Musical Directors and Board

ANGELA HJERSTEDT – Artistic Director

Angela Hjertstedt was born and raised in Portland, Oregon. In 1999, she holds an undergraduate degree in Vocal Performance and a Master’s degree in Education form Portland State University, having the honor of studying under Dr. Bruce Browne, Debbie Glaze, and Christine Meadows. Angela has held a variety of teaching positions, including at Centennial Middle School, where her ensemble was awarded third place in University of Portland’s Best of the Northwest festival, and she was nominated by her students and received a teacher award from a local radio station. She has also taught in musical programs at Rock Creek Middle School, where she helped grow the program to four choirs with 250 students. She is currently teaching part time at Happy Valley Middle School, where she has grown enrollment by 50% in the past year, and where her two sons will attend. Angela is an accomplished pianist, frequently hired to accompany choirs, soloists, and ensembles around Portland. She is also involved in church music ministry, and is often found at Cannon Beach Conference Center as a pianist and vocalist. Angela has taught private voice lessons for 20 years, and even with a small roster due to her day job, has students at the State Solo Championship nearly every year. Angela sang professionally for six years in “Choro in Scuola” under the direction of Dr. Bruce Browne, mentoring and inspiring high school choirs and their directors.


Andrea was born and raised in Kailua, Hawaii. She has a BS in Pharmacy from Oregon State University and is a licensed pharmacist in Oregon where she has lived for most of the last 20 years. In June of 2009, Andrea and her family moved to the Netherlands for what was to become a very challenging and rewarding 14-month expat experience. Now back in Oregon, she is a full-time mother of two who volunteers in her children’s classrooms as a general helper, math teaching assistant, and art literacy aide.

Music and the arts have always played a large role in her life. Andrea grew up singing in choirs and playing various instruments, eventually settling on the cello. She strongly believes in the value of music enrichment and the sense of community found within choirs.

Andrea’s son sings in the Advanced Gents choir. They were a Music Together family with director Craig Van Ness, who introduced them to Portland Choirs when her son “graduated” from the MT program. Andrea was impressed from the very first rehearsal by Dr. York’s extraordinary ability to turn the unique challenges presented when teaching boys into learning moments. She finds his dedication to teaching and passion for music to be inspiring, and is firmly committed to supporting his vision and the Portland Choirs’ mission.

JAMES M WHITE – Board Member

James is a native Oregonian who holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from Oregon State University. He gained a deep appreciation for music from his parents (Mom was an opera singer, Dad a classical music aficionado), and played clarinet and saxophones at McKay High School in Salem, and in All State ensembles. His son has sung in Portland Boychoir’s Intermediate and Advanced choirs, benefiting from the outstanding learning, social, and performance opportunities that the organization offers.

James has held a variety of leadership positions in information technology, e-commerce, digital marketing, and business operations in the technology industry. He is currently an IT director at Intel. He also served on the founding board of directors of Optimum Learning Environments (now Forest Ridge Elementary), a charter school established in partnership with Salem-Keizer School District.

LAUREN BERG – Treasurer

Leave a Reply