Our Unique Philosophy

In its 44 years of existence, and with a low turnover rate among its artistic and executive management, the Colorado Springs Children’s Chorale has developed a unique and specific philosophy. This philosophy aims to use high standards of performance and professionalism to instill in CSCC singers a set of values that propel them towards a lifetime of achievement and excellence.

Our high standards are established early and that foundation is built upon as our singers progress through CSCC’s choirs. As members of CSCC, students are exposed to and expected to exhibit a superb level of professionalism. We spend time discussing and putting into practice these expectations including: listening skills, time management, respectful behavior that shines a positive light on the organization and its individual singers, as well as working diligently to ensure that each and every time a CSCC choir performs in public they are prepared to impress audiences with both their demeanor, their enthusiasm, and the high caliber of their performance. Among our older students in the Pikes Peak Singers and Summit Ensemble we also stress leadership skills and setting a good example for our younger singers.

The work that our choirs put into their performance technique becomes a rubric for success later in life.  This work begins with a focus on correct CSCC vocal tone. Correct CSCC vocal tone is that which promotes healthy young singers. Vowels are tall and round. Consonants are crisp and clear. The sound is mature, resonant, and flexible. A choral performance, however, is not only about sounding great. At CSCC we believe that textual interpretation and a deep understanding of each song’s story is another key aspect of a compelling performance. We also recognize that staging, movement, and choreography are crucial tools for crafting explosive entertainment. We constantly aim to challenge our singers and expect them to rise to the occasion. They never let us down.

Our Staff

Marcia Hendricks

Executive Director

Marcia has served the organization for 33 years, first as a volunteer and board member, and then as a paid staff member. Under her leadership the Children’s Chorale has realized nationwide and international recognition.  Along with the talented Children’s Chorale music staff, Marcia has created and produced many of the Children's Chorale’s popular programs such as the All-City Boychoir Festival; In Harmony International Music Festivals; and Pikes Peak Center concerts each year. The Children's Chorale outreach programs including the Adopt-a-District; Satellite Choir; Generations Initiative; and School Blitz days were a brainchild of Marcia's desire to position the Children’s Chorale to better serve the wider community. Prior to her involvement with the CSCC, she owned and operated a successful event planning and floral design business. Her work with children includes spearheading reading programs for elementary school children; and serving as a Head Start and Get Set volunteer. Marcia has served on many community non-profit boards including the Pikes Peak Arts Council; Arts, Business, and Education Consortium, Taylor Elementary School Advisory Council; Colorado Vocal Arts Board of Directors; City of Colorado Springs Sister City Committee; and the committee to pass the Scientific and Cultural Arts Tax. She is currently a member of the Leadership Council of the Imagination Celebration, and serves as coordinator for the Southern Colorado Children’s Arts Festival and the CHORALaborative. Her memberships in professional organizations include the American Choral Directors Association, Chorus America, and the Colorado Music Educators Association. Marcia was the 2014 recipient of the Pikes Peak Arts Council’s Arts Leadership Award. Children’s Chorale has been a part of the Hendricks family since 1987 when daughter, Sarah, joined the organization, closely followed by son, Luke’s membership. The family is grateful for the life-changing opportunities Chorale has given them.

Lori Bammesberger

Summit Ensemble Director 

Lori Bammesberger’s celebrated career conducting choirs, teaching voice lessons and leading workshops, as well as performing in operas, choirs and classical concert works, spans 25 years and several states, including Colorado, California and Texas. Originally from Colorado Springs, Lori earned a Bachelor's degree in Music Education from Angelo State University in San Angelo, Texas and a Master’s in Voice Performance and Opera from the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas.  Returning to her hometown after graduate school, Lori operated a thriving private voice studio, performed regularly with the Colorado Vocal Arts Ensemble and many other local community music groups, and served on the staff of the Colorado Springs Children’s Chorale as conductor of various ensembles and vocal coach for the entire organization for nearly 20 years.  Under her direction, the Pikes Peak Singers became known not only for their musical excellence, but also for their warm, clear vocal tone and visual expression of the text, along with a deep, sincere connection with audiences. Lori served two terms as the Children’s Choir Repertoire & Standards Chair for the Colorado chapter of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA). For the last several years, Lori worked with the Cantabile Youth Singers of Silicon Valley in Los Altos, California as Associate Conductor and Musicianship Curriculum Director.  In addition to conducting two of Cantabile’s choirs and coordinating the musicianship curriculum for all choirs, Lori hosted two community-wide festivals, engaging internationally renowned clinicians from Brazil and Canada.  Under her guidance, Lori’s ensembles travelled to New York City and Hawaii for choral festivals, and many of her singers were accepted into honor choirs at state, regional and national ACDA conferences.  At home in Briargate, Lori and her partner, Carol, love spending time with their two fur-babies, Sophie and Riley, and are proud of their three beautiful grown children, Jordan, Andrea and Jake, who are all in health and first responder careers.

