CYC Artistic Staff

Emily Edgington Andrews – CAAM Artistic Director and Girls’ Choir and Columbia Conservatory Chorus Conductor

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Long an advocate for quality musical arts in the community, Emily Edgington Andrews is extremely active in Columbia, working with children and adults at every level of their musical development.

In 2013 Emily was appointed Artistic Director for the Columbia Chorale, and under her baton has helped to expand the organization, now entering its 38th season, to include more than 350 singers, ten staff members, and eleven choral ensembles.  Under the new umbrella title Choral Arts Alliance of Missouri, the organization includes Columbia Youth Choirs, an all-inclusive community youth choir program serving children in grades 2-12 in seven ensembles; Columbia Chorale, the non-auditioned community ensemble; Columbia Chamber Choir, an auditioned community chamber ensemble; Columbia Community Gospel Choir; and Prometheus, the permanent professional Artists-in-Residence. Emily serves as the Assistant Conductor for Prometheus: An American Vocal Consort, managing the ensemble and assisting in conducting the highly sought-after twelve-member professional ensemble.

Emily joined the music faculty at the University of Missouri in 2015 teaching and conducting in the Choral Department. This year her role has expanded to also include the Director of Community Music Outreach, where she serves as a community liaison for the MU School of Music. She also teaches and conducts at Stephens College as a Visiting Guest Artist in their Performing Arts program. In addition to her work at the collegiate level, Emily enters her eighth year as one of the vocal music teachers at Columbia Independent School, the city’s only non-sectarian college preparatory campus, conducting two of the six ensembles for students in grades 4-12. This upcoming year marks Emily’s eleventh year as conductor at the historic Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Columbia, MO, where she maintains a thriving music program, conducting the 45-member Adult Choir of volunteer and paid musicians.

Emily regularly serves as a guest clinician and adjudicator, and is the former Northeast Missouri High School Choral Vice-President. She is an active member of the American Choral Directors Association and the Missouri Music Educators Association. Emily received her degrees in Music at Truman State University, Kirksville, Missouri (B.A.; M.A.) and at the University of Missouri (M.M.).

Emily is blessed with two beautiful children and an incredibly supportive husband.


Christine Nichols – Choristers Conductor

Christine Jarquio Nichols is an active music educator, singer, conductor, and pianist in Columbia.  In addition to teaching middle school vocal music full-time, Christine maintains a private voice and piano studio in Columbia, as well as directs Choristers of CYC.  She enjoys having time to sing in three professional choral chamber ensembles: Prometheus, Vox Nova (of which she is the Artistic Director), and Pro-Arte of Saint Louis.  Christine also has the privilege of collaborating with Columbia area musicians as a guest soloist on occasion.  She and husband Jay, with their dogs Elly and Oliver, love living in Columbia, where the fine arts culture is thriving and nature is close to home.  Christine holds a dual Master of Music in Voice Performance and Choral Conducting, as well as a Bachelor of Science in Vocal Music Education from the University of Missouri.


James W. Melton – Boys Choir Conductor

James W. Melton currently serves as the Director of Fine Arts for Columbia Public Schools in Columbia MO.  He helps to administer and over see the K-12 fine art course offerings in music, art and theater for this dynamic district.  Previously he was the Vocal Music Instructor at West Junior High School in Columbia, Missouri.  Mr. Melton holds a BS in Music Education from the University of Missouri and a Masters Degree in Education from Lindenwood University. Mr. Melton began teaching in 2001, his students have participated in regional and statewide honors choirs and routinely receive top ratings at vocal competitions. In the summer of 2005, he received the “Prelude” Award from the Missouri Choral Directors Association, labeling him one of the outstanding young directors in the state of Missouri. In the fall of 2009 Mr. Melton received his National Board Certification (Early Adolescence thru Young Adulthood).  This process identifies highly qualified teachers and marks him as the first music teacher in the district to receive this distinction. Mr. Melton had the pleasure of directing Singer Select for its debut performance at the Missouri Music Educators Conference in January of 2011and again in 2013. Mr. Melton is an active member of the Missouri Music Educators Association, both the State and National American Choral Directors Association, and a proud member of the National Education Association. He is the proud husband of Lori Melton and father to daughter Addison (current member of CYC) who constantly puts up with his need to spend time making beautiful music with people of all ages!


