Oakland, CA, October 19, 2020 –
With much excitement and anticipation, the award-winning Piedmont East Bay Children’s Choir welcomes Keri Lindell Butkevich as its new Executive Director. Having served youth choral organizations in diverse communities as an Executive Director and music educator, she brings a wealth of experience in arts administration and music education to PEBCC.
The Piedmont East Bay Children’s Choir Board of Directors has completed its search for the next Executive Director. During the four-month process, the search team spoke to over one hundred candidates to find the ideal leader for the PEBCC community. Keri Butkevich has served as the Executive Director for music education organizations in the Bay Area since 2008, most recently at the Oakland Youth Chorus. In addition, she has enjoyed a fifteen-year teaching career as a choral educator and teaching artist in Chicago and the Bay Area. The choirs would like to thank Beth Schecter for her stewardship through this process as Interim Executive Director for the past nine months.
PEBCC Board President, Poppea Dorsam, shares the exciting news:
“Welcoming Keri Lindell Butkevich to our community as Executive Director will complete the full organizational transition which began in 2019, with handing the baton from founding conductor Bob Geary, to our new Artistic Director, Eric Tuan. We look forward to this collaboration between our artistic and executive directors to inspire our mission, our community and our talented faculty and staff as we move into the future.”
PEBCC’s Artistic Director Eric Tuan, who works closely with the Executive Director, is equally enthusiastic about Butkevich’s appointment:
"Keri’s passion for youth choral programs shines through in her extensive experience as both an arts executive and a music educator. Moreover, her experience expanding access to choral music in diverse communities will be invaluable as we seek to build a more inclusive program. I am thrilled to have the chance to work with her as we bring the PEBCC community into a new era."
Butkevich enjoys a deep familiarity with the children’s and youth choral world. Most recently, she served for nearly nine years as Executive Director of the Oakland Youth Chorus. Before entering arts administration, she conducted with the Chicago Children’s Choir, performed as a lyric soprano soloist for notable opera companies, and prepared children’s choirs for outreach and mainstage productions. She holds degrees in music education and voice from the University of Wisconsin and San Jose State University, is certified as an Acting Specialist, and has earned a K-12 teaching credential.
For Butkevich, arts administration and arts education are closely interlinked, “it all comes together, because art cannot live in isolation.” She shares:
"I am beyond honored to be joining this incredible community! For many years, I’ve seen the incredible artistry, cultural connections, and commitment to fostering new, unheard voices through commissioning championed by PEBCC. I am so inspired by Eric’s vision to further social justice and create inclusive spaces within the choirs, and by the collaborative culture within the staff and board teams. I look forward to partnering with them to build upon and further this meaningful work now and into the future."
Currently in its 39th season, Piedmont East Bay Children’s Choir is dedicated to advancing the choral arts through education, performance, and collaboration at the highest artistic level, fostering individual development and international relationships. The choir’s spirit can be found in its adventurous and broad-ranging commissioning program; its eagerness to collaborate within and across artistic disciplines; and its willingness to address contemporary social challenges in its music.
Piedmont East Bay Children's Choir looks forward to presenting their first virtual performance of the year at their Benefit Concert and Auction on Saturday, November 14 at 6:00 pm. There will be many opportunities for the full choir community to meet the new Executive Director in the coming weeks.