The conductors and guest artists who direct the Norman Children's Chorus are recognized leaders in children's music education.
Sandy knudson, Artistic director and conductor
Sandy Knudson has been with NCC since its inception in 1992 and has served as Artistic Director since 1999. NCC has appeared as an Honor Group at the Oklahoma Music Educators Association (OMEA) conference in 2003, 2005, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016, 2018 and 2020 and sang the opening concert for the Organization of American Kodaly Educators (OAKE) in March 2018.
Sandy taught music at Adams Elementary School in Norman and retired in May 2016 after a successful 30 years in the elementary music classroom. Sandy holds a M.M.E. and Kodály certification from The University of Oklahoma. Since 1990, Sandy has served on the faculty of The University of Oklahoma Kodály certification program where she teaches solfege, conducting, and choir. She holds National Board certification in Early and Middle Childhood Music. Well-known as a clinician, master teacher and guest conductor, Sandy has presented workshops at numerous state and national conferences. She has been guest conductor for honor choirs in Louisiana, Kentucky, Missouri and Texas and has served as conductor of Circle the State with Song festivals throughout Oklahoma. In 2015, she conducted the OAKE National Children’s Choir.
Sandy has earned an Artist-Teacher Diploma under the mentorship of Doreen Rao in the Choral Music Experience Institute. Recognized by OMEA as an Exemplary Teacher in 2010, Sandy was inducted into the OMEA Hall of Fame in 2013. In the spring of 2014, Sandy was awarded the Pam Golden Honor Award by the Oklahoma Kodály Educators chapter for contribution to Kodály music education and the children and teachers of Oklahoma. In 2018, Sandy was awarded Outstanding Educator by OAKE.
Lynn Herbel, Associate conductor
Lynn Herbel has been with NCC since 2010. Mrs. Herbel directs the vocal ensembles and teaches AP Music Theory at Moore High School. This is her 7th year at MHS. Before her tenure at MHS, she taught elementary music at Winding Creek Elementary. She holds a Bachelors of Music Education degree from Oklahoma Christian University.
Lynn has earned Kodaly certification in Levels I, II, and III and has earned two levels in the Choral Music Experience (CME) with Sandra Snow.
Jacob Gonzales, Associate Conductor
Jacob Gonzales is in his 13th year of teaching Vocal Music in Oklahoma and his 8th year teaching in Norman Public Schools. He is currently the Assistant Choir Director at Norman North High School where he conducts the Norman North Chamber Singers, Women's and Men’s Choruses, and 9th Grade Treble Choir. Jacob previously taught at Longfellow Middle School and Purcell Public Schools. His choirs have received OSSAA sweepstakes awards and superior ratings at district and state levels.
Gonzales received his Master of Music Education from the University of Oklahoma, and his Bachelor of Vocal Music Education from the University of Central Oklahoma. He has studied voice training with Dr. Joel Burcham and Dr. Marilyn Govich, and was an active performer in the musical theatre program at the University of Central Oklahoma. He was a recipient of the Award of Music Excellence in 2008 from the College of Arts, Media, and Design at UCO.
He has guest conducted for Circle the State with Song, Canterbury Youth Choruses, and has served as the SW Quadrant chair for the Oklahoma Choral Directors Association. He has performed with Painted Sky Opera, the University of Oklahoma Men’s Glee Club, The Singing Sooners, The Norman Singers, and Canterbury Choral Society. He is an active member and affiliate of the National Association for Music Education, American Choral Director's Association, Oklahoma Choral Director's Association, and Professional Educators of Norman.