CHERYL FALK’s distinguished career as an artistic director and master teacher links the standards of highly aesthetic performances with the goals of music education. Celebrated for both her spiritual and motivating mentorship, Falk’s commitment to holistic growth of the young artist is unmatched in her field. She is also recognized for her innovative programming, her inventive teaching skills, as well as her belief that music is one of the best tools we have to discover our most authentic self. The inspired genius behind the extremely imaginative programs comes from Falk’s unusual creativity. Bright costumes, inventive props, novel dance routines as well as inspired lyrics and music are of the norm. Cheryl encourages members of the group to tap into their own creativity as a result of her boundless innovation.
Falk is well known in the recording world for her artistic vocal and choral arrangements. She is a highly decorated lyricist who has had success writing everything from commercial jingles to award winning songs. With hundreds of successful projects under her belt including billboard chart toppers, she is sought after as both a producer and arranger, not only in Seattle but in other parts of the country.
Cheryl Falk began her professional singing career while she was in college at Seattle Pacific University. She sang with Seattle Opera for several years, then switched directions and performed as a singer/dancer with the Fifth Avenue. She received undergraduate degrees in both Vocal Performance and Music education. After college she immediately began instructing in public schools as both a classroom and private vocal teacher. In the meantime, she completed a fifth year masters degree program in Music Education. She began teaching at the college level but found her true niche with children.
A native Japanese, TOM MAEDA earned a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Performance from Berklee College of Music. He has performed with over 150 bands, in numerous styles including Jazz, Pop/Rock and R&B. He is a piano and Jazz music theory instructor at Tom Maeda Studio in Maple Valley. Most weekends of the month, he can be heard accompanying various Jazz or R&B singers and bands in the Seattle area. You’ll also find him performing solo Jazz piano at public and private venues. His passion is as a producer/recording engineer/arranger with over 20 years experience and has produced numerous CDs for artists in Boston, NY, Brazil and Japan. He has worked with Grammy winning jazz flutist Dave Valentine, Frank Gambale.
HEATHER BURGESS is a former member of Island Girls Choir. She graduated from the University of San Diego with a degree in Elementary Education. She studied voice and played the flute for many years. Her responsibilities include ensuring the smooth day-to-day operation of all three performing groups, including all communication with the parents and community, financial records, website updates, performance and rehearsal bookings and the audition process. In addition, Heather assists with vocal instruction for the three groups.
TRACI BRANDON has been an avid ICE parent and volunteer for 15 years. A former elementary teacher and coach, she has worked extensively with children of all ages including those with special needs. She has written several books on cooperative learning and multicultural teaching practices. Traci has a dance background and enjoys choreographing and doing all sorts of behind-the-scenes work. Just don’t ask her to sing! She is thrilled to be part of the staff and can’t wait to make all of your daughters light up the stage in their costumes!
ARTISTIC ASSISTANT AND CHOREOGRAPHER
ASHLEY SUN is a former member of IGC and Island Sound, and studied voice privately with Heather Burgess and Serena Eduljee. She worked as a “student assistant” for the Prep Choir and IGC starting in 7th grade, and continued until her graduation from MIHS. During this time she discovered her passion for singing, dancing and working with children, which led her to join the ICE Staff as the Artistic Assistant and Choreographer for all three choirs while attending the University of Washington.
TIFFANY REEK was born and raised on Mercer Island. She is also an alumni of Island Choral Experience and a graduate of MIHS. She graduated from the University of Washington where she studied Sociology and Drama. She has a passion for the arts and loves working with the members of ICE. Her prolific computer and technological skills, and amazing ability to do creative research, has proven her to be a valuable member of the staff. She also helps us with many aspects of mixed media, including rehearsal CDs, dance DVDs, and performance films.