You walk into the building and breathe a sigh of relief because you know that here, even though we are just regular teenagers, we are more than just teenagers. We are treasured and loved by each other, by our director, and by our accompanist, by the wonderful people that look after us...because we are all there together. Each of us loves making music and none of us can live without it; therefore none of us can live without each other. That is why Spivey is special, why Spivey is home.
Artistic Director, Spivey Hall Children's Choir Program
Martha Shaw is the founding director of the Spivey Hall Children’s Choir Program and Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities at Reinhardt University in Waleska, Georgia.
Under her direction, the Spivey Hall Children’s Choir and Spivey Hall Tour Choir have been featured in performances for state, regional, and national conventions of the American Choral Directors Association, for the national conference of the Orff-Schulwerk Association, and for the 2010 national conference of Chorus America. Because of the artistry and mature vocal sound exhibited by her choirs, Dr. Shaw has received numerous invitations as a clinician and guest conductor throughout the United States, in Canada and in Korea.
For thirteen years, Dr. Shaw served on the faculty at Shorter University which honored her as the 2008 recipient of its President’s Award for Teaching and Scholarship. She also taught at the University of South Carolina, where she earned a Doctor of Musical Arts in Conducting with Larry Wyatt. Prior to her collegiate teaching, she was a music specialist for Atlanta’s Fulton County for 15 years. Studying with Donald Neuen, she earned a Master of Science in Music Education from the University of Tennessee. She holds a Bachelor of Music Education from Shorter College.
Assistant Director/Accompanist, Spivey Hall Children’s Choir
Judy Kerlin Mason holds a Bachelor of Music Education from Shorter College and a Master of Music in choral conducting from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville where she studied with Donald Neuen and Anthony Palmer. Mrs. Mason has studied piano with the late Jay Fuller, Helen Ramsaur, and the late Powell Everhardt.
She has accompanied state, regional and national honor and All-State Choruses as well as church choirs for over four decades. Mrs. Mason appeared as a singer with Robert Shaw and the Atlanta Symphony Chorus and with the Memphis Vocal Arts Ensemble. She has also appeared as a conductor at the Oregon Bach Festival with Helmuth Rilling. Mrs. Mason taught choral music, music theater and theory in the Atlanta City and Fulton County public schools for ten years. She holds membership in the American Choral Directors Association, Mu Phi Epsilon and Pi Kappa Lambda.
Director, Spivey Hall Young Artists
Craig Hurley is the conductor of the Spivey Hall Young Artists, the preparatory choir of the nationally renowned Spivey Hall Children’s Choir. Mr. Hurley has served as a guest clinician for several honor choirs throughout the state including the 2011 Georgia Music Educators Association’s Statewide Elementary Honor Choir. Mr. Hurley also directs the Spivey Hall Summer Music Camp each year for students entering fourth through seventh grades.
Currently, Craig Hurley is the music specialist at Ford Elementary School in Cobb County, Georgia. In 2009, he served as a writer for the Georgia Performance Standards for Elementary General Music. He has presented sessions at the Music Educators Association in-service conferences for Georgia, Florida, and Alabama as well as other various teacher organizations. He has supervised several student teachers and, in 2002, Mr. Hurley was honored as Teacher of the Year.
Mr. Hurley holds a Bachelor of Science in Music Education from Shorter College and a Master of Early Childhood Education from Berry College.
Accompanist, Spivey Hall Young Artists
Marcena Kinney is the accompanist for the Spivey Hall Young Artists, the preparatory choir of the Spivey Hall Children’s Choir and acts as assistant director of the Spivey Hall Summer Music Camp each year. Mrs. Kinney has served on the faculties of Paine College, Augusta State University, Agnes Scott College, and Georgia Perimeter College as well as performing with the Shorter Chorus, Kennesaw University Wind Ensemble, Kennesaw Women’s Chorus and Chicago Children’s Choir.
Honored in Who’s Who of American Colleges and Universities, Mrs. Kinney has received Elizabeth Buday Scholar Award, Eckstein Scholar Award, Rome Music Lover’s Award, and Steinway 2008 Educator Award. Her article “Circumventing an Adult’s Feelings of Inadequacy,” was featured in Clavier Companion magazine. She is a member of Pi Kappa Lambda.
Mrs. Kinney holds a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance from Shorter College. She earned her Master of Music from Northwestern University where she studied with Laurence Davis and Frances Larimer.
“I volunteered in 1994 and never left!”
Carol Abarr is the General Manager of the Spivey Hall Children’s Choir. Since 1996, Carol has been the principal contact for all program inquiries, as well as the program coordinator, overseeing every aspect of the singers’ experience, including auditions, calendars, music libraries, wardrobe, and staff management for all three choral groups housed by the organization. As the donor liaison, Carol cultivates the program's financial contributions. She also governs fundraising opportunities for the singers themselves. For the Tour Choir, Carol develops the annual performance tours, domestic and international, overseeing all concert and travel arrangements for the singers, staff, and volunteers.
Carol began working with the choir as a volunteer herself, in 1994, the choir’s inaugural year. Carol has 18 years of education experience, first in the Dekalb County Public School System, then as home educator for her son and 3 daughters, all of whom were enriched by membership in the Spivey Hall Children’s Choir program. Carol graduated from Shorter College with a Bachelor of Arts in Music Education. She is a wife, grandmother, and pet-owner, and attributes her love of music to her father, Ike, who had a song for every occasion..