M E E T    T H E    E N S E M B L E

Emily Bounds

Emily Bounds is the chorus teacher at Austin Junior High School in Decatur, AL. She also serves as the music director for both traditional and contemporary services at Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church, also in Decatur, AL. She received her Bachelor's degree in Music Education from the University of Alabama and her Master's degree in Music Education from Mississippi State University. Mrs. Bounds has performed in multiple professional ensembles across Alabama including groups in Ethos in Tuscaloosa, the Cahaba Chamber Chorale in Birmingham, and Valley Consort in Huntsville.

Mary Cleveland

Mary Cleveland is a Board Certified Music Therapist who is a stay-at-home mom of two. Before staying at home Mary worked as a Music Therapist for 5 years at UAB Hospital where she is still involved in ongoing research. Mary holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Therapy from the University of Alabama and an MBA from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Mary has sung in various community and professional ensembles including the UA Singers, Redeemer Community Church, and Vestavia Hills UMC Chancel Choir, and the Cahaba Chamber Chorale. 

John Benjamin (Ben) Cook

John Benjamin (Ben) Cook, National Board Certified Teacher, has taught music in Alabama's public schools since 2007.  During that time, he has taught elementary, middle, and high school in Shelby County, Vestavia Hills, Jefferson County, and Trussville City school systems.  He is currently the choir teacher at Hewitt-Trussville Middle School.  In addition to his work as a teacher, he is also the music minister at Trussville First United Methodist Church and is the founder and director of the Trussville Community Chorus. 

A native of Trussville, Alabama, he earned his Bachelor of Music Education from the University of Montevallo and his Master of Music Education from Samford University.  He holds a Ph.D. in Music Education from the University of Alabama.  Cook lives in Trussville, with his wife, Molly, and his children, Emma Kate, Hannah, and Sam.

Stacy Daniels

Stacy Daniels is a versatile singer, conductor, and educator. Mr. Daniels currently serves as Choral Music Director for Buckhorn Middle & High Schools where he conducts all five choral ensembles. He is also is the director of the Huntsville Community Chorus Association Treble Chorale, a vocal ensemble for unchanged voices in grades 6-8.  A graduate of the University of Montevallo, Mr. Daniels received Bachelor of Music degrees in Choral Music Education & Vocal Performance. Mr. Daniels also received the Master of Music Education with an emphasis in Choral Conducting from The Florida State University. Mr. Daniels is an active member of the Alabama Music Educators Association, Alabama Vocal Association, National Association for Music Education, and the American Choral Directors Association. Currently, he serves as President of the Madison County Choral Directors Association. 

Leah Keyes Durham

A native of Charleston, SC, Leah Keyes Durham holds the Bachelor of Music degree in choral music education from Furman University and the Master of Music degree in choral conducting performance from Louisiana State University.   She has over a decade of choral directing and teaching experience- in public schools (elementary, middle, and high), in church settings (adults and children/youth), and at performing arts summer camps. 

 Ensembles under her direction have regularly earned top ratings at state and regional festivals, and her students have earned spots in All-State Choirs in SC and Texas.  Leah was honored as the District Teacher of the Year for Anderson School District 4 (SC) and previously served as the Middle School Chair for the SC American Choral Directors Association. In the summer of 2022, she was named the new Assistant Conductor of the Alabama Choir School in Tuscaloosa.  As a soprano soloist, Leah has performed in works such as Bach’s Magnificat, Mozart’s Mass in C minor, Handel’s Messiah, Vivaldi’s Gloria, and Faure’s Requiem. In addition to the Cahaba Chamber Chorale, Leah sings in the Chancel Choir at First United Methodist Church Tuscaloosa (where she also serves as the Children’s Music Director) and with the Taylor Festival Choir, a professional chamber choir based in Charleston. Leah moved to Tuscaloosa from Pendleton, South Carolina in August of 2021 with her husband, Justin, and their two young children, Colin and Molly.

