Te Deum concert

Singers

Te Deum Chamber Choir is an ensemble for highly skilled singers who volunteer their time to share, grow, and be inspired to create powerful choral music.

Te Deum Chamber Choir focuses its concerts to create a context for sacred music that evokes a penetratingly spiritual and musical experience for the audience. The deep meaning of the text and music drives every repertoire and musical choice as the Chamber Choir produces a unique choral experience.

Since its inception in 2009, Te Deum has grown both in reputation and in size. Attracting some of the finest voices in Kansas City to audition, this semi-professional ensemble is made up of elementary, middle, high school, and collegiate music teachers; professional singers, professional accompanists, private voice teachers, and music students at the undergraduate, masters, and doctorate levels.

*The ensemble for each concert is drawn from the complete roster below.

SopranoAltoTenorBass
Lucy ConklinJoanna EhlersTom AsselKyle Chamberlin
Katherine DickAbby HeltJosh DonaldsonAndrew Cunard
Julianna FoxJulia KastenMicah HortonJonathan Daniel
Rupal GuptaKatie KendleJeff JaspersonJon Duncan
Nicole MurrayNanette KrausColin RileyKen Foley
Victoria OlsonAnn LewisAndrew WilsonNick Gillock
Sarah PowersHilary Morton
Sydney SeratteMichaela Schenkel
Sarah SheldonRosie Smith

Tom Assel studied vocal technique with Dr. Stephen Weber at Amarillo College, Texas. Tom earned a Bachelor of Science in electrical and computer engineering and a master’s degree in electrical engineering from the School of Computing and Engineering at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. While there, he sang in the Conservatory Concert Choir under the direction of Dr. Charles Robinson, and University Singers under the direction of Dr. Ryan Board. He and his wife Julie own and operate Assel Consulting LLC, a grant consulting firm specializing in grant research and proposal writing in a variety of fields. Tom has been singing with Te Deum since fall 2010.

Kyle Chamberlin is thankful to be singing his sixth season with Te Deum Chamber Choir. Kyle teaches choir at Indian Hills Middle School. He graduated from Emporia State University with a dual degree in vocal and instrumental music education. He also just completed his Master of Science in Education Administration at ESU. While at ESU, Kyle appeared in many musicals and operas and presented solo recitals in South Korea and Mexico City. In the past 10 years, he has performed in numerous productions at Great Plains Theatre, a regional theatre in Abilene, Kansas as well as Shawnee Mission Theatre in the Park. Locally, Kyle has sung with Spire, The Ancora Chorale, and Te Deum Antiqua.

Lucy Conklin is pleased to once again be singing with Te Deum this season! She holds a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from the University of Kansas. As a lifelong chorister, Lucy participated in numerous choral ensembles at KU, including Chamber Singers under the direction of Dr. Paul Tucker. Lucy previously participated in Te Deum from 2015-2018. Additionally, Lucy sings with KC VITAs Chamber Choir and is a founding member of Ignea Strata, an all-female vocal quartet specializing in genres spanning from medieval to modern. Lucy is currently pursuing a career with Helzberg Diamonds, serving as store manager in Kansas City, Kansas, and enjoys bringing sparkle to the lives of her clients. She lives in Brookside with her husband, Dave Kaleba, and two wonderful (if a little tubby) cats.

Andrew Cunard graduated in 2010 with a business degree from Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa. While there, he sang in several premier groups including the Wartburg Choir where he grew as a choral singer under the direction of Dr. Paul Torkelson, Dr. Weston Noble, and current director Dr. Lee Nelson. After returning to Kansas City, Andrew joined Te Deum Chamber Choir and has sung with several other ensembles including Te Deum Antiqua and Kantorei of Kansas City, while also remaining active in music at Atonement Lutheran Church. Andrew received a Master of Business Administration from Rockhurst University in 2016 and spends his days working as a Loan Officer on The Rome Team at Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation.

