Staff and Board of Directors

The Austin Children’s Choir Staff

Samuel Parrott- Artistic Director

Samuel 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 pursuing a PhD 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 Panoramic Voices, San Antonio Chamber Choir, Inversion Ensemble, Ars Longa Ensemble, and Austin Baroque Orchestra Choir. When she is not making music and working with the Austin Children’s Choir, she is providing administrative help for small business owners in Austin and  marketing consulting for Amphion Choir.

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 for a change of scenery and has loved every minute of living here.    

 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.  

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.

Paula Ford – Member

Bio coming soon.

Mackenzie Parrott – Member

Bio coming soon.