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Princeton Girlchoir

Princeton Girlchoir


Princeton Girlchoir
P.O. Box 145, Princeton NJ 08542

Organization Contact

Janet Perkins, Executive Director
Carol Burden, Co-President, Board of Directors

Organization Mission
The Princeton Girlchoir makes powerful, graceful and joyous music, and music makes powerful, graceful and joyous girls. We are dedicated to presenting extraordinary treble music, while building confidence, artistry, and a life-long love of singing together.

Short History
The Princeton Girlchoir was founded in 1989 by Janet A. Westrick, as an afterschool program that would provide a positive musical and social experience for middle-school girls. By 1993, the choir was incorporated as a non-profit organization, and by 1996, nearly 100 girls were learning, singing, laughing and forming lasting friendships. By 1997, we had expanded to three choirs, and today, we have nearly 250 girls in six different choirs. Girls from eight to eighteen years of age audition every year, and our new choristers are then placed in the choir that is appropriate for them. Our singers represent 35 towns and 70 schools throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Some of them travel more than an hour each way to their weekly evening rehearsals, doing their homework and eating dinner in the car.

In 2009, after 20 years of devoted service, our founder retired. After a national search, we were honored to have Lynnel Joy Jenkins accept the position as our new Artistic Director. Lynnel brings a wealth of experience, education, and enthusiasm to our choral community. Her extensive training, certifications, publications, national and international network, combined with her expertise in adjudication, provide our girls a powerful mentor, with an incomparable sense of creativity, wit and talent in bringing out the very best in each chorister. Our artistic staff of eight brings a wide variety of local, national, and international musical experiences to our choristers and audiences throughout the year, in our community and throughout the world. Repertoire includes classical, contemporary, folk, gospel, jazz, and spirituals from many cultures.

Musical studies offered
Choral singing, choral conducting (through internships), music theory, lyric diction

Grace Notes: our introductory choir, where the youngest girls learn the fundamentals of choral singing.

Quarter Notes: our intermediate choir, helping choristers to refine the skills attained by the Grace Notes. Both Grace Notes and Quarter Notes participate in exchanges with other novice choirs.

Semi-Tones: an advanced-intermediate choir, where girls master increasingly complex music, and expand their performances to include community concerts, collaborations and mini-festivals.

Concert Choir: an advanced choir that performs concerts at major concert venues locally, regionally, nationally and internationally.

Princeton Girlchoir Ensemble: our chamber choir, an advanced group comprising selected singers from Concert Choir.

Cantores: an advanced choir for young women in the tenth through twelfth grades.

Principal Faculty

Lynnel Joy Jenkins, Artistic Director and Conductor: Concert Choir
Lynnel Joy Jenkins is in her third year as Artistic Director of the Princeton Girlchoir as well as the choral teacher at the Timberlane Middle School of the Hopewell Valley Regional School District in Pennington, New Jersey. Prior to these appointments, Ms. Jenkins served as graduate assistant for the music education department at the University of Arizona in Tucson. In this capacity she conducted the University of Arizona's High School Outreach Choir, supervised student teachers, taught undergraduate music education courses including choral, secondary, and elementary methods.

Ms. Jenkins's varied conducting and teaching experience ranges from the elementary to collegiate level. She has served as Assistant Professor of Music Education at the Westminster Choir College of Rider University and Conductor of the Resident Training Choir at the American Boychoir School in Princeton, New Jersey. She was on the conducting staff of the Temple University Children's Choir where she served for three seasons. In her last year at Temple, she was the Associate Music Director of that ensemble. A former music specialist at the Haverford School in Haverford, Pennsylvania, she developed and implemented a general music program for elementary school children based on the pedagogy of Zoltán Kodály.

Ms. Jenkins is a choral conductor and music educator of international stature, having lectured and conducted in China, Hong Kong, Iceland, and South Africa. She has served as guest conductor for numerous Honor Choirs, All-States, and Choral Festivals in the United States and a clinician for several professional music conferences. She serves on the conducting faculty for the Virginia Organization of Kodály Educator's Vocal Arts Camp.

Ms. Jenkins has earned degrees from Westminster Choir College of Rider University and Temple University, and at both institutions was awarded the Elaine Brown Conducting Award. She holds a certificate in Kodály pedagogy from Westminster Choir College of Rider University and level two Orff-Schulwerk certification. She is a candidate for a doctor of musical arts degree in choral conducting at the University of Arizona in Tucson.

