Staff

Artistic Staff

  • Christopher Hoster—Director of MasterSingers, click here for biography
  • James K. Wilson—Interim Director of Chorale, click here for biography
  • Michelle Metz—Director of Training Chorus, click here for biography
  • Mary Bishop—Accompanist, click here for biography
  • Linda Ebersole—Accompanist, click here for biography

Administrative Staff

  • Dail Richie—Executive Director, click here for biography
  • Alison Whalen—Administrative Assistant, click here for biography
  • Mary Bishop

    Accompanist

    Mary Bishop

    Mary Bishop joined the staff of Berks Youth Chorus in July 2004. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in Music Education and a Master of Music degree in Piano Accompanying from West Chester University where she studied with Benjamin Whitten. Mrs. Bishop has been a vocal and instrumental music teacher in both Reading School District and Rose Tree Media School District. She is the general music teacher at Shiloh Hills and Cornwall Terrace Elementary Schools in the Wilson School District. Mary has also enjoyed being Reading Choral Society’s accompanist since 2008.

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  • Linda Ebersole

    Accompanist

    Linda Ebersole

    Linda Ebersole joined the staff of Berks Youth Chorus in June 2009. She has served as the accompanist for Berks Grand Opera, Berks Summer Theater, Reading Civic Opera, and Erwin Chandler Chamber Ensemble. For many years she served with her husband, Charles, in the music ministry of Grace Bible Fellowship Church.

    Mrs. Ebersole is currently organist and director of choirs at Calvary United Methodist Church in Mohnton, PA. She is also co-director of the Blue Mountain Heritage Chorus of Hamburg, PA. Mrs. Ebersole is a cum laude graduate of Indiana University of PA, with a Bachelor of Science in Music Education.

    She earned a Master of Counseling/Psychology from Pillsbury College and Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri, and is in private practice as a licensed therapist. She is a student at Andersonville Theological Seminary. She resides in Mohnton with her husband and son, Isaiah, and is a member of Fleetwood Bible Church.

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  • Michelle Metz

    Director of Training Chorus

    Jeff Metz

    Michelle Metz joined the staff of Berks Youth Chorus in June 2009, when she was appointed Director of Training Chorus. Since June 2009, she has been one of three staff directors at Summer Sing, an annual, five-day summer camp in downtown Reading, PA, open at no charge to any student in grades three through six who possesses a love for singing. She is a general music teacher and chorus director at Lauer’s Park Elementary School in the Reading School District.

    She also serves as the Music Director for the Olivet Boys and Girls Club Summer Theatre Camp. She previously taught beginning piano at the Olivet Boys and Girls Club Center for the Arts and previously served as the Director of the Olivet Youth Chorus. Miss Metz earned her Bachelor in Science degree in Music Education at West Chester University in West Chester, PA. She is pursuing her post graduate studies through the University of the Arts in Philadelphia.

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  • Dail Mahood Richie

    Executive Director

    Dail Richie

    Dail Mahood Richie has served as Executive Director of the Berks Youth Chorus (BYC) since November 1997. She is responsible for the organizational planning, management, financial development, and public relations of the chorus. She runs the day-to-day operations, carrying out the chorus’s physical, logistical, and business needs and coordinating volunteer help. She brings professional experience in vocal performance, music education, and arts management, including fundraising, staff and volunteer development, communications, leadership, and community relations.

    Ms. Richie initiated three strategic planning processes since 2002, led a branding strategy in 2008 and one in 2012, when the chorus changed its name from Berks Classical Children’s Chorus to Berks Youth Chorus, and leads the board, staff, and constituents in the implementation of those plans. She also steered the chorus during the transition of Artistic Director and Founder Donald Hinkle’s retirement in 2005. In May 2009, she was appointed Interim Artistic Director for one year, while continuing to serve as Executive Director.

    Prior to joining the BYC staff, she served as Choir Director at Christ Episcopal Church, Reading, Pennsylvania, from 1985 until 1998. As Choir Director, she served as Chair of the Fall Festival of the Arts, a four-day multi-disciplinary arts festival presented annually by Christ Church and Trinity Lutheran Church, Reading, Pennsylvania.

    Ms. Richie served on the Board of Directors of the Reading Symphony Orchestra, Reading, Pennsylvania, from 1988 to 1997. During part of that time, she served as President of the Friends of the [Reading] Symphony, founded the award-winning Kinderkonzert, and supervised volunteer activities including the Symphony Ball and Silent Auction. She was a singing member of the Reading Choral Society from 1984 to 2016, and served on its Board from 1985 to 2005. In February 2008 and February 2011, she served on the music application review panel for the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.

    Ms. Richie served as an Adjunct Professor of Voice at Albright College from 1985 to 1997 and as an Adjunct Professor of Voice at West Chester University in the fall of 2007. Ms. Richie has appeared as soloist for numerous organizations, including the Reading Symphony Orchestra, Reading Symphony Orchestra League, Reading Choral Society, Albright College, Fall Festival of the Arts, Berks Youth Chorus, Christ Episcopal Church, and Trinity Lutheran Church.

