Program Director/Touring Choir Co-Conductor
NCC Program Director and Co-Conductor of the Touring Choir, a position she has held since 1991. Dr. Bridges is Associate Dean in the Belmont University School of Music where she also teaches in the area of music education. In this position she oversees the academic progress of the School of Music’s 700 music majors. Dr. Bridges has been invited to guest conduct state and regional elementary honor choirs and church music festivals throughout the United States. Her most recent publication, The Book of Church Songs and Spirituals, (with co-compiler John Feierabend) is published and distributed by GIA Press. Madeline was recently awarded the lifetime achievement award by the Tennessee division of the American Choral Directors Association.
Kyle Hankins currently serves as accompanist for the Touring Choir. Kyle is a 1990 graduate of Belmont University with a major in Theory and Composition. After graduation, Kyle went on the road playing keyboards with country artist Lacy J. Dalton for five years returning to become a full time dad helping to raise three children (Madeline, Nicholas and Jonathan). Kyle frequently works with area high schools and theater companies as musical director/pianist for productions. Kyle is the worship leader at First Baptist in Madison, artist/musical editor for PianoDisc, independent session musician and the organist for the Nashville Predators a.k.a. “Krazy Kyle”. Kyle, his wife Paula and three kids live in East Nashville.
Roberta Rodgers, a native or Franklin, TN, directs the Concert Choir. She attended Birmingham–Southern University receiving an undergraduate degree in Music Education. In 1990, she graduated from Belmont University with a master’s degree also in Music Education.
Ms. Rodgers has directed numerous regional community children’s choirs as well as serving as the Children’s Choir Clinician at Lake Junaluska, camp Quarternote, and other choral camps in the southeastern United States.
Roberta taught K- 8 th grade music classes in both public and private schools for 32 years. In March of 2017, she was a recipient of the “Music Teacher of Excellence” by the Country Music Association. She recently retired from classroom music teaching in May of 2018. Roberta also taught adjunct classes as a college instructor at Belmont University for 12 years while teaching classroom music full time.
Ms. Rodgers has been a director in both the Preparatory and Concert Choirs of Nashville Children’s choir for 27 years. Of all her experiences, Roberta Rodgers feels that her work with NCC is some of the most fulfilling opportunities she has experienced.
Elaine Bailey-Fryd (formerly Elaine Bell) has been the Preparatory Choir director since 2002. Prior to that, she was the accompanist for the Prep Choir for several years. A graduate of Belmont University (BM and MM in Music Education), Elaine teaches music at Poplar Grove Elementary School, Franklin. She also sings in Portara Ensemble and in the Chamber Ensemble of First Unitarian Univeralist Church in Nashville, and serves as the Special Events Coordinator for the Tennessee Arts Academy each summer. Elaine has two adult children, Sarah Beth and David, and is married to Dr. Martin Fryd.
Wydell Croom serves as assistant director for the Concert Choir. Originally from Memphis, Wydell obtained a Bachelors degree from Howard University in Washington, D.C. While there, he accompanied the Howard Gospel Choir and composed a song for their 25th Anniversary Live Recording in1994. He also worked with several church choirs and artists in the Washington Metropolitan area. He eventually left for Boston and studied at the Berklee College of Music, where he graduated Cum Laude. He has accompanied and arranged for choirs in Northern Germany, Paris, and the Philippines. Wydell has taught music in Williamson County Schools the last 5 years, while also working as a professional pianist/organist, producer, and composer on projects for others and himself. He released his first CD in 2002. His latest CD is entitled “Second Wind”. He and his wife, Jacqueline, are the proud parents of one daughter.
Music and Arts Activities Supervisor
James serves as con-conductor of the Touring Choir. Director of Youth and Chilren’s Music at Brentwood United Methodist Church, he oversees all the music and arts activities for students, and personally directs the choirs for grades 2 through high school. 500 students actively participate in choirs at BUMC each week. From 1995-2005 Mr. Wells was the music, choral, and drama teacher at Freedom Intermediate School (grades 5 and 6) in Franklin, Tennessee. Mr. Wells grew up in Murfreesboro, and studied with Dr. Madeline Bridges while attending both MTSU and Belmont University for his music education. In recent years, he has travelled throughout the Southeast teaching and conducting children’s choirs for organizations, churches, and school festivals. James and his wife Amy have been married for 16 years and have two daughters, Molly (13) and Emily (9).