Kieun Steve Kim, Assoc. Director; Conductor: Princeton Girlchoir Ensemble
Kieun Steve Kim is the conductor of the Ensemble of the Princeton Girlchoir. Mr. Kim returns to the Princeton Girlchoir where he previously served as an accompanist for Grace Notes and Semi-Tones during the 2009-2010 season. Mr. Kim also serves as Interim Choral Director at Stuart Country Day School of the Sacred Heart and as Music Director at Princeton Presbyterian Church. At the Stuart Country Day School, Steve conducts the Upper School and Middle School choirs, directs musicals and teaches Advanced Placement Theory. At the Princeton Presbyterian Church, he directs and oversees music ministries including the Sanctuary Choir, Praise Team, Laudate Children's Music Education Program and Arts at Meadow Road Concert Series.

An active composer, Mr. Kim's instrumental and choral works are widely being performed in schools, concert halls, and sanctuaries. His choral composition, "A Prayer For This Time," written for the 2011 North Carolina Honors Chorus of North Carolina Music Educators Association will be performed this season. His choral piece "The Human Touch" was included in the 2011 Westminster Choir Tour Program which received performances in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Florida. Winner of 2008 Chanticleer Choral Composition Competition, his work "Sanctus" was performed by the GRAMMY award-winning ensemble in Minnesota, California, and Connecticut. His orchestral and chamber works have been performed by the San Francisco New Music Ensemble. His song-cycle "Three Love Songs by William Butler Yeats" written for bass-baritone, Kittinant Chinsamran, received numerous performances in San Francisco, Bangkok (Thailand), and Estoril Festival (Portugal). His musical analyses appear in the textbook, "Teaching Music Through Performance in Choir, Volume 3" and choral works are published by GIA Publications, INC.

Kieun Steve Kim earned a Master's degree in Choral Conducting from Westminster Choir College of Rider University. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Composition from San Francisco Conservatory of Music. When not conducting or composing, he enjoys playing baseball and racquetball.

Melissa Malvar-Ruiz, Assoc. Director; Conductor: Grace Notes and Semi-Tones
Melissa Malvar-Keylock conducts the Semi-Tones and Grace Notes choirs of the Princeton Girlchoir. She is the Director of Choral Music at Moorestown Friends School, where she conducts five upper and middle school choirs, and teaches Advanced Placement Music Theory. She serves on the board of the New Jersey Choral Director's Association as the R&S Chair for Children's Choirs. Previously, Mrs. Malvar-Keylock worked with the Indianapolis Children's Choir as the Director of Satellite Programs/Assistant Education Director. She holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Wheaton College, and a Master of Music in conducting degree from Butler University, where she conducted the collegiate Women's Glee Club. She completed her coursework for Kodály certification from Capital University, and is a member of the American Choral Directors Association, The Association for Music Education (formerly MENC), Organization of Kodály Educators, and Pi Kappa Lambda. She is listed in "Who's Who in American Women," and her conducting can be seen in the PBS documentary In Endless Song, and the educational video Creating Artistry through Movement: Dalcroze Eurythmics in a Choral Classroom. Mrs. Malvar-Keylock is an active choral clinician for festival and state choirs, and enjoyed her first bilingual conducting recently with a children's choir in Las Palmas of the Canary Islands. This year, her choirs will perform at the Eastern Division Kodály conference in New York, and the New Jersey Music Educator's convention. Her compositions/arrangements with Colla Voce and Hal Leonard Publishing have sold over 18,000 copies, and are performed by children's choirs throughout the country, including numerous festivals and state honor choirs. Quiet Sea was featured at the 2011 National ACDA convention's children's choir reading session. Her husband, Fernando Malvar-Ruiz, conducts The American Boychoir, and the couple resides in Lawrenceville, NJ.

Fred Meads, Assoc. Director; Conductor: Quarter Notes
In addition to his work with Princeton Girlchoir, Fred Meads is Director of Vocal Studies at the American Boychoir School in Princeton, NJ. His responsibilities there include teaching private voice lessons, music theory instruction and conducting the training choir. Previously he served as Artistic Director of the Fort Wayne Children's Choir from 1999-2009. Under his leadership, the choir of over 300 singers performed throughout the community, state and at festivals around the world. Last summer, the choir performed at the renowned Festival 500 in St. John¿s, Newfoundland, Canada. In 2003 and 2009 the choir sang for the IMEA State Music Convention. He also serves as Director of Children's Music at Marble Collegiate Church in New York.

Mr. Meads' range of choral experience includes directing a variety of choirs in public and private schools, churches and at the college level. He has presented choral workshops for the American Guild of Organists, IPFW (Indiana and Purdue University - Fort Wayne), Ball State University and for the Indiana Music Educators Association. He has been conductor for Circle the State with Song festivals throughout the state. Mr. Meads served on the ICDA State Board for six years and is now a member of the New Jersey-ACDA Board. As a vocalist, he has performed at the Bay View Music Festival (MI), Brevard Music Center (NC), and in several Carnegie Hall choral performances led by the late Robert Shaw.

