Biographies


Key Personnel

Richard Phelps, Music Director and Conductor

A Michigan native, Richard (Rick) Phelps attended school from Kindergarten through College in Mt. Pleasant. He received his Master of Music degree in choral conducting from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and his Bachelor of Music Education degree from Central Michigan University. Rick also holds a Master of Arts in New Testament Studies at Biblical Theological Seminary, Hatfield, PA.

He taught as an adjunct member of the faculties of Central Michigan University and Mid-Michigan Community College, where he taught choral literature, private voice, and choral ensembles. After assuming the leadership of the Mt. Pleasant High School choral program, he led the choirs to continuing success in District and State choral festivals. His choirs have sung around Michigan and in Chicago, Cleveland, Toronto, and New York, having twice appeared at Carnegie Hall; in 2004 they sang the Vaughan Williams “Dona Nobis Pacem” under the direction of CMU’s Dr. Nina Nash-Robertson, and in 2009 sang a collection of shorter works with Dr. Eph Ely, one of America’s most celebrated choral conductors.

In 2010 the Phelps family relocated to Holland where Rick assumed the leadership of the Holland High School choral program and its celebrated Vocal Dimensions, a long-standing fixture in the West Michigan vocal jazz scene.  He has also taught at Interlochen every summer since 1997.

 

 

John C. Griffin, Ph.D., Pianist, Composer, and Arranger

Dr. Griffin is a professor of music at Western Michigan University and Associate Director of Music at St. Catherine of Siena Church in Portage, Michigan.  Griffin earned his Ph.D. in composition from the University of Iowa, where he studied with David Gompper.  He received his BM and MM in music from Western Michigan University.  While at WMU, he studied piano with Lori Sims and composition with Richard Adams, C. Curtis-Smith, and Robert Ricci.  Besides accompanying the Kalamazoo Singers, he has performed as a pianist with the new music ensembles Opus 21 and Birds on a Wire.

His music has been featured at many festivals throughout the United States, including the UAHuntsville New Music Festival, Kentucky New Music Festival, and the Boston New Music Initiative Concert Series, as well as multiple conferences of the Society of Composers, Inc. and the College Music Society.  His compositions have been performed at CMS International Conferences in Croatia (2009) and South Korea (2011).  Griffin is a Finalist of the International Music Prize for Excellence in Composition and a winner of the ASCAPlus award.  In 2012 he was a semi-finalist for the American Prize in Music with his choral work “When Music Sounds”, commissioned by the Kalamazoo Singers.  More information can be found at www.johncgriffin.com.

 


Board of Directors

  • Rob Wagley, President and Executive Committee Chair and Community Outreach Co-Chair
  • Pat McKinney, Vice President and Logistics Committee Chair
  • Gayle Finder, Secretary and Records and Archives Committee Chair
  • Ann Wuerthele, Treasurer and Finance Committee Chair
  • Diana Falahee, Development Committee Chair
  • Lori Knapp, Board Member
  • Michael Park, Marketing Committee C0-Chair
  • Jim Paul, Community Outreach Committee Co-Chair
  • Carolyn Schwedler, Board Member
  • Alan Sell, Board Member
  • Cindy Semark, Marketing Committee Co- Chair
  • Katy Velten, Member Relations Committee Chair