    A member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing, Ms. Richie currently teaches voice at the Community School of Music, in Reading, and serves on the Board of Directors for the school. Ms. Richie sings in Opus One: Berks Chamber Choir and its select ensemble, Echo. She also serves on the Board of Directors of GoggleWorks Center for the Arts.

    Ms. Richie holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Voice Performance from Salem College, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and a Master of Music degree in Voice Performance from The Catholic University of America, Washington, DC. Additional course work includes study at The Blossom Festival [of the Cleveland Orchestra]; Salem [College] in Italy, and the University of Maryland. In June 1998, she was one of 14 professional chorus managers who attended the Chorus America Summer Management Institute at Bryn Mawr College, Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania.

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  • Christopher Hoster

    Director of MasterSingers

    Christopher Hoster

    Christopher Hoster joined the staff of Berks Youth Chorus in May 2016, when he was appointed Director of MasterSingers. Mr. Hoster is the Founder and Artistic Director of Opus One: Berks Chamber Choir and the Choir Director and Organist at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Reading, PA. He previously served as Music Director at Fleetwood Community Theater, Fleetwood, PA; Director of Choirs and Music Instructor at Kutztown University, Kutztown, PA; Concert Choir Director and Conductor at Reading Area Community College, Reading, PA; and Choir Director and Organist at Nativity Lutheran Church, Reading, PA.

    Mr. Hoster, who is equally busy as a tenor soloist, is a member of the Opera Company of Philadelphia Chorus. He currently is a candidate for a Doctorate in Musical Arts in Choral Music from the University of Illinois (Champaign-Urbana, IL), where he earned a Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance and Literature.

    He earned a Bachelor of Music Education degree, summa cum laude, from Susquehanna University, Selinsgrove, PA. He attended the Opera Theater Center at the Aspen Music Festival [with Julius Rudel and Vinson Cole], the Sarteano Chamber Choral Conducting Workshop [with Simon Carrington], and the St. George International Music Festival. He has studied voice with Jerold Siena and conducting with Dr. Andrew Megill.

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  • James K. Wilson

    Interim Director of Chorale

    James K. Wilson

    James K. Wilson began his work with Berks Youth Chorus [then Berks Classical Children’s Chorus] as a Staff Assistant in 1992, the year the chorus was founded. From spring 1994 through spring 1995, he directed the Choristers [then Prep Chorus]. In 1995-1996, he took time off, but returned to direct the Choristers in fall 1996. In spring 1997, he was appointed Director of Chorale, a position he held through the fall concert in November 2003. In 1998, Mr. Wilson conducted the Chorale in a performance for the Eastern Division Convention of the American Choral Directors Association in Providence, Rhode Island.

    Mr. Wilson is listed in the 1994 edition of Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers and was a 1990 nominee for Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year. In June 2017, he retired from Schuylkill Elementary School in the Phoenixville Area School District near Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, after a career of teaching there for 36 years. His school choir performed at the 1991 Eastern Conference of PMEA/MENC [Pennsylvania Music Educators Association/Music Educators National Conference]. His article “What Do They Hear? Can We Really Make Beautiful Music?” appeared in the PMEA News in May 1994.

    Since 1999, Mr. Wilson has served as the Choir Director at Christ Episcopal Church, Reading, Pennsylvania, and since 2011, he has also served as organist at the church.

    Mr. Wilson earned a Bachelor of Science degree and a Master of Music degree in Music Education from West Chester University, West Chester, Pennsylvania. He earned a Master of Music degree in Sacred Music from Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey. He has received certification in Kodály musicianship and methodology.

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  • Alison Whalen

    Administrative Assistant

    Alison M. Whalen joined the staff of Berks Youth Chorus when she was appointed Administrative Assistant in March 2012. Mrs. Whalen is responsible for the daily business and financial aspects of the chorus. She also is in charge of the music library, heads the uniform committee and assists behind the scenes with rehearsals and performances, and serves as the Treasurer for the Parents’ Auxiliary.

    Mrs. Whalen brings extensive business and arts administrative skills to the chorus. She was a part owner and Vice President of Operations at Frank Woolley & Co Inc., Reading, Pennsylvania, a company that specialized in production and distribution of polarized animated signs. She has served as Treasurer and Orchestra Manager of Berks Opera Workshop, Reading. She has served as Co-Chair, Secretary, and Treasurer for the Fall Festival of the Arts, a multi-disciplinary arts festival presented annually by Christ Episcopal Church and Trinity Lutheran Church, Reading.

    A life-long choral singer, she sings in the choir at Christ Episcopal, where she has served on the Worship, Shelter, Counting, Inreach, Outreach, Hospitality, Office committees and on the Vestry. Mrs. Whalen earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Russian and French from American University in Washington, DC.

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