Jon Noyes – Music Director & Founder
Jon Noyes is a music educator in the Fairfield (Conn.) Public Schools (grades K-5) and is the Music Director & a founder of the Fairfield County Children’s Choir (grades 4-12). He is also Adjunct Professor of Music at Fairfield University. A Massachusetts native, Mr. Noyes received Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees from the Hartt School of Music at the University of Hartford. He holds a fourth-year certificate from the Kodaly Musical Training Institute and is a Past President of the Southern New England Kodaly Educators. He has completed post-graduate studies with Doreen Rao, Betty Bertaux, Henry Leck, Leon Thurman, Edwin Gordon, Gabriella Thesz and Tibor Szabo.
Mr. Noyes was named Choral Director of the Year for 1998 by the Connecticut Chapter of the American Choral Directors Association and is presently serving as Member-at-Large for that organization. He has conducted all-state and regional festivals in Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York and Connecticut. He has presented in-service workshops throughout the region, including Villanova University, and has published articles in local, state and regional journals. In March 2011 Mr. Noyes will conduct the National Children’s Choir of the Organization of American Kodaly Educators at the OAKE Annual Conference in Minneapolis. In July 2011 he will conduct the senior choir at the Vocal Arts Camp at James Madison University in Virginia. Under his direction, the Fairfield County Children’s Choir has performed in New York at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center and West Point, in Boston, Burlington, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., New Orleans, San Francisco, Oakland, Hawaii, Canada, England, Ireland, Austria and the Czech Republic.
Mr. Noyes is a member of CMEA, MENC, ACDA, GIML, OAKE and ASCD. He resides in Orange, Conn. with his wife Sarah and children Jake and Abby.
Cynthia Holberg- Chorus Conductor
Cynthia Gisela Holberg is a Choral Director and General Music teacher (grades K-4) in the Newtown Public Schools. Ms. Holberg received a M.M. degree with Kodály emphasis from Holy Names University in Oakland, California, and earned a B.S. in Music Education, a B.M. in Music Theory, and a Minor in English from the University of Connecticut. She taught Chorus and General Music in the Darien Public Schools (grades K-5) for five years, and during her year three-year residency in the Bay Area, Ms. Holberg was the Choral Director and General Music teacher at Live Oak School (grades K-8) in San Francisco. Ms. Holberg has also been an active church musician, singing in and accompanying choirs on organ and piano since the age of ten. She has enjoyed singing and touring with Saint Luke’s Episcopal Parish Choir of Darien for over six years, and presently serves as Director of the Junior and Primary Choirs and Soprano Section Leader. Ms. Holberg is an advocate of the “Kodály Method,” and completed Certification Levels I and II at New York University’s Kodály Summer Institute. Over the years, she has studied with master teachers the caliber of Erzebét Hegyi, Judit Hartyani, László Matos, Ildikó Thesz Salgado, Anne Laskey, David Xiques, Dr. Susan Glass, Avo Somer, Arthur Burrows, Dr. Neal Larrabee, and Dr. Peter Bagley. Since 2008, Ms. Holberg has been arranging, performing, and recording music with Cascada de Flores, a professional music ensemble dedicated to the preservation of Mexican and Cuban folk music and dance. Ms. Holberg is a member of the Organization of American Kodály Educators and the International Kodály Society. She lives in Oxford, Connecticut with her loving husband, Marcin and new baby boy.
Lisa Bettke – Chorale Conductor/Accompanist
Lisa Bettke is an elementary music specialist at McKinley School in Fairfield. She received a B.A. in Piano Performance and French from Gettysburg College and an M.S. in Music Education from the University of Bridgeport. Ms. Bettke completed her Orff Teacher Training levels I/II at Central CT State and Level III/Master Class at the University of Memphis. She has served as President of the CT Chapter of the American Orff-Schulwerk Association and was recently elected to the National Board of Trustees as a Regional Representative. Ms. Bettke has studied conducting with Doreen Rao (Levels I-III) and Henry Leck (Levels I-II). As an accompanist, she has worked with Doreen Rao, Henry Leck, Mary Goetze, Joan Gregoryk and Jean Ashworth Bartle.
