Artistic/Music Director and Conductor
Jefferson Johnson is Director of Choral Activities at the University of Kentucky where he conducts the University Chorale and Men’s Chorus. He also teaches advanced choral conducting, choral methods and literature, and directs the graduate program (MM and DMA degrees) in choral music. A native of Atlanta, Johnson received the Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Georgia (magna cum laude, 1978), the Master of Music from the University of Tennessee (1981), and the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Colorado (1992). While living in Atlanta, Johnson was also a member of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chorus and Chamber Chorus conducted by Robert Shaw.
Dr. Johnson’s recently released video “Ready…Set…Sing!” is published by Santa Barbara Music Publishing. It has been featured at music educators’ conventions from Ohio to Hawaii. In addition, Johnson maintains an active schedule as an adjudicator and guest conductor for high-school and collegiate choirs throughout the United States. He has recently conducted honor choruses in Alabama, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, New York, North Carolina, and South Dakota. He has also been a clinician for the ACDA-National Convention (Washington, D.C.), ACDA-Central Division (Detroit, MI), ACDA-Southern Division (Charleston, SC, and Orlando, FL), North Carolina ACDA, Michigan ACDA, Ohio ACDA, Georgia ACDA, Kentucky ACDA, and Iowa ACDA. The University of Kentucky Chorale, under Dr. Johnson’s direction, has performed at regional and state conventions of ACDA and MENC.
Assistant Director, Composer and Accompanist
Dr. Dean served as an adjunct professor of Music Theory at the University of Kentucky for 10 years. Dr. Dean is the arranger/orchestrator for UK’s annual productions: It’s A Grand Night for Singing and Alltech’s Celebration of Song at Victorian Square. He is also a composer/arranger/orchestrator for other groups, schools, and universities across the United States, as well as various international ensembles. Dr. Dean’s arranging and orchestrating were featured in UK’s “A Grand Night for Singing” and televised by KET in 2017; nearly every piece in the show was crafted by him. This production went on to win some regional Emmy awards.
A Kentucky native, he has been composing and arranging music over 40
years and has more than 200 published works. His recent published work,
The Pirates of Penzance Medley, National Music Publishers, was performed
by the Florida All-State High School TTBB Chorus in 2012 and by the Texas
All-State Men’s High School TTBB Choir in 2013. Other recent published works include three piano collections published by FJH Music Publishing Company in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, a solo piano CD of his arrangements titled I Need Thee Every Hour, and numbers included on The American Spiritual Ensemble’s Christmas CD. Dr. Dean arranges and orchestrates commissioned numbers throughout the year. His Three Early American Hymns will be featured by The Singers as they travel to South Africa in July 2019.
Artistic Director, The Lexington Singers Children’s Choir
Lori Hetzel is the Associate Director of Choral Activities and Full Professor of Choral Music Education at the University of Kentucky where she conducts the UK Women’s Choir and the ever-popular a cappella group “Paws and Listen”. In addition to her conducting duties, Dr. Hetzel supervises student teachers and teaches undergraduate methods and choral conducting courses where she has pioneered a unique partnership program with area high schools and middle schools allowing undergraduate students to begin classroom teaching early in their curriculum and gain true ‘hands-on’ experience.
Hetzel is a contributing author to the new textbook Conducting Women’s Choirs: Strategies for Success. Among her many academic accomplishments, she was the recipient of the University of Kentucky “Great Teacher of the Year” award in 2000, a finalist for the Provost Awards for Outstanding Teaching in both 2009 and 2010, and the winner of the Robert K. Baar Choral Award in 2011 (“given to one choral director in the state who exhibits outstanding leadership in choral music and promotes music education in the state of Kentucky.”
Lori Hetzel received a Bachelor of Music Education degree from the University of Wisconsin/Green Bay, a Master of Music from the University of Missouri/Kansas City and her Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Michigan State University. Outside of the university, Dr. Hetzel serves as Artistic Director of the Lexington Singers Children’s Choir and conducts the LSCC Chamber Choir.
Accompanist, LSCC Chamber Choir
Rob Vanover serves as a full-time choral music faculty member at Lexington Catholic High School and as Organist/Music & Worship Associate at Centenary United Methodist Church, serving there as staff organist, accompanist, and handbell director.
Previously, he has held many positions as a choral conductor and accompanist. Included among these are Organist/Choir Director of Woodland Christian Church from 2000-2007, Director of Music Ministries at St. Peter Church from 2006-2009, accompanist for the University of Kentucky Women’s Choir from 2000-2007, staff accompanist at Georgetown College for 2006-2007, and studio accompanist for the Voice Studio of Gail Robinson at UK from 2001-2007. In addition, he is currently Organist/Choir Director for the Lexington Latin Mass Community, and director of the Sister Sound community choir.
Mr. Vanover earned the Bachelor of Music in Organ Performance from the University of Kentucky and has earned his Master of Music in Sacred Music.
