About

Artistic Staff

RYAN BALDRIDGE

Accompanist, Group Piano, Preschool, and Vocal Exploration Instructor,
Assistant Conductor for Primary, Training, Lyric and Treble Choirs

Ryan Baldridge comes from the rural Midwest where he has been an active music educator for seven years. Ryan holds a Bachelor's degree in Piano Performance from the Wheaton College Conservatory of Music and has certifications in the Musikgarten Program. While studying at Wheaton, he served as Assistant Conductor for the Men’s Glee Club. In addition, he also assisted as an early childhood music teacher for the College’s Community School of the Arts. Finally, he has also worked with children by being a private piano instructor and teaching at the Music Institute of Chicago.

 


 

MELISSA BARNES

Conductor for Lyric and Treble Choirs

Melissa Barnes has served many different roles with the JCC Artistic Staff over the past decade. In 2006 she began her career with the JCC as the inaugural Training Choir Conductor and has also served as Vocal Exploration Instructor and Lyric Choir Conductor. Melissa was also Mr. Dailey’s Assistant Conductor for our upper choirs, and Treble Choir Conductor. Melissa received her Vocal Performance degree with additional studies in music education from University of Mobile. She also studied at University of Southern Mississippi where she was a proud member of the Marching Pride.

Melissa brings over 25 years’ experience in both performing and teaching music to students of all ages from preschool to adults in both private studio and school settings. Melissa still enjoys performing but has found her passion in guiding children to discover and develop their talents and creativity. It is her desire to assist in developing a high-quality choral music program while teaching not only musical and cognitive skills, but social development, self-discipline, teamwork, and community involvement. Her desire is to teach her singers by example to strive for excellence in everything they do.


 

KATHERINE (KT) BOLING

Choreographer, Ext. 4 | Email

KT joined the JCC team in 2016 as a member of the Administrative Staff but extended her scope into the Artistic Staff in 2017. She began dancing at the age of 3 and has held a passion for the performing arts ever since. KT’s ties to the Chorus go back as far as 1996 when she joined the JCC as a young singer under the direction of Jim Taylor, the Chorus’ first conductor. In her two years as a member of the JCC, she enjoyed opportunities to perform at various venues around the state and country, and even in Carnegie Hall. During her college years, she expanded upon her dance background, becoming heavily involved in the Ballroom and Latin Dance community of Florida, where she became a professional Latin dancer, ballroom dance instructor, and even an aerialist.

 


 

 SUSANNE DAILEY

Training and Primary Choir Conductor and Preschool Music Instructor

Susanne Dailey is a musician with many years of experience in both teaching and performing music. She has served in public and private schools in New Jersey, North Carolina, Massachusetts, and Florida. In addition to teaching general music and chorus at the elementary level, Susanne has worked as Organist/Pianist at many churches throughout her career. Mrs. Dailey received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Education from Westminster Choir College in Princeton, N.J. and her Master of Arts degree in Music Education from Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C. She has trained in the Kodály and Orff-Schulwerk methodologies and is committed to providing young singers with the foundations of music reading and music making. She is also a certified Kindermusik Instructor. Mrs. Dailey has been the Music Director at St. Mark’s Episcopal Day School since 2006 and teaches Pre-K through 6th-grade music classes.

Susanne is well respected as an educator and has been acclaimed for her special rapport with singers as well as her fine musicianship. She believes that music is critical in nurturing a child's cognitive, emotional, social and physical development. She is dedicated to ensuring that each child experiences the joy, and excitement learning music brings! Susanne's husband, Darren Dailey, is the Artistic and Executive Director of the Jacksonville Children's Chorus. They have two wonderful daughters, Mary and Megan. 

 


 

SACHIKO FRAMPTON

Collaborative Pianist for Concert and Touring Choirs

Sachiko Frampton started her career as a professional collaborative pianist soon after she started to study at the high school division of Musashino Academia Musicae, a conservatory in Tokyo, Japan. Through high school and college, she studied piano under Yoko Minagawa and Takashi Kawasaki, and collaborative piano under Penka Badev. Until she moved to the United States with her family, she performed numerous recitals as a collaborative pianist and traveled throughout Japan as a pianist with the percussion ensemble Group Woods.

Before she moved to Jacksonville in 2012, she worked in Arizona as a collaborative pianist for Grand Canyon University, high schools in the greater Phoenix area, and for the State Convention of Choral Directors of Arizona. 

