Staff

STEPHEN RODDY

FOUNDER & DIRECTOR

Stephen Roddy is the Founder & Director of the Houston Children’s Chorus. This auditioned group of children represents the very finest of Houston’s young musicians. They are frequently called upon to represent Houston at local and worldwide civic and cultural events, including 32 performances for the President of the United States. They perform more than 40 concerts each year to an approximate audience of 750,000 people. The Chorus is regularly featured with the Houston Symphony and sang as back-up vocals to Josh Groban during the pre-game ceremonies of the Super Bowl in 2004. In 2008, the Children’s Chorus performed concerts in the major concert halls of Beijing and Shanghai as part of the 2008 Olympics cultural arts festival. In 2010, the Chorus performed with full orchestra at Carnegie Hall in the premiere of “Heartsongs,” a major composition on the poetry of Mattie Stepanek and commissioned by Houston Children’s Chorus.

An accomplished pianist, organist and conductor, Mr. Roddy has conducted state honor choir festivals in Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida, Arkansas, Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia and Texas. A recent concert involved 1,500 singers and a 100-piece orchestra at Our Lady of Angels Cathedral in Los Angeles. He is in demand as a children’s music recording specialist and has directed or produced recordings for Silver-Burdett Ginn Music textbooks, Shawnee Press, Lifeway, Fred Bock Music Company, Warner Bros. Music, Blue Bell Ice Cream, Gerber Baby Foods and United Way.

Mr. Roddy is a native of Dayton, Ohio, and is a graduate of Auburn University and Southwestern Seminary in Fort Worth.

KATIE

LLAGOSTERA

MANAGING DIRECTOR

Katie Llagostera currently manages the Chorus office and serves as a Rehearsal Assistant.  She joined the Houston Children’s Chorus as a member in 1993 when her family moved to the Houston area from her home state of Ohio.  Katie was reunited with our organization in 2021 when her oldest son, Leo, joined the Chorus as a member of the Concert Choir.  Katie is a graduate of Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas where she studied biochemistry and was an active member of the Trinity Choir.  After graduation, she worked in the pharmaceutical field as a research chemist and most recently fully devoted her time to raising her children.  Katie lives in Spring, Texas with her husband, Domingo, two sons, Leo and Anthony, and Sheepadoodle, Buffy.  Beyond her Chorus commitments, Katie also enjoys painting murals and commissioned artwork, volunteering at her sons’ schools and attending indoor cycling classes.

JULIA KROHN

MECHLING

ALUMNUS & CHOREOGRAPHER

Julia is a graduate of the Houston Children’s Chorus, H.S.P.V.A., and she attended Boston Conservatory. She has been featured in Broadway touring productions, Pre-Broadway workshops, Off-Broadway, 11 productions with TUTS (including a leading role in “Elf” in December, 2019), 5 productions with Alley Theater, and numerous regional theater productions. She was awarded the Presidential Scholar in the Arts and NFAA. She is married to Charlie Mechling of “Straight No Chaser” fame. She is the proud mom of Hayden and Ely. Her parents are the royalty of Houston theater, Charles & Chesley Santoro Krohn. Chesley Krohn was the Children’s Chorus’ very first choreographer! Julia snuck into membership in the Chorus when she was in the 3rd grade, when the requirement was 4th grade or older. She was the first kid to graduate after being in the Chorus for 6 years! While in the Chorus, Julia sang a solo for President & Mrs. George H.W. Bush at the very first “Celebration of Reading”. She was also featured as a soloist with the Children’s Chorus and the Houston Symphony Christmas Pops.  We are SO excited to have (the grown up) Julia as our choreographer!

BRYAN ANDERSON

CONCERT ACCOMPANIST

Bryan Anderson enjoys a versatile career as a concert organist, church musician, and musical collaborator.  The Diapason, which named Bryan to its “20 under 30” Class of 2017, called him “brilliant, yet quiet and unassuming.”  In June 2019, Bryan won the Firmin Swinnen Second Prize at the Longwood Gardens International Organ Competition.  He has been broadcast on American Public Media’s “Pipedreams.”Having performed at national conventions of the American Guild of Organists and the Organ Historical Society, Bryan’s reputation as a sensitive and facile musician is well-established.

In the field of choral and church music, Bryan is employed as Director of Music at St. Thomas’ Episcopal Church and School in Houston, TX, and teaches choirs of adults and children in the parish and school.  He previously held positions at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church in Houston; Wells Cathedral in Somerset, England; and St. Mark’s Episcopal Church and Tenth Presbyterian Church, both in Philadelphia.  In the larger Houston music scene, Bryan is the accompanist for the Houston Masterworks Chorus and regularly performs with the Houston Children’s Chorus.  A lover of chamber music and collaboration, he makes a habit of presenting recitals with various ensemble elements.

