Cindy Christensen

Cindy Christensen

Choir Program Director

Being a recipient of a superior public school music and performing arts education, Cindy feels compelled to help promote similar opportunities here in our community. Her passion for music and the arts is what inspired her to found the Voices for the Performing Arts Foundation in January 2006.

Cindy is a graduate of Brigham Young University in choral music education. She has directed a variety of church choirs throughout 30 years, volunteered for the SHS concert choir for 2 years, directed a choir at the Sherwood Senior Center for 2 years, and has directed the Sherwood Chorale since 2004. Cindy currently directs five of the six VPA Youth choirs as well. She taught private voice and piano for 11 years, and was a substitute music teacher in the Sherwood School District for three years.

In 2009, Cindy was the music director for the community production of “The Music Man.” She also directed the musical Annie in the winter of 2010 when the VPA sponsored the production with Sherwood School District. She was music director for the VPA’s production of “Into the Woods” in 2011, and “Disney’s Little Mermaid” in 2012 as well.

Cindy loves being involved in the community and was awarded the “Chamber’s Choice’ award for 2006-2007 by the Sherwood Chamber of Commerce, and was “knighted as a lady of the Shire of Sherwood” by the Robin Hood Festival in 2010. Cindy and her husband Quin reside in Sherwood and are the parents of 6 children, and grandparents of four.

Robyn Folsom

Robyn Folsom

Theater Program Director

Robyn has been a dedicated and vocal advocate for performing arts in the Sherwood community since directing the musical “Once on This Island” in Stella Olsen Park in 2002. Since then, Robyn has served on the Sherwood Cultural Arts Commission—serving for 5 years as its chair, the Sherwood Foundation for the Arts, and the Voices for the Performing Arts Foundation. For nearly six years Robyn wrote a monthly column “For Arts Sake” for the Sherwood Gazette.

After her time serving the community in various capacities growing the arts opportunities in Sherwood and voicing her support for increased funding and advocacy for arts in our schools and community, Robyn was elected to the Sherwood City Council in January 2008. Robyn helped bring “Music Man” to the Sherwood community in 2009, produced “Annie” in the spring of 2010, and was the assistant musical director for “The Secret Garden” in the summer of 2010.

Robyn has also performed professionally with The Arvada Center in Colorado and with the Oregon Children’s Theatre. In 2005 Robyn wrote a grant on behalf of the Sherwood Cultural Arts Commission, the Sherwood School District, and the City of Sherwood for a grand piano from Michael Allen Harrison’s Snowman Foundation. Not only was the grant awarded and SHS received a grand piano for the first time in its history, but Michael Allen Harrison became a loyal friend and supporter of the VPA appearing in their spring benefit concerts as a guest artist for the last 5 years.

Robyn’s greatest hope is that all the children of her community will have the wonderful opportunities to grow in confidence and self-esteem while enjoying the fun and excitement of performing arts. Robyn and her husband Steve are the proud parents of five children.

Rachelle Meyer

Rachelle Meyer

Footnotes Choreographer

Rachelle was trained using the Vaganova Method in Russia Classical Ballet. She has studied with principals of the Kirov and Bolshoi theaters as well as local instructors and through workshops with Joe Tremaine. The styles she teaches with proficiency, yet is not excluded to, include: Tap, Jazz, Ballet, Modern, Hip Hop and Ballroom. Rachelle specializes in teaches teaching very young children, beginning at age two.

She also is a published writer whose novels can be found on amazon.com and teaches children painting, drawing, creative writing, piano and voice. Building her own business has allowed her to be intricately involved in marketing, booking and dealing hands on with customers in a friendly and joyous manner that creates repeat customers.

Rachelle has been teaching for a total of eighteen years. Her reputation throughout the community is one of a beloved, fun, and talented instructor, who reaches for the best in every student.

Tara Porter

Tara Porter

Gracenotes & Keynotes Choreographer

When she was 4 years old, Tara went to a parade with her family and saw a group of girls dancing their way through the parade. She looked up at her mom and asked to be a dancer for her 5th birthday.

Tara’s love of dance was instant and has only blossomed through the years.
Tara trained with the Arizona Ballet Company for four years, in premier classical American ballet and pointe, with annual performance roles that included a pointe duet as a Page in the Nutcracker. She performed and competed with the Phoenix Arizona Stars at the state and national level, while receiving continued training in the verbal and physical vocabulary of ballet, lyrical, jazz, modern, drill down, gymnastic, and tap dance for seven years.

Throughout high school, Tara performed and competed with my San Antonio, Texas high school dance team, specializing in the genres of kick line, lyrical, jazz, and modern.  After a year of dance training at the collegiate level, she had to choose between what had become two of her passions: dance and teaching.

Tara considers herself fortunate to have dabbled in both careers in her adult life. She was the teacher and owner of a dance studio for girls 3-17 years of age during her three years of living on the island of Guam. Now, she owns and teaches at a private in-home preschool here in Sherwood, where she lives with her husband and three children. The VPA community has brought great training, experiences, and relationships to her family over the past few years, and she is beyond excited to once again share her love and passion for dance with the talented Gracenotes girls and Keynote boys.

Eric Stearns

Eric Stearns

First Note Choir & Noteworthy Director

Conductor Eric C. Stearns is thrilled to be a part of the VPA!  A graduate of Portland State University and Western Oregon University, he holds a Masters degree in Choral Conducting, and a Bachelor degree in Vocal Performance. He is currently pursuing a masters degree in music education through George Fox. In addition to his duties with the VPA, Mr. Stearns conducts the choirs and orchestra at Sunset Presbyterian Church, and is the permanent choral director of the Oregon Mahler Festival. He began his career as a professional musician while penning the musical, “Celebration of the Century”, which toured the US and Canada for almost 4 years, with Mr. Stearns as director. He has traveled the world as a musician and conductor, and is honored to be able to bring that experience into the VPA classroom.

Anna Mersereau

Anna Mersereau

Strings Director

strings@vpafoundation.org

Anna is a violinist, conductor, and teacher for the Voices for the Performing Arts Youth Strings Orchestra, also know as VPA Strings.  In addition, Anna directs the Tigard High Orchestra and Alliance Charter Academy in Oregon City.   She performs regularly with the Oregon Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra and continues teaching in her private studio.  

Originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Anna began studying the violin at age four. She has been teaching privately now for 24 years, directing class orchestras for 15 years, and teaching in public schools for six years! She has a BS degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a M.Ed from Portland State University, and looks also forward to perusing a higher degree in conducting in the years ahead.

Anna enjoys being a patron of art events in the community and is an avid outdoor enthusiast!