Meet the Chorale
At its heart, the Tyler Civic Chorale is a grassroots effort created and sustained across nearly fifty years by community members from all walks of life who find—and want to share—beauty through their blended voices.
Organized with a common goal to explore the vast tradition of choral music at a refined level of musicianship, the group of vocalists is self-governed by a board of directors elected from its own membership. And although this membership is drawn from a wide variety of life paths, they all share music as a deep avocation.
Weston Jennings | Artistic & Executive Director
Weston Jennings is delighted to be joining the Tyler Civic Chorale as Artistic and Executive Director for their 50th season. He is a graduate of Yale University’s Institute of Sacred Music—a center for the interdisciplinary study of sacred music, worship, and the related arts—and formerly served on the music staff of Christ Church, New Haven, Connecticut. Following a year at the Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan, he earned his Bachelor of Music degree and the Performer’s Certificate from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York.
Prior to his studies at Yale, he resided in England for two years as the Organ Scholar of Canterbury Cathedral, and later the Cathedral Church of St. Mary, St. Peter, and St. Cedd in Chelmsford. During this time he played an integral role in the musical lives of these centuries-old institutions and worked with both professional and amateur choirs. In August of 2017, Weston moved to Tyler, Texas to serve as Director of Music and Organist of First Presbyterian Church where he oversees a comprehensive music program consisting of multiple singing choirs, two handbell choirs, and a regular concert series.
Judy Wilkins | Rehearsal Accompanist
As the Chorale’s resident accompanist, Judy Wilkins adeptly maps the sonic terrain of each rehearsal, drawing the choir’s attention to harmony and rhythm with grace and precision. Her studied patience with the rehearsal process was born from years of working with student musicians. Recognized as a nationally certified teacher of music by the Music Teachers’ National Association, Ms. Wilkins directs a private piano studio specializing in the Suzuki approach and teaches students from early childhood to adult.
In demand as an accompanist, Ms. Wilkins holds degrees in piano performance and interdisciplinary studies from the University of Texas at Tyler, and is a member of the East Texas Music Teachers Association, Suzuki Association of the Americas, and the National Guild of Piano Teachers, where she serves as an adjudicator and chairperson.
Board of Directors
Ramona Chance, president
Chris Raney, president-elect
Cherisa York, past president
Joan Curtis, treasurer
Debbie Finley, secretary
Beverly Abel, ex-officio