Artistic and Education Staff

Susan Bialek

Artistic Director, Conservatory

Susan BialekSusan Bialek joined Children’s Chorus of Maryland & School of Music as its new full time Artistic Director in the fall of 2014. She has a Master of Arts degree in Teaching, Music Education from Manhattanville College in Purchase, New York and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music from Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York. She served as intern conductor with the Toronto Children’s Chorus under Jean Ashworth Bartle in 2001. Mrs. Bialek completed the second level of her Kodály certification during the summer of 2015 at the esteemed and OAKE-endorsed Hartt School of Music and will complete the final level in summer 2016. Since her appointment, CCM singers have performed at the Gordon Center in Owings Mills, as part of Artscape 2015, at local libraries and at Harbor East Merriment and Melodies choral series, as part of the Bach in Baltimore series and with Baltimore Concert Opera.

Susan has a combination of 22 years of experience as an elementary and middle school choral music teacher and department head. From 1992 to 2014 she served as the Director of Elementary and Middle School Music for the Dutchess Day School in Millbrook, New York. During her tenure she started both choral and instrumental programs and developed curriculum for and taught general music classes for grades 3-8. She co-founded and directed the Cappella Festiva Treble Choir, a community-based treble choral program for singers ages ten to eighteen.

Past positions as a guest conductor include: the Bard Summerscape Festival Youth Opera Chorus, the Hudson Valley Bach Fest Children’s Choir, Westchester and Putnam Counties in NY Middle School All County Choruses and a Pennsylvania Music Educators Association Elementary Chorus Fest . A member of the American Choral Directors Association and the National Association of Music Educators, Susan served as the President of the Dutchess County Music Educators Association from 2012 to 2014 and sang in the Cappella Festiva chamber choir from 2004 – 2014 in Poughkeepsie, NY.

In her free time, Susan enjoys gardening, vegetarian cooking, playing the piano, travel adventures with her husband and quiet moments of silent communication with her two cats, Enzo and Felix.

Lauren McDougle

Education Director, Conservatory

Lauren McDougleLauren McDougle is beginning her sixth year with Children's Chorus of Maryland and has taught Beginner I, Intermediate I, Intermediate II, Solfa II, and Solfa IV musicianship classes. She teaches prekindergarten to fifth grade general music and chorus in the public schools. Lauren received her Level I Orff-Schulwerk Certification from the Eastman School of Music and graduated from Bowling Green State University in Ohio with a Bachelor's in Music Education. Lauren has a Master's of Education in Kodály Music Education from the American Kodály Institute at Loyola University Maryland. She currently teaches graduate level Materials classes in the summer at the American Kodály Institute. Lauren is a frequent presenter at workshops and professional development sessions in the state of Maryland and Pennsylvania. She is president of Maryland United Specialists in Kodály (MUSIK), a chapter of the Organization for American Kodály Educators. She is passionate about teacher training and readiness for the music classroom, and has ambitions to complete her PhD in the future.

Patricia McKewen Amato


Patricia McKewen AmatoPatricia McKewen Amato's extensive operatic experience includes duties as conductor, coach, and accompanist at the AIMS Institute in Graz, Austria, Brevard Music Festival, Aspen Music Festival, Peabody Institute, and the Young Victorian Theatre. She served as assistant music director of the Baltimore Opera Company and music director of its touring company; music director/conductor for Annapolis Opera, Maryland Lyric Opera, Brevard Music Festival, Opera Americana, Washington Savoyards, Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University, and Rep Stage; and assistant conductor/chorus master for Washington Summer Opera. A versatile pianist, Ms. Amato frequently performs with the Children's Chorus of Maryland, Annapolis Opera, Annapolis Chorale, Baltimore Choral Arts, Baltimore Symphony, Maryland Symphony, Baltimore Opera, Prince George's Opera and Philharmonic, and Metropolitan Opera regional competitions. Ms. McKewen Amato is a first place winner in the Houston Chamber Music Society Competition; recently performing The Carnival of the Animals with the Maryland Symphony Orchestra, and Carmina Burana with the Baltimore Choral Arts. She made her Lincoln Center conducting debut in 1999 in an all-Charles Loeffler program, subsequently recorded on Koch International. Ms. McKewen Amato is a coach/accompanist for the voice division at Towson University, the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz Austria, and the Children's Chorus of Maryland. She holds a BM from the Catholic University of America (magna cum laude), a MM from the University of Houston (magna cum laude), and certificates in lieder, opera, and chamber music from The American Institute of Musical Studies, in Graz, Austria.

