Director of Music
Michael Rintamaa has been the full-time director of music at Central Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in downtown Lexington since May 1993. As organist and director, he leads voice and handbell choirs for children, youth, and adults, and has played for hundreds of weddings. With his church groups, he has conducted and prepared over 15 different major choral works, 8 full length children’s musicals, and commissioned two anthems. His church choirs have appeared on television and radio. In 2004, Michael helped to found the Central Music Academy, providing free music lessons to inner city children from underprivileged families. The Evans Music Room and Sanctuary of Central Christian Church are popular sites for recitals and concerts by area piano teacher studios and festivals as well as university students and local ensembles. Michael has a bachelor of music degree in piano performance from Northwestern University, and a master of music degree in organ performance from Emory University. He has an unfinished Ph.D. in music history from the University of Kentucky. He has taught undergraduate and graduate music courses at UK and Asbury University, as well as guest lectured at Lexington Theological Seminary. Active as a director and organist in the community, Michael was the founding director of the auditioned community handbell ensemble, Alluring (2002-2008), and directed the Donovan Scholars Chorus at the University of Kentucky (1999-2004). He served as organist for Temple Adath Israel (1998-2011) for Lexington Theological Seminary (2000-2004), served a term as the Dean of the Lexington Chapter of the American Guild of Organists (1999-2001), and has played with the Lexington Philharmonic Orchestra. Active as an accompanist, Michael has played for and coached many area vocalists, given numerous recitals with area instrumentalists and vocalists, and accompanied many university and local choral ensembles.
Michael can be heard as organist on 3 cds recorded at Central Christian Church by Jim Curnow of Curnow Music, featuring Phil Smith, principal trumpet of the New York Philharmonic: Great Hymns (2000), Great Carols (2003), and More Great Hymns (2004).
Alluring Handbell Ensemble has recorded two cds with Michael Rintamaa directing – a cd of Christmas handbell music and a cd of classic handbell music.
Mezzo Soprano Sherri Phelps, is an active soloist throughout the Southeast including operatic, oratorio, and concert repertoire. Her credits include: appearances with various University Programs in two roles from Puccini’s Il trittico- La Zia Principessa in Suor Angelica and Zita in Gianni Schicchi, as Dorabella in Mozart’s Cosi Fan Tutte, Marcellina in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro, the title character in The Grand Dutchess of Gerolstein, Hansel in Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel, Madame Pernelle in Kirke Mecham’s Tartuffe, and Madame Armfeldt in A Little Night Music. Ms. Phelps’s other appearances include the Music at the Mission Concert Series narrating Stravinsky’s L’histoire du Soldat with Roscoe Lee Brown, a benefit concert with the Freemont Symphony Guild, Aspen Opera Center singing the role of Myrtle in Still Life. She has performed the mezzo-soprano solos in Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, Mozart’s Requiem and Messiah with the Lexington Philharmonic, and the role of Emilia in Otello with the Kentucky Symphony Orchestra. She spent the month of September 2012 concertizing in California singing the world premiere of Craig Bohmler’s song Keys as well as the rest of his song cycle Songs of Loss with the Mission Chamber Orchestra of San Jose under the baton of Emily Ray. Ms. Phelps has sung under the renown Jonathan Wilcox, and Sir Neville Marinner as well as many other conductors over the course of her career, and has recorded a role in Aaron Copeland’s Tenderland with Kirk Trevor. Currently she is specializing in the songs of composer John Jacob Niles and performing the multimedia recital of his music Written in the Stars with pianist Dr. Rachel Taylor. She is also an active teacher with experience at Western Kentucky University, and Murray State University, as well as maintaining a private studio. A native of Morgantown, KY she currently resides in Lexington, KY where she has completed her DMA from the University of Kentucky after having received her Masters from the Juilliard school, and her Bachelor’s degree from Western Kentucky University.
Linda says, “Teaching music has been an important part of my life since I was a teenager working in my church with young children. Educated at Asbury College and UK, I taught elementary vocal music in Fayette County for 27 years until my retirement in 2000. Since then I have been directing Kids-SING at Central.” Linda is a specialist in teaching Orff-Schulwerk methodology (1980-present). She is also an active private piano instructor (1965-75, 2000-present). “My greatest joys come from developing a love for music in children and watching them express this love in performance. I believe this is God’s way of using my talents for His Glory.”
Chris Teesdale, a life-long member of Central Christian Church, was born and raised in Lexington, KY. During his childhood he studied piano and voice for many years. He started playing percussion in fifth grade and took private lessons through high school.
Chris is a graduate of Tates Creek where he played percussion in the Wind Ensemble, Orchestra, Marching Band, Jazz Band, and Percussion Ensemble all four years. He also played percussion in the Central Kentucky Youth Symphony Orchestra. Chris received several honors during his high school years, including being a member of All-State and All-District Honor Bands, and being awarded the John Phillip Sousa Award his senior year.
Chris attended the University of Louisville, with a major in Music Education. He studied percussion with Gregory Byrne and James Rago. He played with the Symphony Orchestra, Wind Symphony, Percussion Ensemble, Marching Band, and was honored to be a member of a National Wind Ensemble that performed in Carnegie Hall during the summer of 2002. After returning to Lexington, Chris studied percussion with James Campbell and Robbie Parks and played with the Percussion Ensemble and Symphonic Band at the University of Kentucky.
Chris has taught percussion for several high school bands in Kentucky. He also worked at West Jessamine Middle & High Schools for several years, where he assisted with the entire band program. Chris founded and directed two ensembles, the Collision Indoor Drumline and Stallion Stampede Drumline, which both provided performance opportunities for high school students thoughout the region.
He is a free-lance marimba soloist and percussionist often performing for church worship services, events, and conventions. He also plays for school and other events within our community. For many years Chris was a member of the Alluring Handbell Ensemble, a professional level performing group. Chris recently returned to Lexington after spending one year in Kailua, HI – where he taught elementary school music and played percussion with the Honolulu Wind Ensemble.