Jonathan Daniel is an emerging composer and bass-baritone, amateur pianist, and aspiring writer based in Kansas City. As a queer man of color and secularist, he is passionate about using his music and writing to speak from a broadly humanist perspective and give voice to the LGBTQ+ community and other marginalized groups. This will be his first season with Te Deum as well Kantorei KC. He was a Choral Scholar at William Jewell College, graduating in 2019 with a Bachelor of Arts in Oxbridge Music and Philosophy. While at William Jewell he toured internationally and recorded multiple albums with its award-winning Concert Choir. He currently sings with KC VITAs Chamber Choir and the St. George’s Choral Scholars of St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, and has previously sung with Songflower Chorale, the Ancora Chorale, Schola Cantorum of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, and the AGOGKC Schola Cantorum

Katherine Dick has been a member of Te Deum for the last five years. She’s been a chorister since 5th Grade Jazz Singers, thanks to an inspiring elementary music teacher. In 2014, she received a Bachelor of Music in vocal performance from the University of Kansas. While at KU, Katherine was an active member of Chamber Singers and performed in many opera/theatre productions throughout her college career. Most recently, Katherine portrayed Francesca in Theatre Lawrence’s production of the musical The Bridges of Madison County. Katherine spends her weekdays with elementary students at Raintree Montessori in Lawrence, Kansas. She enjoys collaborating with artists and friends in both the Lawrence and Kansas City communities. Katherine spends her free time with family and friends, with a good crossword, playing the piano, and, as of late, tap lessons! She is very much into petting dogs at sports games.

Josh Donaldson is excited to start his first season with Te Deum! Josh graduated from Pittsburg State University with a Master of Music in vocal performance and a Master of Music in choral conducting. Josh is a member of KC VITAs Chamber Choir and is the worship leader at Red Bridge United Methodist Church, where he directs the choir and leads the praise band. Josh is currently a Graduate Teaching Assistant in his final year at the University of Kansas where he will be completing his Doctor of Musical Arts in choral conducting. When not making music or studying, Josh enjoys attending musicals, rock concerts, trying new vegan restaurants, petting all the animals, and trying to keep his succulents alive.

Jon Duncan has been a member of Te Deum since 2013. Jon is the choir director at Shawnee Mission South High School in Overland Park. He previously taught at Indian Woods Middle School and Hocker Grove Middle School. Jon completed his degree in music education from the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance in 2011 with a minor in French. Jon has performed regularly in choral ensembles throughout the Kansas City area, including Kantorei, Spire, and the Kansas City Symphony Chorus. When he is not teaching or singing, Jon enjoys running, working as a senior certified pharmacy technician, and skydiving.

Joanna Ehlers, Kansas City native, is a graduate of the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance, where she earned both bachelor and master degrees in vocal performance. She has performed with the Lyric Opera of Kansas City, the Ancora Chorale, KC VITAs Chamber Choir, Te Deum Chamber Choir, Antiqua and Landlocked Opera Inc. Future engagements include the Kansas City Chorale and Cardinalis. Joanna is a founding member of Ignea Strata and serves as a choral scholar at historic St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in downtown Kansas City. She resides in Independence, Missouri, with her family.

Ken Foley is in his second season with Te Deum. Ken is originally from Chagrin Falls, Ohio. He studied at the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati where he received a Bachelor of Music Education. He moved to Kansas City in 1995 to study with Eph Ehly at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance, where he earned his master’s degree in choral conducting. He is in his 31st year of teaching choral music and his 11th year as Director of Choirs at Shawnee Mission East High School. Ken was a member of the Kansas City Chorale from 1998-2001 and is happy to be singing in a choir again. He lives with his wife Heather and daughters Bria and Jilli.

Julianna Fox was pleased to join Te Deum in the spring of 2015. She holds bachelor’s degrees in vocal music education and vocal performance from Missouri State University. While at MSU, she was privileged to sing in the Concert Chorale under Dr. Guy Webb. She was also active in the opera program, costuming many productions as well as performing. Julianna is an alumnus of the Kansas City Chorale and taught elementary music in Hickman Mills before working in insurance services for State Street Financial. She is currently a stay-at-home mom to her son Miles and daughter Eden.

Nick Gillock has been a member of Te Deum since fall 2014. He completed his Bachelor of Music Education from Kansas State University in December 2014. He is currently pursuing a master’s degree in musicology at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance. Prior to this, he was the choral director at Indian Trail Middle School in Olathe. He has studied voice with Prof. Dale Ganz and Dr. Bryan Pinkall, and choral studies with Dr. Julie Yu, Dr. Joshua Oppenheim, and Dr. Eph Ehly. When not singing, Nick enjoys hanging out with friends and cheering on Sporting KC and the KSU Wildcats!

