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About CT
Organization
Staff
Membership

Officers, Committee Chairpersons & Music Staff

Officers
FRANCES L. MARSHALL-BRIM | JUDITH ANN WOOD | KAREN WINTERS | SHIRLEY J. TYLER | GRETA MOSS

Committee Chairpersons
MARIA DE LA LUZ CIENFUEGOS | GRETA MOSS | ANABEL RODA | DARYL FERNANDES

Music Staff
SHELBY WEBB, JR. | ANDRENE R. JOHNSON | BRYAN T. JOHNSON
ERIC D. TROY, SR. | MICHAEL KINARD PRESTON


OFFICERS

FRANCES L. MARSHALL-BRIM, President/Business Manager, Alto I, is a founding member (1989) and the current President/Business Manager of CHORAL THUNDER. Born and raised in Chicago, she received her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology, with a Math minor, from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Although Fran initially started as a Pre-Med student, she was subsequently steered into engineering because she eventually realized that she just could not stand the sight of blood.

Fran's powerful and beautiful vocal expressions proclaim, in a musical form, the spiritual message of CHORAL THUNDER. Her musical ability stems naturally from her father, who is a founding member and lead vocalist with the Calvary Wonders, a local Gospel singing group.

Fran's musical journey began at an early age. She enjoyed singing in a group formed among her siblings called the Marshall Sisters. This group performed locally and occasionally participated in studio recording sessions. Fran also has a rich performance background which includes various church and school choirs. Presently, she is often in demand as a solo performer.

A telecommunications executive by profession, Fran has applied her talents towards various national initiatives. She has served as Director of the Executive Leadership and Development Department for SBC Ameritech and has been honored with several professional awards and distinctions. Fran currently serves as Chief Operating Officer of the Leadership Group of Chicago, Executive Director of Disaster Recovery Associates and is a member of Executive Development Associates and the Information & Communications Technology Network.

When Fran is not performing as a featured Lead Vocalist with CHORAL THUNDER, she enjoys interior decorating and cooking.

FRAN says... "CHORAL THUNDER has given me the gift of lifelong friendships, a wonderful vehicle through which I can share and cultivate God-given talents and the privilege of expressing my profound appreciation for the many blessings that I have so undeservingly received through song."

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JUDITH ANN WOOD, Vice President/Business Manager, Alto I, has been a member of CHORAL THUNDER since 1993. Born and raised in Chicago, she majored in Child Development and received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia. Besides being the Treasurer of CHORAL THUNDER, her life is a constant reminder of the beautiful and gentle qualities of Spirit.

Judy ushered in the 1991 New Year in Ganeshpuri, India and has visited about a dozen cities outside of Chicago. Her interests include studies in health, wellness, metaphysics, cultural arts, animals and the continuous pursuit of personal growth and development through lifelong learning.

JUDY says... "Being a member of CHORAL THUNDER has granted me the opportunity to be encouraged by and to lift my voice with the most wonderful and diverse group of people who truly embody the spirit of love, fellowship and friendship."

She adds: "Years ago a friend gave me a greeting card which she said reminded her of my lifetime search for spiritual diversity. It read, 'God made so many different kinds of people. Why would He allow only one way to serve Him?' This is my belief."

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KAREN WINTERS, Secretary, Soprano II, joined CHORAL THUNDER in 1994. Karen was born and raised in Chicago, and has a Bachelors of Arts degree in Speech Communications from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. After graduation, Karen worked in advertising and also as a copywriter in the marketing division of a Los Angeles area executive search firm

Around that same time, an actor friend encouraged her to look into small acting parts to supplement her income. He suggested that if speaking roles were unavailable, to try becoming a movie extra. Karen took his advice and later went on to make her living primarily as a background actor in movies and television for several years.

After returning to Chicago, Karen noticed a local performer's newspaper with an ad regarding an audition for a local Gospel group. She called the phone number and has been a member of CHORAL THUNDER ever since.