Here in Jacksonville, she is a staff pianist at University of North Florida School of Music and has worked with Douglas Anderson School of the Arts and Paxon School for Advanced Studies.  

 


 

ADAM HOOPER

Assistant Conductor, Ext. 6 | Email

Fresh from Colorado, Adam Hooper is a modern-minded musician with a penchant for guiding motivated students through the journey of music. He finds purpose in the melody of life accompanying at the keyboard, composing creative content, and conducting like-minded musicians!

He has had a significant impact as an educator, improviser, and producer in the Colorado Springs community, teaching/accompanying choir with the Widefield School District and the Colorado Springs School. He is also known for assembling MoMa.x, a musical arts collective, for unique live collaborative performances held at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs. Mr. Hooper holds a Bachelors degree in Music Composition and Sound Design from UCCS, as well as an Associates degree from Pikes Peak Community College in Multimedia Graphic Design.  

Some of his favorite credits include a premiere of Philip Blackburn's electro-acoustic composition for piano and smart-phone, Lilacs and Lightning (2012), Amache: Silent Imprints (2013) a collaborative sonic documentary with poet Mary Jane Sullivan, LatherRinseRepeat (2014) film score for Whatsabudget Films, as well as Concerto for Computer (2014), an original composition for orchestra and computer musician. His most significant work, Empty Classrooms (2014), premiered for over 600 Colorado Springs community leaders at the annual CPCD Headstart Fundraiser Breakfast. 

Adam is happy to have found a musical home with the Jacksonville Children's Chorus, to share in the legacy of inspiring excellence in young singers. When the lights go out and the curtains close, Adam can be found at home drinking tea with his wife and rolling around on the floor with his kiddos.

 


 

JESSICA MENKE BOWLING

Voice Instructor

Jessica Menke Bowling is a vocalist of all styles. She was born and raised in Jacksonville, Florida, in a musical family. She attended Lavilla and Douglas Anderson School of the Arts and, in the summer of 2007, while still in high school, Jessica attended the Advanced Vocal Program at Interlochen Center for the Arts in Traverse City, Michigan. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Voice Performance from the University of North Florida.

Jessica made her first oratorio appearance as the soprano soloist in the Benedictus Quartet from Mozart’s Requiem with the UNF Mozart Mentor’s Orchestra. In 2011, Jessica traveled without a group to Salzburg, Austria, and attended the Mozarteum’s International Summer Academy where Barbara Bonney was giving masterclasses. In 2012, Jessica performed as Despina in Mozart’s Così fan tutte with the North Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, taking part in UNF’s Summer Opera Program in the Czech Republic. She also participated in the Harrower Summer Workshop in Atlanta, Georgia, where she sang in the chorus of Georgia State University’s Tales of Hoffmann by Offenbach and performed in opera scenes.  In the autumn of 2012, Jessica studied with baritone Gerald Finley’s teacher, Gary Coward, at the English National Opera while studying at Florida State University’s London Study Centre before completing her degree at UNF.

Following graduation in 2014, Jessica traveled with her teacher, Marilyn Mims, to Paris to attend the Paris International Summer Sessions École Normale. Jessica’s move to Ann Arbor, Michigan, at the end of 2014, gave her the opportunity to study voice with Metropolitan Opera singer, Stanford Olsen. While in Michigan, Jessica sang the role of The Diva (as a young artist) in Pittsfield Opera Theatre’s La Divina. She was also a guest singer at the Zal Gaz Grotto Club with both the Paul Klinger and the Paul Keller Jazz Orchestras.

Additionally, Jessica has regularly performed in church. She was a soloist at Palms Presbyterian Church for their special Music Sunday in 2014 and their 2018 Christmas Eve eleven o’clock service. Ms. Bowling recently studied Music Education at Florida State University and taught music at Good Samaritan United Methodist Church while residing in Tallahassee. Jessica established a private music studio with her mother. Currently, Jessica is teaching piano and voice. She is also finishing her Bachelor of Music Education degree and already completed the Level I Orff-Schulwerk Teacher Education Course.


  

CAT PALFREY

Preschool Music Instructor, Ext. 7 | Email

Cat joined the JCC in 2015 as a member of the administrative team.  She holds a B.A. in Theatre from Baldwin Wallace University where she performed in operas and plays.  Upon graduation, Cat moved to NYC, where she auditioned for musical theatre. Additionally, she studied TV and film acting before switching to the business side of the industry to work for talent agents and managers. After 8 years of living in NYC, Cat moved to Jacksonville with her husband.

