Deborah DesForges

Executive Director/Assistant Artistic Director


Deborah Waln 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 in Music Education from the University of Florida. From 1977 until her retirement in 2014, she taught music at Gainesville’s Glen Springs Elementary School and served as the Fine Arts Chair. She was selected for Who's Who Among America's Teachers, 2002 and 2005, recognized as an Outstanding Volunteer in the Arts by the City of Gainesville Cultural Affairs Board in 2002, selected for Who’s Who in Education for 2005-2006, Who’s Who Among American Women 2006-2007 and Who’s Who in America 2010 and 2011. Ms. DesForges received the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award in 2019.

In 1994, Ms. DesForges founded the Gainesville Youth Chorus, which has become a regional and interna- tionally recognized touring choir. As the Artistic Director of GYC, she coordinates all artistic aspects of the organization; managing the Artistic Staff, developing the choral education programming, in addition to conducting the Concertina, Concert and Touring Choirs.

Ms. DesForges currently serves as the Executive Director; working in tandem with GYC’s Executive Assistant, and Bookkeeper to coordinate the business activities of our organization and heads the Grant Writing Team.


Theresa Williams

Executive Assistant


 Theresa Williams has served as the bookkeeper for local church since 2007. In this capacity she is responsible for financial matters, record keeping and managing office staff. Additionally, from 2012-14, Ms. Williams worked part-time with the AthenaEd Editorial Department, a cutting edge education Division of Athena Group for K-16 STEM students and teachers. An active community volunteer, she worked with the Alachua County Public Schools Literacy Program for 6 years and as an “English as a Second Language” Conversation coach for 13 years.


Ms. Williams joined the Gainesville Youth Chorus (GYC) as a parent volunteer in 2004 and remains a valued, active asset to our organization.  She was the Wardrobe Coordinator for  14 years, and spearheaded both our 2009 and 2020 “JVAS” fundraising campaigns. In 2014, Ms. Williams became our Administrative Assistant and Bookkeeper.  She continues to work in tandem with the Executive/Artistic Director and Grant Writing Team, handling financial matters and record keeping for our organization. Ms. Williams became Treasurer of the GYC Board of Directors in 2020, and continues to serve in that capacity.





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