Board of Directors
Meg Kelley – PCS President
Meg has been a resident of the Palouse since 1976. She has B. Mus., M. Mus. degrees in piano performance and an M.Ed. degree in psychology. She taught piano for 30 years before retiring and then worked for 6 years as “exotic animal curator” at the Palouse Discovery Science Center. The first thing on her retirement bucket list was joining the chorale and it has been a fantastic experience. She lives with her spouse of 38 years, 4 cats and 1 dog in Pullman.
Gary Peterson – Vice President
Born into music — his parents sang with this choir — it didn’t really take until Gary was lured onto the board of directors 15 years ago. They thought a lawyer would be good. The lawyer part didn’t last — he returned to his strength, teaching math to reluctant college kids. Now retired, owner of Old Thing Antiques in Moscow, he stokes his passions for the junk business, beauty in craft, and politics. Gary sings bass, and ramrods the riser crew.
Tom Dechert – Secretary
Tom has lived on and around the Palouse since 1972 and currently resides in Clarkston. Tom began singing with the Idaho State Univ choir in 1962 and has sung in various church and community choirs since then. Tom sings now with the LCSC choir as well as the PCS. Tom’s degrees are in agronomy, soils and international agriculture development, with specialties in water quality, food security, and land use. In addition to jobs in the U.S., Tom has worked in dozens of countries overseas. He has been retired since 2011 but keeps himself busy with various volunteer activities, the most demanding of which is Projects Coordinator for Friends of Niger.
Janice O'Toole - Executive Director
A resident of the Palouse region since 1989, Executive Director Janice O’Toole joined the chorale in 1993. She graduated with an Elementary major and Special Education minor from Metropolitan State College in Denver, Colorado and used her degree through teaching special education and later as a director for programs serving adults with disabilities, volunteering for the Latah Board of Community Guardians, and serving on the board of directors for Palouse Industries (Boost Collaborative). In addition to singing with the chorale, Janice volunteered as vice president for thirteen years, before resigning in 2011 to gratefully accepted her new job as the PCS Executive Director.
Jennifer Bledsoe -- Chorale Member Representative
Jennifer became a member of PCS in 2011, when the urge to be up on the risers during concerts became more overwhelming than the thought of auditioning. She is so glad she did, as being part of this group has been such a blessing. She still pinches herself at the realization that she gets to sing along! Jennifer is thankful for her family who immersed her in music from birth, encouraged her various musical pursuits and filled her life with many fond musical memories. She lives in Moscow, ID with her beloved husband and son. She is an Occupational Therapist and enjoys traveling about the picturesque palouse region providing rehabilitation services in the home setting.
Harold Crook -- Community Representative
Laura Hill -- Community Representative
Community Representative Laura Hill lives in Moscow, Idaho. Laura trained as a psychologist at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, where there was great music to be found every night of the week. She and her husband and daughter moved here in 2000, and she sang in the chorale early in her time on the Palouse. Eventually she began a faculty position in WSU’s Department of Human Development and sadly left behind her singing days. Her husband Paul sings barbershop and bluegrass, so music still has an important place in her life, and she is glad to be rejoining the Choral Society in another role.
Hannah Knecht – Chorale Member Representative
Raised on a steady diet of musicals and Handel’s Messiah, Hannah’s love of music began at a young age. She sang in various choirs in high school and college (U of I) and joined the Palouse Choral Society in 2012. Outside of choir, Hannah works as a laboratory scientist at Moscow Family Medicine and as an auntie extraordinaire to her 6 nieces and nephews.
Jennifer Knowles -- Community Representative
A resident of the Palouse since the early 80’s, Jen first enjoyed musical performances with her parents in Chicago. She remembers seeing The Mikado then and later Sweeney Todd with Angela Lansbury. A love of musical theatre began!
Jen and her husband’s two girls were enrolled in Suzuki violin and cello where parents were actively involved. Later she was the Resident Costumer for Regional Theatre of the Palouse during their beginning years. Of course, the musical theatre pieces were her favorite. Here she could use her degree in Textiles and Clothing from the Univ. of Illinois. She also received a Masters of Adult and Continuing Education at WSU.
Jen and her husband Don of 39 years live with their 2 dogs and 2 cats and soon will become Grands!
Mary McGregor -- Community Representative
Mary McGregor was born in the village of Hooper in the Palouse. Her choral experience included loving to sing, but being asked by her toddler daughter to ”stop singing and I’ll go to bed”. Mary worked as a nurse in Spokane and Seattle after finishing her Bachelor’s Degree in nursing at Washington State University and Master’s Degree in Nursing at University of Washington. She has worked in administrative leadership roles in medical settings, in professional groups, and in volunteer groups. After retirement, Mary moved back to Moscow. In Moscow, she has volunteered for Latah County Library and Artists at the Dahmen Barn. One of her first musical events upon returning to the Palouse was hearing the Palouse Choral Society perform at Uniontown’s St. Boniface Catholic Church.