Artistic Director, Cantabile and Bel Canto Conductor
Katrina Turman (she/her) is a native of California and an alumnus of the Piedmont East Bay Children’s Choir, where she began singing at age five. Prior to coming to Columbia Choirs, Katrina was an assistant conductor for the San Francisco Girls Chorus where she conducted numerous concerts at Davies Symphony Hall. Katrina has also taught at the Piedmont East Bay Children’s Choir in Oakland, CA and the Bellevue Youth Choir in Bellevue, WA. In addition to conducting, Katrina was a professional singer of the Munich Bach Choir in Europe.
Katrina is a fervent advocate of the relevance of children’s choral music and was published in the American Choral Directors Association’s Choral Journal (2021) with an article titled, “Children’s Choral Repertoire with Highlighted Pedagogical Elements.” Katrina holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music from the University of Oregon, a Post-Graduate certificate from the Kodály Institute, and a Master of Music degree in Choral Conducting from the University of Washington.
Con Brio Conductor
Dori Baunsgard is a Pacific Northwest native who spent many years conducting choirs and teaching music in India and Japan before returning to Seattle in 2011. She has an avid interest in multiple styles and genres of music, and is especially focused on women composers and global repertoire. Dori is active in the Seattle area as a conductor, accompanist, and choral adjudicator.
She co-conducts Wanderlust Women’s Choir of Seattle which toured to Hungary, Slovenia and Italy in 2019. As Interim Cathedral Choir Director at University Presbyterian Church she collaborated with the University of Washington to co-conduct “A Four Choir Celebration of Christmas”. As an accompanist Ms. Baunsgard has worked extensively with the Northwest Girlchoir, O’Dea High School Men’s Choir, and has performed several times on the Benaroya Hall Ten Grands concert raising funds for music education. Dori holds a Bachelor of Music Education from Seattle Pacific University and a Master of Music in Choral Conducting with a minor in Theater from Western Washington University. She is thrilled to conduct the amazing women of Con Brio!
Jennifer Faul has been making music with Columbia Choirs since 1998. She currently directs Lyrica, and formerly accompanied the Cantabile Vocal Ensemble and Con Brio Women’s Choir for many years. Mrs. Faul earned her bachelors degree in music education in 1998 from the University of Washington, and her masters degree in Curriculum and Instruction shortly thereafter.
She also enjoyed earning her Level 1 Kodaly certification at Seattle Pacific University. Her teaching experience includes elementary general music in the Bellevue School District for five years, Children’s Choir Director of Magnolia Presbyterian Church for nine years, and ongoing private piano and voice instruction.
Ragazzi, Harmonia Conductor
Aly Henniger has been directing Ragazzi for four years now and Harmonia for the last two. She loves helping young singers develop their vocal skills and confidence. Aly has worked full-time in teaching Middle School Choir for the past five years.
She is a Central Washington University Graduate with a double major in Music Education and Vocal Performance and in 2020 received her Masters in Educational Technology from Western Governers University. She has a passion for creating a safe and fun rehearsal environment where students can learn healthy techniques for using their voice. Aly is very excited to be a part of the Columbia Choirs team and work with talented, young musicians.
Olga Melnik is a seasoned and passionate children’s choir conductor with experience in leading and nurturing young voices. She began studying music at the age of 4 and has carried her love for singing throughout her formative years, spanning school, college, university, and her professional career. She holds a B.A. (Summa Cum Laude) in Music, specializing in choir conducting. Her educational background also includes Master of Education studies at St. Petersburg Pedagogical University.
Olga is known for creating an engaging environment for music enthusiasts that fosters musical growth, self-expression, and a love for singing. Prior to joining Columbia, Olga served as a conductor and music teacher in several music schools and children’s academies in the Seattle area. She founded and served as the artistic conductor of the Confetti choir, which aims to broaden children’s horizons through songs and stories from various countries and continents, presented in their native languages. They also discover the joy of making music as one team. In addition, Olga was a member of the Seattle Symphony Chorale, performing at the Benaroya Hall and contributing to the rendition of monumental music by composers such as Handel, Beethoven, and Orff.
Tiana Shuford currently teaches at East Ridge Elementary, Hollywood Hill Elementary and Sunrise Elementary in Northshore School District. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Music Education with a Choir Specialization from Central Washington University. During her time at Central, she enjoyed participating in their Vocal Jazz Ensembles, Chamber Choir and opera productions.
Tiana has also completed her Level 1 World Music Drumming Series and enjoys participating in Kodaly, Orff, and American Choral Directors Association conferences and workshops.
In her spare time, Tiana sings in Wellspring Ensemble – a local community choir, and teaches community ukulele workshops. When not teaching or making music, Tiana enjoys being outdoors and spending quality time with her family. Tiana is thrilled to share her joy for music with her students and is very excited to be our newest director of Prima Choir!
Rachel Teigen Brackett is the K-5 General Music Teacher and Choir Director at Lakeview Elementary in Kirkland. She also teaches education and arts integration courses at Northwest University and Seattle University.
In addition to these assignments Rachel has instructed private voice, piano, guitar and ukulele.She received her Bachelor of Music Education from Pacific Lutheran University in 2002 and her Master’s in Creative Arts and Learning from Lesley University in 2005. She received her National Board Certification in Early and Middle Childhood Music in 2009. She has been singing and performing all her life and has immense passion and enthusiasm for bringing the joy of music to children! Rachel plays the music teacher “Miss Melody” in the children’s music curriculum “First Note” and frequently performs at preschools and birthday parties as a musical entertainer. She lives in Seattle with her husband and daughter.
