43 Years Of Creating a Better World Through Song

The Colorado Springs Children’s Chorale, was founded in 1977 as a civic children’s choir. From humble roots it has grown to be an organization with five choirs and a annual enrollment of nearly 200 children, in grades 3 – 12 , from throughout the Pikes Peak Region. The Chorale’s musical excellence has earned it national and international recognition as one of the country’s outstanding children’s choirs, and it has been honored with three first place Gold Medals in international competitions. They have traveled to Japan, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Great Britain, and in 2011 toured in South Africa. In the United States, they have performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. and at Carnegie Hall in New York City. In 2004, the Children’s Chorale pioneered the Pikes Peak International Music Festival – In Harmony -- which has now been hosted in cities around the world. The Festival returned to Colorado Springs in 2010, with nearly 300 young musicians participating in the week-long festival. The Children’s Chorale has been the recipient of the El Pomar Award for Excellence in the Arts and Humanities, and the Mayor’s International Award for International Outreach.

Although the Colorado Springs Children’s Chorale has garnered recognition  and an exceptional array of awards abroad, its heart and spirit is firmly rooted in Colorado and the Colorado Springs community. It features an extensive statewide outreach program, including its High Altitude Youth Chorus, X-VOX: Generations Joined in Song Festival, Adopt-a-School Festivals, School Blitz days, Raise the Roof Boychoir Festival, an extensive tuition assistance program, workshops and residencies in schools, and concerts all over the state for groups including Pikes Peak Hospice, Cancer Survivors, CASA, and nursing homes.

Our Unique Philosophy

In its 43 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 Choral Academy and Springs 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

Ms. Hendricks has served the organization for 31 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, Ms. Hendricks has created and produced many of the Chorale’s popular programs such as the All-City Boychoir Festival, now in it’s 14th year; In Harmony International Music Festivals; and Pikes Peak Center concerts each year.   Chorale outreach programs including the Adopt-a-District, Satellite Choir, Generations Initiative, and School Blitz days were a brainchild of Ms. Hendricks’ desire to position the Children’s Chorale to better serve the greater 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.  Ms. Hendricks 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 Educator’s Association.   Ms. Hendricks 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 to us.

Kim Schultz

Summit Ensemble Director and Outreach Coordinator

Kim Schultz is the Conductor of the Summit Ensemble of the Colorado Springs Children's Chorale, as well as the Outreach Coordinator for the organization.  Kim also serves as Music and Communications Director at First Christian Church, where she conducts the Chancel, Handbell, and Children's Choir, as well as leads the Youth Praise Band. She founded and directed the Chamber Singers of the Colorado Springs Chorale for 8 years, and served as Associate Conductor for the Colorado Springs Chorale for 3 years.  She is the Artistic Director for X-VOX: Generations Joined in Song, a festival bringing singers of all ages together to perform a major work with orchestra each spring.  She has been honored to be a guest clinician for Colorado Springs District 11, Arkansas Valley Schools, the Colorado Springs School, and many local and national music festivals.  She currently serves as the membership chair for Colorado American Choral Directors Association, and holds memberships in Chorus America and Colorado Music Educators Association. She also sings with the Evans Choir, a professional ensemble based in Denver.  Kim received her Masters of Music degree in Choral Conducting from the Lamont School of Music at the University of Denver, where she served as the graduate teaching assistant for choirs.  She received her Bachelor of Arts in Music and History from Duke University in Durham, NC.  Originally from Washington, D.C., Kim has lived in Colorado Springs for 19 years.  She and her family love the Colorado lifestyle and playing in the mountains as much as possible. 

David Acton

Summit Ensemble & Springs Singers Accompanist

David is the accompanist for the Springs Singers 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 tea, reading, running, hiking, almost anything to do with Austria, and watching the Great British Baking Show!

Victoria Lipscomb

Pikes Peak Singers Director

Victoria Lipscomb has been singing professionally in the Colorado area since she was a child.  She majored in music at Pikes Peak Community College where she studied Jazz and Classical.  Some of her past singing endeavors have been the Colorado Springs Children’s Chorale, children’s roles at the Fine Arts Center, as well as a school choir performance at Carnegie Hall in New York City.  Along with directing the Pikes Peak Singers, Ms. Lipscomb is presently the Director of Music Ministries at First Baptist Church of Colorado Springs and she is also the founder and lead singer of Kopesetik Soul, an Indi-soul band based in Colorado Springs. 

Debbie Salamander

Pikes Peak Singers Accompanist


Debbie has enjoyed traveling the world with her husband, Regan and their family.  Debbie has been a choral accompanist from Germany to Japan and Minot to Shreveport in the United States. 


