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.
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.
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, and director of the Des Moines Diversity Chorus. 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)
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.
Kailey Gering, voice and keyboard teacher, is excited to join the teaching artists at City Voices this year! She is originally from Madison, WI but has lived in Des Moines for a few years now. She graduated from Luther College and holds a major in Music with certification. She has sung in many choirs, including the Nordic Choir at Luther College and the Vocal Arts Ensemble here in Des Moines. Throughout her choir experience, she has toured around the country as well as internationally. In addition to singing in choirs and as a soloist, she has taught piano and voice lessons to a wide variety of learners through the Luther College Music School, as well as independently. Kailey is entering her third year teaching middle school vocal and general music at McCombs Middle School in Des Moines.
Kyle Lechtenberg, program assistant and teaching artist, is an experienced choral director, volunteer coordinator, and voice teacher and is excited to support City Voices’ administrative needs. He has taught public school vocal music, private voice and piano, and has served in church worship positions in Iowa and Indiana. He holds a degree in music education from the University of Northern Iowa and in theology from the University of Notre Dame. He and his wife Kara Ullestad live in Des Moines, and when he’s not working with City Voices, Kyle is a stay-at-home parent of Sage, age 5, and Oliver, age 2.
Napoleon Douglas is an International Actor, Teaching Artist, Entrepreneur and frequent guest artist at City Voices. He received a BA in Theatre Arts from Drake University, and an MBA from Southern New Hampshire 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. Since graduation he has worked extensively in Stage Theatre, Film, Voice Over and Dance. Theatre (selected): International: Festival of the Lion King, Hong Kong Disneyland (Simba). National: Mr. Holland’s Opus (Louie, Dance Captain, World Premiere, Ogunquit Playhouse), BRUCE (Joe Alves & Carl Gottlieb Cover, World Premiere, Seattle Repertory), Jesus Christ Superstar (Judas, Arvada Center), Dreamgirls (2018 Ostrander Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Musical, Jimmy Early, Memphis Playhouse on the Square), Five Guys Named Moe (NoMax, Westchester Broadway), as well as leading and supporting roles in Hairspray, Sister Act, Superior Donuts, A Christmas Carol, Miss Saigon, Romeo & Juliet, White Christmas. TV/Film (selected): Wu-Tang: An American Saga (costar, Hulu), Oscar Micheaux (Cannes Short Selection, Urban Film BET Short Premiere Selection, 2018). Educationally, Napoleon has worked as a Director, Music Director, Choreographer, Studio Voice Instructor and Teaching Artist for theatres and organizations across the U.S., including Denver Center for the Performing Arts, The Summer Conservatory at Memphis Playhouse on the Square, and The Academy at Midtown Arts Center. Institutionally, Napoleon serves as a Board Member & Artist-In-Residence for City Voices, and is a Board Member of “Sing For Your Seniors” (singforyourseniors.org). 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 President Joe Biden, and was the national representative for the Des Moines chapter of the NAACP at the ACT-SO (Afro-Academic, Cultural and Technological Olympics) in Vocal Music: Classical, Oratory and Dance. He is a member of Phi Gamma Delta and the Actors Equity Association.
I hope we aren’t to late to get my daughter in the Dsm CityVoices. Please contact me and let me know what classes are going on now.
Thanks in advance!