staff

Laura Harmon

Assistant Music Director, Philadelphia Girls Choir

Laura Harmon obtained her Bachelor of Music in Music Education from Westminster Choir College in Princeton, N.J.  A passionate musician, she has over 11 years of professional experience as an educator and choral conductor. She is dedicated to the musical growth and educational development of children, and has conducted choirs and taught general music to children ranging from Kindergarten to eighth grade.

She began her teaching career as the Vocal Music Teacher  in Carteret, NJ. Since then, she has taught at Wildwood Crest, Cape May City, and Alliance for Progress Charter school. She is currently the Vocal Music teacher and Choral Director at Stockton and Cooper Elementary in Cherry Hill, NJ. Within this program, she created the Broadway Showcase and developed the Crescendo Competition Choir, which highlights the abilities of her talented students.

Her success as an educator has led her students to perform in honors choirs throughout New Jersey, as well as to participate in several prestigious choirs, including All South Jersey Choir, All State Choir and OAKE National Choir. Additionally, her private students are working in professional theaters in Philadelphia, and are showcased in commercials, on television and off-Broadway.

The Kodály philosophy and method provides the framework for Ms. Harmon's approach to music education.  She obtained her Level IV Kodály training from Westminster Choir College through The Organization of American Kodály Educators (OAKE). To increase her knowledge and involvement with the Kodály method she is on the New Jersey Board and Eastern Division Board of the organization. 

Nathan Wadley

Music Director, Philadelphia Girls Choir
Nathan Wadley

A gifted choral conductor, vocal instructor, and music educator, Nathan Wadley began his training at the age of eleven when he became a chorister with The American Boychoir under the direction of Dr. James Litton.  Fifteen years later, Mr. Wadley returned to become the Resident Training Choir Director of The American Boychoir School, where he trained the newest choirboys in performance skills and musicianship. Most recently, Mr. Wadley was a conductor with the Pennsylvania Girlchoir, before becoming the founding Director of the Philadelphia Girls Choir.


In addition, Mr. Wadley has conducted both collegiate and community choirs, most recently serving as the Assistant Conductor of the Greater Trenton Choral Society.  As the Assistant Conductor for the Missouri State University Concert Chorale, he guest conducted in the United States and in Europe, including Iceland, Denmark, Sweden, Poland and the Czech Republic, and has led several college and regional opera productions.


Nathan Wadley has developed Kodály-based music education and theory programs for several organizations, including the Pennsylvania Girlchoir, The American Boychoir School and the Waldorf School of Princeton, integrating core music curriculum with the distinct philosophy of each institution.  Also recognizing the importance of vocal training to healthy choral technique, Mr. Wadley has taught private voice students for nearly a decade, and he is currently the private voice instructor at Germantown Academy in Fort Washington, PA.


Mr. Wadley earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree and Masters Degree in Choral Conducting from Missouri State University, and was awarded a graduate assistantship under noted conductor Dr. Guy B. Webb.  He is a certified Kodály music educator, studying first at New York University and then at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio, where he was awarded the Kodály Achievement Scholarship.

 

John B. Stroud, Jr.

Associate Music Director, Philadelphia Boys Choir & Chorale
John Stroud

John Stroud is a highly sought after choral conductor and music instructor throughout the Delaware Valley.  As Assistant Director, he spearheads the Beginning Cadet Program, our youngest children. A certified Kodaly instructor, Stroud is responsible for the many workshops and outreach programs provided in the community by the Philadelphia Boys Choir & Chorale. He is an expert in the choral music field with particular emphasis in the boychoir genre. 

Recently named the prestigious Buck Chair of Music, Stroud teaches music at The Haverford School in Haverford Pennsylvania.  He is the Artistic Director of the Media Chamber Chorale in Media Pennsylvania. Stroud earned a Master of Music in choral conducting at Temple University and a Bachelor of Music Education from Susquehanna University. He has studied conducting with Cyril Stretansky, Valerie Martin, and Alan Harler.

Jeffrey R. Smith

Artistic Director and Conductor, Philadelphia Boys Choir & Chorale
Jeffrey R. Smith

An alumnus of Philadelphia Boys Choir & Chorale, Smith stepped into the position of Music Director in 2004 and has since led the choir on concert tours throughout North America, South America, Europe and Asia. Under his direction, the choir has performed with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Pennsylvania Ballet, Peter Nero and the Philly POPS, Opera Philadelphia and Curtis Institute. Venues have included the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, the Academy of Music in Philadelphia, and Carnegie Hall in New York City. Smith has led the group on local and national television including five consecutive annual appearances on "Good Morning America". Many political dignitaries have been an audience to the choir, including foreign ambassadors, presidents and prime ministers, American ambassadors, and our own president, Barack Obama.

Smith is a 1999 summa cum laude graduate of Ithaca College with a Bachelor of Music in Composition. His original compositions and vocal/instrumental arrangements have been performed by various ensembles throughout the country, including the Toledo Symphony, York Theatre (NYC), Ocean City Pops and Philly POPS. As a pianist in much demand, Smith has played with the Philadelphia Orchestra, New Jersey Symphony, Philly POPS, and for several shows on and Off-Broadway. He is also assistant conductor for the Philly POPS.

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