KAREN says... "It is an honor and a blessing to be a member of such a dynamic musical ministry. When CHORAL THUNDER sings, it's as though none of us are present in our own right, but have released ourselves as individuals to be used by God as a collective vessel to speak to others. As we bless others with our music, we ourselves are blessed in turn."

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SHIRLEY J. TYLER, Treasurer, Soprano II, is thrilled to be in her fifth season with CHORAL THUNDER. Born and raised in Chicago, Shirley adds her unique blend of love and magic to the choir. A Liberal Arts major, with an emphasis on Marketing, Shirley received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Roosevelt University in Chicago.

Not only does Shirley enjoy the lively nature of ensemble singing, but she currently performs occasional solo works. Prior to joining CHORAL THUNDER, Shirley sang with the Community Renewal Chorus of Chicago.

Shirley is an active member of Chicago's Trinity United Church of Christ, where she is a Youth Church Instructor and volunteer sponsor of the Imani Ya Watume young adult choir. She is also a sponsor within the High School Counseling Ministry.

In addition to her vocal expressions, Shirley has played Clarinet, Alto Saxophone and Marching Drums. That's right - Marching Drums! She currently enjoys reading and watching old movies.

SHIRLEY says... "CHORAL THUNDER feels more like a family than a choir. Listening to the choir is like standing under a cool shower - the sound is so refreshing it gives you goose bumps."

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GRETA MOSS, Historian & Wardrobe Coordinator, Soprano I, joined CHORAL THUNDER in 1993. A native Chicagoan, Greta attended the University of Illinois at Chicago where she earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications and Theater. There, she served as Chapter Song Mistress of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Her educational background also includes attending The Conservatory of Music and ITM - Institut Du Maquillage in Paris, France.

One of Greta's earliest musical memories includes singing duets and harmonizing with her mother at the age of 2! Greta's diverse musical experience includes singing on a cruise ship and a traveling performance in Europe. She was also a member of the first Black Expo Choir. Greta is currently a member of the Third Baptist Church in Chicago and has sung in the church's Gospel Choir.

Greta is a makeup artist/stylist and licensed esthetician by profession. She works with a unique clientele in the television and entertainment industries and has worked throughout the United States and in Europe. She has also served on CHORAL THUNDER'S Wardrobe Committee.

When Greta is not performing as a Lead Vocalist with CHORAL THUNDER, she enjoys white water rafting, bicycle riding and racing scale-sized cars.

GRETA says... "CHORAL THUNDER is a ministry of music like no other. It's more than soul-stirring - it captures the essence of everything that is divine!"

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COMMITTEE CHAIRPERSONS

MARIA DE LA LUZ CIENFUEGOS (Mary of the light of 100 fires), Fundraising Chairperson, Alto II, a name given to her by her mother as she was born a preemie that she thought was too fragile to survive her birth, is affectionately known to everyone as Lucy. Stemming from Mexican-American, Spanish and Apache Indian ancestry, Lucy originally hails from El Paso, Texas. She considers herself a "transplanted Texan," due to her love for Chicago where she has resided for the past 30 years.

Lucy attended a CHORAL THUNDER concert in June, 1999 after being told it would be a unique, extraordinary event. She is a music lover at heart and regularly attends many concerts. Seeing CHORAL THUNDER live was more than she imagined. The experience moved her in a deep and profound way. What attracted her most was the cultural and religious diversity of the membership. She joined the choir three months later.

Lucy sings with the Sunday Choir at St. Gertrude's Church in Chicago and has performed with the One In The Spirit Multicultural Gospel Workshop Choir in Oak Park. She performs solo works in several Jazz venues, including the Chicago Cultural Center and local nightclubs. Lucy has also recorded Latin Jazz for the Jazz Combo group at the Old Town School in Chicago and has studied with acclaimed Jazz vocalist Jackie Allen.

In addition to her duties as a professional consultant and business analyst, Lucy currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Chicago Abused Women Coalition, the Diversity Team at St. Gertrude's Church and the Fundraising Committees for CHORAL THUNDER and the Cathedral Counseling Center.

