Central Dakota Children's Choir

Teri Fay, Artistic Director / Conductor - Singing for 2nd Graders & Bel Canto

Teri is the founding director of CDCC and has also served as Artistic Director since 2001. She directs Bel Canto, and is also the founding director of Angelica, which she led from its inception in 2005 until the spring of 2015. Most recently, she developed and teaches the "Singing for 2nd Graders" and "Super Summer Singing" classes. Teri's vision for CDCC has taken it from one choir of 75 to seven different performing/teaching segments in the Bismarck/Mandan area. Teri is honored to have performed at many local and state functions over the past 19 years with CDCC.

Now retired from the Bismarck Public Schools, Teri served the education community as an Elementary Music Specialist and Band Director at Dorothy Moses School in Bismarck. One of the first Orff teachers in the area, she not only brought about many changes in how music was being taught in the public school district, but also conceived the idea for the Bismarck Public Schools Band Camp and, together with Bob Beck, established this unique opportunity for children to begin learning their instrument. The Dorothy Moses Band, under Teri's direction, was the first elementary band to march in the annual Band Night Parade, and Teri was the organizational force behind the Bismarck 6th Grade All-Star Marching Band for many years. She served on countless projects for the school district. Teri holds memberships in many professional organizations.

Teri plays horn in the Bismarck-Mandan Symphony, Missouri River Community Band, West River Winds, and the Bismarck-Mandan Wind Ensemble. She also spent many years as a cantor, pianist, organist, and choir director at the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit. Because of her dedication to the school district and community, Teri received the 2000 Crystal Apple Award from the Bismarck-Mandan Chamber of Commerce. Teri is the composer of "That's What North Dakota is to Me," sung at the state Centennial Celebration in 1989 and performed every year by Bel Canto.

A North Dakota native, Teri is a graduate of Minot State University with additional graduate work done at the University of Colorado. Teri has earned a Level III Certificate in Orff (studying with Jos Wuytack), a Level I Certificate in the Kodaly Method and completed Levels I and II of Creating Artistry with Henry Leck.

She is amazingly proud of her 3 children: MeriCarol (husband Brooks) Shannon, a Circulation Services Supervisor with the Hennepin County libraries in the Minneapolis area; Stephanie Storhaug, teaching children with learning disabilities in the Seattle Public Schools; and Ron Storhaug, Senior Economic Policy Advisor to Senator Tim Kaine in Washington, DC.

Mike Seil, Conductor - Angelica & Cantus

Michael Seil is the director of choral music at Legacy High School. This past November, Mr. Seil was the vocal director for the Bismarck Public School's production of the musical "My Fair Lady."

Mr. Seil is also the director of the Angelica and Cantus Choirs of the Central Dakota Children's Choir. Angelica is a treble choir for women in grades 9-12 and Cantus consists of selected students in grades 10-12. Cantus was selected as one of four invited choirs for the 2009 Concordia College Choral Festival. In September of 2007, Cantus performed Schubert's Mass in G Major with the Missouri Valley Chamber Orchestra and performed at the March 2008 NDMEA Conference in Bismarck.

Prior to teaching at LHS, Mr. Seil was the choral director at Bismarck High School from 2003-2013 and at Simle Middle School in Bismarck from 1996-2004. As a member of ACDA, Mr. Seil serves as North Dakota's Repertoire and Standards Chair for Vocal Jazz. Mr. Seil also serves as the NDMEA All-State Vocal Jazz Honor Choir chairperson. In February of 2012, Mr. Seil was selected as the NDACDA "Choral Director of the Year." In May of 2011, Mr. Seil was selected as the Bismarck-Mandan Chamber of Commerce "Outstanding Secondary Teacher of the Year." In 2007, Mr. Seil was selected as the Wal-Mart/Sam's Club "Teacher of the Year." Mr. Seil was also awarded the 2002 KXMB Golden Apple Award.

Away from school, he is an active clinician, soloist, composer, pianist and arranger. Mr. Seil served as the director of the 2012 NDACDA Junior High/Middle School Mixed Honor Choir. Mr. Seil is a 1995 graduate of the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks, studying under Dr. James Rodde. He is married to Sheri (Schwindt) Seil, a DDS administrator for North Dakota. They have a son (Harrison) who is currently in Cantus and a daughter (Addison) who is currently in Bel Canto.