Director, LSCC Advanced Choir
Daniel E. Wesley is the Director of Choirs at Lexington Christian Academy, where he serves as the Fine Arts Department Chairman, conducts the intermediate and advanced choral ensembles and teaches courses in theatre and music theory. He is also the Director of the Advanced Chorus of the Lexington Singers Children’s Choir and Minister of Music at Mount Pleasant Baptist Church in Nicholasville. Mr. Wesley has conducted school and community honor choirs and adjudicated choral festivals throughout the southern United States. His ensembles have consistently received superior ratings at regional, state, and national festivals. During his tenure at LCA, Mr. Wesley’s choirs have performed at Salzburg Cathedral, St. Stephens Cathedral in Vienna, St. Nicholas Church in Prague, Chicago’s Orchestra Hall, New York’s Carnegie Hall, and St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Walt Disney World and the 2012, 2016, and 2017 Kentucky Music Educators Association’s Annual Conference. Mr. Wesley’s ensembles have also toured extensively throughout the United States, Ireland, England, Wales, Austria, and the Czech Republic. A frequent lecturer, he has presented clinics at church music conferences across the nation. In 2013, Mr. Wesley received the Ruth Coppler Outstanding Teacher Award. He holds a degree in Music Education from the University of Kentucky’s School of Music and is State Choral Chair-Elect for KMEA. He is also an advocate for hemophilia research and education. He and his wife, Kendra, reside in Lexington with their two children.
Accompanist, LSCC Advanced Choir
Lisa Braswell is involved with much of the local music scene and enjoys accompanying whenever she can! She is also a member of the Lexington Singers. She has a choral music education degree and a piano performance minor from the University of Kentucky and is currently the choral director at Trinity Christian Academy’s Upper School.
Director, LSCC Intermediate Choir
LSCC Summer Choral Camp Music Director
Amy Black is currently the music teacher and choir director at Seton Catholic School in Lexington.
She received a Bachelor of Arts in Music from Berea College where her focus was in studying children’s choirs, and a Master’s of Music in Choral Conducting from the University of Kentucky where she also completed the courses for certification in K-12 vocal music education.
Amy has been a member of the American Choral Directors Association, the Music Educators National Conference, the Kentucky Music Educators Association, the Organization of American Kodaly Educators, and the Kentucky Association of Kodaly Educators. Mrs. Black is a member and assistant section leader of the Lexington Singers in which she has had several solos and been featured in several small ensembles. She was one of the founding committee members of the Lexington Singers Children’s Choir and has been involved throughout the choirs’ growth.
Director, LSCC Preparatory Choir
Jeremy Howard received a BME in vocal music education and an MM with an emphasis in the Kodály philosophy from Morehead State University. He holds certification in all three levels of Kodály (a teaching methodology with music literacy at its core). Additionally, he studied at the Kodály Institute in Kecskemet, Hungary during the summer of 2011.
Mr. Howard currently serves as the 3-Year-old through 8th Grade General Music Teacher and Choir Director at Christ the King Cathedral School in Lexington, Kentucky. He is an adjudicator for KMEA events and a clinician and conductor for Honor and Festival Choirs. He is a member of the Organization of American Kodály Educators (OAKE), the American Choral Directors’ Association (ACDA), and the Kentucky Music Educators’ Association (KMEA).
Director for Communications and Public Relations, LSCC
Deb Sogin is a retired FCPS choral director/drama coach and taught at Morton Middle School and worked with SCAPA and Lafayette musical productions. She is still active in the local musical theatre community. She is employed as a Standardized Patient, where Sogin works with UK medical, dental, and pharmacy students. Ms. Sogin is in Lexington Singers, and New Horizons Jazz and Concert Bands. Deb earned a BMEd from Texas A&M, Commerce; an MM in Piano and Pedagogy from Texas A&M, Commerce, and Rank One from the University of Kentucky. She holds full certification in Orff Schulwerk and Dalcroze Eurhythmics. Deb is married to Dr. David Sogin, UK School of Music faculty, and is a mom to Celia and Ari.
Choral Business Director, Lexington Singers
LSCC Summer Choral Camp Supervisor
Whit is a performing artist who earned his Bachelors of Music in Music Performance and his Master of Arts in Arts Administration degrees from the University of Kentucky. He serves as a board member for several local organizations. Prior to his start in vocal music in the 10th grade, he started playing the violin at age 8 and has since played timpani and other percussion instruments. Currently, he sings tenor as a member of The Lexington Singers and The Kentucky Bach Choir, is one of the original performing members of The American Spiritual Ensemble.
Whit can also be seen performing on the local and regional theatre stages in many leading roles including Othello, Dr. M. L. King, Jr., and King Arthur. Many may remember Whit as a singer and dancer in UKOT’s annual musical revue “It’s a Grand Night for Singing,” as well as featured appearances in performances with the Lexington Ballet and the Kentucky Opera.
Whit also enjoys spending his time and lending his talents as a personal fitness trainer, while also instructing fitness and group exercise classes at the YMCA of Central Kentucky. In his spare time, he performs with the band The Mercy Men where he is a lead singer and percussionist.