Kevin Cotellese – Concert Choir Conductor
Kevin Cotellese is presently Director of Choral Activities at Fairfield Ludlowe High School where he conducts and teaches Music Theory, Piano and Voice Classes. Originally from Philadelphia, PA, he spent three seasons with the Opera Company of Philadelphia as the Assistant to the Chorus Master and Orchestra Manager. During this time, he also conducted choruses at Concord High School, DE and directed the Wilmington Madrigal Singers community chorus.
Mr. Cotellese received the Bachelor of Science degree in Music Education from West Chester University, PA and recently completed the Master of Music degree in Choral Conducting at Temple University, PA. He has studied conducting with Dr. Donald Nally, Mr. Alan Harler and Mr. Luis Biava. In addition to conducting, he has performed as a member of the Bridge Ensemble in the Spoleto Festival, Italy, and has sung with choruses in recent tours of England and Ireland.
Heather Hamilton – Accompanist
Heather A. Hamilton is the Music Director and Organist at Saugatuck Congregational Church in Westport, CT. She is also a certified music teacher in CT having taught in Fairfield, Bridgeport and Stratford. A Fairfield native, Dr. Hamilton has performed as pianist, accompanist, organist, percussionist and conductor throughout the United States and Europe. She attended the Mannes College of Music in New York City where she studied conducting with Amy Kaiser and Yakov Kreizbeg, organ with Edward Thompson and William Whitehead, piano with Diane Walsh, and chamber music with Sally Thomas. At the Manhattan School of Music she studied piano with Marc Silverman and Jeaneane Dowis and then was invited back to the Manhattan School, a full scholarship recipient, as the first pianist in the Orchestral Performance Program studying under Harriet Wingreen, pianist with the New York Philharmonic, thus earning a second Master’s Degree. As a graduate student she premiered over eighty new works and was fortunate to work with acclaimed composers Aaron Jay Kernis, Richard Danielpour and John Corigliano. As a student she has performed with the Chamber Orchestra of CT, Voices of Ascension Choir, members of St. Luke’s Chamber Orchestra, and in many venues in NYC including Merkin Hall, Symphony Space and Lincoln Center. In 2010 she earned her Doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of Bridgeport with her dissertation topic being, “A Bi-variate Examination of Leonard Bernstein’s Artful Learning Model.” She has attended the National Orchestral Institute, The Waterloo Music Festival, was assistant to Ms. Dowis at the Music Studies Abroad Program in Provence, France for two summers and was a conducting student at the Tanglewood Music Center in 1987 working under Leonard Bernstein, Gustav Meier, Seiji Ozawa among others. Dr. Hamilton has performed under the batons of Marin Alsop, Leonard Slatkin, Kurt Masur, Gerard Schwartz, and Gunther Schuller. She was founder and conductor of the Meetinghouse Orchestra and made her European conducting debut conducting Brahms’s German Requiem in Varna, Bulgaria. She served as full-time Music Director and Organist at First Church Congregational, Fairfield from 1996-2004. Dr. Hamilton is a frequent guest lecturer In the Lifelong Learners program at the Fairfield Senior Center among other venues. She resides in Fairfield where she is the owner of Hamilton Music Services, teaching beginner through advanced piano, as well as theory, history and composition to children and adults of all ages and a Partner at Ash Creek Fitness, Blackrock, CT.
Barbara Brauner – General Manager
Barbara Brauner joined Fairfield County Children’s Choir in 2003. A former administrator in theater management, she has overseen hundreds of national tours for the educational field including drama, comedy and ethnic dance performances. Ms. Brauner also works in administration for The Westport Historical Society. She lives in Trumbull with her husband and two daughters.
Alicen Gachi – Assistant Choir Manager
Alicen Gachi joined FCCC in 2006. Mrs. Gachi earned her undergraduate degree from Arizona State University, and her Master’s Degree from Sacred Heart University. She has taught kindergarten, first, and second grades for the past 12 years in Fairfield.