The NCC Team
ncc program director
youth choir assistant conductor and collaborative pianist
Tyler Merideth is known for his dynamic conducting and creative approach to teaching, having guest conducted honor choirs in Tennessee and West Virginia and orchestras in Tennessee and Indiana. He has been an integral part of the W.O. Smith Music School Summer Camp since 2008. As a collaborative pianist, Merideth has contributed annually to the Tennessee All-State Choirs since 2005 and performed with the 2020 ACDA Southern Region Junior High Honor Choir in Mobile, Alabama. From 2007-2014 he served as the collaborative pianist and assistant conductor of the Nashville Youth Choir and has returned to the organization to reprise his role in 2021. Merideth teaches Choir, Orchestra, and AP Music Theory at Hillwood High school. In 2022, Merideth was awarded MNPS Academy Teacher of the Year. He also serves as the director of the MNPS Summer Choir Clinic. His published compositions and arrangements have been performed across the United States and abroad.
Foundations choir director
Elaine Bailey has been the Preparatory (now Foundations) Choir director since 2002, and from 2019-2022 shared NCC program director responsibilities with Josh Wright. Before directing Prep Choir, she was the choir’s accompanist, under the direction of Roberta Rodgers. A graduate of Belmont University (B.M. and M.M. in Music Education), Elaine taught music at Poplar Grove Elementary School in Franklin, taking early retirement in 2019. Since her retirement, she has served as an adjunct professor in Belmont’s School of Music. She also sings in Portara Ensemble, a semi-professional choral group. Elaine has two adult children, and her daughter, Dr. Sarah Beth Bell, participated in NCC from 3rd grade through high school.
ncc artistic director and Touring choir Director
James Wells has served as a co-director of the Touring Choir since 2010 and now serves as the NCC Artistic Director. In a full-time role, Mr. Wells serves as the Director of Youth and Children’s Music at Brentwood United Methodist Church. He oversees all the music and arts activities for students pre-school through college. 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 (recently retired NCC program director) while attending both MTSU and Belmont University for his music education. He often spends summer months touring with the BUMC youth choirs and has traveled throughout the U.S. conducting children and youth choirs for organizations, churches, and school festivals. James and his wife Amy recently celebrated 28 years of marriage and have two adult daughters who both spent time in NCC. In his free time Mr. Wells enjoys time with family, his dog Ruby, exercise, running and hiking.
Youth choir director
Robert King has been director of the Youth Choir since 2003. A native of Nashville, Mr. King serves as Fine Arts Director at Lipscomb Academy where he 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 on the TNACDA State Board.
touring choir assistant conductor
Samantha Altmann serves as an assistant conductor with the Touring Choir. Originally from the suburbs of Chicago, Samantha moved to Nashville to pursue her passion in Music Education at Belmont University. She studied with Dr. Madeline Bridges, the former NCC program director, her first two years at Belmont before stepping into an internship role with NCC. Over her 4 years with the Touring Choir, Samantha made the transition from intern to assistant conductor after graduating with her Bachelor of Music in 2020. Outside of NCC, Samantha continues her work with middle school voices as a Choir Director in the Metro-Nashville Public School system.
Michelle Cox Carr
Foundations choir assistant conductor and collaborative pianist
Michelle Cox Carr serves as assistant director and collaborative pianist for the Foundations 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.
touring choir collaborative pianist
Kyle Hankins currently serves as collaborative pianist 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.
ncc director emeritus
Madeline Bridges served as NCC Program Director and Touring Choir Co-Conductor from 1990-2019. Dr Bridges is Professor of Music Education in the School of Music at Belmont University, teaching in the area of Music Education. She served as School of Music Associate Dean for fifteen years.
Madeline received her doctorate in music education from the University of Alabama, M.M. Ed. from George Peabody College of Education at Vanderbilt University, and B.M. in Piano Performance from Shorter College in Rome, GA. She has taught music and music education in classrooms from kindergarten through the graduate level.
Having recently retired from serving for almost three decades as project director of the Tennessee Arts Academy, a summer professional development week for K-12 arts teachers, Madeline is also past-president of Tennessee Music Education Association and past-president of the National Board of Directors of Choristers Guild. She received the Lifetime Achievement Award from Tennessee chapter of American Choral Directors Association and was elected to membership in Tennessee Music Education Association Hall of Fame. She continues to be a frequent guest conductor and presenter through the United States.
Dr. Bridges has served as children’s choir director in churches of various denominations including Lutheran, Baptist, Methodist, and Presbyterian. Madeline, with Michael Hawn, designed, implemented, and was a founding faculty member of the Choristers Guild Institute. She authored/complied several pedagogical books for children’s choir leaders and elementary music teachers, including How to Lead Children’s Choirs (Convention Press), Sing Together, Children! (Choristers Guild), and (with John Feierabend) Book of Church Songs and Spirituals (GIA Press).
Touring choir director emeritus
Josh Wright shared NCC program director responsibilities with Elaine Bailey and additionally serves as co-director of the Touring Choir with James Wells. Originally from Middle Tennessee, Josh developed 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 from Belmont University. During this time, he discovered a passion for helping young people develop as musicians.
Josh served the Donelson community as an elementary music specialist with Metro-Nashville Public Schools for 17 years before accepting a position in the Office of Strategic Investments working in grants management. 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 had the privilege of working with NCC from 2007-2022