Shelby Sievers is a 2004 graduate of Iowa State University, holding a Bachelor of Music degree in vocal music education. While at Iowa State, Shelby was very active as a singer, clarinetist, and accompanist. Last spring, Shelby won first place in the National ACDA Undergraduate Conducting Competition held in Los Angeles. Shelby currently teaches at Lewis Central High School in Council Bluffs, IA, where she co-teaches and co-directs nine ensembles.
Marjorie Simons-Bester is in her thirteenth year as Director of Vocal Music at Bellevue East High School. Marjorie conducts the East High Singers, Freshman Chorale, Take II, Sensations, and East In Harmony. Marjorie also serves as the music director for the annual Bellevue East Spring Musical and teaches music theory and music history. Mrs. Simons-Bester’s prior teaching experience includes five years at Fort Crook Elementary School and nine years at Mission Junior/Middle School in Bellevue. Mrs. Simons-Bester received her BA in Music Education from Midland Lutheran College in Fremont, Nebraska, and her MME from the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, Colorado. Marjorie is currently a Music Education Doctoral candidate at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. Marjorie has served as the North Central ACDA Repertoire and Standards Chair for Multicultural Music and Perspectives; and is currently serving as the state Repertoire and Standards Chair for the same committee. She also serves on the steering committee for the North Central ACDA conference to be held next spring in Omaha. Marjorie is a frequent guest clinician for choral festivals in Nebraska. She has performed with the Omaha Symphonic Chorus, the Mastersingers and the Opera Omaha Chorus as well as The Center Stage Theatre and The French Underground. Marjorie is married to Michael Bester. They are the proud parents of thirteen year old daughter, Michelle.
Kevin Smith is currently the Assistant Director of music at the Saint Cecilia Schola Cantorum, where he has been employed for the past four years. He directs the Nova choir of children and the Gaudete choir, an ensemble of primarily high school students. Mr. Smith is pursuing his degree in music education at the University of Nebraska-Omaha, where he has studied with Wendy Eaton, Dr. Z. Randall Stroope, and Dr. James Johnson.
Mr. Smith has previously taught elementary music at the Catholic Academy and Holy Ghost schools and has directed the church choirs of St. Patrick’s and Holy Ghost parishes in Omaha. Mr. Smith has acted in professional theater at the Rose Blumkin Performing Arts Center the past few years and performed vocally with the Canterbury Singers at the Nebraska Shakespeare Festival and the UNO Concert Choir. He won first place at the National Association of Teachers of Singing competition in the fall of 2005. This is Mr. Smith’s fifth season with the Omaha Chamber Singers.
Susan Smith has sung with the Omaha Chamber singers since its inception. She has a degree in music education and teaches elementary music at St. Stephen the Martyr Catholic School. She has been married to her husband John for twenty-three years and they have twin sons, David and Michael, who attend the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Susan and John are enjoying the “empty nest” along with their puppies, Casey (a 90 lb. Weimaraner) and Otis (an 80 lb. Black Lab)!
Andrew Spady is a graduate of Nebraska Wesleyan University where he performed with NWU's University Choir, Touch of Class Show Choir and participated in Opera Workshop before earning his Bachelor of Music in Opera Performance. Andrew's musical studies include voice training with Richard Grace, Boyd Bacon and Jana Holzmeier, as well as masterclass work with Adria Firestone. Andrew has also performed with the Lincoln-based early music vocal ensemble, Dulces Voces, and recently became involved with the Opera Omaha chorus, taking part in productions of Turandot, La Traviata, and Paul Bunyan. He will be involved in Opera Omaha's upcoming production of Madama Butterfly.
Stephanie Stanek, a native Canadian, received her Honors Bachelor of Music Degree from the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario, Canada and her Bachelor of Science in Education Degree from Peru State College. She currently teaches grades 7-12 Vocal Music for Nebraska City Public Schools. She is a member of the Nebrasks Choral Directors Association, Nebraska Music Educators Association, American Choral Directors Association, Music Educators National Conference, and the Nebraska City Education Association. She remains active judging middle and high school music contests in both Kansas and Nebraska and is currently working on the Master of Music degree at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. In her free time, she keeps busy singing with a local church choir and living with her husband and two behemoth cats.
William Stibor is Music Director at NET Radio (Nebraska Public Radio Network), 91.1 FM for southeast Nebraska, where he hosts Morning Concert from 9 AM-Noon. He also produces and hosts the arts interview program Live from the Mill Statewide, Fridays at 9 AM. He holds a B.A. from Hastings College and an M.A. from UN-L in English and theatre. Former voice teachers include Dr. Richard Grace and he has taken master classes with Marlena Males, Phyllis Curtain, and The King’s Singers. Besides many choral and solo performances with Abendmusik: Lincoln Chorus, The Lincoln Symphony Orchestra, Tada Productions, and the Nebraska Jazz Orchestra, opera/musical roles include the Beadle in Sweeney Todd, Caius in Falstaff, Cavarodossi in Tosca, Flute in A Midsummer's Night’s Dream, Mr. Angel in The Impresario, Fiorentino in Street Scene, Father in Ragtime, and the Narrator in Into the Woods. Stibor has also appeared as Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman, and the Singer in Brecht’s Caucasian Chalk Circle, as well as roles in Macbeth, Tartuffe, Arsenic and Old Lace, The Grapes of Wrath, and Spoon River Anthology. He is a published poet, appearing in Prairie Schooner and Plainsongs, and is active at the Lincoln Community Playhouse.
Paul Susemihl, a native of Iowa, received his BME degree from the University of Northern Iowa and has taught on all levels. Paul teaches with the Omaha Public Schools. He has twice been a director with the OPS All-City Music Festival. In addition, Paul is the director of the Chancel Choir at Rockbrook United Methodist Church. He has sung with the Clarion Chamber Chorale and Soli Deo Gloria Cantorum. He is an adjudicator for high school vocal music contests in Iowa and Nebraska. Paul has appeared in theatrical productions at both the Ralston Community Theater and the Dundee Dinner Theater.
Keith Winton, a native of Indiana, has sung in Omaha with the Clarion Chamber Chorale and in several productions at the Dundee Dinner Theater, and sings every year in the Madrigal Christmasse Feaste. A computer geek by day, Keith enjoys spending time with his wife and two children, and hairy pets.