The Austin Children’s Choir Artistic Staff
Samuel Parrott is excited to start his sixth year with the Austin Children’s Choir. Sam is also starting his fifth year as Choir Director at AJ Briesemeister Middle School in Seguin ISD. In 2015, Sam premiered a work by Jack Wild’s entitled “Three Waking Dreams” and conducted a collaborative performance of John Rutter’s “Mass of the Children” with The Hill Country Youth Chorus. Sam served as an Assistant Director for the collaborative performance of Leonard Bernstein’s “Mass,” with an adult chorus comprised of singers from Conspirare, Chorus Austin, Panoramic Voices, and Texas State University, along with Ballet Austin and The Austin Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Peter Bay, conductor for the ASO. In 2019, Sam participated in the ASO and Chorus Austin performance of William Walton’s “Henry V” as part of their Shakespeare performances.
Sam received his Bachelor’s degree in Music Studies with an emphasis in Choral Music from Texas State University in 2011 and his Master’s degree in Choral Conducting from Texas State University in 2015. He has studied conducting under Dr. Jonathan Babcock, Dr. Joey Martin, Dr. Lynn Brinckmeyer, Dr. Matthew Oltman, and Dr. Craig Hella Johnson. Sam is currently pursuing a PhD in School Improvement at Texas State University and will begin his dissertation in January 2020.
Emily Evans- Assistant Artistic Director
Emily Evans is excited to begin her fifth year with the Austin Children’s Choir. Emily is the choir director at New Braunfels Middle School in New Braunfels ISD. Emily is a Kodály Certified music educator, a teaching philosophy which places and emphasis on experiencing music through song, dance, and games in order to learn musical concepts. Emily is the primary director of ACC’s Minnesingers, the 6-8 year old training choir.
Emily holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Studies from Texas State University. During her time at Texas State, she performed with such ensembles as University Singers, the Texas State Symphonic Choir, and Texas State Opera Theatre. In the summer of 2014, she traveled to Shanghai and Beijing to perform with the Texas State Symphonic Choir. In the spring of 2016, she was an ensemble member in the world premier opera “Lady Bird: The First Lady of the Land.” In the fall of 2016, she was cast in Texas State’s Opera Scenes as Agnes McIntyre from the opera “Baby Shower.”
Kelly Ford is excited to start her fifth year with the Austin Children’s Choir and her third year as Associate Director. She is the Assistant Choir Director at Wiley Middle School in Leander ISD. Kelly holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Studies from Texas State University.
Anarra Whitcher-Internship Director
Anarra Whitcher is a senior music education major at Texas State University. She is so excited for her third year with the Austin Children’s Choir, and her first year as Internship Director. In addition to ACC, Anarra works at San Marcos High School and with the Hill Country Youth Chorus. Once she graduates, Anarra hopes to teach, and share her love of music will her future students.
Zack is thrilled to begin his first year with the Austin Children’s Choir in the role of the ensemble’s accompanist. He has previously earned degrees in music composition from West Virginia University (B.M.) and The University of Texas at Austin (M.M., D.M.A.), and currently holds a teaching position with the rank of Lecturer at The University of Texas at Austin (Austin, TX) and The University of the Incarnate Word (San Antonio, TX). Additionally, Zack splits time as a music educator, freelance composer, content creator, pianist, and husband and father.
Board of Directors
Becky Freer-Board President
Pam Trefny- Secretary
Pam Trefny was appointed to the Board in the summer of 2012. She received her BS in Biomedical Science and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Texas A&M University. After working in the veterinary field for 7 years, Pam became a full time stay-at-home mom, home schooled for several years, and has volunteered in several organizations including the PTA, Boy Scouts of America, and the Austin Children’s Choir. In her spare time, she enjoys running and cycling, has done many triathlons over the past 9 years and recently completed her second marathon. Pam has 2 boys, ages 12 and 15. The oldest, Anthony, has been in the choir since 2007.