Ms. Ryer-Parke has been singing professionally since the age of six and is a well-known soprano soloist and private voice teacher in the tri-state area. She has been working with the chorus since 1993, Director since 1995 and is currently on the faculty of Bennington College and an adjunct instructor of voice at Williams College.
Yoshiko Sato, Accompanist
Pianist Yoshiko Sato did her undergraduate work in Japan and continued her musical studies in Paris and the United States, receiving a diploma from Ecole Normale de Musique d'Alfred Cortot and from Hartt School of Music in Hartford, Connecticut. Ms. Sato has ggiven recitals and has appeared as a soloist with orchestras in Japan, The United States, France, Spain and Switzerland. She has recorded two works by her husband, Allen Shawn, for Albany records, as well as a CD of music by Bartok and Kodaly with tenor Thomas Bogdan for the Centaur Label. She has been a teacher and vocal coach/accompanist at Bennington College since 1999.
Deborah Teller, Production Manager/Music Librarian
Deborah's professional life is rooted in theater. She is an Equity stage manager and has been the executive director of the National Shakespeare Company in New York City and the production/company manager of The People's Light & Theatre Company outside of Philadelphia. She has been working with the Bennington Children's Chorus since 2007.
Lauren Gotlieb, Chorus Manager
Lauren has played the piano since she was a young child. She now has three young children of her own and her house is full of music - cello, drums, violin, saxophone, oboe, recorder and voice!
The Bennington Children's Chorus was started in 1987 by Barbara Kourajian. Kourajian had been an accompanist to a children's choir in Montana as well as a high school choral director there before she moved to Vermont in 1985. While working in admissions at Southern Vermont College, Kourajian found she really missed music and, with the help of the van der Linde family, she recruited students for a children's chorus. The Bennington Children's Chorus met for its first rehearsal in February of 1987 and gave it's first performance three months later.
Kerry Ryer-Parke, who majored in music at Bennington College, took over as director in 1995. She continued Kourajian's tradition of emphasizing quality music, including classical, folk and traditional pieces, written for treble voices. With both junior and senior ensembles, the chorus has performed hundreds of songs in multiple languages in dozens of venues. Countless children between the ages of seven and eighteen have been introduced to the intricacies of rhythm, the beauty of lyrics and the joy of mastering a challenging series of notes during their time with the Bennington Children's Chorus.
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