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 ConklinConnor EwensTom AsselKyle Chamberlin
Paige FlennikenRupal GuptaJonathan DoramJon Duncan
Lindsey HartJulia KastenCharles EversonNick Gillock
Abby HeltKatie KendleMicah HortonRyan Layton
Kristen Ellis JohnsonNanette KrausJeff JaspersonBen Wheeler
Sarah SchulteAnn MarzetteColin Riley
Bailey C. WilkersonNicole Murray

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 Grant Services, 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 has been singing with Te Deum since spring of 2014 and is thankful to be singing with them for another season. Kyle teaches music in the Shawnee Mission School District. He graduated from Emporia State University with a dual degree in vocal and instrumental music education. He received his Master of Science in Education Administration at ESU in 2019. While at ESU, Kyle appeared in many musicals and operas and presented solo recitals in South Korea and Mexico City. In the past 20 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. 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 enjoys bringing sparkle to the lives of Kansas City residents as sales manager at Toner Jewelers in Leawood. She lives in Brookside with her husband, Dave Kaleba, and two wonderful (if a little tubby) cats.

Jonathan Doram is thrilled to join Te Deum for its 15th season! He currently works as an artist model at the Kansas City Art Institute and as accompanist at Blue Valley High School. He is also a member of the Heartland Men’s Chorus and Madrigalia Bar Nonne choir in the Kansas City metro. He recently served as the choral director at Lincoln College Preparatory Academy and Middle School in Kansas City, Missouri, and previously at Forest Heights STEM Academy in Little Rock, Arkansas. In his free time, he enjoys writing, reading, and playing tennis. You may find out more at his website: https://www.jonathandoram.com/.

Jon Duncan is in his 10th season with Te Deum, and also serves as the Assistant Rehearsal Director. Jon is the choir director at Shawnee Mission South High School in Overland Park, Kansas, and he previously taught at Indian Woods Middle School and Hocker Grove Middle School. Jon received his BME and MME both from the UMKC Conservatory. His teachers have included Charles Robinson, Ryan Board, Aidan Soder, Raymond Feener, Joseph Parisi, Dwayne Dunn, Elise Peterson, Erin Smith, Kathy Bhat, and Karen Flaschar. Outside of choral music, Jon enjoys taking care of his houseplants, raising Pokémon, completing puzzles of all genres, working out, and enjoying the KC foodie scene with his partner Luke.

Charles Everson joined Te Deum in 2021. A lifelong chorister, Charles began singing in the children’s choir at Village Presbyterian Church. He played French horn in middle school and high school and sang tenor in various ensembles in high school. Charles sang in several choirs at Ouachita Baptist University where he graduated with a degree in Biblical Studies and a minor in music. He worked in banking for 15 years, earning his Master of Business Administration from Baker University. He sang tenor at St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church under Dr. Ken Walker for 10 years, eventually pursuing ordination as a priest. Charles serves as rector of St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Kansas City where he enjoys singing the liturgy of the church each week. He and his husband Jay live in South Hyde Park.

Connor Ewens is excited to join Te Deum for her first season. She received her bachelor’s degree in vocal music education from Missouri State University in the fall of 2021. During her time at Missouri State, she was a member of numerous choral ensembles, featured on three commercially released choral albums, and was selected to sing in the 2020 World Youth Choir. She will begin teaching at Discovery Middle School in Liberty, Missouri, this year, and was previously the choir director at Carl B. Bruce Middle School in Kansas City, Kansas. Outside of teaching middle school, Connor also teaches piano. She enjoys cooking, hiking, spending time with family/friends, and long walks with her fiancé, Ethan, and dog, Freya.

Paige Flenniken is thrilled to start her second season with Te Deum! She received her Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance at Oklahoma State University where she performed the roles of Susanna (Le Nozze di Figaro), Gilda (Rigoletto), Susannah (Il Segretto di Susannah), Nella (Gianni Schicchi), Isabelle/Madeline (Face on the Barroom Floor) and Aldonza (Man of La Mancha). Paige enjoys the competition circuit and has won multiple awards from the National Association of Teachers of Singing. She is active in the choral world as a soprano soloist for Messiah at OSU for 3 concurrent years, soprano soloist for Lord Nelsons Mass (Haydn), performed twice at Carnegie Hall with the OSU University Singers and soprano soloist for Mass in B Minor(Bach) with the Midland-Odessa Symphonic Chorale. She moved recently from Texas with her husband, Joe, and is excited to be involved in the thriving Kansas City music scene.

