Administrative, Artistic & Teaching Team Members
Alex Gartner is the Artistic & Executive Director of the Pensacola Children’s Chorus (PCC). Under his leadership since 2016, PCC’s programs have expanded to include 10 resident ensembles in addition to numerous initiatives which spread music throughout the community through innovative means of performance, creativity, and collaboration alongside service-based nonprofit organizations. A native of Cincinnati, Ohio, Mr. Gartner previously served as the Assistant Director of the Cincinnati Youth Choir, ensemble-in-residence at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM). He is an active composer, clinician, and conductor, and his choirs have performed in esteemed concert halls across the United States and internationally in China, Italy, and Ireland. A passionate educator, Gartner is a proponent of teaching people through music, a philosophy which he advocates as a presenter for many local, regional, and national conferences and professional development workshops across the country. He earned a Master of Music in Music Education from the University of Florida and a Bachelor of Music (summa cum laude) in Music Education from CCM. He was the 2012 recipient of CCM’s John Leman Award for Outstanding Choral Leadership, and in 2017 was named a Rising Star by Pensacola’s Inweekly and a Champion for the Arts by the Escambia County School District.
Miguel Aldahondo is the Associate Director of Community Programs and a proud alumnus of the Pensacola Children’s Chorus. A native of Aguadilla, Puerto Rico, he moved to Pensacola at the young age of 12 and has been an active performer in the area ever since. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Vocal Performance from the University of West Florida where he explored many styles ranging from Opera to Chamber Music and also Jazz. After earning his degree in 2013, he became an educator. He taught voice and piano at the Gulf Breeze School of Music for 5 years. He then became a music educator for the Escambia County School District where he taught general music at Warrington Elementary and was the Choir Director for Ferry Pass Middle School. When he’s not working with the children’s chorus, he enjoys being a part of the Olive Baptist Church praise team and performing at weddings and music festivals as a member of the band Nobius.
Courtney Backherms is the Office Coordinator/ Executive Assistant for our PCC staff. A Tallahassee native, Courtney holds a Communication Arts background with a personal history with music from her time at Florida State University with the Tallahassee Community Chorus (2012-2015). She moved to Pensacola after graduation where she honed her customer service skills and grew in support positions serving local foster children and families. Courtney believes strongly in encouraging kids of all ages to engage with music and provide an outlet for them to shine and make friendships that last a lifetime. Her heart for music and performance brought her to the Pensacola Children's Chorus, where she is excited to serve in an administrative capacity with our Artistic Directors and planning staff. When not at work, Courtney enjoys visiting our stunning beaches, traveling with her husband, loves all things pop culture, and shares her love by cooking and baking for family and friends. She'll be happy to answer any questions you have when you call the office!
Juliana Joy Child is a music educator and soprano who hails from a small town in Massachusetts. She holds Bachelor’s degrees in Music Education and Voice Performance from Ithaca College. Juliana has directed choirs and taught general music in a variety of settings, most recently in the Brockton and Hingham public school districts. For several years, she served as the Assistant Conductor and Soprano Section Leader of the Dorothy Cotton Jubilee Singers. She has also worked as a collaborative pianist and assistant conductor with the Ithaca Children & Youth Chorus, the Longview Intergenerational Choir, and the Ithaca College Campus Choral Ensemble. Juliana worked as a music director for the Act One Scene 1 summer musical theatre program in Brockton, MA from 2015 to 2019 and has served as a cantor, pianist, and music ministry leader in various places of worship in Massachusetts and New York. In addition, she has enjoyed teaching private piano and voice lessons to beginners of all ages. A dedicated member of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), Juliana has been featured as a speaker and has been selected to conduct in masterclasses at both regional and national ACDA conferences. She is thrilled and honored to be a part of the PCC team!
JULIANA JOY CHILD
Brooke Dykes is the Performance Coordinator for Pensacola Children’s Chorus. She graduated from Mississippi University for Women with a BA in English. She has a project management and sales background as well as a Director’s Credential in Early Childhood Education. She found her passion for Pensacola Children’s Chorus while serving as a key volunteer for 6 years. She enjoys cooking, playing with her furry children, watching football and spending time with her family in her free time.
Christy Rogers is the Director of Advancement for the Pensacola Children’s Chorus (PCC). Christy was born and raised in Pensacola and recently moved home after spending the last 18 years in Gainesville, FL, Winston-Salem, NC and Panama City, FL. She graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor of Science and Master’s in Family, Youth and Community Sciences with a minor in Leadership Development. Her experience includes three years teaching “Life Skills” to middle schoolers, and over ten years working in nonprofit organizations focusing on child welfare and fundraising. Christy is active in her community previously serving in various leadership capacities with the Junior League of Panama City, and the Bay County Chamber. After seeing the need in her community, she founded the Junior League of Panama City’s Diaper Bank which has distributed nearly 500,000 diapers in the last five years. She is a member of IMPACT 100 Pensacola Bay Area, Junior League of Pensacola, and is looking forward to becoming involved in the community. She is a self-described “crazy aunt” who is wild about her nine nieces and nephews: Isaac, Silas, Porter, Naomi, Palmer, Sophia, Chiara, Laurel, and Avonlea. Christy enjoys spending time with her friends & family, cross-stitching, traveling and giving back to her community.
Heidi Jade Siren graduated from the University of West Florida's Theatre Department in 2007 with a BA in Costume Design and Technology. Since graduating from UWF, she has been blessed to work professionally with Janiec Opera (Brevard, NC), Papermill Playhouse (NYC), Eric Winterling, Inc. (NYC), New York School for Drama (NYC), Northglenn Youth Theatre (Northglenn, CO), Rocky Mountain Theatre for Kids (Boulder, CO), The Mammals (Chicago, IL), Babes with Blades (Chicago, IL), Wardrobe Witchery (Pensacola, FL), The Fiesta of Five Flags Foundation (Pensacola, FL), Pensacola Opera (Pensacola, FL), and Pensacola Little Theatre (Pensacola, FL). Heidi was nominated for the 2018 Pensacola Women of Distinction Award through the Girls Scouts of the Florida Panhandle. Her hobbies include: volunteering with the music ministry and high school youth group at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, auditioning for local community theatre productions, karaoke, and spending quality time with her beloved family - Teddy, Joshua, India, Beni Hana, and Baby Siren arriving in February of 2020.
Artistic, Teaching & Technical Team Members
& Facilities Specialist