Why Calvary Music?
The Music Department provides quality training and ministry opportunities for students desiring to serve through music. Students of all majors are involved in music learning and ministry through private lessons, music courses, concerts, musicals, chapel music, Masterworks Chorus, and music groups during the school year and in the summer.
Music programs of study include Music Education, Music Performance and Pedagogy, Music and Youth Ministry, Worship Arts, and Contemporary Christian Music.
Meet the faculty, learn about major/minor programs of study, find out about upcoming Performing Arts events, and purchase advanced tickets. Music groups are available to present concerts at local churches and Christian schools. Contact the Music Department if interested.
What will Calvary give you that other colleges and university music programs may not?
Calvary University is an independent, nondenominational institution, providing undergraduate and graduate education which prepares Christians to live and serve in the church and the world according to the biblical worldview.
This is accomplished by providing appropriate educational curricula and a climate that fosters the development of intellectual and spiritual maturity, leadership potential, servanthood, and a sense of mission.
Calvary University continues to host the Calvary Community School of Arts. This program is open to the public and is available for pre-college students. Professional musicians and advanced music majors from Calvary University teach private lessons and/or group classes for Piano, Voice, and a variety of other instruments. Our goal is to provide excellent instruction for motivated students. For more information, contact Brittany Hill – Calvary Community School of Arts Director, 816-425-6180 or fill out the contact form.
Music Degree Planners
For detailed descriptions of all of these classes, please see Calvary’s catalog.
Music Department Faculty
Dr. Tom Stolberg – BME, MM, DMA
- B.M.E. (Music Education), University of Illinois, Normal, 1981
- M.Mus. (Vocal Performance and Choral Conducting), New Mexico State University, 1984
- D.M.A. (Vocal Performance), University of Missouri, Kansas City, Conservatory of Music, 2005
Dr. Tom Stolberg began his career teaching music in public schools in New Mexico. He worked for fifteen years at Merrill Lynch, rising to Vice President. Dr. Stolberg served on the New Mexico Arts Commission as a commissioner and chair, was the founder and chair of the New Mexico Arts Foundation, served as the chair and panelist for the New Mexico Governor’s Arts Award, and served as a trustee for the Western States Arts Federation. He was the founder and director of Opera Kadopera (Kansas City) and founding member and vocalist of the River City Opera Company (Baton Rouge). Dr. Stolberg taught voice at UMKC (2003-2006) and served as Artist-in-Residence at Avila University (2004-2007). Additionally, he has an extensive performance portfolio. Before coming to Calvary to chair the music department, Dr. Stolberg was the Minister of Worship Arts at Blue Ridge Bible Church, where he continues to serve as the worship leader.
Dr. Haekyung An – BM, MM, MM, DMA
- B.Mus. (Vocal Performance), New England Conservatory of Music, 1994
- M.Mus. (Vocal Performance), New England Conservatory of Music, 2001
- M.Mus. (Opera and Musical Theater), Southern Illinois University, 2004
- D.M.A. (Vocal Performance), University of Missouri, Kansas City, 2011
Dr. Haekyung An is the Head of Voice at Calvary University. She is originally from Seoul, Korea. Dr. An has both a Bachelor and Master of Music in Vocal Performance from the New England Conservatory of Music, a Master of Music in Opera and Musical Theater from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, and a Doctor of Musical Arts in Vocal Performance from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. She has performed as an opera singer and soloist at venues such as the Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Marjorie Lawrence Opera Theatre, Union Avenue Opera Theater, Bay View Music Festival, the Southern Illinois Symphony, and Kansas Civic Orchestra.
Un Chong Christopher – BM, MM
Music Department Chair, Piano and Vocal
- B.Mus. (Piano Performance), the University of Missouri, Kansas City, Conservatory of Music, 1982
- M.Mus. (Voice Performance), the University of Missouri, Kansas City, Conservatory of Music, 1989
Pianist and Mezzo-Soprano Un Chong Christopher began piano studies at the age of five in Seoul, Korea. She is a graduate of the UMKC-Conservatory of Music and Dance where she studied piano with the late Joanne Baker and voice with Inci Bashar. She has performed on piano with the Kansas City Symphony Orchestra, the UMKC-Conservatory Orchestra, Independence Symphony, and the Liberty Symphony Orchestra. She has sung the title role of Carmen, Charlotte in Werther, Suzuki in Madama Butterfly, Madame Larina in Eugene Onegin, to name a few.
Mrs. Christopher is an Associate Professor of Music and the Head of Piano at Calvary University and Theological Seminary. She has also taught at UMKC-Conservatory of Music, KU, William Jewell College, and Rockhurst University.
