Our Piedmont Youth Chorus Team
Although these are fresh faces to the newly rebranded Piedmont Youth Chorus, our patrons have seen them on stage in multiple PO performances.
Our new Artistic Director, Patrick Schell, is a regular tenor in our chorus. He has actively been involved in music education in the Piedmont area for a decade and has taught in both the public and private sectors.
Piedmont Youth Chorus Artistic Director & Conductor
Patrick Schell is the new Artistic Director for the Piedmont Youth Chorus. Currently in his tenth year as a music educator, he serves as the Lower School Music and Arts Enrichment Coordinator for Forsyth Country Day School (FCDS). Prior to arriving at FCDS, Patrick taught high school and middle school chorus. Ensembles under his direction earned top marks at state and regional choral festivals and were invited to perform at the North Carolina American Choral Directors Association conference. Students have also auditioned into multiple county-wide, state, regional, and national honors ensembles.
Along with teaching, Patrick has performed with numerous ensembles since arriving in North Carolina, including Piedmont Opera, Winston-Salem Symphony, Bel Canto Company, and other ensembles around the state. He is a member of ACDA, NCMEA, NAfME, Chorus America, A Cappella Education Association, and has Level II Orff certification.
Patrick is a graduate of the Florida State University College of Music and is currently a student of Victoria Livengood.
Education and Outreach Manager
North Carolina native André Peele is an operatic Bass-baritone, and a recent graduate of the A.J.Fletcher Opera Institute at the UNC School of the Arts. He has a Master's degree from Florida State University's College of Music as well as both a Bachelor's degree and HS diploma from the UNC School of the Arts. He has worked with many companies throughout the United States including Piedmont Opera, Pittsburgh Festival Opera, Peach State Opera, Virginia Opera, the Jackson Symphony and The Princeton Festival.
Andre Peele is heavily involved in bringing music education to the community. He premiered the role of Thomas in Glen Winter’s Deep River: The Marian Anderson Journey that toured Virginia as a part of Virginia Opera’s outreach program. He has performed in three seasons of the A.J. Fletcher Opera Institute’s educational outreach productions as well as Florida State University’s outreach production of Così fan tutte.
As an educator, André has been an active voice teacher for K-12 students through college students, including being on faculty at the Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Tifton, GA. His students have had many successes at vocal competitions and have gained admission to colleges throughout the US.
When he is not on the stage or teaching, Peele is an active headshot and stage photographer as well as the host of a podcast “So You Went to School for Singing” (SYWTSFS) Peele.
Susan Orgain is the new accompanist for the Piedmont Youth Chorus. Currently in her twenty-eighth year as a church musician, she serves as the Organist and Associate Director of Music at First Presbyterian Church, Winston-Salem. In addition to her organist responsibilities, her duties include accompanying the adult choir, directing the youth choir and three handbell ensembles as well as coordinating the children’s choir program.
A native of Holland, Michigan, Susan is a graduate of Westminster Choir College.