Elena Panchenko, originally from Ukraine, studied at the Moscow Conservatory, where she earned her degree in piano performance, music history and music theory. She served as the Musical Director of the State Opera for four years and performed the debut of two new operas, including Mrs. Satan, an opera about the life of the first woman presidential candidate, Victoria Woodhall.
Working extensively as an accompanist and church musician, Elena has performed with groups as varied as a children’s dance group to such well-known musicians as Francis Orval and David Shifrin, clarinetist and Music Director of Chamber Music at Lincoln Center. In addition to Elena’s duties with the chorale, she is also the Music Director at St. James’ Episcopal Church in Pullman.
Elena’s family includes her husband, Alex, WSU Math Professor and former Ukrainian rock star (as is Elena); her son Ivan, a university student; and their dog, Tasha.
Children’s Choir Accompanist
Stuart Evans is a senior at the University of Idaho studying piano performance under Dr. Rajung Yang. A Moscow native, Stuart graduated high school from Logos School and studied piano with Sandra Mauchley for seven years prior to attending the UI.
With a love for chamber music, Stuart has participated in the Palouse Chamber Music Workshop, playing in different trios, quartets, and a quintet over the course of seven years. In addition, has competed at Musicfest Northwest and taken part in the Northern Idaho Piano festivals/adjudications. Stuart has also been musically involved with his church, playing the organ, piano, and keyboard in different capacities over the past seven years.
Since beginning at the University of Idaho, he has performed in multiple LHSOM convocations, premiered a couple student compositions, studied organ for a year with Susan Billin, and accompanied a number of singers and instrumentalists. At the beginning of 2017, he began teaching piano through LHSOM’s Preparatory Division. Along with the Palouse Choral Society Children’s Choir, he is currently the accompanist for the Emanuel Lutheran Church choir and the UI Men’s Chorus.
In addition to music, Stuart also has diverse interests in math, quantum physics, and cognitive psychology, and dreams of merging them all into a future career of teaching, collaborating, performing, research, and writing.