The Austin Children’s Choir Artistic Staff
Samuel Parrott is excited to start his eighth year with the Austin Children’s Choir. Sam was recently named Head Choir Director and Music Appreciation Teacher for Seguin High School. Prior to serving at Seguin High School, Sam taught six years at AJ Briesemeister Middle School in Seguin ISD, serving as Head Choir Director, Cheerleading Coach, and Co-Musical Theatre Director. Before teaching middle school choir, Sam served as Music Specialist for Brooke Elementary School in Austin ISD from 2012-2014. In 2015, Sam premiered a work by Jack Wilds entitled “Three Waking Dreams” and conducted a collaborative performance of John Rutter’s “Mass of the Children” with The Hill Country Youth Chorus. Sam served as an Assistant Director for the collaborative performance of Leonard Bernstein’s “Mass,” with an adult chorus comprised of singers from Conspirare, Chorus Austin, Panoramic Voices, and Texas State University, along with Ballet Austin and The Austin Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Peter Bay, conductor for the ASO. In 2019, Sam participated in the ASO and Chorus Austin performance of William Walton’s “Henry V” as part of their Shakespeare performances.
Sam received his Bachelor’s degree in Music Studies with an emphasis in Choral Music from Texas State University in 2011 and his Master’s degree in Choral Conducting from Texas State University in 2015. He has studied conducting under Dr. Jonathan Babcock, Dr. Joey Martin, Dr. Lynn Brinckmeyer, Dr. Matthew Oltman, and Dr. Craig Hella Johnson. Sam is currently completing his PhD in School Improvement at Texas State University with his study of teacher-student educational relationships in rural, secondary schools.
Emily Evans- Managing Director
Emily Evans is excited to begin her seventh year with the Austin Children’s Choir. Prior to serving as the Managing Director, she was the choir’s Assistant Director and the primary teacher for the Minnesingers. Emily is the Choir Director at New Braunfels Middle School in New Braunfels ISD. She is a Co-Director for the district’s Elementary Honor Choir and she serves on her campus Effective Behavior Intervention Strategies team.
Emily is a Kodály Certified music educator, a teaching philosophy which places and emphasis on experiencing music through song, dance, and games in order to learn musical literacy. She specializes in teaching older beginners. She completed her Kodály certification in 2019 through the Hays CISD/Texas State Kodály Certification Program. She currently serves on the Kodály Educators of Texas Executive Board as the Secondary Representative.
Emily holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Studies from Texas State University and a Teaching Certification in Pre-K through 12th grade music. During her time at Texas State, she performed with such ensembles as University Singers, the Texas State Symphonic Choir, and Texas State Opera Theatre. In the summer of 2015, she traveled to Shanghai and Beijing to perform with the Texas State Symphonic Choir. In the spring of 2016, she was an ensemble member in the world premier opera “Lady Bird: The First Lady of the Land.” In the fall of 2016, she was cast in Texas State’s Opera Scenes as Agnes McIntyre from the opera “Baby Shower.
Anarra Whitcher – Assistant Director
Anarra Whitcher is a senior music education major at Texas State University. She is so excited for her third year with the Austin Children’s Choir, and her first year as Internship Director. In addition to ACC, Anarra works at San Marcos High School and with the Hill Country Youth Chorus. Once she graduates, Anarra hopes to teach, and share her love of music will her future students.
Zack Wilson – Accompanist
Zack is thrilled to begin his third with the Austin Children’s Choir in the role of the ensemble’s accompanist. He has previously earned degrees in music composition from West Virginia University (B.M.) and The University of Texas at Austin (M.M., D.M.A.), and currently holds a teaching position with the rank of Lecturer at The University of Texas at Austin (Austin, TX) and The University of the Incarnate Word (San Antonio, TX). Additionally, Zack splits time as a music educator, freelance composer, content creator, pianist, and husband and father.
Board of Directors
Austin Children’s Choir is actively seeking contributing board members. Please reach out to us if you are interested in serving as a board member.