Staff and Board of Directors

The Austin Children’s Choir Staff

Sam Parrott- Artistic Director

Sam Parrott is excited  to start his fourth year with the Austin Children’s Choir. Sam is also starting his third year as Choir Director at AJ Briesemeister Middle School in Seguin ISD. In 2015, Sam premiered a work by Jack Wild’s (Composer in Residence for The Austin Children’s Choir) entitled “Three Waking Dreams” and conducted a collaborative performance of John Rutter’s “Mass of the Children” with The Hill Country Youth Chorus. Sam will serve 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.

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, Professor Matthew Oltman, and Dr. Craig Hella Johnson. Sam is beginning his first year as a PhD student in School Improvement at Texas State University.

Emily Evans- Assistant Artistic Director

Emily Evans is excited for her third year with the Austin Children’s Choir. Emily is the Music Teacher at Oak Creek Elementary School in Comal ISD. She 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.”


image1Kelly Ford- Associate Director and Internship Director

Kelly Ford is a senior music education major at Texas State University. She is excited to start her third year with the Austin Children’s Choir and her second year as Internship Director. She hopes to teach choir after graduation and to help her students to develop a lifelong love of music, and see just how cool it is!


MaryAshtonPhotoMary Ashton-Managing Director

Mary is a Soprano, active vocalist, choral director, and voice teacher in the Austin community. She sings with several choirs in Central Texas including Texas Choral Consort, San Antonio Chamber Choir, and Austin Baroque Orchestra Choir. Mary is on the staff of St. David’s Episcopal Church where she is a member and soloist of several choirs, Program Coordinator of the Children’s and Youth Choirs, and Director of the Joyful Noise youth choir. She is also on the Communications team where she offers some basic graphic design skills, manages many of the church’s social media accounts and websites, and assists the Retail Director with planning and implementing marketing strategies for the church’s coffee shop, Holy Grounds Café.

Mary is from Virginia, where she graduated from James Madison University with a Bachelors of Music in Vocal Music Education. After teaching high school for a couple of years, she moved to Austin to find a better balance between performing and teaching.


 Board of Directors

JoseHeadshotJose Mendez-Board President

Jose Mendez, an Austin native, developed a love for music early in his adolescence. He graduated from Westlake High School with several choral accomplishments as a young performer. Jose recently moved back to Austin after completing an MBA at the University of Maryland and has now enrolled his 7 year-old son as a new member of ACC and accepted a position on the Board of Directors with ACC to share in his growth and joy of choral music. Jose currently works for Smith and Associates as an international trader of semiconductor components, conducting market research and networking with clients from all over the world.

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.

 Ray Schafer – Board Member 

Founder of InQuinox, a data storage company. He is regarded as an authority on data storage, protection, and restoration solutions, and has nearly a quarter century of information technology and data protection industry experience. Shafer holds a BA in Microbiology from UT Austin.  His daughters were members of the Austin Children’s Choir for 10 years.  


Jeffrey Jungbauer- Board Member 

Jeffrey is currently a Personal Stylist for J. Hilburn men’s clothier. He was most recently a Senior Account Executive at Yodle, Inc and  the Associate Director of Beer and Wine, and Project Manager for the Wine Steward Program for H-E-Butt Grocery, where he placed top wine stewards and coordinates with beer and wine vendors to merchandise and maintain stock with sales.  Previously, he was the Director of Marketing and Community Relations at Whole Foods Market, Portland, where he developed in store marketing, managed all in-store events and managed strategic opportunities. He has also been the Director of Sales, Marketing and Public Relations for DragonFly Chai , where he initiated expansion plan into natural foods, specialty stores and food cooperatives. He has also been the West Coast Regional Sales Manager of Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day at The Caldrea Company, where he was responsible for sales, marketing and public relations of Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day aromatherapy natural cleaning products and a Procurement Team Coordinator, Marketing & Procurement Office Healthy Living at H-E-Butt Grocery.  In his free time, Jeffrey enjoys the outdoors, cycling, snow sports, music of all types, concerts, gardening and playing with his two dogs Beau and Henry.  Jeffrey has a 2 year old niece, Vivian, and is expecting a nephew this January.  A University of Texas at Austin graduate, Jeffrey recently moved back to Austin from Portland, Oregon to be closer to his friends and family.  He plans on pursuing a PhD in Pharmacy in the Fall of 2014 at UT.

Beatrix Paal-Treasurer

Beatrix grew up in Hungary , immersed in a Kodaly-inspired choral tradition.  She has sung in various amateur choirs throughout her life, and is now an alto in Chorus Austin’s Symphonic Chorus.  The youngest of her three children started singing with Austin Children’s Choir as a kindergartener, and Beatrix joined the board of directors with the aim of contributing to the mission of the organization, and giving back to the choral community.

In her professional life, Beatrix is an economist, who teaches and advises Masters’ students at the University of Texas at Austin.  She received her PhD in economics from Cornell University.  Beatrix is also co-owner of an online Hungarian children’s bookstore.

Advisory Committee

Matt Everett 

For twelve years, he was active as a private piano instructor in Houston, TX and also worked as a freelance pianist and music director.  Mr. Everett served as the Director of Music and pianist/organist at Church of the Redeemer Episcopal in Houston where he conducted the adult choir, instrumental ensembles, and handbells. Before moving to Austin in 2008, he also was the Director of Music at Covenant Lutheran Church. During his tenure at Covenant, he founded the church’s children’s choir, VOCIS. Mr. Everett holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Sam Houston State University and a Master of Music degree from the University of Houston Moores School of Music. His principle area of focus was piano performance with supplemental studies in composition, voice and choral methods.

With Austin as his home base, Mr. Everett continues to work as a freelance musician and composer. His setting of the Lamb of God is published by the Neil J. Kjos Music Company (

Patricia ‘Pat’ Martin 

Pat Martin grew up in Houston, and attended and graduated from Spring Branch High School.  She moved to Austin in 1965 to attend the University of Texas, where I earned a Bachelor’s in Fine Arts with honors and a Master of Arts in Art History. She was employed by the Austin Community College in 1976 to teach art and art history.  In 1988 Patricia accepted a position at St. Edward’s University where she taught art history, design, and the humanities.

Patricia attends Faith Presbyterian Church here in Austin where she has served on the Session for several terms, has been Clerk of the Session, and served as a member of the Child Development Center (CDC) Board. As a member of the CDC Board, Pat wrote and applied for numerous grants to benefit the program which was created by the church to specifically serve children from low income families.