Our Staff

… on the ARTISTIC side

Lori Tennenhouse

Executive and Artistic Director / Email Lori

Lori is the founding Artistic Director of the Grand Rapids Women’s Chorus and has served in that role since its founding in 1996. Passionate about expanding the depth of repertoire for women’s voices, she has collaborated with the Grand Rapids Women’s Chorus (GRWC) to commission and perform eight original works by women composers.  Her advocacy was recognized in 2006 when she was honored with a YWCA TRIBUTE! Award in the Performing Arts category. As an arranger, Lori published Iraqi Peace Song, a traditional Iraqi lullaby written by Knut Reiersrud and premiered by the GRWC in 2007. Lori received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Music from Aquinas College and is a member of the American Choral Directors’ Association, Michigan School Vocal Music Association and Chorus America.  She is proud of her involvement as a choral director in many festivals and collaborations leading choruses in Denver, Chicago, San Diego, Vancouver, Cincinnati, and Grand Rapids.

 

Elizabeth Hamm

Assistant Choir Director / Email Elizabeth

 Elizabeth Hamm is a hard-working and energetic musician who is passionate about her work both onstage and off. She has over 12 years of experience as a choir director and vocal music teacher in school, private, and church settings and is known for her attention to good vocal technique, excellent repertoire selections and, most of all, for developing a vibrant and collaborative community within her classes and ensembles. Elizabeth holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Cedarville University and has pursued graduate studies in literacy at Grand Valley State University. Elizabeth enjoys time on stage and performs regularly with the Opera Grand Rapids Chorus and the Chancel Choir of Park Church here in Grand Rapids.

Margaret Harrod-Burch

Choral Director - Grandville Avenue / Email Margaret

 Maggie is thrilled to join the staff of the Girls Choral Academy. Most of her teaching experience comes from the Chicago Public Schools, where she directed multiple levels of choir and taught piano and general music. In Grand Rapids, Maggie teaches private voice and piano. Maggie received a Bachelors degree in music education from The College of Wooster in Wooster, OH and a Masters degree in choral music education from Vander Cook College of Music in Chicago. Maggie and her husband Philip live in Grand Rapids with their children Lily, 5 and Sam, 3. 

Amanda Thorstein

Accompanist

Amanda has accompanied the Girls Choral Academy’s Choirs for 11 years. She has over 10 years of experience teaching piano. She loves working with the schools and in the classroom. Amanda holds a Human Resources Management degree from Grand Valley State University. 


Debra Brower

Accompanist

Deb Brower is a solo artist who specializes in Ragtime Piano Music, She received her formal training in piano at the University of Michigan. A member of the Grand Rapids Symphony Chorus since 2006, Deb has served as rehearsal accompanist for the Girls Choral Academy since 2013. She enjoys playing for the members of Fountain Street Church and retirement homes where she takes residents on a sentimental journey back in time with her own arrangements of the great melodies if the 1940’s and 1950’s.


Brenda Baker

Vocal Coach and Private Voice Instructor / Email Brenda

Brenda Baker is a retired music teacher who spent her last ten years directing the choirs at Northern Hills Middle School in Grand Rapids. With nearly half of the student body involved in her choirs, her program was widely respected and served as a model for other schools with developing choral programs. Brenda has a degree in vocal performance from Aquinas College, and did graduate work in voice at WMU. She completed her music education certification in the early 1990’s, and her masters in the Art of Teaching with a music emphasis in the mid-1990s. Her experience working with singers of all ages is far-reaching, and in addition to teaching in the public schools she has served in music ministry in a number of churches. She currently serves at assistant director of the Grand Rapids Women’s Chorus, and Lady Oak, a small auditioned ensemble within the women’s chorus. She has extensive experience as a soprano soloist in the Grand Rapids area, and currently has a voice and piano studio in her home.

… on the ADMINISTRATIVE side

Katelyn Lyon

Administrative Assistant / Email Katelyn

Katelyn has been involved with the Girls Choral Academy since 2006, first as a singer, then as an intern.  She serves in the role of Administrative Assistant for the office, as well as chaperones and assists with the singers at their performances and activities.  In addition to singing, listening to music, and reading, Katelyn likes to hike with her dog, Piper. Katelyn looks forward to seeing the Academy grow and in being involved in new exciting performance opportunities!

Lauren McMurry

Communications Manager / Email Lauren

Lauren is the newest member of the Girls Choral Academy team and is a trained classical musician. She holds two performance degrees specializing in bassoon. Lauren earned her Bachelor of Music from Michigan State University and her Master of Music from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She also enjoys world travel and participates in the International Double Reed Society Conference each summer.

Angela Devries

Special Events Coordinator / Email Angela

Angela DeVries is the Special Events Coordinator at Girls Choral Academy. Angela worked as the Assistant Divisional Development Director for The Salvation Army Western Michigan Northern Indiana Division and has over 8 years of fundraising experience. Angela received a degree in Business Administration from Aquinas College and a Master of Public Administration degree with an emphasis in Non-Profit Management and Leadership from Grand Valley State University. Angela is also Certified in Volunteer Administration. She is the proud mother of a baby boy and enjoys traveling, volunteering and cooking in her spare time.