With over 150 combined years of music and administrative experience, the staff of the New Mexico Symphonic Youth Chorus is unmatched in their abilities to bring choral education and performance experience to young singers. Toddlers to high school seniors, chorus to full-scale musicals, classrooms to performance halls, the staff of NMSYC have done it all. Now they turn their many talents toward the foundation and growth of the New Mexico Symphonic Youth Chorus for Grades 4 through 12. Join us!
Marilyn Thomas Bernard
Ms. Bernard received her B.A. in music from Sophie Newcomb College of Tulane University and her M.F.A. in vocal performance from Tulane University.
Ms Bernard became a well-known teacher in the New Orleans area. She taught voice and music history as an Assistant Professor at Xavier University and as an Adjunct Professor of Voice at both Tulane University and Southern University. Ms Bernard was also the Director of Choral Activities at the Isidore Newman School in New Orleans.
Ms Bernard came to New Mexico in 1992 to teach at Albuquerque Academy. She directed four choral ensembles, taught voice, humanities, and chaired the Performing Arts Department for 22 years before her retirement in 2013. While there, her choruses performed with the New Mexico Symphony, the Albuquerque Youth Symphony, at Carnegie Hall, and at community events. She also opened the doors of her chorus rooms to any student from any school in need of rehearsal time for the NM All-State choruses.
Ms. Bernard is a Past-President of the New Mexico American Choral Directors Association. She has served as a clinician for youth choruses in Louisiana, New Mexico, Mississippi, and Florida. She has conducted several honor choirs and served as a judge for the NM All-State Choruses.
Ms Bernard founded and conducted the Junior Symphony Chorus and the Youth Symphony Chorus as part of the Albuquerque Youth Symphony Program.
A performer in her own right, Ms Bernard has sung in several choruses, including the New Orleans Symphony Chorus, the Santa Fe Desert Chorale, and the New Mexico Symphonic Chorus. She was an original member of the Moses Hogan Chorale in New Orleans and toured with him as a soloist, which included a performance at Carnegie Hall.
Ms. Bernard has performed as a soloist in Europe and the United States with the New Orleans Philharmonic Orchestra, the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra, and the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
Ms. Bernard has been recognized in “Who’s Who in American Women” and has been the recipient of several prestigious awards including the Amistad Research Center Arts Award at Tulane University, the Newcomb College Centennial Award for Outstanding Achievement by an Alumna, and the F. X. Slevin Award for Outstanding Teaching at Albuquerque Academy.
Ms. Bernard currently gives private voice lessons in her studio in Albuquerque, NM.
Ms. Loomis received her BA and MA degrees in Music Education from the University of New Mexico. She further specialized in the music education of children with training in Orff-Schulwerk – a developmental approach to music education integrating music, movement, drama, and speech into a child's world of play. She has received Orff Certifications from Denver University; Hamline University; The University of St. Thomas in St Paul, Minnesota; and The University of Nevada–Las Vegas. She also studied at the Orff Institute in Salzburg, Austria.
Ms. Loomis has taught music classes for the elementary students of Albuquerque Public Schools and San Felipe Pueblo. She taught music for over 20 years at Manzano Day School until her retirement in 2015. Her MDS choruses regularly performed with the NM Symphony Orchestra, the NM Philharmonic Orchestra, and at community events. Hundreds of her MDS students have participated in NM All-State choruses.
Ms. Loomis is well known in Albuquerque for her annual full-scale musicals with 4th and 5th grade students. She has conducted 28 thus far, which include classics modified for the young voice such as The Pirates of Penzance, and contemporary Junior Edition works like Into The Woods and Beauty and the Beast.
She has directed many honor choirs and All-City choirs in New Mexico and Arizona. She has served as a judge for the NM All-State Choruses. She also conducted the Preparatory Chorus for the Albuquerque Youth Symphony. Ms Loomis has recently been elected as the President-Elect of the NM Chapter of the American Choral Directors Association.
Ms. Loomis is renowned in New Mexico for her preparation of young singers for performance at the highest level. She has prepared young choral singers for The Magic Flute, Tosca, and Carmen with the Santa Fe Opera, and for La Boheme with Opera Southwest. Her young singers have also performed with the NM Philharmonic, Albuquerque Little Theater, and traveling Broadway shows at Popejoy Hall. Ms Loomis’ singers are known not just for their superior voices, but for their stage presence, poise, and courtesy.
Ms. Loomis has received the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra Teacher of the Year Award, the NM Educators Association’s John M. Batcheller Award for Excellence in Teaching Elementary Music, and the Bravo Award for Excellence in Arts Education awarded by the Albuquerque Arts Alliance.
A performer herself, Ms Loomis has sung with the NM Symphony Chorus, Quintessence, and in local musical theater productions. You may have even seen her as Papagena with the Santa Fe Opera.
Ms. Loomis currently teaches Music Rhapsody classes for pre-school children, and teaches music classes for third, fourth, and fifth graders at Sunset Mesa School in Albuquerque.
Amy Butterfield Woolley
Ms. Woolley is a native of Albuquerque, New Mexico and an accomplished pianist. She received her B.M. in Piano Pedagogy from Baylor University in Waco, Texas.
Ms. Woolley is a specialist in the music education of the very young child holding certifications in Orff-Schulwerk from the University of Nevada-Las Vegas; and the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota. She also studied at the Orff Institute in Salzburg, Austria.
Ms. Woolley opened the first private Kindermusik studio in Albuquerque. For 15 years, she taught music for students in Pre-Kindergarten through Second Grade at Manzano Day School. In addition to her teaching responsibilities, she collaborated with Louise Loomis as the accompanist for their choir program.
A well-known pianist in the NM music community, Ms Woolley accompanies the NM All-State festivals, the choirs at Sandia Preparatory School, de Profundis, the East Mountain Children's Choir, and many other organizations.
Ms. Woolley currently teaches music for students in Kindergarten through Second Grade at Sunset Mesa School. She teaches piano privately in her studio, and is an accomplished pastry chef.
Ms. Fiber received her BA in Social Work from the University of New Hampshire, and her MA in Social Work from the University of Hawaii. She came to New Mexico in 1983 with her husband, Dr. Frederick Fiber, and for the next 30+ years, she managed his medical offices, NM Ear Nose and Throat Specialists, and Albuquerque Laser Center.
With 2 young children, Ms. Fiber became a volunteer for the music program at Manzano Day School organizing the logistics of performances at school, Popejoy Hall, Isleta Amphiheater, and the annual musical.
She continued her volunteer work with the choral programs at Bosque School and Albuquerque Academy. Ms. Fiber organized the travel, housing and meals for the choral directors and students of several schools, who were attending the annual All-State Chorus Festival in Las Cruces, NM. She passed the baton to another “Music Mom” in 2013.
Dr. and Mrs. Fiber retired from medical practice in 2015. Appreciating music, singers, teachers, and musicians however, remains a constant by hosting symphony events, and most recently, an event for the UNM Summer Music Institute.
Ms. Fiber is excited to work once again with Ms. Loomis, Ms. Bernard and Ms. Woolley, to make the NM Symphonic Youth Chorus a reality.