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.

Joey Clark

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.

Lou Ann Henderson

Lou Ann Henderson

Accompanist, MacPhail Faculty

Lou Ann is passionate about bringing the joy of music to people of all ages. After teaching elementary school music for 33 years, she now is finding joy in working with seniors. Lou Ann is a singer, pianist, and trumpet player and currently sings with Shoop Jazz and the Stillwater Carolers. She is a former singer with The Minnesota Chorale, The Phil Mattson Singers, and The Zephyr Cabaret. Lou Ann received a Bachelor of Science degree in Music Education from Moorhead State University and a Master of Arts in Music Education degree from the University of St. Thomas. She also currently serves as the choir director and organist at The Grove United Methodist Church in Woodbury, MN.

Quinn Shadko

MacPhail Partnership Coordinator

Giving Voice Staff

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.”

Cat Beringer

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!”

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.”

Kathy Oliphant

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".

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

Board Chair

A singing and piano playing, retired attorney, Sally brings both a legal and musical perspective to the board. Singing, playing, and listening, Sally has experienced the power of music to connect, to build community and create joy. She is continually inspired by the members of Giving Voice Chorus and all that they bring to each other in the music. Favorite song: River by Bill Staines

Jim Jensen

Jim Jensen

Vice Chair

Jim has been involved with Giving Voice for over four years serving in both board of director and staff roles. He has over thirty years of collaborative leadership and executive experience in busines and non-profit sectors spanning small-start-up organizations and multinational corporations including twenty years in the healthcare product sector. As a life-long choral singer, Jim’s favorite thing about Giving Voice is the connection it provides through singing together.

Keath Young

Treasurer

Keath has been involved with Giving Voice for about 6 years. Most of his time on the Board has been spent assisting with Accounting, Finance and serving as Treasurer. His desire to serve GVI evolved after the passing of his mother who suffered with Dementia during the past two years of her life. Keath is proud to have been a small part of the immense growth, success, and overall stability achieved by the highly dedicated GVI staff and its numerous volunteers and singers. While his daytime role as a CFO/COO keeps him quite busy; serving a few hours per month provides significant personal satisfaction. Keath does enjoy music, and has attended many concerts. His favorite genre, as a product of the 80's, is Classic Rock and 80's Rock. He resides in Plymouth with his wife of 30+ years and they have recently become grandparents.

Frank Bennett

Secretary

Founder of Living Well/ Dying Well Initiative and Senior Fellow at the Earl E. Bakken Center for Spirituality & Healing at the University of Minnesota’s School of Nursing. Living Well, Dying Well’s goal, and Frank’s research and teaching center on improving end-of-life (EOL) care planning communication outcomes for individuals, their families and nurse clinicians, especially in long-term care settings. As an educator, nursing researcher Frank is committed to providing person-centered care for seriously ill individuals. Frank is also an ordained United Church of Christ minister focusing on community pastoral care and a chaplain. Since 2009, Frank has been designing and implementing EOL care planning communication interventions and education, working to educate healthcare professionals, patients and their families with the skills and knowledge to initiate and sustain patient-empowered communication for end-of-life care planning.

Darrell Foss

A self-described recovering CPA, Darrell helps to make sure the I's are dotted and the t’s are crossed. As a member of the chorus, living with Mild Cognitive Impairment, Darrell provides a lived perspective to singing with Giving Voice that’s invaluable.

Richard Golden

Dick is a retired neurologist who immediately connected with Giving Voice as a path to wellness and as a nonpharmalogical intervention. Dick has shared that he wishes there were more options like Giving Voice to help people living with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. In the meantime, he looks forward to seeing more choruses in more communities.

Barbara Greene

Barbara is a public health education specialist with a special focus on healthy aging and aging with dignity. An advocate for diversity and equity, Barbara would love to see a Giving Voice style Chorus accessible to everyone in every community.

Helen Jackson Lockett-El

Barbara is a public health education specialist with a special focus on healthy aging and aging with dignity. An advocate for diversity and equity, Barbara would love to see a Giving Voice style Chorus accessible to everyone in every community.

Heather Mulder

Based in Arizona, Heather brings a national perspective to Giving Voice. As the Associate Director, Outreach Research at Banner Alzheimer’s Institute, Heather spearheads efforts to bring innovative programming to increase quality of life for people living with dementia and those who care about them. Heather founded Shine Your Light Chorus in Phoenix, AZ and hosts the Dementia Untangled podcast.

Carole Lee Randall

Carole Lee became a fierce advocate for Alzheimer’s awareness after her beloved father passed away. When Carole Lee was introduced to Giving Voice, she loved the choruses so much that she was instrumental in founding Sing for Life Chorus in North Scottsdale and Giving Voice Crosstown in Edina

Shahzore Shah

As a professional singer and music educator, Shahzore is passionate about the potential of music for healing and the power of music to promote wellness and create community. Formerly a performing member of Cantus, the Twin Cities-based vocal ensemble, Cantus, Shahzore toured nationally and internationally for ten years, sharing his love for singing through performances and educational programs and helping steward the work of the organization as a singer board representative. Shahzore currently performs with Border CrosSing, sings on staff at Unity Church Unitarian and lives in St. Paul with his husband and two adopted children. Shahzore’s favorite song is La Vie En Rose

Jean Thomson

Jean has been a member of the Giving Voice Minneapolis Chorus since 2015, when she sang with her husband for two years. Then she continued with her mom for two more years. Now she volunteers with the Chorus and is also a proud member of Giving Voice Initiative's Board -- which she describes as an honor. "Singing with Giving Voice is the single most rewarding thing I do."

Giving Voice Founders

Portrait

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.