Dr. Brett Stewart
Dean & Founding
California & Texas
Dr. Brett Stewart and his wife, Mindy, are the parents of seven children. Stewart is a conductor, composer, pianist, and vocalist. He is a Dean & Founding Musical Director of Millennial™ Choirs & Orchestras.
Prior to founding Millennial™ Music, Stewart was the conductor of the University of Cincinnati Men’s Chorus, the Fountain Valley High School choirs in Orange County, California, and the assistant conductor and accompanist of the Brigham Young University Men’s Chorus under Rosalind Hall. He was also an assistant director and accompanist for the Southern California Children’s Chorus under Lori Loftus.
Stewart received a doctorate degree in choral conducting, with cognate studies in composition from the University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music; a master’s degree in choral conducting from California State University, Long Beach; and a bachelor’s degree in piano performance from Brigham Young University. His mentors include Earl Rivers, Stephen Coker, Dale Warland, Shawn Okpebholo, Jonathan Talberg, Ronald Staheli, Rosalind Hall, Jeffrey Shumway, William Hall, Joseph Matthews, Mack Wilberg, Ted Reid, and Susan Bana.
Dean & Founding
Arizona & California
Brandon Stewart and his wife, Heather, are the parents of three children. A graduate of The Juilliard School, Stewart is a conductor, pianist, vocalist, and composer. He has served as a Dean & Founding Musical Director of Millennial™ Choirs & Orchestras since its inception in 2007. For the past decade he has educated and trained thousands of youth and adults across the western U.S. and has conducted over 100 choral/orchestral performances in concert halls nationwide. Stewart specializes in the proper vocal development of singers of all ages, and he is known for his passion for teaching and his tenaciously energetic approach to rehearsing and conducting.
Stewart has enjoyed competing in national and international piano competitions throughout his early life. He was second prize winner of the Juilliard Concerto Competition and a finalist in the International USASU Bösendorfer Piano Competition. In 2005 he took first prize at the Music Teachers National Association collegiate piano competition, winning a new Steinway grand piano.
Stewart enjoyed extensive studies in piano, voice, chamber music, and choral music throughout his schooling. He received a master’s degree in piano performance, with cognate studies in choral conducting, from The Juilliard School and a bachelor’s degree in piano performance from Brigham Young University. His esteemed mentors include Jerome Lowenthal, Stephen Clapp, Judith Clurman, Irene Peery-Fox, Clayne Robison, Rosalind Hall, Ronald Staheli, Ted Reid, and Susan Bana.
Cory Mendenhall and his wife, Aprel, are the parents of four children–Leah, Nicholas, Miranda, and Mallory. Mendenhall serves as Dean & Musical Director of Millennial™ Choirs and Orchestras (MCO). His post with MCO has taken him to conduct ensembles in stunning concert halls throughout the West, including Abravanel Hall (Salt Lake City, Utah), Segerstrom Concert Hall (Costa Mesa, California), Meyerson Symphony Center (Dallas, Texas), and Mesa Arts Center (Arizona). In June 2016, Mendenhall and the MCO conducting staff produced a culminating tour performance where thousands of MCO adult and youth singers and a symphony orchestra combined in concert and for a three-day recording session at The Music Center at Strathmore, Washington, D.C. Mendenhall has served as conductor for two of MCO’s albums: To Be American (debuted at #1 on the Traditional Classical Billboard Chart) and Amazing Grace: Songs of Atonement.
Under the direction of Dr. Barlow Bradford, Mendenhall is a candidate for the Doctorate of Musical Arts degree in choral conducting, with cognate studies in orchestral conducting, at the University of Utah.
Mendenhall also served as the Director of Choral Activities at Maple Mountain High School from 2009-2017 in Spanish Fork, Utah, where the choirs earned a celebrated reputation since the school’s opening in 2009. Selected via rigorous audition, Mendenhall conducted the MMHS Choirs and Orchestra in a solo performance of Vivaldi’s Gloria RV 589 in New York City’s Carnegie Hall in February 2016, under the direction of Mid America Productions.
Prior to joining MCO, and inaugurating Maple Mountain High School’s renowned choral program, Mendenhall enjoyed a successful six-year tenure as Director of Choral Activities and Performing Arts Department Chair at Provo High School. In March 2009, the PHS Chamber Singers were recognized for their standing-ovation performance in Carnegie Hall as the featured choir in the National High School Choral Festival, under the direction of Field Studies International. Mendenhall also served as Conductor and Artistic Director of the Mapleton Chorale from 2004-2013.