Mandy Todd

Pikes Peak Singers Director

Mandy has over 15 years of experience teaching music and drama in public schools and churches. In addition to her work at CSCC, Mandy is also the Director of Worship & Arts at Black Forest Community Church. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Music Education with a Choral Conducting Emphasis from Bethany College in Lindsborg, KS, and a Master of Theological Studies degree focusing on sacred music from Iliff School of Theology in Denver, CO. She has studied conducting with Dr. Daniel Mahraun, Deborah Jenkins Teske, and Dr. James Jordan. She is currently in her final year of pursuing a Doctor of Ministry in Public Theology degree at Drew University in Madison, NJ, with mentors Rev. Dr. Jacqui Lewis and Rev. John Janka. When Mandy isn't in rehearsal or working on her thesis, she loves reading, riding bikes, and sharing life in downtown Colorado Springs with her family. 

Tammy Teske Lenz

Springs Singers Co-Director

Tammy is honored to be included in the amazing staff of the Children’s Chorale. She taught Elementary Music in District 11 for 30 years before retiring in 2011. She has now returned to the classroom halftime as one of the  General Music teachers at Rogers Elementary in District 11. Tammy received a Bachelor of Music Education degree from UNC in Greeley, CO, and a Master’s degree in Education from Lesley College. She won a Crystal Apple Award for teaching in 2003. She has performed with the Colorado Springs Chorale, The Taylor Memorial Choir, Colorado Opera Festival, Opera Theatre of the Rockies, Fine Arts Repertory Theatre, Abendmusik Chorus, and Ormao Dance Company. She is now teaching voice and flute privately, singing with Grace and St. Stephen’s Choir and Opera Theatre of the Rockies. Tammy loves to sing and dance, ride her bike, hike, spend time with family and friends, and, most of all, be with her terrific son, Matthew. 

Jessica McClung

Springs Singer Co-Director & Singer Smarts Instructor

Jessica McClung is in her 8th year of teaching general music at James Irwin Charter Elementary School in Harrison District 2. The music program at JICES reaches over 500 students in grades K-5, and boasts of various large concerts and theatrical programs throughout the year. Jessica started her undergrad in Secondary Music Education with an emphasis in Instrumental Education at CU Boulder. After getting married and having her three children, Jessica finished her BS in Educational Studies at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, AZ. She is currently looking to work on her Master’s of Art in Curriculum and Instruction at Colorado Christian University. Jessica has had many singing roles in various musicals, taught private lessons in both voice and clarinet, received the Teacher of Excellence Award in 2018, and has sung with the community choir Soli Deo Gloria. She also enjoys hiking, traveling the country, and training in TaeKwonDo with her family who are all black belts. Jessica has a long history with the Colorado Springs Children’s Chorale with two kids who are singers and a husband who is an alumni. Her true passion is teaching, and she is excited to have the opportunity to teach the members of CSCC as she watches them progress on their musical journey.

David Acton

Summit Ensemble & Pikes Peak Singers Accompanist

David is the accompanist for the Pikes Peak Singers and Summit Ensemble of the Colorado Springs Children's Chorale, and is thrilled to be a member of such an incredible team of musicians and educators. He also serves as the Director of Music Ministry at First Congregational Church in downtown Colorado Springs, where he is the organist and conducts the chancel choir and handbell ensemble. Additionally, he is an active freelance French hornist and composer. David received his Master of Music degree in French horn performance, with organ and choral conducting emphases, from Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan. There, he was one of the French horn graduate teaching assistants and the organ scholar at the First Congregational Church of Kalamazoo. He received a Bachelor of Music degree in French horn performance from DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana. David loves cats, drinking coffee, reading, running, hiking, almost anything to do with Austria, and watching Netflix!

Cara Iverson

Springs Singers Accompanist

Cara’s career aspirations have led her down the dual path of being both a freelance editor and professional musician. She studied piano at the University of Northern Colorado and music therapy at Colorado State University. Cara teaches piano and has been a music director and instrumentalist for several churches in Colorado. Currently she is the pianist/organist at Trinity United Methodist. She also provides piano accompaniment for choirs and musicals at many schools in District 11 and has enjoyed playing for the Song Spinners show choir, the Carousel Dinner Theater, the Fine Arts Center, vocal and instrumental recitals, and weddings. Cara’s specialty is ragtime, and she recently fulfilled her dream of performing Maple Leaf Rag at Disneyland’s Coca-Cola Corner. Her interests include tennis, swimming, traveling, board games, escape rooms, and spending time with her husband and their two teenage sons. 

