Artistic Team, Staff, Board, & Founders

Giving Voice Artistic Team

Jeanie Brindley-Barnett

MacPhail Teaching Artist

Jeanie is the Artistic Director of Giving Voice Chorus and a leading teaching artist in the field of arts and aging. She is co-founder and senior teaching artist of MacPhail Music for Life™, a pioneering music program for adults 55+. As a presenter, teaching artist, mentor, consultant, and curriculum design specialist, Jeanie has worked with the National Center for Creative Aging, Chorus America, American Choral Directors Association, National Guild for Community Arts Organizations, and the Minnesota State Arts Board-funded Arts and Aging Professional Development Initiative. Jeanie leads our MacPhail Choruses in Minneapolis and online via zoom.

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Joey Clark

MacPhail Teaching Artist

In addition to his role as Choral Director for our Minnesota JCC chorus at the Capp Center St. Paul, Joey is a musical theater and cabaret performer, director and teaching artist. Joey’s cabaret work began at NYC’s Duplex Cabaret Bar, and has since gone on to direct, musical direct, accompany, and perform in 60+ cabarets. He is a member of the Twin Cities Cabaret Artists Network (TCCAN). Joey was the Department Chair for Saint Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists’ (SPCPA) musical theater program. He teaches a variety of classes and leads choruses at senior residences with MacPhail’s Music For Life Program and creates inter-generational theater experiences.

Giving Voice Staff

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Anne Sterner

Volunteer Coordinator

Anne has been with Giving Voice Chorus since the beginning, her first experience singing in a choir since 8th grade! She and her mother, Doris, were part of the founding chorus in the fall of 2014. Anne knows first-hand the impact singing in the chorus has on those with dementia and the joy the choral community brings. Anne became our volunteer coordinator in 2021, after serving a volunteer for several years. Anne is a community builder and the go to person for singers and staff alike. Anne’s previous career as a systems analyst and project manager means that she keeps everything running smoothly. Anne’s favorite thing about Giving Voice? It is her “great pleasure and privilege to know and love all the great members of our choruses.”

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Cat Beringer

Director of Marketing & Communications

Cat comes to Giving Voice with a background in nonprofit management and a deep appreciation for small but mighty nonprofit teams. With an MSW from Boston College, Cat is a connector and community builder. An avid volunteer, she serves on the board of the nonprofit MAVA and was past chair of the Edina Human Rights and Relations Commission. Cat has been enjoying getting to know everyone in the Giving Voice community, including singers and choral directors from all over the world. Some of Cat’s fondest memories are of singing old standards around the kitchen table with her father. Cat’s favorite thing about Giving Voice Chorus? “Everyone is a singer!”

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Eyleen Braaten

Executive Director

Eyleen joined Giving Voice in 2017 and has been instrumental in the growth of the organization. Since becoming Executive Director in 2021, Eyleen’s focus has been on creating unique and innovative opportunities to expand the Giving Voice mission across the world while keeping our local choruses strong. Eyleen believes that music is an expression of our humanity and connects us all. Eyleen’s vision is for all communities across the globe to have access to a Giving Voice Chorus. She has demonstrated expertise in strategy, networking, and collaboration. Before becoming Executive Director, she headed marketing and communications, launched programming for our local choruses, and created a global Learning Community of more than 40 Alzheimer’s choruses. Eyleen has a master’s degree in public policy from the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey Institute and a previous career in mediation. Eyleen’s favorite thing about Giving Voice is that “we are a family.”

picture of Kathy Oliphant our Choral Operations Director

Kathy Oliphant

Choral Operations Director

Kathy joined Giving Voice in 2022 in a new role as Choral Operations Director. Kathy's professional background is in public education where she recently retired after serving as a Director of Teaching and Learning for 24 years. As a lifelong learner, Kathy is excited to continue to work with an organization that provides service to others and is honored to be a part of the GVI movement. Kathy grew up in a family of musicians and has a background in vocal music and piano performance. She happily shares a home filled with music as her husband and son are both professional musicians. Kathy's favorite thing about Giving Voice is "always being greeted by friendly faces and getting to know the chorus singers and their stories".

Photo of Lisa Anderson, Development Coordinator

Lisa Anderson

Development Coordinator

Lisa recently relocated to MN from Denver. She has a passion for working with older adults and has been working with Non-profits for the past 16 years. She has worn many hats over the years and is excited to be part of the Giving Voice team. Lisa is enjoying exploring Minneapolis and looks forward to meeting the singers and everyone who helps make Giving Voice Chorus so special. She believes that music is a way that we can all come together and find joy in our lives. Lisa's favorite thing about Giving Voice is that it's all about the joy of music.

Board of Directors

Sally Scoggin

Chair

James Jensen

Vice Chair

Darrell Foss

Richard Golden

Barbara Greene

Helen Jackson Lockett-El

Keath Young

Treasurer

Frank Bennett

Secretary

Heather Mulder

Shazore Shah

Jean Thomson

Carol Lee Randall

Giving Voice Founders

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In 2014, Co-founders Mary Lenard and Marge Ostroushko were struck by recent discoveries about the powerful effects of music on the lives of people with dementia. Both had cared for parents with dementia and felt called to contribute their experiences and their energy to building a new program that enables people with dementia and their care partners to live better—with joy, with purpose, with friends, and with each other.

Mary and Marge partnered with MacPhail Center for Music and MacPhail teaching artist Jeanie Brindley-Barnett to launch the first Giving Voice chorus. Since that first chorus, Giving Voice has expanded to four choruses in the Twin Cities and launched a collaborative of more than 50 choruses internationally to promote the social, creative, emotional, and health benefits of choral singing for adults with Alzheimer’s and other forms of memory loss.

Today, Giving Voice supports choruses in diverse communities worldwide. It is our goal to start a movement that celebrates the potential of people with Alzheimer’s.