Mr. Meads received the Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education from Ithaca College, NY and the Master of Music degree in Choral Conducting from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Mr. Meads was selected as a conductor for the Chorus America Master Class in San Francisco and the International Choral Conductor's Symposium in Toronto. He recently completed three levels of training at the Kodály Institute of Capital University in Columbus, OH where he received two scholarships as a top student. He was the 2005 recipient of the Margaret Keegan Award for Excellence in Arts Education presented by Arts United of Fort Wayne.

Raegan Ruiz, Assoc. Director; Conductor: Cantores
Raegan M. Ruiz is the conductor of the Cantores choir of the Princeton Girlchoir, and she is in her eleventh year as the Director of Choral Music at Bensalem High School in Bensalem, PA. Raegan holds the Master of Arts in Music and Music Education from Columbia University's Teachers College and earned her Bachelor of Music in Music Education with honors from The College of New Jersey, where she studied choral music with noted composer/conductor Michael D. Mendoza. An experienced professional singer, Raegan has appeared as Susanna in Mozart's Marriage of Figaro and as Adele in Strauss's Die Fledermaus. For the past ten years, Raegan has been a continuing member of the Philadelphia Singers, the group of professional singers comprising the core of the Philadelphia Orchestra's resident chorus, The Philadelphia Singers Chorale. With the Philadelphia Singers Chorale, Raegan has sung under the direction of some of the most widely recognized conductors in the classical music world: Simon Rattle, Charles Dutoit, Wolfgang Sawallisch, and Christoph Eschenbach, just to name a few. She is an active member of MENC: The National Association for Music Education as well as its local affiliates the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association and the Bucks County Music Educators Association. She also maintains active membership in the American Choral Directors Association and Chorus America. Raegan is a proud union member of both the National Education Association and the American Guild of Musical Artists.

Concert Schedule
2011-2012: Our 23rd Season

New Jersey Children's Choral Festival Concert
October 15, 2011
Nicholas Music Center, Rutgers University, Douglas Campus
The Semi-Tones with the Children's Chorus of Sussex County, New Jersey Youth Chorus, Newark Boys Chorus & Rutgers Children's Choir

In Mixed Company: The Keystone State Boychoir with the Princeton Girlchoir
November 13, 2011
Germantown Meeting House
6133 Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19144
Tickets: Free-will offering
The Cantores and The Graduate Choir of Keystone State Boychoir

Children Making a Difference
November 20, 2011, 3:00 PM
Trinity Cathedral, 801 West State Street, Trenton, NJ
Tickets: Free-will offering, to benefit S.A.V.E., A Friend to Homeless Animals
The Grace Notes and the Semi-Tones

Songs for the Holidays PLUS Book Fair Fundraiser
December 3, 2011, All Day
Barnes & Noble in the Princeton MarketFair Mall, US Route 1 South
Store location information
The Princeton Girlchoir

Songs for the Holidays
December 4, 2010, 1:00 PM
Stony Brook Gardens, Route 31 and Yard Road, Pennington, NJ
The Quarter Notes

Ceremony of Carols
December 4, 2011, 4:00 PM
Princeton Meadow Event Center at Princeton Presbyterian Church, Princeton, NJ
Tickets: (phone 1-866-967-8167 2:00 PM-2:00 AM)
The Cantores, Concert Choir, Princeton Girlchoir Ensemble and Semi-Tones

Songs for the Holidays
December 5, 2010, 1:00 PM
Stony Brook Gardens, Route 31 and Yard Road, Pennington, NJ
The Princeton Girlchoir Ensemble

Guests of American Repertory Ballet: The Nutcracker
December 17 & 18, 2011, 1:00 & 4:30 PM
State Theater, New Brunswick, NJ
Members of the Princeton Girlchoir

Princeton Girlchoir: United in Song
January 29, 2012
Richardson Auditorium, Princeton University
The Princeton Girlchoir

Annual Spring Concert
May 19, 2012,
Princeton Meadow Event Center at Princeton Presbyterian Church, Princeton, NJ
Tickets: (phone 1-866-967-8167 2:00 PM-2:00 AM)
The Grace Notes, Quarter Notes, and Semi-Tones

Annual Spring Concert
May 20, 2012, 4:30 PM
Princeton Meadow Event Center at Princeton Presbyterian Church, Princeton, NJ
Tickets: (phone 1-866-967-8167 2:00 PM-2:00 AM)
The Cantores, Concert Choir, and the Princeton Girlchoir Ensemble

Sing A Mile High International Children's Music Festival
June-July, 2012
Denver, Colorado
The Concert Choir