Changing the lives of children through music
Changing the world of music through children

PALS Singing Groups: Circle of PALS Junior PALS Senior PALS AkaFellas GirlChoir
Johanna Hill Simpson
Johanna Hill Simpson
FOUNDER & ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
CONDUCTOR, JUNIOR & SENIOR PALS
One of the nation's preeminent children's conductors, Johanna Hill Simpson has worked with young people of all ages and levels - kindegarteners through graduate students - at Dartmouth College, W.H. Lincoln Elementary School, Brookline Massachusetts, Harvard University and the New England Conservatory where she received her master's in choral conducting under Lorna Cooke DeVaron.  Ms. Simpson founded the PALS Children's Chorus in 1990.  Under her leadership, PALS has earned a reputation as one of the finest youth ensembles in the country.  She prepared the children for performances under the batons of Seiji Ozawa, Tan Dun, James Conlon, Marek Janowski, Rafael Fruhbeck de Burgos, Keith Lockhart, Benjamin Zander and David Hoose.  Maestro Ozawa credits Ms. Simpson with having "a genius way of teaching, of being able to get inside the mind of a child...a remarkable musician."  Jody supervised the preparation and conducting of the children's choruses for the Boston Philharmonic's Boston and New York performances of Mahler's Symphony No. 8 and the historic performances of Carmen on the Common with the Boston Lyric Opera.  A champion of new music, Jody prepared the child singers for the acclaimed world premiere of Henri Dutilleux's Shadows of Time.  Most recently, she trained the children for the U.S. premiere of Tod Machover's Toy Symphony in Boston and New York.  As part of PALS' 10th anniversary celebration in 2000, PALS committed to the commissioning and performing of new works each year.  Richard Dyer of The Boston Globe writes "...there are not enough Johanna Hill Simpson's to go around."

KATHY LEE  
ADMINISTRATIVE DIRECTOR
VOCAL COACH
Kathy Lee is pleased to be spending her second year with the PALS organization. Before joining PALS, she spent four years as a freelance musician while working with a small consulting firm in the Boston area. Kathy has extensive experience in musical theater, including lead roles in Guys and Dolls, The Mikado, Brigadoon, and The Sound of Music. She also performed in a production of L'Elisir d'Amore in Italy and an Ocean State Lyric Opera performance of La Boheme. An avid choral singer, Kathy has been both a soloist and member of various choirs including the Cantata Singers, the Brown University Chorus and Chamber Singers, and numerous church and honors choirs. She received the Brown University Music Faculty Premium award and first place in her division at the Rhode Island National Association of Teachers of Singing for three consecutive years. Kathy graduated with a Bachelor of Arts at Brown University in Music and Psychology.
JODI HITZHUSEN  
PROGRAM DIRECTOR
CONDUCTOR, CIRCLE OF PALS


LISSA FLORMAN
OUTREACH DIRECTOR


SHEILA STASACK
DIRECTOR OF DRAMA
Sheila Stasack joined the PALS program as a director in 1994.  Since then, she has directed several PALS performances, including Carousel, Bye Bye Birdie, Damn Yankees, Meet Me in St. Louis, Hello Dolly, 1776, and The Phantom Tollbooth.  Sheila has also directed for the University of Scranton, Worcester Foothills Theater, Boston Playwrights' Theater, the Institute for Contemporary Arts, and the University of Chicago, among others, and has taught at the Boston Conservatory and Curry College.  As an actress, Sheila has performed in the Midwest, New England, New York and Florida.  Locally she was most recently seen in the award-winning Laramie Project for Boston Theater Works, which was reprised at Gloucester Stage.  Internationally, Sheila has toured Russia and the Ukraine with the Chekhov Theater Company as Gertrude in Hamlet and Polina in The Seagull.  She was also a member of the American team at the Improvisational Theater League's Sixth World Cup competition.


JULIE JIROUSEK
DRAMA TEACHER, SENIOR PALS

This is Julie’s second year with PALS. She has taught at Brandeis University, Wheaton College, Stoneham Theatre, The American Stage Festival, and New Art Center. She has directed The Pirates of Penzance (Oak Hill Middle School), Once Upon a Mattress (Peacock Players at The American Stage Festival), and Honk! (Stoneham Theatre Young Company). She received her BFA in Music Theatre from The Conservatory at Webster University (St. Louis, MO), her MFA in Acting from Brandeis University (Waltham, MA), and was a scholarship recipient for the Royal National Theatre’s Summer Program in London. As an actor, Julie has work with Commonwealth Shakespeare Company (Macbeth), Gloucester Stage Company (Dinner with Friends), Lyric Stage Company (Sunday in the Park with George; The Miracle Worker; It’s All True), Speakeasy (Passion; Company), The New Rep (King Lear), Stoneham Theatre (The Girl in the Frame; A Christmas Carol), Ogunquit Playhouse (Footloose), Goodspeed-at-Chester (Annie 2). She is a founding member of The Village Theatre Project.


CEIT MCCALEB 
DANCE TEACHER, SENIOR PALS



JEFFREY GOLDBERG 
SENIOR ACCOMPANIST
ASSOCIATE CONDUCTOR



HERMAN WEISS 
ACCOMPANIST, SENIOR PALS


THEODORE CLEMENT
DRAMA TEACHER, JUNIOR PALS 


TOM KRUSINSKI
MOVEMENT TEACHER, JUNIOR PALS


ERIC KAMEN
ACCOMPANIST, JUNIOR PALS


REBECCA KENNEALLY
CONDUCTOR, GIRLCHOIR

Rebecca Kenneally is an accomplished Boston-area choral director and mezzo-soprano. Most recently, Ms. Kenneally was the director of the Women's Chorus and Assistant Director of Choral Activities at New England Conservatory of Music. In February 2005, she worked with Jody Simpson to prepare the children's chorus for the Boston Lyric Opera's production of The Little Prince. Ms. Kenneally has conducted New England Conservatory Light Opera Company's scenes productions, the New England Conservatory Concert Choir, as well as the Marblehead High School Chorus. She has guest conducted at high schools and churches, and directed several youth musicals. Currently Ms. Kenneally conducts for three organizations other than PALS: Endicott College in Beverly, Old North Church in Marblehead, and Austin Preparatory School in Reading. Ms. Kenneally holds a bachelors' degree in voice performance from Northwestern University in Evanston, IL and a masters degree in conducting from New England Conservatory of Music. She is an alumna of the Boston University Tanglewood Institute, the Boston Conservatory of Music Summer Choral Workshop, and the Treble Chorus of New England. She is a frequent soloist on the North Shore and has a voice studio in Marblehead.


JODI GOBLE
ACCOMPANIST, GIRLCHOIR



PETER SIMPSON
MUSICAL DIRECTOR, AKAFELLAS



KEKANE YUEN
ASSISTANT MUSICAL DIRECTOR AND MANAGER, AKAFELLAS