Dawn Hagerott, Conductor - Jubilate

Dawn brings a great deal of vocal and choral experience to CDCC. She has a Master of Music degree from Northern Arizona University where she was a graduate assistant in opera, and a music instructor for six years. She was the chair of the vocal department of the Northern Arizona University Preparatory School of Music where she was a voice instructor and children's choir director. She was also the choral director of Flagstaff Middle School and the high school of the Flagstaff Arts and Leadership Academy. Dawn conducted the ensembles of the Academy at the Grand Canyon for President Bill Clinton and Vice-President Al Gore.

Before moving to Arizona, Dawn and her husband David lived in Moscow, Idaho for six years where they attended the University of Idaho. Dawn graduated with a Bachelor of Music Education and was a featured soloist with several choruses and orchestras of Washington and Idaho. She also directed the children's choir at Emmanuel Lutheran church in Moscow. Prior to returning to her hometown, Dawn and her husband, David, were in Dickinson for a year where Dawn was an adjunct professor of music for Dickinson State University. She was also the children's choir director at St. John Lutheran Church and the director of the Badlanders Barbershop Chorus.

Dawn is a member and soloist with the Bismarck-Mandan Civic Chorus. Dawn has played leading roles in many operas, including the Queen of the Night in The Magic Flute by Mozart with the Bismarck-Mandan Symphony Orchestra. Dawn was soloist in Handel's Messiah with orchestras in Arizona, Dickinson and Bismarck. As a member of the BMCC opera board, Dawn presents an educational program about opera for the Bismarck Public Schools each year, in addition to an education program about choir with Jubilate, as part of the school district's Student Instructional Programs. In the summer of 2005, Dawn was the soprano soloist in Rutter's Requiem with the Frankfurt Philharmonic in Rothenburg, Germany.

Dawn also keeps busy presenting vocal master classes, directing festival choruses, and adjudicating festivals and competitions in North Dakota, Minnesota and South Dakota. She has directed the North Dakota ACDA Surround the State in Song, the Northern Plains Music Festival, the South Dakota Elementary Choral Festival, and the Bismarck All-City Middle School Choral Festival. Dawn is an active member of the American Choral Director's Association, and is past president of the ND National Association of Teachers of Singing.

Dawn has been the director of the Jubilate Choir of Central Dakota Children's Choir since its inception in 2001 and spent two years as the director of the Angelica choir. Dawn has been teaching music at Bismarck State College since 2000 and is currently an associate professor of music at BSC where she has twice been the recipient of the faculty award for excellence. Dawn is also an adjunct professor of music for Dickinson State University in their new Bachelor of Music Program through DSU at BSC. Her husband, David, is employed with AE2S. Their son Morgen was a singer in CDCC for ten years and Gabriel was a member of Jubilate for two years.

Although Dawn loves to perform music, her true passion lies in teaching music. She enjoys sharing her knowledge and love of singing with singers of all ages. She believes singing gives us the ability to connect to people at a deeper level that transcends ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds. We can be a member of a chorus and become part of something that is unified and much larger than us. Singing is something we can share with others and enjoy our entire lives.

Jim McMahon, Conductor - Kantorei

James McMahon is the Director of Choral Activities at Simle Middle School in Bismarck, North Dakota, where he has over 400 students participating in the Choral program. James received the Golden Apple Award in 2007 for teaching excellence, and was recognized as the 2008 North Dakota ACDA Young Choral Director of the Year. While in college, Mr. McMahon was awarded "Best Male College Jazz Vocalist" at the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival. James has performed at venues in New York, New Orleans, L.A., and Montreux, Switzerland. James was more recently voted "Favorite Keyboardist" during the 2016 North Dakota Music Awards.

Locally, he can be found playing trumpet, piano, percussion and as a vocalist in varying area groups, primarily with the folk duo "The McMahon Bros." As a trumpet player, he is now proudly representing Getzen as a Trumpet Artist, has served on the International Music Camp faculty, and maintains a private trumpet studio. He is also active in the community serving as the Past-President of the Dakota West Arts Council Board of Directors. He also is a high school tennis coach, currently working with the Legacy High School Boys Tennis Team. James is in his 14th year as the Director of Choral Activities at Simle Middle School and is an active musician, educator, and composer. This is his 5th season as the director of Central Dakota Children's Choir's Middle=Level group, Kantorei.

He enjoys the outdoors, spending time at the hockey rink and completing house projects. His greatest joy is raising his three amazing sons Justice, Avery, and Stryder with his partner, Mollie.

