Te Deum concert


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.

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 starting his fourth season with Te Deum Chamber Choir and his second season with Te Deum Antiqua. Kyle teaches choir at Indian Hills Middle School. He graduated from Emporia State University with a dual degree in vocal and instrumental music education. 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. Locally, Kyle has sung with several choirs, including Spire and The Ancora Chorale.

Andrew Cunard is in his seventh season with Te Deum Chamber Choir. In 2010, Andrew graduated 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 has sung with several 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 Production Partner at Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation.

Katherine Dick is delighted to sing her fourth season with Te Deum. In 2014, she received her 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 the opera/theatre productions of Into the Woods and La Bohème. She performed the roles of Mariane in Kirke Mechem’s Tartuffe, Micaëla in Peter Brook’s La tragedies de Carmen, and Juliet in She&Her’s production of Romeo and Juliet. Most recently, Katherine portrayed Francesca in Theatre Lawrence’s production of The Bridges of Madison County. Katherine spends her weekdays with upper elementary students at Raintree Montessori in Lawrence, Kansas. She co-teaches musical theatre classes at the Lawrence Arts Center and sings at Westport Presbyterian Church. On weekends, she brunches.

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 is a graduate of the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance, where she earned both bachelor and master of music degrees in vocal performance. She has performed with the Kansas City Civic Opera, the Lyric Opera of Kansas City, The Ancora Chorale, KC VITAs Chamber Choir, and serves as a choral scholar at historic St. Mary’s Episcopal Church. Joanna is a founding member of Ignea Strata, a new vocal quartet hailed as Kansas City’s answer to the Anonymous 4. She works as a recovery interventionist for the Independence School District. Joanna is an accomplished equestrian and freelance writer who enjoys the outdoors and traveling with her family.

Ken Foley is in his first 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.

Rupal Gupta is thrilled to be a part of the talented Te Deum for her second season. She studied voice with Alan Wagner at West Chester University and Marsha Vleck at Harvard University. She has performed in the Harvard-Radcliffe Collegium Musicum and Chamber Singers, the Harvard University Festival Choir, the Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia, Delaware Choral Arts, and most recently CoroAllegro of Delaware. A practicing board-certified pediatrician, Rupal serves as Medical Director of Children’s Mercy Hospital’s Operation Breakthrough clinic, and is passionate about health literacy, advocacy, and early childhood education. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in History and Science at Harvard and her medical degree at University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Rupal resides in Leawood with her husband and two children and is active with her family in Chinmaya Mission Kansas City, a Hindu spiritual movement which encourages inner growth and happiness.

Nick Gillock is thrilled to be in his third season with Te Deum Chamber Choir. He completed his Bachelor of Music Education from Kansas State University, graduating in December of 2014. Currently, he is the choral director at Indian Trail Middle School in the Olathe school district. At KSU he studied voice with Prof. Dale Ganz and Dr. Bryan Pinkall, and choral studies with Dr. Julie Yu and Dr. Joshua Oppenheim. He performed with the KSU Concert Choir and Men’s Choir as well as opera productions. When not singing, Nick enjoys hanging out with friends and cheering on Sporting KC and the KSU Wildcats!

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 that Julia will be singing with Kantorei KC. Outside of music, Julia loves her cats, Disney, and traveling.

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 assists the music teams at Liberty High School and Liberty Community Chorus, and creates rehearsal tracks for choirs including Kansas City Youth Chorus and East Tennessee State University. In addition to Te Deum, she also 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 boards of Te Deum, Inc. and Northland New Neighbors League, 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 (Missouri) for four years. Outside the music realm, Ann works at Anthropologie to support her dress addiction. She also enjoys baking and spending time with friends and family.

Nicole Murray 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 the director of the Chapel Choir at William Jewell College, and 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. This is her first season with Te Deum. 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 the world’s best roller coasters.

Victoria Olson received her Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Nebraska at Omaha where she studied both choral and music education. While there, she served as section leader at Kountze Memorial Lutheran Church, sang in the community chamber ensemble Madrigali et al, and performed regularly with ensembles in the greater Omaha area. Victoria recently completed her Master of Music at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance. While completing her Artist Certificate, Victoria has been an active collaborator with ensembles such as Te Deum, Antiqua, Kantorei KC and Spire. In 2017, she made her international debut as the soprano soloist for the Mozart Requiem with the Varna International Opera Company in Stara Zagora, Bulgaria. Victoria is a versatile artist with experience in both traditional and new music, but she specializes in music of the Baroque era with particular interest in cantatas, oratorios, and works for small chamber ensembles.

Sydney Seratte teaches music at Citizens of the World Charter School in Kansas City, Missouri. Prior to joining the team at CWC, she served as general music teacher 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 numerous university choirs and vocal recitals. Her teachers have included Janeal Krehbiel, Cathy Crispino, Dr. Charles Robinson, Dr. Ryan Board, Dr. Aidan Soder, Debra Raffety, and Patrice Sollenberger. Sydney teaches Simply Music piano lessons in the Kansas City area and holds a master’s degree in education from MidAmerica Nazarene University. She is currently pursuing a Master of Music Education at UMKC. She loves Midtown Kansas City, house plants, vegetarian food, and her cat, Del.

Sarah Sheldon is excited to join Te Deum for her first 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.