Josh Wright serves as co-conductor of the Touring Choir. Originally from Middle Tennessee, Josh learned a love of music by playing trumpet in middle and high school band. He went on to earn both his Bachelor and Master of Music in Music Education degrees through Belmont University. During this time, he discovered a passion for helping young people develop as musicians. An active leader in his school community, Josh now serves the Donelson community as an elementary music specialist in the Metro-Nashville Public School system, a position he has held for sixteen years. In 2016, he was honored as a “Music Teacher of Excellence” by the Country Music Association. Additionally, he has completed two levels of Orff and Kodaly training. He has had the privilege of working with NCC since 2007.
Robert King serves as director of the Youth Choir. A native Nashvillian, is a member of the Lipscomb Academy Leadership Team where he serves as Fine Arts Director and has been director of choruses since 1984. Under his direction Lipscomb has participated in every State Choral Festival since its inception in 1988. They have been selected 6 times to perform for the TN Music Educators Association Convention, and performed at the 2001 MENC National Convention and the 2004 ACDA Southern Division conference. He is founder and director of the Lipscomb University Community Chorus. With experience teaching in kindergarten through university, King is a frequent adjudicator, clinician and lecturer on choral and rehearsal techniques. A past president of the Middle TN Vocal Association and the Tennessee American Choral Director’s Association, he currently serves as the TNACDA State Choral Festival chairperson.
Accompanist for the Concert Choir, is thrilled to be a part of NCC for another season. She is also a full-time vocal accompanist at Belmont University and a music director/pianist for theater productions in and out of state (most recently for “Little Women” at FRA last spring).
Michelle Cox Carr
Michelle Cox Carr serves as assistant director and accompanist for the Prep Choir. Originally from Colorado, Michelle came to Nashville to study music education at Belmont University. With principal studies in both piano and voice as well as a minor in French, she graduated Cum Laude in 2005. Michelle accompanies for Harding Academy’s choral program as well as sings with the Nashville Chamber Singers. She has been teaching private voice and piano for over twenty years. Michelle has been a part of NCC since 2007 and believes it to be one of the best educational resources in Nashville for young singers.
Allison Sharp has been a part of the Nashville Children’s Choir program since 2014, serving as accompanist for the Youth Choir. With degrees in Piano Pedagogy from Columbus State University in Georgia, and Belmont University in Nashville, Allison works as a choral accompanist and piano tutor for the Belmont University School of Music. Her choral accompanying experience includes 30 years as a church musician, 20 years working with High School choirs and theater programs, 10 years as a staff accompanist for Union University and Lambuth University in Jackson, TN, as well as accompanist for the Tennessee Music Educators All-State Choir Program for ten years. Outside of music, Allison enjoys being a wife to her husband John, and a mother and grandmother to their 6 children and 3 grandchildren. The Sharps reside in Nashville.
Jenny Dean has served as the Touring Choir Trip Financial Coordinator for over ten years. In addition to her work with NCC, she is very involved with her church and has many other interests including letterpress printing, baking, beekeeping, and photography. Jenny has two children, both recent Belmont University graduates, and is a former NCC parent.
Julie Lankford serves as the NCC Uniform Coordinator/Special Assistant. Mrs. Lankford has served as a Children’s Choir director at First Baptist Church in Nashville for 20 years. An Early Childhood Specialist with a degree in Education from Baylor University, she taught for Metro Nashville Public Schools for ten years before taking time off to parent full-time and homeschool her children. Her two children currently sing in the Touring Choir and the Youth Choir.
Susan Hearn serves as fund raising coordinator for NCC. She has a degree in Music Education from Belmont University. Over the years she has taught preschool and younger children’s choirs at church. She enjoys teaching music at her homeschool co-op and directing the music for the spring musicals. Having been involved with NCC for 16 years, it is a privilege to watch all seven of her children work their way through the program!
Beth Eads serves as health and safety coordinator for NCC.