Guest Composer & Conductor
An ASCAPlus award-winning composer, Andrea believes strongly in the creation of new works. She enjoys residency collaborations with ensembles and festival choirs, some of which have included: the Allegro Choirs of Kansas City, Ithaca College, and the Crescent City Choral Festival in New Orleans.
YNS was thrilled to work with Dr. Ramsey during our 35th Anniversary celebrations in 2019. YNS commissioned and premiered “The Light Returns” under the direction of Dr. Ramsey. This work featured the intermediate and advanced choirs of YNS, and the singers really enjoyed rehearsing with Andrea and singing some of her other compositions as well.
Papoulis has made significant contributions to choral music by revitalizing the choral repertoire with songs whose roots are classical and world, with voicing that incorporates choirs, vocal percussion, and world rhythms.
Through the Foundation for Small Voices, he has conducted songwriting workshops with choirs from the United States, China, Japan, Tanzania, Mexico, Kenya, Newfoundland, Dominican Republic, Haiti, England, Norway, Canada, Spain, Italy, Kenya, Uganda, Turkey, Brazil, France, Ireland, Bosnia, Jordan, Australia, Holland, Dubai, and Greece.
His music has been featured at:
- Beijing Olympics
- GIVE US HOPE on permanent exhibit at the 911 Museum in New York
- 9.11 10th Anniversary Concerts throughout the world including New York, Moscow, Tokyo, Beijing, London, Oslo, Paris, Shanghai, Rio, Rome, Salzburg, St. Petersburg, Dubai, Delhi, Oslo, Paris
- 2008 Presidential Inauguration
- Pope visit televised nationally at Yankee Stadium
- World Cup South Africa 2010
Mr. Papoulis has done songwriting workshops with our singers here in Naperville, and at the Queen City Children’s Choir Festival in Cincinnati. The singers come away from his workshop with a sense of accomplishment, knowing that they have contributed to the composition of a brand new song.
Here are links for more information about Jim Papoulis:
Ms. Wilson made her acclaimed Metropolitan Opera debut in Aida and has continued to take the opera world by storm. She has performed in Calixto Bieto’s new production of La Forza del Destino at the English National Opera; she inaugurated the new opera house in Kyoto, Japan with Seiji Ozawa as Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus. She was heard at Oper Frankfurt for her first performances as the Empress in Die Frau Ohne Schatten conducted by Sebastian Weigle and subsequently released by Oehms Classics. She triumphed in Act 3 of Die Walküre as Brünnhilde with Mark Wiggleworth and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales at Royal Albert Hall and with the Concertgebouw Orchestra conducted by Valery Gergiev in Act 3 of Die Walküre as Sieglinde.
Tamara Wilson is an alumna of YNS. She sang with us when she was in her formative middle school years; former YNS director Sandra Stoneham was a strong influence on Tammy’s love of singing. Recently, Tammy held a virtual Master Class with over 70 YNS singers; YNS is proud to claim Tammy as one of our own.
Here are some links to Tamara Wilson’s music:
Guest Composer & Conductor
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, wherein 2004, as the first foreign musician to be invited, he conducted a choir of 7000 young singers at the Estonian Song Festival is one of his most popular pieces, “Can you hear me?”.
In 2014, Mr. Chilcott came to YNS to help us celebrate our 30th Anniversary with a multi-day rehearsal and performance experience. In addition to premiering the commissioned work, “The Sun and Stars are Mine”, all of the YNS choirs enjoyed rehearsing with Mr. Chilcott and performing several of his best-known choral works.
Professor Blackstone is considered one of the country’s leading conducting teachers, and his students have been first place award-winners and finalists in both the graduate and undergraduate divisions of ACDA’s biennial National Choral Conducting competition. His 2016 rehearsal techniques DVD, Did You Hear That? (GIA Publications) deals with the conductor’s decision-making process during rehearsal. Santa Barbara Music Publishing distributes Blackstone’s acclaimed educational DVD, Working with Male Voices, and also publishes the Jerry Blackstone Choral Series.
Professor Blackstone has two grandchildren in YNS, and he has served as a guest speaker at our YNS Family Open House.
Staley began his teaching career at Eisenhower High School in Blue Island, Illinois, before moving to Waubonsie Valley High school in Aurora. Transferring to Naperville’s Neuqua Valley High School when it opened in 1997, he served as Fine Arts Department Chair before retiring from public school teaching in 2015.
Bands and orchestras under Staley’s direction have performed at the Midwest Clinic, Chicago’s Orchestra Hall, the University of Illinois’ Krannert Center and at venues in the People’s Republic of China, England, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Spain, Hungary and the Czech Republic. The Merit School of Music Wind Symphony will be a featured performer at the 2019 Illinois Music Educators Conference and share a concert with the University Illinois Wind Symphony at Krannert Hall on May 1, 2019.
Staley is the recipient of the ASBDA Distinguished Band Director Award, the ILMEA Mary Hoffman Excellence in Teaching Award, the CYSO Music Inspiration Award, the John Philip Sousa Foundation’s Sudler Flag of Honor and the John Paynter Lifetime Achievement Award.
Under Staley’s leadership, Neuqua Valley High School was twice recognized by the GRAMMY® Foundation as the National GRAMMY® Signature School and was awarded the 2009 John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts National Schools of Distinction in Arts Education Award.
Staley is a National Board Certified Teacher and holds degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.
Chip Staley has served as a guest speaker and advisor to YNS.
Women’s Vocal Ensemble
La Caccina came to Naperville to sing with the advanced YNS choirs in February of 2020 on the “Rise Up” event. Carling Fitzsimmons, Artistic Director of La Caccina, said of the experience, “When we started La Caccina, there were so few places for young women to share their voices and know they would be heard; working with and listening to [the YNS singers] last weekend, we know that the future is in very good hands.”
Professional Chamber Choir
The mission of Cor Cantiamo is to enrich and empower the community through performances of contemporary choral music, commissions, and music education outreach programs.
Cor Cantiamo has performed multiple World and U.S. Premieres and works directly with contemporary composers from around the world. Recent premieres include Verdad (2019) by Libby Larsen, When Did We See You? (2018) by Dominick DiOrio, The Wings of Our Children (2017) by Timothy Takach, and The Seven Heavens (2016) by James Whitbourn.
Cor Cantiamo has also developed an active and successful recording program with an emphasis on recording contemporary works and collaborating with commissioned composers.
Under the joint direction of Angie Johnson and Eric Johnson, Cor Cantiamo and YNS presented “Catalyst”, a concert at Wentz Hall designed to bring attention to the power of music to change the lives of young people.
David L. Brunner
Rollo A. Dillworth
Young Naperville Singers is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Donations made to Young Naperville Singers are tax-deductible. Many employers offer a contribution-matching program.