Artistic Staff

BarbaraBerner4Barbara Berner, Artistic Director

Barbara Berner conducts the advanced touring ensemble, Concert Choir and oversees all aspects of the Children’s Choirs as Artistic Director. Under Mrs. Berner’s direction Concert Choir has performed at the Oregon Bach Festival, the national American Choral Directors Association convention in Los Angeles, the national American Orff-Schulwerk Association Conference, the Missouri Music Educators Association Conference, at Carnegie Hall, and at the White House. In June 2013, Barbara Berner had the honor of conducting the National Children’s Festival Chorus at Lincoln Center in New York City and Concert Choir appeared as a featured ensemble on the program.

Mrs. Berner has prepared Concert Choir for over eighty performances with the St. Louis Symphony under numerous conductors including David Robertson, Ludwig Wicki, Peter Oundjian, Carlos Izcaray, Hans Vonk, Eri Klas, David Amado, David Zinman, and Ward Stare. Mrs. Berner has conducted the young singers in performances with the Ambassadors of Harmony, the Bach Society of St. Louis, and The Saint Louis Chamber Chorus, and on international tours to Australia, England and Wales, Austria and the Czech Republic, Germany, Scotland, and Scandinavia.

In June 2013, Barbara Berner had the honor of conducting the National Children’s Festival at Lincoln Center in New York City. Members of Concert Choir performed as an ensemble at the festival concert and then were joined by Choristers and young singers from Georgia and Minnesota under Mrs. Berner’s direction. In 2010, Concert Choir appeared at Carnegie Hall and performed as one of two featured choirs in the Ensemble Debut Series of the National Children’s Festival Chorus.

The ensemble and selected young singers perform regularly with the St. Louis Symphony and in recent seasons performed Mahler’s Symphony No. 3, Shore’s The Lord of the Rings, Orff’s Carmina Burana, and “The Matrix.”

Barbara Berner joined the artistic staff of The St. Louis Children’s Choirs in 1996 and was appointed Artistic Director in 1999. She serves as a clinician for Kodály workshops and has conducted state honor choirs in Kentucky and New Mexico. As an accompanist, music teacher, and choral conductor, Mrs. Berner has had the opportunity to work with young singers from kindergarten through high school in the inner-city schools of Detroit and Boston; on military bases in Osterholz-Scharmbeck, Germany and West Point, New York; and in the culturally diverse schools of the Washington D.C. area.

She received a Bachelor of Arts degree with honors from Principia College and a Master of Music degree from Ithaca College. Barbara Berner was awarded an Artist/Teacher and Master Teacher Diploma from the Institute for Choral Teacher Education, where she studied conducting with Dr. Doreen Rao, and holds an Advanced Certificate from the Kodály Pedagogical Institute in Kecskémet, Hungary.

Accompanists

Billie Derham
Accompanist, Concert Choir, Choristers 3A, and Music Makers ensembles

Mrs. Derham joined the Children’s Choirs in 2000 and performed with Concert Choir at Carnegie Hall in 2001 and 2010 and at Lincoln Center in 2013. A member of the music faculty at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, she has been a staff accompanist for the UMSL Music Department, St. Louis Conservatory of Music, and Opera Theatre of St. Louis. Mrs. Derham has played for the St. Louis Symphony Chorus, the Bach Society, and many soloists including Christine Brewer, Robert McFerrin, Mark Madsen, and Jay Willoughby. She has performed on the Premiere Performance concert series, Christ Church Cathedral concert series, The Sheldon concert series, and many other venues in the St. Louis area and the Midwest as an accompanist and soloist. She has also been the organist for Our Savior Lutheran Church in St. Charles, MO since 1995. Mrs. Derham graduated magna cum laude from Lindenwood University and with the highest honors from Southern Illinois University with degrees in piano performance. Her teachers include Ruth Slenczynska, Jane Allen, Evelyn Mitchell, Patricia Giron, and Groff Bittner.

Michael Frazier
Accompanist, Young Men’s Chorus and Children’s Choir 1A and 1B ensembles

Mr. Frazier is a graduate of Southern Illinois University- Edwardsville where he received his Master of Arts degree in Piano Performance and Accompanying under the direction of Dr. Linda Perry. In addition to his work with The St. Louis Children’s Choirs, he serves as accompanist for Main Street United Methodist Church, Lindenwood University, the Ladue School District, and is an adjunct professor of Piano at Missouri Baptist University. Mr. Frazier also serves as musical director and accompanist for several theaters in the St. Louis metro area and is a private piano instructor.

