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Choir Camp

Join us for our 8th Year!

Meet Our Staff

The Encore Choir Camp is staffed by some of the best and brightest choral music educators in Georgia. We strive to keep a 10 to 1 student to teacher ratio. As the camp grows, so will our staff!

Click on a name to read their full bio.

Drew Bowers

Director of Choral Activities, Milton High School, Milton, GA

Director of Music at Haygood Memorial United Methodist Church

Jay Champion

Director of Choral Activities, General Music Education and Electronic Music Composition, Lost Mountian Middle School, Kennesaw

Elise Eskew Sparks

Director of Choral Activities, Agnes Scott College

Choral Director, Decatur High School

Emily Floyd

Shallowford Presbyterian Church

Jeff Funderburk

Choral Director, DeKalb School of the Arts 

Paige Mathis

Atlanta Young Singers

Sarah Rabun

Choral Director, Griffin Middle School

Pianist, Atlanta Women's Chorus

Megan Otte Rikard

Holy Innocents Episcopal School


J. Andrew Bowers

Director of Choral Activities, Milton High School, Roswell

Director of Music at Haygood Memorial United Methodist Church

Drew Bowers was appointed Director of Choral Activities at Milton High School in 2007 where he conducts Chorale, Women's Select, and Concert Choir and teaches Advanced Placement Music Theory. Prior to his appointment at Milton, Mr. Bowers was the Choral Director at Carrollton Junior High School in Carrollton, Georgia for six years. He has served as treasurer for the Georgia chapter of the American Choral Directors Association and is currently the membership chair for Georgia ACDA. Other professional memberships include Georgia Music Educators Association, MENC, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, and Pi Kappa Lambda. He currently serves as District Choral Chair for GMEA District 5.

A native of Georgia, he holds a Master of Music degree in Choral Conducting from Louisiana State University where he studied conducting with Ken Fulton and Sara Lynn Baird and voice with Loraine Sims. He also holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Shorter College where he studied conducting with John Ratledge and voice with Brian Horne. Mr. Bowers has also participated in conducting master classes at the University of Alabama, Baylor University and with Chorus America where he worked with Anton Armstrong, Sigrid Johnson, and Philip Brunelle and conducted the professional vocal ensemble Vocal Essence.

As a tenor, he has sung with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chorus and the Atlanta Sacred Chorale. His solo career began with the Carroll Symphony Orchestra and their performance of Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy. He was tenor soloist for Berstein’s Chichester Psalms with the LSU A Cappella Choir on a Doctoral Recital and most recently the Tenor Soloist with the University of West Georgia for their performance of Haydn’s Nelsonmesse. Mr. Bowers is currently the Director of Music at Haygood Memorial United Methodist Church in Atlanta, GA. 

He currently resides in Woodstock with his wife Leslie and their daughters Tucker and Cora.

Jay Champion

Director of Choral Activities, General Music Education and Electronic Music Composition, Lost Mountian Middle School, Kennesaw

Mr. Champion has taught chorus, general music, and electronic music composition at Lost Mountain Middle School in Kennesaw since 1998. He is sought after as a clinician, guest conductor, music technology instructor, composer and arranger. While at Lost Mountain, Mr. Champion has expanded a single eighth grade chorus of less than forty students to one of the best choral programs in the state with six ensembles and over 200 singers, consistently receiving superior ratings at Large Group Performance Evaluations. In 2010, his Eighth Grade Chorus sang at the GMEA Conference in Savannah.

Recognized as a leader in the use of technology in the music classroom, Mr. Champion has taught professional courses and presented at state and national conventions. In its short history, the Electronic Music Club at Lost Mountain, a digital music composition studio, has garnered much attention. The ensemble recently performed joint concerts in Kennesaw and Birmingham with the Computer Music Ensemble at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Mr. Champion received a Bachelor Degrees in Music Education as a voice major and Music Composition from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. He earned his Master's Degree in Music Education, and Education Specialist Degree at the University of Georgia. He has performed and recorded with the LSU A Cappella Choir, the Moses Hogan Chorale, and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chorus and Chamber Chorus, and Coro Vocati. Mr. Champion serves as Associate Director of Music for Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Atlanta, where he directs the Children’s Choir and Handbell Choir.

