our team

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Marcela Molina, DMA

Director

Dr. Molina has been affiliated with the Tucson Girls Chorus since 2006, first serving as Artistic Director and taking the helm as Executive Director in 2011. Under Dr. Molina’s guidance, the Tucson Girls Chorus has grown significantly in both programming and community engagement. With her leadership, the TGC has transformed into a collaborative organization that creates access to inclusive programming for youth, and provides resources to music educators and support to their classroom all year-round.

In 2011, she was an honoree in Tucson's 40 under 40 for her significant achievements and contributions in her profession and community. In 2014, Dr. Molina was one of eight in the state of Arizona chosen as a Cox Hispanic Heritage Month honoree and in 2016 she was selected as finalist for the Woman of Influence Awards in the category Arts and Culture Champion. In 2017, under Molina’s leadership, the Tucson Girls Chorus was awarded the 2017 Copper Cactus award for Charitable Business sponsored by the Tucson Metro Chamber.
 

Born in Bogotá, Colombia Dr. Marcela Molina holds degrees from Westminster Choir College and the University of Arizona. She has contributed articles to Antiphon, the official online publication of the Arizona Choral Directors Association (AzACDA) and the book Teaching through Performance in Choir, Volume 2.  She was named 2019 Choral Director of the Year by AzACDA and often serves as a clinician and guest conductor at choral festivals.

Dr. Molina serves on the boards of the Arizona Choral Directors Association and Chorus America. She also serves as part of the DEI standing committee of the ACDA Western Division and the advisory group to The Choral Commons. 

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Chris Fresolone, DMA

Assistant Artistic Director

Dr. Fresolone directs the Jubilate Choir and is the accompanist and assistant conductor for the Advanced and Alumnae Choirs.

He completed his doctoral studies in organ performance with a minor in choral conducting from the University of Arizona. He is a faculty member at The Gregory School, where he teaches choir, band, theory, general music, and music-directs the all-school Musical.

Before arriving in Tucson in 2006, Chris lived in the Seattle area, where he was a church musician, music educator, and musical theatre director. Chris served as musical director for productions including Bye Bye Birdie, Footloose, Nunsense, and the Taxi Cabaret, which Chris first directed for the Village Theatre's Festival of New Musicals in Issaquah, WA.

 

Chris received a bachelor's degree in music, a bachelor's degree in computer studies, and a master's degree in music technology, from Northwestern University in Evanston, IL.  While a student at Northwestern, Chris worked for Harmonic Vision, where he helped develop and support music educational software from the award winning Music Ace series. Several of Chris's original compositions appear within the software! Chris also served as organ scholar and assistant conductor for the Northwestern University Chapel Choir.

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Jess Edelbrock, MM

Community Engagement Director & Associate Conductor

Jess directs the Bumblebee and Mariposa Singers at the River Rd location. She also directs the Northwest Choir and Shine! Performing Arts Camp, along with overseeing TGC's Community Engagement Program.

She earned a B.M. in Choral Education from Northern Arizona University in 2013 and an MM in Choral Conducting from Michigan State University in 2018. She has experience teaching students in grades K-12 and believes that all students deserve access to the many benefits of singing together.

Jess directed the choir program at Central High School in Phoenix for one year before moving back to Tucson, then spent two years as the music teacher at Mesa Verde Elementary and another two at the Tucson Hebrew Academy. Jess has found her passions in teaching children and young teens, as well as serving future and current music educators. She serves on the board for the Arizona Choral Directors Association and has presented several sessions at state conferences. She enjoys spending time with her wonderful husband, adorable toddler, two dogs, and lots of plants.

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Brandi Dignum

Associate Conductor

                                               Brandi Dignum is a native Tucsonan who graduated from the University of Arizona with a Bachelor's                                                             Degree in Music Education and is certified in Orff-Schulwerk levels I-III.  She has taught children of every                                                     age over the past 21 years; she worked with infants through Kindergarten as the Music Director for                                                               Gymboree Play and Music Programs, taught general music and choir for kindergarten through 6th grade in                                                 the Flowing Wells School District at both Walter Douglas and Richardson elementary, taught middle school                                                 choir and musical theater in the Amphitheater School District at Wilson, and is currently the Choir Director                                                 at Canyon Del Oro High School and Cross Middle School teaching grades 6-12.

