SHA APPENZELLER is in his tenth season with the Chorale. Sha received a degree in Music Education from The University of Northern Iowa and pursued a Master’s degree in Vocal Performance from The University of Texas at San Antonio. He has performed numerous opera and musical theater roles with San Antonio Lyric Opera, Opera Theatre of the Rockies’ Vocal Arts Symposium, Opera Theatre of the Rockies, and Opera Colorado. Sha’s concert performances include Haydn’s The Creation, Handel’s Messiah, Brahms’ Requiem, and Mozart’s Solemn Vespers. He has worked for USAA for 16 years and is currently a claims litigation manager.
CALEB FRENCH returns for his third year with the Phoenix Chorale. He holds a master’s degree in church music from Bob Jones University, with emphases in voice, conducting, and composition. He appeared in 2014 in BJU’s production of Aida, and sang for five years in the University Chorale. Caleb was awarded First Prize in the John Ness Beck Foundation Choral Composition Competition in 2012 and is a published composer with Beckenhorst Press. Caleb currently resides as head of music education at Arrowhead Christian Academy, where he directs all graded choirs in the school’s high-participation choral program. He has begun making adjunct appearances as vocal coach, choral clinician, and church music instructor here in Phoenix, Arizona, and in Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico. He and his wife Heidi are active members at Northwest Valley Baptist Church, where Caleb also serves as director of worship services and conductor of the church’s choir.
CHRISTOPHER HERRERA is in his fifth season with the Chorale. A native of Los Angeles, he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and a Bachelor of Music degree in Voice from California State University, Northridge. He moved to Arizona in 2003 to attend The University of Arizona where he received a Master of Music degree in Voice and is currently completing his Doctor of Musical Arts. Professionally, he has sung with the Arizona Opera chorus for eleven years and has also performed several roles with the company. He has also been a featured soloist with The Phoenix Symphony, Catalina Chamber Orchestra and Phoenix Opera. This season he is excited to join Phoenix’s Solis Camerata for the first time. Christopher has held faculty positions at Grand Canyon University, Arizona Christian University, & Glendale Community College. He is currently in his first year teaching at North Phoenix Preparatory Academy.
JOSHUA HILLMANN is in his fourteenth season with the Chorale. Joshua holds the Doctor of Musical Arts degree and Master of Music degree in Piano Performance, both from ASU, and the Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Performance from the University of Kansas. He has won many awards as a pianist, including “Most Outstanding Arizona Pianist” at the 4th USASU Bösendorfer International Piano Competition. Joshua has also collaborated with many other professional choirs as a singer or pianist, including Grammy-nominated Seraphic Fire, Grammy-nominated True Concord: Voices and Orchestra, Anúna, Spire Chamber Ensemble, and Grammy-winning Kansas City Chorale. He’s been a featured soloist with The Phoenix Symphony, Arizona Bach Festival, Anúna, and with ensembles and choirs at ASU and KU. Joshua holds a piano faculty position at Grand Canyon University, is a staff musician at Saint Barnabas on the Desert Episcopal Church, and also teaches piano privately at Hillmann Piano Studio in Chandler.
TOBY VAUGHN KIDD – bio coming soon
JASON RAETZ is excited to be singing in his second season with the Chorale. He earned a B.M. in Music Education from Western Michigan University and a M.M. in Choral Conducting from Northern Arizona University. A native of Phoenix, Jason grew up singing and learning music in the Phoenix Boys Choir and has gone on to perform as a soloist with the Flagstaff Master Chorale, Early Music Michigan and is currently in his third season with Helios: a modern Renaissance. He has taught music at several schools around the valley and was a director with the Phoenix Boys Choir. Currently, Jason is directing two choirs at Arizona School for the Arts.
DAVID TOPPING has sung with the Chorale for over twenty years, including when it was the Phoenix Bach Choir and the Bach and Madrigal Society. He has degrees in choral music from Cal. State Fullerton and ASU. He has made many solo appearances with choral ensembles in Arizona and California, as well as with The Phoenix Symphony and the Arizona Bach Festival. After teaching choral music in both California and Arizona, he helped create ChoralNet (the first website for choir directors) and is on the board of the Arizona chapter of the American Choral Directors Association and the Arizona Bach Festival. When he’s not singing, David has a technology-consulting business, helping churches and other nonprofits with websites and digital communications. He lives in Tempe with his wife Jody (the pastor of Song of Life United Methodist Church in Queen Creek) and has two grown children, Ryan and Erika.