Staff

Led by founder and artistic director Mia Hall Miller, Pacific Youth Choir’s staff is made up of outstanding musical professionals and dedicated, creative administrative staff.

Mia Hall Miller
Artistic Director

With more than 25 years of choral education experience, Mia’s dedication and enthusiasm for working with young people is widely recognized. In addition to directing PYC, Mia is a popular adjudicator and clinician. She has conducted the Oregon Music Educators Association, All-State Elementary Choir, Middle School Girl’s Honor Choir, Pacific University’s “Music in May,” and many high school clinics and festivals.

Mia holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Music from the University of Oregon. She studied further in Stuttgart, Germany while singing with outstanding choral directors Helmuth Rilling and Frieder Bernius. She continues conducting studies in workshops with Dr. Rodney Eichenberger. Mia is a member of Americ Choral Directors Association and has served as membership chair for Oregon and co-Chair of the Middle School Honor Choir.

In 2003 she founded Pacific Youth Choir, which has grown to include 250 singers in 11 choirs. PYC in residence at Trinity Cathedral has gained a reputation for quality that has led to continuing collaborations with Oregon’s top musical organizations including: Oregon Symphony Orchestra, Portland Youth Philharmonic, Eugene Symphony, Oregon Ballet Theater, Whitebird Dance, Portland Chamber Orchestra, Trinity Choir, and Thomas Lauderdale and Pink Martini in performances and recordings.  PYC was honored to perform at ACDA conventions in 2008 in Vancouver, BC, the 50th Anniversary National ACDA Convention in Oklahoma City, March 2009, and the 2012 convention in Seattle, WA.


Kaeli Porter
Associate Conductor

Kaeli has been involved with Pacific Youth Choir since its inception in 2003 and has been singing with Mia Hall Savage since the 3rd grade. Kaeli teaches choir at GOrdon Russell Middle School and provides vocal directio for the West Linn-Wilsonville Middle Shcool Musical. In her spare time, Kaeli serves as the Soprano Section Leader in the choir at St. Michael and All Angels Church in NE Portland and teaches private voice lessons.

A Portland native, Kaeli attended Cleveland High School and participated in the choir program there.  She credits her high school experience, both at Cleveland and PYC, with helping her to discover her love for teaching music.  Kaeli holds a Bachelor of Music in Music Education and Teaching Certificate from the University of Oregon and a Master of Music degree in Conducting at Portland State University. 


Jason Sabino
Associate Conductor

Jason Sabino is an active conductor and singer in the Portland area. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in choral music from the University of Southern California where he was recognized as an outstanding graduate with the Choral Department Award. He studied conducting at USC with Jo-Michael Scheibe and Cristan Grases. He has a Master of Music in Choral Conducting from Portland State University. As a singer, Jason has sung for many professional ensembles in both the Los Angeles and Portland Area, and is a recording session singer for Oregon Catholic Press. 


Hannah Brewer
Pianist – Nova and Music Maker

Hannah Brewer is a Portland-based pianist, organist, and harpsichordist. She holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Oberlin Consevatory, a Master of Music Degree from Pittsburg State University, and additional degrees art history. She is currently Organist at St. Michael & All Angels Episcopal Church in Portland, OR. Hannah is also a staff accompanist at Pacific University, plays harpsichord with the Wildwood Consort, piano with the Cascadia Chamber Ensemble, and sings with the early music choir Cantores in Ecclesia.


Oliver Poida
Pianist

Oliver attended the Lübeck Musik Academy in Germany during high school and continued his college studies at the Munich Academy of Music. He completed his bachelor degree at the University of Oregon under Dean Kramer. Oliver has an active teaching and adjudicating schedule, and his students have been prize winners at OMTA competitions. he has performed with various choirs and soloists in the Portland area. 

Ruth Finn
Managing Director

Ruth brings a background in marketing, administration, graphic design, and volunteer coordination to her position with the choir, with whom she has served since its inception in 2003. Previous positions include creative services director of SmartStuff Software, freelance graphic design, and volunteer coordination for the First Presbyterian Church Youth Choirs. She has a bachelor of fine arts degree from the University of Colorado.


