Director, Concert Chorus Lori Loftus is the Founding Director of the Southern California Children’s Chorus (SCCC), where she leads an outstanding music faculty serving young singers from ages 5 through 18 in six choral levels. In its 26-year mission of enhancing children’s lives through distinguished choral music education and world-class performance, SCCC and Lori have been honored with 3 Emmy Awards. She has conducted SCCC in performances on nearly all the great stages of the world, including Carnegie Hall and the Sydney Opera House. Lori has also been a featured guest keyboardist with the Pacific Symphony many times since 1976. She has performed a wide array of repertoire on the great organ at Segerstrom Hall, and she appears annually on the harpsichord for the Symphony’s and Pacific Chorale’s December performance of Handel’s Messiah. In 2007, Lori was honored for her lifetime of achievements with the Outstanding Alumni Award for Excellence in Choral Music from her alma mater, California State University at Fullerton. In 2022, she received the ‘Titan of Music’ award as one of only eight who have been so honored by CSUF’s internationally acclaimed School of Music.
Co-Director, Concert Chorus Tina Glander Peterson has over twenty five years of professional choral directing and teaching experience as a public-school music educator in Wisconsin and California. Currently, she is Director of Choirs at Irvine High School where she conducts five choirs. Tina also holds the position of Minister of Music at Church of the Foothills in Tustin, California. In 2019, Tina was awarded Irvine High School’s Teacher of the Year at Irvine High School and she was the recipient of the Irene Schoepfle Lifetime Achievement Award for distinguished contributions to music education. She earned her Bachelor of Music Education degree from University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and her Master of Music in Music Education and Choral Conducting from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Ms. Tina is thrilled to be returning to SCCC to work with the Concert Chorus.
Co-Director of Advanced Chorus Ebun Agboola is a graduate of California State University Fullerton with a Bachelors in Music and a Master’s degree in Elementary Curriculum and Instruction from California State University Long Beach. Ms. Ebun currently teaches 4-6th grade vocal music in the Irvine Unified School District. She has been teaching for 9 years and received the Teacher of Promise Award in 2019. Ms. Ebun has had the privilege of singing in many choirs and has performed at many venues in Southern California including the Hollywood Bowl and the Honda Center. She’s also had the privilege of performing at Carnegie Hall in New York. Ms. Ebun’s favorite activities are singing obnoxiously in her car, playing cello and electric bass. Ms. Ebun spends too much time watching Korean dramas, has a ridiculously large sock collection and loves playing ultimate frisbee.
Co-Director of Advanced Chorus Benjamin Glasner is very excited to co-direct the Advanced Chorus at SCCC! A recent graduate from California State University, Fullerton, with a Bachelor's Degree in Music Education, Benjamin currently teaches Vocal Music and Musical Theater to grades 4-8, as well as private voice lessons on the side. He also sings in the billboard-charting new music choir Choral Arts Initiative. Prior to his university studies, Benjamin spent many years honing his skills working as a Music Director and Director for both adult and youth theater programs. Mr. Ben’s mission as a director is to cultivate a love for music in his students, drawing from his own enjoyable experiences as a young musician, while also equipping them with the skills necessary for musical growth and opportunity in the future. His personal blend of hard work and having fun stems not only from his formal training but also from his personal experiences, such as being awarded the distinctive honor of Class Clown in his high school choir (two years in a row!). Outside of the music room, you can find Mr. Ben in front of the grill, playing with his dog Rocket, or working on a jigsaw puzzle with a bowl of ice cream.
Director, Intermediate Chorus Emily Helmick-Pamplin, Director of the Intermediate Chorus, joined the Southern California Children’s Chorus in the fall of 2017. Miss Emily graduated cum laude with a Bachelors of Music from Loyola University, New Orleans in 2004. She went on to complete her teaching credential at California State University, Fullerton in 2012. Emily did her student teaching with Mrs. Betsy Olson, our retired Intermediate Chorus Director, who brought her to the Southern California Children's Chorus in 2017. She has taught private vocal, piano and ukulele lessons throughout the years and enjoys any and all opportunities to make music with children! Miss Emily is currently a full-time Vocal Music teacher for TK-6th grade students in the Garden Grove Unified School District. She was the recipient of the Orange County Department of Education Arts Award for Elementary Music Teacher of the Year (2020-2021) and continues to act as the Music Director for her school’s Disney Musicals in Schools program, sponsored by the Segerstrom Center for the Arts. Emily has three beautiful children, Jackson, Mia, and Jimmy.
