Music Director, Philadelphia Girls Choir
A gifted choral conductor, vocal instructor, and music educator, Nathan Wadley began his training at the age of eleven when he became a chorister with The American Boychoir under the direction of Dr. James Litton. Fifteen years later, Mr. Wadley returned to become the Resident Training Choir Director of The American Boychoir School, where he trained the newest choirboys in performance skills and musicianship.
Additionally, Mr. Wadley has conducted both collegiate and community choirs. As the Assistant Conductor for the Missouri State University Concert Chorale, he was a guest conductor in the United States and in Europe, including Iceland, Denmark, Sweden, Poland and the Czech Republic, and has led several collegiate and regional opera productions. In the Philadelphia area, Mr. Wadley was a conductor with the Pennsylvania Girlchoir before founding the Philadelphia Girls Choir, and also currently serves as the Choral Director for Friends Select School.
Nathan Wadley has developed Kodály-based music education and theory programs for several organizations, including the Pennsylvania Girlchoir, The American Boychoir School and the Waldorf School of Princeton, integrating core music curriculum with the distinct philosophy of each institution. Also recognizing the importance of vocal training to healthy choral technique, Mr. Wadley has taught private voice students for nearly a decade.
Mr. Wadley earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree and Masters Degree in Choral Conducting from Missouri State University, and was awarded a graduate assistantship under noted conductor Dr. Guy B. Webb. He is a certified Kodály music educator, studying first at New York University and then at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio, where he was awarded the Kodály Achievement Scholarship.
Associate Music Director, Philadelphia Girls Choir
Laura Harmon obtained her Bachelor of Music in Music Education from Westminster Choir College in Princeton, N.J. A passionate musician, she has over 14 years of professional experience as an educator and choral conductor. She is dedicated to the musical growth and educational development of children, and has conducted choirs and taught general music to children ranging from Kindergarten to eighth grade.
She began her teaching career as the Vocal Music Teacher in Carteret, NJ. Since then, she has taught at Wildwood Crest, Cape May City, and Alliance for Progress Charter school. She is currently the Vocal Music teacher and Choral Cherry Hill, NJ. She created the Broadway Showcase and developed the Crescendo Competition Choir, which highlights the abilities of her talented students.
Her success as an educator has led her students to perform in honors choirs throughout New Jersey, as well as to participate in several prestigious choirs, including All South Jersey Choir, All State Choir and OAKE National Choir. Additionally, her private students are working in professional theaters in Philadelphia, and are showcased in commercials, on television and off-Broadway.
The Kodály philosophy and method provides the framework for Ms. Harmon’s approach to music education. She obtained her Level IV Kodály training from Westminster Choir College through The Organization of American Kodály Educators (OAKE). To increase her knowledge and involvement with the Kodály method she is on the New Jersey Board and Eastern Division Board of the organization.
Interim Executive Director, Philadelphia Boys and Girls Choirs
Ann O’Brien brings with her over 30 years of experience in leadership roles in local nonprofit organizations. She started her career with The Nonprofit Center at La Salle University where she focused her efforts on helping nonprofit boards improve their governance skills and develop strategic plans. From there she moved on to a 10-year career with United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania and Southern New Jersey where she rose through the ranks concluding her career there as the Senior Vice President of Community Impact. Most recently, Ann was the Chief Executive Officer of two non-profits, Wonderspring Early Education and Amigos de Jesus.
As the mother of a boy who loved to sing, Ann spent ten years in a variety of volunteer roles with Commonwealth Youthchoirs (CY). She was an active member of the board of directors and served as chair of the board when CY made the decision to launch the Pennsylvania Girlchoir. She also chaperoned several international tours. She has a passion for youth choirs and knows intimately how deeply the experience impacts so many aspects of the life of a young singer.
Ann holds an MBA from La Salle University and a Masters of Social Science/ Master of Law and Social Policy from Bryn Mawr Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research.