Danya Tiller, Artistic Director
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Danya Tiller is in her tenth season as Artistic Director of the Phoenix Girls Chorus. She has conducted choirs of all age ranges and levels for 25 years across the country. Earning a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance with a minor in Vocal Performance and a Master of Music in Choral Conducting from the University of Alabama, she is A.B.D. for the Doctoral Degree in Choral Conducting from the University of Oklahoma. Her previous positions include Men’s Choir Director at Arizona School for the Arts, Associate Director of the Phoenix Boys Choir, Director of Choral and Vocal Activities at New Mexico Highlands University, Conductor/Director of the Jefferson Children’s Chorus in New Orleans, and Assistant Director of the Alabama Boychoir. Ms. Tiller has toured extensively worldwide, including performances in England, Italy, France, Spain, Austria, Germany, the Czech Republic, Ireland, Wales and Canada. Previously, Danya was the Music Curriculum Consultant for Great Hearts Academies; she founded the annual Great Hearts Academies High School Honor Choir and was the high school Music Theory and Choir Instructor at Chandler Prep. Danya has served on the board of Arizona ACDA for seven years, and in 2013 began a statewide women’s choral festival, Songfest, to give young women the opportunity to celebrate their voices and perform with more experienced singers. In 2016 she made her conducting debut with a new SSAA edition of Vivaldi’s Gloria at Carnegie Hall with 200 female singers from across the country. Danya is entering her 15th season of singing with the Phoenix Chorale, and soprano and co-founder of Helios, a 7 voice early music chamber ensemble, now beginning their fifth season and recording their first album. She has sung on many professional recordings, and performed both as soloist and choral artist with other distinguished ensembles, among which are the Phoenix Symphony, Santa Fe Desert Chorale, New Orleans Opera, the Oklahoma Philharmonic Symphony, Santa Fe Pro Music Chamber Orchestra and the Santa Fe Opera.
Kandis Tutty, Assistant Artistic Director
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KANDIS TUTTY graduated from Boise State University where she received her Master of Music in Piano Pedagogy. Her bachelor’s degree was completed at the University of Washington in music and speech communications. She has taught at Arizona School for the Arts, sung in the Phoenix Chorale, played for Opera Idaho, accompanied Cantabile, and currently teaches general and choral music at Gilbert Christian Schools. Mrs. Tutty loves working with Melodia and Harmonia, reading, hiking with her three children and going on coffee dates with her husband.
Olivia Gardner, Associate Artistic Director
Olivia Gardner has been a choral director for six years. She currently directs six choirs at American Leadership Academy-Gilbert North, both Junior High and High School grades. Ms. Gardner’s choirs have won multiple superior distinctions at festivals, including the NAU Jazz/Madrigal festival. She served as a professional accompanist for the Phoenix Girl’s Chorus for five years, and is now an Associate Artistic Director for the Melodia and Harmonia choirs. Ms. Gardner received her Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education from Arizona State University in 2014, studying piano under Walter Cosand. She then studied voice with David Britton at ASU, where she received her Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance in 2016. In addition to her musical interests, Ms. Gardner loves to travel, explore the outdoors, and read classic novels.
Rebekah Howe, Accompanist
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Rebekah Howe is grateful and excited to be entering her 8th season with the Phoenix Girls Chorus. She received her Bachelor of Arts from the International Baptist College and Seminary, where she studied piano and she additionally studied post-college for a time with Prof. Lisa Ehlers and Dr. Andrew Campbell at Arizona State University. Along with working as the music librarian and accompanying for PGC, Mrs. Howe works as the choral accompanist at Arrowhead Christian Academy and is actively involved in the music ministry at her church, Northwest Valley Baptist Church. Previous professional musical experiences include the following: staff collaborative pianist for the voice department at Scottsdale Community College, accompanist for the Scottsdale Oratorio Society, staff accompanist at the International Baptist College and Seminary, and freelance accompanist at both Glendale Community College and Grand Canyon University. It is Mrs. Howe’s deepest joy and honor being part of the PGC family.
Ashley Anthony, Prima Instructor
Ashley Anthony received her degree from Northern Arizona University in Music Education with a Choral Emphasis in 2018. At NAU, Ashley was under the direction of Dr. Holder and is also an alumni of the Phoenix Girls Chorus. She is currently in her second year of teaching at Esperanza Elementary, where she teaches general music, chorus, and hand bells. After school, she teaches piano and musical theater. This past spring, Ashley directed her first musical Beauty and the Beast Jr. and received the honor of being Rookie Teacher of the Year for Deer Valley Unified School District. Ashley has a passion for working with students who experience trauma and really values working at a Title I school. At PGC, Ms. Anthony teaches Prima through Kodaly methodology, making it her mission to instill a lifelong love of music within her kindergarten and first grade students.
Christopher Metz, Theory Instructor
Having received his BA in Music from NAU and his MM in Music Education from ASU, Christopher has performed with a number of choirs under the direction of Dr. Craig Peterson, Dr. Edith Copley, Dr. Ryan Holder, and Bart Evans. He is currently a music teacher and building a choir program at Carol G. Peck School here in Phoenix. In his spare time, he enjoys staying active by hiking and running, as well as making his own editions of music from 15th and 16th century manuscripts. He is also involved with early music here in Phoenix writing program notes for Helios, a seven voice ensemble specializing in bringing to light music of the Renaissance.
Laura Stevens, Theory Instructor
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Laura Stevens is a college student studying Music Education at Phoenix College. She is Assistant Conductor of the student ensemble. She is also President of the ACDA Phoenix College Student Chapter. She is a former member of the Phoenix Girls Chorus and was in the chorus for 10 years. With the chorus, she has travelled to Oregon, Florida, Canada, Austria, and Germany. She has participated in Choral Education events such as AzACDA Conferences, Regional ACDA conferences, and National ACDA conferences. At Phoenix Girls Chorus, she teaches Music Theory for the younger two levels, Melodia and Harmonia, as well as Sight Singing for two of the upper level choirs, Dolce and Bella.