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Warren Cook


Warren Cook is the founder and artistic director of the internationally acclaimed and award winning Rivertree Singers. Cook earned the DMA in choral conducting performance at the University of South Carolina and has studied at Westminster Choir College and Bob Jones University. He is retired professor and Director of Choral Activities at Bob Jones University where he conducted the two premier choral organizations and oversaw a graded program of five choirs enrolling nearly 300 students. He taught undergraduate and graduate conducting, literature and methods courses, and conducted major choral/orchestral performances. His choirs have been auditioned performers at international, national, NAfME and ACDA events, and he regularly appears across the United States as an adjudicator, clinician and conductor for choral workshops and festivals. Each summer Cook conducts the Rivertree Singers & Friends Choral Festival. In 2019, over 120 choral musicians from across the US joined Rivertree Singers and Festival Orchestra to perform Robert Shaw’s last contibution to the choral repertory, an unpublished English edition of Brahm’s German Requiem. Under Cook’s leadership, Rivertree Singers recently won the grand prize in the Oxford University Press Choral Advent Competition. He and his choirs have also received recognition and awards for The American Prize. In 2019, Cook was honored with the South Carolina Chapter of the American Choral Directors Association’s first-ever Lifetime Achievement Award. In addition to his teaching and performing career, Cook also served as pastor of music and worship for over 30 years.


Jean Cook


Jean Cook is collaborative pianist for Greenville’s Rivertree Singers and retired assistant professor who served on the Bob Jones University piano and piano pedagogy faculties for over 40 years. Jean has a MM in piano performance from BJU, has extensive training in piano pedagogy, is a specialist in training pre-college piano teachers and is a certified Kindermusik instructor. During Jean’s extensive education and performing career she founded and operated Eastside Kindermusik and has been a featured presenter and clinician for numerous workshops and festivals. She was also a highly requested adjudicator for the Music Teachers National Association and the National Guild of Piano Teachers. Jean has served as collaborative pianist for numerous university and church choirs, including the BJU Chorale and the BJU Chamber Singers. Jean also is an accomplished actress who has appeared in many Shakespearean leading roles. She and her husband Warren have three children and six grandchildren.


Molly Ijames


Molly Ijames was born in Flint, Michigan, and holds a B.S. in Music Education. After several years of teaching after college, she moved to Greenville, SC to write for a small publishing company, and her compositions quickly became widely recognized as they expanded to other publishing companies. She received several composition awards for her church compositions, and continued writing for mainline publishers, both church and concert, growing her teaching and accompanying influence to church congregations, community choirs, educational institutions, and national choral conferences.

She is now widely recognized for her hundreds of piano, choral, and instrumental compositions and arrangements in various catalogs, with a spotlight on the artistry within her piano accompaniments. She is frequently called upon to teach accompanying techniques at music conferences, play for congregations, and accompany choral singing; her keyboard mastery is often the vehicle in which her influence of musicianship is imposed.

Molly’s passion is for spiritual truth and graceful artistry to blend together to lift the human heart and sing in praise to God and to each other. She resides in Davison, MI and is a necessary part of the music ministry within her church. Her written congregational accompaniments and her personal contact can be found at mollychurchmusic.com.


Rachel Klaus


Born in Chicago, Rachel studied violin with David and Linda Cerone at the Cleveland Institute of Music, where the faculty awarded her the coveted Joseph and Elsie Scharff Prize in Violin and the Dr. Jerome Gross Prize. Previous teachers have included Michael Avsharian, Steven Shipps and Sonja Foster.

In the fall of 2004, she won the concerto competition at the Cleveland Institute and performed the Bartok Concerto with the CIM Orchestra. In June of 2005, Rachel was a prizewinner in the International Irving M.
Klein String Competition, Kingsville, and Stulber Competition. She was also the grand prize winner of the Corpus Christi International String Competition.

She has soloed with various orchestras, including the Asheville, Kalamazoo, Corpus Christi and Colorado symphonies. Rachel is an avid chamber music player and was a violinist for many years in the Harding Piano trio, along with her two sisters. The Harding Trio won prizes in the Fischoff, Coleman and ASTA chamber competitions.

In 2009, Rachel won a position with the Colorado Symphony as Assistant Concert Master. In 2012, Rachel joined the DSO as a member of the second violins, moving to the first violin section the following year.


Francie Taylor


Mrs. Francie Taylor is a ladies' Bible teacher, author, and founder of Keep the Heart, a Bible Application teaching ministry for Christian women. Francie is a frequent speaker at many ladies' Bible conferences and retreats in and out of the country. Previously from First Baptist Church of Rosemount, Minnesota, Francie now lives in Pensacola, Florida where she attends the Campus Church at Pensacola Christian College while running a busy ministry which includes traveling to conferences, writing, and recording shows for Keep the Heart Podcast.