LUCY says... "We welcome and invite you to 'raise the rafters' when you hear CHORAL THUNDER'S mastery of music. Your soul will be renewed, refreshed and uplifted."

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ANABEL RODA, Co-Webmaster, Alto I, has been a member of CHORAL THUNDER since the summer of 2005. Although she started singing very late in life, she feels blessed to have been a part of numerous musical experiences. It all started when she mustered enough courage to audition for a local rock band and was ecstatic when they accepted her as a background singer. Since then, she has performed in various cover and original bands and with renowned local jazz musicians. She has also lent her speaking voice, as well as her singing voice, for commercial spots and promos for WLS 890 AM. Currently, she is performing throughout the Chicagoland area with her original rock band, "Legs Akimbo".

ANABEL says... "I have enjoyed singing with the immensely talented individuals that make up Choral Thunder. It has been one of the most fulfilling experiences in my life."

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MUSIC STAFF

SHELBY WEBB, JR., Founder and Choral Director, is a talented producer, arranger, conductor and clinician. He has an extensive background in choir directing and choral conducting and has been directing choirs since the age of 15.

A native of Chicago, Illinois, Shelby has directed choirs for several area churches. He served as Director of Choirs at the esteemed Pilgrim Baptist Church, simultaneously overseeing the church's two largest singing units: the Pilgrim Senior Choir and the Pilgrim Gospel Chorus. The Pilgrim Gospel Chorus was founded by the late Rev. Dr. Thomas A. Dorsey, the "Father of Gospel Music." Shelby considers it an honor to have continued Dr. Dorsey's legacy of spreading the "good news" through traditional gospel music.

Shelby possesses a remarkable expertise in the development of widely-varied choral repertoires. Accordingly, he has served as consultant to award-winning vocalists, ensembles, and directors. In addition to producing and arranging CHORAL THUNDER recordings, Shelby conducts various choral workshops and his work has been a featured portion of several radio and television projects.

An accomplished Attorney, Shelby holds various post-baccalaureate degrees. Although honored with numerous academic awards, music has always held a special priority in Shelby's life. He received the bulk of his music training in high school and college and has studied extensively at the American Conservatory of Music in Chicago.

SHELBY says... "When God gave me the vision for CHORAL THUNDER, I had no idea how far God would take us. As we continue on this path, He continues to remind me of just how finite our perceptions can be: 'Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us. To Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.' - Ephesians 3:20, 21 (NIV)."

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ANDRENE RENÉE JOHNSON, Assistant Director, Alto II, first joined CHORAL THUNDER in 1994. She took a temporary leave of absence in the late '90's to complete her Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre and Arts Management at Chicago State University and to embark upon an Honors Course in International Studies at the University of Minnesota.

Reflecting on her "ever-blooming love affair with the Arts," Andrene (commonly known as Renée to some), has performed as a singer, actress, dancer, composer, stage manager, house manager and scenic painter. She made her acting debut in the award-winning musical Train is Coming at the Chicago Theater Company.

Andrene is a thankful mother of three girls (women) and gives God all the praise.

ANDRENE says... "Singing unto the Lord and hearing Him respond 'Yes, I am pleased' is the reason that CHORAL THUNDER and I make such a good match. Whenever CT members put their voices together, it's awesome! It's all because of Him - Christ, the risen Lord."

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BRYAN T. JOHNSON, Musical Director, joined CHORAL THUNDER in 1994. The son of Jamaican parents, Bryan originally hails from Chicago. As CHORAL THUNDER'S "M.D.," Bryan manages all instrumental aspects of CT performances. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Chicago State University, with a minor in Music.

Bryan has been playing piano and keyboards since the age of 12. His broad musical background includes television and radio appearances, various opening act opportunities and performance tours in Japan, Switzerland and Germany.

Bryan has accompanied several professional recording artists and has played for several area churches and choral groups. He is a member of the Chicago Chapter of the Edwin and Walter Hawkins Love Fellowship Conference. Although he has been honored with several music awards and distinctions, Bryan continuously maintains a humble and selfless spirit.

