CHORALE des AMIS
youth choirs of Acadiana
About CDA

Mission: CDA mission is to provide an exceptional
choral musical experience to all students in the greater
Acadiana Area.  

BOARD 
        of
DIRECTORS

The Board is an integral part of the Chorale des Amis organization. The board will meet on a quarterly basis to guide and support the mission of our organization.
         Dr. Lee Cooke
         Mrs. Judy Cox
         Mr. Bradley Cruice
         Ms. Michelle Newland
         Mr. Miguel Ochoa
         Mr. Chris Welty
         Mrs. Holly Grefe
         Mrs. McLemore

!Meet the Directors
Holly Grefe is in her 18th year as Director of Choirs at Lafayette High School. Prior to her tenure at Lafayette High School she was a 1995 Teach For America Corps member where she spent four years teaching choral music at Crowley High and Middle Schools.
 
She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Music and Studio Art from Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota. She received her Master’s Degree in Vocal Music Education, emphasis in Choral Conducting, from Florida State University where she studied with Dr. Judy Bowers, Dr. Kevin Fenton, and Dr. André Thomas.  Additionally, she earned Level I & II Kodaly Certificates from McNeese State under the tutelage of Anne Eisen and Lamar Roberston.  
 
Ms. Grefe holds the distinct honor of being selected the 2013 Lafayette Education Foundation High School Teacher of the Year.  She is a member of Louisiana Music Educators Association as well as the American Choral Director’s Association  where she serves as the State High School Repertoire & Standards Chairperson as well as Co-Chair of the Youth Treble All-State Choir.  She serves as a guest director, clinician, and adjudicator for many events throughout the southern region and serves as the Adult Choir director at St. Mary’s Catholic Church. 
 
The Lafayette High School Choir program consists of 240 students comprising six choral ensembles.  Ms. Grefe build the LHS  program from 35 students to the all time  highest number  of 300 students in 2010.  Under her direction, the choirs consistently earn Sweepstakes awards at District, State and Nationally Adjudicated Choral Assessments.   They were selected by audition to perform at the 2011 & 2015 LA ACDA State Vocal Conference.  In 20016 they performed at the  American Choral Director’s Association Southern Division Conference in Chattanooga, TN.  They are the only high school in the history of the state to achieve this honor.     Additionally, they have been a featured choir Mississippi State University Choral Colloquium from 2012-16.  Most recently they have performed at Carnegie Hall in April, 2017.
 
Awards- 79 District Sweepstakes Awards, 35 State Sweepstakes Awards, & 25 National Awards
31 State Plaques, 11 District Awards For a total of 181 awards
Holle Grefe
Artistic Director
co-founder
​​Ellen McLemore has been the Piano Instructor at Lafayette High School for the Lafayette Parish Performing Arts Academy since 2010.  The LPSS piano department may be one of very few if not the only full day High School piano programs in the south or country to offer  levels beyond beginning and intermediate.  The lab is made up of 14 pianos and as many as 75 to 80 students are enrolled each year.  Most are students study all four years of their high school career.  However, students from the six other music disciplines taught at Comeaux, as well Comeaux’s general population, are also able to avail themselves of this unique program.    ​​
 
Under Mrs. McLemore’s direction, the piano department has grown from students playing the piano during class, to an entire musical program complete with community performances, recitals, competitions and accompanying opportunities.  The students travel all over the United States, as well as learn other skills in the music industry through their student led shows they produce during the year.
 
Mrs. McLemore received her Bachelor’s of Music Education from Wesleyan College in Macon, Georgia, and has taught elementary general music, as well as middle school and high school choirs, before taking the helm of the Lafayette High School Piano department.  She has served as pianist and interim music director, as well as the children’s choir director, for multiple churches. Since coming to Lafayette High School, she has either accompanied, or trained her students to accompany, for the award winning Lafayette High School choir.
 
Mrs. McLemore is married and is the mother of four children. 
Ellen McLemore
Executive Director
co-founder &
collaborative artist
Rusty Roden is honored to work with Chorale des Amis. He has extensive choral, musical theatre, and opera performance experience dating back to his first performance in Benjamin Britten's Noyes' Fludde in 8th grade, in the role of Jaffett, alongside Met Opera great Chester Ludgin.  Other musical theatre roles include Lt. Cable in South Pacific, Joseph in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Lun Thah in The King and I, Sparky in Forever Plaid, and Rolf in Sound of Music (to name a few).
 
Rusty is co-artistic director for Chorale Acadienne and teaches lower school music, choir, and theatre at Episcopal School of Acadiana.  His choirs have performed as a part of the Candlelight by Music concert with Chorale Acadienne in The Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist.  In 2008 the Ascension Episcopal School Middle School Choir, under his direction, was invited to sing at the 29th Annual Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Western Louisiana.  His choirs have also performed with Acadiana Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of Maestro Mariusz Smolij, and for the inauguration of the current president of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, E. Joseph Savoie.  
 
He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing from David Lipscomb College in Nashville, Tennessee, and a Master of Music degree in Chorale Conducting from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette studying under Dr. James Haygood.  Rusty is an active member of the American Choral Director’s Association and the National Association for Music Education. He serves as an elder at Riverside Church of Christ.  He resides in Lafayette with his wife, Dr. Karen Roden, and his two children Hallie and John. 
Rusty Roden
Asst. Director
!About the Ensembles
La Petite Chantuers
Les Garcons
La Chorale

An introductory “get your feet wet” choir for young singers as young as 2nd grade. 

Comprised of singers who have demonstrated advanced vocal technique and music reading skills (usually high school age).

A traditional boys choir for the unchanged voice

This choir provides the foundation for progress and development in vocal music. Attention span and quiet concentration are a point of focus, while practice and development in vocal technique, basic note reading, solfege, and basic choral technique are presented in a fun and engaging manner.  Students are also introduced to basic team building and discipline principles.  Good vocal singing habits, basic performing skills and music theory are introduced through age-appropriate classical voice training in a fun, high-energy environment.  La Petite Chanteurs will perform in CDA concerts as well as community performances.   No past musical experience is required.
Boys in this choir will be placed after vocal ability is assessed.
These students are the most advanced and will be the primary touring choir.   Emphasis is placed on advanced vocal technique, music reading skills, performance technique, teamwork and leadership. The ensemble will present a concert series in and around the Acadiana Area, and will tour nationally, usually upon the completion of the area schools’ academic year.