Sara Bendel Ryan, Kinder Chorus Director
Sara Bendel Ryan is an almost native of Flagstaff, having moved here when she was five. She graduated from NAU with a degree in Arts Management with an emphasis in music. After graduate school in Missouri she returned to Flagstaff. In 1997 she began teaching Kindermusik and that has since morphed into her own program of teaching music in area preschools, elementary schools, the NAU Community Music and Dance Academy and in the memory unit at the Peaks. She has been lucky enough to direct Kinder Chorus for the past couple of years and thinks it is great fun. She has played violin with the Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra for 23 years and has three wonderful musical daughters.
Steven Schaefer, Artistic Director
Steven Schaefer is a dynamic teacher and performer who has delivered dozens of recitals and collaborations to critical acclaim. Currently the choral director at BASIS Flagstaff, he directs 285 singers ages 7-13 performing regularly in the Flagstaff area. As the new artistic director for the Flagstaff Youth Chorale, Steven is looking forward to the 2017-2018 season creating excellent choral music through education, performance, composition and advocacy. As a choral educator, he is recognized for inspiring performances, creating innovative programs and engaging students in music learning with age appropriate literature while also demanding musical excellence. Mr. Schaefer holds a Bachelors Degree in Piano Performance from Northern Arizona University.
Courtney Evans, Accompanist
Courtney Evans is a senior at Northern Arizona University, studying Choral Music Education. At NAU, she has accompanied all of the choirs in the Choral Union, as well as instrumental and private voice students. She is also the music director and pianist for Lutheran Campus Ministry. Originally from Phoenix, Courtney began studying piano at the age of five and continued throughout her undergraduate studies in Flagstaff. Aside from piano, Courtney has also traveled across the country to choreograph show choirs, sings with the Shrine of the Ages Choir under the direction of Dr. Edith Copley and Sedona Academy of Chamber Singers under the direction of Dr. Ryan Holder, and sings with the vocal jazz and a cappella ensembles High Altitude and Northern Arizona Unaccompanied.