Kirstina Collins, Artistic Director (August 2018-June 2020)
Choral conductor, composer, and educator, Dr. Kirstina Rasmussen Collins grew up in the Midwest singing in school choirs and writing pop songs. She moved to Los Angeles to study music composition at the University of Southern California’s School of Music. Studying with Morten Lauridsen, Kirstina further discovered her love for writing for the voice, while having transformative experiences singing with the USC Chamber Singers. Following her Bachelors of Music, Kirstina followed her passion for choral music to Boston University, where she studied Choral Conducting with Ann Howard Jones, receiving her Masters in Music degree.
Kirstina had the privilege to teach for a year as a visiting instructor at Luther College, working with Tim Peter and the late Weston Noble, from whom she learned much about the communal impact of choral music. She carried this understanding to later teaching environments: Proctor Academy (a college prep boarding school) and Colby-Sawyer College in New Hampshire, Newport Center United Methodist Church back in California, and two West Los Angeles elementary schools, before returning to graduate work at the University of Southern California. After returning to school, she also directed a Los Angeles based women’s choir, the Ebell Chorale, and taught choir and music appreciation courses at Ezra University, a small bible school in LA.
Through the years, Kirstina has had commissions, premieres and performances of her choral works: by the Harvard Glee Club, San Francisco Choral Society, and Peninsula Women’s Chorus, among other ensembles. As a vocalist, she enjoyed singing in the Tanglewood Symphony Chorus under Jon Oliver, and the Los Angeles Master Chorale under Grant Gershon. She currently has publications with Santa Barbara Music Publishing.
Kirstina came to South Carolina to complete her DMA in Choral Conducting at the University of South Carolina, which she earned in 2019. While there, she taught theory, aural skills, and enjoyed working with the Summer Choir at USC. She has enjoyed her work in the community as the co-director of Capella Pueri children's choir at The Basilica of St. Peter, as the music director at St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church, and especially as the artistic director of the Dutch Fork Choral Society. Kirstina and her husband Michael have two young sons, Orion and Skyler.
Suzanne Ringer, Artistic Director (August 2015-August 2018)
Artistic Director, Suzanne Ringer, she serves as a Chaplin and Music Specialist for All Seasons Hospice, and as the Director of Music at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, in Chapin, South Carolina. Prior to this, she was the Director of Music Ministries at Union United Methodist Church where she served for 20+ years. During this time Mrs. Ringer conducted many noted works such as Brahm’s Ein Duetches Requiem, Rutter's Gloria, Vivaldi’s Gloria, Handel’s Messiah, and more. In 2006, the Union United Methodist Chancel Choir traveled to Austria and the Czech Republic to participate in the 250th Birthday Celebrations for Mozart, performing the Mozart Requiem with the University of South Carolina Concert Choir, and stand-alone performances in at St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna, Austria and the St. Nicolas Church in Prague.
Mrs. Ringer holds a Masters of Church Music from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, in Louisville, Kentucky, where she studied conducting with John Dickson, and piano with Maurice Hinson. She completed her Bachelors of Music at Wingate University, near Charlotte, North Carolina, and has studied conducting with Dr. Larry Wyatt at the University of South Carolina.
William Douglas, Accompanist(August 2014-August 2015, August 2016-August 2018)
William Douglas is currently in his studies for a master’s degree in Organ performance from the University of South Carolina where he studies with Dr. Jared Johnson (Canon Organist/Choirmaster of Trinity Cathedral in Columbia, SC). William also serves as the Music Associate & Organist at Shandon United Methodist Church in Columbia, SC, and the accompanist for the Dutch Fork Choral Society in Chapin.
William recently graduated from the University of South Carolina with a Bachelor’s of Music Degree in Organ Performance. His primary teachers included Dr. Jared Johnson and Ken Miller (Instructor of Church Music and Chapel Organist/Choirmaster for the School of Theology at Sewanee in Tennessee) for organ and Dr. Jerry Curry (Professor Emeritus of Music Theory and Harpsichord at the USC School of Music) for Harpsichord.