Artistic Director

Christine Jarquio Nichols is an active music educator, singer, conductor, and pianist in Columbia. She is in her sixth year of teaching middle school choral music, with which she is completely in love. Christine is the Artistic Director of the Columbia Public Schools 5th Grade Honors Choir; directs and accompanies various ensembles with the Columbia Youth Choirs; music directs shows with the University of Missouri's Summer Repertory Theatre (; and maintains a small private voice studio. She is a frequent vocal concert soloist in the mid-Missouri area. Her most memorable operatic role was singing the sassy Dorabella in Mozart’s Così fan tutte. She has also performed the role of Hänsel in Humperdinck’s Hänsel and Gretel with her own middle school students singing in the children’s chorus! Christine enjoys singing in professional choral ensembles Prometheus (, Pro-Arte Saint Louis (, and Vox Nova. She holds a dual M.M. in Voice Performance and Choral Conducting and a B.S. in Vocal Music Education from the University of Missouri in Columbia.


Christina Ray is currently pursuing an Artist Diploma at University of Missouri-Kansas City with Dr. Aidan Soder. She made her debut with UMKC Opera as Hänsel this fall in Humperdinck's Hänsel und Gretel. Ms. Ray completed a M.M. at Louisiana State University, and also holds a B.M. from the University of Missouri. She has portrayed several leading roles, including Zosha in Part One of Jake Heggie's Out of Darkness, Isabella in L'Italiana in Algeri, The Beggar Woman in Sweeney Todd, Katisha in The Mikado, and Béatrice in Béatrice et Bénédict. Ms. Ray has also participated in past summer with programs such as Opera in the Ozarks and Opera Academy of California, where she portrayed title roles in La cenerentola and Il Giasone. She was a recipient of the 2016 Encouragement Award at the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, in the Little Rock, AR district.


Betsy Jane Bledsoe Kansas City native, graduated from the University of Missouri (BM) and Michigan State University (MM). Studying vocal performance, she performed several operatic roles, including Serpetta in Mozart’s La finta giardiniera and was a winner of the 2012 Missouri NATS competition. Betsy can be seen performing and directing music theater in the Kansas City area. Her favorite roles include Eliza Doolittle from My Fair Lady, Luisa from The Fantasticks, and Kate Monster from Avenue Q. An accomplished saxophonist, Betsy is a founding member of the Missing Pearl Saxophone Quartet and has performed in the band for shows at Musical Theater Heritage in Crown Center. In between music gigs Betsy directs and arranges music for the Asbury United Methodist Handbell Choir and works as a pharmacy technician at Children's Mercy Hospital.


Mickey Miller performs regularly in operatic, choral, and chamber settings. Recent solo performances include Yotam Haber's "Scene X from The Voice Imitator", Mozart’s Requiem, Dinos Constatidines’ Rosanna, and Nico Muhly’s "Object Songs." Previous operatic roles include Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni), Countess Almaviva (Le nozze di Figaro), Anne Truelove (The Rake’s Progress), Yum-Yum (The Mikado), Johanna (Sweeney Todd),  Geraldine (A Hand of Bridge), and Abigail Williams (The Crucible). This season, she joins her friends in Vox Nova (Missouri) and Red Shift Choir (Baton Rouge) for a series of contemporary choral works. In October, Miller revisits the role of Baroness Angelina (Rosanna) in recital at Carnegie Hall.  Mickey holds a B.M. from the University of Missouri-Columbia, an M.M. from Louisiana State University, and begins Bowling Green State University’s Doctorate in Contemporary Music this August.