Michael Kerschner / Artistic Director

Artistic Staff

Michael Kerschner (Artistic Director/Conductor) is a respected educator who is dedicated to uniting the roles of teacher and working artist. This is his 6th season with YNYC, and for three years he served as conductor of the Metropolitan Youth Orchestra Chorale, which performed at Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall. Michael received a degree in Music Education from Duquesne University, where he studied conducting with Brady Allred, and he received his Master of Music in Choral Conducting from the University of North Texas where he was a student of Jerry McCoy.

He has taught at the NYSSSA choral studies program and at the National High School Music Institute at Northwestern University as choral director and Music Education specialist. Choirs under his direction have performed the National Convention of the American Choral Director’s Association, the Command Performance at the Nevada All-State Conference, the Western Division ACDA Student Symposium, and with the New Amsterdam Orchestra, Ensemble 212, Las Vegas Philharmonic and the Long Island Pops Orchestra.He has recently been invited to represent the Eastern Division of ACDA for the International Conductor’s Exchange program to take place in South Africa in 2014. Michael was previously the Director of Choirs at Durango High School in Las Vegas, Nevada, where his choirs consistently received the highest possible ratings at local and national festivals.

He currently is Director of the Choral Department at North Shore High School on Long Island, where his ensembles have received gold with distinction honors at NYSSMA festivals, and completed performance tours through Italy, Hungary, Austria, Czech Republic, Uruguay, Argentina, Canada, and will travel to Spain this February. As a choral singer he has performed in 9 European countries and at regional and national conferences. Michael is also a visual artist and teacher of the AP Art History course.

Christopher Mueller (Assistant Artistic Director) is in his thirteenth year as Director of Music for the Church of Notre Dame and the Columbia University Catholic Campus Ministry in New York City. He assisted Nathan Davis in the founding of YNYC in the spring of 2001, and has been pleased to be a part of its growth from ten initial singers to a large and well-respected ensemble of nearly 100 voices. Christopher received a degree in Music Performance and Composition from Lawrence University, where he studied piano with Robert Below, conducting with Richard Bjella, and composition with Kenneth Schaphorst.

He has worked as a dance accompanist for the Neubert Ballet School (Carnegie Hall), the Alvin Ailey School, and as an adjunct at NYU and Hunter College; he also did musical direction for off-Broadway musical theater, and coachings with opera and musical theater singers. He performed at Carnegie Hall and Tanglewood as a member of the Russian Chamber Chorus of New York. He studied voice in New York City with Mary Rodgers, and jazz piano with Kirk Nurock, Andy LaVerne, and Ted Rosenthal. His jazz quartet, Grand Central, released the album A Beautiful Friendship in 2004 to critical acclaim. As a composer of liturgical music, his compositions have been heard across the U.S. and Canada, and in Ireland and Australia. YNYC featured his concert work Caritas est at their 2011 performance at the National Convention of the American Choral Director’s Association.

His Missa pro editione tertia will be featured in 2012 at Sacred Music Colloquium XXII, sponsored by the Church Music Association of America. His all-volunteer parish church choir sings a weekly Mass at the Church of Notre Dame on the upper west side, a monthly Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in midtown, and at many other church functions throughout the northeast. Please visit his website, benesonarium.com, to find out more. Christopher is also the Coordinator of Marriage Preparation Programs for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York, and is happily married, with three radiant children.

Rachel DeVore Fogarty (Assistant Artistic Director) is a versatile pianist and composer. In addition to being the Assistant Artistic Director and accompanist for the YNYC Women’s Ensemble, she is an accompanist for the Brooklyn Youth Chorus. Rachel has accompanied masterclasses for Shirlee Emmons, Sharon Sweet, Cliff Jackson, Bob Kline, Michael Cassara, Jen Waldman, and Merri Sugarman and served as rehearsal pianist for the national tours of the musicals Elf and Anything Goes. Her choral works have been performed by ensembles in the U.S. and internationally, including St. Olaf’s College, Oklahoma State University, the University of Kentucky, and the 2013 ACDA National High School Women’s Honor Choir. She received both her M.M. in Composition and her B.M. in Piano from Belmont University in Nashville, TN.

Artistic Advisory Board

Brady Allred, Artistic Director and Conductor, Salt Lake Choral Artists
Dominick DiOrio, Assistant Professor of Music (Choral Conducting), Indiana University; Composer
Craig Hella Johnson, Artistic Director, Conspirare & Company of Voices
Jerry McCoy, Artistic Director, Schola Cantorum of Texas; Director of Choral Studies, University of North Texas College of Music