Jill Stewart, Chorus Director, has been a member of the Blinn College Music Faculty since 1997 where she currently serves as Instrumental Music Coordinator and teaches applied clarinet and Sight Singing for freshmen and sophomore music majors. Jill received her Bachelor of Music in Clarinet Performance, Texas All-Level Teaching Certification in Music and Master of Music in Clarinet Performance degrees from Texas Tech University where she studied with Dr. Robert Walzel. She was a member of the Lubbock Symphony from 1993-1997 and has been Principle Clarinetist with the Brazos Valley Symphony Orchestra since 1999. She has also performed with the Abilene Philharmonic, The Roswell Symphony, the San Angelo Symphony, the Big Spring Symphony and numerous chamber and pit orchestras across Texas. Jill has also taught music classes for infants and mothers at St. Mary's in Brenham and Karussell Kids at Alton Elementary School. She lives in Brenham with her husband Brian who is Director of Bands for Giddings ISD and their two daughters, Allison and Paige.
Jennifer Patrick (Theatre Director of Brenham Broadway Kids) is thrilled to be returning for another year with Brenham Broadway Kids. She began working with BCC as Set and Lighting Designer for Honk! Jr. She has now directed musicals for the BBK & BCC for the past 12 years. She is currently an adjunct theatre instructor at Blinn College. She designs costumes and hair/make-up for all the Blinn productions. Jennifer has loved being a part of the Blinn Faculty Showcases as an actor: Steel Magnolias and Arsenic & Old Lace; and as a director: Greater Tuna, The Odd Couple and The Island of Dr. Moreau. She has also designed costumes for Unity Theatre. Some of her previous designs at Unity include: On Golden Pond, Harvey, Taming of the Shrew, Sander's Family Christmas, The Christmas Schooner, and The Odd Couple. Her passion for theatre crosses into her church life as well. She is the Director of Student Ministries at the First United Methodist Church. Performing is a family affair for the Patrick family. Her daughters Mollie and Rylie have enjoyed their time in the BCC and the BBK. They now help as interns and sing with Encore. Her son Maxwell is beginning his first year in the BCC. Mrs. Patrick has a BFA in Theatre from Southwestern University in Georgetown, TX and an MFA in the Theatre Design from the University of North Carolina in Greensboro.
Julie Steen, Singenspiel Director, Chorus Assistant Director, is a Houston Baptist University Graduate with majors in Art, Physical Education and Psychology. She has over 25 years of teaching all ages in private and public school in a variety of subjects. Ms. Steen has had a variety of musical performance experiences. While attending HBU, she was a member of FOCUS, the school's traveling musical ministry team. She spent two years with the North American Baptist Conference's musical ministry team, New Day, touring throughout the USA and Canada. She has worked with ensembles at Houston's First Baptist Church, directed children's ensembles and productions at various churches, and worked as music coordinator and leader at summer camps and Bible schools. She is currently the Theatre Arts teacher at Brenham Junior High School. Julie has been with the Brenham Children's Chorus since its organization. All three of her children have been charter members of the different choirs with the Chorus: Children's Chorus, BBK, Singenspiel and Bravo (now Encore).
Kara Freeman, Chorus Assistant Director, graduated from the University of Texas at Arlington with a Bachelor of Arts in English/Elementary Education. She has been an educator in public and private schools since 1998. Mrs. Freeman is currently the Assistant Theatre Arts Director at Brenham High School. She has had a variety of vocal performance experience including church ministry, collegiate, community and professional. Mrs. Freeman is married to Jeff Freeman and together they have three sons. Mrs. Freeman has been a part of Brenham Children’s Chorus since 2010.
Amy Bentke, Choreographer, former owner of Aspirations Gymnastics and Dance Studio, Mrs. Bentke has been dancing since the age of two and a half years of age and teaching since she was thirteen. A native of Brenham, she has extensive choreography experience with church and school musicals and programs. In addition to working with the Brenham Children's Chorus, Mrs. Bentke has worked as a choreographer for school musicals at the Brenham High School and Brenham Christian Academy. She has also assisted in choreography for the Brenham Maifest Coronations.
Amy Schramm, Accompanist and Encore Director, a native of Brenham graduated from Prairie View A & M University with a Bachelor of Arts in Vocal Performance. She and her husband Aaron are members of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Brenham where she is the parish administrator and member of the choir. She has been involved on and off stage in several Unity Theatre shows and sings with the Brenham Choral Society. Amy is happy to return to the Chorus as the principal accompanist and is the director of Encore.
Deidra Mearns, Karussell Kids Teacher, teaches music classes to children ranging in age from 12 months through 4th grade at St. Paul’s Christian Day School. She is the coordinator/director of the school's various programs and musical theatre productions throughout the year. “Mrs. Deidra” co-owned a gymnastics and dance studio for 28 years; and she has been involved in community theatre, church choirs as director and cantor, director of children's choirs and liturgical movement troupes. She enjoys working with all ages: choreography for weddings, adult Country and Western dance classes, choreography for Maifest coronations, and choreography for Brenham High School Musicals and Unity Theatre. "Mrs. Deidra" loves to go to the ballet, the movies, musicals and Christian concerts.
Kimberly Steen, Singenspiel Intern, is a graduate from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor with an Education major. Kimberly was a charter member of the Brenham Children’s Chorus and Brenham Broadway Kids. She graduated from the Chorus in 2009. Kimberly enjoyed her time as a Chorus member and will always appreciate the positive impact the staff had on her life. She is excited to be able to work with Singenspiel and be a part of such an amazing organization again.
Pam Bennett Young, Founding Artistic Director, has many years of experience in vocal music as a performer, voice teacher and choral director. A graduate of the Baylor University School of Music, she has performed in a variety of venues from musical theatre at Stages in Houston and Unity Theatre in Brenham to classical halls in South America and commercial recording studios in the United States. Among her favorite productions are the many years of "Pageant: A Christmas Spectacular" in which she performed, but perhaps her favorite role was that of the Cheshire Cat in Unity Theatre's Alice in Wonderland. Pam retired from BCC after 15 years and recently retired from teaching public school music after 39 years of service. The high school choirs under her direction received sweepstakes ratings each year, and she is the founding director of elementary chorus programs in several public school districts. While her last twenty years of teaching were spent at Krause Elementary School in Brenham, she has taught music in such diverse locations as the fifth ward in Houston to the island of Java in Indonesia. Pam loves to sing and loves combining the unique timbres of individual voices to create one glorious, soul-unifying work of art which will never be repeated exactly the same way again. Pam has been married to her childhood sweetheart, Bob Young, for 42 years and has two sons.
Rosellyn McIver, Administrative Manager, Bookkeeper for the Brenham Children’s Chorus, has directed children’s church choirs in Arkansas, West Virginia, and San Antonio. From 1996 - 2012, she served on the Board of Directors and the Executive Board of the Parents’ Auxiliary of The Children’s Chorus of San Antonio. Rosellyn taught and directed private schools in Early Childhood Education in New Orleans, Arkansas, West Virginia, and San Antonio, Texas. She is currently a soprano member of the choir at Brenham Presbyterian Church. Rosellyn has 3 grown daughters and two granddaughters. She loves being a part of the Chorus family.
Chris Dougan, Administrative Assistant is the mother of three very busy children. Music is a big part of family life at the Dougan house. Her daughter, Colleen is a founding member of both the Brenham Children’s Chorus and Brenham Broadway Kids. Chris enjoys working in the office of the Brenham Children’s Chorus and being a part of the success, it brings to all the choristers.