Scott Tuomi
Associate Conductor

As a choral conductor, Dr. Tuomi has toured internationally with the Pacific University Chamber Singers. He has appeared as guest conductor, adjudicator, and choral clinician for music festivals throughout the Pacific Northwest. Dr. Tuomi is currently Music Deparment chair and director of choral and vocal studies at Pacific University where he conducts the Pacific University Chamber Singers and Concert Choir. In addition, he maintains a private vocal studio in Portland and is director of music at St. Michael and All-Angels Episcopal Church where he conducts the 50-voice St. Michael's Singers. He is a founding member of the professional vocal ensemble Choral Cross-Ties and maintains an active performance schedule both as tenor soloist and choral conductor. Dr. Tuomi appears in recordings on the Freshwater and Narada labels, and is featured as Mr. Splinters on Koch International's world premier chamber recording of Aaron Copeland's opera "Tender Land." He holds a doctorate in vocal performance and musicology from the University of Arizona.


Maya Gascoyne
Associate Conductor

Maya Gascoyne conducts Nova and Music Makers, our elementary choirs.
Maya holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Music Education from Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota. She recently completed her student teaching at the International School of Aberdeen (ISA) in Aberdeen, Scotland, where she had the fabulous opportunity to help put on a performance for and subsequently meet Queen Elizabeth II of England. She teaches K-5 General Music, Choir, and Band at Ainsworth Elementary School in Portland, OR, and she sings soprano in the choir at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral. She recently completed her Level 1 Kodály Certification.


Michael Barnes
Pianist

Michael Barnes has accompanied singers and instrumentalists of all ages since his earliest years in Seattle. He is heard on several CDs and has played for Pavarotti, Sarah Brightman, Dawn Upshaw, and visiting singers from the Chicago Lyric, Houston Grand, and Metropolitan Operas. He has taxied Sherill Milnes in his car and hugged Marilyn Horne. No coward, he has toured tirelessly for Community Concerts and is one timid third of the hapless and hilarious comedy troupe "The BoZoArtZ Duo."

He collaborates with the Portland Gay Men’s Chorus, the Bravo! Vancouver Chorale, Portland Opera, Portland State University, Marylhurst University, and holds sway over the noon concert series at The Old Church. He is the organist at Westminster Presbyterian Church and assists at Temple Beth Israel and Sixth Church of Christ Scientist.


Janet Coleman
Pianist

An accomplished and versatile pianist, Janet Coleman is in great demand throughout the Northwest, and has been presented with recitalists in Europe, Central America, and across the United States. Widely regarded as a world-class accompanist, she has collaborated with hundreds of singers and instrumentalists, and has shared the stage with such artists as Marilyn Horne, Richard Stoltzman, Janos Starker and Charles Wadsworth.

As featured soloist, Janet has appeared with the Salem Chamber Orchestra, the Southwest Washington Symphony, and the Oregon Symphony; as chamber musician, she was the pianist for several World Premiere performances with the Third Angle New Music Ensemble, Fear No Music, and the Portland Chamber Orchestra.


Elizabeth Caswell
Pianist

Elizabeth Caswell holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Performance summa cum laude from Augustana College, and Master of Arts and Master of Fine Arts degrees in Piano Performance from the University of Iowa. Her principal teachers were Sharon Kleinhuizen, Arthur Rowe, and Uriel Tsachor; she has studied with Leon Fleisher, Martin Canin, and Mitsuko Uchida. Professor Caswell made her Carnegie Hall debut in 1996, and was a member of the piano faculty at New York University. She has performed at Lincoln Center, Town Hall, and on concert tours throughout the United States and Europe.
Professor Caswell is a Nationally Certified Teacher of Music with Oregon Music Teachers Association, and is an experienced Piano Adjudicator with MTNA, National Federation of Music Clubs, and OMEA. She is an active volunteer at her children’s schools and was selected as the 2013 Oregon Young Mother of the Year.