Board of Directors & Staff
Saginaw Choral Society is governed by a volunteer board of directors who meet monthly. Meetings are held on the second Wednesday of each month at 5:15pm in the Manager’s Suite of the Temple Theatre. Board terms are three years, with two-thirds members coming from the community at large and one-third coming from the singing membership. New board member terms start at the beginning of the fiscal year, July 1.
- Nancy Stevenson, President
- Rev. James T. Williams, Vice President
- Karen Stiffler, Immediate Past President
- Alex Henriquez, Treasurer
- Tricia Wahr, Secretary
- Steve Anderson
- Thomas Braley
- Janie Gugino
- Robert Hart
- Gabriella Hoffman
- Dave Lyman
- Susie Nielsen
- Jim Smerdon
- Dave Tagget
- Jill Vary
Local conductor and native of New Haven, MI, Jeremiah Kraniak holds a Bachelors of Arts degree in Music Education from Saginaw Valley State University. Prior to studying choral music, Mr. Kraniak spent six years studying solo and orchestral flute. As a tenor, he studied voice under the guidance of Dr. Julie Meyer and his performance credits include numerous performances with the Saginaw Valley State University Department of Music. He has been featured as a soloist with the Saginaw Choral Society under the batons of Mr. Robert Sabourin and Dr. Glen Thomas Rideout. Mr. Kraniak is an active participant in the annual Baroque on Beaver music festival on Beaver Island under the direction of conductors Kevin Simons and Robert Nordling. He has been featured in theatrical productions through the SVSU Department of Theatre as a pit musician and as an actor/singer. In addition, Mr. Kraniak was cast in three seasons of performance with the SVSU MUSE and Brunch. Most recently, he served as the orchestra conductor for the SVSU Department of Theatre’s production of How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying.
Jeremiah serves as the Choral Assistant at St. John’s Episcopal Church under the music ministry of Mr. Kevin Simons. In addition to his appointment as the Music Director for the Saginaw Choral Society, he serves as a Graduate Assistant while pursuing a M.M. in conducting from Central Michigan University, under the mentorship of Dr. Nina Nash-Robertson.
As the former instructor of the Voice/Keyboard Concentration at Saginaw Arts and Sciences Academy, Mr. Kraniak taught solo and choral vocal technique, basic piano skills, music theory and music history. His choirs have performed as featured guests with the Saginaw Choral Society and the Saginaw Valley State University choirs. Many of his students perform solo work throughout the Tri-City community in various capacities. Through a well-developed knowledge of music, his students came through the program prepared for collegiate study in music and performance. Mr. Kraniak is an active member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing and the American Choral Directors Association.
Catherine McMichael, pianist, composer, arranger, teacher, and clinician has had a friendly association with the Saginaw Choral Society since 1981, when she moved to Saginaw from Ann Arbor. During her years as a singer with the SCS she was alto section leader and occasional arranger and composer. After the singing years came the composing years. SCS has premiered two of her large-scale choral pieces: The Seven Saints and Sinners in 1998 and Le Porte del Paradiso in 2004. SCS also commissioned a portion of Paradiso, which was premiered with acclaim to a full house at the Temple Theatre shortly after its renovation.
Catherine’s B.M. in piano performance and M.M. in chamber music are from the University of Michigan. She has taught applied piano at the University of Michigan-Flint and presently is an adjunct instructor of composition at Saginaw Valley State University. In addition to teaching she directs Bells On High, the handbell choir at First United Methodist Church,Saginaw.
Catherine has taught hundreds of students on piano,improvisation, and composition as a private teacher, as a clinician across the country and also in England and Australia. She has performed with the Saginaw Bay Symphony Orchestra since 1977,with the Bijou Orchestra (Bay City) since 2006 and with the River Raisin Ragtime Revue (Ann Arbor) since 2008. She regularly appears as accompanist and chamber musician with local musicians and visiting artists.
Composition is her favorite musical activity. Since she began writing in earnest in 1985 she has written hundreds of pieces for nearly every conceivable instrumentation. Chorus, band,orchestra, chamber ensembles of all types, both strings and winds, organ,piano, harp, percussion and let’s not forget the saxophone, a world unto itself. She has five publishers and her music has been performed by everyone from elementary students and devoted amateurs to college professors and professional touring artists on six continents. She regularly writes on commission. 2015 sees the premiere of two orchestra pieces: Symphony of the Ages for the Oakland Youth Orchestras, and Orion, the Winter-Maker, for the Flushing High School orchestra, a flute choir piece for the Camellia Flute Choir in Sacramento, CA, Brickyard Suite, a string octet for the Dort Quartet and Honors Quartet at the Flint Institute of Music, and Universal Truths, a choral piece for the Saginaw Choral Society She has won several composition competitions and continues to enjoy the challenge of creating new music for ensembles. You can learn more about her music by visiting www.catherinemcmichael.com.
Tamara Grefe has served as Executive Director for the Choral Society since 2003, after serving as its pianist for twenty-four years. She held similar positions with Saginaw Bay Symphony Orchestra as Executive Director from 2000-2003 and as symphony pianist for many years prior. Under her leadership, the Choral Society continues to expand its role within the arts and cultural community as an advocate for the joy and fulfillment that singing together brings to all people.
Amy started her career in music education as a beginning and high school band director. It was here she learned that focused information and trustworthy leadership are the seeds of a successful program. Amy nurtured her interest in communications and technology by studying web and graphic design. She left education and entered the nonprofit sector as the Communications and Volunteer Coordinator for St. John’s Episcopal Church in Saginaw, MI. Today, she continues to apply these skills for the Saginaw Choral Society and is excited to help create a culture of singing in the Saginaw area.
Kathleen Scott has served the Choral Society in several diverse roles over the years. Starting out as a singer, she quickly became involved as a behind-the-scenes production volunteer and then on staff in dual roles as Office Manager and Production Manager. Kathleen currently is the Balance Concierge Coordinator at Nexteer, and maintains a part-time position as Office Coordinator with the Choral Society.