After a childhood of piano lessons and choral singing, Colleen attended UBC and received her BMus., with a major interest in choral conducting. After receiving her teaching certificate, also from UBC, she planned on teaching high school music, but felt drawn to the upper intermediate level of elementary, instead, and 35 years later with the Vancouver School District she is still content with that choice. Those years have been filled with choir, ukulele instruction and an annual music theatre production. Other school interests are drama and language arts – in particular writing. Several of the shows produced have been original works, written, or co-written, by Colleen.
Colleen has been a member of Knox, and its choir, since she was a teenager, and eventually founded the Knox Youth Choir, in 1975, growing the group to 45 at its peak. The choir sang regularly and performed several sacred musicals. She also wrote the music and lyrics for Cyril’s with Reservations, a secular musical for adults and teens.
As Senior Choir Director, since 1994, Colleen has loved the Ministry of Music, working to enhance worship through music, with a balance of style – traditional, contemporary, and world music, introducing new music as appropriate. She strives for a seamless flow of music blended through the worship service. She often accompanies the choir, on piano, and plays djembe drums or ukulele, as needed.
Colleen has accompanied various soloists and choirs. She enjoys choral singing, herself, and sang for several years in The Queen’s Singers, a small a capella ensemble. She has conducted portions of reading clinics for Northwest Musical Services, in Vancouver and Saskatoon, and presented sessions on music theatre for BCMEA.
When not in the classroom or in front of a choir, Colleen can be found on a bicycle, coaching or playing volleyball, or perhaps whiling away an afternoon with a mystery novel or a charcoal pencil and sketch pad.
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