Mr. Champion has enjoyed success in a wide variety of areas of composition and music production. He wrote countless arrangements for string quartets, choirs, and orchestras. In 2002, Mr. Champion arranged and produced and performed on the soundtrack to Daryl Hury's one-man theater production of "2001 Reasons to Live", working with some of the best rock musicians in Atlanta. His music was recently performed by Cantamos! at the Robert Ferst Center for the Arts and Georgia Tech University and by the Lost Mountain Middle School Chamber Orchestra at the GMEA Convention in Savannah. He lives in Marietta with his wife Evelyn, his sons David, Charlie, and Sam, and his father, Albert.

Emily Floyd

Director of Music Ministries, Shallowford Presbyterian Church

Emily holds a bachelor's degree in music education from the Florida State University. In 2004, Emily was selected as a conducting fellow for Chorus America working with Joseph Flummerfelt, Ann Howard Jones, and the San Francisco Girls Choir. Emily has continued her study of choral conducting working with Anton Armstrong at the Choristers Guild Institute and Henry Leck at the Creating Artistry Workshop. Emily is Director of Music Ministries at Shallowford Presbyterian Church in Atlanta, Georgia.

Prior to her work at Shallowford Presbyterian Church, Emily served as a high school choral director at Merritt Island High School in Florida and at Harrison High and Kennesaw Mountain High School in Georgia. Her church music experience includes serving as director of music at Oglethorpe Presbyterian Church, youth and women’s choir director at Dunwoody Methodist Church, children's choir director at Ridgefield-Crystal Lake Presbyterian Church, and as a conductor for the Northwest Community Youth Choir. In Crystal Lake, Illinois, Emily initiated a new program for local high school singers called “Singing the Masters”, which gives high school singers the opportunity to sing masterworks with a professional orchestra.

Choirs under her direction have performed in Italy (including St. Peters Basilica in Rome), New York, Orlando, Boston, Houston, New Orleans, Chicago, Houston, New Orleans, Charlotte, and Nashville. In 2012, she took the Shallowford Chapel Choir to Scotland. She frequently serves as a guest clinician, conductor for honor choirs, and judge for choral ensembles, including the 2013 GMEA Sixth Grade Statewide Honor Chorus. Emily serves the Georgia chapter of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) as the chair for Music in Worship. She also serves on the board for the Atlanta chapter of Choristers Guild as president-elect.

Elise Eskew Sparks

Director of Choral Activities at Agnes Scott College and Choral Director at Decatur High School

Elise Eskew Sparks has served as the Director of Choral Activities at Agnes Scott College since 2008 and the Choral Director at Decatur High School since 2012. A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Elise taught high school choral music for seven years in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. She has resided in Atlanta since 2003, receiving a Masters of Sacred Music in choral conducting from Emory University and a Ph.D. in Music Education from Georgia State University. Elise worked as a church music director for over 15 years. As a semi-professional mezzo-soprano, Elise has sung under the direction of Helmuth Rilling, Ton Koopman, Matthew Halls, and currently sings with Atlanta’s Coro Vocati. Under Elise’s direction, the Agnes Scott Collegiate Chorale founded the Intercollegiate Women’s Choir Festival in 2010, sang at the 2011 GMEA In-Service Conference in Savannah, and in the 2014 Young Artist Series at Spivey Hall. Elise conducted the Women’s GMEA District I Honor Choir in the fall of 2015, and prepared the Mixed Honor Choir for District IV in both 2015 and 2016.

