Introducing Our New Artistic Director!

Columbia Choirs is excited to welcome Katrina Turman as the second Artistic Director of our choirs at the end of this choir season. Katrina brings decades of personal experience in community choirs, and years of specialized training to lead our choirs.

Hello Columbia Choirs Community! I am absolutely thrilled to be joining the Columbia family and to continue the legacy of this incredible organization,” Turman states. “Having sung in choirs since the age of five, I know the impact that good leadership and quality music education have on a community and I will work diligently to continue in the footsteps of Columbia Choirs founder, Steve Stevens. I cannot wait to make music with you all next season!

Katrina Turman, Incoming Artistic Director

To learn more about Katrina’s background and passion for choirs, please watch this video introduction:

Katrina Turman is a native of California and an alumnus of the Piedmont East Bay Children’s Choir, where she began singing at age five. Ms. Turman holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music from the University of Oregon where she studied voice with Laura Decher Wayte while singing under the baton of Dr. Sharon Paul.  After performing in Europe with the Munich Bach Choir, Ms. Turman returned to California and was introduced to Kodály music education. Inspired, she then returned to pursue post-graduate studies at the Kodály Institute in Kecskemét, Hungary. While there, Ms. Turman had the opportunity to study with numerous world-renowned teachers, including advanced choral conducting teacher, Peter Erdei. She then worked for San Francisco Girls Chorus for three years, appearing as a conductor numerous times at Davies Symphony Hall, before beginning her graduate studies at the University of Washington. While pursuing her graduate degree, Ms. Turman worked as a children’s choral conductor for Piedmont East Bay Children’s Choir and Bellevue Youth Choir. She will be finishing her Master of Music degree in Choral Conducting at the University of Washington this spring under the tutelage of Dr. Geoffrey Boers and Dr. Giselle Wyers. Ms. Turman is a fervent advocate of the relevance of children’s choral music and in 2021 was published in the American Choral Directors Association’s Choral Journal with an article titled, “Children’s Choral Repertoire with Highlighted Pedagogical Elements.” 

Con Brio Joins Two Choirs to Perform New Work Virtually

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Con Brio Women’s Choir rehearsed virtually with VOCI Ensemble from Oakland, and Canzona Women’s Choir from San Luis Obispo to prepare a video of the new piece “Lark in the Clear Air” by Mitchell Covington. Enjoy this world-premiere performance!

“Lark in the Clear Air” by Mitchell Covington

Announcing the Retirement of Steve Stevens

A Message from Steve Stevens, Founder and current Artistic Director of Columbia Choirs

My career as a professional choral conductor, which began in 1966 at the Angleton Baptist Church in South Texas, will come to a close in June 2021.  I have announced to the board that I am retiring as Founder-Artistic Director of Columbia Choirs on June 30, 2021.  

Although I have enjoyed my 54-year career, at 73 it’s time to happily focus on other things.  I will be forever grateful for the blessing it is to have founded and, with two generations of singers and their families, to nurture an organization that, for 38 years (and counting) has enhanced the lives of thousands of singers.  Columbia’s touring choirs have inspired audiences around the world in concert, while garnering numerous awards and honors along the way.  With your continuing dedication to this wonderful organization, you will be a vital bridge to Columbia Choirs’ continuing out-reach to thousands more singers for many decades to come.  

I leave Columbia Choirs this coming June with a great deal of confidence in the strong leadership of the board of trustees, our artistic staff, and our administrator. They whole-heartedly believe in the mission of our organization and will carefully guide it into the future.  The fact that Columbia Choirs has thrived against all odds during a tumultuous 2020-21, is a tribute to your dedication as members and to their effective leadership.  We are counting on your continuing support of the singer(s) in your family who love singing and enjoy what Columbia Choirs has to offer them.

My love for this organization goes deep and I am honored to assist in the selection of the next Artistic Director.  Any future assistance I may be encouraged to provide is at the ready; substituting, guest conducting, advising, volunteering, etc.  

I am quite proud of what we have collectively accomplished during my tenure and invite you to visit https://columbiachoirs.org/about-us/ to peruse the listing of tours and honors we’ve accomplished since 1984.

My wife, Sylvia, and I will continue to live in the area for the foreseeable future so we look forward to remaining super fans of Columbia Choirs.  You will see me cheering our singers at concerts in the future.

Best Wishes and thank you for your continuing support of Columbia Choirs,
Steve Stevens, founder-artistic director (1984-2021)

Information about Steve Stevens’ career:Fortunate at age 19 to discover a life-long enjoyment in working with people through choirs of all types, I have had the privilege to be tenor soloist and/or music director at numerous churches in Texas and the Pacific NW, artistic director of Texas Boys Choir (1971-77), NW Boychoir (1977-83), founded the NW Youth choir (now Vocal Point Seattle 1979), founded the nine choirs within Columbia Choirs (Children’s Choir levels 1984, Cantabile Youth Choir (1988), Con Brio Women’s Choir (1989) and Concord Chamber Choir (2010).  In my career I have conducted boys choirs, girls choirs, children’s choirs, youth choirs, men’s choirs, women’s choirs, mixed chamber choirs, church choirs, school choirs, jazz choirs, barbershop men’s choruses and coached and adjudicated numerous choirs around the Pacific NW, the U.S. and Europe.   My choirs have performed at national and regional conventions of choral conductors, toured nationally for professional management companies, recorded numerous album/cds, appeared on national television in the U.S., Canada and in Europe, sung for the British Royal Family, the Pope in Rome and for members of the U.S. Congress and a President of the United States. 

Searching for our Next Artistic Director

Columbia Choirs is searching for its next Artistic Director, as Founder and current Artistic Director, Steve Stevens, announces his retirement after 37 years leading the choirs. The new Artistic Director will be responsible for promoting and executing the mission and vision of Columbia Choirs through the artistic leadership of Columbia Choirs choral program, featuring nine choirs with singers ages 4 – adult.  

This role is a part-time position reporting to the Columbia Choirs Board of Trustees. 

Job Description

Application Process

Applicants may submit their cover letter and resume via the Artistic Director Application, no later than February 28, 2021. Please email jobs@columbiachoirs.org with any application- or process-related questions. 

Candidate screening and interviews will be conducted during the month of March 2021 with a final selection considered and approved by the Board of Trustees in April 2021. 

The selected Artistic Director will be asked to begin working on a limited basis beginning in May 2021 with an official start date of July 1, 2021.