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
Anna Branigan is thrilled to be a part of the debut of the PCS Children’s Choir. Anna and her husband began singing with the Palouse Choral Society after moving to the area in 2014 from Fort Collins, CO, where she taught elementary music and high school choir. She has accompanied since the 4th grade, beginning with her mother’s church choir and playing organ for services, and moving on to accompanying bands, choirs, and theater productions throughout high school, college, and her adult life. She also has enjoyed teaching private piano and voice lessons for many years to students of all ages.
Anna received a BS in Music Education- Choral and General as well as Piano Pedagogy from the University of Wisconsin- La Crosse. She is now a graduate student at the University of Idaho studying for her Master’s in Music Education, and working as a Teaching Assistant for the Music Department.
Anna’s family consists of her husband, Philip, who is also a graduate student at the University of Idaho, and their energetic Boxer, Tyson.