Bryan received his Master’s Degree in organ performance from the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University in May 2018, where he studied with Ken Cowan.  Bryan’s undergraduate work was completed at the Curtis Institute of Music, resulting in his Bachelor’s Degree in organ with Alan Morrison. He received an Artist Diploma in harpsichord (studying with Leon Schelhase).  Previous teachers were Jeannine Morrison, in piano, and Sarah Martin, in organ.  Bryan won Third Place in the 2021 Canadian International Organ Competition — one of the most prestigious organ competitions in the world.

JENNIFER WALLACE ROMIG

Alumnus & Rehearsal Assistant

Jennifer Wallace Romig is a charter member of Houston Children’s Chorus, having joined as a Chorus member in 1989. Jennifer holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Howard Payne University, and she completed her Kodaly choral track levels at Southern Methodist University. Before moving to Houston in summer of 2021, Jennifer taught middle school choir in Plano Independent School District where her choirs consistently received Superior and Excellent ratings at local festivals.

When she is not at a Houston Children’s Chorus rehearsal or event, Jennifer can be found singing with Houston Symphony Chorus. She has also performed with the Dallas Symphony Chorus and toured with them to Sweden, Estonia, and Finland in 2018.

Jennifer is absolutely thrilled to be back home in Houston and working with Mr. Steve again. (Mr. Steve inspired Jennifer to become a music teacher!)

AMY ZOLKOSKI CANN

Alumnus & Rehearsal Assistant

Amy Zolkoski Cann has been a part of the Houston Children’s Chorus family in various capacities since 1990, when she joined as a Chorus member at 8 years old. During the past 32 years, Amy has served as a rehearsal assistant, apprentice choir director, assistant director, marketing/public relations intern, volunteer and board member. Most currently, Amy serves as President of the Board of Directors and volunteers her time as a rehearsal assistant.

Building upon the early love of music developed through her participation in the Chorus, Amy earned a Bachelor of Music in Choral Music Studies and a Bachelor of Science in Public Relations from The University of Texas at Austin, receiving a prestigious UT Austin George H. Mitchell Co-Op Student Award for Academic Excellence in 2004 for her work with the Houston Children’s Chorus and underprivileged children in Ajijic, Mexico. As a 2007 graduate of South Texas College of Law, Amy has practiced oil and gas law in Houston for the past 15 years. She currently lives in Houston with her husband, Taylor, and their three children, Henry, Emma and Frances. She is devoted to the accessibility of arts education and furthering the success of the Houston Children’s Chorus. In a true full circle moment, Amy is most thrilled that her son, Henry, has started his second year singing in the Chorus this Fall as a third grader.

KATHY COUCH

Rehearsal Assistant

Kathy Couch has been a Chemist for Shell Research for the past 30 years. Kathy has sung with the Beaumont Civic Opera, Houston Masterworks Chorus, and participated in numerous performances with the Gilbert & Sullivan Society of Houston. Currently, she sings in the Grace Presbyterian Chancel Choir, as well as serving as Vice President on the Houston Children’s Chorus Board.

JAMES DICKINSON

Alumnus,  Rehearsal Assistant & Office Intern

James Dickinson is a senior at St. Thomas High School. He sings in the choir and plays on the football team. (Mr. Steve says he needs to focus on music and NOT football!)  He is the first student from St. Thomas to make the Texas All-State Choir as a Tenor.  He was in the Children’s Chorus for 5 years.  James was recently elected Homecoming King at St. Thomas High School . We will now call him “King James”!

ETHAN MARFIL

Rehearsal Assistant

Ethan Marfil, a third year undergraduate student at the University of Houston, will be helping out with the Houston Children’s Chorus beginning this fall as a Chorus Rehearsal Resistant. Ethan has been a singer in various choral ensembles since 2013, acquiring various awards and leadership roles such as superior ratings in solo performance, student director of an after-school high school chamber choir, lead as Troy Bolton in Manvel High School’s production of High School Musical, and member of the TMEA Centennial Texas All State Mixed Choir as a Bass 1. He is currently singing Bass 2  as part of the premiere large chorale ensemble, the Moores School Concert Chorale, under the direction of Dr. Betsy Cook Weber as he pursues a degree in biology in his path towards becoming a future doctor.