Emily Edgington Andrews – Artistic Director and Girls Choir and Canta Bella Conductor
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. Emily joined the music faculty at the University of Missouri in 2015 teaching adjunct in the Choral Department. This year her role has expanded to also include the Coordinator of Community Music Outreach, where she will serve as a community liaison for the MU School of Music.
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.
Additionally, this fall she will also teach courses and conduct at Stephens College as a Visiting Guest Artist. 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.).
Christine Nichols – Choristers Conductor
Christine Nichols, mezzo-soprano, just finished her first year teaching middle school music in the Columbia Public School district. She holds a dual Master of Music in Voice Performance and Choral Conducting, as well as a Bachelor of Science degree in Vocal Music Education, from the University of Missouri. Performances include scenes programs and full stage productions with the University’s Show-Me Opera Program. With the Show-Me Opera Program, she sang the role of the sassy Dorabella in Mozart’s Così fan tutte. For two summers, Christine was part of the Janiec Opera Company at the Brevard Music Festival, where she performed in several opera productions and scenes. In 2012 she was selected as a winner of the Emerging Artists Competition and also won the regional division of the Classical Singer Competition. She has soloed in Handel’s Messiah, J. Michael Haydn’s Missa Sancti Hieronymi, Bach’s Gottes Zeit ist die allerbeste Zeit, and Vivaldi’s Magnificat,RV610.
An accomplished pianist, Christine has accompanied various choral ensembles around the Columbia area and also serves as pianist and music director at New Horizons United Methodist Church. Starting in the fall, she will begin working with the Columbia Youth Chorus as both a conductor and an accompanist.
Jazz Rucker – Boys Choir Conductor
Jazz Rucker is the Director of Vocal Arts at Battle High School. He received his Bachelors of Science in Music Education under Dr. Wendy Sims, Dr. Marci Major, Ms. Ann Harrell and Dr. Paul Crabb. Élan was co-founded by Jazz and he is the Artistic Director of the ensemble. He is also the director of choirs at First Presbyterian Church of Columbia. Mr. Rucker has performed as the title role in Frank Wilhorn’s Dracula and Seaweed in Hairspray. Jazz also played a few operatic roles during his collegiate career. He was Maestro Spinelloccio in Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi, 2nd Priest in Mozart’s The Magic Flute and Dr. Falke in Strauss’s Die Fledermaus all apart of the Show-Me Opera program. He started his public school teaching career with Columbia Public Schools as the Music Specialist at Lange Middle School in the fall of 2011 and is thrilled to be starting
Columbia Youth Choirs. Jazz actively serves as a clinician and guest conductor for all types of ensembles.
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
Robin strives to reach as many people as she can through as many forms of music as possible. She serves as adjunct music faculty for Columbia College, runs a private voice and piano studio, is music director for Bethel Baptist Church, and board member for Odyssey Chamber Music Series. She is an active clinician and performer throughout Missouri, and is business manager, soprano, and founding member of Élan Singers, a 12-member professional choral ensemble that performs throughout the state. She has appeared as a soloist and ensemble member for various companies, including the University Concert Series, Show-Me Opera, Columbia Entertainment Company, and Talking Horse Productions. Music directing and performance credits include The Merry Widow, Dracula: The Musical, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, The Drowsy Chaperone, Annie, The Little Mermaid, Shrek the Musical, and Songs for a New World.
Robin holds a masters degree in music education from the University of Missouri – Columbia, where she graduated summa cum laude. When not performing or teaching, she is an avid blogger, coffee bean roaster, and hula-hoop dancer.
Levi Gerke – Choristers and Boys Choir Pianist
Levi Gerke is a junior studying Vocal and Piano Performance at Central Methodist University in Fayette, MO. As a pianist, Levi accompanies the Church Street Boys men’s chorus at CMU, in addition to working with various instrumental and vocal students. He has also served as pianist for Fayette Area Community Theatre’s last two summer productions: Company andAnnie. With the CMU Opera Workshop, he has performed the roles of Strephon in Iolanthe, Buff in The Impresario, and the title character in Le nozze di Figaro. Levi has placed in regional, statewide, and area vocal competitions, including a first place Kansas City NATS award in February 2014. His current teachers are Dr. Susan Quigley-Duggan (voice) and Dr. Melissa Loehnig (piano).