Meet Our Staff

Leadership

Artistic Director

Paul Caldwell, Artistic Director

Paul Caldwell, Artistic Director

Member since 2016

paulc@seattlechoruses.org

Previously the artistic director for Windy City Performing Arts in Chicago, Paul provided renewed leadership and vision for both the Windy City Gay Chorus and Windy City Treble Quire. He was also artistic director for the Youth Choral Theater of Chicago, a community-based after-school program enrolling 200 young people in Chicago’s northern suburbs. Paul’s work with youth has garnered national recognition, and he received the Chorus America/ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming. Paul composes and arranges music collaboratively with Sean Ivory. Their choral works have been telecast on PBS and A&E and performed at Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, and throughout Europe, Asia, and Africa. Legendary guitarist Steve Vai recently collaborated with Caldwell and Ivory to create a choral-rock fusion song, “Book of the Seven Seals.” Paul made his Carnegie Hall conducting debut in 2014, leading concerts comprised entirely of music he composed. He has also been artistic director for the ¡Canta! Costa Rica festival in San Jose. He returns to the Sing A Mile High choral festival in Denver biennially. Paul served two terms on the board of directors of Chorus America. His efforts on behalf of the choral field were honored in 2008, when he received the Michael J. Korn Founders Award for Philanthropic Contribution to the Arts. 

Executive Director

Steven F. Smith, Executive Director

Steven F. Smith, Executive Director

Member Since 2015

steves@seattlechoruses.org

Steven F. Smith has provided transformative leadership for a diverse array of performing arts organizations. Most recently he served as Executive Director of Revels, a $1.4M multidisciplinary theater company, where he led a successful financial turnaround and revitalized the audience, growing attendance by 21% over a four year period. From 1995-2010 he led the acclaimed Boston Gay Men’s Chorus through an unprecedented period of growth in which he tripled its annual audience and grew its budget four-fold. Earlier positions included production for Northeastern University’s Music Department and coordinating the residency of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra at the Great Woods Center for the Performing Arts. Steve also managed an international roster of concert organists and English cathedral choirs for Karen McFarlane Artists Management.

Steve has consulted with over a dozen small and midsized non-profits and given seminars on strategic planning, audience development, and fundraising for ArtsBoston, Greater Boston Choral Consortium, GALA Choruses, and Chorus America. In recent years he has served multiple terms as a board member and officer for ArtsBoston, GALA Choruses, and the Greater Boston Choral Consortium. He is a magna cum laude graduate of the Arts Management program at Baldwin-Wallace University and was selected by the Massachusetts Cultural Council to attend the Achieving Excellence Executive Leadership Program for cultural organizations at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.

Artistic

Associate Artistic Director

Eric Lanes Barnes, Associate Artistic Director

Eric Lanes Barnes, Associate Artistic Director

Member Since 2000

Eric is the author of the critically acclaimed Fairy Tales, which received numerous awards in Chicago, New York, and London. His scores and scripts for Chicago’s Lifeline Theatre include Tuck EverlastingThe Amazing Bone, Simple Jim and His Four Fabulous Friends, and Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel, the latter of which has toured the USA and has enjoyed several successful regional productions. His musical The Stops, a show about the lives of three lady organists, was awarded Best Musical at the 2006 National Gay and Lesbian Theatre Festival and has enjoyed numerous performances across the country. His new one-man-show (with two other people), Is It Just Me?, premiered in July of 2015 and will receive a new production at Theatre Off Jackson in April of 2017.

Barnes’ list of choral commissioners includes The Esoterics; Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington DC; New York City Gay Men’s Chorus; One Voice Charlotte; The Quire; Sound Circle; Turtle Creek Chorale; and Windy City Gay Chorus. Several of his pieces are published through Shawnee Press, including “Lambscapes,” “It’s Our Christmas Cheer,” and “Glee.”

Recently Eric wrote songs and underscoring for the independent films In-laws and Outlaws, Waxie MoonSeattle to Ghana and Fallen Jewel.