Elizabeth Tummons – Primo Choir Conductor

Elizabeth Tummons, from Columbia, Missouri, received her undergraduate degree in music education and master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of Missouri, Columbia, Kodaly Levels I, II & III. Certification from Evangel University, and Orff Level I from Evangel University. She has enjoyed teaching k–12 music or band classes in Missouri for the past sixteen years and currently teaches K-5 at Lee Expressive Arts Elementary School in Columbia, Missouri.  Mrs. Tummons also enjoys conducting the Primo choir (second an third grade) in Columbia youth choirs as well as hosting the university music education majors for their Teaching Music Field Experience in Elementary Music.

Elizabeth lives with her husband, John and two beautiful, funny children, Sam and Sadie, in Rocheport, Missouri.


Robin Anderson – Singcopation Conductor and Primo Choir Pianist

Robin’s diverse career has included appointments as Coordinator of Community Programs and Entrepreneurship for the University of Missouri School of Music, board member / secretary of Odyssey Chamber Music Series, coordinator of the international Plowman Chamber Music Competition, producer / performer for the new works showcase Strange New Worlds, and middle school choral director for Columbia Public Schools. She currently serves as music director for Bethel Baptist Church and PACE children’s theater, pianist and conductor for Columbia Youth Choirs, and teaches adjunct music courses for Columbia College.

An avid stage performer, her recent performing and directing credits include Woman 1 in Songs for a New World and Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme in Assassins, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, The Drowsy Chaperone, Annie, The Little Mermaid, Shrek the Musical, and Legally Blonde. 

She holds a Master’s degree in Music Education from the University of Missouri – Columbia, where she graduated summa cum laude, and recently completed a professional Certificate in Arts Management from the University of Massachusetts – Amherst Arts Extension Service. Today, she regularly appears with The Upsides, a 4-person Americana band that performs regionally. She also manages a large independent studio of private vocalists and pianists, where she sets developing performers on their own coming-of-age musical journeys. 


Colin Knoth – Columbia Conservatory Chorus Assistant Conductor

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Colin Knoth was born and raised in Springfield, Missouri, where he attended Kickapoo High School and Evangel University. While at Evangel, he was an active member of the University Chorale, Chorus, and Concert Choir and served as president of the latter for two years. Colin played multiple roles in the Evangel music department’s opera and musical theater programs, as well as several roles in the community. He also sang with the Springfield Mid-America Singers for one year. Colin has had experience teaching students of all ages, from Kindergarten to the collegiate level. For two years he was an assistant conductor for the Boys Choir of Springfield—a community boys chorus for unchanged voices, grades 2-6. After graduating from Evangel in 2013 with a degree in Vocal Music Education, he moved to Columbia to pursue a Master’s degree in Choral Conducting at the University of Missouri under the direction of Dr. Paul Crabb. He sang with the University Singers and co-directed the Mizzou Concert Chorale for the duration of his Master’s program. After graduating in May of 2016, Colin obtained his first teaching position at Columbia Independent School, directing four choirs in grades 6-12. In addition to CIS, Colin serves as the assistant conductor at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Columbia. He is excited to be joining the Missouri Symphony Society this season and working in collaboration with MOSS and the Choral Arts Alliance of Missouri in bringing a positive choral music experience to the youth of Columbia and the surrounding area.


Audra Sergel – Sincopation, Girls’ Choir, and Columbia Conservatory Chorus Pianist

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Audra Sergel (collaborative pianist) teaches voice and piano in her private studio, Sergel Music Studio. She is a ballet accompanist at Columbia Performing Arts Center, and also accompanies for choirs at Bethel Church and Columbia Youth Choirs. She served as faculty at Stephens College for five years and has musically directed numerous productions, collaborating with the MU Department of Theater, Okoboji Summer Theater, TRYPS Institute at Stephens College, and The Big Muddy Opera Company. An active performer, Ms. Sergel sings with the Joel Anderson Jazz Ensemble and is a house musician at the Wine Cellar and Bistro. Ms. Sergel co-wrote the musical, “Starting with My Voice,” with colleague and friend, Trent Rash, which was accepted and featured in the Chicago Musical Theater Festival in 2014 and continues to actively compose for musical theaters and choral ensembles. 

For lessons, booking and info, visit www.AudraSergel.com


Ryan Layton – Choristers Pianist

Ryan Layton, bass-baritone, is a junior at the University of Missouri where he is pursuing a Bachelor of Music in vocal music education. At Mizzou, he has performed with the Concert Chorale, Hitt Street Harmony, and the University Singers under the baton of Dr. R. Paul Crabb. As a pianist, Ryan accompanies the Choristers of Columbia Youth Choirs in addition to collaborating with several MU voice students. He serves as Vice President of the Zeta Chapter of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia and is a member of the American Choral Directors Association and National Association for Music Education–Collegiate. Ryan studies voice with Dr. Steven B. Jepson.