Lori Tennenhouse

Artistic Director

Lori is the founding Artistic Director of the Grand Rapids Women’s Chorus and has served in that role since its founding in 1996. Passionate about expanding the depth of repertoire for women’s voices, she has collaborated with the Grand Rapids Women’s Chorus (GRWC) to commission and perform nine original works by women composers. She is proud to have been honored with a YWCA TRIBUTE! Award in the Performing Arts category.

From 2013-2022, Lori was employed as the Executive and Artistic Director of the Girls Choral Academy where she worked to “Give Girls a Voice”, providing girls throughout West Michigan an opportunity to build confidence and community through choral music.
As an arranger, Lori published Iraqi Peace Song, a traditional Iraqi lullaby written by Knut Reiersrud and premiered by the GRWC in 2007.

Lori received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Music from Aquinas College and is a member of the American Choral Directors’ Association, Michigan School Vocal Music Association and Chorus America.

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Mary Klaasen

Assistant Director

Mary Klaasen joined the Grand Rapids Women’s Chorus In 2022, but her connection to the chorus dates back to her first voice teacher, Martha VanderEyk, a founding member of the chorus and one of the mentors who led Mary to a career in music. Mary is honored to continue Martha’s legacy as the Assistant Director for the GRWC and director of Lady Oak.

Mary Klaasen is a dedicated educator and accomplished musician, seamlessly blending her passion for singing with a steadfast commitment to education. She holds a Master of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction from Grand Canyon University and a Bachelor of Music Education in vocal instruction from Grand Valley State University. Devoted to treble voices, Mary is committed to cultivating safe, inclusive spaces for singers to build confidence and achieve musical excellence.
With over ten years of experience, Mary has taught general music and choir in urban communities in Grand Rapids and Phoenix, Arizona. She previously served as the Assistant Artistic Director at the Girl’s Choral Academy, where she directed choirs from elementary to middle school. Currently, Mary is the Choir Director at Burton Middle School in Grand Rapids.
Beyond the classroom, Mary is a soprano in Staff Notes GR and the Grand Rapids Women’s Chorus. She has a rich history, having been a choral scholar and director of a children’s chorus at Park Church. Mary had the opportunity to be a backup singer for Josh Groban, performed in concert with Judy Collins, Bobby McFerrin, and guest soloist with the Calvin Oratorio Society. Her musical journey has taken her on tours with choirs to Europe and Africa.

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Phil Pletcher


Philip W. Pletcher, conductor, pianist, actor and composer, has been active in music since age four and has played throughout the United States and Canada. He is a soloist and collaborative musician and is the pianist for Grand Rapids Women’s Chorus. Formerly, he served as pianist and conductor for the West Michigan Gay Men’s Chorus. He maintains a private teaching studio and has been a Production Pianist for Opera Grand Rapids.

Phil performs with William and Hollis Bokhout in the piano/vocal trio colla voce, has served as the Director of Music at Plymouth United Church of Christ, at First (Park) Congregational United Church of Christ and at St. Cecilia Music Society. Formerly, he was on the accompanying staff at Calvin College and Grand Valley State University. His arrangements for multiple pianos have been performed across the U.S.

He hosted the weekly radio show “Guest Conductor” for four years on WFGR 98.7 FM, the former Grand Rapids classical station, and is a past president of the Grand Rapids Piano Teachers’ Forum.

Mr. Pletcher received his bachelor’s degree in piano performance from Bethel College in consortium with Indiana University. His graduate study was at Michigan State University under Ralph Votapek. He has served on the board of directors of the Grand Rapids Bach Festival and on the Advisory Council for the Calvin College Artist Series. He is also past President of the Michigan Music Association.

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