July 24 – August 1, 2021
Several scenarios are being considered for the 2021 Course. Please check back in early April, 2021 for more information.
Jared Johnson, Music Director

For more information, contact Virginia Bolena, Course Director

Our staff is carefully selected to create a positive, nurturing, and safe experience for each girl. We are pleased to announce that, with the exception of the Music Director, who changes most years, all members from the 2019 Team are returning for another exciting year! The course staff includes a Course Director, Assistant Course Director, Music Director, Nurse, Housemother and Vocal Coach. All staff are in residence at the Choir School throughout the course and participate in all aspects of the course (except rehearsals) with the girls, including meals and outings. We strive to build a sense of community among one another and encourage kindness.

Jared Johnson

Jared JohnsonMusic Director – 2023

Jared Johnson is Canon Organist and Choirmaster of Trinity Episcopal Cathedral and Instructor of Organ at the University of South Carolina.

The Cathedral Choirs under his leadership tour regularly and have sung in recent years at Canterbury Cathedral; Gloucester Cathedral; the American Cathedral in Paris; Washington National Cathedral; Duke Chapel; St. Thomas Church, New York; St. Peter’s Basilica; and the Sistine Chapel.  As an organ recitalist he has appeared in major venues throughout

North America, Great Britain, Sweden, and Australia.  His solo recordings appear on the Pro Organo and JAV and have been broadcast nationally on Pipedreams.

Dr. Johnson is a graduate of Oberlin College, where he earned a B.A. in English as well as a B.Mus. in Organ Performance under the tutelage of Haskell Thomson.  Upon graduating he won a Watson Fellowship for a year’s study of conducting in London, with a special emphasis on training boys’ voices. He earned his M.M., M.M.A. and D.M.A. degrees at Yale University as a pupil of Thomas Murray.  In Columbia Mr. Johnson has chaired the Artistic Committee of the South Carolina Philharmonic. Prior to his appointment at Trinity Cathedral, he served on the music staffs of Trinity Church on the Green in New Haven, Connecticut; Berkeley Divinity School at Yale; Trinity Church in Boston; and the Memorial Church at Harvard.

Virginia Bolena

Virginia BolenaCourse Director

Course Director Virginia Bolena is thrilled to return to Saint Thomas Choir School for another season of the Girl Chorister Course! During the year, Ms. Bolena is Organist and Choirmaster at Trinity Episcopal Church in Staunton, Virginia.  She directs the Trinity Chorister Program that includes a Preparatory Choir, Junior Choristers, Senior Choristers and an Adult Choir. One of her joys as a choral director is providing new challenges and watching choristers discover that they can accomplish more than they thought possible.

Ms. Bolena completed graduate work in Sacred Music and Organ at East Carolina University and undergraduate work at Seton Hill University.  In addition to her church work, Ms. Bolena works as a free lance accompanist and collaborative musician. She also has three sons, one of whom is a graduate of the Choir School (Class of 2020). She enjoys running, practicing yoga and spending time with her boys.

Contact Ms. Bolena about:

  • Application information
  • Scholarship questions
  • General course questions
  • Any concerns

Emma Barnaby

Emma BarnabyAssistant Director

Assistant Director Emma Barnaby is excited to return to the choir school for her twelfth girls’ course! She has been everything from a chorister to a floor leader to an intern to a gym teacher to, now, the assistant course director, and has loved every minute spent at this program. At the girls’ course, she teaches music history and sectionals, supervises outings, and hopes to pack the week with as much fun as possible. She can’t wait to meet you!

Outside of the girls’ course, Ms. Barnaby is a choral singer and perpetual student – she holds a B.A. in music history from the University of Toronto, is currently finishing up a master’s degree in musicology at the University of Pennsylvania, and will pursue another graduate degree in student affairs in the fall of 2020. In her musicological research, she does fieldwork in the UK exploring the history and future of girl choristers. She hopes someday to turn the girls’ course into a full-time choir school so that girls can have this opportunity to sing at a professional level year-round, but, for now, is quite content in her many roles—mentor, teacher, student—in the world of higher education. She also enjoys knitting, spending time with family, and skiing in the green mountains of Vermont, her home state.

Jennifer Euling Johnson

Jennifer Euling JohnsonNurse

Nurse Jennifer Euling Johnson is thrilled to be returning! As the mother of a St Thomas boy chorister (2004-2009) and now RN for the Girls Chorister Course, she ensures that each and every chorister has their medical needs anticipated and met. She is present 24/7 – on outings, in the choir stalls during services  – wherever the girls are, she is there, toting her orange backpack full of medical supplies.

Outside of the Girls Course, Mrs Johnson spends her time as a nurse at Sharon Hospital, in Sharon, CT, singing alto in her husband’s choir at St Michael’s Church, Litchfield, CT, caring for their beloved pups Taz and Puggy, playing her viola, and knitting. 

Kristin Reichert

Kristin ReichertHousemother

Housemother Kristin Reichert is looking forward to another amazing whirlwind of music and fun in NYC with the girls of the Girl Chorister Course.  As “mom-away-from-mom” in charge of residence life, Kristin hopes to help the girls feel comfortably at home at St. Thomas so they can get the most out of a fantastic week of music and fellowship. 

Kristin fell in love with choral singing during high school while singing with the youth choir at Trinity Episcopal Church in Staunton, VA, and many years later she joyfully sings soprano with the Trinity Choir, directs the Preparatory Choir and assists with the Senior Choristers.   In the intervening years, she earned a BS in Environmental Science at the University of Mary Washington, was a camp counselor and assistant camp director at residential camps in New England and MIchigan, built pipe organs, volunteered with the Peace Corps in Macedonia, and taught math, science and literature to middle and high schoolers.  She is now a full-time parent and homeschool teacher and enjoys making music with her husband and two children or with friends, reading good books as often as possible and going for early morning walks.

Christine Papania

Christine PapaniaVocal Coach

Christine is a soprano and producer/composer based in Brooklyn, NY. She has appeared as a soloist in Handel’s Dixit Dominus, Bach’s B Minor Mass, Monteverdi’s Vespers, Fauré’s Requiem, Schütz’ Historia der Geburt Jesu Christi, Vaughan Williams’ Serenade to Music, Charpentier’s Messe de Minuit pour Noël, Holst’s A Choral Fantasia, Op. 51, Stravinsky’s Four Russian Songs, Ola Gjeilo’s Luminous Night of the Soul, the premiere of Paul Rudoi’s Everyone Sang, and appeared as a soprano soloist for the world premiere of Dreamweaver by Ola Gjeilo at Carnegie Hall. An avid choral singer, Christine regularly performs with the 32-voice professional choir, Manhattan Chorale who’s past concert seasons have included performances at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, Carnegie Hall, Merkin Concert Hall, and Orchestra Hall in Chicago. Influenced by post-classical electronic music, Christine is co-composer and soprano for experimental, ambient/classical ensemble Ariadne. She also composes and produces music for her baroque-inspired ambient/bass solo project under the moniker Lanx. She holds a degree in voice performance from Indiana University Jacobs School of Music.