Matthew Gardner

Matthew Gardner is the choral director at Austin High School in Decatur, AL, where he teaches AP Music Theory and conducts the Chamber Choir, Treble Choir, Tenor-Bass Choir, and Show Choir. Originally from Huntsville, AL, Matthew has spent much of his life leading and performing music in the area. He is co-founder of the Huntsville Summer Music program, which provides music education students practical teaching and conducting experience before they begin their careers. Matthew served as coordinator and conductor of the program’s chorus and wind band. Matthew is an active performer in professional choral ensembles such as Coro Vocati in Atlanta, GA, Valley Consort in Huntsville, AL, and the Cahaba Chamber Chorale in Birmingham, AL.

In addition to his full-time teaching, Matthew is an adjunct instructor at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. He has served as conductor of the UAH Concert Choir as well as the substitute conductor of the UAH Chamber Choir. Matthew also serves as Director of Music Ministries at Valley United Methodist Church in Huntsville, AL.

Matthew holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music from the University of Alabama in Huntsville as well as a Master of Music in Choral Conducting from Louisiana State University. He is a Class A certified K-12 music educator in the state of Alabama.

Sadie Goodman

Soprano Sadie Goodman holds Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance and Master of Music Education degrees from Samford University, a Master of Music degree in Voice and Opera from Northwestern University, and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Alabama. Sadie has enjoyed singing for composer Terre Johnson as the soprano soloist for the premieres of his works Missa Femina (2014), Song of the Captive (2016). She was the featured soloist for the world premiere of his work for orchestra, chorus and soprano entitled The Wind (2017) at Carnegie Hall in New York City. For over a decade she has been a chorister, cantor and soloist for daily masses broadcasted internationally on the Eternal Word Television Network. Through EWTN she is featured on recordings such as Great Hymns of the Faith and The EWTN Family Christmas Special, broadcast on television and available as a CD and DVD.  From 2014-2018 she served on the music faculty at Judson College. She has served for the past five years as a lecturer for the School of the Arts and the Division of Music at Samford University. Sadie frequently performs as soprano soloist for Over the Mountain Festivals, the Catholic Diocese of Birmingham, and other local entities. She met her husband John, an attorney at Bradley, in the choir at Cathedral Church of the Advent, where they are members. They live in Mountain Brook with their two young children Cal and Caroline.

Mattie Crisp Greene

Mattie Crisp Greene is a singer based in central Alabama. Mrs. Greene holds a Bachelor of Music degree from University of Montevallo and a Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance and Literature from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She currently works full time for Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind. When Mrs. Greene is not there, she works part time for the Oxford Performing Arts Center. She also is a staff cantor for Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church in Anniston, Alabama. 

Dee Hamner

Dee Hamner, tenor, is a Tuscaloosa native where he attended the University of Alabama. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Music Education and a Master of Music in Vocal Performance. Mr. Hamner has taught in both Alabama and Georgia. Presently, Dee teaches at Eastwood Middle School in Cottondale. There he serves as the Director of Choirs, Department Lead Teacher, member of the Building Leadership Team, mentor teacher, and state representative for the Metropolitan Opera’s HD Live in Schools Program. He also serves as one of the Tuscaloosa City Schools’ Ambassadors. In addition to his teaching duties, Dee is a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Tuscaloosa, Prentice Concert Chorale, Cahaba Chamber Chorale, and the Iron City Singers. 

Dr. Elizabeth (Libby) Hearn

Dr. Elizabeth (Libby) Hearn is Assistant Professor of Choral Music Education at the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) where she conducts the Women’s Glee ensemble and University Chorus. She also teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in choral music education, conducting, and qualitative research methods. In addition to her responsibilities at Ole Miss, Dr. Hearn serves as the conductor of CoroArroyo and assistant conductor of CoroRio; both treble choirs comprised of young singers in the Midsouth Music Institute. Prior to joining the faculty at Ole Miss, Dr. Hearn received a Ph.D. in music

education from the University of Alabama where she served as assistant conductor of the UA Women’s Chorus and taught courses in music education. She previously held the position of Assistant Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities at Marian University in Indianapolis. Her career in secondary education began in Hueytown, Alabama where she served, for 7 years, as the choral music director at Hueytown High School. Dr. Hearn is an active conductor, presenter, clinician, and adjudicator. Her research interests include treble choirs, job mobility in music education, assessment, and ACDA history. She has presented her research at international, national, regional, state conferences, and in published research and pedagogical journals. Her most notable accomplishment is being a proud Mom to Catherine (12) and Andrew (8).

