Dr. Christina Svec
Director of Choirs
Dr. Christina Svec is currently the Assistant Professor of Music Education at Iowa State University where she teaches courses in elementary and secondary choral music methods. She received her PhD and Bachelor of Music Education degrees from the University of North Texas and a Master of Music Education degree from Michigan State University. She has also earned three levels of certification in Music Learning Theory and three levels in Kodály.
Before coming to Iowa State and the Ames Children’s Choirs, Dr. Svec taught elementary music for six years and has been involved with early childhood music for nearly fifteen years. She has served as Director of Children’s Music for First United Methodist Church of McKinney, TX and as Director of Music (including Children’s Choirs) for First Presbyterian Church of McKinney, TX.
In addition to her music-making and educating, Dr. Svec is a passionate music education researcher. Her research interests include research methodology, research pedagogy, and singing voice development. She has presented papers, research posters, and sessions at conferences locally, nationally, and internationally. Her publications can be found in Update: Applications of Research in Music Education and Psychology of Music.
Mrs. Nancy Ewing
Nancy Ewing received her Bachelor of Music degree from Iowa State University and her Master’s degree in Choral Music Education/Voice from the University of South Dakota. She has taught in Iowa schools for 33 years. Her most current position was as middle school vocal music instructor with Le Mars Community Schools. At Le Mars Middle School, she directed three mixed choral ensembles, as well as a select 7th-8th choir, several additional choral ensembles, and directed the MS Musical. She also taught the 6th grade Music Exploratory and Music Enrichment classes, gave private and group voice lessons, and accompanied for several high school music activities including the Crimson and Black Show Choir. An active guest clinician and conductor, she has directed several honor choirs and was the guest conductor for the 2003 Iowa Opus Honor Choir Festival’s 7th-8th grade Treble Clef Ensemble. She was a member of the choral/voice faculty at the University of South Dakota’s Summer Music Camp in 2004. Mrs. Ewing is also an active member of the American Choral Director’s Association. She served on the ICDA Opus Executive Committee for 7 non-consecutive years and on the ICDA Executive Board as the Northwest District Representative from 2001-2003. She also served as the North Central Division’s R&S chair for Junior High/Middle School Choirs from 2011-2013. Nancy and her husband, Randy, served as the co-chairs for the 6-12 honor choirs at the 2002 ACDA North Central Regional Convention in Des Moines, and were the co-chairs for the 2006 Iowa Choral Director’s State Convention. Most recently, she served as the ICDA Opus Honor Choir chair from 2011-2014, and conducted the 5th-6th grade Ensemble at the 2021 Iowa Opus Honor Choir Festival. She and her husband Randy have recently retired from teaching and have moved to Ames to be closer to their Alma mater and two children.
Shon Stephenson joined the Ames Children’s Choirs in 2003 as the Executive Assistant. She is a graduate from Iowa State University with a Bachelor of Music in Education. As a student, Mrs. Stephenson performed as a flutist with the Iowa State Symphony, ISU Wind Ensemble, and ISU Wind Quintet. Upon graduation she worked as the music librarian for WOI public radio. Prior to joining the Ames Children’s Choirs, Mrs. Stephenson worked as an educational assistant with the Ames Community Schools.
Mrs. Stephenson has been a flutist with the Central Iowa Symphony since its inception in 1987, holding the principal chair since 2009. In addition, she has been an active member of the Ames Municipal Band since 1998. Over the years, Mrs. Stephenson has performed in numerous community recitals and special events, regularly accompanying the Ames Children’s Choirs concerts. For fifteen years, she was also a pianist with her church’s music team.
Mrs. Stephenson and her husband live in Ames. They have five grown children and five grandchildren. In addition to musical endeavors, Mrs. Stephenson enjoys gardening, traveling, and family time.