In times of virtual teaching and music-making, it can be harder for choral conductors to be "seen" and feel supported, to feel valued. So in the coming weeks, the NW ACDA Board offers "NW Affirmations," highlighting the ongoing work by an ACDA member doing the daily and often unseen work of supporting choral music.
Our first NW Affirmation comes from president-elect Steven Zielke:
We celebrate, Chris Benjamin, for the varied and dynamic service that our profession so often provides communities. Chris is the Director of Choirs at Henley High School and Middle School in Klamath Falls, Oregon, a community in the rural most southern part of Oregon. Chris went to Reynolds High School in east Portland, Oregon where he was recruited into the choral program by Karen Bohart, “pulled off the football field” as the result of auditioning to sing the national anthem. Chris, who calls Karen Bohart his music mother, didn’t even know Reynolds High School had a choir before Karen recognized his gifts. Chris began teaching in Klamath Falls after graduating from George Fox University. The choral programs at Henley Middle and High School have exploded under Chris’s leadership and his teaching has helped students find their own voice. Chris states, “It’s a blessing to have these students use singing to find themselves, to believe in themselves.” Chris is also the Co-Artistic Director of the Klamath Symphony Orchestra and the pastor at the Freewill Church of God in Christ.
Read this wonderful Article here!