Allison Lowe Huff

Allison Lowe Huff is proud to call Birmingham her hometown. After graduating from W.A. Berry High School where she sang with Diana Mayhall, she attended the University of Alabama where she studied journalism with a minor in vocal performance. There, she was a member of, among many other ensembles, the University Singers, under the direction of Dr. Sandra Willetts, and the University Women’s Chorale, directed by Dr. Shaun Amos. In Tuscaloosa, Allison started a long side-career as a church musician at First United Methodist Church. After graduation, she moved to Dallas, TX, where she sang in the Dallas Symphony Chorus and Dallas Chamber Chorus with David Davidson and was a staff singer at Oak Lawn UMC. In 2001, Allison moved to Atlanta and became a member of the venerated Atlanta Symphony Chorus under Norman Mackenzie. She also served as alto soloist at Emory University’s Glenn Memorial UMC and in the Meridian Chorale, a professional ensemble lead by Steven Darsey. Now residing in Central Florida with her husband, Chris, and daughter, Marlo, Allison is the manager of the creative copywriting studio At AdventHealth, a national hospital and health organization. She has performed as part of the Stetson University Choral Union with Dr. Sandra Peter, as a soloist with Inspirare, lead by Dr. Ann Small, and as staff alto at Orlando’s Cathedral Church of St. Luke.

Karen Krekelberg

Karen Krekelberg is currently on staff at Vestavia Hills United Methodist Church as the Associate Director of Music Ministry and Organist.  Karen earned a Bachelor of Music from the University of Montevallo with an emphasis in Piano Pedagogy. While there, she studied piano with Robert Cowan and organ with Betty Louise Lumby.  Karen has enjoyed teaching private piano as well as group classes to students of all ages in many places. She currently teaches at VHUMC’s Conservatory of the Arts. Karen is a member of AMTA and AGO. A mother of two grown children and grandmother of one, she can often be found accompanying for various music groups and theatre productions around Birmingham.

Grady Moore

Grady Moore is chair of the Environmental Section at the Birmingham-based law firm of Balch & Bingham.  Grady graduated from the University of Virginia and was a founding member of the Hullabahoos a cappella group, as featured in the book and movie Pitch Perfect and appearing on the NBC comedy series The Office.   Grady has been performing with the Alabama Symphony Orchestra Chorus since 2010.

Zachary Palamara

Since moving to Birmingham in 2009, baritone Zachary Palamara has been an active member of the performing arts community. He has had extensive solo and ensemble appearances through the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN), St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, Colla Voce, Over the Mountain Festivals, Samford University, Opera Birmingham, the Alabama Symphony Orchestra Chorus and numerous other churches and ensembles. In 2016, Zachary was a featured soloist for the televised funeral mass for EWTN foundress, Mother Angelica, which was viewed by millions worldwide. Favorite past musical and theatrical performances include L’incoronazione di Poppea, Judas Maccabeus, The Winter’s Tale, Così fan tutte, Die Zauberflöte, Company, and both A Sea Symphony and Dona nobis pacem of Vaughan Williams. Zach works for ServisFirst Bank as SVP, Special Assets Officer and holds degrees from Susquehanna University, the Eastman School of Music, and UAB. He is married and spends most of his free time chasing after his two young daughters, ages eight and six.

