Where Singers Belong

Our Team

Sonja Hindmarsh - Artistic Director

Sonja is not a new face to PMCC.  In fact, not only was she director in 2009-2014, but she was also a singer herself for 10 years under the direction of founder, Nancy Dyck!

Sonja has worked professionally as a freelance violinist and choral musician in the Vancouver area, directs her own studio of budding musicians, and just recently launched a music curriculum business called "My Homegrown Symphony".

Sonja graduated from Biola University in Southern California with a Bachelor of Music Degree in Violin Performance.  Sonjaʼs formative years were spent in violin studies with Dr. Calvin Dyck, piano with Dr. Betty Suderman, and voice lessons with Melanie Krueger and Gail Suderman.

Sonja and her husband Jared homeschool their 4 children in Abbotsford B.C.

Betty Liewen - Director of the Tinies

Betty has been teaching music within the school system for over 25 years and currently teaches Music and Choir at MEI Elementary. She acted as a Worship Director in a local church for 10 years, conducting children’s and adult choirs. In 2015, Betty founded the Abbotsford Homeschool Children’s Choir.

Betty graduated from Trinity Western University with a BA in Music and Education and completed her Professional Teaching Certificate at Simon Fraser University. Her main instrument was the pipe organ, but she also studied voice and plays the piano. After graduation, she did further training in both Kodaly and Orff (approaches to music education for young children), and Choral Conducting. Betty and her husband Brian live in Mission, B.C. They have 4 grown sons and enjoy spending time with their families.

Andrea Pederson - Director of the Teenies

"Sing a new song to the LORD! Let the whole earth sing to the LORD!"
Psalm 96:1

Andrea is excited to be directing the PMCC Tinies in their inaugural season! Having completed her B.A. in Vocal Performance at Trinity Western University, Andrea has been a professional vocalist and recording artist for almost twenty years. Her passion for vocal and choral music has been lifelong and she has fond memories of choral performances, recordings, and festivals from when she herself was the same age as the Tinies.

Andrea is a familiar face to the PMCC, having been involved in recent years in a variety of capacities including as a guest soloist for concerts, instructing private lessons as the vocal coach for Choir Camp, serving on the PMCC Board for two years, and assisting with the Musical Literacy (Theory) component of the choir.  She is committed to bringing excellent music and proper vocal technique to the youngest members of the PMCC family through fun activities, games, and repertoire. She is also committed to developing solid relationships with each singer while encouraging each to grow deeper in their understanding of God and His beautiful world.

Andrea resides in east Abbotsford with her husband, Brian, a local firefighter.  They have three young daughters who are all enrolled with the choir this season. Together, they also manage a menagerie of farm animals on their organic hobby farm, including a very nasty rooster named "Scary Gary" and a Highland bull named Ferdinand.

Brooklyn Gerber- Pianist for the Juniors and Seniors 

Brooklyn Gerber, 17, has lived in Abbotsford her entire life. She began playing piano as soon as she could climb onto the bench but lessons began when she was four; first from her mother, then with Heather Dyck and Carmen Hollett, and for the past six years she has studied with Dr. Betty Suderman.
Brooklyn enjoys providing music for weddings, graduations, and school dramas but her all-time favorite form of music-making involves collaborating with friends in small string groups and accompanying soloists. She is beginning her 10th year singing with PMCC, and her third year helping accompany the choir.

She is currently completing her ARCT in piano performance and is continuing to teach her bustling studio full of delightful young pianists. Besides PMCC, Brooklyn also accompanies the Abbotsford Youth Orchestra, the Abbotsford Homeschool Choir, and various instrumental soloists around the lower mainland. She is very passionate about choral music and music education and hopes to pursue a music degree at university next school year.

Being the significantly youngest of three siblings Brooklyn currently enjoys spending a great deal of quality time with her Mom and Dad. She loves blue skies and sunshine, making memories with good friends, immersing herself in good books, baking yummy things, hiking, cuddling her adorable nieces, and she loves all things aquatic, having swam competitively for nearly ten years.

