As we prepare for a new era of music-making in the Tobin Center, we welcome a mix of new and seasoned faculty members to teach our advanced and junior choruses. Meet your team below!
Dr. Doreen Rao, interim artistic director, is known the world over for her ground-breaking work in the field of music education. After receiving her bachelor’s degree in voice and music education from the University of Illinois, she earned both her master’s degree in voice performance and a Ph.D. in music education from Northwestern University. Rao currently holds the Cameron Baird Conductor’s Chair and is the music director and conductor of the Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus. During her long association with the Chicago Symphony Chorus and Orchestra, she prepared her Glen Ellyn Children’s Chorus (Anima) for concerts, tours, and four Grammy Award-winning recordings.
Irma Taute, associate director of the advanced choruses, is in her 20th season with CCSA. A music educator for more than four decades, she has taught at school districts and universities all across Texas. Taute received both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music education from Texas A&I (A&M) University in Kingsville. She is active in the San Antonio choral scene, conducting local region choirs, holding leadership positions for multiple local music organizations, and working as a clinician and adjudicator. Taute has maintained a private voice studio for more than 30 years.
Chalon Murray, associate director of the junior choruses, brings with her 25 years of experience leading choirs and teaching children in both church and academic settings. She received her bachelor’s degree in voice performance, with a minor in piano, from the Wheaton College Conservatory of Music, and she earned her master’s degree in choral conducting from the Boston Conservatory. Arriving in San Antonio in 2005, Murray helped develop the choir program at the Atonement Academy and is currently the director of music and organist at St. Helena’s Episcopal Church.
Rebecca Morgan, assistant conductor of the advanced choruses, holds the distinction of being the first CCSA alumna to join the staff, having sung with the organization from 1987 – 1991. She earned her bachelor’s degree in music education from Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey, and is currently pursuing her master’s degree in music education from Texas State University. Morgan currently teaches music at the Montessori School of San Antonio and is also the music director at Northwood Presbyterian Church. Sharing her passion for music with those who need it most, she piloted Music Together at Haven for Hope and the Project: Sing South community outreach program.
LeeAnn Valcarcel, assistant conductor of the junior choruses, has taught choral and music classes around the nation for the past eight years. She graduated cum laude from Stetson University in DeLand, Florida, with a bachelor’s degree in music education and an emphasis on voice. Having recently relocated to Texas, Valcarcel is currently pursuing a master’s degree in choral conducting from the University of Texas at San Antonio. She has taught music classes and directed choirs at the elementary, middle, and high school levels and is an accomplished accompanist, private voice and piano teacher, and published composer.
We also welcome David Lopez, accompanist of the advanced choruses, and Kevin Baxter, accompanist of the junior choruses.