Karen Bruno is the artistic director of Northwest Girlchoir and teaches Amore and Ensemble, the high school-aged choirs. She also serves as the Community Choir Chair for Washington’s American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) chapter. Before relocating to Seattle, she spent 25 years as the artistic director of the Lawrence Community Girl Choir Program in Appleton, Wisconsin. During that time, her choirs toured and performed at state and regional choral conferences. A frequent guest clinician, Karen has worked with youth and treble honor choirs throughout the Midwest, including the South Dakota All-State Choir, the AWAKE Choral Festival for Kodaly educators, and the Beyond the Notes Festival created to serve public school ensembles. She taught choral music education classes at Lawrence University’s Conservatory of Music after having taught in two public school districts in Wisconsin and at an international school in Dakar, Senegal. She has served the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) in a variety of ways at the state, regional, and national level. Highlights include several terms as the Children’s and Community Youth Choir Repertoire and Standards Chair for the North Central region, being elected president of the Wisconsin ACDA chapter, and serving as a founding member of ACDA’s national standing committee for Advocacy and Collaboration. Karen holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music and Economics from Smith College and a Master of Music degree in Music Education from Boston University. She has a son who lives in the United Kingdom and is allowed to share a home with an opinionated, fluffy, FIV-positive cat named Katya.
Interim Vivace Teacher-Conductor
Sarah Edmonds is thrilled to join NWGC as the Interim Vivace Teacher-Conductor! She received her music education certification with a choral endorsement from Western Washington University and teaches K-6 general music in the Edmonds School District. Previously, she was the musical director for youth theater productions throughout King County with Big Star Studios, Little Lemon Productions, and The Center School in Seattle. In addition, she has taught lessons in voice and piano to children of all ages. Her teaching philosophy revolves around creating an environment where students experience community, confidence, and joy within their music making.
Joseph To is an accomplished music director leading multiple organizations, including the Norwegian Ladies Chorus of Seattle, the Magnolia Chorale, and Northminster Presbyterian Church. With a master's degree in choral conducting and a bachelor's degree in music education, Joseph's expertise shines through his passion for world music, particularly Chinese choral music. He has conducted extensive research and captivating presentations on Mandarin and Cantonese choral music, successfully integrating ethnomusicology into secondary music education.
Furthermore, Joseph serves as the World Music and Dance Repertoire and Resources Chair for the Washington Chapter of the American Choral Directors Association (WAACDA). His outstanding contributions to the communities garnered him the "Outstanding Emerging Choral Director" award from WAACDA in 2022. An active presenter on ethnomusicology at local and regional music conferences, Joseph is dedicated to fostering Access, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (ADEI) in choral music-making, ensuring a meaningful musical experience for all. He is eagerly looking forward to joining the NWGC artistic team to teach Amabile in the upcoming season.
Nicole Maramba is an enthusiastic addition to Northwest Girlchoir, as the new Fresca Teacher-Conductor. Currently in her 5th year of teaching, she teaches in the Renton School District at the middle school level. Nicole focuses on nurturing young singers' voices, musicianship, fostering musical skills and confidence. Her passion lies in building a sense of community within her ensembles, encouraging a holistic approach to music that engages minds, hearts, and bodies. She has earned a bachelor's degree in Music Education and a master's degree in Curriculum and Instruction. Additionally, she currently serves as the Washington State American Choral Directors Association's Middle School/Jr. High Repertoire and Resources Chair. Excited to join the Northwest Girlchoir community, she eagerly looks forward to the upcoming season!
Prep Choir Teacher-Conductor
Haley Gabler is thrilled to be the Prep Choir Teacher-Conductor while teaching K-8 General Music at Villa Academy in the Laurelhurst neighborhood of Seattle. Haley is an active performer in the Seattle area, singing with several professional choral ensembles in addition to serving as a Section Leader for the Cathedral Choir at St. James Cathedral. She is a graduate of St. Olaf College with a B.M. in Music Education and has completed Kodaly Level I training. Haley is a proud alum of the Lawrence Community Girl Choir program where she sang for nine years, five of which were spent under the direction of Karen Bruno, the Artistic Director of Northwest Girlchoir.
Collaborative Pianist, Vivace
Dori Baunsgard is a Pacific Northwest native who returned to Seattle in 2011 after conducting choirs and teaching music for many years in Tokyo, Japan and Mussoorie, India. Dori has an avid interest in multiple styles and genres of music from all parts of the globe. In her accompanying career, she has played for many great conductors, including Henry Leck, Edith Copely and Elena Sharkova. Besides her accompanying work she is the conductor of Con Brio Women's Choir and co-conductor (with Beth Ann Bonnecroy) of Wanderlust Women's Choir of Seattle. Dori holds a Bachelor of Music Education from Seattle Pacific University and a Master of Music in Choral Conducting from Western Washington University.
Collaborative Pianist, Amabile, Amore, & Ensemble
Youngjin Joo is an organist, pianist, and collaborative artist. One of her earliest memories is playing the piano sitting on her mom’s lap. Her mom was her first piano teacher and has been her greatest supporter. She was introduced to the organ by the parish priest during her senior year of high school. These two keyboard instruments have been her passion. She has a great interest in improvisation in various styles, from baroque to jazz. She studied music theory/composition and music education at Seoul National University and holds a Master of Music degree in Organ Performance from the University of Washington. She has held musical posts at churches in Greenwich, CT, Aston and Wayne, PA, and she is the organist at Bellevue Presbyterian Church, where she accompanies the Sanctuary choir and Pneuma ensemble.
