Staff

Erin Towe, Artistic Director

Erin Towe is the Artistic Director of the Georgia Children’s Chorus. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education with an emphasis in vocal studies from the University of Georgia as well as a Masters Degree in Choral Conducting from Georgia State University. Erin first joined the GCC Family as a singer and then served as Assistant Director to the chorus before taking on the role as Interim Artistic Director. She has worked with several choral ensembles in the Athens and Atlanta areas including The Georgia State Master Singers as co-director, The Atlanta Young Singers as Assistant Director, and the Chancellor Choir at Pleasant Hill Presbyterian Church in Duluth, GA as Assistant Director. Also at Pleasant Hill Presbyterian, Erin served as the Director of Children’s Music where she directed the Youth Ensemble and the Youth Bell Choir as well as Sunday School and Vacation Bible School music. Most recently, Erin has taught K-5 elementary general music at Hopkins Elementary School in Gwinnett County and Barrow Elementary School in Clarke County. She is an active member of the National Association for Music Education, the Georgia Music Educators Association and the American Choral Directors Association.

Joe Russell, Principal Accompanist

Joe Russell is the Associate Director of Music & Organist at Athens First United Methodist Church in Athens, Georgia, where he serves as the primary organist and accompanist on the church’s new 68 rank Quimby pipe organ (Opus 77, July 2020). In addition, he collaborates with the Director of Music to plan and implement weekly worship services, and oversees the newly created organ and concert series. Joe recently received his Master’s Degree in Organ Performance from the Shepherd School of Music, at Rice University, with renowned professor Ken Cowan. Prior to his studies at Rice, Mr. Russell received his Bachelor’s Degree at the Curtis Institute of Music, studying organ with Alan Morrison. Mr. Russell was a recipient of the Stephanie Yen-Mun Liem Azar Fellow. He also studied Harpsichord and Continuo playing at Curtis with Leon Schelhase. In addition, Joe graduated from the Interlochen Arts Academy, where he studied organ with Thomas Bara and was a recipient of the Fine Arts award. A native of Grayslake, Illinois, he previously studied organ with Dr. Elizabeth Naegele and piano with Donna Fortney and Ruth Peck.

Deena Barrett, Chorus Coordinator

Deena Barrett is the Chorus Coordinator for the Georgia Children’s Chorus. Deena spent six years as an active parent volunteer with the chorus before she began in her role as Chorus Coordinator. Her family has spent the last 10 years homeschooling. Prior to homeschooling, Deena worked in management for a large retailer and managed medical clinical trials. Deena holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Chapman University in Orange, California.