Our vision is to offer a vibrant and quality choral music experience for children in grades 3-6. We are gathering a growing circle of young singers who represent richly diverse racial, religious, economic and cultural backgrounds. To insure the full participation of students from all backgrounds, Cantemos will be offered as a gift to the community. All children are able to participate, regardless of family financial resources. To make this possible, a newly formed governing board has already begun to interpret the mission of the choir to local citizens, businesses, foundations and other organizations and to offer opportunities for them to invest in this venture.
Emily is a lifelong Kansan and has lived in Lawrence for the past 17 years. She is a graduate of The University of Kansas with a degree in Music Education. Emily has been teaching musicians of all ages in both the public and private sector for the past 13 years. Music has always been important in Emily’s life; the daughter of two musicians, Emily has been singing and playing her way through life since she was a small child. She has sung in many ensembles both as a student and adult and continues to perform in her free time.
Emily is currently the music teacher at both Woodlawn and Cordley Elementary School in Lawrence. In her free time, she loves to explore National Parks with her family, volunteer with the Girl Scouts and spend time with her husband Mark, daughter Adelaide and their two dogs Walter and Pedro.
Lysette has been a part of K-12 education since 2004. During her tenure, she has taught 5-12 vocal music, K-5 general music, and most recently is an Instructional Coach. In addition to working for Lawrence Public Schools, she is the Music Director at West Side Presbyterian Church and teaches driving with Go Driving, LLC. In her free time, Lysette enjoys time with her family, volunteering with Girl Scouts, and teaching archery at Lawrence Hidden Valley Camp.
Lou Flessner is a retired Lutheran pastor and member of Trinity Lutheran Church in Lawrence. He studied music education at the University of Northern Colorado with a particular interest in Early Music and enthusiasm for children's choirs. Lou has been a member of the Gregorian Singers and played in the Texas Early Music Consort. He makes blankets out of used denim blue jeans, walks old pilgrim roads and is working on a team to design and lead Rites of Passage into Elderhood.
Dr. Mary Kirkendoll
Dr. Mary Kirkendoll is a proud graduate of the University of Kansas where she received a doctorate in flute performance. This was preceded by a Master of Music degree from the Manhattan School of Music where she met her husband who has been on the piano faculty at KU since 2014.
She began her musical studies on piano at the age of 3 with her mother and switched to flute in elementary school once she realized how fun it was to play in band! Mary is currently working as a Community Navigator with United Way, Douglas County, and the Eudora Community Library. She will soon be a licensed massage therapist and owns a yoga business called "Yoga of Kindness" dedicated to giving back to the community in honor of her mother who passed away with Alzheimer's in 2019.
Mary enjoys spending every Wednesday evening with the wonderful young musicians in Cantemos and believes these kinds of musical experiences are essential and worth supporting.
Chairman of the Board
Sandy is a member of Trinity Lutheran Church, as well as a pianist, choir member, and ESL teacher. She and her husband Jim settled in Lawrence over 20 years ago, after traveling around the world for 25 years as a Navy family. Teaching piano, teaching English, and directing choirs were the constants in her life in those various states and countries.
Diana has been associated with choral music since she was seven years old when she joined the children's choir at church. She has been singing ever since, always being part of a choir throughout her high school and college years and then in community choirs for the last 40+ years. As an organist and children's choir director for many years, Diana has seen first-hand the joy and interpersonal growth through music. Diana has a master's degree in music therapy from The University of Kansas and has been a music therapy contractor in the Philadelphia and Kansas City areas for over 35 years. Through both personal and professional experience, she can attest to the power of music to overcome emotional, physical, and psychosocial deficits.
Diana says: "Nothing touches the human spirit and promotes emotional and social well-being like music does. I believe every child should have the opportunity to experience music. When i heard that a new choir for children was being formed in Lawrence, I jumped at the chance to be a part of it."
Jennifer Martello has practiced music therapy in the Shawnee Mission School District for twenty three years and still loves every minute of it. She has spent the majority of her career helping her students overcome barriers and embrace their strengths in order to be their best selves ever.
Rock Chalk Jayhawk! Jennifer received her master’s degree in Music therapy from the University of Kansas.
Purple Aces Proud! Jennifer received her bachelor’s degree in Music Therapy from the University of Evansville, IN.
Jennifer has achieved Life -Long Learner Status (LLLS) from course work she has taken in various fields such as Special Education, Early Childhood Special Education, Autism Spectrum disorders, Neurologic Music Therapy and Trauma Informed Care as well as from presentations given at a variety of conferences on a variety of topics, classes taught here and there, and supervision of music therapy practicum students and interns. In addition to the LLLS, she has competed in a lot of races for a lot of years.
Jennifer continues to train as a wife and mother in Lawrence, Kansas. She plays piano, guitar, ukulele, hammered dulcimer and any rhythm instrument in reach. Her family also enjoys her non-stop singing about anything and everything.