Artistic Staff

Emily Edgington Andrews – CAAM Artistic Director, Canta Bella Conductor, Cambiare Co-Conductor, Prometheus Assistant Conductor


Long an advocate for quality musical arts in the community, Emily Edgington Andrews is extremely active in Columbia, MO working with children and adults at every level of their musical development. 

Emily joined the Columbia College Visual Arts and Music faculty in August 2022 where she teaches a variety of courses in music, conducts, and leads recruiting efforts for the music area. Actively involved in the community, Emily is the Artistic Director of Choral Arts Alliance of Missouri, a non-profit organization that offers choral experiences for youth through adults, and is the founder of CAAM’s youth choir subset, Columbia Youth Choirs. Emily conducts Columbia Chorale and Columbia Youth Choirs’ Canta Bella, and serves as the Assistant Conductor for the professional chamber vocal ensemble, Prometheus: An American Vocal Consort. In addition to her work with the non-profit, Emily is the conductor at the historic Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Columbia, MO, where she maintains a thriving music program, conducting the mass choir of volunteer and paid musicians. 

Emily regularly serves as a guest clinician and adjudicator, and is an active member of the American Choral Directors Association, Missouri Choral Directors Association, and the National Association for Music Education. She received her degrees in Music at Truman State University, Kirksville, Missouri (B.A.; M.A.) and at the University of Missouri (M.M.). Emily is a Ph.D. candidate in Music Education at the University of Missouri. Her research interests include investigating gender disparity in collegiate and professional choral ensembles and creating inclusive classroom spaces. 

Paul Crabb, Prometheus Artistic Director and Conductor

R. Paul Crabb is Artistic Director of the professional vocal ensemble, PROMETHEUS and Professor Emeritus at the University of Missouri where served as Director of Choral Activities and Chair of Graduate Choral Conducting. His ensembles have sung at state, regional and national conventions, and traveled extensively in Asia, Europe, and Australia. Crabb has served as assistant conductor at the Russian-American symposium at the Moscow Conservatory and as a visiting professor in England, Austria, Sweden,Taiwan, and Poland. He was the first American Visiting Choral Professor at the Liszt Academy of Music (Budapest), and first American lecturer at the Choral Department at the University of Vienna’s Universität für Musik und Darstellende Kunst. Since 2012 Crabb has served as a faculty member at Laudate Dominum in Vienna. As an orchestral conductor, Crabb was resident conductor for the Dante Music and Arts Festival in Nagoya, Japan, and regularly conducts at the Conservatory of Domenico Cimarosa in Italy.

Crabb’s travels facilitate opportunities for students. In December 2017, he organized seminars and performances for graduate students in Italy, culminating at the newly restored Gesualdo Castle. His semester conducting/lecturing in Sweden resulted in collaborative concerts for University Singers in Malmö, Lund, Piteå, Stockholm and Tallinn, Estonia, in May 2018. In 2019 conducted again in Vienna, before additional conducting workshops in Slovenia and Italy. Regretfully, the pandemic resulted in canceled lectures and tours scheduled for Inner Mongolia and Cuba in the past three years.

Crabb’s teaching awards include: Allen Teaching Award (Truman State University), the Missouri Professor of the Year, and Kemper Award for Teaching (MU).

Zachary Kierstead – Pianist for Columbia Chorale, Columbia Chamber Choir, Bella Voce, and Canta Bella

Zachary Kierstead is a collaborative pianist based in Columbia, MO. He is grateful to the many wonderful musical communities and musicians he gets to work with in the area and strives to bring value as a collaborator to as much of that vibrant community as he can. As a result, Mr. Kierstead holds a wide variety of collaborative positions across various institutions.

Mr. Kierstead is an adjunct instructor in collaborative piano at Central Methodist University, choral accompanist at Columbia College, and a contract pianist with students of University of Missouri – Columbia. Outside of collegiate institutions, he accompanies several ensembles within Choral Arts Alliance of Missouri (CAAM), is a young artist pianist with Landlocked Opera, and frequently performs with area schools for competitions and choir concerts. In addition, Mr. Kierstead is an active musician at two churches, Sacred Heart Catholic Church and Missouri United Methodist Church, works with local instrumental and vocal studios, performs for various visiting guest artist recitals, as well as anything else that might present itself throughout the year.

Mr. Kierstead holds his Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance from Central Methodist University and Master of Music in Piano Performance from the University of Missouri – Columbia. Throughout his education, he owes much to those he has studied with as well as those he continues to draw inspiration from: Helen Hendry, Gwendolyn Peiper, Dr. Rene Lecuona, Dr. Melissa Loehnig-Simons (CMU), Dr. Janice Wenger (MU), and Dr. Rachel AuBuchon.

Topher Otake – Cambiare Co-Conductor

Chicago native Topher Otake has been learning and teaching in Columbia since 2014. After graduating from the University of Missouri, he spent four years teaching middle school choir in Moberly and Columbia. Nowadays, Topher is back at Mizzou working on his Master’s degree in Choral Conducting. Topher is the music director of the Boonslick Chordbusters, and sings lead in the Boone County Hams, a barbershop quartet. He also directs the First Christian Church Chancel Choir and Bell Choir. Topher is excited to be in his second year at Columbia Youth Choirs working with Cambiare.

Rochelle Parker – Cambiare Pianist

Rochelle Parker, pianist, has served in a variety of capacities in Columbia, including hospitalist and internal medicine physician at University of Missouri. Currently she is organist at First Christian Church, associate organist at Missouri United Methodist Church, plays for many shows at Maplewood barn and CEC, and served as organist at Calvary Episcopal Church. Both of her sons sang plus marched in Hickman marching band. Her musical career has included studying organ with Dr. John Walker while studying physical therapy at Stanford University. At Northwestern University Medical School she continued playing Organ for churches-adult and children’s choirs. She served the Community Theatre project for children without musical opportunities who wanted to sing and act. Rochelle has continued studying music online through the Sacred Music Institute and is truly grateful to be a part of CYC.



