Mary Anne Sims is an educator and musician with over twenty-five years experience in the classroom, including thirteen as a vocal music instructor in the Des Moines public schools. She received her Bachelor of Music from the University of Iowa and her Master of Arts in Music Education from the Ohio State University, where her thesis developed pedagogy for English language-learners in the music classroom. While in pursuit of her Master’s degree, she sang and soloed in The Ohio State University’s Gospel Choir “Inspirational Voices,” and studied urban music education under Dr. Jan Edwards. She has taught at every grade level, with experience in urban, rural and suburban general music and choral programs, including leading the highly successful Des Moines Roosevelt Varsity Show Choir and receiving ten consecutive Highly Superior state ratings for her Women’s Ensemble. She has also served as a mentor and consultant to programs across the country, working with Gospel and youth choirs of all ages. She is a successful choral arranger, having written commissions for several schools in Iowa, as well as community organizations such as the World Food Prize, and is also an accomplished pianist and accompanist. She serves as an adjudicator during show choir season, and loves to work with young performers.
Napoleon Douglas is a traveling Actor, Choreographer, and Teaching Artist who received a BA in Theatre Arts from Drake University. The Roosevelt High School Alumnus (’10) has been very involved in the Des Moines Area Arts Community throughout the years. While at Drake, Napoleon studied with Leanne Freeman-Miller and Christine Fortner-Blanner and worked under the direction of Aimee Beckmann-Collier in the prestigious Drake and Chamber Choirs. He received a Master in Business Administration from Southern New Hampshire University. Since graduation he has worked extensively in music theater, as a member of the Resident Artist Company at Midtown Arts Center in Ft. Collins, CO and as a Teaching Artist at The Denver Center for the Performing Arts in Denver, CO. His notable credits include Jimmy Early in Dreamgirls (Playhouse on the Square), Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come in A Christmas Carol (Denver Center Theatre Company), Judas in Jesus Christ Superstar and T.J. in Sister Act (Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities), Seaweed Stubbs in Hairspray (Rising Star Theatre Co and Playhouse on the Square), Beadle Bamford in Sweeney Todd (MAC), Jud Fry in Oklahoma, (MAC), Franco in Superior Donuts (StageWest). He will play the Simba track in Festival of the Lion King (Hong Kong Disneyland) commencing in September 2018. Institutionally, Napoleon has worked for various non-profit organizations as a consultant and assistant in arts administrative departments, including City Voices. Napoleon is also a former member of the renowned Isiserettes Drill and Drum Corps, who performed for both Inauguration Parades for President Barack Obama and was the national representative at the Afro-Academic, Cultural and Technological Olympics (Vocal Music: Classical, Oratory and Dance).
Brandon Record, voice and piano teacher, is a Tenor originally from Gillette, Wyoming. He graduated from the University of Sioux Falls and holds a Bachelors degree in Music Education and minors in Vocal Performance and Pedagogy and is currently working on a masters degree from Drake University. When not teaching at City Voices, Brandon is the Director of Choirs and Department Head at Lincoln High School as well as being a Music Director and Stage Manager at the Des Moines Playhouse. Brandon has sung and conducted nationally and internationally as a soloist and with choirs all over the world. As well as singing choral music and as a soloist, Brandon has performed and directed many stage productions. His most recent acting performances include Into the Woods (Baker), Godspell (Nick/Brandon), Much Ado About Nothing (Antonio), Bye Bye Birdie (Harry MacAfee) and Shrek (Shrek). His most recent directing credits include Pippi Longstocking (Music Director), The Show Must Go On (Music Director and Assistant Director), Hairspray (Music Director), Matilda (Music Director), Nunsense (Music Director and Stage Manager), Peter and the Starcatcher (Music Director), and Plaza Suite (Stage Manager)
Sarah Jorgenson has been teaching voice both privately and in the collegiate setting for nearly 20 years. Before landing in Iowa, Sarah began her musical journey by graduating with a classical voice performance degree and extensive master’s pedagogy classes from the University of NE- Lincoln. She has won many vocal competitions including the Soli Deo Gloria Voice Competition and has been selected as the soprano soloist to perform with multiple orchestras including the Wyoming Symphony Orchestra and the New York Symphonia. She can be heard on the Mannheim Steamroller Christmas album singing with Johnny Mathis. Deciding that musical theatre was an exciting change from the classical voice and opera she had studied for so long, she moved to NYC. Sarah has performed lead roles in numerous operas and theaters regionally. As an equity actor in NYC, Sarah had the pleasure of joining performers such as John Groff and Michael Zygo in raising money and awareness by performing with Broadway Cares: Equity Fights AIDS. After stopping in Des Moines while en route to Chicago for an audition, Sarah met her husband and decided to plant her roots permanently in Iowa. She is the founding director of Rising Stars Show Choir 4 Kids, a non-audition fully inclusive choir for children of all ages and abilities. She is now a professional blogger for the local chapter of the City Moms Blog group and often blogs about the most favorite role she’s ever had: being a mama to four amazing kiddos who keep her on her toes every minute of every day.
Jeremy Jorgenson, voice teacher, is a proud husband and dad in the Jorgenson family! He has been a music educator since 2002, having taught K-12 vocal and general music. A Des Moines native, Mr. Jorgenson holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education from Drake University. In addition, he holds a level 1 certification in Orff-Schulwerk. As an active local musician, he has been seen on the Des Moines Playhouse and Iowa State Fair stages. He believes that music enriches our lives and our communities and is a vital part of educating a complete child.
Dang Felton, guitar teacher, is a multi-instrumentalist specializing in stringed instruments. As a story and songwriter with over 15 years of experience studying and performing music he loves to share his knowledge of how to make music into a fun hobby or even a lifestyle. With an understanding of the work that makes writing and performing music possible, including promotion, networking, booking, audio processing, and sound engineering, Dang is able to teach students how to turn their practice into achievements. He has been a featured performing artist in multiple Des Moines, IA magazines and television shows. His culturally proficient approach to teaching music allows students to learn very quickly with personally-tailored instrument exercises focusing on the techniques used in any of their favorite styles of music.