Youth Choral Education Program
Artistic Directors

KidSounds Northwest

Entering his first year as a conductor for NWAA’s KidSounds, Kassey Castro is a graduate from the University of Washington where he received his Bachelors of Music in Music Education, Choral Emphasis. Along with his experiences in the Kodály method and World Music Pedagogy, he is excited to enrich his students’ musical experiences and build their music literacy through quality repertoire.

Kassey started his journey with music as a clarinet player when he was 10 years old. Since then, he has performed in music theater as both an actor and a pit orchestra director, conducted for the Seattle Video Game Orchestra and Choir, and even marched in the University of Washington Husky Marching Band.

Today, he is an elementary music teacher in the Highline School District. He also serves on the board for the Northwest Kodály Educators, as well as the Washington Chapter of the American Choral Directors Association.



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.