Laura Pritchard

Laura Pritchard, mezzo-soprano, works actively as a soloist, teacher, researcher, and stage director. Laura has received national recognition by The American Prize as a Semi-Finalist in the Art Song & Oratorio division and recognition by the Alabama Chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing as a First-Place winner in the Advanced Classical Voice division. She has performed numerous roles including Florence Pike in Albert Herring, Maurya in Riders to the Sea, Carmen in Carmen, Prince Orlofsky in Die Fledermaus, Giannetta in The Elixir of Love, Third Lady in Die Zauberflöte, and Zita in Gianni Schicchi. Along with the operatic stage, Pritchard is a sought-after soloist on the concert stage. She has performed as the alto soloist in various concert settings including Manassas Chorale and Orchestra’s performance of Handel’s Messiah, Prentice Concert Chorale and Orchestra’s performances of Judas Maccabaeus and Messiah, and Johnson City Symphony Orchestra’s performance of Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy. Laura received her Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Alabama and is now on faculty at UA as Instructor of Voice and Associate Director of Opera.

Tyra Shelley

Tyra Shelley is a graduate of Carson-Newman University in Tennessee, and is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Church Music with emphasis in Choral Conducting at Samford University. Tyra works at Mason Music as their Programs Manager and Events Coordinator and also privately teaches piano and voice. 

Sandy Draper Sprague

Sandy Draper Sprague is a soprano residing in Birmingham, Alabama. Mrs. Sprague graduated from the University of Alabama with a Bachelor’s Degree in Choral Music Education. She taught music for six years in the Birmingham school system and is currently staying at home with her two young children. She works as a singer at the Eternal Word Television Network. Sandy has sung in several professional ensembles over the years including The Glenn Draper Singers, The Lake Junaluska singers,  UA University Singers, First United Methodist Church of Tuscaloosa Chancel Choir, Independent Presbyterian Church Choir, Vestavia Hills UMC chancel choir, and Iron City Singers. Sandy is the Operations Manager for the Cahaba Chamber Chorale.

Taylor Stricklin

Taylor Stricklin is the Choral Director at Vestavia Hills High School. In the spring of 2020, Taylor graduated with a Master of Music in choral conducting from Louisiana State University, where he served as conductor of Chamber Singers and assistant conductor of the Tiger Glee Club. Prior to graduate study, Taylor taught choral music in Enterprise, AL at Dauphin Junior High School and Enterprise High School. Since the summer of 2018, he has served as the Assistant Conductor of Iron City Singers, a community choir based in Birmingham. Taylor is a native of Birmingham, AL, and earned a Bachelor of Choral Music Education from Samford University in 2015.

David Tayloe

A native of North Carolina, tenor, David Tayloe has been praised for his “lovely tenor that sings with Mozartean finesse.”  David has made appearances with many opera companies throughout the country. His recent roles include Tybalt in Roméo et Juliette, Jason in Medea, Albert in Albert Herring, Gastone in La Traviata, Student in Michael Torke’s Strawberry Fields, Rinuccio in Gianni Schicchi, Candide in Bernstein’s Candide, and Mozart in Rimsky-Korsakov’s Mozart and Salieri.

As a concert singer, he has performed frequently as the soloist in Bach cantata series, as Obadiah in Elijah, the Evangelist in Bach’s St. Matthew Passion as well as the tenor soloist in the Magnificat, Finzi’s Dies Natalis, Handel’s Messiah, Haydn’s Creation, Lord Nelson Mass, Paukenmesse, and Theresianmesse, Schubert’s A-flat Mass, and Britten’s Serenade. Recently, David was seen under the direction of Phillipe Herreweghe at the Snape Proms in a concert of Bach Cantatas, and the Mass in D-Minor. 

An avid performer of art song, David made his solo recital debut at Carnegie Hall in January of 2020. He also completed a national tour of Schubert’s Winterreise culminating in a featured recital at the National Opera Center in New York City. David has been a prize winner of The American Prize in the Men’s Art Song category. David has collaborated with composers on their original work including Libby Larsen, Ben Moore, Michael Torke, and Jake Runestad, and including: the premiere of Ben Moore’s Dear Theo, the world premiere of A Page Out of Zen by Ryan Jesperson, and the world premiere of Thomas Sleeper’s Beatrice Bends for her Blue Ball, among others. David is the curator of the Capstone Song Initiative, an annual concert series that promotes the work of living composers in America.