Jael Penner - Pianist for the Tinies

Jael Penner, 17 years old, lives in Abbotsford with her parents and three younger
siblings where she attends Regent Christian Online Academy in her final year of highschool.
She has been involved with music ever since she began taking lessons at the age of 5. In fact,
Sonja, our director, was her very first teacher! She now studies with Dr. Betty Suderman and is
working towards completing her ARCT in piano performance by June.
She enjoys competing in music festivals which helps her improve her performance skills,
and she also loves to play music with friends. Last year, she was the accompanist for the
Abbotsford Youth Orchestra juniors, was involved in their concert of “Carnival of the Animals”,
and this year, played as a soloist in their “Young Artists’ Concert”.
She also teaches piano to several young students, and this is her fifth year of teaching
This is her first year both accompanying and singing with PMCC! Jael says, “It has been
an awesome experience!”

Cheryl Harder Choir manager & business administrator

Cheryl was first introduced to the Pacific Mennonite Children’s Choir in 1984 and was thrilled two years later to be asked by Nancy Dyck to join the division that would be touring Europe and attending a choral music festival in Innsbruck Austria. It was during these formative years that she developed a love for choral music, made wonderful friends, and learned many lifelong skills. In the years to follow she continued to participate in various choral groups while attending Mennonite Educational Institute, Briercrest Bible College, and Columbia Bible College. As an adult, while juggling her primary role as wife and Mom, Cheryl continued to sing on her church worships teams and briefly with the Valley Festival Singers.

When her daughter joined PMCC in 2010, Cheryl had no idea what surprises and plans God had in store for her as she rekindled her relationship and love for PMCC. In 2011 the board asked her to consider becoming the manager, and now eleven years later Cheryl continues to demonstrate her extraordinary organizational skills, her commitment to the staff, board, singers, and families, and her passion for fostering a love and joy of music in the next generation.

Cheryl, her husband Bruce and their family reside in Chilliwack.


Andrea & Amaris Vocal Coaches

Andrea and Amaris, identical twin sisters, were “born singing”.  They grew up performing together, with their older siblings, and in the choir at church and school. 

Having attended MEI for High School, they both graduated from Trinity Western University’s Music Performance Program in 2002.  Andrea and Amaris have spent the last 16 years teaching private lessons and performing together for numerous organizations and events, including the 2010 Olympics and with PMCC in 2017. They have recorded 4 albums together, featuring other local musicians, and enjoy combining choral and classical elements with gospel styling.

Andrea (Pederson) resides in Abbotsford with her husband and 3 beautiful young daughters. She enjoys teaching young people to develop and share their passion for music with others. She loves to cook and go grocery shopping. Andrea also volunteers her time to teach music in her daughters’ classrooms at school and spends hours tending to the vegetable garden and numerous animals on their hobby farm: They have 2 dogs, 2 cats, 3 ducks, 3 cows, and 45 chickens!

Amaris (Gray) also lives in Abbotsford with her husband and 2 children.  In addition to teaching at her home studio, she is the adjunct Vocal Instructor at Summit Pacific College, where she teaches private lessons, a Vocal Methodology course, and assists in the choral program. She also enjoys leading her Church Choir/Christmas programs.  Amaris loves gardening and notoriously buys too many plants whenever she visits the local plant nurseries. She also enjoys camping, road trips, and making adventures out of ordinary daily activities!

Andrea and Amaris are thrilled to be a part of the PMCC team as the choir’s vocal coaches and Andrea will also be assisting with music theory & sight-singing.

Janelle Stauffer Choreographer

Janelle Stauffer is a trained teacher, singer, violinist, and dancer who has a passion for music and movement. She graduated from Trinity Western University with a teaching degree and minors in music and human kinetics. Since then she has enjoyed teaching music and dance at the Abbotsford Integrated School of the Arts as well as choreographing for PMCC and The Abbotsford Youth Orchestra. Janelle is an alumnus of both PMCC and AYO and is delighted to be part of the incredible PMCC team that brings music, movement, and faith to life for another generation of children!

The PMCC Board of Directors

The Pacific Mennonite Children's Choir is a registered non-profit society and is operated by a Board of Directors elected at an Annual General Meeting held every September. Parents of children enrolled in the PMCC are voting members of the society and are encouraged to attend the AGM.

The choir employs Artistic Directors and an Administrator, who work together to meet the objectives of the PMCC. Together, the board and staff are responsible for planning a choral education program that includes weekly rehearsals, choir camp, music literacy classes, and ticketed concerts as well other performances in a variety of venues.

The PMCC also provides opportunities for participation in tours and music festivals both at home and abroad.

Board Chair: Jen Esau
Vice Chair: Cheryl Mulder
Secretary: Julie Loeppky
Treasurer: Mark Wright

Member at large: