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Office: First Christian Church, Perry Center
1420 North 3rd Street
Mailing: P.O. Box 3358
Abilene, TX 79604
325.673.SING • info@chorusabilene.net

 
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Chorus Abilene Artistic Staff

Conductors

Dee Romines

Dee Romines
Classical Chorus Conductor

Dee Romines, associate professor of choral music education, earned the Bachelor of Science degree in instrumental music education from the University of Tennessee, the Master of Music in choral conducting from the Eastman School of Music, and the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in choral conducting from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. His principal teachers were Dr. Eph Ehly, Dr. W J Julian, Dr. Donald Neuen, and Dr. Charles Robinson. At HSU, Romines teaches courses in choral music education, undergraduate and graduate conducting, supervises student teachers, directs the HSU Chorale, and assists with all aspects of the choral program. Prior to his appointment at HSU, Romines held similar music education positions at the University of Georgia and the University of Missouri-Kansas City. From 1987 to 1998, he was the academy choral director at Punahou School in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Additional experience includes teaching elementary, middle, and high school instrumental music in Kentucky, Georgia, Tennessee, and Missouri, as well as directing church and community choirs.  Professional affiliations: American Choral Directors Association, Texas Music Educators Association, National Collegiate Choral Organization, and Pi Kappa Lambda.
 

 

Adam Samuels
Adam Samuels
Youth Chorus, Chorale

Adam Samuels is the Director for Chorus Abilene's Youth Chorus and Chorale. He has been Director of Worship & the Arts at St Paul UMC Abilene since 2007. His primary duties are focused on overseeing the music ensembles of the church, conducting the Chancel Choir and Chancel Ringers, and leading the worship planning teams. Prior to St Paul, Adam was Minister of Music at First UMC, Weatherford, Texas. He has also served churches in Cleburne and Corsicana. The first time he lived in Abilene was while completing his Bachelor of Music in Church Music at McMurry University. While at McMurry, Adam was active in the Music Department serving as the founding president of the McMurry Student Chapter of the American Choral Director’s Association, President of Chanters (McMurry’s touring choir), and participating in faculty search committees. His first experience with handbells was with the McMurry Handbell Ensemble in 1996. Since McMurry, Adam has studied at SMU and TCU, and completed extensive continuing education at Baylor.

Adam is married to Holly, a handbell ringer since she was 8 years old and former Clarinet in the Texas Tech Band. Holly teaches 4th grade writing at Austin Elementary in Abilene. They have two daughters: Rigby and Hazel, Youth Chorus & Children's Chorus members respectively. Outside of family, community arts organizations remain a passion for Adam. In the Fort Worth area, Adam sang with Schola Cantorum of Texas. In Abilene, Adam has served on the Board of Directors for the Abilene Opera Association (2008-2011) and Chorus Abilene (2009-2012). He remains an active volunteer and advocate for Arts Education in Public Schools and is a member of American Choral Directors Association, Texas Choral Directors Association, Fellowship of United Methodists in Music and Worship Arts, YouthCue, and Choristers Guild.
   


 

 

 

Luke Burnam
Luke Burnam
Children's Chorus Conductor

Luke Burnam began working for Chorus Abilene in 2012 as assistant director for the Children’s Chorus.  He received his Bachelor of Science in Music Education from ACU in December, 2012.  He serves as the assistant director of Clyde JH and HS choirs.  Mr. Burnam also works closely with the children’s ministry and youth ministry of University Church of Christ, where he regularly leads worship on Sunday mornings.  Luke has had the pleasure of singing with the ACU A Capella Choir, the ACU Singers, Chorus Abilene, the Abilene Philharmonic, and has been in various opera productions with ACU Opera and the Abilene Opera Association. “Mr. Luke” is newly married to Karaline (formerly Southward).

Accompanists

 

Shirley Anderson
Shirley Anderson
Classical Chorus

Shirley J. Anderson, accompanist for the Adult Chorus, is an honor graduate of Hardin-Simmons University with Bachelor’s and Masters degrees in Music.  While a student she was recipient of the Dean’s Honor Award, the SAI scholarship, and winner of the TMTA Composition Contest.  Mrs. Anderson has maintained a successful independent piano studio in Abilene for 37 years, teaching preschool through adult students.  Abilene Music Teachers Association selected Mrs. Anderson as Teacher of the Year in 1979, 1984, and 2003.  In 1995 Texas Music Teachers Association presented her the prestigious award for Outstanding Pre-College Teaching.  Mrs. Anderson has held numerous offices in AMTA and during her presidency in 2002, Abilene MTA was chosen as the Outstanding Local Association of the Year by Music Teachers National Association.  Shirley Anderson teaches class piano and serves as a staff accompanist at Hardin-Simmons University.  She is the pianist at Lytle South Baptist Church.   She is married to chorus charter member Marcus Anderson.  They have a daughter April (Mrs. Bill) Darroch and two grandchildren, Hannah and Samuel.
   

Van Hayes
Van Hayes
Youth Chorus and
Youth Chorale

Van Hayes has accompanied the Chorus Abilene Youth choirs since 1995.   He is the organist at Aldersgate United Methodist Church and teaches music at Wylie Elementary School.  He received his Bachelor of Music  degree  from McMurry College and his Orff Schulwerk training in music  education  at Southern Methodist University.   In 2005, he was voted Teacher of  the Year at  Wylie Intermediate School.  In 2014, he was voted runner up for favorite teacher in the Abilene Reporter News Readers' Choice Awards.  His wife, Kristy, is a retired Wylie  Choir Director & Elementary Music Teacher.
   

Susan Teel

Susan Teel
Children's Chorus

Susan Teel, Children’s Chorus accompanist, currently serves as instructor of music education, musicology, and piano at Abilene Christian University. Mrs. Teel holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree with piano emphasis from Abilene Christian University, and a Master of Music Education degree from the University of Georgia.. Mrs. Teel teaches piano lessons for non-majors and classes in music appreciation, music literature, elementary music education, and aural skills.  She is an active performer, playing viola with Strings Unlimited, a local string quartet. She and her husband Allen have performed for thousands of elementary school children in Abilene and the surrounding area under the auspices of Young Audiences.

Administrative Staff

 

Gwynn Haseltine
Gwynn Haseltine
Executive Director

Gwynn Haseltine, Executive Director, began her duties as Executive Director in 2002. She is originally from Oklahoma and graduated from Oklahoma Christian with a degree in Social Work. Ms. Haseltine has been involved with Chorus Abilene since 1994 in a variety of roles, including Lead Parent and Head Parent, as well as having served on the Board of Directors. She and her husband, Jeff, have lived in Abilene since 1998, after eight years in Japan, two in Illinois, and one in Missouri. They have four daughters: Kelly, Jessica, Melanie, and Claire - all youth alumni.