Rupal Gupta joined Te Deum in 2017. She cultivated her lifelong love of choral music during her college years with the Harvard-Radcliffe Collegium Musicum and Chamber Singers. Since that time, choral singing has played a critical role through her medical career, not only as a source of mindfulness and knowledge but also as a wellspring from which to learn the joy of creating a whole greater than each of its parts.  A board-certified pediatrician, Rupal is Medical Director of Children’s Mercy Hospital’s Operation Breakthrough clinic. This spring she began her education with the Academic Pediatric Association Research Scholars Program, through which she will explore the intersection of health and early childhood education. She earned her undergraduate degree at Harvard and her medical degree at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. When not singing or working, Rupal plays Monopoly with her son and husband while straining to hear her young daughter quietly making up melodies.

Abby Helt is excited to join Te Deum for her first season! Abby is finishing her Bachelor of Music Education degree from Kansas State University. She is currently student teaching and will graduate in December 2019. This fall she is student teaching at Westridge Middle School and East Antioch Elementary School. At K-State, she studied voice under Professor Cheryl Richt and sang in multiple choirs, serving as a section leader, under Dr. Julie Yu and Dr. Joshua Oppenheim. Abby has performed as a soloist with K-State’s Concert Choir at the 2018 Southwest American Choral Director’s Association conference, Grand Chorus Rhapsody 2019, and Collegium Musicum. Abby has also worked with the Flint Hills Children’s Choir in Manhattan, Kansas. In addition to singing, Abby enjoys road-tripping, painting, and hanging with her family.

Micah Horton is excited to return to Te Deum for his third season with the choir. He teaches choir at Grandview High School, serves as the Director of Worship Music at Second Presbyterian Church in Brookside, and also plays guitar and electric bass. Micah holds bachelor’s degrees in music composition & psychology from Eastern Nazarene College in Quincy, Massachusetts. He also has a Master of Music Education from the UMKC Conservatory of Music & Dance. Micah recently served as the Resource Chair for Multicultural Perspectives for the Missouri Choral Director’s Association. He is a New Jersey native & proud Philadelphia sports fan.

Jeff Jasperson is elated to be a member of Te Deum for his first season! Jeff graduated from the University of Kansas in 2013 with a Bachelor of Arts in Music, voice emphasis. At KU, he performed with numerous choirs and was a four-year member of the KU Marching Jayhawks as a trumpet player. Since 2017, Jeff has been a director of the choral variety show Encore at Free State High School in Lawrence. He also works as a paraeducator at Shawnee Mission North High School. Jeff and his fiancée Kayla recently moved from Lawrence to downtown Kansas City and are loving it. In his spare time, Jeff enjoys singing and playing guitar at open mics, distance running, watching the Jayhawks, Chiefs, Royals, and Sporting KC, and attempting to win his fantasy football league.

Julia Kasten is very excited to start her first season with Te Deum! She currently attends school at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and is working towards the completion of a bachelor’s degree in both vocal performance and music theory. As well as performances and choirs at the conservatory, Julia works as a church musician and performs with the Tallgrass Chamber Choir directed by Jacob Narverud. This season is also the first that Julia will be singing with Kantorei KC. Outside of music, Julia loves her cats, Disney, and traveling.

Katie Kendle is an experienced vocalist and engaging performer, connecting with audiences through a variety of styles and ensembles. She joined Te Deum Chamber Choir in 2010 and Te Deum Antiqua in 2014. In prior years she has performed with numerous ensembles, including Fine Arts Chorale under the direction of Terri Teal, Kansas City’s Puccini Fest, Southwestern University Chorale, and the University Choir and Madrigal Singers of Texas Tech. Katie enjoys freelance work as well, singing for churches and weddings in the Kansas City area, and collaborating with other local artists in songwriting projects. She is currently the music teacher for preschool and homeschool classes at Overland Park Community Bible Study. Katie makes her home in Kansas City with her husband Josh and their three children.