Collaborative Pianist, Prep Choir & Fresca
Kristen Orien has been a pianist for almost 30 years. Her mom taught her how to read music and after that, there was no stopping her! She received her BA in Music from Brigham Young University, with an emphasis on composition and theory. While there, she studied under both Jeffrey Shumway and Robin Hancock, both of whom are members of the American Piano Quartet and accomplished accompanists. Kristen has since taught piano and accompanied various soloists and ensembles throughout the PNW. In her spare time, she enjoys writing/arranging piano solos and pop songs and playing duets with her cellist wife. Her favorite composers are J. S. Bach and Philip Glass, one of whom she has met. She will talk with anyone about film music!
In her 10+ years as Northwest Girlchoir’s Executive Director, Jill Clymer has built community, financial stability, collaborative leadership, and commitment to racial equity. Raised in a family of musicians, Jill studied piano with her grandmother and went on to major in music at Wesleyan University. Her non-profit administration career started with internships at three major opera companies, which led to leadership fundraising roles at the Seattle Symphony and Food Lifeline, Washington's largest hunger relief agency. A lifelong choral musician, Jill believes in the power of singing together to connect, grow, and persevere. She lives in North Seattle with drummer husband Rob Tucker, their two teenagers (also musicians), and their rescue dog Ace.
Kevin Carson sang in choirs throughout his schooling and joined Seattle Men’s Chorus as soon as he moved to Seattle after college. After realizing corporate work life was not for him, Kevin made the move to non-profit arts and began working for Seattle Men’s Chorus. Although he never imagined himself doing fundraising, he quickly discovered the joy of talking to people about their shared love of choral music and helping them ensure its success. In the twenty years he worked for Seattle Men’s Chorus and Seattle Women’s Chorus, Kevin learned a lot about non-profit arts administration, especially as it applies to choruses, and he is excited to bring that experience to Northwest Girlchoir. He strongly feels that music is a powerful tool in the important work of social change and is thrilled to work with Northwest Girlchoir to empower women’s voices in the on-going work of creating a more just and beautiful world.
Ann Selznick joined Northwest Girlchoir in 2021 to further her life-long passion for music. Prior to relocating with her family to Seattle, Ann built a career in recording studios and music publishing in New York City. Her music business vocation began with assisting audio engineers at the eclectic studio Water Music, recording independent artists such as Yo La Tengo, Freedy Johnston and the Feelies. She later managed operations at midtown Manhattan's Sound On Sound Studios, hosting top major label and international recording artists of all genres including choral, classical, pop, jazz, rap, hip-hop, rock, advertising, film and foley. Ann then pivoted to Cherry Lane Music Publishing to audit royalty statements for the Elvis Presley and John Denver catalogs, DreamWorks Pictures and thousands of additional compositions. Whether setting up microphones or tracking down royalties, she enjoys and excels working behind the scenes supporting the creation of music. Ann earned a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from Pennsylvania State University. She has been an active volunteer and board member for Crown Hill Village Association and Ballard (High School) Performing Arts Boosters.
Tanya (Glory) Baer
Tour & Concert Coordinator
Glory Baer joined Northwest Girlchoir in March 2023, days before the Spring Concert and jumped right in to support the backstage workings of the concert. Having attended many prior concerts and Spring Fling fundraisers as a longtime supporter of the choir, Glory is thrilled to be working behind the scenes to coordinate concert logistics and the beloved choir tours. Glory moved to Seattle twenty years ago and considers the Pacific Northwest home now. She splits her free time between spending time outdoors, whether walking, biking or hiking, and on her creative writing and mixed-media art projects. Glory taught high school math in California, prior to moving to WA, and followed her years of teaching working for and volunteering with several other non-profit organizations. Glory hopes to bring her passion for community building to the choir and looks forward to meeting all the choir families in the 23-24 choir season!
Rachel Oliver grew up in the Seattle area singing in school choirs as well as the Seattle Children’s Chorus. She continued in choral music and private voice instruction when attending Shoreline Community College and Western Washington University where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Communication. Currently, the Mill Creek Chorale is where she continues her joy of singing. Music has always been such an important part of her life, and she is so excited to be able to help foster that interest and passion for young girls. Before joining the team at NWGC, Rachel obtained many years of experience as a marketing and communications professional honing her design skills and use of creative expression along the way. She hopes her collective experience with companies ranging from radio, theatre and live music venues will create the perfect balance as the Marketing Coordinator. Rachel resides in Kirkland with her husband Nathaniel Chapman, who is also a recording artist. They recently welcomed their first child Evelyn in February 2021 and think they will definitely have a future Northwest Girlchoir chorister on their hands.
Professor of Marketing & International Business, University of Washington
Senior Manager, Innovation Development, University of Washington
Attorney, Wechsler Becker, LLP
SUP Commercial Banking Officer, Truist Bank
Nurse Practitioner, Woodcreek Healthcare/Multicare; Northwest Girlchoir Alum
Senior Policy Advisor for Climate to Washington State Governor Jay Inslee
Massage Therapist; Northwest Girlchoir Alum
Medical Hospitalist at Providence Regional Medical Center, Everett
Consultant, AssuredPartners MCM
Director of Enrollment & Financial Aid, Bertschi School
Freelance Parenting Writer
Clinical Associate Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology, University of Washington