Betty-Ann Braun Artistic Director (currently on maternity leave)
When Betty-Ann was a teenager she met a children’s choir director and thought, “I want to be just like her when I grow up.” Little did she know that one day her dream would become reality. She spent most of her life practicing the piano, earning a degree in piano performance from Trinity Western University, but after graduation found herself directing choirs wherever she went. The beauty of voices singing together brings her continual joy, both in rehearsal and in performance, and she loves pushing herself and her singers to greater levels of musical excellence, for the glory of God.
In addition to a Bachelor of Arts in Music from TWU, Betty-Ann has her ARCT diploma from the Royal Conservatory of Music. She divides her time between conducting PMCC, her piano studio, and working as the music director at Christ Covenant Church in Langley. When she was not making music of some sort, you can probably find her planning her next vacation, spending time with her nieces and nephews, or eating sushi. Last year she married her husband Mitch during the Great Ice Storm of 2017, and they now live in Abbotsford together.
Sonja Hindmarsh Interm (and former) Director
Sonja graduated from Biola University in Southern California with a Bachelor of Music Degree (B.Mus) in Violin Performance. She was a member of the Biola Symphony Orchestra, the Honors String Quartet and the Biola Chorale. While there, she studied violin with Dr. Kangwon Kim, Mary-Beth Woodruff and choral conducting with Dr. Shawna Cross Stewart.
Sonja’s formative years were spent in violin studies with local B.C teachers such as Dr. Calvin Dyck, piano with Dr. Betty Suderman and voice lessons with Gail Suderman. She has performed in countries such as Italy, Germany, Romania and across the United States and Canada.
Currently, Sonja directs her own private music studio of violin students, co-conducts the Alumni Project choral ensemble as well as the Pacific Mennonite Children’s Choir. She also performs as a freelance musician, is a part of the worship ministry at her local church and most importantly, helps her husband Jared raise their four young children.
Tracey Tobin & Brooklyn Gerber Choir Pianists
Tracey is a graduate of both the Moody Bible Institute and DePaul University of Chicago, Illinois. She holds adegree in Church Music from Moody and a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance from DePaul. Her teachers have included Mary Sauer, principle accompanist for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and Dmitri Paperno, well-known Russian pianist and recording artist of the Moscow Conservatory. Tracey has accompanied extensively back east in the Chicagoland area andvarious parts of Canada. She’s been teaching in the Abbotsford area for over 18 years, both in her home studio as well as the Central Valley Academy of Music. Her current musical pursuits include accompanying PMCC and learning to accompany Cape Breton style fiddling.
Tracey absolutely loves PMCC! She and her husband John have 4 children, 3 of which have been a part of the choir. Tracey had the opportunity to act as accompanist for PMCC in 2011 for their tour to Festival 500 in Newfoundland. When she’s not practicing, you’ll find her homeschooling the youngest in the family. If not, she might be painting the bottom of a boat, refinishing wood, learning fiddle tunes or cooking up her favourite Punjabi recipes. She and her family enjoy camping, hiking, going to the beach, and reaching their Sikh neighbours for Christ.
Cheryl Harder Choir manager and business administrator
Cheryl was introduced to PMCC in 1984. It was during these formative years that she developed a love for choral music, and learned many skills that have been applicable throughout her life. She continued to participate in various choral groups while attending Mennonite Educational Institute, Briercrest Bible College and Columbia Bible College. Cheryl currently sings on one of the worship teams at Yarrow Alliance Church.
Cheryl loves being involved in PMCC as the choir manager, and continues to enjoy getting to know the singers and their families. She was also thrilled to watch her three children foster their own personal love for music through singing with PMCC. Pictured with Cheryl is her daughter Savannah who has returned for an additional year as an alumni singer.
Andrea & Amaris Vocal Coaches
Andrea and Amaris, identical twin sisters,
were “born singing”. They grew up performing together, with their older siblings, and in 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 youngdaughters. She enjoys teaching yo
ung people to develop and share their passion for music with others. She loves to cook and to 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 join the PMCC team as the choir’s vocal coaches!
Janelle Stauffer & Sandra Booker Choreographers
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: Sandra Gruenhage
Vice Chair: Kristin Bonneville
Secretary: Julie Loeppky
Treasurer: Mark Wright
Member at large: Andrea Pederson