She is currently the accompanist at Falcon High School and Middle School.  Debbie also sings in the Chamber Singers of the Colorado Springs Chorale.

Mandy Todd

Springs Singers Director

 Mandy has over 15 years of experience teaching music and drama in public schools and churches. 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 working on a Doctor of Ministry in Public Theology degree at Drew University in Madison, NJ, with mentors Rev. Dr. Jacqui Lewis and Rev. John Janka. Mandy loves reading, riding bikes and sharing life in downtown Colorado Springs with her family. 

Wes Sparkes

Elevation Young Men's Choir Director and Accompanist

Wes Sparkes is in his 7th year as the choir director at Eagleview Middle School in District 20. Eagleview houses an Academic Arts Academy where students study core curriculum through arts integration and the choir program serves over 320 singers. Mr. Sparkes’ choirs have performed at the state music educators conference, consistently receive superior and best overall ratings at contest, and more than 100 Eagleview students have been selected for Colorado Middle School All-State choir. Wes was accepted to the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music as a double major on piano and trumpet and graduated with a B.M. in Trumpet Performance. Mr. Sparkes became more involved with vocal pedagogy after college and attended Colorado College to pursue his Master of Arts in Teaching. Wes sings with the Colorado Springs Chorale and has performed with the group since 2014. Additionally, he and his wife both coach ultimate frisbee, at Air Academy High School and the US Air Force Academy respectively. 

Tammy Teske Lenz

The Choral Academy Director

Ms. 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. Her Master’s degree in Education came 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. Ms. 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. 

Emily Holzmer

Choral Academy Accompanist

Emily Holzmer has accompanied choirs and vocal and instrumental soloists and ensembles for over 20 years. She worked as an accompanist for vocal and instrumental students at the Lionel Hampton School of Music at University of Idaho. She has served as pianist and organist for several congregations of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. She currently assists with accompaniment of Soli Deo Gloria community choir and mentors children and teenagers in music composition through the Mile High Music Makers Compose Project. Emily holds degrees from College of Southern Idaho, Brigham Young University, and University of Idaho.

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 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's Moms Everyday. 

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, Ms. McClenahan 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, Ms. McClenahan helped to create the What-If Festival of Innovation which is now in its 5th year and 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. Ms. McClenahan is thrilled to be a part of the Children’s Chorale family!

Jessica McClung

Singer Smarts Instructor

Jessica McClung is in her 7th 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.

Melissa Law

Drama Coach

Melissa Law is an alumni of the Children's Chorale where she spent 8 years, toured Japan and made lifelong friends! Melissa received her MA in Educational Theatre from NYU and spent 4 years teaching in NYC public schools. Before that, she spent several years in Chicago performing and teaching. She received her BA from Lawrence University in Wisconsin. Now back in Colorado, Melissa teaches Creative Dramatics at The Colorado Springs School full-time, where she directs 7 shows a year. She also teaches Arts Integration at UCCS, and has done other dramatic teaching work for a variety of organizations and theaters in Colorado Springs. She is excited to be be a part of the CSCC team!

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 Chorale and through their years she has had many opportunities as a Chorale volunteer.  She has served on the Parent Council as a Parent Representative as well as Co-Chairman.  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 after school 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 Pikes Peak Singers 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 & was invited to join the Summit Ensemble. During her son’s four years with the choir she served as parent rep, Ad Sales Coordinator & on the Parent Council. During the day she works remote for her families air conditioning business in Texas as an Accounting Asst. & Finance Director. In Texas she was a youth leader, children’s ministry leader, & participated in the dance ministry for ten years. Working with kids & 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.

Jennifer Erickson

Vocal Coach

Jennifer Leilani Erickson (nicknamed Jeffi) is the Vocal Coach/Instructor for all groups with the Colorado Springs Children’s Chorale. She also owns a successful Private Vocal Studio. Mrs. Erickson earned a Masters Degree in Vocal Performance, graduating Summa Cum Laude. She has been actively involved in performing and teaching voice since graduate school in 2010 around the country. Her love and interest with vocal pedagogy has developed a curiosity while continuously learning about the functionality of the voice. Her passion includes but is not limited to, teaching about the health and changes of the vocal instrument. Jeffi sincerely enjoys collaborating with each director while guiding students to perform with correct breath support, matching vowels, diction, proper technique, confidence, etc. in order to bring a significantly higher level of musicality to this art form. Jeffi is blessed to be a part of the CSCC family and also enjoys running, cooking, and spending time with her fun family of six. 

© 2016 Colorado Springs Children's Chorale

Colorado Springs Children's chorale

PO Box 7841

Colorado Springs, CO 80933


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