Jennifer Jordan Miller


Jennifer Jordan MillerJennifer Jordan Miller served on the Faculty of the Children's Chorus of Maryland from 2000 to 2009. After taking a break to have two children, she returned to CCM in 2013. She received a Master of Music in Music Education from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and a B.S. in Music Education from Towson University. Jennifer received her Kodaly certification from Loyola University, and is currently a member of the Voicecare Network, American Choral Directors Association, and Maryland Music Educators Assocation.

Jennifer served as the Choral Director for both the Middle and Upper School at Loyola Blakefield from 1999-2013. During her tenure at Loyola, she built a strong choral program, and served as the music director and conductor for 12 musicals at the school. In 2009, she was chosen to be guest conductor for the All-State Middle School Honors Choir of Baltimore County.

In addition to teaching and conducting, Jennifer performs on a regular basis as Cantor at the Catholic Community of St. Francis Xavier Church of Hunt Valley. She also teaches private voice and piano instruction. Jennifer is happily married to her husband, Matt, and they have two precious children, Luke and Ava Marie.

Angela Pope


Angela PopeAngela Pope joined the Faculty of Children’s Chorus of Maryland & School of Music (CCM) in 2014 as one of our teachers for the Crickets™ music program for young children. She currently teaches Beginner I and Intermediate I classes for CCM’s Conservatory Program. She earned her Bachelor of Music Education degree with vocal concentration from University of Delaware and is expected to complete her Master’s degree in Music Education with Kodály certification from Loyola University, Maryland in 2016. Angela is certified to teach music for Pre-Kindergarten through 12th grade in Maryland and Delaware.

Angela is the choral and general music teacher at Harper's Choice Middle School, in Howard County. She previously taught vocal music for Kindergarten through 5th grade at Atholton Elementary School, also a public school in Howard County. Her experience includes serving as: the Vocal Music Director for the Black Student Achievement Programs Summer Learning Camp in Howard County; an undergraduate Intern Conductor with the University of Delaware Concert Chorus; and an Early Childhood Music Teacher Assistant at University of Delaware Community Music School.

Angela currently sings with the Six Degree Singers, in Downtown Silver Spring, MD, and will be co-directing the first Howard County 2nd and 3rd grade Honors Choir starting January 2016. In her free time, Angela likes to run, cook new recipes, and spend quality time with her friends family.

Alexandra Fyhr Hicks


Alexandra Fyhr HicksTo be posted.

Amy Cyman

Outreach Music Programs, JCC Habimah Arts Camp and After School Programs

Amy CymanAmy Cyman joined the faculty of Children's Chorus of Maryland & School of Music in the summer of 2014 as a teacher for its Outreach Music Programs. Representing CCM, Amy teaches music at the JCC Habimah Arts Camp during the summer and at the JCC's After School Programs. Amy has a BS degree in Music Education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and received her Kodaly Certification from the Kodaly Association of Southern California (KASC).

Amy teaches lower school music for the Gilman School in Baltimore. She currently serves on the board of Maryland United Specialists in Kodaly (MUSIK) and has previously served as President of KASC. While in Southern California, Amy taught General Muisc in Los Angeles Unified School District. She was the Assistant Artistic Director of the Los Angeles Children's Chorus and prepared choirs for performances with the LA Philharmonic, the LA Opera, the Hollywood Bowl and The Tonight Show.

When not teaching musicians, Amy enjoys spending time in her garden with her husband and young son. She is also passionate about folk music and can often be found jamming in the evening with family and friends.