JACOB FUNK, ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
Dr. Jacob Funk is beginning his fifth year as Director of Choirs at Clark College. He conducts three choirs in addition to teaching theory, ear training, music appreciation, rock history, and applied voice. Jacob completed his Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Conducting from the University of Missouri— Kansas City where he was a Graduate Assistant to the Choral Department, Associate Conductor of the Conservatory Concert Choir and co-conductor of the University Singers. While at UMKC he also served as Opera Chorus Master and the director of Canticum Novum. Dr. Funk earned his masters in choral conducting from the University of British Columbia, and his undergraduate degree in vocal performance from John Brown University. Before coming to UMKC he was on the music faculty of John Brown University and Northwest Arkansas Community College, where he taught choir and voice. In addition to his work with Choro in Schola and Clark College, Jacob serves as the Two-Year College Repertoire and Resources Chair for the Washington Chapter of the American Choral Director's Association.
BRUCE BROWNE, FOUNDER
Dr. Bruce Browne is Emeritus Professor of Choral and Vocal Music at Portland State University. He was Artistic Director and Founder of Choral Cross Ties, Artistic Director of Portland Symphonic Choir, and co-founded Male Ensemble Northwest. He has been Guest Professor at University of Iowa; Boise State University; Oklahoma State University; and abroad at College of London and University of Guadalajara. He received his D.M.A. from the University of Washington under Rodney Eichenberger and has been privileged to work closely with Eric Ericson, Frieder Bernius, Robert Shaw, Andrew Parrott, Helmut Rilling and James DePreist.
Choirs under his direction have sung by invitation at five National Conventions of ACDA, three of MENC, and one of ISME. His choirs have also appeared as guests of the countries of Greece, Spain, and Estonia, among others.
Browne has served on national committees of National Endowment for the Arts and the American Choral Directors Association, for which he was Northwest Regional President for two years. He has recorded on the labels of Freshwater Records, Telarc, Clarion, and Albany Records.
In 2015, he appeared as guest director/clinician in New York and Rhode Island, among other places. In 2012, he founded “Coro in Schola”, a choir whose mission is to provide mentoring and promote excellence in at-risk high school choral programs.
In 2012, Browne was honored by the Northwest Chapter of American Choral Directors Association, with their Northwest Leadership and Service award.
In Spring, 2015, Dr. Browne assumed DCA duties at the University of Puget Sound in Spring, 2015, while his colleague and friend, Dr. Steven Zopfi, was on sabbatical. More recently he has provided choral leadership as guest conductor in New York, Texas, Colorado, and in the Pacific Northwest.
For the past two years Browne has been a music critic for Oregon Arts Watch, writing reviews for choirs, opera productions, and chamber ensembles.
AMBER SCHROEDER, ASSISTANT DIRECTOR
Amber Schroeder, a native of Gresham, Oregon, received her Bachelor’s degree in 2001 and her Masters of Education in 2005, from Portland State University in Portland, Oregon, where she participated in the award winning PSU Chamber Choir under direction of Dr. Bruce Browne (Marktoberdorf Tour 2000, Estonian Tour 2003). Since that time, Amber's teaching career has included both classroom and choral music education in the Portland area, serving school and church choirs aged Elementary through Adult. In the Fall of 2010, she assumed the duties as Choral Director of Sam Barlow High School in Gresham, Oregon. Her choirs have performed at events throughout the Northwest, including the Oregon Music Educators Association Conference, more recently Pacific Youth Choir's "Chanticleer" Invitational. An active member in Nafme, OMEA and ACDA, Amber currently serves as the District 2 President for OMEA and participates on the boards of multiple nonprofits that benefit music and education. She regularly adjudicates for music events held in Washington and Oregon and works as a clinician for honor choirs and retreat settings.
An original member of Choro in Schola, Amber is in her second year as Assistant Conductor. She also sings professionally with Milwaukie Lutheran Church, Tilikum Community Choir with John and Sandy Baker and at Rodney Eichenberger's yearly Choral Conducting Workshop. Deeply rooted in her hometown, Amber recently won the "Best Teacher" award, which is voted on by members of East County where she resides with her husband Jeff and her children Andrew, Camden and Bella.
AMY COLE-PALMER, ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT
Amy has sung with Choro In Schola for several years and added the role of Administrative Assistant during the 2018-2019 season. Amy currently plays the Ingenue in Opera the Great! with Opera Quest NW. A private vocal teacher for 20 years, she has sung roles in several operas including Emmy in Albert Herring and Armchair in L’enfant et les Sortileges with Portland Opera, and Gretel in Hansel and Gretel with Vancouver Children’s Opera. She has been a featured soloist with the Oregon and Vancouver symphonies, performed at New York’s Carnegie Hall, toured Europe with the Portland State University Chamber Choir and was soprano soloist on the CD On American Shores. In her spare time, Amy enjoys spending time with her five kids and garage saling on the weekend!