Assistant Director, Intermediate Chorus Lindsay Johnson, Assistant Director of Intermediate Chorus, began working with Southern California Children’s Chorus in the Fall of 2021 as an accompanist for Intermediate Chorus. Miss Lindsay is a graduate from California State University, Fullerton, where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Music Education as well as a K-12 California Teaching Credential in Music. During her studies, she participated in many performance opportunities and received several accolades, including recognition awards for leadership in piano and choral departments. As a student teacher, she taught under Emily Helmick-Pamplin, Director of SCCC’s Intermediate Chorus. Miss Lindsay began her teaching career as a private instructor for young beginning students in piano and has been a public-school educator for the last six years. Currently, she teaches full time in Garden Grove Unified School District as a 1st-6th Grade General and Vocal Music Teacher as well as a 7th-8th grade Vocal Music Teacher. Throughout her career, she has also co-taught string orchestra, taught musicianship courses for beginning singers at National Children’s Chorus, completed Level 1 of pre-certification in the Kodaly music education method, and has collaborated with other community-based music making groups as an orchestral and choral musician as well as a worship team member at her church. Miss Lindsay is honored by the opportunity to work with Intermediate Singers at SCCC in the organization’s endeavors to provide an excellent music education for young singers as well as provide beautiful music to the community.
Director, Apprentice Chorus Sara Littlefield, Director of the Apprentice Chorus, joined the Southern California Children’s Chorus in the Fall of 2023. Miss Sara graduated from California State University Fullerton with a Bachelor of Arts in Music Education- Choral, as well as a K-12 California Teaching Credential in Music. During this time, she won the Sweet Adelines International Rising Star Quartet Contest with her quartet, Adrenaline. Furthermore, Miss Sara has had the privilege of traveling across the country as a clinician for youth choir workshops, and performing on some of the great stages in America. Miss Sara began her early teaching career as a private and small group instructor for voice, piano, and ukulele, with students of all ages. She is currently a full-time Vocal and General Music teacher in Garden Grove Unified School District. Her caseload includes Preschool - 6th Grade General and Special Education music classes, as well as Chorus. With a positive, warm approach, Miss Sara holds her students to a high standard for excellence in their character and musical craft, while nurturing creativity and development in an all-inclusive learning environment. Miss Sara is honored to work with the amazing musicians at SCCC.
Assistant Director of Apprentice Chorus
Director, Primary Chorus Noelle Nielsen, Director of the Primary Chorus, joined Southern California Childrens’ Chorus in 2022. Miss Noelle graduated from Chapman University in 2005 with a Bachelors of Music in both Music Performance and Music Education. She went on to earn her Master’s in Education from Chapman University two years later. Miss Noelle began her career teaching general music and chorus in Garden Grove Unified School District. She then went on to teach middle school band, orchestra and choir in the Capistrano Unified School District in 2008. Miss Noelle is currently teaching TK-3rd grade at five elementary schools in Capistrano Unified School District. When Miss Noelle is not busy making music, she enjoys spending time with her husband of seventeen years, Michael, and their three children; Eloise, Thomas and Benjamin.
Director, Kinder Chorus Passionately dedicated to music education for children, Marga Gargantiel lends her expertise as a music educator with a Bachelor of Music in Music Education cum laude from the highly selective and well-regarded University of the Philippines College of Music. Marga is endowed certifications in the Kodaly approach in teaching music under the tutelage of Hungarian master teachers Reka Csernyik and Dr. Laszlo Norbert Nemes, director of the International Kodaly Institute. In 2013, the Singapore Ministry of Education commissioned Marga over the next two years to make an indelible impact in the music education of Singapore's youth as an education officer where she taught music to students from first through sixth grades. Marga earned a master’s degree in education and a California teaching credential in 2019. Since then, she has graced young and aspiring music students at the Capistrano Unified School District as an elementary music teacher. She is also currently the choir director at St. Cecilia’s church in Tustin.