Director of Advanced Choir
A native of Quincy, MA, Kirsten Oberoi is a passionate music educator, heavily involved in the music community of the South Shore. In 2016, Kirsten co-founded the South Shore Children’s Chorus with colleague Carey Shunskis. That same year, Kirsten began as the Choral Director at Ahern Middle School in Foxborough, MA. In 2018, Kirsten was elected as the Choral Representative for the Southeastern District board of the Massachusetts Music Educator’s Association.
Kirsten’s vision as the Artistic Director of the South Shore Children’s Chorus includes several rehearsal locations, including singers of all ages, experience levels, backgrounds, ethnicities, and more. She works hard to continually find ways to reach and include new, unique singers who need a place to be themselves where they are accepted, while also working to hire directors and staff that are aligned with the mission of the organization and will give quality vocal, choral, and music literacy instruction.
As the Director of SSCC’s Advanced Choir, Kirsten aims to create an atmosphere of professionalism and high-quality music-making in rehearsals. In addition, Kirsten works hard to ensure that each student in the Advanced Choir improves weekly in music literacy through sight-singing classes. Kirsten works daily with over 200 students in the choral program at the Ahern Middle School in Foxboro, where she is also building a music literacy curriculum through sight-singing.
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. Between 2013 and 2015, Kirsten founded and created several different choral programs for children while living in San Diego, – most notably, the SACRA/PROFANA Summer Choral Intensive. 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 including students representing over 35 different high schools and communities.
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 released by Walt Disney Pictures in March 2017.
Kirsten believes wholeheartedly in the mission of the South Shore Children’s Chorus, and looks forward to seeing the organization continue to grow!
Director of Intermediate Choir
Ashley Prickel-Kane is the Choral Director at Walpole High School in Walpole, MA, where she also teaches piano and music theory classes. Ms. Prickel-Kane serves as the music director for the WHS theater productions, advisor to the GSA club, and as the artistic director of the Walpole Children’s Chorus.
Ms. Prickel-Kane holds a Master’s Degree with merit in Music Psychology in Education from The University of Sheffield (UK), where her research centered on the concept of ‘belonging’ in a music ensemble. Prior to this, she completed dual Bachelor of Arts degrees with honors in Music and Psychology from Skidmore College, culminating in a voice and choral conducting recital entitled A”muse”ing Music.
Originally from Upstate NY, Ms. Prickel-Kane came to the area when she participated in the program Teach for America as an elementary teacher in Providence, RI and began working for the Rhode Island Children’s Chorus. She then taught K-5 music at a turnaround school in New Bedford, where she was awarded several grants to establish a guitar program and increase musical opportunities for all students.
Ms. Prickel-Kane is a frequent festival adjudicator in RI and MA, accompanies various schools locally, and maintains a private voice and piano studio out of her home in Rumford, RI. She is thrilled to begin working with the South Shore Children’s Chorus!
Director of Intermediate Choir
Matthew Coveney is originally from Braintree, MA and is ecstatic to join the SSCC team. He is excited to combine his passions for music education, choral conducting, and his love of the South Shore community.
Mr. Coveney began studying piano and voice at the Braintree After School Conservatory (BASC) and then continued his vocal studies at the South Shore Conservatory with Lorna Jane Norris. Throughout high school, Mr. Coveney led sectional rehearsals for the Concert Choir, performed in BHS Theatre Guild productions, studied music theory through the BASC and sang in festivals such as the 2012 and 2013 MMEA All-State Festivals, and the 2014 NAfME All-National Festival in Nashville, TN. These experiences led to his passions for singing and music education.
In 2018, Mr. Coveney continued his studies at Ithaca College where he graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Music in Music Education and a concentration in voice. While there, he studied voice with Marc Webster. He performed in Ithaca College’s mainstage opera La Clemenza di Tito by Mozart in 2017. In addition to gaining the musical knowledge and educational skills to teach, Mr. Coveney went out into the Ithaca community to enrich his experience as a developing music educator and a chorister through his work as a Tenor Section Leader with the Dorothy Cotton Jubilee Singers under the direction of Dr. Baruch Whitehead. Mr. Coveney can be heard as a featured soloist with this group on their CD and has been featured at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC as well as venues in Montreal. Under the direction of the acclaimed Dr. Janet Galván, he performed at the Lincoln Center in 2017 and as a featured singer at the 2018 Eastern Division American Choral Directors Association with the Ithaca College Choir. He has studied conducting techniques with Dr. Sean Linfors and studied piano privately with Dr. Diane Birr. Mr. Coveney studied advanced choral conducting techniques with Dr. Janet Galván.
Director of Training Choir
Rachel K. Hallenbeck is the Director of Music, K-12 for the Braintree Public School System. She received her degrees from Eastern Nazarene College graduating magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Music Education and summa cum laude with Masters Degrees in Administration and in Elementary Education. Ms. Hallenbeck is a multi-year recipient of the following national awards: Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers, Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who of American Women, Who’s Who in American Education, and Who’s Who in the World. She currently conducts the Braintree High School Concert Choir, Chorus, Girls Group and the Show Choir. Her groups are consistently presented with platinum and gold medals at music festival competitions. She is the former Music Director of the Treble Chorus of New England. She has previously conducted the Junior and the Senior Southeastern Massachusetts Schools Bandmasters Association Choruses and the Braintree Choral Society. She is the Secretary of the Southeastern Massachusetts Schools Bandmasters Association.
Ms. Hallenbeck is an accomplished singer and pianist. She has been the music director for numerous high school and middle school musicals, the Quincy Dinner Theater, Needham Community Theater, the Greater Lowell Music Theater, church organizations, and music camps in the New England area. She has accompanied elementary, middle school, high school, and college performances, as well as, community and church services. She is a former music theory instructor for the Treble Chorus of New England, and offers private voice and piano lessons through the Braintree Continuing Education Afterschool Conservatory. Ms. Hallenbeck is the Minister of Music for the Quincy Point Congregational Church.
As a mezzo-soprano, Ms. Hallenbeck has performed for the twenty-nine years with the highly acclaimed Tanglewood Festival Chorus affiliated with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Boston Pops Orchestra. She has been a soloist and has sung on many CD recordings and television programs with these groups under the direction of Seiji Ozawa, Keith Lockhart, John Williams, James Levine, and Andris Nelsons. She has toured with them to Carnegie Hall in New York, the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., and internationally on two European Tours through England, Scotland, Germany, France and Switzerland.
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.