CHIMACUM — Tina Grewell — formerly known as Tina Moore — has been named director of the Community Chorus of Port Townsend and East Jefferson County.
Grewell succeeds Rebecca Rottsolk, who retired from the group.
Grewell, who moved back to Chimacum after 35 years living elsewhere, was chosen by the chorus board of directors, according to a news release.
Grewell, who has 30 years of experience directing school choirs in the Snoqualmie Valley and Issaquah school districts, became the elementary music teacher at Chimacum Creek Primary last year.
“It’s quite surreal,” Grewell said.
“I still can’t believe that I get to live and work where I grew up. I know a lot of people by name and remember many of the families that I grew up with — we just all look a little different now than we did back then.”
Grewell added that most of her childhood friends “now have grandchildren, many of whom are in my music classes at Chimacum. I love that I get a chance to share my passion for music with these students.”
Grewell, daughter of Dick and Patti Shuff, sang with the Community Chorus for the 1978-79 season with then-director J. Marvin Pollard, according to the release.
She counts Community Chorus co-founder and former director Gerry Hyatt Bergstrom, and Mary Lou Montgomery, another former chorus director, as early mentors.
Another music mentor was Mary Lou’s husband, Duane Montgomery, whom she credits as the one who encouraged her to study music in college and pursue it as a career.
A graduate of Cornish College with teaching credentials from the University of Washington, Grewell has earned credits from Seattle Pacific University and holds the equivalent of a master’s degree in choral conducting from the Bonner Institute, according to the release.
She also served as assistant director of a community choir based in Kent, giving her experience with adults as well as children.
“What I love most about teaching young children is that they will try anything they are asked to sing and perform because they have not developed inhibitions that keep them from being confident in themselves,” Grewell said.
“It is my hope that chorus members will come to rehearsal with confidence knowing that we will all be learning and singing together and that we can make great music no matter where we are on the spectrum regarding our past experiences.”
Returning to the chorus this fall is Diane Thompson, the chorus’ longtime accompanist who also took a turn directing the group.
New to the staff is Jonathon Stafford, who will lead bonus rehearsals.
The chorus is seeking singers aged 16 and older. No auditions are required. The cost to join is $35.
Features Editor Chris McDaniel can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56650, or at [email protected] peninsuladailynews.com.