Staff and Contributing Artists
Jean Faircloth Principal Conductor
Melinda Fradley just finished her 25th year as a music educator for Volusia County Schools, having received a BME and MEL from Stetson University. She has been the choral director at DeLand High School for the past 11 years, growing the program from 50 students to now 250 students. Daily, she conducted 8 ensembles which received state recognition for being superior level choirs. The beginning of her career was spent teaching music in the elementary schools in Volusia County. One of her greatest joys was the 10 years she spent conducting the Apprentice Choir with the Stetson University Children’s Choir alongside Dr. Ann Small.
Fradley has participated in post-graduate studies with Dr. Duncan Couch, and Dr. Andrew Larson, in both choral conducting and choral history as well as working with Dr. Rodney Eichenberger, Charles Bruffy and Dr. James Jordan during their summer workshops. Under her direction, the DeLand High Chorus has been invited to sing for the 2010 Florida State School Board Association Conference. In 2014, her Chamber Women had the honor of performing for President Sirleaf of Liberia, and in 2015, Fradley and her choirs traveled to New York to perform in Carnegie Hall under the direction of Dr. Andre Thomas. Her Concert Choir was chosen to perform at the 2017 Florida ACDA state conference. Most recently, Fradley was a guest professor for City of Beijing University, teaching a choral methods class in Professor Lingfen Wu’s workshop.
As an active member of NAfME and ACDA, she has served as Florida ACDA High School Honors Chair, and is an adjudicator for FVA. Fradley is currently a member and president of the professional choir, The Festival Singers of Florida, and served as the All-County Choir Chair for Volusia County for the past 8 years. She has been named Teacher of the Year twice; 1999, McInnis Elementary and 2014, DeLand High School. Melinda is a mother of two sons, Hagen and Dale, and she enjoys “porch time” with friends, reading and traveling the world.
Chief Operations Officer
Emily Salzer joins the Savannah Children’s Choir as Chief Operating Officer with over 15 years of leadership experience. Emily has spent the last four years directing a non-profit after-school program, investing in and serving over 2,000 children in 37 Savannah Chatham County Public Schools. Emily continues to be an advocate for the potential of young people and providing them with resources necessary for success. She has a passion for community and educational development, the arts, and transformational leadership.
Prior to her community-driven non-profit work, Emily worked in the for-profit industry, specializing in organizational development, management, stakeholder engagement and retention. In 2013, Emily was tasked with relocating from Nashville to open Savannah’s Whole Food’s Market; a Fortune Magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For.”
Emily earned the Southeast Regional All-Star Leader Award for her commitment and leadership. Regardless of the industry, Emily recognizes the importance of relationships, vision and a team-oriented culture. Emily attended Georgia Southern University and is an active member of the Savannah Rotary and First Presbyterian Church. She lives in Savannah with her husband and three young boys, where she enjoys music, friends, gardening and an active lifestyle.
Director of Discovery Choir
Linda Galván, a veteran music educator and performer is honored to be joining the Savannah Children’s Choir this season as the instructor for the Apprentice and Discovery Choir. She holds a B.M. in Music Performance from Texas State University, an M.M. in Music Performance from Kent State University, as well as a music education certification from Armstrong State University. Linda is also certified in the Kodály and Orff Philosophies of teaching music.
Linda has been an educator for fifteen years. In addition to teaching K-5 general music at Marshpoint Elementary, an International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program school, she conducts a chorus and Orff ensemble. Prior to her teaching career, Linda performed in the Charleston Symphony, the Savannah Symphony and the Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra.
Outside of the classroom, Linda has participated in various professional activities, including collaborating with music teachers in Georgia to design and write the Elementary Music Student Learning Objectives for the Georgia Department of Education. In addition, she helped write the Student Learning Objectives and the elementary music curriculum for the Savannah Chatham County School District.
Linda also participated in the National Endowment for the Humanities Landmarks of American History and Culture Workshop, Gullah Voices: Traditions and Transformations. She subsequently served as project coordinator for this workshop. Linda belongs to the American Orff-Schulwerk Association and the Organization of American Kodály Educator
Principal Accompanist & Production Coordinator
Caitlin Frasure is thrilled to be joining the Savannah Children's Choir this season! A versatile pianist with a heart for young singers, she spent six years as accompanist for the Young Voices of Indianapolis, as well as the St. Richard's Episcopal School choirs in Indianapolis. Caitlin earned her MM and BM in Piano Performance from Butler University. She relocated to Savannah, GA, in 2019.
A zealous advocate for newly composed music, Caitlin's performances in the United States and abroad have included the premieres of original compositions at Upbeat International (Croatia), the Cortona Sessions (Cortona, Italy), SoundSCAPE Festival (Maccagno, Italy), Institute and Festival for Contemporary Performance (New York, NY), SPLICE Institute (Michigan). In 2016, she competed in the Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann (Ennis, Ireland) with the Indianapolis Céilí Band, and has toured as accompanist to Australia, Italy and NYC for the Young Voices of Indianapolis. She is currently pianist for The Artsong Collaborative Project (Toronto, CA) which premieres newly composed operas each summer.
Caitlin is co-founder of the duo “Ascending” with violinist Tricia Bonner (www.ascendingduo.com). Since the opening concert in 2015, “Ascending” has successfully commissioned and premiered thirteen compositions from composers around the world, concertizing across the United States from Brooklyn, NY to Mansfield, TX. "Ascending" released its first self-titled album of commissions this year.