Nick Gillock has been a member of Te Deum since fall 2014. Nick currently works at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory as a Senior Academic Advisor and Adjunct Instructor, as well as serving as the bass section leader at Atonement Lutheran Church. He holds a Bachelor of Music Education from Kansas State University (2014) and a Master of Music in Musicology from UMKC (2021). While at UMKC, he completed a thesis entitled “Oh, When the Wiz: An Ethnography of Communal Music-Making in Kansas City Soccer Culture” and was named UMKC’s Muriel McBrien Kauffman Superior Graduate Teaching Assistant. Prior to his graduate studies, he was the choral director at Indian Trail Middle School in Olathe. Nick has studied voice with Prof. Dale Ganz and Dr. Bryan Pinkall, choral studies with Dr. Julie Yu and Dr. Joshua Oppenheim, and musicology with Dr. Andrew Granade, Dr. Alison DeSimone, and Dr. William Everett. When not singing, Nick enjoys hanging out with friends, watching more soccer than any person should – particularly Sporting KC and Tottenham Hotspur, and supporting his alma mater, the KSU Wildcats!

Rupal Gupta is thrilled to begin her 5th season with Te Deum. She cultivated her lifelong love of choral music during college 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 currently serving as Clinical Services Director with Kyruus, Inc., a Boston-based Healthcare IT company that aims to connect patients to the right healthcare. She was previously Interim Division Director of General Academic Pediatrics at Children’s Mercy Hospital and Medical Director of its Operation Breakthrough Clinic. She is engaged in clinical research on 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 loves to laugh, read, and bake with her husband and two children.

Lindsey Hart is so excited to be joining Te Deum for her first season. She graduated from Benedictine College with a Bachelor of Music Education and is in her 2nd year as the choir teacher at Lakewood Middle School in Overland Park, Kansas. She also enjoys teaching piano lessons, and music classes for young children. Lindsey has always loved to sing, especially in a choir, most recently participating in various choirs at Benedictine, as well as leading the a cappella group. Outside of singing, she loves to read, go for walks, play board games, spend time with family and friends, and cheer on the Kansas City Chiefs with her fiancé, Kyle.

Abby Helt is in her fourth season with Te Deum. Abby is currently teaching third grade at St. Ann Catholic School. She graduated from Kansas State University with a Bachelor of Music Education degree. 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 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 and friends.

Micah Horton is excited to return to Te Deum for his fifth season with the choir. He teaches choir at Olathe North High School and serves as the Director of Worship Music at Second Presbyterian Church in Brookside. Micah also gigs on guitar, electric bass, and mandolin. Micah has a Master of Music Education from the UMKC Conservatory. He also holds Bachelor’s degrees in Music Composition and Psychology from Eastern Nazarene College in Quincy, Massachusetts. Micah recently served as the Resource Chair for Multicultural Perspectives for the Missouri Choral Director’s Association, and was the 2021 Prelude Award recipient for MCDA. He is a New Jersey native, proud dad & partner, and a Philadelphia sports fan.

Jeff Jasperson is grateful to be singing with Te Deum for a fourth 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. From 2017-2019, Jeff was a director of the spring choral variety show Encore at Free State High School in Lawrence. He is the tenor section leader of the Trinity Lutheran Church Choir in Mission, Kansas, and works as a paraeducator at Shawnee Mission North High School. Jeff and his fiancée Kayla live in south Kansas City with their golden retriever, Berkeley. In his spare time, Jeff enjoys taking Berkeley on walks, distance running, honing his cooking skills, watching the Chiefs, Jayhawks, Royals, Sporting KC, and KC Current, and attempting to win his fantasy football league.

Kristen Johnson has been singing her heart out since before she could join the church and school choirs as a child. She played violin through high school, even though it meant skipping lunch to also sing in the concert choir. During college, Kristen fell in love with the Anglican choral tradition singing for Dr. Arnold Epley in William Jewell’s concert choir, then spent a year abroad cycling to Evensong services all over Cambridge. Kristen has been a soprano in the Grace & Holy Trinity Cathedral choir since 2005, singing under Canon John Schaefer and Dr. Paul Meier. She is thrilled to begin singing again after the great pandemic-induced pause in choral singing. By day, Kristen is an attorney practicing administrative and regulatory law in the Environmental, Energy, Mining, and Transportation division at Stinson. She enjoys gardening, yoga, dancing, and spending spare time with her husband and three children.