 

Principal Accompanist - Seattle Women's Chorus

Nancy Otness Bent, Principal Accompanist - Seattle Women's Chorus

Nancy Otness Bent, Principal Accompanist - Seattle Women's Chorus

Member Since 2002

Nancy Otness Bent has played solo and chamber recitals in the Midwest and New England, including performances at Dartmouth College in both the Vaughan Recital Series and the faculty Chamber Works Series. She has appeared as concerto soloist with the Fond du Lac Summer Festival Orchestra, played piano, celesta, and cannon with the Vermont Symphony Orchestra, and toured and recorded with Robert DeCormier and Melinda O’Neal. In Washington, she has been the accompanist for the Seattle Girls’ Choir, the Issaquah Chorale, and assistant accompanist for the Seattle Men’s Chorus. Nancy is a past president of the Eastside chapter of the WSMTA, an adjudicator for the Federation and National Guild piano festivals, and maintains a private studio in Bellevue. Nancy is delighted to be the founding accompanist of the Seattle Women’s Chorus.

Director of Artistic Operations

Halie Looper, Director of Artistic Operations

Halie Looper, Director of Artistic Operations

Member Since 2011

haliel@seattlechoruses.org

Halie joined Flying House Productions in 2011 after ten years as a teaching artist in the Seattle area. A decade of wrangling adolescents on and off stage prepared her well for the 700 combined singing members of SMC and SWC. Halie holds a Bachelor of Arts degrees in Choral Music and K-12 Education from Seattle Pacific University as well as a Theatre Arts Endorsement from Antioch University. A trained singer, Halie performed with the Northwest Chamber Chorus for several seasons before deciding to dedicate herself exclusively to Karen Carpenter Karaoke.

Principal Accompanist - Seattle Men's Chorus

Evan Stults, Principal Accompanist - Seattle Men's Chorus

Evan Stults, Principal Accompanist - Seattle Men's Chorus

Member Since 1984

Evan Stults has been Seattle Men’s Chorus’s principal accompanist since 1986, appearing with the Chorus across the country and performing on its recordings. He has accompanied recitalists in Columbia Artists community concert performances throughout the western United States and Canada and has worked as an accompanist for Seattle Opera. Evan has a degree in semiotics from Brown University.

Administration

Development Manager

Kevin Carson, Development Manager

Kevin Carson, Development Manager

Member since 1990

kevinc@seattlechoruses.org

While in college, Kevin saw an ad for a Seattle Men’s Chorus concert featuring Diane Schuur. Figuring any group good enough to perform with “Deedles” would be worth checking out, Kevin called to audition as soon as he moved to Seattle. That first phone call to Dennis Coleman was the beginning of a long relationship with the organization, first as one of the effervescent second tenors. After some time working in the corporate world, Kevin transitioned to the nonprofit arts community where he once again found a home with Flying House Productions, first as their Box Office Manager and now as their Development Manager. Kevin loves working where he believes in the mission and enjoys everyone involved. He lives in West Seattle with his handsome husband Rad and his audacious Jack Russell Rudy.

Patron Services Manager

Jeremy Dashiell, Patron Services Manager

Jeremy Dashiell, Patron Services Manager

Member since 2011

jeremyd@seattlechoruses.org

After a few years attempting to become a professional student, Jeremy is excited to enter the non-profit arts sector. He joined Flying House Productions in 2011 as a member of the outstanding Upper Basses and joined the administrative side of the organization in 2015. Jeremy is excited to work for an organization that enriches his own life and the lives of others through song. He has Bachelor of Arts degrees in mathematics and political science from Seattle University and was born and raised in Spokane, WA before moving to Seattle in 2006. In his spare time, Jeremy enjoys bicycling, exploring nature, travelling and living life to its fullest. He lives in Seattle with his bicycles: Alex, Felicia and Blue Bell.