Sarah Gallaher
Accompanist, Choristers 3B ensemble

Ms. Gallaher is a recent graduate of the University of Minnesota–Twin Cities where she completed a Masters of Music degree in Collaborative Piano and Coaching with Timothy Lovelace. A St. Louis native and Cor Jesu Academy graduate, Sarah is thrilled for her first year joining the St. Louis Children’s Choirs staff. Sarah serves as choral accompanist at Fort Zumwalt West High School and leads youth music ministry at Our Lady of Providence Church. In addition, she teaches private piano at the Community Music School of Webster University and works as a freelance pianist in the St. Louis metro area.

Linda Radick

Accompanist, Chorale ensembles

Linda Radick graduated from SIUE with a Bachelor of Arts degree. She studied piano with Ruth Slenczynska and Clayton Henderson. Mrs. Radick is currently the accompanist for choirs at Parkway West High School and accompanies singers and instrumentalists at Solo and Ensemble Festivals. She has served as the music minister at several large St. Louis churches, and currently leads the contemporary worship at St. Lucas UCC. Mrs. Radick has served as the musical director/pianist for many high school and community theater productions, including Webster Groves High School, Marble Stage Theater and Kirkwood Theater Guild. She is also a private piano instructor and volunteers as a pianist at the David C. Pratt Cancer Center at Mercy Hospital.

Kathy Schneller
Accompanist, Music Makers ensemble

Kathy Schneller earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English with a minor in Liturgical Music/Pipe Organ from Alverno College in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and a Master of Arts in Teaching degree in Religion from Webster University. Mrs. Schneller joined The St. Louis Children’s Choirs artistic staff in 1998. She continues studying piano with Donna Vince, an adjunct faculty member of Webster University. Mrs. Schneller accompanies Oakville High School Band students at Solo- Ensemble Festivals. She has accompanied elementary choirs in the Mehlville and Parkway School Districts, and at St. Paul UCC and Concord Trinity UMC.

Katie Beth Smith
Accompanist, Children’s Choir 1UC ensemble

Katie Beth Smith has been a freelance pianist, collaborator, and private teacher in the St. Louis area for the past six years. She recently completed a Dual Master’s degree in Piano Performance and Piano Pedagogy at Washington University as a student of Annette Burkhart. She received her Bachelor of Music degree in 2010 at the University of Missouri-Columbia as a Phi Beta Kappa, studying piano and pedagogy with Dr. Julie Knerr and music history with Dr. Michael Budds. Katie Beth has accompanied for various soloists, ensembles, and organizations in the St. Louis area, including Lutheran High School-St. Charles, Kirkwood Children’s Chorale, and the adult choir at Trinity Presbyterian Church for which she continues to play under the direction of Mimi Steele. Katie Beth was more recently hired to accompany for the Rockwood School District at Rockwood Middle School under the direction of Lora Pemberton. The 2016-17 year marks Katie Beth’s inaugural season with the St. Louis Children’s Choirs and she is very excited and honored to be a part of such a fantastic organization!

Ensemble Directors

Adrienne BroylesAdrienne Broyles
Director, Children’s Choir ensemble 1B and 1UC

Ensemble director Adrienne Broyles holds a Bachelor’s degree in Vocal Performance with a minor in languages and a Master of Arts degree in Music Education from Indiana University-Bloomington where she had the privilege to work with Dr. Mary Goetze. Since becoming a member of the artistic staff of The St. Louis Children’s Choirs in 2001, Mrs. Broyles has received conducting tutelage from Doreen Rao, Mandy Miller, Barbara Berner, Cheryl Dupont, Lee Kesselman, and Bob Chilcott. She has completed Level II in Kodály, Level II in Orff- Schulwerk, and was awarded Artist-Teacher Certification from the CME Institute for Choral Teacher Education. Mrs. Broyles is the vocal/general music teacher at Mason Ridge Elementary School in the Parkway School District, where she was awarded Teacher of the Year in 2010. She was a presenter at the 2014 Orff-Schulwerk National Conference, and supported her community as a judge for the St. Louis Fox Teen Talent Competition for the past several years. She has presented choral workshops and served as a guest conductor/ clinician for numerous districts.

Belinda Burnworh

Belinda Burnworth
Director, Music Makers ensemble

Mrs. Burnworth holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree with honors from The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. and a law degree from Saint Louis University. After working as an attorney, Mrs. Burnworth found she missed teaching and returned to the field of music education. She teaches vocal music and guitar at Our Lady Queen of Peace Catholic School in Belleville, Illinois. Mrs. Burnworth taught music reading for Choristers and Concert Choir for ten years and served on the Choirs’ Board of Directors from 2000 to 2008. In 2014, she completed Level III Certification from the CME Institute for Choral Teacher Education.