Francie trusted Christ during a job interview in June of 1977, and has been serving the Lord with her life as a teacher since 1992. Known for both wit and wisdom, Francie delights her listeners with her transparent observations from everyday life while encouraging women to yield to God's principles for living in a practical way. Since Spanish is Francie’s second language, she also speaks at Spanish ladies’ conferences in the United States and Mexico. Francie’s greatest desire is to help women to grow in their relationship with the Lord through the daily study and application of His Word.

On September 15, 2017, Francie’s beloved husband and soul mate, Norman H. Taylor went home to be with the Lord five months after being diagnosed with two very aggressive forms of cancer, changing family life in untold ways. As a widow, Francie has experienced the abundance of God’s sustaining grace. The Taylors have three adult children: Austen (and wife Jessica), Hillary, and Collin. An avid gardener, sheller, and fine coffee lover, Francie’s
theme verse is also the ministry verse of Keep the Heart: "Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life." (Proverbs 4:23)


Steve Allen


Steve Allen has been the music director/assistant pastor for 37 years at First Baptist Church of Troy and Band Director at Bethany Christian School in Troy, Michigan. He was saved at an early age at Camp CoBeAc. At the age of 9 he accepted the call to full time ministry. In 1977 he graduated from Maranatha Baptist University with a BS in Bible and Music Education. He received a MA in Sacred Music from Bob Jones University in 1979. He was ordained to the gospel ministry in 1985. In May of 2005 he received an honorary Doctors degree in Music from Bob Jones University.

He is a member of the National Association for Music Education. He directs the church choir and orchestra and oversees the worship services. He is the Junior High and Senior High band director at Bethany Christian School. In addition, he directs the percussion ensemble and teaches private lessons. He also oversees the First Baptist Music Academy. Pastor Steve has been a guest clinician and adjudicator at various state band and choir festivals. He has participated in music camps and conferences around the world. He has taught private lessons for 44 years. “My desire is to lead our church congregation in corporate worship that is worthy of our holy God and to help develop musicians who will glorify God with their talents by serving with their gifts in the local church. My greatest satisfaction has been training and encouraging over 50 BCS graduates to major and minor in music and serve the Lord in music ministry in churches, Christian schools, and colleges across the country.”

His wife, Jacqui teaches Kindergarten at Bethany Christian School and directs the fifth and sixth grade bands. She also teaches private lessons, directs the high school brass ensemble and is a licensed Kindermusik educator. Steve and Jacqui have 4 children and 4 grandchildren. Matthew is teaching English as a Second Language in DaNang, Vietnam. Stephanie received her PHD in violin performance at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. Katie is married to Dr. Matt Chetta. He is a micro-surgeon at Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. Kimberly is teaching elementary orchestra, private string and piano lessons at Bethany Christian School/First Baptist Music Academy. She also is the administrator of First Baptist Music Academy and Kindermusik at Bethany Christian School.


Kimmy Allen


Kimmy Allen is a professional violinist and music educator who is passionate about imparting music to the next generation. She has taught music to children as young as newborn to pre college age. Kimmy earned a bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Bob Jones University, and a Master of Music degree in violin performance from Wayne State University located in Detroit. She has been a licensed Kindermusik instructor for over a decade, and specializes in teaching the younger baby music classes. Her most recent endeavor has been the release of a metronome app named Met-TREE-nome which can be downloaded on the app stores. Instilling steady beat and rhythm in younger kids is vital, and that has been a big inspiration and motivation behind the creation of the Met-TREE-nome App. On her downtime, Kimmy loves to travel internationally and spend quality time with her close family and friends.


Benjamin David Knoedler


Composer and pianist Benjamin David Knoedler (b. 1996) is quickly becoming established in the world of sacred music. He has published over 50 pieces with major publishers throughout the United States. His compositions have been featured on numerous recordings, and in large venues in the United States, Europe, and Asia. His choral music is published by Beckenhorst, Lorenz, Choristers Guild, Soundforth, Majesty Music, The Wilds, and other publishers.

His choral piece “A Child’s Prayer” won first place in the Vancouver Chamber Choir’s Young Composers’ Competition in 2017. His major work for choir and orchestra, THE CELESTIAL CITY, was premiered at Bob Jones University in 2020. In addition to choral music, he has published books for solo piano, hymns for children and adults, and instrumental solos. He finished his masters degree in music composition from Bob Jones University in 2020, and now works as the choral music editor at Majesty Music. Benjamin David Knoedler receives regular requests and commissions for his choral and instrumental music, and works with children’s and adult choirs in the Greenville area.

Ben will be teaching a Choral Composition Masterclass. Please email choral submissions ahead of time to benk@majestymusic.com.

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