Mendenhall earned a Master of Music degree in choral conducting from Brigham Young University and a Bachelor of Music degree in choral music education from Utah State University, with related studies in organ performance. During his graduate work at BYU, he served as the Assistant Conductor of the BYU Men’s Chorus and conducted the BYU University Chorale. His mentors include Barlow Bradford, Ronald Staheli, Rosalind Hall, Jean Applonie, Will Kesling, Lane Cheney, Douglas Bush, James Drake, Jessica Nápoles, Robert Baldwin, and Jared Rawlings.
Dr. Joni Jensen
Dr. Joni Jensen is now in her 3rd season as Associate Musical Director for Millennial™ Choirs & Orchestras. While her MCO conducting responsibilities are focused mainly in Dallas, she often travels to the other MCO locales to conduct rehearsals and performances. She served as a conductor for MCO’s most recent album, Amazing Grace: Songs of Atonement, including the world premiere recording of her original composition, “Come After Me.”
Dr. Jensen is the Director of Choral Activities and Associate Professor of Voice at Texas Woman’s University (TWU) in Denton, Texas where she conducts two TWU choirs and teaches voice, conducting, vocal pedagogy, and diction. She received her doctorate degree in choral conducting, with a minor in vocal performance, at the University of Arizona, as well as a master’s degree in choral conducting and a bachelor’s degree in vocal performance and pedagogy from Brigham Young University in Provo, UT. Dr. Jensen studied under renowned conductors and arrangers Dr. Mack Wilberg, Dr. Ronald Staheli, and Dr. Bruce Chamberlain. During her doctoral work she was a semi-finalist in the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) national graduate conducting competition in Los Angeles, February 2005.
Dr. Jensen has conducted numerous festival and community choirs and serves as a choral clinician and adjudicator throughout the United States. Under her direction, the TWU Concert Choir (women’s chorus) recently performed at the 2012 SWACDA conference in Dallas, Texas. Students in her voice studio also consistently achieve success in competitions and leading roles in stage productions. Active as a composer/arranger, she has several pieces published with Walton Music, including “El Vito,” which was a Texas all-state choir selection in 2014.
Singing in a solo capacity has also been a large part of Dr. Jensen’s career. She has performed in both operatic and concert events and has particular expertise in Baroque music and performance practice. Aside from her performing and teaching activities, Dr. Jensen has research interests in vocal pedagogy in the choral setting, choral conducting technique, women’s chorus literature, choral arranging, and the choral music of Vaughan Williams, Britten, and Bach.
Dr. Brent Wells
Associate Dean &
Brent Wells and his wife, Cindy, are the parents of three children. Dr. Wells joined the faculty at the College of Idaho in 2011. Prior to his appointment, he worked in secondary education, directing choral programs at the middle school and high school levels in both private and public institutions.
Dr. Wells received his doctorate in choral conducting at Michigan State University, where he studied conducting and choral methods with David Rayl, Sandra Snow, and Jonathan Reed. His master’s degree in choral conducting and bachelor’s degree in music education were earned at Brigham Young University, where he studied with Ronald Staheli, Mack Wilberg, and Rosalind Hall.
His publications include a series of articles appearing in the Choral Journal, discussing the folk-based compositions and collecting methodology of Percy Grainger. In addition, he served as guest editor for a Choral Journal focus issue, dedicated entirely to Grainger’s choral works. Wells also co-authored the book Translations and Annotations of Choral Repertoire, Volume II: German Texts—IPA Pronunciation Guide, published by earthsongs.
As a bass vocalist, Dr. Wells has frequently performed as a featured soloist and has enjoyed membership in many acclaimed choral ensembles. He has sung professionally with the Santa Fe Desert Chorale, Tennessee Chamber Chorus, Redlands Choral Artists, and Mount Marty Choral Scholars. He also performed the Berlioz Grande Messe des morts, Op. 5 with the Carnegie Hall Festival Chorus under the direction of Robert Spano.
Youth Choirs Conductor's Assistants
Emily Ball and her husband Brad are the parents of four children. Emily is currently the Youth Choirs Conductor’s Assistant for Utah Millennial™ Choirs & Orchestras (UMCO). She began her association with MCO as a vocalist in the Grand Chorus where she has participated for several years.
As a music student at Chapman University Emily sang under the direction of the renowned director/composer Dr. William Hall. She received her Bachelor in Vocal Studies degree from Brigham Young University-Hawaii. Following graduation she became the Vocal Coach for the award-winning Fountain Valley High School choral program under the direction of Brett Stewart. During this time Emily created the curriculum and programs for hundreds of students in the after school group voice classes. She then went on to teach choir at The Waterford School in Sandy, Utah. Because family is very important to Emily she decided to take a break from working full-time to have more children. However, she still kept her association with Waterford part-time as a sectional coach and teaching private voice lessons. At various times since then she had a voice studio both in California and Utah.