Carrie Kitchen started singing 11 years ago in her middle school choir. She continued to sing for three years in the Ware County High School choir and her last year of high school she sang in the Effingham County High School Women’s Show Choir. At the same time Carrie was also involved in musical theatre and cheerleading. She also sang and played keyboard in her home church choir, Faith Gospel Temple. Now Carrie is a senior music education major at Georgia Southern University with a concentration in voice and k-12 instruction. She is currently in her last semester and is student teaching at Effingham County High School. She was the secretary and president of the cNAFME group at the Armstrong campus. She is a staff singer at St. John’s Episcopal church under the direction of Steven Branyon. Along with being musically involved in the community, Carrie also works as a cheer leading and tumbling coach at Savannah Sharks. She did choreography for the show choir groups at Effingham High school this year. She has worked with the Savannah Children’s Choir summer camp for four summers, and is now volunteering this season as a rehearsal technician for the Premier Choir.
Damon Jr. Banks
Damon Banks has been singing in choir since senior year of High School. He’s been a trombone player in his school band since 6th grade and an active participant in his church music program. Life United Pentecostal Church. Currently, Damon is a senior at Georgia Southern where he is pursuing his degree in Music Education with voice as his principal instrument. He studies under Emily Grundstad Hall’s studio. He is the treasurer and assistant music director of GSU Armstrong Campus Chapter of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, a music fraternity. Damon is a staff member of the Trinity United Methodist Church Choir under the direction of Dr. Jared Register. He has been a teaching assistant for Savannah Children’s Choir Summer Camp for 4 years. He is working the 2019-2020 season as a Rehearsal Technician in Premier Choir.
2006 – 2019 Co-Founder & Executive Director
Roger Moss, Jr. is originally from Chattanooga, Tennessee where he received numerous awards for civic and artistic accomplishments. He graduated from Wheaton College and sang in the Wheaton College Concert Choir and Men’s Glee Club. His extensive performance career has included singing for the Archbishop of Canterbury, singing to sold out crowds with the Savannah Symphony Orchestra and performing the role of “Jake” in the Opera Memphis production of Porgy and Bess. He was a finalist in the American Traditions vocal competition.
Moss’ aim when co-founding the Savannah Children’s Choir was to create a positive way for Savannah’s children to represent their community and showcase positive accomplishments. Also, through education and performance, to instill in the next generation a love of the beauty and variety of American music. His boundless energy and enthusiasm are an inspiration to all who work with him, as is his life philosophy which is, “You can never dream too big!”
2016-2018 Summer Camp Artist in Residence
Sophia’s work with the Savannah Children’s Choir began in early 2016, when she was invited to join the staff as Director of SCC’s summer session. She is honored to be part of such an energetic, joyful community created by SCC’s board, staff, families, and especially, the incredible young artists. Sophia serves as Creative Director for the Foundation for Small Voices (FSV), a not-for-profit organization dedicated, through music, to crossing cultural, generational, and ideological boundaries to raise awareness and funds for national and international music and mentoring programs for children. For several years, Sophia served as Conductor for the award-winning Young People’s Chorus of New York City, directing choruses in its core after-school program and teaching within its Satellite School program in NYC public schools. She has conducted at a number of NYC’s venues, including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the 92nd Street Y, Merkin Concert Hall at Kaufman Center, and Symphony Space. Sophia studied music education and conducting at Ithaca College, where she is a member of the Choral Music Experience artistic faculty.
2016-2018 Jean Faircloth Artistic Director Emeritus
Mrs. Wooten joined the artistic staff of the Savannah Children’s Choir in the winter of 2015 as the director of the Preparatory Choir. In the fall of 2017, she began her role as SCC’s Artistic Director. Mrs. Wooten also serves as a music educator in the Chatham County Public School System, where she was named Teacher of the Year in 2007. Prior to settling in Savannah, she taught music at the high school and collegiate levels. In addition to nearly 20 years in the classroom, Mrs. Wooten is a private voice instructor, serving students of many ages and abilities and teaches music in the special needs ministry at Bible Baptist Church. Mrs. Wooten earned her Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Shorter University in Rome, Georgia and her Master’s degree in Vocal Pedagogy from Texas Woman’s University in Denton, Texas. Her professional affiliations include National Association of Teachers and Singing (NATS), National Association for Music Education (NAfME) and Georgia Music Educators Association (GMEA). Mrs. Wooten resides in Savannah, GA with her husband, Jody and their three children-James, Jaci and Joseph.
2019 Jean Faircloth Visiting Conductor
Darren Dailey has served as President and Artistic Director of the Jacksonville Children’s Chorus (JCC) since 2006. A nationally-recognized clinician and conductor, Mr. Dailey has served as guest conductor in Carnegie Hall and Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center and the ACDA Honor Choir in Seattle. As the founding artistic director of the Boston Children’s Chorus, Mr. Dailey and his chorus performed at the 2004 Democratic Convention, appeared as the host chorus on the television special, “Raising the Roof: A Celebration of the Life of Martin Luther King, Jr. in Song,” broadcast nationally on WGN, and performed internationally in Japan. Mr. Dailey has produced four recordings: “Come and Rejoice” (Cantate), “Sing!” (Boston Children’s Chorus) and “Voices for Voices” (Jacksonville Children’s Chorus). His work may also be heard on “A Boston Christmas” (Back Bay Chorale), “Building Bridges” (Mystic Chorale) and “Amani Celebration." Mr. Dailey received a Bachelor of Music Education degree with a concentration in Voice from Westminster Choir College and a Master of Music Education in Choral Conducting from Appalachian State University’s Hayes School of Music. Mr. Dailey is also trained in Kindermusik.