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.