BOARD OF DIRECTORS

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STEPHANIE WEAVER
President; Chair, Staffing and Operations

A native of Canada, pianist Stephanie Weaver received her Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees in piano performance and literature from the University of Western Ontario and her Doctor of Musical Arts, also in piano performance and literature, from Michigan State University. She has served on the faculties of Michigan State University, the University of Michigan, Grand Valley State University and Concordia University. From 2011 – 2019 she was the Executive Director of the Cape Conservatory, following the 2010 merger of the Cape Symphony and Conservatory. Prior to her tenure on Cape Cod, she was the Executive Director of the Ann Arbor School for the Performing Arts, one of more than 800 educational centers across the nation affiliated with the National Guild of Community Schools of the Arts. Dr. Weaver is currently the Executive Director of the La Jolla Symphony & Chorus, having recently relocated to San Diego CA. Weaver’s ongoing mission is to make the arts more accessible to music lovers of all ages and to make the performing arts a continual source of inspiration—inside the classroom and out in the community.

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ARIAN KHAEFI
Vice President

Arian Khaefi is Assistant Professor of Music and Director of Choral Studies at San Diego State University where he conducts the San Diego State Chamber Choir, Concert Choir, University Chorus, teaches choral literature, and directs the graduate program in choral conducting. Previously, Khaefi served as director of choral activities at Fullerton College and Towson University. He holds D.M.A and M.M degrees in conducting from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and the University of California, Los Angeles, respectively. Khaefi maintains an active schedule leading ensemble and conducting workshops for high schools, colleges, and universities across the country. While he has forged partnerships within each educational community he has served, Khaefi has been particularly passionate about accelerating the advancement of choral arts within secondary schools in partnerships with district teachers and administrators. Khaefi is nationally and internationally recognized for his accomplishments as a conducting pedagogue and guest conductor. In addition to regularly leading regional and all-state honor choirs, he has guest-conducted throughout Asia, Europe, and South America. Choruses under his direction have toured nationally and have performed in concert halls across the United States.

choral consortium of san Diego Emma

EMMA JOLEEN SCHOPLER
Secretary

Emma Joleen Schopler is a first-generation university graduate, immigrant, award-winning music educator, singer, songwriter, and music advocate who believes in lifelong learning. In 2018, Emma was named “Music Teacher of the Year” for the Southwest branch of the California Music Education Association (CMEA). Emma has prepared choirs to perform at the Hollywood Bowl, Walt Disney Concert Hall, United Arab Emirates Children’s Peace Conference, Organization of American Kodaly Educators National Conference Choirs, Southern California Vocal Association Honor Choirs, and many more. Emma has been a clinician at the California All State Music Education Conference, CMEA-South Bay Section Winter Conference (San Jose, CA), CMEA-Southwest Section Conference (Los Angeles), Kodaly Association of Southern California, and Hawai’i Music Educators Association, amongst others. Her past positions include Associate Conductor and Kodaly teacher at the National Children’s Chorus, Los Angeles Children’s Choir, Public School Arts Orff Schulwerk Specialist Teacher in the Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District, and the Los Angeles Children’s Choir Outreach Program at Pasadena Unified School District, to name a few. Emma currently teaches elementary music and choir for grades TK-6 at Chula Vista Elementary School District. Emma is also the Program Director for the Early Years, Introductory, and Outreach Programs at the San Diego Children’s Choir. 

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SUE MARBERRY
Treasurer

Sue Marberry has been singing in choirs since elementary school and is currently a member of the San Diego Master Chorale and both the Chalice Choir and Women’s Choir at the First Unitarian Universalist Church of San Diego. She grew up in a musical family in New York City, attended the High School of Music & Art and then minored in Music at Lehman College of the City University of New York. With a master’s degree in English from the University of Wisconsin, she taught in private high schools for eight years in London and Nashville before moving to San Diego, where she worked in accounting in insurance agencies for over 30 years. She was treasurer of the Junior Theatre Auxiliary while her daughters were involved there. Since retiring, Sue served several years as treasurer of the Choral Consortium from when it first incorporated and has also been serving for the past four years as treasurer of San Diego Pro Arte Voices.

Choral Consortium of San Diego Board Member Jan Berlin white man in black suit

JAN BERLIN
Chair, Fundraising

Tenor Jan Berlin has been a soloist with the Portland and Bangor Symphony Orchestras, the Maine Music Society and the Bowdoin International Music Festival.  He has sung in productions of Handel’s Messiah andJudas Macabeus, Hayden’s Creation, Mozart’s Coronation Mass and Requiem, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and the Narrator’s role in Berlioz’ L’Enfance du Christ. When in Cleveland, he sang leading tenor roles in La Boheme, Die Fledermaus, La Traviata, Magic Flute and four other operas with Cleveland Opera Theatre while working on the medical staff at the Cleveland Clinic. Since 1996, he simultaneously sang the National Anthem for the Maine House of Representatives and served as Doctor of the Day for the Maine Legislature. In Maine, he served on the Boards of the Portland Symphony Orchestra, the Bowdoin International Music Festival and Maine Adaptive Sports.

