Andrew Bergh - Tenor 1 Andrew grew up in Damascus Oregon and attended Sam Barlow High School where he got his start in singing. He attended George Fox University and earned his bachelors degree in Music Education and Vocal Performance with a minor in Worship Arts. Andrew is the new choir director at Tualatin High School, which is just southwest of Portland. He previously taught for 4 years teaching at Tillamook Junior High and High School where he taught 5 choirs. In addition to teaching, he is involved with leading music at his church. He also enjoys playing basketball and ultimate frisbee, and eating hamburgers.
Dan Davison - Bass Dan Davison, bass, recently retired from the position of Choir Director at Ballou Junior High, in Puyallup, Washington since 1979. In addition to conducting the five ensembles at his school, he has numerous teaching and mentoring responsibilities. Dan received his Bachelor’s degree from Pacific Lutheran University, studying under Maurice Skones, and his Master’s degree from Western Washington University, studying with Bruce Pullan.
In addition to being an educator and a singer, Dan is an active composer and arranger. He currently has titles published with Walton Music and also with Sound Music Publications. His works range in difficulty, from those appropriate for junior high voices, to those appropriate for professional ensembles. Dan's works are found throughout the repertoire for Male Ensemble Northwest. He is also keenly interested in vocal jazz, and does almost all of the arrangements for his own 16-voice Jazz Choir.
Dan is highly sought after as a choral clinician and adjudicator, and has served as a cooperating teacher and mentor to numerous choral educators. His clinics on vocal music education techniques have brought him to speak for educators in Montana, Oregon, Washington, and for regional conventions of the American Choral Directors Association.
Jesús Gomez - Baritone/Tenor 2
Jesús is a recent graduate of Pacific Lutheran University, where he was a four-year member of the internationally renowned Choir of the West. Studying under Dr. Richard Nance, he sang at national conventions of the American Choral Directors Association (2013) and the National Collegiate Choral Organization (2016), as well as the annual PLU Christmas concerts, which are now broadcast nationally on PBS. After graduating with a Bachelor's degree in Music Education, he taught for a year in the Puyallup School District before accepting a position teaching choir at Mount Vernon High School, where he will teach six choirs and a world music ensemble.
Jesús is an active composer and arranger, and his work has been performed by Male Ensemble Northwest, the Choir of the West, the PLU Men's Chorus, The Coats, Cantus Youth Choirs, and various high school choirs in Oregon and Washington.
Jesús and his wife, Claire live in Mount Vernon, Washington, with their Gus, their beloved Persian cat.
Ryan Harris - Bass Originally from Lynden, Washington, Ryan is a graduate of Columbia Basin College, where he sang in nationally recognized vocal jazz ensemble, "FreeForm," directed by Dave Cazier, and earned his A.A. in Music with an emphasis in Vocal Music. He earned his B.M. in Music Education from Central Washington University where he sang in nationally recognized "Vocal Jazz 1," directed by Vijay Singh, as well as CWU's Chamber Choir, directed by Dr. Gary Weidenaar. He was also appointed Director for CWU's "Vocal Jazz 3" ensemble for the 2008-09 year.
His teaching career started at Mount Si High School in Snoqualmie, Washington, where he taught Choir and Theatre Arts for two years. Ryan has been teaching Choir at Harrison Preparatory School in Lakewood, Washington since 2013, where he serves as the Arts Department Chair, is a National Boards certified teacher, and has earned MRMEA Regional Large Group Superior Ratings with his Middle and High School Chamber Choirs. His High School Chamber and Jazz Choirs have consistently been nominated for the “Waldo King Spirit Award” at CBC’s Jazz Unlimited Festival, which they won in 2012 and 2017.
Ryan and his wife Indeah live in Spanaway, Washington with their two dogs. They both currently sing in semi-professional a cappella choral octet “Resonate,” in Maple Valley, Washington.
Phill Hurley - Baritone Phill was born and raised in Caldwell, Idaho. He started leading singing at church at a young age and always knew he wanted to be a music teacher when he grew up. He attended Columbia Christian College in Portland, Oregon, where he studied voice under Dick Dalzell. He has been teaching music in the David Douglas school district since 1986 and is currently teaching general music at Gilbert Heights Elementary. Phill has performed with Portland Choral Cross-Ties under the direction of Dr. Bruce Browne and now sings with the Portland Symphonic Choir and Choro in Schola (Choir in Schools). He teaches private voice to high school students and has been a guest soloist at several churches in the Portland area. He and his wife Kim live in Southeast Portland with their children.
