst Area Children’s Choir as music director assistant and enjoys working with beginning singers.  Mrs. Morris is Orff certified and currently teaches music at Cossitt Elementary School in LaGrange School District 102. Outside of her musical endeavors, Mrs. Morris enjoys spending time with her husband Daniel, cat Angus, family and friends.

Mrs. Morris is the Director of the Aria.

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Christa Renello

Program Administrative Assistant

Christa Renello is the newest member of the YNS team, joining in October 2015.  Mrs. Renello attended the University of Iowa and received a Bachelors Degree in Psychology and a Masters Degree in Human Resource Management from Keller Graduate School of Management.  Most recently she has worked as a Director of Admissions for DeVry University in the graduate admissions division.  Through this role she was able to assist students and colleagues to reach their highest potential and truly values the impact that education can make in someone’s life. Mrs. Renello has been extremely impressed at the amazing talent of the young people at YNS.  She is looking forward to assisting all those involved at YNS and witnessing music in action!

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Janet Murray


Janet Murray graduated from the University of North Texas with a Bachelor of Music Performance degree in oboe and piano, and from Northwestern University with a Master of Music Performance degree in oboe. She is a former adjunct faculty member at Joliet Junior College, where she taught class piano and Introduction to Music Literature, in addition to accompanying two choirs, musicals, and student performances. Ms. Murray has accompanied several area choirs, including those of Plainfield South, Plainfield East and Plainfield North High Schools in district 202, Still Middle School in district 204 and Lincoln Junior High in district 203.  She was an accompanist with YNS from 2005 to 2010 and is currently the organist at St. John Lutheran Church in Joliet. Ms. Murray is accompanist for Canto Vivo and Brillante.

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Joe Mitchell

Director of Brio

Mr. Mitchell graduated from North Central College with a degree in Vocal Music Education.  During his college career, he learned under Dr. Ramona Wis and Jeordano Martinez as a member of the College Chamber Singers and Concert Choir.  Prior to North Central, Joseph spent two seasons singing professionally with the St. Charles Singers. 

Joseph began his career as an educator in Geneva, IL teaching second through fifth grade in General Music.  For the past two years Joseph has been the Vocal Music teacher at River Woods Elementary in District 203, where voice and singing are core components of his General Music classroom.

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Kelly Mielcarz

Director of Brillante

Kelly Mielcarz graduated with honors from North Central College with a BA in Vocal Music Education.  Mrs. Mielcarz spent the first nine years of her career teaching Vocal Music at Granger Middle School in Indian Prairie School District 204.  She has also worked for North Central College as Adjunct Faculty supervising and evaluating Music Education students in their practicum and student teaching experiences. In 2015 she accepted the full time position of Director of Vocal Music at Naperville Central High School where she still resides. 

Mrs. Mielcarz has been recognized as a Most Influential Educator by the Indian Prairie Foundation, and the Naperville Education Foundation, on many occasions.  Mrs. Mielcarz has worked as a clinician and judge for festivals throughout Chicago land and the Quad City area.  Mrs. Mielcarz is thrilled to join the YNS staff and community where she has the opportunity to work with people who have inspired her over the years.

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Kimberly Obert


Kimberly Obert graduated from Valparaiso University with a Bachelor’s degree in music. She has been teaching private lessons in both piano and voice for over 20 years. Mrs. Obert is currently the music director at Kensington School of Naperville and has been a piano accompanist for school district 308 for almost 10 years. She also serves as a worship leader at her church. Mrs. Obert is the accompanist for the Dolce, Aria and Primo.

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Michael Ferguson

Director of Young Men's Chorus

Michael Ferguson has an undergraduate degree in comprehensive music education, and a masters in choral music education, both from the University of Illinois, Urbana, and is a member of ACDA and ILMEA. He has composed several songs for Big Idea (Veggietales), and still writes and arranges music. He taught choral music at Bloomington High School, Oswego High School (his Alma Mater), and served as a full time music minister and pastor in several churches in Illinois for nearly two decades. Michael has served as director of vocal and instrumental music at Rosary High School in Aurora, IL and is currently the choral director as Scullen Middle School in District 204, Naperville  
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Rachel Seidel


Rachel Seidel attended Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington and holds a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance with highest honors.  She previously served as Staff Accompanist for the Illinois Wesleyan School of Music and Adjunct Faculty for the Piano Preparatory Department, working with kindergarten through college-age students.  Recently, Mrs. Seidel served as Education and Operations Manager at the Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra in Frankfort and Orchestra Manager at the Aspen Music Festival in Colorado. 

Mrs. Seidel is also an avid solo performer and chamber musician, playing with a number of ensembles as well as accompanying privately throughout the Naperville and Downers Grove areas. She’s toured abroad in Italy through Millikin University, and in Bulgaria with the International Chamber Music Festival. 

Currently, Mrs. Seidel serves as Collaborative Pianist at Downers Grove North High School and teaches private piano.

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Ryan Rimington

Director of Dolce

J. Ryan Rimington is a National Board Certified Teacher at Neuqua Valley High School where he conducts curricular choirs, teaches Advanced Placement Music Theory, directs vocal jazz ensemble, facilitates the music technology computer lab, and serves as co-Auditorium Manager. Mr. Rimington is also founder and conductor of Neuqua World Voices which is dedicated to exploring and experiencing music from around the world. While at Neuqua Valley, the music department has earned numerous national recognitions for its music education such as ten Grammy Signature School Awards, including the National Grammy Signature School award in 2005 and 2013. In his career, multiple students have recognized Mr. Rimington as their "Most Influential Educator." Mr. Rimington is also a published composer and arranger of many choral works, and frequently receives commissions and guest conducting engagements with midwestern choral and vocal jazz ensembles and organizational festivals. Outside of his musical endeavors, Mr. Rimington dedicates his time to his lovely wife and four children while rooting on the Chicago Cubs and hopping around golf courses.

Mr. Rimington directs Dolce.

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Theresa Tinker

Administrative Assistant

Theresa Tinker joined the administrative staff of Young Naperville Singers at the end of October 2011. She attended Idaho State University and then began a career in banking. She worked for Wells Fargo Bank where she was an Assistant Vice President in General Ledger Operations for Northern California Retail Branches. Mrs. Tinker also served as Administrative Assistant to the Executive Vice President for Peoples Bank and Trust in Tennessee. She has been an active school volunteer and has twice been recognized as a District 203 “Those Who Excel” nominee. Mrs. Tinker loves YNS and has spent time as Rehearsal Assistant for both Concert and Chamber Singers, and has also had the pleasure of chaperoning the YNS tour choir in both Hawaii and Vancouver.