Meet Our Staff

Artistic

Artistic Director

Paul Caldwell, Artistic Director

Paul Caldwell, Artistic Director

Member since 2016

paulc@seattlechoruses.org

he/him

Now in his fourth season as Artistic Director of Seattle Men’s Chorus and Seattle Women’s Chorus, Paul Caldwell defines the creative trajectory for one of the nation’s largest community choral organizations. He conducts both choruses for performances in Seattle’s most prestigious venues. He has redesigned the chorus’s small ensemble structure, creating the first permanent group to include members of both the Seattle Men’s and Women’s Choruses. His focus on community engagement has enabled the organization to establish sustained, meaningful relationships with new civic partners.

Before coming to Seattle in 2016, Paul was in Chicago, serving as Artistic Director of 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 garnered national recognition when his chorus 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 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 three terms on the Board of Directors of Chorus America. His efforts on behalf of the choral field nationwide were recognized when he received the Michael J. Korn Founders Award for Philanthropic Contribution to the Arts. 

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

she/her

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 The Supertonics, Assistant Conductor of SWC

Nikki Blackmer, Director of The Supertonics, Assistant Conductor of SWC

Nikki Blackmer, Director of The Supertonics, Assistant Conductor of SWC

Member since 2018

nikkib@seattlechoruses.org

she/her

Nikki has a Bachelor of Music from Wake Forest University in North Carolina and a Master of Music from the University of Washington. She's been singing and performing classical music since 1995 and started her career in a cappella in 2003. In 2016, she won the illustrious International Quartet Championship of Sweet Adeline’s International, the largest women’s barbershop organization in the world, with her quartet, Frenzy. They are now called Queens of Harmony...and if you ask you can try on her crown! They travel around the world performing and teaching workshops.

Administration

Executive Director

Karen J Lane, Executive Director

Karen J Lane, Executive Director

Member since 2007

karenl@seattlechoruses.org

she/her

Karen became the Executive Director of SWC & SMC after first joining the organization as a singing member in 2007 (Alto 2s rule!). She later served on the Board of Directors before transitioning to staff as Director of Development. Prior to her work with the Choruses, Karen had a long-tenured arts management and executive leadership career building a membership-based theatre advocacy and service organization here in Seattle. During that time Karen participated with the Association of Performing Arts Service Organizations (APASO), planning and hosting their annual conference. She has served on the Washington State Arts Alliance Legislative Affairs Committee and was an Alliance Board Member from 2012-2018. With the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, she served on the Facility and Economic Development and Community Development and Outreach committees. Her other community experiences include the Advisory and Steering committee for TeenTix, of which SMC & SWC are proud partners, and the Bumbershoot Advisory Board. Karen has a BA in Theatre from Seattle Pacific University and MA Studies in Stage Direction and Theatre History from San Diego State University. She has a deep passion for the power of the arts to transform lives. Her favorite portion of the Choruses’ mission is that through song we "expand inclusion, and inspire justice."

Director of Development

Lynne Conrad Marvet, Director of Development

Lynne Conrad Marvet, Director of Development

Member since 2020

lynnem@seattlechoruses.org

she/her

Lynne is a dynamic, relationship-centered, nonprofit fundraiser and leader who has helped raise more than $40 million for arts and culture, social services, education and healthcare in the greater Seattle area and New York City. She is dedicated to collaboration, continuous improvement and engaging Trustees, members and staff in the culture of philanthropy. Lynne has been interested in all forms of creative expression since she could hold a crayon, play dress up, sing and dance. As a visual artist, she creates mixed media collages, assemblage sculptures, masks and puppets. As a performing artist, she delights in whimsy, playfulness and offering joy to her audiences, yet also explores life’s sorrow and disappointments. Lynne studied fine art at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Northwestern University, and received her Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Arts from SUNY Empire State College in New York City. She is also a graduate of the Washington State Teaching Artist Training (TAT) Lab and is a Certified Fund Raising Executive. Lynne enjoys singing dohas (songs of realization) and re-writing popular song lyrics with Buddhist themes. Lynne believes in the healing power of kindness, humor, and all forms of artistic expression and is delighted to be a part of Seattle Choruses.

Director of Finance

Franklin Reed, Director of Finance

Franklin Reed, Director of Finance

Member since 1998

franklinr@seattlechoruses.org

he/him

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.
 
Director of Marketing

Chelsea Sadler, Director of Marketing

Chelsea Sadler, Director of Marketing

Member since 2015

chelseas@seattlechoruses.org

she/her

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.

William St. Rose
Assistant Production Stage Manager

T.J. Elston
Music Librarian 

Lindsay Lush
Graphic Design

Jennifer Rice, LLC
Public Relations

Julie L. Wilchins, LLC
Grant Writing

John Pai
SMC photographer

Conrado Tapado of eQuality Images
SWC photographer