Cynthia Nott, Artistic Director, Prelude and Concert I Conductor, email
Linda Harley, Associate Conductor, Concert II Conductor, email
Terrie Preskitt-Brown, Apprentice Chorus Conductor, email
Nora Henson, Youth Chorus Conductor , email
Kelly Pfaffenberger, Women’s Youth Chorus Conductor, email
Merily Songe, WDCS and SMC Neighborhood Choruses Conductor, email
Jason Dove, Youth Chorus Rehearsal Assistant
Alan Dyer, Prelude, Concert I, and Neighborhood Chorus Accompanist
James C. Emery, Concert II Accompanist
Michael Chandler, Apprentice Accompanist
James W. Loeffler,Women's Youth Chorus Accompanist
Henry McDowell, Youth Chorus Accompanist
Chris Collins, Executive Director, email
Susan Tomlinson, Chorus Administrator, email
Mary Duncan, Business Administrator, email
Pat Morris, Chorus Manager
Kevin Morris, Assistant Chorus Manager
Cynthia Nott, Artistic Director, Prelude and Concert I Conductor
Cynthia Nott has been Artistic Director of the Children’s Chorus of Greater Dallas since 1997. Under her leadership, the Chorus has grown dramatically, earned the respect of the Dallas area music community, and impressed audiences by its artistic excellence. In addition to its own concert schedule, Ms. Nott has prepared the Chorus to perform with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, the Dallas Opera, the Mesquite Civic Chorus, Orpheus Chamber Singers, and the Voices of Change. Prior to becoming full-time Artistic Director of the CCGD, Ms. Nott taught public middle school choral music for twenty-three years.
Ms. Nott has been actively involved in a wide range of professional choral activities. She has served as clinician and consultant for music teachers, conductors, and singers throughout the United States. She has appeared as guest conductor for All-Region and All-State choirs.
Ms. Nott earned the Bachelor of Music Education from Florida State University and a Master of Music in Choral Conducting from Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX. She holds affiliations with the American Choral Directors Association and the Texas Music Educators Association.
Linda Harley, Associate Conductor, Concert II Conductor
Linda Harley joined CCGD in the fall of 1999 as Assistant Conductor. She is currently the Associate Conductor of the Chorus and the conductor of Concert II. In addition, she is the coordinator and director of the CCGD summer music camps.
Following a career in public school choral music, Mrs. Harley served on the staff of Canyon Creek Presbyterian Church as Director of Children’s Music and as Music Specialist for its Discovery School. She has served in the music ministry of First Baptist Church (Richardson, TX) and is currently on the music staff at Park Cities Baptist Church. She is a certified Orff-Schulwerk specialist, a contributing writer for the Macmillan/McGraw-Hill Music Education Program, and often serves as guest clinician and adjudicator for area choral competitions.
Mrs. Harley earned the Bachelor of Music Education and Master of Music degrees from the University of Texas. She is affiliated with Texas Music Educators Association, Texas Choral Directors Association, American Choral Directors Association, and the Choristers Guild.
Terrie Preskitt-Brown, Apprentice Chorus Conductor
Terrie Preskitt-Brown joined CCGD in 2003 as Assistant Conductor. Mrs. Preskitt-Brown conducts the Apprentice Chorus and assists with Concert II. She is the Associate Director of Music & Arts at Highland Park UMC where her duties include coordinating the children’s music program, handbells and serving as a voice instructor for the TowerArts Conservatory. She is also the Assistant Music Director of Project Eve, a professional women's chamber choir. Previously, she taught elementary music at Hillside Academy for seven years. Mrs. Preskitt-Brown has been the soprano section leader for the Orpheus Chamber Singers since its inception. A private vocal instructor, she has coached more than thirty students to TMEA All-State Choirs, three of whom have been YCGD members. She has sung as a soloist in recitals, concerts and oratorios around the United States, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, England and Italy.
Mrs. Preskitt-Brown earned the Bachelor of Music Education and the Bachelor of Vocal Performance from Texas Christian University (magna cum laude). She is a Level III-certified Orff-Schulwerk instructor and utilizes this philosophy in her teaching.