In high school, Cat sang with an award-winning Concert Choir and Show Choir. This allowed her to travel and perform internationally. She also performed in various musicals and plays. In her spare time, Cat sings with the Orange Park Chorale, sits on the board and enjoys ballroom dancing.

 


 

MILLICENT "Penny" SYLVESTER

Visiting Artist

Millicent is honored to be a part of the JCC artistic team. A native of Chicago, she graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Music Education from the University of Illinois and a Masters of Music Education (choral) from Florida State University. Growing up, she was a member of the Chicago Children’s Choir and as an adult, returned as a guest soloist and in-school conductor for that organization. As a music educator, she has taught elementary, middle, and high school chorus and general music. Millicent brings a unique combination of education and performance experience. Her performance background includes solo and ensemble work with the Chicago Symphony Chorus and Symphony singers, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Alhambra Theater, Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, and Florida Opera Theater. She has been an adjudicator for Florida Elementary All-State Chorus and is Orff certified.

 


 

DR. CHARLIE J. TOOMER, JR.

Visiting Artist

Dr. Charlie J. Toomer, Jr.'s experience as a choral director for over 15 years has enabled him to effectively build and manage successful choral programs. He has a proven history of implementing strategic recruiting practices that have led to the growth of choral programs under his tutelage. His positive professional presence in rural, suburban and urban communities is evidenced in the array of top vocalists that he’s been able to recruit to his choirs nationwide. His teaching career in choral music education led him to Palmetto, FL where he served as Choir Director for the Manatee School for the Arts. Under his direction, he was able to triple the number of students in the choral program the very next year.

Dr. Toomer has served as Director of Choral Activities at Florida A&M University where he taught Applied Voice, Conducting, Choral Techniques, and also directed the FAMU Concert Choir and the FAMU Vocal Jazz Ensemble. He was instrumental in building partnerships between the university and neighboring public school systems by hosting workshops, adjudicating district and state festivals and holding master classes. He worked with public and private school choral directors to enhance the appreciation of choral music.

Under his direction, the FAMU Concert Choir performed at the Florida Music Educators National Conference now known as the National Association for Music Education in Tampa, FL, in Anchorage Alaska for BP and Exxon Mobile and at the invitation of Rita Marley, the choir performed at the 65th Birthday Celebration of Bob Marley in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. One of Dr. Toomer’s biggest achievements was his selection to serve as the Director for the All-State High School Men’s Choir in Florida

Dr. Toomer  holds a Ph.D. in Choral Conducting /Music Education and a Master of Music in Choral Conducting performance degree from Florida State University. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Music Education from Florida A&M University. He is a member of the American Choral Director’s Association (ACDA), National Association for Music Education (NAfME), Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity of America, and Kappa, Kappa Psi, National Honorary Band Fraternity. He also serves as Director of Music at Woodlawn Presbyterian Church in Jacksonville, FL. 

 

  

“Being a part of the JCC has not only allowed Christian to experience the fun, excitement and pleasure of singing with friends, it has also helped him to develop a sense of confidence that comes from life skills of hard work and perseverance.”

Elaine Bourne, JCC Parent

“Music is such a valuable part of life. The way it enriches one’s life and encourages creativity, I do not believe anything else can do as much. We in Jacksonville are certainly blessed to have the Jacksonville Children’s Chorus.”

Scott C. Snyder, President, Compass Consulting Group

“Music plays a major role in the full development of a child. Not only does it enrich lives, it also serves as a pathway for students to express themselves and explore new ways to communicate with others. For 20 years, kudos to the JCC for molding the lives of young artists, and I look forward to the next 20 years.”

Tim Cost, President, Jacksonville University

“The Chorus expands your musical horizons and helps you grow as a person. You are surrounded with other young people who have something in common…their love of music. I have learned that music does, indeed, bring people and cultures together. The music we sing brings people hope for a better future of understanding and cooperation.”

Jasmine, 16, Touring and Concert Choirs

“The JCC is more than just a chorus; it is truly a life-changing experience. The Chorus has opened me to new experiences, provided me with once-in-a-lifetime opportunities and helped me discover singing is not just one of my interests but rather a lifelong passion.”

Emma, 17, Touring and Concert Choirs