Deborah Waln DesForges
Founder and Artistic Director
Ms. DesForges has been teaching vocal skills to children in Florida public schools since 1974. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from W. VA. Wesleyan College and a Master of Music Education from the University of Florida. She has taught music at Glen Springs Elementary School in Gainesville Florida, since 1977, where she currently serves as the Music Teacher and Fine Arts Chair. She was selected for Who's Who Among American's Teachers, 2002 and 2005, recognized as an Outstanding Volunteer in the Arts by the City of Gainesville Cultural Affairs Board, selected for Who' Who in Education for 2005-2006, Who's Who Among American Women 2007-2007 and Who's Who in American 2010 and 2011.
Ms. DesForges has been recognized state-wide for excellence in teaching music and superior knowledge of children's choral techniques and music literature. She has presented workshops and lectures for the Music Educators' National Conference Southern Division, Florida Elementary Music Educators' Conference, the University of Florida Music Educations Department and school districts throughout Florida.
In 1994, Ms. DesForges founded the Gainesville Youth Chorus, which has become an internationally recognized touring choir. As the Artistic Director of GYC, she coordinates all artistic aspects of the organization, and works in tandem with the Executive Director to coordinate its artistic and business activities. She directs the Concertina, Concert and Touring Choirs, and coordinates the Advanced Musicians' Program, Grant Writing, Website and E Newsletter Teams.
Assistant Director and Senior Accompanist
Lou received her Bachelor's degree in Music Education from the University of Florida with an emphasis in duo-piano. She taught in the Alachua County Public School System from 1971 until retiring in 2011. She was selected for Who's Who Among American's Teachers in both 1997 and 1999, and named the 2002 Musician of the Year by Gainesville Chapter of the Foundation for the Promotions of Music. Lou joined our artistic staff as an accompanist in 1999. As our Assistant Director, she serves as the Gainesville Youth Chorus Senior Accompanist, Rehearsal Coach, and Coordinator of our Student Accompanists and Instrumentalists. Lou is also our International Tour accompanist.
Accompanist and Rehearsal Coach
Nancy received her Bachelors in Piano Performance from Converse College in Spartanburg, South Carolina in 1975 and a Masters in Music Theory from Florida State University in 1979 where she studied piano under Edward Kilenyi. Nancy was granted a teaching assistantship while she was a doctoral student in Music Theory at FSU, with principal studies in organ under Michael Corzine. During her graduate studies, Nancy served as organist/choir director at the Monticello Presbyterian Church followed by interim organ positions in the Jacksonville area. In addition to being a piano soloist, Nancy has been an accompanist for opera workshops and chamber and choral ensembles as well as for vocal and instrumental soloists. She is currently a piano teacher and has enjoyed being involved in the musical development and training of her five children. Nancy joined our staff in January 2012.