Nora Henson, Youth Chorus Conductor
Nora Henson joined CCGD in 2004 as Youth Chorus conductor. For twenty-seven years, Ms. Henson taught choral music to sixth-through-twelfth-grade students in Texas public schools. From 1990–2003, she was the choral director at Plano Senior High School. PSHS groups under her direction were invited to perform for the American Choral Directors Association and the Texas Music Educators Association. Her choirs were awarded “Best in Class” in festivals in Texas, Florida, Colorado, California, Nevada, and Tennessee. Ms. Henson has served as soloist and section leader in several Dallas area churches and was a charter member of the Dallas Bach Society. She has served as guest conductor of Orpheus Chamber Singers, Schola Cantorum of Fort Worth, and Aria Chamber Chorus. She serves as clinician and consultant for music teachers, conductors, and singers throughout the United States. Ms. Henson is now a guidance counselor at Plano Senior High School.
Ms. Henson earned the Bachelor of Music Education from the University of Oklahoma and a Master of Arts in Conducting, under Dr. B. R. Henson, from Sam Houston State University. Her professional affiliations include the American Choral Directors Association, Texas Music Educators Association, Texas Music Adjudicators Association, and honorary fraternities Pi KappaLambda and Delta Kappa Gamma.
Kelly Pfaffenberger, Women’s Youth Chorus Conductor
Kelly Pfaffenberger joined CCGD in 2009 as Women’s Youth Chorus conductor. For fifteen years, she was a choral music educator in the Richardson, Plano, and Carrollton/Farmers Branch school districts. During her tenure as choral director of Creekview High School in Carrollton (1998–2006), the choir program grew from 60 members in its charter year to 180 members and her A Cappella Women’s Chorus was chosen as a featured choir for the 2002 Southwestern Division Convention of ACDA. In addition, her choirs consistently received Sweepstakes ratings at UIL Contests and “Best in Class” distinction from festivals in Texas, Colorado, and Washington, DC. Mrs. Pfaffenberger frequently serves as an adjudicator, clinician, and accompanist to choir programs in the Metroplex. She is currently the pianist for First Baptist Church, Farmers Branch, TX.
Mrs. Pfaffenberger earned the Bachelor of Music Education from Hardin-Simmons University and a Master of Music in choral conducting from the University of North Texas. During her studies at UNT, she served as the director of the UNT Men’s Choir and the UNT Women’s Chorus. Her professional affiliations include: Texas Music Educators Association; Texas Music Adjudicators Association; American Choral Directors Association; Texas Choral Directors Association; and the honorary fraternity, Pi Kappa Lambda.
Merily Songe, WDCS and SMC Neighborhood Choruses Conductor
Merily Songe joined CCGD in 2009 and now serves as Neighborhood Chorus Conductor in west Dallas through St. Mary of Carmel Catholic School and the West Dallas Community School. She also serves as a rehearsal assistant with Prelude and Concert I. She is currently a violin instructor in the DSO’s Young Strings program; a teaching artist in the DSO’s Link Up program; assistant director of music at Christ the King Roman Catholic Church; and music teacher at Cliff Temple Baptist Church in Dallas.
Mrs. Songe is a native of Estonia. She began her music education at the age of five in piano and violin at the Tartu Music School (Tartu, Estonia). She continued her studies at the Heino Eller Music School (Tartu, Estonia) in choral conducting and music education. She earned the Bachelor of Arts in Choral Conducting from the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre (Tallinn, Estonia).
Jason Dove, Youth Chorus Rehearsal Assistant
Jason Dove joined CCGD as rehearsal assistant in 2004. Since 1996, he has been a public school music teacher. He is currently the head choir director at Marcus High School in Lewisville, TX. His choirs have received superior ratings at UIL contests and have been awarded “Best in Class” and “Best in Festival” at the American Classics Bluebonnet Music Festival in San Antonio. His students have been consistently selected to Texas All-Region Choirs and have received superior and exemplary ratings at solo and ensemble contests. Mr. Dove served as the assistant director and accompanist for the Younger Generation Chorus of Plano, Texas. Prior to moving to Texas, he served as the assistant director and accompanist for the Floyd County Children’s Choir, including performances with the Louisville Ballet. He has served as a guest clinician for various choral directors and school districts in Texas and Indiana.
Mr. Dove earned the Bachelor of Music Education from the University of Louisville with honors. He holds membership in the Texas Music Educators Association and the American Choral Directors Association.