Betsy  McClenahan

Drama & Choreography Consultant

Betsy is the Director of Kaleidoscope Arts Project, a program of Imagination Celebration in Colorado Springs, as well as the Artistic Director of The Kaleidoscope Dance Project, a semi-professional company showcasing the Pikes Peak regions premiere dancers. With more than forty years of experience teaching dance and musical theater, Betsy also shares her times with CIVA Charter High School where she is the Director of Dance and with the Colorado Department of Education where she helps to write dance curriculum. In 2010, Betsy helped to create the What-If Festival of Innovation which reaches more than 30,000 visitors each September. In her 30+ year stage career, her favorite roles have included Cassie in A Chorus Line, Mother Superior in Nunsence, Molly Brown in The Unsinkable Molly Brown, and her 15 seasons at Bob Young’s Cabaret. Betsy is thrilled to be a part of the Children’s Chorale family!

Donna Gillespie

Program Assistant and Overture Assistant

Donna has been a parent member of the Children’s Chorale for many years. Her three children sang with the Children's Chorale and through their years she has had many opportunities as a volunteer. She has served on the Parent Council as a Parent Representative as well as Co-Chair. Donna has been to every Chorale summer camp except two and regretted missing those. She has particularly enjoyed having the opportunity to travel with the Chorale. Donna’s background is in children. She graduated from Brigham Young University with a Master’s of Science in Speech Therapy and Elementary Education.  She taught reading and speech skills to children with special needs up until the time her children were born. Since then Donna has tutored, taught afterschool classes, and volunteered at church, school, and in the community. She’s thrilled to be helping in the office and getting to know your children. 

Carie Hagen

Administrative Assistant/Bookkeeper

Carie is a native of Colorado. She graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. Before joining the Colorado Springs Children’s Chorale staff, Carie worked seventeen years for the same corporation writing contracts and performing accounting and back office administration work. Her daughter sings with the Summit Ensemble of the Children's Chorale and Carie serves on the Parent Council as the Social Committee Chairperson and has been a parent member since 2014. Carie is also on the Youth Board at Ascension Lutheran Church and volunteers in her daughters’ schools and the community. In her spare time she loves travelling and spending time with her husband and two daughters.

Elizabeth Peterson

Administrative Assistant

Elizabeth is a Texas native. She returned to Colorado Springs in 2014 when her son, Daniel, auditioned for the Children’s Chorale and was invited to join the Summit Ensemble. During her son’s four years with the choir she served as Parent Representative, Ad Sales Coordinator, and on the Parent Council. During the day she works remotely for her family's air conditioning business in Texas as an Accounting Assistant & Finance Director. In Texas at her church, she was a youth leader, children’s ministry leader, and participated in the dance ministry for ten years. Working with kids and dance are her two loves so she’s excited to be able to share that passion with the Children’s Chorale. Her son is now an alum but she looks forward to continuing on with the Children’s Chorale in the office, on Parent Council, Ad Sales Coordinator and wherever else she can be of help.

Jen Lennon

Drama & Choreography Consultant

Jen returned to Colorado Springs after spending 14 years living in Chicago & Toronto. She earned a Bachelor degree in Performance Studies and a Master in Education & Social Policy from Northwestern University. Jen has designed and implemented drama curriculum for students in public and private schools, has directed numerous youth theatre productions, and has a teaching background in storytelling, music and forensics. Jen has continued her own performing since graduating from the Colorado Springs Children's Chorale in 1985. She has performed in a variety of musicals, revues, concerts, and church events, receiving recognition in the Toronto area for her work. Jen combined her love of sports and music by performing the national anthem for Major League Baseball, the NBA, and the Canadian Football League. Jen enjoys performing on the main stage at the Fine Arts Center as well as in the Children's Theatre Series on the FAC's Second Stage. Recent productions include Wizard of Oz, Mary Poppins, White Christmas and 9 to 5. Jen also serves on the Board of Opera Theatre of the Rockies and works for the Educational Outreach Department of Theatreworks. Daily Jen can be seen in her ongoing role as wife, mother of three, & host of KKTV 11 Connects. 

Socialize With Us:

Colorado Springs Children's Chorale

1409 Palmer Park Blvd

Colorado Springs, CO 80909

719-633-3562

cscc@kidssing.org

Copyright 2020