Staff and Board




Jonathan Miller

(Evanston, Gold Coast, Hyde Park, Arlington Heights, and Hinsdale Encore Chorales)

Encore Illinois is directed by Jonathan Miller, who serves as Artistic Director & Conductor. He is well known as the founder and artistic director of Chicago a cappella, the virtuoso professional ensemble that he founded in 1993 and continues to serve. For his work there, Jonathan is the recipient of Chorus America‘s Louis Botto Award for Innovative Action and Entrepreneurial Zeal, and he enjoys bringing that same energy to Encore Illinois. Jonathan is a singer, composer, arranger, cantor, producer, and passionate spokesperson for the power of choral music. A leader in Jewish choral music, he is the host of “A Chanukah Celebration with Chicago a cappella,” broadcast nationally on the WFMT Fine Arts Network. For more than 30 years, Jonathan has made choral music engaging and fun for singers from amateur to professional. A former board member of Chorus America, he also serves as an enthusiastic auctioneer for charity events.


Linda Crabtree Powell

(Oak Park/River Forest Encore Chorale)

Linda Crabtree Powell has taught music in the Oak Park/River Forest area, where she began the BRAVO! Program at Brooks Middle School in Oak Park. Most recently she has been the choral director at Trinity High School in River Forest, where her choirs traveled and performed in Canada, Ireland, and Spain as well as receiving special invitations to sing at the Art Institute of Chicago. Her book, Compelling Choral Concerts, on the art of choral programming, was recently published by GIA Publications. Last season, the OPRF Encore Chorale gave additional programs including a performance at the 7th International Conference of Aging and Spirituality at Concordia University in June 2017.




Amy Wurtz

(Evanston, Hyde Park, and Gold Coast Chorales)

Amy composes, teaches and performs throughout Chicago and the Midwest. Her compositions have been commissioned and performed by Zeitgeist, Access Contemporary Music, the Chicago Composers Orchestra and others, and her first two string quartets were recorded and released on CD by the Chicago Q Ensemble in 2012. She is a board member of New Music Chicago and the Music Director at Hemenway United Methodist Church in Evanston.

Lisa Lord

(Hinsdale Chorale)

Lisa is an accomplished pianist and accompanist with more than 20 years’ experience in church music and in accompanying singers and choirs from professional to elementary school. She currently serves as pianist/organist at Our Lady of the Angels Catholic Church in Burr Ridge and at St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church in Lisle, and is accompanist for the Downers Grove Children’s Choir Level II ensemble.

Gregory Shifrin

(Arlington Heights Encore Chorale)

Born in Russia and trained in Moscow, Gregory Shifrin has had a successful career as a pianist and accompanist there, in Israel, and in the U.S. He won first prize at the 1994 Tabor-Fintz Competition in Jerusalem, and has won several other awards. His orchestral engagements include work with the Israeli Chamber Orchestra, the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, IBA, the Bialystok Philharmonic, and the Evanston Symphony Orchestra. He has been featured in live radio broadcasts on the WFMT Fine Arts Network and in Israel and Florida. He has taught piano privately and enjoys a busy schedule as an accompanist for Chicago-area singers and choirs, including Youth Choral Theater of Chicago, the Music Institute of Chicago, DePaul University, and elsewhere.


In addition to the music staff listed above, the current board of directors consists of Sandy Siegel Miller (President), Geri H. Sztuk, and Christine Murray. Some Chorales also have a Chorus Master, a singer who assists with the on-site administration of his/her Encore Chorale.

Encore Illinois is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt charitable organization.

Thanks to everyone who makes Encore run; it takes all of us to create this remarkable community.