Alan Dyer, Prelude, Concert I, and WDCS SMC Neighborhood Chorus Accompanist
Alan Dyer joined the Children’s Chorus of Greater Dallas as accompanist in 2001. He has been a choral director, performer, and music educator in the Dallas-Fort Worth area for more than twenty years. Mr. Dyer is the Founder and Artistic Director of The Texas Voices, a professional chamber chorus in Plano and the Assistant to the Director of Music at First Unitarian Church in Dallas. Mr. Dyer has performed with area groups such as the Dallas Wind Symphony, Richardson Symphony Chorus, Orpheus Chamber Singers, and the Dallas Civic Chorus. He tours with professional mezzo-soprano Debra Scroggins Sowerwine, performing in Kansas City, Dallas, Plano, and New York City.
Mr. Dyer earned the Bachelor of Arts in Piano Performance from Dallas Baptist University and the Master of Music in Piano Pedagogy from Southern Methodist University. He has completed doctoral courses at the University of North Texas. He is active in the American Choral Directors Association and the Texas Choral Directors Association.
James C. Emery, Concert II Accompanist
James C. Emery joined CCGD as Concert II accompanist in 2005. From 1999–2006, Mr. Emery served as Director of Music and Fine Arts at Tyler Street United Methodist Church (Dallas, TX). Since 2006, he has served as Director of Music and Worship at Lovers Lane United Methodist Church in Dallas, where his weekly responsibilities include three Sunday worship services, leadership of several instrumental and choral ensembles, and coordination of the Friends of Music Concert Series. Under his leadership, the congregation’s Sanctuary Choir performed at the 2009 International Haydn Festival in Vienna, Austria. Mr. Emery has partnered with numerous Dallas-area choral ensembles. In 2007, he collaborated with the late David R. Davidson on a Wesleyan hymn festival (at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center, Dallas). His choirs have also performed with: the Highland Park Presbyterian Choir (at the Eisemann Center, Richardson); the Dallas Baptist University Chorale; the choirs of Spring Valley United Methodist Church and Plymouth Park United Methodist Church; Texas Voices; the Brookhaven Chorale; and area high school choirs.
Mr. Emery earned the Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance, Piano Pedagogy and Music Education and the Master of Music in Music Education, with a concentration in choral conducting, from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas.
Michael Chandler, Apprentice Accompanist
Michael Chandler joined CCGD in 2008 as accompanist for the Apprentice Chorus. Mr. Chandler is the classroom music specialist at Valley Ridge Elementary School in Lewisville, TX. He is the director of the Valley Ridge Singers, the director of the Valley Ridge Schulwerk Ensemble, and the organist and pianist at Round Grove United Church (UCC) in Lewisville. Mr. Chandler teaches in Orff-Schulwerk certification courses at: Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX; the University of Central Arkansas in Conway, AR; and the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN. In 2005 and 2007, his student ensembles were invited to perform at the TMEA Clinic/Convention in San Antonio. He presents workshops, clinics, and sessions at the local, state, and national levels, including TMEA and AOSA (American Orff-Schulwerk Association).
Mr. Chandler earned the Bachelor of Music in music education from Union University in Jackson, TN; the Master of Music in piano performance from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville; and the Master of Arts in music education from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN. In 1997–1998, he was a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar to and studied piano privately at the Hochschule für Musik in Frankfurt, Germany. A winner of a number of competition prizes, he has performed as a concerto soloist with the North Arkansas Symphony Orchestra as well as with the University of Arkansas Chamber Orchestra. In 1999 and 2003, he was a guest performer at the Mendelssohn-Haus Musiksalon in Leipzig, Germany.
Jim Loeffler joined CCGD in 2011 as accompanist for the Women’s Youth Chorus. Mr. Loeffler is the Director of Music and Artistic Ministry at King of Glory Lutheran Church in Dallas. He also regularly accompanies student musicians throughout the Plano Independent School District. Mr. Loeffler served as Director of Music Ministry at Evangelical Lutheran Church in Frederick, Maryland for eleven years and also at numerous congregations his home state of Indiana.
Mr. Loeffler is a singer and a composer. He has sung with the Orpheus Chamber Singers and the Choral Arts Society of Washington where he sang under such notable conductors as Robert Shaw, Christopher Hogwood, Leonard Slatkin, Yuri Termikanov, Eiji Oue, composer John Adams, and vocalist Bobby McFerrin, in venues including Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, Royal Albert Hall in London and the Grand Tetons Music Festival in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Mr. Loeffler has published seven sets of organ variations with Darcey Press in the collection 83 Musical Gifts, and has composed numerous works for organ, choir, brass, handbells, and children's voices, in addition to several commissions.