During his life in music, he sang with Robert Shaw every Sunday for three years in Cleveland at the Shaker Heights Unitarian-Universalist Church, sang with the Cleveland Orchestra Chorus, and then ChoralART and the Oratorio Chorale in Maine.  He continues in California in the La Jolla Symphony Chorus and the choir at the Unitarian-Universalist Fellowship in Solana Beach.

Choral Consortium of San Diego Erin Gray Board Member

ERIN GRAY
Board Member

Erin Gray, a Nashville native, received a degree in Music Education, specializing in vocal music, from the University of Minnesota. Erin founded the Minnesota Saints Chorale in 2004 and served as its Artistic Director and Conductor until 2019 when her family relocated to San Diego, California. During her tenure, the choir was a featured performer at the American Choral Director’s Association (ACDA-MN) and was invited to perform at Carnegie Hall under the baton of Mack Wilberg. In 2020, Erin founded the San Diego Saints Choir and currently serves as its Artistic Director and Conductor with a mission that integrates concertizing, outreach, and ministry to encourage goodwill in the community.

Erin previously served as Assistant Conductor of the Oratorio Society of Minnesota as well as Director of Vocal Music at Nacel International High School in St. Paul.  As a music specialist in her church, she has been a clinician, a regional adult and youth choir director, and a children’s music leader. Erin has served as a regional vocal adjudicator and is an active member of the American Choral Directors Association of California (ACDA-CA) and the Choral Consortium of San Diego (CCSD). Her happiest moments are with her family, especially her husband, Matthew, and their five children.

Choral Consortium of San Diego Board Member Kristina Kim

KRISTINA KIM
Board Member

Kristina Sojung Kim, Esq. is a Business and Immigration lawyer, and her practice focuses on international and cross border investment, trade, and corporate matters, with a special attention to compliance with regulations regarding supply chain security, customs, tariffs and duties, and international trade agreements among countries of Asia, Latin America, and the United States.  Ms. Kim is fluent in Spanish and Korean.  Ms. Kim received her bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and earned her Juris Doctor degree from the University of San Diego, School of Law.  She began her legal career in the field of Admiralty/Maritime law in 1994. In 1996, she opened her firm practicing in Business and Immigrations law.  She served as General Counsel and Vice President for Samsung Electronics at its subsidiaries Samsung International, Inc. in San Diego, California, and Samsung Mexicana, S.A. de C.V. in Tijuana, Mexico, from 2004 to 2018.  She was Of Counsel with the law firm of Seltzer Caplan McMahon Vitek from 2019 to 2020, practicing in International Trade and Cross-Border matters.  At the present, Ms. Kim is the Principal of the law firm, KS KIM LAW, PC, in San Diego, CA.   Ms. Kim’s past and present professional affiliations & admissions include State Bar of California, American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), Korean-Mexican Maquiladora Association (KMA), CANIETI (National Chamber of Electronic and Telecommunication Industry – Mexico), INDEX (Association of Mexico Manufacturers and Exportation Industry), Korean-American Bar Association – San Diego Chapter (KABA-SD), South County Economic Development Council (SCEDC), San Diego Regional Economic Development Corp (SDREDC), and Otay Mesa Chamber of Commerce (OMCC).  She presently serves as President and Chair of the Board of Directors of Cantamore, Inc., a non-profit San Diego-based, Korean-American choral group; a Board Member in two other non-profits, Asian Business Association – SD (ABA-SD) and the Chula Vista Police Foundation; and a Director at Franklin Wireless Corp, a San Diego-based, NASDAQ-listed, public corporation.

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IBIS LAUREL
Board Member

A native of Mexico, Ibis Laurel realized her undergrad studies in music in her home country, where she sang for the very first time in a choir. In 2013 she was awarded a Fulbright scholarship to pursue Grad studies in the USA. Upon taking her degree in conducting, she relocated to Tijuana holding a position at ‘Centro de Artes Musicales’ (CAM). Since 2016 Ibis has been active as a choral-orchestral teacher, leading community and academic choirs at bachelor’s level. In 2018 she founded ‘Camerata XXXI’, a vocal-instrumental ensemble whose mission is to research and revitalize the musical treasures of “Nueva España’s” Colonial Era.  Her dream is to create an awareness on both sides of the border of this amazingly beautiful repertoire largely unknown. Ibis Laurel sees herself as a cultural ambassador on the San Diego/Tijuana arts landscape, working also as a professional freelance English-Spanish translator and interpreter.

