Jennifer Hommez, Founder and Director of Ramapo Valley Youth Chorus
Jennifer grew up in Winter Park, FL where she attended Rollins College. While working on her Bachelor of Arts in Music, she performed with the Winter Park Bach Festival Choir as a choir member and soprano soloist. She gave numerous recitals in and around the Winter Park area. In 1997, Jennifer moved to New York City to attend The Manhattan School of Music where she received her Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance in 2000. Jennifer's Master of Music recital was a program of music by women composers. She has performed professionally as a soloist and choir member at The Riverside Church in New York City since 1997. While at Riverside, Jennifer was The Riverside Church Children’s Choir Director for four years. In this role, she organized and performed in concerts and composed and directed the annual Christmas pageant. Jennifer completed a three year certificate in the Kodály teaching methodology at The Hartt School, University of Hartford in 2005 and completed her Level 3 Orff Schulwerk Certificate through University of the Arts at Villanova in 2017. Jennifer has spent several years performing with the women’s a cappella vocal ensemble, Siréne in New York and New Jersey. Throughout her performing endeavors Jennifer has remained a dedicated elementary general music teacher and choral director at Ridgeway Elementary School in White Plains, New York. At Ridgeway, she teaches music to kindergarten through fifth grade students and directs a volunteer, fourth and fifth grade children’s choir of over one hundred voices. Jennifer lives with her husband, Matthew in Suffern, New York and her daughters, Elise and Audrey.
Matthew Hommez, Choral Accompanist
Matthew has been passionate about music since his earliest years. A native of the state of Iowa, he grew up in a very rich musical environment surrounded by some of the greatest choral programs in the country. In 1999, Matthew moved to New York City and soon after began singing with The Riverside Church Choir. He is currently in his fifth year as the director of The Rising Voices Children's Choir at The Riverside Church. As a music teacher in the White Plains City School District, Matthew directs musical theater productions, choral ensembles and teaches general music classes. He has directed choruses, orchestras and taught general music classes at the elementary, middle and high school levels in the public schools for almost twenty years. He also maintains a private music studio of voice and piano students. Matthew has served as the Eastern Division Representative for the National Association for Music Education General Music Society. He is a member of the Westchester County School Music Association and the New York State School Music Association and is a certified NYSSMA adjudicator. Matthew holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from The University of Northern Iowa and a Masters of Arts degree in Music Education from Teachers College, Columbia University. He has also received additional training in the Kodály methodology from The Hartt School of Music at The University of Hartford. Matthew and his wife, Jennifer, are the proud parents of two girls, Elise and Audrey.