Julia Kasten is excited to be singing her third season with Te Deum! A recent graduate from the UMKC Conservatory, she has a Bachelor of Music in both Vocal Performance and Music Theory. Julia works as a church musician and sings with Kantorei KC and the Tallgrass Chamber Choir. 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 was a member of  Te Deum Chamber Choir from 2010-2020 and is glad to be back. In prior years she has performed with numerous ensembles, including Fine Arts Chorale, Te Deum Antiqua, and Kansas City’s Puccini Fest. 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.

Nanette Kraus is at her musical best when collaborating with others as a pianist and singer. From accompanying musicians at KU, Emporia State University, and Baker University, to school and honor choirs in Kansas and Missouri, from musical theater productions to church, synagogue and community choirs, Nanette enjoys working with each age and stage in the musical process. She currently assists the next generation of singers at Liberty High School and the lifelong learners of the Liberty Community Chorus. Nanette sings alto and serves on the board of Te Deum Chamber Choir, and volunteers at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. A native Kansan, Nanette earned degrees from Bethany College and the University of Kansas and resides in the Northland with her husband Brian.

Ryan Layton is a teacher, singer, conductor, and collaborative pianist. Ryan currently serves as assistant choir director at Blue Springs High School and director of music at Barry Christian Church. He previously taught at Marshall High School (MO) and worked with the Choral Arts Alliance of Missouri, serving as conductor of the Columbia Chamber Choir and assistant director/accompanist of the Columbia Chorale. Additionally, he has accompanied numerous school, community, and honor choirs and conference reading sessions. Ryan is the KC Metro district representative and coordinator of the state sight-singing bee for the Missouri Choral Directors Association. He earned a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Music Education from the University of Missouri (2018) and recently started coursework for a Master of Music Education at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Ryan is an avid New York Times crossword solver, devoted Kansas City and Mizzou sports fan, and reluctant runner.

Ann Marzette 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 accompanies several KHS high school students for district and state music contest. Prior to teaching at KMS, Ann served as the vocal music teacher at Marshall High School (Missouri) for four years. Outside the music realm, Ann works at Anthropologie to support her dress addiction. She also runs a pie side hustle: Easy As Pie KC.

Nicole Murray is delighted to be singing with Te Deum for a sixth season. She also enjoys 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 a member of the choral faculty at William Jewell College, and performs with their Cardinalis ensemble. 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.

Colin Riley joined Te Deum in 2019 after arriving in the KC area 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 the Senior Director of Development Engineering for Rondo Energy, an energy storage company, 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 with his wife and two daughters.

Sarah Schulte is excited to be singing with Te Deum for a third season! She is currently in her second year as director of choirs at Park Hill South High School, and was previously the assistant director of choirs at Blue Springs South High School. She graduated from the University of Missouri in 2018 with a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Music Education, Summa Cum Laude. While there, Sarah was active with the University Singers and Show-Me Opera programs, singing abroad in China, Sweden, and Estonia. In addition to teaching in Park Hill, Sarah has previously sung as a section leader in St. Paul’s Episcopal Choir and with the Kansas City Symphony Chorus. Sarah loves hiking, house plants, craft beer, and her dog, Ollie!

Ben Wheeler joined Te Deum in 2021. He learned to love music as a Suzuki trained violinist under Alice Joy Lewis in Ottawa, Kansas from age 4 through 18. He has a Bachelor of Music in Music Theater from Oklahoma City University, where he studied with vocal teacher Larry Keller. He sang for 2 seasons with Light Opera Oklahoma in Tulsa and has performed in many musicals and operas in school and community theaters in Kansas and Oklahoma. He had a blast singing with the Central Standard Barbershop Chorus in KC from 2017-2019. He enjoys volleyball, skiing, live music, and racking up wins with his crew of fully grown adults on Call of Duty.

Bailey C. Wilkerson joins Te Deum for her first season. She earned her Bachelor of Music in Vocal Music Education from the University of Missouri-Columbia. While there she sang with Hitt Street Harmony, University Singers, and the Bach Collegium Choir under the direction of R. Paul Crabb. As a soloist, she has appeared with the Southside Philharmonic Orchestra under Patrick Clark and at various churches around Missouri. She loves using her camera, baking from a box, and sing-along living room performances of the Wiggles with her toddler.