Melissa Barnes has served many different roles with the JCC Artistic Staff over the past decade. In 2006 she began her career with the JCC as the inaugural Training Choir Conductor and has also served as Vocal Exploration Instructor and Lyric Choir Conductor. Last year, Melissa was Mr. Dailey’s Assistant Conductor for our upper choirs, and this year she is the Treble Choir Conductor. Melissa received her Vocal Performance degree with additional studies in music education from University of Mobile. She also studied at University of Southern Mississippi where she was a proud member of the Marching Pride.
Melissa brings over 25 years’ experience in both performing and teaching music to students of all ages from preschool to adults in both private studio and school settings. Melissa still enjoys performing but has found her passion in guiding children to discover and develop their talents and creativity. It is her desire to assist in developing a high-quality choral music program while teaching not only musical and cognitive skills, but social development, self-discipline, teamwork, and community involvement. Her desire is to teach her singers by example to strive for excellence in everything they do.
KATHERINE (KT) BOLING
KT joined the JCC team in 2016 as a member of the Administrative Staff, but extended her scope into the Artistic Staff in 2017. She began dancing at the age of 3, and has held a passion for the performing arts ever since. KT’s ties to the Chorus go back as far as 1996, when she joined the JCC as a young singer under the direction of Jim Taylor, the Chorus’ first conductor. In her two years as a member of the JCC, she enjoyed opportunities to perform at various venues around the state and country, and even in Carnegie Hall. During her college years, she expanded upon her dance background, becoming heavily involved in the Ballroom and Latin Dance community of Florida, where she became a professional Latin dancer, ballroom dance instructor, and even an aerialist.
Accompanist & Group Piano Instructor
Kim Clayton joins the JCC staff this year, but is not a stranger to the organization. She and her family have been supporters and participants of the JCC for years. Her connection to the JCC has been diverse. Her son, Caleb, sang with the Treble Choir under the direction of Mrs. Virginia Dickert for two years. Her husband, Jeffrey Clayton, who is Chair of the Vocal Department at Douglas Anderson, has been intimately involved with JCC through the years; most recently as vocal instructor. As the Fine Arts Director and teacher at Harvest Community School, she had several of her students in the JCC's choirs and in the Annual First Coast Honors Choir.
Kim holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Oral Roberts University with an emphasis in voice and piano. Prior to coming to Jacksonville in 1999, Kim taught music in public elementary schools for 15 years in Oklahoma, Texas, and Florida. She was nominated for "Teacher of the Year" at all three schools and received numerous awards for her expertise in teaching music. Kim is in her 11th year of teaching music at Harvest Community School, which she balances with a private piano studio, having taught more than 100 students from the Jacksonville area the last 15 years. She has been actively involved in church music for her entire life, beginning at the age of 12 and most recently completing 10 years as accompanist/choir director/worship leader at Beach Church in Jacksonville Beach. Though many experiences have highlighted her career, Kim is most proud of her accomplishments being a mother to seven wonderful sons. Her love of children, passion for music, and sharing the love of it continue to inspire her teaching.
Training Choir Conductor
Susanne Dailey is a musician with many years experience both teaching and performing music. She has served in both public and private schools in New Jersey, North Carolina and Massachusetts, taught general music and chorus at the elementary levels (K-6), and worked as Organist/Pianist at several churches. Mrs. Dailey received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Education from Westminster Choir College in Princeton, N.J. and her Master of Arts degree in Music Education from Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C. She has trained in the Kodály and Orff-Schulwerk methodologies and is committed to providing young singers with the foundations of music reading and music making. In addition, she is a certified Kindermusik Instructor with six years of experience teaching music to preschoolers.
Susanne is well respected as an educator and has been acclaimed for her special rapport with singers as well as her fine musicianship. She believes that music is critical in nurturing a child's cognitive, emotional, social and physical development and is dedicated to ensuring that each child experiences the joy, fun and learning which music brings to life! Susanne's husband, Darren Dailey, is the Artistic and Executive Director of the Jacksonville Children's Chorus. They have two daughters, Mary and Megan.
Assistant Training and Primary Choir Conductor
A Texas native, Marisssa earned her Bachelor of Music Education from Stephen F. Austin State University where she graduated summa cum laude. After teaching Kindergarten through 8th grade music and choir, Marissa returned to Stephen F. Austin State University to pursue her Master's of Music in Choral Conducting. After completing her degree in 2015, she moved to Jacksonville. Mrs. Dickerson is passionate about making music accessible to children and making choir a place where they must work together to grow as individuals as well as musicians.
Collaborative Pianist for Concert and Touring Choirs
Sachiko Frampton started her career as a professional collaborative pianist soon after she started to study at the high school division of Musashino Academia Musicae, a conservatory in Tokyo, Japan. Through high school and college, she studied piano under Yoko Minagawa and Takashi Kawasaki, and collaborative piano under Penka Badev. Until she moved to the United States with her family, she performed numerous recitals as a collabrative pianist and traveled throughout Japan as a pianist with the percussion ensemble Group Woods.
Before she moved to Jacksonville in 2012, she worked in Arizona as a collaborative pianist for Grand Canyon University, high schools in the greater Phoenix area, and for the State Convention of Choral Directors of Arizona.
Here in Jacksonville, she is a staff pianist at University of North Florida School of Music and has worked with Douglas Anderson School of the Arts and Paxon School for Advanced Studies.
Chohee Kim is originally from South Korea. Ms. Kim finished an Advanced Performance Certificate for Organ at Baylor University with Isabelle Demers. She received a Bachelor of Music degree with emphasis in Sacred Music from Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea, where she studied Organ with Sun-Min Kim.