 Mr. Tayloe has performed with Seraphic Fire, the Santa Fe Desert Chorale, and Voices, among other professional ensembles.  He has been a performer at the Magnolia Baroque Festival The Salem Bach Festival, the Duffy Composers Institute at the Virginia Arts Festival and was twice awarded the Stern Fellowship at Songfest in Los Angeles as well as the recital fellowship. David holds degrees from University of Miami and Louisiana State University, and the Eastman School of Music. Additional studies at the Britten-Pears Institute at Snape Maltings in Aldeburg, England. In the fall of 2014, David joined the faculty of the University of Alabama where he serves Associate Professor of Voice and is actively in demand as guest teacher and clinician around the country.

Kiley Watson

Soprano Kiley Watson received her Bachelor of Music from the Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt University in 2000. After college, she moved to New York City to pursue graduate training from the Manhattan School of Music in 2003 and received a Master of Music from Hunter College in 2005. While in New York, Kiley performed in various opera, operetta and musical theater roles, as well as for vocal workshops, masterclasses and concerts. In 2008, Kiley was the recipient of the Oxnard Gold Medal for the Savannah Music Festival’s American Traditions Vocal Competition before moving to Birmingham, AL. Since then Kiley has enjoyed singing around town for various community functions and at her church, Vestavia Methodist. She has been a founding member of the Big Band era trio, The Birmingham Harmony Belles for the last 7 years, singing for local, civic and senior organizations. Her favorite role by far the past 18 years, has been a Stay at Home mother, raising her amazing daughters and watching them grow into two wonderfully talented singers and dancers. 

Abby Whitlock

Originally from Huntsville, AL, Abby Whitlock has called Birmingham home for the past 8 years. An alumna of Samford University, she earned her BA in Music (vocal concentration) in 2017 and was a member of the Samford A Cappella Choir. Abby continued her education at Florida State University to become a board certified music therapist (MT-BC). Abby currently splits her time between practicing music therapy at UAB Hospital, singing in community ensembles, and raising her 1 year old daughter, Blair, with Ryan, her husband of 3 years. In her spare time, she enjoys running, kayaking, and cooking with her family and friends. Abby is excited to be singing with the Cahaba Chamber Chorale! 

Joseph Wilkinson

Joseph Wilkinson, bass, is the Director of Music Ministries at Starkville First UMC; a position he has held since June 2021. He is also the immediate past Artistic Directors for the Meistersingers of Mississippi (Hattiesburg, MS, 9 years) and the Jackson Choral Society (Jackson, MS, 2 years). In 2019, Wilkinson was a featured Conductor Artist with Vox Anima London, conducting Dan Forrest's Te Deum at Cadogan Hall in London, England with the composer. He returns to London this summer to conduct Missa Deus Nobiscum with British composer, Philip Stopford, at Southwark Cathedral.


Wilkinson received a Master's in Music, majoring in Sacred Music and Vocal Performance, with advanced study in Choral Conducting from Southern Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. Prior to earning his Master’s degree, Wilkinson received a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from The University of Mississippi. His postgraduate studies took him to England, where he was a Choral Scholar at both Cambridge and Oxford Universities through the Oxbridge Institute. 


As a Solo Artist, Wilkinson has performed frequently as bass soloist in Handel’s Messiah, Haydn’s Creation, Faure’s Requiem, Brahms’ Requiem, Mozart’s Requiem, and Vaughan Williams’ Five Mystical Songs; appearing with the Louisville Orchestra, Chattanooga Symphony, Mississippi Symphony, and the Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra (England). He has additionally performed with Kentucky Opera, Des Moines Metropolitan Opera, and Chautauqua Opera; roles include Figaro in Le Nozze di Figaro; Banco in Macbeth; Il Commendatore in Don Giovanni; Phanuel in Herodiade; Prince Gremin in Eugene Onegin, Rocco in Fidelio; Lodovico in Otello.