Lori Tennenhouse

EXECUTIVE AND ARTISTIC DIRECTOR / lori@girlschoralacademy.org

Lori is the founding Artistic Director of the Grand Rapids Women’s Chorus and has served in that role since its founding in 1996. Passionate about expanding the depth of repertoire for women’s voices, she has collaborated with the Grand Rapids Women’s Chorus (GRWC) to commission and perform eight original works by women composers.  Her advocacy was recognized in 2006 when she was honored with a YWCA TRIBUTE! Award in the Performing Arts category. As an arranger, Lori published Iraqi Peace Song, a traditional Iraqi lullaby written by Knut Reiersrud and premiered by the GRWC in 2007. Lori received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Music from Aquinas College and is a member of the American Choral Directors’ Association, Michigan School Vocal Music Association and Chorus America.  She is proud of her involvement as a choral director in many festivals and collaborations leading choruses in Denver, Chicago, San Diego, Vancouver, Cincinnati, and Grand Rapids.

Angela Devries

DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR / angela@girlschoralacademy.org

Angela worked as the Assistant Divisional Development Director for The Salvation Army Western Michigan Northern Indiana Division and has over 10 years of fundraising experience. Angela received a degree in Business Administration from Aquinas College and a Master of Public Administration degree with an emphasis in Non-Profit Management and Leadership from Grand Valley State University. Angela is also Certified in Volunteer Administration. She enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, volunteering and cooking in her spare time.


Lauren McMurry

COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER / lauren@girlschoralacademy.org

Lauren has been a part of the GCA since 2015. She did her Undergraduate work at Michigan State University and went on to receive a Master Degree in Music Performance from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.  She enjoys travel and cooking in her free time. 



Chris Krive

PRODUCTION ASSISTANT / chris@girlschoralacademy.org

Born and raised in Muskegon, and having lived in Grand Rapids for the last 30 years, Chris Krive is a life-long resident of West Michigan. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Hope College in 1989 and Master of Arts degree from Grand Valley State University in 2001.  Chris is a recently retired elementary school teacher, having served mainly Wyoming Public Schools in her 30 years of teaching. In her spare time, she enjoys singing in the Park Church Chancel Choir, playing handbells at Park Church, playing oboe occasionally around the West Michigan area, walking her two chihuahuas and reading. 



Mary Klaasen


Mary grew up in Grand Rapids and has been teaching K-12 vocal and general music for six years. She graduated from Grand Valley State University in 2011 with a BA in Vocal Music Education. Then she taught in Phoenix, AZ for three years before returning to Grand Rapids to marry her husband and continue her career. While in Arizona, she completed her MA in Curriculum and Instruction with an Emphasis in Reading. Mary has taught general music for the Kent City Summer Migrant Program, and she started and developed the K-12 music program at Hope Academy of West Michigan. She also teaches music for Grand Rapids Public Schools and directs the children’s choir, Park Singers, at First Park Church. Mary has traveled to Finland, Estonia, Germany, France, Belgium and Ghana on choir tours and most recently she sang in Carnegie Hall with the Park Church Chancel Choir. Mary has a passion for pets. She shares her home with a dog and four rescue cats. She enjoys reading and group fitness with friends.


Maya McAdory


Born and raised here in Grand Rapids, Maya is a former member of GCA, participating from 6th to 12th grade. Currently, she is a Sophomore at Grand Rapids Community College and will be graduating in 2018 with an Associate of Arts Degree. Receiving a leadership award her senior year (2016) both from GCA and her high school choir at Catholic Central, she is excited to take her leadership skills to the next level and inspire the Grandville Avenue Girls Choir to find the true happiness that comes out of coming together in song. “This is a rewarding opportunity for me, as this will be my first job as a choir director!” – Maya


Brenda Baker


Brenda Baker is a retired music teacher who spent her last ten years directing the choirs at Northern Hills Middle School in Grand Rapids. With nearly half of the student body involved in her choirs, her program was widely respected and served as a model for other schools with developing choral programs. Brenda has a degree in vocal performance from Aquinas College and did graduate work in voice at WMU. She completed her music education certification in the early 1990’s, and her masters in the Art of Teaching with a music emphasis in the mid-1990s. Her experience working with singers of all ages is far-reaching, and in addition to teaching in the public schools, she has served in music ministry in a number of churches. She currently serves as assistant director of the Grand Rapids Women’s Chorus, and Lady Oak, a small auditioned ensemble within the women’s chorus. She has extensive experience as a soprano soloist in the Grand Rapids area, and currently, has a voice and piano studio in her home.


Debra Brower


Deb Brower is a solo artist who specializes in Ragtime Piano Music, She received her formal training in piano at the University of Michigan. A member of the Grand Rapids Symphony Chorus since 2006, Deb has served as rehearsal accompanist for the Girls Choral Academy since 2013. She enjoys playing for the members of Fountain Street Church and retirement homes where she takes residents on a sentimental journey back in time with her own arrangements of the great melodies if the 1940’s and 1950’s.


Melia Colwell


West Michigan native Melia Sneden Colwell is a co-founder and piano instructor at Yellow Door Music Studio (YellowDoorGR.com). She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Applied Music and History from Indiana Wesleyan University (Marion, IN), where she accompanied the Women’s Chorus in addition to collaborations with vocalists and instrumentalists. Melia previously served as the Manager of Education at Wonderscope Children’s Museum of Kansas City, where she designed and led weekly Music and Movement classes. She lives in west Grand Rapids with her husband, Justin (also a pianist!), and their two cats, Mama and Murray.