OREGON REPERTORY SINGERS ARTISTIC STAFF

Dr. Ethan Sperry, Artistic Director

Hailed by The Oregonian for providing “the finest choral concerts in Portland in recent memory,” Dr. Ethan Sperry has been the Artistic Director and Conductor of Oregon Repertory Singers since 2011. Dr. Sperry began studying conducting at the age of eight, cello at the age of twelve, and singing at the age of eighteen. He has earned a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy from Harvard College and Masters and Doctoral degrees in Choral Conducting from the University of Southern California. Ensembles under his direction have toured to Bermuda, Canada, China, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Guadeloupe, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Korea, Luxembourg, Puerto Rico, Russia, and Taiwan, and have performed at major venues in the United States including The Hollywood Bowl, The Kennedy Center, The Washington National Cathedral, St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City, The Nassau Coliseum, Cincinnati’s Music Hall, Boston’s Symphony Hall, and the United Nations. He recently led the Portland State Chamber Choir to victory as the first American choir ever to win the prestigious Seghizzi International Competition for Choral Singing in Italy, and led Oregon Repertory Singers to place second in the folk music category at the 2014 International Musical Eisteddfod in Wales, the oldest choral competition in the world. A prolific arranger of World Music for choirs, Dr. Sperry is the editor of the Global Rhythms series for Earthsongs Music, one of the best-selling choral series in the country. Dr. Sperry is also a frequent collaborator with film composer AR Rahman and has appeared as a guest conductor for him numerous times including at Bollywood Night at the Hollywood Bowl and the 2008 Filmfare Awards, the Indian equivalent of the Oscars. He also serves as a consultant for the KM Music Conservatory in Chennai, the first classical music school in India, which opened in 2009. Dr. Sperry was the 2016 Distinguished Artist at the Civitella Ranieri in Italy. He is also Director of Choral Activities at Portland State University, where he conducts the world-renowned Chamber Choir and University Choir and leads undergraduate and graduate programs in conducting.

Kimberly Skondin, Artistic Director, Youth Choirs

Kimberly Skondin holds her Bachelors of Music in Vocal Performance from University of Oregon and Masters in K-12 Music Education from Portland State University. Skondinis a level four certified Kodaly educator and has extensive experience performing, teaching, and directing choirs with the Youth Choir of Central Oregon. She has been the artistic director of the ORS Youth Choirs since 2014, and in 2016 won the prestigious Excellence in Elementary Music Education award from the Oregon Music Education Association. In addition to her work with Oregon Repertory Singers, Skondin is a K-5 music specialist at Hazeldale Elementary in the Beaverton school district, serves of the Oregon Music Educators Association Board, and National Planning committee for the Kodaly Conference. Prior to her work in the Portland metro area, she was the K-5 music specialist at Buckingham Elementary School in Bend, OR where she founded the Bronco Singers in 2011 which grew from 20 singers to 60 singers in three years.

Lennie Cottrell, Choir Manager

Lennie is a conductor, educator, singer, and arranger. He is the Director of Choirs at Valley Catholic School in Beaverton, Oregon where he teaches middle and high school music, and the Choir Director at Lake Oswego United Church of Christ. Before moving to Portland in 2016, Lennie worked for the Chicago Children’s Choir as an In-School Conductor, teaching music and leading choirs of students grades three through eight throughout the city of Chicago. Lennie is the co-founder of Constellation Men’s Ensemble, a non-profit professional men’s chamber choir. An experienced singer, Lennie sang with Cappella Romana in the ’18-19 season, and has performed with Chicago’s Music of the Baroque, and the Schola at Church of the Atonement. Lennie holds a Masters of Music in Conducting from Portland State University and a Bachelors of Music in Music Education from Northwestern University. Lennie has been ORS’ Assistant Conductor & Choir Manager since 2016.

Naomi LaViolette, Accompanist

Oregon Repertory Singers’ piano accompanist since 2004, Portland-born Naomi
LaViolette earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in classical piano performance from the University of Puget Sound and Portland State University, respectively. She has performed on piano with numerous ensembles, including Portland Piano International, Choral Cross-ties, Tacoma Civic Chorus, Classical Revolution PDX, Portland Jazz Festival, Gorge Music Festival, The Vancouver Symphony and the Fleur-de-Lis piano trio. A creative songwriter, arranger and recording artist, Naomi released her first solo record in March 2012, a holiday single Noel in December 2012 (subsequently arranged for and widely performed by choirs, including ORS), and an EP titled You’ve Got Me in October 2013. She has performed her jazz-, folk- and pop-infused numbers at venues such as Jimmy Mak’s, Alberta Rose Theater and Doug Fir Lounge.

In October 2017, Naomi released her newest full-length album Written for You, featuring songs written as commissions and gifts. Her work as a pianist, vocalist, arranger and composer with Steven Goodwin and the Saving His Music project has received prominent coverage in national and local news, including CBS Sunday Morning, The Week, The Oregonian, and The Saturday Evening Post.  Their record, The Nature Of Love, spent three weeks on the Billboard New Age chart in January 2018.

 

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