Nanette Kraus joined Te Deum in 2013. Nanette recently moved to Kansas City, Missouri, where she works a variety of music projects as church musician, collaborative pianist, and singer. She serves as the staff accompanist at Liberty High School and Liberty Community Chorus, and creates rehearsal tracks for choirs in the region and beyond. In addition to Te Deum, she enjoys singing with KC VITAs Chamber Choir. From 2009-2016, Nanette served as staff accompanist and piano instructor at Baker University. Nanette earned a Bachelor of Arts in music from Bethany College and a Juris Doctor from the University of Kansas. When not making music, Nanette volunteers on the Te Deum board and enjoys landscape photography and Jayhawk basketball.

Ann Lewis joined Te Deum Chamber Choir in the fall of 2009 for its first full season. She graduated from William Jewell College in 2009 with degrees in piano performance and church music with a vocal emphasis. In 2013, she completed a Master of Arts in teaching from the University of Central Missouri. She currently teaches at Kearney Middle School, where she serves as director of vocal music, teaches popular music courses, and assists with the high school vocal music program. Prior to teaching at KMS, Ann served as the vocal music teacher at Marshall High School (Missouri) for four years. She continues to direct the Marshall Community Chorus. Outside the music realm, Ann works at Anthropologie to support her dress addiction. She also runs a pie side hustle: Easy As Pie KC.

Hilary Morton is a proud new member of Te Deum. Hilary recently moved to Kansas City from Lawrence to begin teaching choral music at Shawnee Mission North High School. She previously taught at Lawrence Free State High School in Lawrence and at Oregon Trail Jr. High in Olathe. A Lawrence native, Hilary attended the University of Kansas and sang under the direction of Simon Carrington. She dual-majored as an undergrad, receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Music Education and in Theatre/Voice. She minored in French and holds a Masters of Choral Pedagogy from KU. She has been involved in theatre in Lawrence for almost 40 years, from sketch comedy productions to Broadway cabaret performances. When Hilary’s not singing or making others sing, she is nestled with her fur babies, watching scary movies whilst baking cookies and crafting specialty cocktails for her loved ones.

Nicole Murray is thrilled to be singing with Te Deum for a second season. She also takes delight in performing as a soloist, choir member, and choral conductor. As a soloist, she has appeared with the Kansas City Symphony, the Liberty Symphony Orchestra, the Northland Symphony Orchestra, the Heritage Philharmonic, and Kansas City Wind Symphony. Nicole is part of the choral faculty at William Jewell College and is the music director at Country Club United Methodist Church. She has also sung with the Kansas City Symphony Chorus, the Kansas City Chorale, Musica Vocale and the American Guild of Organists’ Schola Cantorum ensemble. Her formal training includes music degrees from William Jewell College and the Lamont School of Music at the University of Denver. She works on her high notes each summer by riding roller coasters around the globe.

Victoria Olson received her Bachelor of Music from the University of Nebraska at Omaha and recently completed her Master of Music and Artist Certificate with an emphasis in Baroque studies at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance. She has been an active collaborator in numerous concerts, large-scale projects, and recitals with ensembles such as Te Deum, Antiqua, Kantorei, Spire, and Missouri Choral Artists. In addition to vocal studies, Victoria holds a strong interest in music education and has served as a clinician, adjudicator, and private voice instructor across the Midwest. She is a versatile artist with experience in both traditional and new music, specializing in the Baroque era with a particular interest in cantatas, oratorios, and works for small chamber ensembles. Her performance career has taken her through the Midwest to Eastern Europe as a prominently featured soloist for major choral works in two opera houses.

Sarah Powers received a Bachelor of Science in Vocal Performance in 2015 from William Jewell College where she studied voice as a Choral Scholar. While working toward her degree she sang in various ensembles including the Concert Choir and Schola Cantorum, and held a church choir position at Asbury United Methodist Church. She has appeared as a soloist with the Liberty Symphony Orchestra and Midwest Chamber Ensemble and has performed chorally and as a soloist with Musica Vocale, AGO Schola Cantorum, Cardinalis, and Te Deum Antiqua. Currently, Sarah sings at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church as a choral scholar and works as a Leasing Professional in Olathe where she lives with her husband and their dog.

