Our Artistic Director
Jane DeLoach Morison, Artistic Director of the Mountain Empire Children’s Choral Academy and Conductor of the East Tennessee Children’s Choir, Highlands Youth Ensemble, Da Capo Choir and Bella Voce received the Bachelor of Music Education (summa cum laude) from East Tennessee State University, and received the Master of Music degree from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She has also completed further study at L’académie de musique de Sion in Switzerland.
A member of the American Choral Directors Association, Mrs. Morison also holds membership in the Music Teachers National Association, and the National Federation of Music Clubs. She currently serves as the Membership Chair for the Virginia chapter of the American Choral Directors Association.
Mrs. Morison serves on the faculties of King University and the Virginia Suzuki Institute. She has also taught and directed at the Montreat Worship and Music Conference, the Barter Theatre Youth Academy, and the ETSU Piano Camp
Mrs. Morison has conducted MECCA ensembles in venues as diverse as Carnegie Hall, Greece, ACDA state and regional conferences, the Biltmore Estate, and the Bristol Motor Speedway.
In recognition of her work in music education and the performing arts, Mrs. Morison was chosen in 2010 and 2012 to be honored by Minds Wide Open: Virginia Celebrates Women in the Arts.
A Guest Conductor at Carnegie Hall for MidAmerica Productions in 2017, Mrs. Morison has been invited to return to Greece as a Guest Conductor for the 2019 Festival of the Aegean, Syros, Greece.
Christopher Yoder is a native of Canton OH, where he received a Bachelor of Arts from Malone College. In 2003 he and his wife Stephanie made their new home in Bristol VA to pursue careers in music. Christopher teaches piano both at his home studio and St. Anne Catholic School. He also accompanies the choirs for the Mountain Empire Children’s Choral Academy and Virginia Highlands Community College (Abingdon VA), in addition to numerous choral events in the region. A number of Christopher’s compositions have received premieres within the Tri-Cities, including the choral lullaby Balow by the Voices of the Mountains in 2009, and a double choir setting of Psalm 130 by the Highlands Youth Ensemble in 2017.
MECCA Board Chair
Members at Large
Helen King - Honorary Lifetime Member
Beth McCoy - Director Emerita
© 2013 Mountain Empire Children's Choral Academy
MOUNTAIN EMPIRE CHILDREN'S CHORAL ACADEMY
Our Choristers Director
Amy Potterton is a graduate of California State University, Stanislaus, where she graduated with a BA in Music Education, with a vocal emphasis. For six years, Amy directed award winning Junior High and High School choirs in the California public schools. She was also the assistant director of the Modesto Performing Art’s Children’s Choir in California.
Amy founded and directed the award winning Baldwin City Children’s Choir in Baldwin City, Kansas. The BCCC choirs enjoyed critical acclaim by earning a gold medal in their first children’s choir competition in St. Louis in the spring of 2011. This honor gave the choir the opportunity to participate in a national competition in New York in the spring of 2012. Again, the choir received gold ratings from internationally acclaimed conductors in the choral field.
Amy is currently the conductor of Choristers, an ensemble of the Mountain Empire Children's Choral Academy. Choristers is a place for children to come and to develop a love and passion for singing. Amy believes that music is vital to the development of young minds, their imagination, and freedom to express their spirit and feelings.
As a soprano, some of Amy's favorite roles have included the Mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors by Menotti, Suor Genoveva in Suor Angelica by Puccini, and Zerlina in Don Giovanni by Mozart. Her concert roles include the mezzo solos for Handel’s Messiah and the soprano solos for Mozart’s Regina Coeli.