Jeremy Schell – BM, MM – Adjunct
Chorale, Praise Band, Piano, and Vocal
- B.A. (Piano Performance), University of Missouri, Conservatory of Music & Dance, Kansas City, 2001
- M.A. (Choral Conducting), University of Missouri, Conservatory of Music & Dance, Kansas City, 2012
Jeremy Schell is a Kansas City native and joined Calvary’s faculty as an adjunct professor in 2013. He is the worship pastor at Graceway, where he and his family have attended for many years. He has a BM in Piano Performance and an MA in Music (Choral Conducting), both from the Conservatory of Music and Dance at UMKC. His teachers have included Dr. Ruth Anne Rich and Karen Kushner (piano), and Drs. Charles Robinson and Robert Bode (conducting). He and his wife Stacey have three children, Adeline, Jackson, and Gideon.
See the Music We’ve Played!
Old Time Family Christmas Concert
Calvary University’s Music Department presented their annual Christmas Concert on Friday, December 7 at Blue River Bible Church in Kansas City MO. The concert played to a full house and was well received by the audience. The music spanned generations with old and new arrangements of traditional carols along with some well known classical selections from the Nutcracker, Magnificat and others. The audience joined in for a traditional carol sing with the Chorale and Chamber Singers lighting the room with candles as they sang the first verse of Silent Night in the original German with the audience joining in English for the final verses. A wonderful end to a lovely night of music. A beautiful start for our audience as they began their Christmas season as presented by the Calvary Chorale, Calvary Chamber Singers, vocalists and instrumentalists.
2018 Masterworks Chorus- Rutters' "Requiem"
The concert opened with a series of beloved hymns by Charles Wesley, John Newton, and Isaac Watts that have been rethought by British Composer and jazz pianist, Christopher Norton. These beautiful, creative, and moving arrangements were accompanied by a pipe organ to give a new sense of beauty to the 18th-century texts. John Rutter’s “Requiem” was completed in 1985 and is a choral masterpiece. His setting of this work is beautiful, with melodies that illustrate the depth of the text. The text was a mixture of Latin and English and included a movement that featured his famous setting of Psalm 23.
Piano Dedication Concert
Calvary University’s Music Department performed a Piano Dedication Concert on Friday, September 14, in Liberty Chapel on the KC campus. We dedicated the grand piano and piano microphone that were donated to the Music Department for use in chapel services, concerts, recitals, and other musical events. We express our gratitude to the Lord for the generosity of the donors of this beautiful instrument: Mrs. Inci Bashar, Mr. & Mrs. Jerry Winkley, Mr. & Mrs. Bill Kelly, and Mr. & Mrs. Michael Silvers. This was a free concert and was well received by the many who came and enjoyed an evening of wonderful piano music.
2018 Spring Concert
Instrumental ensembles, vocal ensembles, musical theatre, and the Chorale engaged attendees. We appreciated the hard work by students, faculty, and staff to prepare for this concert, and we will always thank the Lord for the blessing of music.
Grace University Chorale Farewell Tour
The Grace Chorale and Chamber Singers from the former Grace University in Omaha, Nebraska, sang on their final tour in the Liberty Chapel at the KC campus on Wednesday, March 28, 2018. The Chorale was a long-standing tradition at Grace and consisted of 33 members under the direction of Dr. Greg Zielke. CU faculty, staff, and students were encouraged by the testimonies and singing of these wonderful students.
2017 Christmas Concert
Performed in Liberty Chapel, this concert featured incredible music from the Calvary Chorale, Calvary Men’s Chorale, and other featured performers from our talented music students. It was a beautiful start to our Christmas season as they presented classical and favorite holiday favorites.
2017 Masterworks Chorus - Felix Mendelssohn's "Elijah"
The Calvary Masterworks Chorus presented an evening of classical music as they performed Felix Mendelssohn’s “Elijah,” an epic retelling of the Old Testament story of the prophet Elijah. Alongside Handel’s “Messiah,” this piece is considered one of the greatest oratorios ever written with music conveying sheer power and emotion.
2017 Spring Concert
Concert-goers enjoyed an evening of musical selections from CU students, faculty, and staff guaranteed to make our audience want to sing along!
Guest Piano Recital ft. Scott Carrell
2016 Madrigal Dinners
Princess Abigail couldn’t wait to find out if she got the Wee Box 300 for Christmas. Grandmother Margaret, who disliked electronics, presented her with an unusual gift called a “book.” Abigail struggled with the idea of creating a world with her imagination, but slowly, transformed back to a Renaissance feast and the importance of the story of this particular book. The Princess found out that the first Christmas gift was much better than the gifts we think we want. It was a wonderful step back in time as the Royal Court and players wove their Christmas story amid music, dancing, and feasting.
