Director of Advanced Choir
A native of Quincy, MA, Kirsten is thrilled to be heavily involved in the music community of the South Shore with the South Shore Children’s Chorus and also as the Choral Director at Ahern Middle School in Foxborough, MA.
Kirsten graduated with a Bachelor of Music degree in Composition from Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego, CA. Her award-winning compositions are available at www.jwpepper.com.
In only two years of activity within the San Diego music community, Kirsten founded and created four different choral programs for children – most notably, her after-school choral program at San Diego High School and the SACRA/PROFANA Summer Choral Intensive. Over the course of two years, Kirsten also founded a voluntary, after-school classical choral program at San Diego High that gained Superior Ratings at the Music in the Parks Festival at Disneyland. Similarly, Kirsten founded, recruited, and administrated a wildly successful Summer Choral Intensive program for high school students in San Diego. The SCI program, sponsored by San Diego’s only year-round professional choir, SACRA/PROFANA, served 78 students in its first year (2014) and 97 students in its second year representing over 35 different high schools. She ignited musical and professional passion in all of the 10-15 choral and musical theatre programs in which she has been an integral part.
Other notable choral experiences include conducting the Intermediate Level Choir at San Diego Children’s Choir in 2013-2014, helping to prepare (and performing in) the on-stage chorus for Disney Theatrical’s U.S. Premiere of The Hunchback of Notre Dame in 2014, and singing professional choral performances as a core member of SACRA/PROFANA. Kirsten’s singing voice can be heard on the soundtrack for the live action Beauty and the Beast film being released by Walt Disney Pictures in March 2017.
Kirsten is thrilled to be a Founding Director of the South Shore Children’s Chorus. She believes wholeheartedly in the mission of this organization, and looks forward to hearing the voices of young people from her hometown!
Director of Intermediate Choir
Carey Shunskis is a music educator, conductor and professional soprano originally from Philadelphia. Ms. Shunskis received Masters of Music degree in choral conducting at Boston University and Bachelors of Music degrees in music education and voice performance from the University of Rhode Island, where she is an annual guest conductor with the University of Rhode Island Alumni Chorus.
In addition to South Shore Children’s Chorus, Ms. Shunskis is the Resident Conductor of Harvard Pro Musica, a 35-voice community chorus in Harvard, MA, which has performed four of the six cantatas from Bach’s Christmas Oratorio since 2014 and performs concerts in Harvard and neighboring communities as well as in Boston.
Ms. Shunskis served as the Artistic Director of the North Reading Community Chorale for three seasons during which she conducted great works such as Britten Ceremony of Carols, selections from Handel’s Messiah, and Gershwin’s greatest hits. Under her direction, the Chorale set a new standard for vocal technique, high quality repertoire and collaboration with professional musicians.
Ms. Shunskis teaches K-5 general music and chorus at Liberty and Ross Schools in Braintree, MA and runs a private voice studio at her home in Brookline. In 2015, Ms. Shunskis founded Consono Lumine, a vocal chamber ensemble for high school students, which performs at St. Joseph’s Church in Beacon Hill and with Harvard Pro Musica. Consono Lumine’s membership doubled in one year and holds auditions for new singers biannually in the fall and spring.
As a professional soprano, Ms. Shunskis is a Choral Scholar at Marsh Chapel and a member of the Handel and Haydn Society Chorus. She sings with the Eccelisa Consort of Providence, Phoenicia Singers, which performs at the International Festival of the Voice in New York, the Augmented Ensemble, and in Boston University recital choirs. Ms. Shunskis was a core member of the Philadelphia Singers and can be heard singing the Randall Thompson Requiem on the Singers’ album released in 2015. In July 2016 Ms. Shunskis joins Boston University Professor André de Quadros’ choral ensemble VOICES21 at the CHORALP International Singing Week in Briançon.
Ms. Shunskis is proud to be a Founding Director of the South Shore Children’s Chorus and it excited by its success so far and the community it is building and nurturing.
Director of Training Choir
Kelly Graeber is a music educator and soprano. Growing up in Quincy, MA, Ms. Graeber began her music career studying piano, singing in school choirs and playing clarinet in the North Quincy High School band. In 1993 she was accepted into the Handel & Haydn Society Vocal Arts Program, an opportunity that would change her path forever. Voice lessons, theory/ ear training and master classes offered there readied her for college study in music.