Chloe Prewett – Primo Choir Conductor

Chloe Prewett is the conductor for the Columbia Youth Choirs’ Primo Choir. She graduated from the University of Missouri with a bachelors degree in Music Education in May of 2023. The 2023-2024 school year marks her first year teaching elementary music, band, and choir.  This year is also her first year as a conductor for CYC. She has spent many years under CAAM as an active member of Columbia Chorale/Chamber Choir and is so thrilled to have this opportunity to grow as a musician and as a teacher! 


Clara Smith – Bella Voce Conductor

Clara Smith is an avid musician performing both as a vocalist and conductor around the world. She received her undergraduate degree in vocal music education from Missouri State University where she had the opportunity to travel as a chorister quite extensively both domestically and internationally. She recently received her Masters in Choral Conducting from the University of Missouri and plans to pursue her DMA in Choral Conducting. She now serves as an adjunct professor in Music Theory at Columbia College as well as the director of Columbia Youth Choir’s treble choir, Bella Voce. Clara recently traveled to London and performed as a soloist with the University of Missouri’s Concert Chorale and Vox Anima Symphony. She has performed as a soloist for a wide variety of repertoire and venues including a United States presidential inauguration.

Piper Stow – Poco Voce Teacher and Primo Choir Pianist

Piper Stow (Jefferson City) is a 2022 graduate from the University of Missouri and a young music educator, pianist, trumpeter, and vocalist in the Columbia area. She has taught music at Shepard Blvd. Elementary School for the past 2 years and loves playing trumpet in the Columbia Jazz Orchestra (COJO). Ms. Stow is an avid pianist and has studied with Gretchen Huedepohl (Jefferson City) and Dr. Peter Miyamoto (University of Missouri). She deeply cherishes the enrichment and happiness that playing piano adds to her life. At Mizzou, Ms. Stow was proud to be a 5-year member and section leader of both Marching & Mini Mizzou, as well as a member of nearly every large ensemble at various times within the School of Music. Her roles in teaching post-graduation have allowed Ms. Stow to spend more time singing and sharing joyful, musical moments with students, for which she is always grateful! 

Jeremy Wagner – Columbia Chorale Assistant Conductor and Columbia Chamber Choir Co-Conductor

Jeremy Wagner is a promising and engaging music educator, with a Master’s of Music in Choral Conducting at the University of Missouri. At the institution, Wagner was able to work alongside and learn directly from mentors, Dr. R. Paul Crabb, Dr. Wendy Sims, and Dr. Brandon Boyd. Wagner has been serving as the Director of Choral Activities at Missouri Valley College, preparing choirs as well as teaching several curricular courses such as Music Appreciation, and Jazz, Pop, and Rock. Wagner also worked individually with students as the applied lessons professor. Additionally, Wagner has been granted opportunities to work with established local educators, including Lee’s Summit North’s George Peng and Jonathan Krinke, Dr. Rika Heruth, Christine Nichols, and Emily Edgington Andrews. Through his participation within the community, Wagner has established himself as a talented conductor, educator, and performer around Missouri. These accolades, in conjunction with his focused work ethic, led to Wagner being named the Director of Music Ministry at several churches, most recently Unitarian Universalist Church of Columbia. He also works as the Assistant Chorale Conductor and Co-Chamber Choir Conductor with the Choral Arts Alliance of Missouri. Wagner currently performs in a semi-professional chamber ensemble, Vox Nova, who celebrated their first Missouri Music Educators Association performance in 2018 and won the Ernst Bacon American Prize in 2019.

LaMont Walker, Columbia Community Gospel Choir Conductor

This singer, musician, preacher, author, and much more is a native of Kansas City, MO. His parents established him on a foundation rich in the love of God and gospel music. Continuing in his musical heritage, LaMont has learned multiple instruments and perfected his gift of music. He has been blessed to share the stage with artists such as the Kansas City Boys Choir, the Harlem Boys Choir, Richard Smallwood, Dorinda Clark-Cole, and many others! LaMont is a graduate of the Southeast High School (1999) and the University of Missouri-Columbia (B.A. in Music Performance 2005). He celebrates many accomplishments. In 2016, LaMont and Voices of Power and Glory released their first singles “Love Lifted Me” and “He Did It Again,” which were written by LaMont and are available for purchase at all digital stores. Other accomplishments include 1st place victory at the national BSU retreat choir competition, four years directing the LBC gospel choir (MU), founding His Word His Way ministry, and releasing his first book, Internal Pieces. In 1999, LaMont connected to the ministry of Bishop Dr. R.L. Freeman, where he remains submitted and covered. Under Bishop Freeman’s tutelage, LaMont received his ministry license in 2004, ordination as Elder in 2005, and elevation to the position of General Overseer in 2009. He serves as overseer of music and performing arts for his church, United Community Cathedral, and the fellowship, Christians Equipping Christians for Outreach (Presiding Prelate-Bishop Dr. R.L. Freeman and Metropolitan-Bishop Larry D. Trotter). On October 5, 2014, Bishop Freeman appointed LaMont to serve as assistant pastor of United Community Cathedral. On August 29, 2015, LaMont was installed as assistant pastor of UCC. He also volunteers as a mentor for United Community Builders CDC program Weekend With The Boys. Pastor Walker has traveled across America spreading the good news of the Gospel through anointed music, preaching, and teaching. He continues to do so under the leading of the Holy Ghost, praying that all would have a God-experience as a result of his dedication to the Kingdom, serving in the Levitical Order.