Andy Jackson - Tenor 2
J. Andrew Jackson holds a Master’s degree in Music Education from Kent State University. He has ten years of professional music experience as a music educator, performer, recording musician, and arranger. Andy began his teaching career by heading a K-12 music program teaching general music, and directing the school’s choral and instrumental ensembles. At BYU – Idaho, he taught music theory and ear training, and acted as the Assistant Conductor of the university’s Men’s Choir under his conducting mentor, Kevin Brower. Andy has performed in operas such as Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas and Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi. Additionally, he has performed as a soloist in multiple productions of Handel’s Messiah, and has toured nationally and internationally as a jazz vocalist.
Currently, Andy enjoys teaching instrumental and choral music at The Overlake School, a college preparatory school in Redmond, Washington. He also owns a successful private studio, instructing students in voice, percussion, brass, and select string instruments. Andy and his wife Jacqui currently reside in Bellevue, Washington. They both currently perform with the semi-professional choral octet “Resonate."
Brent LiaBraaten - Bass
Brent LiaBraaten lives in Kalama, WA with his wife and two young children. He is a recent graduate of Washington State University with a masters in choral conducting. While at WSU he was a part of several choirs including the Concert Choir and Madrigal Singers. He has played Vittorio Vidal in the musical Sweet Charity and Sergeant Belcore in The Elixir of Love. Brent is currently the director of choral music at Woodland High School and Middle School. He also teaches the guitar class. He feels very privileged to be a part of such a wonderful cast of mentors and colleagues.
Darren McCoy - Tenor 2
Raised in Salem, OR. Darren McCoy graduated Magna Cum Laude from Willamette University in 2006 and earned his Masters Degree in 2008 with Honors from University of Oregon. Since then, he has been the choral director at Oak Harbor High School on Whidbey Island in the Washington Puget Sound. Darren also became the music director of the Whidbey Community Chorus in 2016. In his spare time, Darren has played lead roles in "Daddy Long Legs", “The Last Five Years,” and "A Child’s Christmas in Wales” at The Whidbey Playhouse. He has been Producer, Music Director and/or accompanist for shows such as "Into the Woods", "Guys and Dolls", and "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown".
Max Mendez - Bass Max Mendez is currently director of choirs at North Idaho College in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. He also serves as chair of the Division of Communications, and Humanities. He has been an active part of the Inland Northwest music community for the last ten years. He divides his time between conducting, teaching and performing. At North Idaho College he conducts the NIC Cardinal Chorale, Chamber Singers, and Vocal
Jazz Ensemble. Max has served as director of music at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Lourdes in Spokane, Washington since 2002. Max has served as a conductor and musical director for Eastern Washington University, Spokane Civic Theater, and Coeur d’Alene Summer Theater. He has recently sung to critical success in the Northwest Bach Festival St. Matthew’s Passion and Spokane Opera’s recent production of Tosca. As an opera artist, he has performed with Los Angeles Music Center Opera, Opera Pacific, Spokane Symphony Orchestra, Spokane Opera, Opera Idaho, and Opera Plus! He has performed with many of the finest concert ensembles in the Inland Northwest including; the Spokane Symphony Orchestra, Coeur d’Alene Symphony Orchestra, Westminster Chamber Orchestra, Allegro: Baroque and Beyond, Zephyr, Clarion Brass and the Northwest Bach Festival. His versatility as a singer ranges from opera and oratorio to musical theatre, cabaret, and popular styles. Max is also a founding member along with Russell Seaton of Spokane Choral Artists. He received his Master of Arts in conducting and Bachelor of Arts in Music from Eastern Washington University. Max lives in Hayden, Idaho with his wife and four children.
Matthew Pierce - Bass Matthew Pierce works in the Astoria School District where he teaches choir at the Middle and High Schools. He has brought a choral program from nearly non existent to competing at the state level for the first time in Astoria High School history. His groups have performed in concerts with Genesis and the New York Voices. Matthew graduated from Western Oregon University with his Bachelor of Music degree and Master of Arts in Teaching where he performed with many various ensembles from Chamber Choir to Jazz Ensembles and solo performances. He has performed with the North Coast Big band, North Coast Chorale, String of Pearls as well as his own group The Main Course Quartet.
Justin Raffa - Tenor 2 Justin Raffa comes to the Tri-Cities area from Tucson, AZ, where he received an M.M. in choral conducting at the University of Arizona. While in Arizona, Justin was an active member of AMEA and served on the Arizona ACDA state board as Repertoire & Standards Chair for Community Choirs. He began his professional career as a teacher in Bisbee, AZ, where he oversaw the high school choral department and theatre arts curriculum, in addition to directing the Bisbee Community Chorus and serving on the board of the Bisbee Arts Commission.
Originally from South Jersey, Justin is a graduate of Westminster Choir College of Rider University in Princeton, NJ, where he received a B.M. in music education with a vocal concentration and was awarded the Rider University President's Award. As a student, Justin studied conducting and group vocal technique with James Jordan.