Colin Riley is excited to join Te Deum for his first season. A recent arrival from Upstate New York, Colin performed with the nationally recognized chamber choir Ensemble Companio from 2014 to 2019 – serving as a tenor, officer, and board member. Colin graduated from Cornell University in 2009 with a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering. While there, he sang with the Cornell University Glee Club under Scott Tucker, with performances including Ein Deutsches Requiem in Beijing, Shanghai, and Hong Kong; the 2009 American Choral Directors Association National Convention; and a stage production of Leonard Bernstein’s Mass. Colin is a Senior Engineer with General Electric and also holds a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Georgia Tech and a Master of Business Administration from Clarkson University. Colin lives in Overland Park and spends weekends visiting museums with his wife and daughter.

Michaela Schenkel is excited to join Te Deum for her first season. Michaela is currently studying music therapy at the University of Kansas. In her time at KU, Michaela participated in the Chamber Choir, Concert Choir, Women’s Choir, and University Singers and sang in the KU Opera productions of Don Giovanni, Candide, and Elixir of Love. Additionally, she has played with several ensembles including KU Marching Band, University Band, Brazilian Steel Pan Ensemble, and West African Drum Ensemble. Outside of KU, Michaela sings with KC VITAS and participated in the 2018 AGO Convention. In her free time, Michaela enjoys reading and working with the children at her church.

Sydney Seratte has been a member of Te Deum for not one, not two, but seven seasons! Sydney teaches music at Citizens of the World Charter School in Kansas City, Missouri. Prior to joining the team at CWC, she taught music at Bluejacket-Flint Elementary School in Shawnee, Kansas. She graduated with a Bachelor of Music Education from the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance. As a UMKC student, Sydney enjoyed singing in university choirs and vocal recitals. Her teachers have included Janeal Krehbiel, Cathy Crispino, Dr. Charles Robinson, Dr. Ryan Board, Dr. Aidan Soder, Corbin Trimble, Debra Raffety, Robert Relly, Joan Hildebrand, and Patrice Sollenberger. Sydney teaches Simply Music piano lessons in the metro area, holds a master’s degree in education from MidAmerica Nazarene University, and a master’s degree in music education from UMKC. She loves midtown Kansas City, house plants, vegetarian food and her two (too many) cats, Del and Meret.

Sarah Sheldon is excited to join Te Deum this season! Sarah graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 2014 with a Bachelor of Music in vocal performance and a minor in French. There she studied voice with Christine Seitz and sang with University Singers under the direction of R. Paul Crabb. In her studies, Sarah has performed as a soloist with groups such as Columbia Chorale, Columbia Civic Orchestra, Bach Collegium Choir, the Show-Me Opera, and the UMKC Conservatory Singers. Sarah works as a claims adjuster for Progressive Insurance and lives in Waldo with her boyfriend Adam and their two cats, Bob and Betty.

Rosie Smith is so excited to begin her first season with Te Deum! A fresh K-12 music education graduate of William Jewell College, Rosie now teaches 6-12 vocal music at Paola Middle and High School. During her time at Jewell, Rosie sang with the William Jewell College Concert Choir and Choral Scholars under the direction of Dr. Anthony Maglione. Rosie also served as student conductor for those two groups as well as Jewell’s Chapel Choir and Handbell Choir. She was granted the opportunity to conduct the Concert Choir during their tri-annual England/Scotland performance tour as well as study choral conducting at the Choral Institute at Oxford, co-directed by Dr. James Jordan and James Whitbourn, in the summer of 2018. Rosie is thrilled to be able to continue her love of performing with Te Deum and cannot wait to see what this season has in store.

Andrew Wilson – After a hiatus from singing to pursue his career in audio engineering, Andrew is thrilled to be joining Te Deum for his first season! Andrew studied vocal performance at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance under Dr. Raymond Feener. During his time at the conservatory, he sang in conservatory Concert Choir under the direction of Dr. Charles Robinson, and Conservatory Singers under the direction of Dr. Robert Bode. He also participated in multiple UMKC opera productions under the direction of Marciem Bazzell, Fenlon Lamb, and Dorothy Danner. Andrew currently works as an audio engineer for Green Lady Lounge, Antioch Church, Artist Community Project, and Advanced Sound and Communication.