Whitney CairnsWhitney Cairns
Director, Chorale ensemble 2A

Whitney Cairns joined the Choirs’ artistic staff in the fall of 2011 as co-director of the Chorale ensemble. She is a Lecturer of Ear Training and Aural Skills at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, and has taught private piano and voice lessons. She has a Bachelor of Science in K-12 Music Education from Pennsylvania State University, and a Master of Music in Choral Conducting from the Eastman School of Music, University of Rochester where she served as conductor for the Repertory Singers and the Women’s Chorus. She has studied conducting under Susan Conkling, Lynn Drafall, Joseph Flummerfelt, Lee Kesselman, Lone Larsen, Mandy Miller, Doreen Rao, Sandra Snow, and William Weinert. Mrs. Cairns has directed and accompanied middle and high school choirs, and church choirs in Pennsylvania, New York, and Missouri. She has accompanied choirs in the Kirkwood, Parkway, and Rockwood School Districts, and currently accompanies the Concert Choir ensemble of Kirkwood Children’s Chorale. Mrs. Cairns also served as guest conductor for the Kirkwood Children’s Chorale during their 2013-2014 season. She received her Level III Certification from the CME Institute for Choral Teacher Education in 2014.

Karen KaibelKaren Kaibel
Director, Chorale ensemble 2UC

Karen Kaibel is the vocal music teacher and the fine arts team leader at Parkway Southwest Middle School, where she also serves on the shared leadership team. She holds a master’s degree in Vocal Performance and Music Education from Truman State University in Kirksville, Missouri. Mrs. Kaibel was a teacher at the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis Summer Camp from 2011–2013, a director of The St. Louis Children’s Choirs’ Summer Camp in 2012 – 2015, and has taught private lessons in voice and piano. In 2014 she conducted the Illinois ACDA All-State Elementary Honor Choir and directed the St. Louis Metro District 8 fifth grade honor choir in November 2015. Mrs. Kaibel joined the staff of the Children’s Choirs in 2011 and received her Level II Certification from the CME Institute for Choral Teacher Education in 2013.

Elizabeth McfarlandElizabeth Hogan McFarland
Co-Director of Choristers

Elizabeth Hogan McFarland is the co-director of Choristers. She earned a master’s degree from Michigan State University in choral conducting, her Artist-Teacher Certificate through the CME Institute for Choral Teacher Education, and is currently a PhD candidate in music education at the University of Missouri. Mrs. McFarland taught vocal music in Parkway and Lindbergh School Districts, and has taught courses and supervised student teachers at the University of Missouri, Webster University and the University of Missouri – St. Louis. Mrs. McFarland brings a passion for helping people discover beauty in themselves and the world around them through the study of music to her work as a conductor, teacher, and clinician. She serves the American Choral Directors Association as the Repertoire and Standards Chairperson for Youth and Student Activities for both Missouri and the Southwestern Division. Her research interests include middle school/junior high singers, choral music for women’s voices and school community partnerships involving choral music.

Brian Parrish
Director, Young Men’s Chorus

Brian Parrish received a Bachelor of Music Education in 2010 from Millikin University and graduated from University of Missouri with a Master of Music in Choral Conducting in 2012. He currently serves as Director of Choirs at Parkway West High School in Ballwin, Missouri and teaches choir and conducting at Maryville University. In addition, Brian conducts the Young Men’s Chorus at The St. Louis Children’s Choirs and is the Director of Music Ministries at New Hope Presbyterian Church in St. Charles, Missouri. Brian regularly performs with Pro-Arte St. Louis early music vocal ensemble. Brian also is an active performer of jazz piano and voice; he beatboxes, sings, and arranges for Vocal Edge, St. Louis’ premier vocal band.

Emily Pikaard, Ensemble Director of section 1AEmily Pikaard
Director, Children’s Choir 1A and Co-Director of Choristers

Emily Pikaard joined the artistic staff of the St. Louis Children’s Choirs in 2014 as the director of Children’s Choir 1A. Emily graduated summa cum laude from the University of Missouri with a Bachelor of Science in Music Education in 2009. In addition to her work with the Children’s Choir, Mrs. Pikaard is the pianist at Mount Zion Methodist Church and teaches private voice and piano lessons.