In 2001, Ms. Graeber completed a Bachelor of Music in vocal performance summa cum laude from the University of Southern Maine where she sang the role of Countess Almaviva in Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro. While living in Maine, she was a soloist with the Portland Symphony and the Portland Community Chorale.
Continuing her education at the University of Illinois, Ms. Graeber studied voice with the acclaimed soprano Cynthia Haymon. In 2006, she completed a Master of Music in Music Education at The Boston Conservatory and began teaching public school. Ms. Graeber studied Orff-Schulwerk music education at Boston University. In 2009, she visited Budapest on a pedagogy tour to observe music teaching and learning in Hungarian schools that follow the method of Zoltán Kodály, a Hungarian composer, musicologist and music educator. Inspired by the visit, she completed a three-year Certificate program in Kodály teaching with distinction from the Kodály Music Institute in 2014.
Ms. Graeber teaches elementary school general music and chorus at the Morse School in Cambridge, MA. In an era where districts are cutting funding to music, she has expanded the music program, developing a Kodály based program based on frequent music instruction. Students at the Morse School have music classes 3 to 4 times per week. For the past 12 years she has been cantor and choir director at Saint Mary Church in West Quincy.
Equally comfortable on the opera and musical theatre stage, Ms. Graeber sang the roles of Susanna in Marriage of Figaro with Opera by the Bay and Ms. Silverpeal in The Impressario with Mass Theatrica as well as Grace in Annie and Liesl in The Sound of Music with the Cohasset Dramatic Club.
Ms. Graeber lives with her husband and two pre-school aged children in Quincy. When not singing or planning lessons, she enjoys chasing them around, though admittedly looks forward to singing lullabies each night as they drift off to sleep.
She is excited to join the South Shore Children’s Chorus team.
Jeffrey Popadic, enjoys a busy career as a performer and music educator. As a member of the acclaimed Epic Brass Quintet he has toured extensively across the United States. He can be heard performing trumpet with diverse groups such as the Plymouth Philharmonic, Rhode Island Philharmonic, New Bedford Symphony, Orchestra of Indian Hill, Boston Lyric Opera, National Lyric Opera, Alea III, Innovata Brass and in theatre venues. Jeffrey has performed with the Monadnock Music Festival and the Great Waters Music Festival. As a soloist he has appeared with the Civic Symphony of Boston.
As an educator, Jeffrey teaches music in the Rockland, MA Public Schools. There he teaches general music and leads choruses at the elementary, middle and high school levels. Other teaching appointments have included the Mansfield, MA Public Schools; masterclasses at Sharon High School; Boston University; University of Massachusetts, Boston; the Indian Hill School of Music; Groton School; Epic Brass Summer Institute; as well as a private studio. Jeffrey has performed hundreds of educational concerts and has appeared as a clinician in masterclasses at high schools and colleges throughout the country.
Jeffrey holds Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees from Boston University, where he studied with the late Boston Symphony Orchestra principal trumpet Roger Voisin and members of the Empire Brass Quintet.
Lynn Salmonsen, piano has extensive experience as an accompanist and chamber musician in the Boston area. She has traveled to Europe as pianist and organist with the Buckingham, Browne and Nichols Upper School Chorus and has performed in Oregon with the Britt Festival Orchestra.
Ms Salmonsen has been the pianist for the Handel & Haydn Society Youth Choruses, Director of the Mount Ida College Choir and accompanist for Hanover, Quincy and Belmont High Schools. Previously she directed and accompanied the choral and instrumental ensembles at The Woodward School. Currently she is the Music Director and Organist at East Congregational Church in Milton, and the Artistic Director for the Milton Young Musicians Festivals, and also maintains a private teaching studio in Quincy.
Ms. Salmonsen holds an Artist’s Diploma in Chamber Music from the Longy School of Music, a B.M. in Accompanying and Chamber Music from the Hartt School of Music and has completed additional graduate coursework at Boston University School of Fine Arts. She has studied with Luis Battle, Walter Trampler and Leslie Parnas, and performed with the Yellow Barn Chamber Music Festival in Vermont.