ANDY WAGGONER, Artistic Director and Conductor
Since 2005, Andy has been the Conductor and Artistic Director for The Collinsville Chorale. He is also the Artistic Director for the 200-voice St. Louis County Community Chorus. Full time, he serves as Director of Worship Arts at Webster Hills United Methodist Church in Webster Groves, Missouri. Previously, he served at Concord Trinity UMC and The Gathering UMC in St. Louis, MO. He has hosted Grammy Award Winners Sandi Patty and Christine Brewer and the Grammy Nominated trio, Point of Grace.
Andy served for 6 years as the Missouri Choral Director's Association's State Repertoire and Resources Chair for Music and Worship and Community Choirs. At the annual summer convention, his colleagues in the St. Louis Suburban District voted Andy as “Outstanding District Director” for 2016 and he was nominated for president-elect of the organization. In 2019, he and colleague Kevin McBeth received the Podium Award for their 2018 concert in Carnegie Hall.
Andy made his conducting debut at Carnegie Hall in the fall of 2011 with a Festival Choir of 250 singers and the 50 member New England Symphony Orchestra. He recently returned to the podium at Carnegie Hall in June of 2018 with members from all three choirs, including the Chorale, by invitation from Distinguished Concerts International New York.
Under his direction, choirs have performed numerous concerts and appearances at such venues as the Cathedral Basilica, The Sheldon Concert Hall and several local churches and theatres throughout the Mid-west. Andy has prepared over 300 participants in four different residencies at Carnegie Hall in New York City through Mid-America Productions.
Andy has coordinated and prepared festival choirs and concerts in collaboration with notable composers and conductors such as Joseph Martin, Mark Hayes, Dr. Craig Jessop. Dr. Rollo Dillworth, Dr. Eph Ehly, Hal H. Hopson, Howard Helvey, Victor C. Johnson, Dr. John Leavitt, Greg Gilpin, Mary McDonald, Heather Sorenson, and Mary Lynn Lightfoot.
As a soloist and pianist, Andy has performed annual concerts at The Sheldon Concert Hall, Jazz at the Bistro and The Kranzberg Arts Center. He was the tenor soloist with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra for the Holiday Pops Concerts in 2003.
Andy has studied and taught private piano, voice, and conducting and has also lead community choral festivals. In 2010, he studied conducting with Ms. Amy Kaiser, director of the St. Louis Symphony Chorus. Andy is a member of the American Choral Director's Association, The Conductor’s Associations of Missouri, Illinois and Texas, Music Educator's National Conference, and The Fellowship of United Methodist Worship Arts.
In addition to his musical roles, Andy is proud to serve on the Board of Director's at Epworth Children and Family Services.
GARY HUMPHREY, Founder and Executive Director
Gary Humphrey is the Executive Director and Founder of the Collinsville Chorale. As a 16 year old, he appeared on Scholar Quiz, a locally produced St. Louis program which featured talented performers from schools in the St. Louis area. He began writing big band arrangements as a junior at Bradley University and continued writing for local big bands after graduation. He began his professional career playing keyboards in local bands as well as appearing as a solo performer at fine dining establishments in the area including Michael's, Porter's and Neruda. He has been organist or music director at several churches in the area, and currently the full-time Director of Music at St. Paul UCC in Waterloo, Illinois. In 1994, Gary was commissioned to write a hymn to celebrate the 90th anniversary of St. John UCC.
In the 90's he owned and operated Noteworthy Music in Collinsville, a printed music and teaching facility, and also managed full line music stores in St. Louis and Illinois. Gary is married to Brenda Humphrey, who sings in the chorale, and has 4 children. His daughter Lauren inherited the musical gene and is an accomplished clarinetist who has appeared with the chorale several times.
LYNN SCHWANDER, Principal Accompanist
Lynn Schwander is the Principal Accompanist for the Chorale. She has been playing the piano since the age of 7, and her passion for sharing the gift of music with others has been a defining feature in her life. She is an active member of the First Baptist Church of Collinsville, and has been the main pianist there for over 30 years. Lynn has been a member of the Collinsville Chorale since 1995. In addition, she has worked with the Junior High Choir, and has played for many weddings and funerals. Besides playing the piano, Lynn is a retired medical transcriptionist who enjoys knitting, watching TV with her husband Jim, and spending time with her grandchildren and twin 2-year-old nieces.