Brandi was recognized as “Teacher of the Year” for both Richardson Elementary School and the Flowing Wells School District, and was selected by the Arizona Educational Foundation as a 2011 Arizona Teacher of the Year Ambassador for Excellence; she was selected as one of the top 5 teachers in the state of Arizona.  In addition to her work as a teacher, she is an active member of the performing arts community in Tucson; she has served as the Assistant Director/ Music Director for Spotlight Youth Productions, has served on the Teacher Advisory Committee for Tucson Values Teachers, was the Vocal Music Coordinator for the Flowing Wells School District and the Amphitheater School District, and was the Director of Children’s Choirs at St. Andrews Presbyterian Church.

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Gloria Day, MMEd

Associate Conductor, Engagement Choirs

                                               Gloria Day received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Music Education from the University of Arizona                                                   and has two levels of Orff Certification.  She served as president of the state music education association                                                   board, adjudicated for regional festivals and was guest conductor for Elementary All-State choir.  Ms. Day                                                   received many awards including Arizona Music Educator of the Year in 2003. After retiring from the                                                               Marana School District where she taught general music, band and choir for 30 years, Ms. Day continues                                                       her musical career through many community groups.  She directs the children’s choir at Northminster Presbyterian Church, sings in the adult choir and has been a member of the Tucson Symphony Chorus for over 10 years.  Ms. Day also plays flute in Sonora Winds, a community wind ensemble.  Currently, she is directing the Southwest Engagement Choir for the Tucson Girls Chorus Outreach program. 

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Sierra Norris, PhD

Associate Conductor, Tutti Pop Choir

                                              Sierra is passionate about using music to promote growth, learning, and joy for people of all abilities. A                                                        board-certified music therapist, Sierra provides music therapy services throughout the Tucson community,                                                  including Banner University Medical Center - Diamond Children’s, Intermountain Academy, the Jewish                                                          Community Center’s special needs services, and in private practice. She also conducts the Tucson Girls                                                        Chorus’ inclusion choir and, as an avid contra dancer, serves on the board of Tucson Friends of Traditional

                                              Music. 

 

Sierra holds a PhD in Music Education with a minor in Cognitive Science from the University of Arizona and has presented her research at conferences in Arizona, Scotland, and Finland. She received a Master of Music degree in Music Therapy and Flute Performance from Illinois State University and a Bachelor of Music degree in Flute and Bassoon Performance from the University of Arizona, where she graduated summa cum laude and was recognized as the Outstanding Senior of the College of Fine Arts. As part of her music therapy training, Sierra completed a 1040-hour internship at Bethany Children's Home; while there, she received training and experience in Therapeutic Crisis Intervention and the Sanctuary Model of trauma-informed care. Sierra has also completed all three levels of Orff-Schulwerk certification, a playful approach that blends movement, drama, and speech into music instruction. She enjoys bringing a play-based, trauma-informed approach to music-making to every population with whom she works.

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Nicky Manlove, MM

Accompanist, Associate Conductor

                                              Nicky Manlove (they/them pronouns) is the founding artistic director of THEM Youth Ensemble, an LGBTQ+                                                and allied youth chorus, and is the director of music at St. Mark’s Presbyterian Church. In their work with                                                    THEM Youth Ensemble, Nicky has organized THEMposium, an annual performing arts festival for LGBTQ+                                                    youth, and co-produced “ROSES: The Past, Present, and Future of Trans Resilience,” a collaborative virtual                                                   concert in observance of Trans Day of Resilience 2020. Under their leadership, THEM Youth Ensemble has received recognition and awards from the University of Arizona Institute for LGBT Studies and the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona LGBTQ+ Alliance Fund. 

 

Nicky is a committed advocate of equity-centered and liberatory choral practice, and supports a number of justice-focused choral initiatives nationally. They are on the leadership team of The Choral Commons, a media platform that provides a space for singing communities to realize the liberatory potential of the ensemble as a site of radical imagining. As a part of The Choral Commons’ second season, Nicky co-produced the series “engender: singing and the wisdom of gender diversity,” and appeared as a guest with the series “surge: cultural strategy, organizing, and activism for choirs.” Nicky serves on the  ACDA National Diversity Initiative Committee's Task Force for Transgender Justice, and is the Chair of Student Repertoire and Resources for the Arizona ACDA (AzACDA) chapter. 

 

Nicky holds a Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Arts with an emphasis in Music from Seattle University, and a Master of Music in Choral Conducting from the University of Arizona, where they studied with Alyssa Cossey and Elizabeth Schauer and served as Assistant Conductor for the University Community Chorus.

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Verneatte Poleyestewa

Office Manager 

venos@tucsongirlschorus.org

Verneatte has a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Administration from the University of Arizona. She's been with the TGC since 2009. 

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Charlene Deal