Director of Development & Marketing

Matthew Ramsey, Director of Development & Marketing

Matthew Ramsey, Director of Development & Marketing

Member Since 2012

matthewr@seattlechoruses.org

Matthew is honored to continue his vocation and passionate work for LGBT Choruses. He originally joined the Columbus Gay Men’s Chorus in 2002 as a singer, but ultimately joined their board of directors and subsequently became their first Executive Director. After serving as Executive Director for four years, he and his (now) husband relocated to Seattle. Matthew spent some time working for another local choral organization,Choral Arts, as well as telecommuted for the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus, but ultimately found a home at Flying House Productions. Soon after joining the staff at Flying House, Matthew also joined the board of directors for GALA Choruses, which leads the North American LGBT Choral movement. Matthew and his husband recently welcomed two young foster boys into their home, and they are delighted to be building a wonderful life in the Emerald City!

Finance Associate

Franklin Reed, Finance Associate

Franklin Reed, Finance Associate

Member since 1998

franklinr@seattlechoruses.org

Franklin was a singing member with SMC from 1998 - 2003; he joined the finance staff in 2016. He first sang with Turtle Creek Choral in Dallas from 1989 - 1992. Upon joining SMC after moving to Seattle, Franklin met his husband, Don.
 
Marketing Manager

Chelsea Sadler, Marketing Manager

Chelsea Sadler, Marketing Manager

Member since 2015

chelseas@seattlechoruses.org

Following her undergraduate studies in Theatre, Chelsea worked in development and marketing with Performance Network, an award-winning theatre company in Ann Arbor, MI. Chelsea led the marketing department to record earnings in single tickets and subscriptions while the company saw its largest audiences in history. In 2012, she moved to the Pacific Northwest and earned an MFA in Arts Leadership from Seattle University.

Chelsea believes in the transformative power of the performing arts and she once played the Queen Stink Zombie in a Ban deodorant commercial. She is now retired from acting.

Emeritus

Conductor Emeritus

Dennis Coleman, Conductor Emeritus

Dennis Coleman, Conductor Emeritus

Dennis Coleman was the conductor and Artistic Director of Seattle Men's Chorus and Seattle Women's Chorus from 1981 until his retirement in 2016.

Dennis led the Choruses to a position of artistic and administrative excellence with a combined singing membership larger than any community chorus in North America. He served for six years on the national Board of Directors for Chorus America and was on the founding Board of Directors of GALA Choruses. As a UCC church musician, Dennis has conducted the choir of First Congregational Church of Bellevue since 1981.

Dennis Coleman commissioned and premiered choral works from many leading composers including Gian Carlo Menotti, Ned Rorem, Robert Moran, Conrad Susa, David Diamond, Robert Seeley, British composer Paul Patterson and Canadian Stephen Hatfield. Of Rage and Remembrance, a 15-minute work for male chorus, mezzo soprano, speakers and orchestra by composer John Corigliano, was premiered by Seattle Men’s Chorus in Seattle in 1991. A recording of this work and the companion Symphony 1, also called Of Rage and Remembrance, by the National Symphony under Leonard Slatkin was awarded the 1998 Grammy for Best Classical Album. Dennis has collaborated with acclaimed artists including Maya Angelou, Frederica von Stade, Judith Martin (Miss Manners), Bobby McFerrin, Tatiana Troyanos, the Mark Morris Dance Group, Harvey Fierstein, Michael Feinstein, Ann Hampton Callaway, Liz Callaway, Marni Nixon, Diane Schuur, Chely Wright, Armistead Maupin, Lucy Lawless, Faith Prince, and Lily Tomlin.

   

 

     Additional Personnel

Nancy Hautala
Production Stage Manager

William St. Rose
Assistant Production Stage Manager

T.J. Elston
Music Librarian and Rehearsal Manager

Cara Anderson Ahrens
Hospitality Manager

Noel Janney
Hospitality Manager

Jennifer Rice, LLC
Public Relations

Lindsay Lush
Graphic Design

Julie L. Wilchins, LLC
Grant Writing