Carol Nelson, Children’s Choir 2, Festival Choir, Chamber Choir

Carol is the Founder and Artistic Director of Heart of the Valley Children’s Choir. She holds both a Bachelor and Master’s degree in Music Education from the University of Oregon. Carol has directed choral festivals at Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon and at the University of Oregon. She is on the staff of Music EdVentures, a music education research group, and also holds a certificate from the VoiceCare Network. Carol was a music specialist in the Corvallis Public School District from 1971-2007. Carol was a Finalist for the Oregon Symphony Patty Verneer Music Educator of the Year (2004) and was selected for the 2004 Honored Public Servant Award given by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. She was also given the Meritorious Service Award for 2004 by the Benton County Foundation. She was invited by the Chinese National Choral Director’s Convention to give workshops in choral rehearsal techniques at Tianjin University, Tianjin, China in the summers of 2005 and 2007 and has recently given workshops for Oregon Music Educator’s Association and Music EdVentures with the help of the Festival Choir.

Julie Buchert, Gracenotes, Preparatory Choir, Children’s Choir 1

Julie has been teaching band and choir for for over 25 years, the last eleven in Albany. She received her Bachelor of Music Education at Oregon State University and her Master of Music Education in vocal music at Western Oregon University. She is currently on the worship team at Grace Point Church in Albany and plays in the Good Shepherd Bell Choir. Julie’s family includes twins, Carrie and Conner and her husband, Jeff, who works at Hewlett-Packard. Julie joined the Heart of the Valley Children’s Choir family in 2005 as the accompanist for the Preparatory Choir and Gracenotes. In 2013 Julie became the co-director of the Preparatory Choir, Children’s Choir 1 and Gracenotes, with Leann Wind.


Sherri Bird, Chamber Choir

Sherri considers music her second language, and has enjoyed communicating in this way with people from all over the world (especially while traveling with HVCC!). Sherri also enjoys playing keyboards and singing with the Hilltop Big Band, but her favorite musical moments are those shared with her children (who all have fond memories of HVCC) and her five grandchildren. Sherri joined the Heart of the Valley Children’s Choir family in 1997.

Lucy Watts, Children’s Choir 2, Festival Choir

Lucy graduated from Pacific Lutheran University with a Bachelor’s in piano performance and has a Masters of Arts in Teaching from Oregon State University. She is also accompanist for Jubilate, a local women’s choir. Lucy dedicates most of her time to a full studio of private piano students. She also serves as the district and state secretary of the Oregon Music Teachers Association. Lucy joined the Heart of the Valley Children’s Choir family in 1991.

, Gracenotes, Preparatory Choir, Children’s Choir 1

Student Directors

Children’s Choir 2

Children’s Choir 1

Preparatory Choir

Operations Staff

Jean Scott, Operations Manager

Candice O’Bannan, Office Manager, Uniform Coordinator

Elizabeth O’Bannan Behrens, Media and Marketing


In addition to our staff, our organization also uses the skills of our wonderful parent volunteers!

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