Two exciting, talented musicians will lead and accompany the Sun Lakes United Church of Christ music ministries beginning this September. Both individuals come with formal music education credentials as well as broad musical experience to meet the needs of a church that draws worshipers of varied beliefs and from diverse religious backgrounds from the Chandler area. They are Julie Niesh who will serve as Director of Music and Titus Kautz as Musician/Accompanist.
Many residents of Sun Lakes are familiar with Julie Neish already as she is the accompanist for the Sun Lakes Chorale. She is currently a doctoral candidate in choral conducting at ASU where she directs the ASU Woman’s Chorus and was assistant director of the Chamber Singers. Before this, Julie was Professor of Music and Music Coordinator at Northland Pioneer College in Northern Arizona. There, she conducted the Northland Master Chorale and founded and directed a jazz swing band, a vocal jazz ensemble and an award winning musical theater program.
Prior to her three years at Northland she was ensemble director at George Mason University in Washington DC, and traveled to Italy with the National Philharmonic Chorale as their assistant director and accompanist. Julie’s conducting skills led to invitations in 2013 for conducting and teaching roles at the Universidad Veracruzana in Mexico City, and Sarteano, Italy.
Julie served as Church Musician in both Catholic and Protestant churches from 2009 -2011 in Virginia.
Titus Kautz in his application for Church Musician reported that he had the pleasure of working at a number of churches in a number of different roles including accompanist, singer, and bell choir member. He added that he very much enjoyed collaborating with new people, exchanging ideas and working together to create something beautiful and memorable.
In reference to church music he said that he especially enjoys accompanying choirs and soloists. He is a “well trained” classical pianist but is well versed in a variety of styles including jazz, musical theater, gospel and contemporary Christian music.
Since 2008, Titus has served six churches representing three denominations, offering different forms of worship. His participation in these churches ranged from Church Musician as a pianist (2), vocalist (1), and choir section leader (3).
In addition to his church affiliations, Titus has served in many capacities as director and accompanist for pit orchestras in productions of Broadway favorites, and as accompanist for college and community playhouse productions. He has won awards and recognition for his singing capabilities in choral and in theater productions.