Justin has sung as part of the Berkshire Choral Festival, Spoleto Festival USA, Voces Novae et Antiquae, the Tucson Symphony Orchestra Chorus, and continues to perform as a founding member of the Tucson Chamber Artists. As a member of the Westminster Symphonic Choir under Joseph Flummerfelt, Justin sang with some of the world’s leading conductors and orchestras.
Since his arrival in the Tri-Cities in August 2008, Justin has endeavored to build increased collaboration within the local performing arts community. His primary positions include conducting the region's premier choral ensemble, the Mid-Columbia Mastersingers, managing the Mid-Columbia Symphony, and directing the music program at All Saints Episcopal Church in Richland. Justin has also been an actor, music director and board member with the Richland Light Opera Company, music advisor with Washington East Opera, and conductor of the Three Rivers Children's Chorus. Additionally, Justin has served as an adjudicator for local festivals and competitions through the Columbia Basin Music Education Association and Washington State Educational Theatre Association.
Isaac Robbins-Tenor 1 Isaac Robbins was born and raised in Central Kansas where he learned his passion for singing at an early age on the farm. After spending three years at Fort Hays State University, he transferred to the University of Idaho and studied voice under the direction of Dr. Rager H. Moore. After receiving his degree in Music Education in 2008, he moved back to Kansas to teach and be near family. In 2010, he took the opportunity to move back to the area he loves dearly and teach in the Post Falls, Idaho. Since returning he has started up two special elementary choirs in the schools where he teaches. He has also been known to adjudicate and coordinate music festivals throughout North Idaho. He has also been a part of groups including Opera Coeur d'Alene, Spokane Choral Artists and the Spokane Bach Festival. He is very excited to be a part of great educators and musicians throughout the Northwest!
Jim Taylor, Baritone Jim Taylor is a graduate of Sprague High School in Salem and an active participant in the choral program under Gary Frame, Jim then completed his Music Education Degree at Western Oregon State College. After serving as Choral and Drama director at Seaside High School and Broadway Middle School in the early ‘90’s, he traveled to Tucson, Arizona where he completed his master’s in Choral Conducting at the University of Arizona under Josef Knott and Maurice Skones. Jim remained at the UA as an Assistant Professor of Jazz Studies serving as Director of Vocal Jazz and Jazz History. In addition to his duties at UA he was Assistant Director of the Tucson Arizona Boys Choir, Vocal Back-up and Choral Assistant for Linda Ronstadt, Artistic and Musical Director of Reveille Gay Mens Chorus and Minister of Music at First Congregational U.C.C. Jim and his wife Dina returned to Oregon in 2002, where he owned and operated a home remodeling before returning to the choir room in 2007 at McNary. Jim and assistant directors Heather Stein and Andy Wilson have developed one of the largest and most comprehensive high school choral programs on the West Coast. Students can participate in a myriad of performing ensembles from Jazz, Pop, Musical Theater to traditional Choral ensembles large and small. Students can also take classes in theory, music appreciation, and piano and have opportunities in composition, recording, editing and sound reinforcement. Graduates are pursuing degrees in Music including Education, Performance, Pedagogy, Therapy, History, Theater, Composition and Sound across the country. McNary Choirs have most recently collaborated with the Divine Foundation to produce two full production albums as a means of providing financial support for arts in the schools. Go to Choirproject.com and McNaryChoirs.com to see and hear the work of the students of McNary Choirs.
Reginald Unterseher has been Music Director and Composer-in-Residence at Shalom United Church of Christ in Richland, WA since 1990, conducting adult and children's choirs and instrumental ensembles. Mr. Unterseher's compositions and arrangements are published by Oxford University Press, Walton Music, and on his website as well as through the Northwest Choral Publishers web site. His pieces are regularly heard at choral conferences and on international tours, in venues ranging from Carnegie Hall in New York City to the B Reactor, the world’s first industrial-scale nuclear reactor.
Mr. Unterseher is Associate Conductor of the Mid-Columbia Mastersingers. He also maintains a private voice studio. He has served as R&S Chair for Men's Choirs for the Northwest American Choral Directors Association and R&R Chair for Composition for the Washington State American Choral Directors Association. He has appeared in opera, music theater, and concert with such organizations as Texas Opera Theater, Opera Theater of St. Louis, Kansas City Lyric Opera, Starlight Theater of Kansas City, Lyric Theater of Oklahoma, the Oklahoma Symphony, Colorado Springs Symphony, and the Spokane Opera
Mr. Unterseher received a Bachelor of Music in Voice from Walla Walla College in 1980 and a Master of Music in Voice Performance from the University of Missouri at Kansas City in 1984.