Janie Brokenicky, Artistic Director, Konza Choir
Janie is Instructor of Music at Kansas State University, teaching applied voice and music theory. Prior to joining KSU, Brokenicky spent three years as Assistant Professor of Choral Music at Tabor College in Hillsboro, KS and taught at Riley County High School for five years in Riley, KS. Following her first year of teaching, the Riley County women’s choir was selected to perform at the 2009 Kansas Music Educators Convention in Wichita. In 2010 and 2012 her Concert Choir received first place in the Worlds of Fun Choral Competition. Teaching honors include the 2009 Kansas Horizon Award for outstanding achievement as a first year teacher and the 2010 KCDA Young Director of the Year. She was selected to conduct the 2009 Women’s Choir for the University of Nebraska at Kearney Choral Clinic, in addition to several high school, middle level, and treble honor choirs.
Brokenicky received her Bachelor of Music Education, Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education Mathematics, and Master of Music in Choral Conducting and Vocal Performance, all from K-State. She is currently pursuing a PhD in Curriculum and Instruction. Brokenicky is an active adjudicator across the state, served four years as co-chair of Women’s Choirs for the Kansas Choral Directors Association, and is the current North Central District Representative for the organization.
Karis Nichols, Artistic Director, Bluestem Choir
Karis is beginning her first year as a 7-12 Choir Teacher at Rock Creek Jr./ Sr. High School, and her 2nd year as the Bluestem Artistic Director. Her love of music was nurtured through inspiring music teachers, private lessons, and experience singing in the Lawrence Children's Choir. She has two years of experience teaching elementary music and maintains a private piano and ukulele studio. Young singers' eagerness to learn and enthusiastic approach to life inspires Karis as she works to incorporate high-quality music instruction with games and activities that engage students' creativity. Working with the Flint Hills Children's Choir from its inception 4 years ago has provided Mrs. Nichols multiple opportunities to grow as a teacher and musician.
Karis received her Bachelor of Music Education summa cum laude from Kansas State University in 2016. She is pursuing a graduate degree in Music Education through The University of Missouri- Kansas City.
When not making music or planning for a rehearsal, Karis enjoys traveling, reading, jogging, and learning.
Mika Bolton, Administrative Director
Mika is a Senior at Kansas State University studying a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music. She has had a passion for music from a young age and has sought out any and all opportunities she could find to continue pursuing her love for music. After participating in many music activities in her youth, she now participates in the K-State music department in vocal study and various choirs and leads the St. Isidore's Praise and Worship Team. Mika also has a passion for working with youth. She has previously volunteered with the Theodore Roosevelt After-school Children's Choir and volunteers with local religious education groups. Mika loves to aid in the process of children discovering the beauty of music and sharing her own love for music.
Heather McCornack, Accompanist, Konza Choir
Heather came to Manhattan from St. Paul, MN. She has a degree in vocal performance from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and has worked professionally as a singer, dancer, stage and commercial actor, print model, and accompanist. While in the Twin Cities, Heather had a large voice and piano studio at Ashland Academy, working mainly with young actors at Ashland Productions.
Her passion is musical theatre and she especially loves vocal coaching theatre singers. Heather started playing the piano at age six and was an accompanist in her church by the time she was twelve. She has been playing for singers, instrumentalists, theatre productions and choirs ever since. She has served on fundraising committees at McCain Auditorium and sits on the Executive Committee of the Interagency Coordinating Council for Infant Toddler Services Network of Riley County.
Alicia Willard, Accompanist, Bluestem Choir
Alicia originally hails from Kansas City and has been an active pianist, percussionist, and composer throughout the United States for nearly twenty years. She has performed in several chamber ensembles, symphony orchestras, pit orchestras, and wind ensembles, in addition to appearing as a prolific soloist and accompanist. Alicia graduated from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts in 2012 with a bachelor's degree in Music Composition and is a current member of the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP).
Before moving to Kansas, Alicia was a staple of the music community in Fairbanks, Alaska, performing often with Opera Fairbanks, Fairbanks Light Opera Theatre, and the University of Alaska - Fairbanks, as well as serving as Lathrop High School’s choir accompanist.
Her husband’s military career has taken them many places over the past ten years, including their most recent assignment to Fort Riley in October of 2016. Since relocating to Kansas, Alicia has enjoyed working as a freelance accompanist at Kansas State University and throughout the community. She has most recently performed as the pianist for Manhattan Parks and Recreation’s summer youth production of Beauty and the Beast, in addition to music directing and accompanying Gypsy at The Columbian Theatre in Wamego. Alicia is very excited to join the FHCC family and cannot wait to make some beautiful music this year!
Alec Cowley is a Junior majoring in music education at Kansas State University from Horton, KS. From a young age, he has been very passionate about making music and sharing that passion with others. Alec enjoys doing so through opportunities such as Flint Hills Childrens’ Choir. At Kansas State University he is active in many ensembles and clubs as well being a singer for the First Presbyterian Church of Manhattan, KS. Alec is excited to be on the FHCC team and experience the talent of these amazing young singers.
From Goddard, Kansas, Ashley Peery is a current junior at Kansas State University pursuing a degree in Vocal/Choral Music Education. She serves on the choral staff as both the Prospective Student Manager and assistant to Dr. Julie Yu. Ashley also serves as President of K-State’s American Choral Directors Association student chapter.