Currently, Bryan is the Director of the Valparaiso University Gospel Choir in Valparaiso, Indiana and is a Choral Conductor for the Chicago Children's Choir In-School and After-School Program. At his home church, Mary Magdalene Missionary Baptist Church in Chicago, Bryan serves as Assistant to the Minister of Music. He also serves as Assistant Director of Music at Chicago's Trinity United Church of Christ, where he works primarily with various youth and young adult choirs, comprising of over 200 young people.

Bryan recently received his call to the Ministry and is excited to expand in his service of the Lord.

BRYAN says... "My earnest desire is to serve the people of God through ministry."

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ERIC D. TROY, SR., Keyboardist, has been a musician with CHORAL THUNDER since 1996. He studied music at Roosevelt University in Chicago, where he majored in Music Business.

The gift of music has always been at Eric's fingertips. He has been playing the piano by ear since he was 6 years old. At the age of 12, Eric became a regular pianist for his home church, God's House For All Nations, in Chicago.

A profoundly gifted keyboardist, Eric has appeared on numerous radio and television broadcasts. He has also accompanied many professional Gospel recording artists, including Dorothy Norwood, Vickie Winans, Kim Stratton, Richard Smallwood and the "Queen of Gospel Music," Albertina Walker.

Eric is best known for his work on Mark Hubbard and the United Voices For Christ's Down By The Riverside and the Chicago Mass Choir's You Love Me CDs. He is also featured on Chicago Mass Choir's recent release, Calling On You, Live and CHORAL THUNDER'S Take Your Soul For A Ride and CHORAL THUNDER Live!!!

Eric has toured nationally with the Chicago Black Ensemble Theater in such hit theater productions as Precious Lord, Take My Hand - The Thomas Dorsey Story, Do Wop Shoo Bop and Great Women in Gospel. He also was the accompanist for a local singing ensemble during a recent tour of Germany.

Currently, Eric is the pianist on Rev. Maceo Woods and the Christian Tabernacle "Good News Broadcast" Choir's weekly telecast. He is also serving as Musical Director on CHORAL THUNDER'S upcoming recording project.

When he's not at the keyboard, Eric enjoys spending time with his lovely wife and three beautiful children.

ERIC says... "I am thankful for the many blessings that God has bestowed upon me and CHORAL THUNDER. He is worthy to be praised."

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MICHAEL KINARD PRESTON, Drummer, joined CHORAL THUNDER in 1996. Born and raised in Chicago, Mike is the person who keeps the beat for CHORAL THUNDER (and keeps it well, we might add). He is married to his beautiful wife Greta and is father to one son, and two daughters by marriage. Mike majored in Media Communications and received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He also received his Master of Arts in Teaching Degree from Chicago State University in August of 2003

Mike is an accomplished drummer, having opened for various recording artists, including Smokey Robinson and the Winans. He has played for several area churches and choral groups, including the Wooten Choral Ensemble of Chicago.

Mike has lived in several states including New York, Louisiana and California. CHORAL THUNDER was quite fortunate that he decided to return to Chicago, just in time to participate on CHORAL THUNDER'S Take Your Soul for a Ride CD.

Mike's passion for the drums is slowly being challenged as he embarks upon studying the Bass Guitar. A student with Chuck Webb of Chicago, Mike currently serves as back-up Bass Guitarist and drummer at Family & Faith Christian Church in Aurora, Illinois with Pastors Mark and Katrina Smith. Mike was also the bass guitarist for Greater Walters AME Zion Church in Chicago, where CHORAL THUNDER'S close friend and long-time supporter, Rev. Roy A. Holmes, was the Pastor.

When Mike is not performing with CHORAL THUNDER (don't tell anyone, but he's a closet Baritone), he enjoys writing music and screen plays and children's books, architecture, reading and outdoor activities.

MIKE says... "Becoming a part of this magnificent group of people has given me more appreciation of all forms of spiritual music. I am honored to be a part of the whole. I envision so many wonderful experiences for CHORAL THUNDER and look forward to the journey."

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