Creswell Community Singers

Leaders

Mary Ellen Yost
Music Director

Mary Ellen Yost has been the Music Director of the Creswell Community Singers since its inception in September 2016. She is a graduate of the Florida State University School of Music with a degree in Choral Music. Mary Ellen has experience in Choral Conducting, Piano, Voice, Harp, and Guitar. She has performed with the London Symphony Orchestra as 2nd Harpist under the direction of Colin Davis. She has sung under the direction of Aaron Copland.

Mary Ellen began working with Choral Music while in junior high school. She has been the Director of Choral Music in high school and junior high schools in Tampa, Florida, and in elementary school in Creswell, Oregon. Her music teaching experience also includes schools in Klamath Falls, and Toledo, Oregon, and private teaching at her home studio. 

Mary Ellen Yost - Director

Rock Oakeson
Piano Accompanist

Rock Oakeson’s music career actually began taking off in 1974 when he was selected to be the piano soloist for a “Tribute to George Gershwin” concert with the Mormon Youth Symphony and Chorus, televised live on nationwide PBS television. He performed the “Rhapsody in Blue” and the “Concerto in F” to rave reviews. 

Since the mid-1960s, along with piano and organ, Rock has also studied harpsichord, flute, clarinet, saxophone, oboe, English horn, bassoon and contrabassoon. As a woodwind player, he has been a member of many orchestras and wind ensembles in Texas, California, Utah and Japan. He has taught private and group piano lessons since 1969. 

He is the recipient of a Bachelor of Music degree (piano, woodwinds, theory and composition) from Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah (1978), and the recipient of a Master of Music degree (piano, woodwinds and composition, with a minor in computer science) from the University of North Texas, Denton, Texas (1983). Since then, he has had a wonderful and gratifying career as a university music professor and school administrator. 

Since 1978, Rock has taught at Southern Methodist University (Dallas), University of North Texas (Denton), University of Utah (Salt Lake City), Neumont University (South Jordan, Utah) and Columbia College (Murray, Utah). Other career and post-retirement highlights include: 

  • From 1974 to 1976, Rock taught music, English and other subjects in Sapporo, Japan.
  • From 1992 to 1996, Rock was the Pianist for the Salt Lake Men’s Choir.
  • From 2015 to 2016, Rock was the Pianist for the local “Eugene Gleemen,” a male choir.
  • In 2018, Rock was the Arranger and Pianist for the local “Past Prime Time Players” community theater, led by Jan Felton.
  • In 2019, Rock was the Pianist for the local “Eugene Songspinners,” a women’s choir. 

Since his teenage years, Rock has served as Organist at several churches, including the Mormon Church (Utah and California), First Baptist Church (Salt Lake City) and All Saints Episcopal Church (Salt Lake City). After retiring and moving to Eugene in 2014, he was invited to be the Organist/Pianist at Creswell Presbyterian, where he remains happily making music to this day. His compositions are published by Alcove Music Publishing (King, North Carolina) and Holy Sheet Music (Provo, Utah). He currently teaches piano, woodwinds, theory and composition in his private home studio on Dillard Road in southeast Eugene. 

Joan Travis Kelley
Choir Manager and Music Librarian

Joan has been involved with church and school choirs since preschool. Since 1991, she has been a member of adult choral groups: Songspinners and Creswell Presbyterian Church Choir.

She was one of the original seven who began singing in the Creswell Community Choir. She keeps choir members informed, organized, and helps this group touch the lives of people in our community by:

  • Informing Singers of the Rehearsal Plans, coming events, and birthdays
  • Number, hand out, collect, and store music
  • Update song lists
  • Greet Singers as they come to rehearsals and provide them with music and information
  • Work with new members to get music, name tags and welcome them to CCS

Joan Travis Kelley believes that music is very important. It soothes our minds, lifts our spirits and gives voice to how we feel. It is a gift we give ourselves and brings us joy each time we sing, and hopefully, does the same for others who are listening. 

The Creswell Community Singers want to thank Creswell First!, a foundation created to help encourage, and facilitate helpful projects in Creswell, Oregon. 

We also thank the Chambers Family Foundation for a grant to be used exclusively to purchase choral music.