NMC Children's Choirs Faculty
Jeffrey Cobb – Artistic Director, Director of Cantus and Ragazzo
Jeffrey Cobb holds a M.M. in Choral Conducting from Oakland University and a B.M. in Music Education from Western Michigan University. Jeffrey is currently the Director of Music Programs at Northwestern Michigan College and the Director of Music at T.C. Central United Methodist Church. Choirs under his direction have received invitations to perform at state and national conferences including the Michigan Music Conference, the Michigan Youth Arts Festival, and the ACDA National Convention. In addition to his work as a conductor, Jeffrey is also a regularly commissioned composer. His award-winning choral works are published through G. Schirmer, Santa Barbara Music, Walton Music and Roger Dean Publishing. Jeffrey is also a sought after composer and arranger in other genres. His music can be heard on several television series, radio spots, and in television advertisements.
Stephanie Schall-Brazee – Director of Lyric and Prelude
Stephanie Schall-Brazee is an elementary general music teacher for the Traverse City Area Public Schools where she also directs the select Women’s Ensembles, Bella Voce and Bel Canto at West Senior High School. Stephanie’s training includes a Bachelor of Music Education Degree from Central Michigan University, and a Master of Music Education from The Hartt School, University of Hartford in Connecticut where she specialized in early childhood music. In addition to her teaching, Stephanie has also served as a clinician for Michigan music conferences presenting sessions on “Singing Development in Young Children”.
David Parrish – Co-Director of Bel Canto
David Parrish has a Bachelor and Masters Degree in Music Education and a Master of Arts in Humanities from Central Michigan University. He has worked in the Traverse City Area Public Schools as the former Director of Choral Activities for junior and senior high school. K-12 Music Coordinator, and as Program coordinator and instructor of Humanities at Central High School. He has directed local church choirs, TCAPS All-City Elementary Choirs and the junior and senior high State Honors Choirs for the Michigan School Vocal Music Association. He is one of the Associate Directors of the Bel Canto Choir in the NMC Children’s Choir program. He is a member of the American Choral Directors Association.
Mary Parrish – Co-Director and Accompanist of Bel Canto
Mary Parrish graduated from St. Joseph High School in St. Joseph, Michigan. She earned her music education degree from CMU and has lived in Traverse City since 1965, teaching general music in TCAPS until she retired in 2004. She and her husband David have two sons who live in the area. Mary has attended conferences and classes to learn more about the child’s voice for the last 20 years and she is passionate about the beauty of sound that only children can produce. It is her privilege to be a part of the NMC Children’s Choir family.
Todd Vipond – Director of Dolce
Todd Vipond is a certified K-12 music teacher with Traverse City Area Public Schools, where he has taught since 1996. He currently teaches elementary general music, and directs the All-City Boys Choir. He holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education/music from Western Michigan University and a master’s degree in choral conducting from The University of Tennessee. He is a Traverse City native and an avid boater.
Ann Hackett – ADMINISTRATIVE Coordinator
Ann Hackett has no musical training whatsoever, but she does have an ability for organization and a love for children’s music! Upon retirement from a 34 year teaching career in 2005, Ann was invited to assist the NMC Children’s Choir with its myriad of details. She is well familiar with the program; Ann is a parent of two daughters who sang in the inaugural choir in 1991. Ann and her husband, Jamie, raised three daughters since moving to Traverse City in 1973 and now enjoy the visits of 4 grandchildren. Beginning her eighth year as Volunteer Coordinator, Ann gives credit and gratitude to all of the families who step in to help in some way throughout the choir year.
Peggy Johnson – Accompanist for Cantus and Ragazzo
Peggy Johnson, accompanist for the Ragazzo and Cantus Children's Choirs, NMC Chamber Singers and Grand Traverse Chorale, and accompanist for the West Middle School choirs, has been a musician in the Grand Traverse area for over 12 years. With a B.A degree in Music Education and Performance, she has maintained an active private studio for students of piano for over 21 years and teaches Applied Piano at NMC. Ms. Johnson also freelances as an instrumental, vocal and choral accompanist.
Margie Hunter – Accompanist for Lyric
Margie Hunter recently retired from Traverse City Area Public Schools, having been a K - 12 music educator in the area for several years. Margie earned both her Bachelor of Music Education and Master of Music Education degrees from Central Michigan University. She has conducted, accompanied and sung in church, school, and community choirs in the Grand Traverse area for the past 25 years.
Robin Groothuis – Accompanist for Dolce
In addition to her work with NMCCC, Robin is the accompanist for Woodland School’s production department, teaches piano from her home studio, and is the creative director and pianist for the East Traverse Trio, a musical ensemble that also includes her two daughters, Helen (flute) and Greta (soprano). She is also a videographer and photo and video archivist, helping families and organizations preserve old photos and movies digitally for future generations.