Emily would like to thank her mentors William Hall, Christina Dahlin, Vicki Gorman, Ted Reid, Merrilee Webb, and James Smith. She is thrilled to be back in the music world and working with the youth of UMCO.
Hillary Haynie and her husband, Josh, are the parents of two children. She is currently the Youth Choirs Conductor’s Assistant for the East Valley Millennial™ Choirs & Orchestras in Arizona. Hillary has been singing soprano in the MCO Grand Chorus since 2007, MCO’s inaugural year.
Hillary earned her Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance at Brigham Young University. During her time at BYU she studied voice and choral music with many esteemed professors and conductors. Nearing the end of her college career she began a private vocal studio and continues to teach private voice today.
Hillary enjoys learning new and valuable things from the immeasurable conductors of MCO. She is also thrilled to have the opportunity to spend time with the youth of MCO. Seeing thousands of youth progress towards perfection in both vocal technique and spiritual maturity is incredibly rewarding and something Hillary is proud to be a part of.
Hillary’s mentors include Clayne Robison, Diane Reich, Darrell Babidge, Lawrence Vincent, Rosalind Hall, Brett Stewart, Brandon Stewart, and Ted Reid.
Soprano Amy Mascio and her husband, Bobby, are the parents of three boys. She has sung with the Orange County Millennial™ Choirs & Orchestra (OCMCO) since its inaugural concert in 2007. After a brief hiatus to complete her education, she returned to OCMCO in 2010.
Amy received her Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance from California State University, Fullerton where she graduated with both vocal and opera area honors. While at Fullerton she studied opera performance with Janet Smith (and currently continues her studies with her); coached with Mark Salters; and performed extensively in all CSUF operatic productions. She received her Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance from Brigham Young University, Idaho where she studied voice with Eda Ashby and Kristine Ciesinski. Prior to college Amy participated in the award-winning Fountain Valley High School choral program under the direction of Ted Reid. In addition to her degrees she studied with The Opera Theatre and Music Festival of Lucca, Italy through the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.
Amy is currently in her ninth season as a soprano with the Los Angeles Master Chorale and often performs as a guest artist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra at the Hollywood Bowl. Her professional recordings include The Verdi Requiem on Deutsch Grammaphon, Górecki: Miserere on Decca, and the newly Released Los Angeles Master Choral: Festival of Carols, recorded live at Walt Disney Concert Hall. Amy has worked with notable conductors in the United States and Europe, including Grant Gershon, Esa Pekka Salonen, Lionel Bringuier, Charles Dutoit, Mack Wilberg, Gianfranco Cosmi, and Gustavo Dudamel.
Cynthia Wells and her husband, Brent, are the parents of three children. She is an active studio teacher and accompanist in the Treasure Valley area, most recently working as adjunct faculty at the College of Idaho and accompanist for Sage Valley Middle School. She also serves as the Certificate of Achievement chair for the Treasure Valley Music Teacher’s Association.
Mrs. Wells graduated from Brigham Young University, earning a double degree in Piano and Organ Performance and Pedagogy, and a Master’s Degree in Organ Performance. Her teachers include Teresa deJong-Pombo, Dr. Robin Hancock, Marlene Bachelder, and Dr. Don Cook. Additionally, she studied voice privately under Dr. J. Arden Hopkin, and has performed in opera, oratorio, and recital. Her singing has earned her membership in many highly regarded ensembles, performing under the direction of Ted Reid, Dr. Mack Wilberg, Dr. Ronald Staheli, and Rosalind Hall.
Nancy Prater and her husband, Michael, are the parents of four children. She is currently the Youth Choirs Conductor’s Assistant for the Dallas Millennial™ Choirs & Orchestra (DMCO), with whom she has been singing soprano since its start in 2013. She maintains a private voice studio, performs regularly as a soprano, and has been directing various church and community choirs for over ten years.
Mrs. Prater graduated magna cum laude from Brigham Young University, earning her Bachelor of Music degree in Choral Music Education. During her time at BYU she studied voice under Jennifer Welch-Babidge, Ruth Christensen, and J. Arden Hopkin, and performed in several operas and scenes under the direction of Lawrence Vincent. She also gained experience performing with BYU’s renowned choirs, in recital and oratorio performances, and student teaching at Orem High School with Sterling Keyes. Prior to college she was privileged to study voice with Laura Stevenson, and sing and play trumpet with the award-winning musical ensembles of Birdville High School—in choirs directed by Robert Stovall and Peggy Graff and bands directed by Brian Gibbs, Joe Nuñez, and Paul Heuer. Nancy’s mentors include Paul Broomhead, Rob Dunn, Jean Applonie, Brett Stewart and Joni Jensen.