Howard Meharg founded Chor Anno in 2009 and is conductor and music director. He taught music in Kelso and Longview, Washington for over thrity years.
Howard is active in the American Choral Directors Association, serving as webmaster/editor of the six-state divisional online newsletter and the website for the seven-state SW division.
His high school choirs consistently received top ratings in annual music events in SW Washington and his choirs were invited to sing at ACDA conferences on several occasions as well as for conventions of the music educators group, WMEA.
Howard's professional work includes singing baritone in two tours of the Norman Luboff Choir and he, along with colleagues Bruce Browne and Larry Marsh, founded (1982) and sang in Male Ensemble Northwest, a group of about twelve conductors from northwest states that continues today to inspire young men to sing as well as provide dazzling concerts for audiences everywhere they go. Howard retired from such professional singing in 2002.
Chor Anno, in fact, is based on the same idea as MEN. For a good many years, Howard noticed the superb singing exhibited by director colleagues at conferences and professional reading sessions. It seemed just a step to invite these folks, who invariably sing well, to form a professional-level choir.
In addition to his current website work, Howard has edited print newsletters (before the days of wide-spread use of the Internet) for WA-ACDA as well as for the NW division. He's served as president of the Washington chapter of ACDA twice and has been on boards for both organizations for over twenty years.
He has directed church choirs during a large part of his career, the last such role for ten years (2002-2012) at St. Stephen's Episcopal Church, Longview, Washington.
Howard lives in Vancouver, Washington with his wife, Karen, their dogs, Kate and McGee (a blind rescue dog from Puerto Rico), and two harassed cats. Vancouver serves as the focal point for rehearsals. The group has developed a following for performances in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho.
Dr. Nicole Lamartine has sung with Chor Anno since 2012 and was named Associate Conductor of the group in 2014.
She is the Director of Choral Activities at the University of Wyoming, Laramie. She is rapidly becoming one of the nation's most sought-after clinicians and honor choir conductors. Her college work includes conducting the Collegiate Chorale, Singing Statesmen, advisor to the male a cappella Happy Jacks, and teaching conducting and applied voice.
She holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Arizona.
Group under her direction have performed at the 2015 NW National Association for Music Education (NAfME) conference, the 2012 NW ACDA conference, and a good many other such events. Her work and research as a female leading male choruses makes her a resource at the national level. She went to China in 2014 as part of a conductor exchange program sponsored by ACDA. She was invited back to Beijing (China University) and returned for guest conducting roles there in May of 2016.
In July, 2015, New Mexico State University named Nicole as a College of Arts and Sciences distinguished alumna.
As a professional vocal musician, Nicole has sung as a regular member of the Grammy-nominated "Conspirare," the Santa Fe Desert Chorale, the Colorado Bach Ensemble, as well as with Chor Anno. She has participated in the recording of six choral CDs on such labels as Harmonia Mundi and Chandos. Nicole has twice served as an adjudicator at International Schools Choral Festivals in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. She has been described as a "rising star" in choral circles wherever she goes.