The Denver Children’s Choir staff create a supportive learning environment where all participants feel welcome. Music staff are accomplished musicians and gifted educators who nurture the singers and encourage musical and vocal growth. They teach music literacy, set high standards, instill confidence, and promote self-esteem.
Leslie Britton, Artistic Director and Founding Music Director (contact Leslie)
Leslie Britton is responsible for developing and implementing the choir’s unique mission that partners musical excellence with commitments to inclusiveness, multiculturalism, diversity, and outreach. Leslie directs the Fourteeners, Thin Air, and Summit; and periodically teaches a conducting class to advanced choir members. Ms. Britton was the former Music Director and conductor for the nationally renowned Chicago Children’s Choir. With thousands of children in its program, the Chicago Children’s Choir is the largest choral performance and training choir of its kind in the nation. Leslie holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Dartmouth College and a Master of Music Degree in Choral Conducting from Northwestern University. She is a member of Pi Kappa Lambda music honorary society and the American Choral Director’s Association.
Lisa Cameron, Music Director (contact Lisa)
Lisa Cameron was instrumental in the audition and selection of the choir’s original music staff, and then joined the staff in 1997. Ms. Cameron has conducted every choir level from Montane to Altitude. Her primary responsibilities include fulfilling the Choir’s mission of outreach to the community, and ensuring musical excellence, multiculturalism, diversity, and a nurturing environment. Before becoming Music Director, Lisa taught music at Stanley British Primary School for a number of years and was busy raising three daughters, all of whom are choir alumnae. Ms. Cameron received a Bachelor of Music degree from Iowa State University and a Master of Music Education degree with an emphasis in Children’s and Adolescent Voices from Northwestern University. While attending Northwestern, she was elected to the music honorary society Pi Kappa Lambda.
Jane Ripper, Principal Accompanist
Jane Ripper accompanies the Fourteeners, Thin Air, and Summit Singers. She is the Associate Director of Music and Organist at Wellshire Presbyterian Church in Denver. Ms. Ripper performs concerts and workshops for the American Guild of Organists, American Choral Directors Association, Music Educators National Conferences, and Choristers Guild Festivals, as well as vocal and instrumental recitals, master classes, and musical theater productions. Just think about the number of notes Jane has played with two hands (and two feet)!
Ms. Ripper received a Master of Music degree in Organ Performance and a Master of Sacred Music degree from Southern Methodist University. Jane was selected for the music honorary society Pi Kappa Lambda while attending SMU. She received a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education from Simpson College.
Juliane Dowell, Director of Training Choirs
Juliane Dowell holds a bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Westminster Choir College. She has since taught music at the primary and secondary levels and has sung with several semi-professional vocal ensembles in the area, including Ars Nova in Boulder and Kantorei in Denver. Juli recently completed her master’s at Johns Hopkins University, served as the Children’s Choir Repertoire and Standards chair on the Colorado ACDA board, and currently directs the children’s and youth’s music programs at Wellshire Presbyterian Church.
Kali Paguirigan, Conductor
Kali Paguirigan is a recent Denver transplant. She was a choir parent first and happily joined the conducting team this year! Kali teaches music at the Graland Country Day School. She received her BM in vocal performance from the Eastman School of Music and an MFA in vocal performance from CalArts. In addition to conducting for DCC, she sings with Kantorei and Impromptu choirs and works as a soloist in Denver. When Kali isn’t singing or working with kids, she enjoys playing the piano, violin and the guitar, cooking, eating, practicing yoga and spending time with her family.
Cindy Kraybill, Development and Marketing Director (contact Cindy)
Cindy Kraybill brings experience in education, marketing, and non-profit management to her position as Director of Development and Marketing. She spent many years in various marketing capacities for Storage Technology Corporation and taught for Denver Public Schools. Most recently she was the Director of Development and Donor Relations for Firefly Autism.
She is the mother of two daughters: one at the University of California Berkeley, and another at George Washington High School. She plays various musical instruments including the piano, guitar, dulcimer, clarinet, and accordion.
Mary O’Neill Christ, Office Manager (contact Mary)
Mary Christ, a long-time choir parent, joined the staff in 2009 conducting the Montane Choirs and now serves as the Office Manager and accompanies the Alpine rehearsals at Lincoln/Compass Academy. Mary holds a Master of Arts in Vocal Performance from the Lamont School of Music at the University of Denver, and a Bachelor of Arts in Music from Pomona College in Claremont, California, with additional studies at the Aspen Music School and the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria. Mary currently sings in Kantorei and with the women’s ensemble, Impromptu. Mary has worked in the Public Relations/Development Office at Regis College and with the Higher Education Group, a consulting firm to colleges and universities.
Mercedes Campana, Accompanist
Mercedes Campana plays for the Mountain Aires ensemble and the Conducting Class. She graduated from Humber College in Toronto with a Bachelor of Music in Composition in 2012. A Denver native, Mercedes was a member of the choir from the beginning in 1996 through 2007. Mercedes enjoys teaching piano, writing songs, and walking her dog.