2016 Christmas Concert
The concert featured incredible music from the Calvary Chorale, Evidence, and both the Men’s and Women’s Chorales. Other featured performers included an instrumental ensemble and our talented music students.
2016 Masterworks Chorus- "The Seven Last Words of Christ "
Calvary University presented its annual Masterworks Series, featuring our Chorale and singers and musicians from the local community. This concert featured two incredible works: Theodore Dubois’ Seven Last Words of Christ accompanied by organist, Bethany Franklin, and J.S. Bach’s fourth cantata, Christ lag in Todesbanden.
See What Some of Our Alumni Are Doing
Sarah (Cheslik) Bourdess is a Kansas City-based pianist and conductor. She is currently working on her Master’s Degree in Choral Conducting. Sarah graduated in 2014 with a degree in piano performance and pedagogy from Calvary University, where she studied with Un Chong Christopher. Sarah has done a substantial amount of work accompanying and performing, including a recent performance in which she played Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition and Beethoven’s Waldstein Sonata. In 2016 Sarah returned to Calvary University to begin graduate studies in conducting, studying with Dr. Tom Stolberg. She currently directs an Early Music Ensemble, exploring the music of Palestrina and Monteverdi, and has also had experience conducting in several area churches and choirs. Sarah is a member of KCFMT (Kansas City Federated Music Teachers) and currently works as a piano instructor both at her own studio and at a local private school. She and her husband Joel also work for Biblical Ministries Worldwide, traveling and making videos for missionaries around the world.
Melissa McBrayer graduated from Calvary in 2011 with a Bachelors of Music – Vocal Pedagogy and Performance with a Theatre Arts minor. Currently, she is working as a Paraprofessional in the Grandview C4 School District, while working towards certification in Elementary Education. She also teaches private voice lessons in the Northland. Although her full-time job does not require the skills gained from her degree, Melissa has had the opportunity to use her music & theatre training while performing with the American Opera Studio in Overland Park, KS. This is her third year performing with AOS, and she is excited for a big role in the studio’s 20th Anniversary “Emerald Ball” in January! Besides singing in their performances, she is able to help with making costumes and set designs for the studio, using some of the very skills learned through Calvary’s theatre program! Melissa feels like Calvary really helped prepare her spiritually to be able to work and perform in secular environments where she can use her God-given talents, while still shining His light to the people she works with.
Bethany recently married and is now Mrs. Peter Williams. She has relocated to New Mexico where her husband in stationed in the Air Force. She will; however, continue teaching some online classes for Calvary. Bethany graduated with her Master’s degree in May 2018 from Calvary University in Worship Arts with an emphasis in Piano. She graduated from Calvary University with a degree in Advanced Biblical Studies. Prior to attending Calvary, she graduated from Cornerstone Bible Institute in 2013 with a diploma in Bible and Theology and an emphasis in Counseling. She has been playing piano for nineteen years, classical organ for twelve and thoroughly enjoys each opportunity the Lord gives her to play for Him. Formerly, Bethany was employed by the Liberty Public School System as she accompanied choirs of middle school singers! She also accompanied the William Baker Festival Singers, a local Kansas City Choir.
Sarah (McBrayer) Martin graduated from Calvary in 2009 with a Bachelors of Music Performance and Pedagogy with an emphasis in Voice. Currently, she teaches private voice and beginning piano lessons out of her home studio. God has also provided an opportunity for Sarah to use a part of her training at Calvary that she never expected to use outside of class: conducting. For the past four years, Sarah has been directing music for Academy of Christian Theatre and SHINE of KC. Sarah says “It is a blessing to work with other Christian directors and impact the lives of kids and teens through music, drama, and dance.” She has enjoyed participating in Calvary Masterworks Chorus, both as a student and an alumnus, as well as being involved in some local community theatre productions. This summer she joined American Opera Studio in Overland Park, KS, and is looking forward to her first performance with them.
Hailey Bair, mezzo-soprano, graduated May 2018 with her Master s degree from Calvary university in Worship Arts with an emphasis in Voice. She previously graduated from UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Music degree. She has studied under the tutelage of Un Chong Christopher for the past six years. A Springfield, MO native, her studies began early with 15 years of piano lessons, and 9 years of voice under Missy Palen. Hailey made her opera debut in Cosi fan tutte through UMKC Opera as well as sang numerous oratorio roles, including the messenger in Judas Maccabaeus and the Queen in Elijah. Hailey is moving back to her hometown of Springfield with her golden retriever, Zoey and planning teach voice and piano lessons in a private studio.