choir, multiple handbell ensembles, a robust graded children's choir program, and serves as organist.
Ensembles under his direction have enjoyed a warm reception at national and international concerts and received top awards at the same.
Ben is a resident of Takoma Park. When not making music, he enjoys travel, cooking, and sailing.
...spent much of her childhood and young adult years singing in choirs, musical theater, and the shower. She is delighted to share this love with her daughter, Emily, who seemed to come into the world singing and eagerly joined the Del Ray Kinderchoir in the spring of 2017. With a professional background in children's literature, Melissa currently authors the website, WhatToReadToYourKids.com, where she curates newly-published children's books for the benefit of parents and teachers. Melissa brings to Kinderchoir many years of fundraising on behalf of her children's Montessori schools. Melissa and her family relocated from Chicago to Virginia in 2010 and have found in Del Ray a warm, vibrant, and intellectually curious community. She is thrilled to be helping the Del Ray Kinderchoir serve such a special community.
Yeri Jang, Accompanist
Dr. Benjamin Hutchens, Managing Artistic Director
Fostering a child's natural gift for music and singing.
Promoting choral musicianship.
Sharing the joy of music with our neighbors.
Melissa LaSalle, President
Emily Roberts, Student Intern
Stefan Sidahmed, Treasurer
... is an accomplished organist and pianist who has served in many music ministries and choruses. As a recitalist, Yeri’s performances have been featured in the DC and Baltimore metro areas as well as in Austria and South Korea. She received her Master of Music degree in Organ Performance at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University where she was awarded the Bruce R. Eicher Prize in Organ. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Church Music with a concentration in Organ Performance from Seoul Theological University in South Korea. She also studied at the Vienna University of Music and Performing Arts in Austria.
Currently, Yeri is the Organist at First Christian Church, Falls Church, VA
...has nonprofit management experience as Board Chair of the Potomac Crescent Waldorf School from 2012 – 2014. Stefan spent 20 years in the US Navy operating and repairing nuclear submarines and managing submarine programs. He has been with Booz Allen Hamilton since 2012 providing program management consulting services. Stefan is a graduate of the US Naval Academy (BSEE), The Pennsylvania State University (MSEE), and The George Washington University (MBA – Finance Focus).
... is a 25-year resident of Alexandria and a two-time past president of the Alexandria PTA Council. A freelance writer and editor, she blogs about issues related to Alexandria public schools at Port City Notebook. She also serves as co-vice-president of the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra Board of Trustees.
Melynda Dovel Wilcox, Secretary
...is a senior at T.C. Williams High School and has studied piano since she was 7 years old. In addition to her interest in journalism and creative writing, Emily has furthered her love of music by volunteering with the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra and the Children’s Chorus of Washington. Emily enjoys working with young students to help them develop their love of choral music and the performing arts. She is thrilled for this opportunity to work with Dr. Hutchens and the Del Ray Kinderchoir in their 2018-19 season.
Michelle Clover, musicianship teacher
... a native of Alexandria, VA (and T.C. Williams alumnus), has spent most of her adult life working with young people in a variety of capacities. A certified music teacher whose students have been recognized at the state, regional and national levels, Ms. Clover has taught students of every age from kindergarten through college in both classroom and private studio settings. Ms. Clover holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in flute performance from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and The University of Texas at Austin respectively and recently completed a master’s degree in school counseling at The George Washington University. Ms. Clover currently works as a professional school counselor, and in her free time, maintains a private flute studio and is a freelance flutist in the Washington, D.C. area.
... is a native of Statesville, North Carolina. He holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in choral conducting from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, a Master of Music degree in violin performance from the University of Alabama and a Bachelor of Arts degree in music from Furman University.
He is the Director of Music Ministries at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Alexandria. At Westminster, he conducts a 60 voice adult
Every child can sing!
The Del Ray Kinderchoir provides an opportunity for children in grades K - 6 to experience the joy of singing in a non-competitive environment while developing and strengthening fundamental musicianship skills.
We use music education as the vehicle to help children find a sense of community and belonging. Life skills attained at the Kinderchoir - teamwork, responsibility, and problem solving - easily transfer into other subject areas. Friendships created through the Kinderchoir often hold fast throughout the childhood. The children leave each rehearsal full of newly attained knowledge through our energetic and energizing training program. Our staff nurtures all children in the joy of making music together. We are inclusive and non-competitive, and, of course, FUN!
Children will sing from the rich offerings of American and international folk music as well as from classical repertoire. Besides singing in many different languages, children will strengthen and develop a healthy singing voice, learn to hear and sing intervals, read, write and sight-sing music and develop melodic and rhythmic improvisation skills.