Giselle Wyers is the Donald E. Petersen Endowed Professor of Choral Music at the University of Washington, where she conducts the award-winning University Chorale and teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in choral conducting and music education. Choruses under her direction have received numerous American Prize awards for their CD recordings, including the American Prize Ernst Bacon Memorial Award for the Performance of American Music in 2017-18.
As a guest conductor, Wyers has led high school honor choirs and all-state choruses in New York (Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center), Kansas, Nevada, Georgia, Missouri, Louisiana, Connecticut, Nebraska, Texas, Washington, Alaska, Idaho, and Vancouver, Canada. She has conducted semi-professional ensembles across the United States and in Germany, the Netherlands, Estonia, and Sweden.
In addition to her career in conducting, Wyers has over 35 commissioned compositions works in her catalog. She collaborates regularly with community choruses and orchestras as well as educational choirs, with performances across the globe. Wyers is especially dedicated to composing works that explore the beauty, mystery and heartbreak we all experience as modern citizens in a complicated world. Her works are available through her choral series with Santa Barbara Music Publishing, at MusicSpoke and on her website. In 2024, she will premiere “The Open Channel” with text of Martha Graham set for solo soprano and chamber orchestra.
Lyrica, Concord Accompanist
Julann started playing piano at the age of 6 and shortly after was introduced to the world of accompanying at the insistence of her mother. It didn’t take too many bribes for her to realize that she actually enjoyed it, and today it is one of her most favorite things in the world to do. The confidence of her elementary music teacher inspired her to start playing for her school choir and she continued to develop a passion for accompanying through junior high and high school. In college she was able to travel around the world playing for choirs, performing in Russia, Ukraine, Spain, and Israel. She holds degrees in Music Education from The Master’s University and the Crane School of Music. Today she enjoys both helping kids discover their own musical gifts at the piano and contributing her part to make great music with soloists and choirs.
Katy has been accompanying instrumentalists and vocalists since high school. She began choral accompanying in college at The Master’s University, where she holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Piano Performance. She currently teaches students in her home piano studio in Kirkland, and continues to accompany students in local choirs and solo/ensembles festivals. When she’s not at the piano, she is raising two kids, Tomas and Margo, and fosters kittens.
Music has always been part of Inger’s life, whether it was listening to her parents’ old record collection, playing piano since age 8, playing alto saxophone in concert band from middle school through college, and singing in choir in college and beyond. In high school she began composing music for piano, and her senior project involved composing a piece for concert band which she conducted at her high school graduation. Through singing in choirs at Lewis and Clark College, she was inspired to become a choir teacher, and went on to pursue her Masters in Music Education plus teacher certification at Northwestern University in IL. She has 13 years of experience teaching middle school choir and has accompanied for church choirs, solo and ensemble, festivals, and school choir events. For the past 19 years, she has sung with the Seattle Symphony Chorale, and has been involved in several choral recording projects for Blizzard and Bungie video games. She is excited to begin a new chapter in her musical journey as the Harmonia accompanist for Columbia Choirs, continuing to create and share meaningful musical experiences with others.
Con Brio, Cantabile Accompanist
Genevieve Peaslee earned a B.A. in Piano Performance from Scripps College and has also studied at the Colburn School in Los Angeles and the Accademia Internazionale della Musica in Milan. Her collaborative piano experience began with the choirs at her junior high school and now includes chamber music and vocal accompaniment studies at Scripps, work with advanced voice students at Chapman University’s Hall-Musco Conservatory of Music, and dance accompaniment at the California Institute of the Arts, Pomona College, and Pacific Northwest Ballet (among many others).
Anna (she/her/they/them) started playing piano just before the age of four and was taught initially by her mother, Vicki Nurre. At first, Anna’s mother did not want to teach her piano because Anna could not read yet. However, Anna was persistent and eventually learned how to read music before she could read words. Additionally, Anna studied piano at Shoreline Community College with a primary focus on George Gershwin, Scott Joplin, and other jazz/ragtime repertoire. Anna won the Indiana State Piano Scholarship and has competed in multiple solo and ensemble festivals.
Anna has accompanied the Seattle Girls Choir, Jackson High School, the San Bernardino Orchestra, and her high school choral program. She was the keyboardist for the Seattle-based black metal band, Inquinok. who opened for the legendary death metal gods, Cannibal Corpse. Anna has also sung in the Indianapolis Children’s Choir, being the youngest singer accepted at the age of seven.
In addition to Columbia Choirs, Anna continues to accompany solo and ensemble festivals for local high schools and is a volunteer pianist at local retirement/adult homes. Anna also teaches piano and voice with 4/4 School of Music and Lessons in Your Home. In her spare time, Anna loves to play video games and spending time with her husband and children, Cade and Kyler.
Bel Canto Accompanist
Munkhtuya Yadmaa graduated from the The Gnessin State Musical College in Moscow Russia, where she studied piano performing arts. After graduating, she went back to her home state of Mongolia for her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Mongolian Culture and Art University. In addition, Munkhtuya studied organ in South Korea and released her own piano album in 2013.
Munkhtuya’s list of accomplishments include being awarded third place in accompanist of instruments in Moscow in 1990, second place as accompanist of vocal soloist in Mongolia in 1994, and third place at a Mongolia piano competition in 1996, awarded by the State of Mongolia. In addition, Munkhtuya was a piano teacher and accompanist at Mongolia University of Culture and Arts from 1995-2009. She acted as a church choir accompanist in South Korea from 2009-2015. Munkhtuya is currently the choir accompanist at South Seattle College as well as the choir organist and accompanist at Westminster Presbyterian Church.