Jeff Funderburk

Choral Director Dekalb School of the Arts 

Jeff Funderburk is director of choral activities at DeKalb School of the Arts (DSA) in Avondale Estates, GA, a position that he has held since 2003. He is a graduate of Auburn University receiving the Bachelor’s of Music Education in 1986, the Master’s in Education in 2006, and the Education Specialist degree at Auburn in 2008. He served the Georgia Music Educators Association as Choral Divisions State Chair for the years 2013-15 and the two years prior as Choral Chair-Elect. Before serving the state positions he served the GMEA District 4 as the district choral chair for 9 years. He previously taught chorus at Druid Hills High School and Stephenson High School in DeKalb County and prior to moving to Atlanta, Funderburk taught for 14 years in Macon, Georgia, at Central High School, Miller Middle School, Weaver Middle School and Porter Elementary School in the Bibb County School System.
He has served in churches for the past 36 years as music director, organist or combination organist/music director. Currently he serves as the Organist/Music Director of the Columbia Presbyterian Church in Decatur, GA. He has also served on the staff of the Atlanta Young Singers of Callanwolde as the Youth Chorale Men’s Chorus Instructor.
Funderburk currently teaches the advanced choral ensemble, HighLeit, Concert Choir and keyboard at DSA. Choirs under his direction have consistently received superior ratings at GMEA Large Group Performance Evaluations in performance and sight reading. He has been the vocal instructor for the musicals the Pajama Game, Sweeney Todd, Cinderella, Westside Story, The Music Man, On Your Toes, In the Heights and most recently I Can Get It for You Wholesale at the school. Outside theatre credits are musical director for Theatre Macon’s productions of Titanic the Musical, Ebeneezer, Pippin, and Company and accompanist for Onstage Atlanta in Decatur productions of Nunsence, Jekyll and Hyde in Concert and Sunday in the Park with George in Concert.
Choirs under his direction have performed with the Decatur Civic Chorus and the DeKalb Choral Guild as well as performed for DeKalb County CEO's, DeKalb Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Stone Mountain Association and MANY community and state events.
He is an active member of Music Educators National Conference, Georgia Music Educators Association, American Choral Directors Association, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, American Guild of Organists, Phi Kappa Phi National Honor Society and the Atlanta Alumni chapter of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia.

Paige Mathis

Music Director, Atlanta Young Singers
Paige Fumbanks Mathis was named Music Director of ATLANTA YOUNG SINGERS in May of 1998 and is the first holder of the Stephen J. Ortlip chair. Ms. Mathis received her undergraduate degree in Music Education from Jacksonville State University and her Master of Music degree in conducting from the Conservatory of Music at University of Missouri - Kansas City. She founded the Youth Chorale in 1994 as an expansion program of ATLANTA YOUNG SINGERS. She is active in the Georgia Music Educators Association and Chorus America, and currently serves as Repertoire and Standards Chair of the Georgia Division of American Choral Directors Association. She is a long-standing member of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chorus and Chamber Chorus where she sang and recorded under the baton of the late Robert Shaw.

Sarah Rabun

Choral Director Griffin Middle School

Sarah Rabun is the choral director at Griffin Middle School, located in Smyrna, GA, where she has been teaching since 2010. Starting with a program of about 100 students, she has since grown the choral program to over 350 singers. In addition to directing the choral ensembles, she also enjoys producing the school musicals, which have included Shrek, The Little Mermaid, Once on This Island, Beauty & the Beast, and Mulan.
Sarah holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from Kennesaw State University with a concentration in piano. She is currently the pianist for The Atlanta Women’s Chorus, who debuted their first season in 2014. In the past she has accompanied the GMEA All State Middle Treble Chorus, the District 12 High School Honor Chorus, the Kennesaw State University Women’s Choir, and the GYSO Chorus. She has also accompanied many choirs across Cobb County, including Lost Mountain Middle School’s performance at GMEA in 2010 and North Cobb High School’s performances at GMEA and ACDA in 2008. She currently resides in Kennesaw with her husband Luke.

Megan Otte Rikard   

Middle School Chorus Director, Holy Innocents' Episcopal School

Megan Rikard, a native of Texas, directs the Middle School Chorus ensembles at Holy Innocents' Episcopal School in Atlanta, Georgia. As the Chorus Director, she leads ensembles of sixth, seventh, and eighth grade students and collaborates closely with both the Upper and Lower School directors. Mrs. Rikard is on the GMEA Repertoire Committee for Choral LGPE and is the organizer for the District V Elementary School Honor Chorus. She is a graduate of Florida State University, where she received her Masters of Choral Music Education. She graduated magna cum laude from Kennesaw State University, where she earned her Bachelors of Music Education and was awarded the titles of University Scholar and Outstanding Senior. Mrs. Rikard has studied conducting and music education with Andre Thomas, Kevin Fenton, Alison Mann, and Judy Bowers. Her professional affiliations include the American Choral Directors Association, National Association for Music Education, Georgia Music Educators Association, and the Music Honor Society Pi Kappa Lambda.

Encore Choir Camp
July 9-13, 2019
Spivey Hall
Clayton State University

Our mission is to assemble some of the best choral conductors in the state, teach great choral music in large and small group rehearsals, have lots of fun, and provide the best camp experience for young singers in Georgia.

Encore Choir Camp is held in conjunction with Encore Orchestra Camp. Orchestra and Choir Camp members stay in the same dorms and enjoy all meals and social events together!

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