choral consortium of san Diego Yewon Lee

YEWON LEE
Chair, Programming

Dr. Yewon Lee is a much sought after conductor and collaborative pianist on the operatic and concert stage. Prior to relocating to San Diego, Dr. Lee was Assistant Music Director of Opera at Baldwin Wallace University and Adjunct Professor at Kent State University. In the operatic world, Dr. Lee coached at Baldwin Wallace Opera Theater, National Opera Center, Aspen Opera Theater Center, and International Vocal Arts Institute in Israel, France, Italy, and Japan. Born in Seoul, South Korea, Dr. Lee received a Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Performance from Seoul National University, completed her Master of Music degree in Vocal Accompanying at Manhattan School of Music and earned an Artist Diploma in Collaborative Piano from the Juilliard School. She earned her Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Choral Music at the University of Southern California. Currently, she is a music director of the San Diego Festival Chorus and the San Dieguito United Methodist Church. She also serves as the Far South Representative for the California Choral Directors Association.

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KATE THICKSTUN
Chair, Board Development

Kate Thickstun joined her first chorus at the age of nine and continued to sing throughout college. To balance her undergraduate biology major, she studied voice and sang in the university chorus. After earning her bachelor’s degree, she left biology behind and continued her operatic training in the San Francisco Bay Area, singing with the San Francisco Bach Choir, community opera and musical theater companies, and numerous churches. After returning to San Diego to attend law school, she became choir director at St. George Serbian Orthodox Church, where she has now directed for over thirty years. She has also sung with the San Diego Master Chorale, Lyric Opera San Diego, and the San Diego Opera chorus. Since 2013 she has also directed the Pacific Women’s Chorus. She is a member of Chorus America, ACDA, and NATS, and is Director of the San Diego District of the Metropolitan Opera National Council.

Choral Consortium of San Diego Benjamin Thiele-Long

BENJAMIN THIELE-LONG
Chair, Marketing/Outreach

Benjamin is a composer and choral director with over 15 years’ experience directing choirs and choral groups of all abilities. Formerly a choral scholar of Royal Holloway and Lay Clerk of Guildford Cathedral Benjamin has worked with professional and amateur choirs across the UK.

He is the founder and director of the chamber choir Lumen, based in central London, and creator of the Lumen de Lumine album project – the first of its kind project to support and promote new and emerging composers across the world, providing them with an opportunity that wouldn’t otherwise be available; to have their work recorded, produced and released commercially by an established record label.

He was recently featured as a BBC Introducing artist with his piece ‘O Nata Lux’ on BBC Radio 3, In Tune Programme, and his works (and his previous choir Lumen) have been featured on Classic FM and KUSC.

In 2021 he founded the San Diego-based amateur chamber choir Stellarum, which rehearses in La Jolla. Blending early and renaissance European sacred choral music with modern spiritual and secular polyphony from around the world, Benjamin’s focus with Stellarum is to provide performers and audiences alike a safe and encouraging space to develop and learn a challenging and engaging repertoire while delighting audiences with a beautiful, evocative, and technically excellent performance.

Professionally, he is an experienced PR, communications and marketing consultant, with over 12 years advising organizations and charities on media relations and communications strategies, and he is currently the Director of Executive and Business Communications at Petco.

STAFF

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CAROL MANIFOLD
Executive Director

Carol Manifold is the founder of the Choral Consortium of San Diego and an experienced choral volunteer, having served as the Board President for SACRA/PROFANA professional vocal ensemble and the San Diego Master Chorale. She is a past member of the La Jolla Presbyterian Church Concert Series Committee and sings in both the La Jolla Symphony Chorus and the Pacific Women’s Chorus. She received her B.A. in Biology (Music minor) from UCSD and her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from UCSF. She is retired from a career in the biopharmaceutical industry and hospital pharmacy.

Choral Consortium of San Diego Headshot Photo of Megan Jones, white woman with chin-length dark hair. Black and white photo

MEGAN JONES
Assistant to the Executive Director

Megan Jones is a lifelong choral singer. A recent transplant to San Diego, Megan is a member of San Diego Women’s Chorus. Before her move, she performed with Caritas, Bach Akademie Charlotte, Nova Voce (past Board President), and Myers Park United Methodist Church Chamber and Chancel Choirs (all in Charlotte, NC), as well as in concerts with the Winston-Salem Symphony Chorus and the Memphis Symphony Chorus. She received two B.A.s in Theater and Government & International Politics from George Mason University in Fairfax, VA and grew up in Rochester, NY. Megan’s professional background is in nonprofit program management and communications, as well as stage management.