The NCC Directors Emeritus

Madeline Bridges

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).

Josh Wright

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

Elaine Bailey


Elaine Bailey was the Preparatory/Foundations Choir director from 2002-2023, 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.

Robert King

Youth choir director Emeritus

Robert King was the director of the Youth Choir 2003-2023.  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.

Michelle Cox Carr

Foundations choir assistant conductor Emeritus and collaborative pianist

Michelle Cox Carr served 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 was a part of NCC from 2007–2023 and believes it to be one of the best educational resources in Nashville for young singers.

Wayne Causey

Nashville Youth Choir Director Emeritus 

Wayne Causey has served as Coordinator of Church Music and Worship at the Belmont University School of Music since 2002. He teaches adjunct undergraduate and graduate classes in church music and worship, and supervises student internship assignments. Mr. Causey earned his Master of Church Music degree at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky and his Bachelor of Music Education at Stetson University in DeLand, Florida. 

Causey most recently served as the Associate Pastor for Worship and Music at Forest Hills Baptist Church (Nashville, TN) from 1994 to 2023. He has taken the Forest Hills Sanctuary Choir to Europe on choral mission trips numerous times, singing in major cities throughout Ukraine and Italy. Causey is an experienced choral clinician serving as conductor for numerous choral festivals and music camps. He is Assistant Conductor of the Tennessee Baptist Men’s Chorale and Ladies Chorus and consults area churches in the areas of music and worship. 

Brenda Jewell

Nashville Youth Choir Director Emeritus and Touring Choir Director Emeritus

In a storied career that spanned almost four decades, Brenda Jewell exemplified excellence in public and private school settings across all grades, private lessons in voice, piano and organ and served in church music leadership and ministry. She received a Bachelor of Music Degree from Carson-Newman College and a Master of Science in Music Education from University of Tennessee.  

Ms. Jewell has been sought after as a clinician and master class presenter in Georgia, Virginia, New Mexico, Alabama, North and South Carolina and Tennessee. She has served on executive boards of MTVA and TMEA.  

Jewell began her time with NCC in 2003 as the Nashville Youth Choir as Collaborative Pianist and began in 2004 as the Touring Choir Co-Director until 2009. In 2010 she became the Touring Choir Collaborative Pianist and Rehearsal Assistant until 2015.

She has won Teacher of the Year Awards at West View Middle School (1978), Cohn High School (1983), Freedom Middle School (1995) and was awarded the Gretchen B. Akin Award, Campbell Teaching Award at Franklin Road Academy where she retired in 2022. 

Roberta Rodgers

Nashville Preparatory Choir Director and Concert Choir Director Emeritus 

Roberta Rodgers was a director for Nashville Children’s Choir for 28 years. She initiated and worked with the Preparatory Choir beginning in 1993. In 1998 Roberta moved into the director position for the Concert Choir where she remained until she retired in 2021. 

Ms. Rodgers taught classroom music for 32 years in both private and public schools. Through the years, Ms. Rodgers has taught pre-school through college level students. She received a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Birmingham Southern and later a Master’s of Music Education from Belmont. In addition, Ms. Rodgers earned levels of Orff and Kodaly certification.

Lake Junaluska in North Carolina, Camp Quarter Note in Mississippi, Children’s music camp in Cullman, Alabama and a North Georgia Regional Choir Presentation are a few of the places where Roberta served as a clinician for children’s choirs. In addition, she was a church section leader and soloist for many years in the Nashville area.

Now retired from teaching music full time, Roberta continues to teach private piano lessons in her home and directs children’s choirs for her church. As a young teenager Roberta was asked what she wanted to do when she “grew up.” The response was “I want to be a children’s choir director.”  She feels very fortunate to have been able to fulfill her life’s desire.