Carol Huck, Accompanist, Kantorei, Angelica & Cantus

Carol is a native of Bismarck and first studied piano locally under Erma Garrity. She is a 1981 graduate of North Dakota State University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Music Education. She was a member of the NDSU Concert Choir and was the accompanist for the renowned composer/director Edward Fissinger. Carol studied piano privately under Andrew Froelich while at NDSU.

She has been an accompanist for Bismarck and Mandan Public Schools and has a long history of musical involvement in the community. Carol is active in local church and community musical groups and is employed with Eckroth Music in Bismarck.

Carol has three grown children and four grandchildren. She resides in Mandan with her husband, Don.

Beth Weiss, Accompanist - Jubilate

Beth is excited to return to Bismarck and Central Dakota Children's Choir after living in Watertown, SD for ten years. When Jubilate formed in 2001, Beth was hired as the accompanist, a position she filled until December of 2007. She was also the first accompanist for Angelica, from its debut in 2005 until 2007. Having moved out of state during CDCC's 10th season, Beth is especially thrilled to be back for the 20th Anniversary. She started accompanying student choirs in her seventh grade chorus in Grand Forks, and has been involved with music all over North America since. In addition to her work as an award-winning visual artist, Beth serves as the worship leader at First Baptist Church in Bismarck where her husband, Bob, is the pastor. Their son, Ben, is a librarian in Minneapolis.

Joan Eckroth-Riley, Accompanist - Bel Canto

For 35 years Joan Eckroth-Riley has been sharing her passion for music education with students ranging in age from kindergarten through college. She currently shares the joy of making music with students in Kindergarten through fifth grade at Sunrise Elementary in Bismarck, ND. Joan is the author of "Everyday Improvisation; Interactive Lessons for the General Music Classroom" published by Alfred, and a contributing author for "Kaleidoscope," a book of lessons on the new Core Music Standards sponsored by NAfME. In addition to her teaching duties, Joan is a frequent workshop presenter on Standards and assessments for elementary music, is a certified recorder and movement instructor for Orff Schulwerk courses, and serves as the accompanist for Bel Canto. Joan holds an MA in Music Education with an emphasis in Orff Schulwerk from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN. She is a Past-President of the North Dakota Music Educator's Association and Prairie Winds Orff, and was honored to be named the 2016 ND Music Educator of the Year.

Tammy Rector, Executive Director

Tammy joined our staff in September, 2007 as Operations Director. In 2009, she was promoted to Project Manager and in the fall of 2012 took on the additional duties of Director of Development. In the spring of 2015, she accepted the position of Executive Director following the retirement of Karen Traeholt.

Tammy graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a degree in Business Administration with special emphasis in personnel management and speech communication. She and her husband, Tim, moved to Mandan, ND in 1994. In 1996, they opened Heart River Animal Hospital, where Tim was a private practitioner and Tammy kept the books and thoroughly enjoyed being a full-time, stay-at-home mom. Prior to moving to ND, Tammy was an account representative for a printing business in Spokane, WA. Before that she worked as an editorial advisor at an educational publishing company in Manhattan, KS.

Tammy grew up in a musical family. Her mother directed the church choir and she and her brother and sisters performed for school and community events from a young age. Her love of music continued through high school and college where she participated in concert choir, swing choir, All-State and various ensembles. Her first encounter with CDCC was seeing Bel Canto pose for pictures on the steps of the State Library. She was so impressed, she approached Karen to inquire about the group and made a mental note of how old her daughter would need to be to audition!

Tammy and Tim have two children, Erin and Thane. Erin was one of the first 10+ year students, participating in both Kantorei and Angelica her freshman year and Angelica and Cantus as a junior. Thane was a member of CDCC for three years.

Amy Miller, Operations Director

Amy became part of CDCC's staff in February, 2009. She is a Bismarck native. Amy has degrees from BSC and Alexandria Technical College. She has a strong background in customer service and design. Amy started as our Administrative Assistant and shortly after assumed Operations Director responsibilities.

Amy and her husband, Brett, have a three amazing children, Samuel, Rory & Eva.

Jennifer Bender, Administrative Assistant

Jennifer began working at CDCC in the summer of 2016. She has a teaching degree from Moorhead State University, taught 3rd grade in Minnesota and Special Education in Hawaii, and is currently homeschooling her boys Nathan (14), and Eric (12) with her husband, Dave. Her oldest son, Lucas is attending BSC this year. Nathan has been singing with CDCC since 2011 and Eric will singing with CDCC for the first time this year.




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