Mr. Loeffler earned the Bachelor Music degree in Church Music from Valparaiso University (Valparaiso, IN) and the Master of Music degree in Choral Conducting from the University of Illinois. Mr. Loeffler's musical studies include the following: organ with Pamela Johnson, Douglas Reed, and Martin Jean; harpsichord with William Eifrig and William Heiles; conducting with Fred Stolzfus, Chester Alwes, Dennis Friesen-Carper, and Eldon Balko; and jazz with Billy Foster. His professional affiliations include the American Guild of Organists where he earned the Fellow's Certificate (F.A.G.O.), and the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians.
Henry McDowell, Youth Chorus Accompanist
Henry McDowell joined CCGD in 2010 as accompanist for the Youth Chorus. Mr. McDowell is Director of Music at Christ the King Roman Catholic Church in Dallas, TX, where he oversees a music program of four choirs and three handbell ensembles, including the Christ the King Singers, a professional choir of twelve-to-twenty-four voices. For twelve years, he served as Director of Music at Holy Trinity Seminary, Irving, Texas, where he trained hundreds of Roman Catholic seminarians in music.
Mr. McDowell earned the Bachelor of Music in Organ Performance from the North Carolina School of the Arts, Winston-Salem, NC; the Master of Music in Organ Performance from Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX; and the Master of Sacred Music in Choral Conducting from SMU. He pursued doctoral studies at the University of North Texas in Denton, with emphases in organ performance, music history, and harpsichord. As an organist, he has received numerous awards and honors, including a performance on the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Hall’s Fisk organ. In 2009, he made his symphonic debut with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
Chris Collins, Executive Director
Chris Collins joined the CCGD staff in January, 2013. Collins came to Dallas from Eugene, Oregon, where he held the role of General Manager of the Eugene Symphony, a position he held since 2008. As General Manager, he was responsible for overseeing the artistic operations of the orchestra, including all areas related to artistic administration, production, personnel management, and educational programming. Under his leadership, the Eugene Symphony saw a 56% increase in participation in its education and community engagement programs (from 16,000 to 25,000 people annually), received one of the largest grants in the organization's history, and launched several new artistic initiatives, including Counterpoint and Sound Perspectives. As a violinist, he has performed with numerous orchestras in Arkansas, Colorado, Texas and Wyoming. Mr. Collins holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Violin Performance from the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, and both a Master of Business Administration and Master of Arts in Arts Administration from the Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas.
Susan Tomlinson, Chorus Administrator
Susan Tomlinson joined the CCGD staff in 2008 as Administrative Assistant. In 2009, she became Chorus Administrator and serves as the primary interface for over 350 chorus families. Her responsibilities include: scheduling auditions, processing admissions, communication within the CCGD family, parent orientation, tuition, attendance records, concert production, tour accounts, and working closely with the Parents Association.
Mrs. Tomlinson brings to CCGD organizational and leadership skills garnered from a background as an executive and legal secretary, a homemaker, and various leadership capacities over fourteen years in elementary, junior high, and high school PTA’s.
Mrs. Tomlinson studied at the University of Texas. She is active in the Lake Highlands Women’s League, an organization raising money for college scholarships and community projects in Lake Highlands.
Mary Duncan, Artistic and Business Administrator
Mary Duncan joined the CCGD staff in 2010 as Artistic and Business Administrator. In support of the work of the Artistic and Executive Directors, her responsibilities include: chorus bookkeeping; box office coordination; management of the choral library, chorus archives, and data bases.
From 1984–94, Mrs. Duncan worked at the corporate headquarters of the Hilton Hotels Corporation in Beverly Hills, CA, where she held a number of positions in sales, management, and marketing. From 1994–2003, she was a full-time homemaker while volunteering in various capacities in her church, school, and community. From 2003–2010, she served as a pre-school teacher and administrator.
Mrs. Duncan earned the Bachelor of Arts in Music and English from the University of the Pacific Conservatory of Music in Stockton, CA.
Pat Morris, Chorus Manager
Pat Morris joined the CCGD staff in 2007 as Chorus Manager. As Chorus Manager, Pat Morris is responsible for rehearsal room set-up, music distribution and collection, and functions behind-the-scenes as stage manager for our Morton H. Meyerson concerts.
From 1983–93, Pat Morris worked for the Dallas Park and Recreation Department as a community program coordinator. From 1997–2001, he served as a minister in Central City, Kentucky. Since 2001, he has served as Pulpit Minister at Valley Creek Church of Christ in Mesquite, TX.
Mr. Morris earned the Bachelor of Arts in Bible from the International Bible College in Florence, Alabama.