Columbia Choral Society

Columbia Choral Society

The Columbia Choral Society exists to stimulate interest in and broaden knowledge of the world's choral master works, and to perform this literature to high standards of excellence for audiences in South Carolina.


Board Officers

Chair: Richard Schulz
Vice-Chair: Audrey Korsgaard
Secretary: Martha McConnell
Treasurer: David Watkins
Music Director: Beth Mears (ex-officio)


Board Members

Richard SchulzRichard M. Schulz, Board Chair, is a professor of Pharmacy at the South Carolina College of Pharmacy at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, SC. He received his B.S. in Pharmacy from University of Maryland, and his M.S. and Ph.D. from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He has worked in community and hospital pharmacy, as well as for the Maryland Pharmacy Association and the Maryland Poison Center. He has worked as a faculty member at West Virginia University and University of Washington. His research focuses on how and why people take medicine, and has been funded by government, foundations, and the pharmaceutical industry. He has served on editorial, professional and community Boards, including several different terms as Chair of the Columbia Choral Society Board, and president of the chorus. He has been a member of the chorus for 18 years.

Audrey KorsgaardAudrey Korsgaard, Board Vice-Chair, Chorus President-elect, is a professor of Management at the University of South Carolina Darla Moore School of Business in Columbia, SC. She received her Ph.D. from New York University and taught at Tulane University before joining the University of South Carolina. Her research focusses on how leaders build trust and motivate followers. She also works with numerous corporations on leadership development and 360 degree feedback. She also serves on the board of the Palmetto Health Foundation.

Martha McConnellMartha K. McConnell, Chorus and Board Secretary, is Vice President and State Counsel for Chicago Title Insurance Company. She worked in both residential and commercial real estate for over 15 years before joining Chicago Title in 1998. She is the author of Company publications and training materials, and is a frequent lecturer on various real estate and title insurance topics. She received her B.A. degree from Winthrop University and her J.D. degree from the Charleston School of Law. She is a active member of the SC Bar Association, the Richland County Bar Association, the SC Women Lawyers Association as well as the Palmetto Land Title Association. She was awarded the J. Lee McDonald Award in 2015 for outstanding contributions to the title insurance industry.

David WatkinsDavid is a Certified Public Accountant and currently has a practice located at 3103 Devine Street where he does mostly tax work. He is a native of Columbia where he attended Cardinal Newman High School. During his teenage years, he was active in the scouting program and was successful in obtaining his Eagle Award. After graduating from Clemson University in 1981 with a degree in accounting he joined the international accounting firm of Ernst and Young in Houston, Texas. He is the father of four children and he is active in the Columbia running community and has served on the board of Trustus Theater, Columbia Choral Society, and Sandlapper Singers. He also served as the fundraising chairman of the American Cancer Society in SC.

William ShortreedWilliam J. Shortreed, a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh in Chemical Engineering, is a retired business executive. He has worked for large and small companies in a variety of management functions including sales, marketing, engineering (multiple disciplines), plant management, general management and supply chain management. He now focuses on participation in civic programs like the Clean Of Heart Program for the homeless. He joined the CCS Board to support our dedicated membership and the organizational development of our music outreach programs for our community.

James ThompsonJames E. Thompson, Chorus Treasurer
Director of Finance, Retired. Companion Life Insurance Company. a wholly owned subsidiary of BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina.

Paul de HolczerPaul D. de Holczer was admitted to the South Carolina Bar in 1994. He is a member of the South Carolina Bar and the American Bar Association, Litigation Section, Select Committee on Real Estate Litigation and Condemnation. Mr. de Holczer received his education at Presbyterian College (B.A.) and the University of South Carolina (M.A.; J.D.).
His practice focuses on two areas in particular: Eminent Domain and Professional Licensing. He represents landowners as well as condemnors and defends the licenses of professionals facing investigations and prosecutions by the State licensing boards. He received his education at Presbyterian College (B.A.), Central College (London Program); University of South Carolina (M.A.; J.D.), and Corvinus University of Budapest (Summer Program). He serves on the Protection and Advocacy for People with Mental Illness (PAIMI) Advisory Council of Protection and Advocacy for People for Disabilities, Inc. (P&A).

Jonathan BockJonathan Bock, Immediate Past Chair, is currently the manager for training and quality audit for one of the largest departments at Colonial Life. His love for classical music began as a child listening to his parents extensive collection of vinyl music records. He has sung in various churches choirs since he was a small child and sang with his high school and college choirs. In his adult life, he has sung with the Chattanooga Symphony Chorus, the Chattanooga Symphony Opera Chorus and the Columbia Choral Society. He studies voice privately for his personal enrichment and loves to read history and travel in his personal time. Jonathan has a Bachelors in Economics from East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina. He resides in Irmo, South Carolina, and attends the historic First Baptist Church of Columbia.

Ashlee LewisAshlee A. Lewis, Chorus President-elect, is a research assistant professor in the Office of Program Evaluation, housed in the College of Education at the University of South Carolina. She received her Ph.D. in Foundations of Education and also holds a Masters of Education in Educational Research, both from the University of South Carolina. She completed a Bachelor of Arts in Music at Columbia College, where she studied voice with Lanny Palmer. She leads a research and evaluation team consisting of staff and graduate research assistants who work on projects such as a statewide arts assessment, an investigation of the implementation of federally-funded special education initiatives, and an evaluation of a federal Race to the Top project.

Kathy AllenKathy has worked for The State Media Company since December 1996. Kathy started her career at The State in Human Resources as the Benefits and Training Manager. In 2001, Kathy was promoted to be the Executive Assistant to the Publisher. Sara Borton is the fourth publisher that Kathy has assisted. In June 2014, Kathy was promoted to Marketing Director. In addition to being the Marketing Director, Kathy continues in her role as Executive Assistant to the Publisher. Kathy serves on the Senior Leadership Team at The State. Kathy graduated with a B.B.A. in Marketing from the University of North Florida (Jacksonville, Fl). She grew up and has lived in Columbia, S.C. most of her life. Kathy has two grown children that also grew up in Columbia. Kathy serves on the board of Senior Resources. She is a member of St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church where she serves on the communications committee and as the secretary of their mission council.