Youth Choral Education Program (YCEP)
Artistic Directors

collen-webKidSounds Northwest

Colleen Thomas-Reitsma has been a respected music educator in the Highline School District for many years. A graduate of Central Washington University in Elementary Education with a Music Education minor, Colleen chose to further her studies by attending the Hartt School of Music at the University of Hartford, earning her Master’s degree in Music Pedagogy. Always excited to learn and grow as a musician, Colleen earned her certification in Kodály education from Portland State University. As a Kodály inspired music teacher she believes that children deserve the best quality music education possible, experiencing high caliber music while developing musicianship skills. Colleen has served on the board of the Northwest Kodály Educator’s (NKE), been a presenter at NKE workshops, and been blessed by the amazingly knowledgeable and talented members of the Kodály community. Colleen’s most valued achievement and learning opportunity has been shared with her husband Floyd, the parenting of their two children Peter and Lola.

“When you’re happy, sing. When you’re sad, sing even louder.” – Irish Proverb



YouthSounds Northwest

TeenSounds Northwest

Kerstin Shaffer has been conducting choirs of all ages for over 20 years in Washington, California and Minnesota, and now teaches choirs at Gray Middle School in Tacoma. She holds a Bachelors degree in music from California State University, East Bay and a Masters of Sacred Music in choral conducting from Luther Seminary.

For  many years, Kerstin has served Lutheran churches as minister of music and director of choral music including teaching K-8 music at Glendale Lutheran School. Currently she sings with the Tacoma Symphony Chorus under the direction of Dr. Geoffrey Boers. She serves on the Tacoma Symphony Orchestra Board of Directors in an ex officio position as President of the Chorus. Kerstin holds professional membership in the American Choral Directors Association and Association of Lutheran Church Musicians.

In her free time, she and her husband Jon are enjoying the “empty nest” with their two children off to college.