Following this, she studied with Robert Bates at the Moores School of Music in the University of Houston. Currently she holds the position of Organist at Southside United Methodist Church and is the Accompanist at Florida State College at Jacksonville.
Group Piano Instructor
Jennifer joined the JCC’s staff in 2017; she is a pianist, vocalist, percussionist, and choral director from Orlando, Florida. She holds a BME from University of North Florida, where she studied piano with Dr. Erin Bennett-Hibbard, voice with Dr. Karen Coker-Merritt, and percussion with Charlotte Mabrey and Kevin Garry, all while performing in the UNF Chorale under the direction of Dr. Cara Tasher. She also holds a MM in Choral Conducting from Bowling Green State University in Ohio, where she studied under the direction of Dr. Mark Munson, Dr. Sandra Stegman, and Dr. Timothy Cloeter. During her studies at BGSU, Jennifer collaborated and premiered many new works from student composers as a conductor, vocalist, and percussionist, while working as an accompanist for other vocalists and maintaining her responsibilities as the Graduate Assistant for the Women's Chorus, A Cappella Choir, Collegiate Chorale, and University Choral Society.
Jennifer also has seven years of professional experience serving in the music ministries of a variety of churches. With a passion for community arts, new music, and music education, Jennifer's wide array of skills and interests fuel her excitement for teaching and performing, and she always encourages her students to explore outside of their comfort zones to achieve new and exciting artistic skills.
Ashley Novak started gymnastics as a child, and began dancing in 1997. In Tampa, she co-managed a dance studio with former U.S. dance champions. In 2009, she won the Tampa Bay Dancing with the Stars. She has also competed in many Pro-Am competitions where her students placed at the top of their dance level, and received the Top Female Teacher for the Florida Classic Competition in 2010. She moved to Jacksonville in 2010 and joined A Social Affair Dance Studio. She has performed in shows for the FBI, a benefit for the Lightner Museum in St. Augustine, and for the Alhambra Dinner Theatre. She even has a background in choral singing! Ms. Novak is proud to serve as the Jacksonville Children’s Chorus choreographer.
Keturah Robison has played classical piano since the age of four and went on to study Piano Performance at University of North Florida. She sang in the UNF Chorale for four years under Dr. Cara Tasher, during which time she was fortunate to perform a wide variety of repertoire, from pieces by Eric Whitacre to Carmina Burana, and even performing with Star Wars in Concert. The peak of her choral experience was traveling to Italy in 2010 and singing in Venice at St. Mark’s Basilica.
Keturah began ballroom dancing in 2008 and has worked for A Social Affair Dance Studio since 2010 where she teaches both social and competitive dancing. Keturah enjoys taking her students to Pro/Am competitions. In 2014, she and her student won Best Showcase at the Florida Classic Series. She has participated in Jacksonville’s Dancing with the Stars to benefit the JCC since 2011. At A Social Affair, Keturah teaches all ages of dancers and enjoys working with both adults and children and most importantly sharing the joy of dance.
MILLICENT "Penny" SYLVESTER
Assistant Concert and Touring Choir Conductor
Millicent is honored to be a part of the JCC artistic team. A native of Chicago, she graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Music Education from the University of Illinois and a Masters of Music Education (choral) from Florida State University. Growing up, she was a member of the Chicago Children’s Choir and as an adult, returned as a guest soloist and in-school conductor for that organization. As a music educator she has taught elementary, middle, and high school chorus and general music. Millicent brings a unique combination of education and performance experience. Her performance background includes solo and ensemble work with the Chicago Symphony Chorus and Symphony singers, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Alhambra Theater, Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra and Florida Opera Theater. She has been an adjudicator for Florida Elementary All-State Chorus and is Orff certified.
DR. CHARLIE J. TOOMER, JR.
Assistant Conductor of the Young Men's Chorus
Dr. Charlie J. Toomer, Jr., currently serves as the Director of Choral Activities at Edward Waters College in Jacksonville, FL. His experience as a choral director for over fifteen years has enabled him to effectively build and manage successful choral programs. He has a proven history of implementing strategic recruiting practices that have led to the growth of choral programs under his tutelage. His positive professional presence in rural, suburban and urban communities is evidenced in the array of top vocalists that he’s been able to recruit to his choirs nationwide.
Dr. Toomer’s teaching career in choral music education led him to Palmetto, FL where he served as Choir Director for the Manatee School for the Arts. Under his direction, he was able to triple the number of students in the choral program the very next year.
He has served as Director of Choral Activities at Florida A&M University where he taught Applied Voice, Conducting, Choral Techniques, and also directed the FAMU Concert Choir and the FAMU Vocal Jazz Ensemble. He was instrumental in building partnerships between the university and neighboring public school systems by hosting workshops, adjudicating district and state festivals and holding master classes with various choral groups. He consistently worked with public and private school choral directors to enhance the appreciation of choral music.
Under his direction the FAMU Concert Choir performed at the Florida Music Educators National Conference now known as the National Association for Music Education in Tampa, FL, in Anchorage Alaska for BP and Exxon Mobile and at the invitation of Rita Marley, the choir performed at the 65th Birthday Celebration of Bob Marley in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. One of Dr. Toomer’s biggest achievements was his selection to serve as the Director for the All-State High School Men’s Choir in Florida
Dr. Charlie J. Toomer, Jr. holds a Ph.D. in Choral Conducting /Music Education and a Master of Music in Choral Conducting performance degree from Florida State University. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Music Education from Florida A&M University. He is a member of the American Choral Director’s Association (ACDA), National Association for Music Education (NAfME), Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity of America, and Kappa, Kappa Psi, National Honorary Band Fraternity. He also serves as Director of Music at Woodlawn Presbyterian Church in Jacksonville, FL.