Choirs of Ross Local Schools, Ross, Ohio

Staff

Headshot.jpeg

Director of Choral Activities

Mr. Sterling Finkbine is in his fifth year as Director of Choral Activities for the Ross Local School District in Ross, Ohio.  His duties at Ross include 5 curricular choirs at both the middle and high school, and 2 extra-curricular competitive show choirs, Legacy and Next Generation. In addition, he is on staff in the music department for the Venice Presbyterian Church, and acts as the Co-Senior Class Advisor for the RHS Senior Class. 

Prior to his position at Ross, he spent 4 years as Assistant Director/Combo Director for Hamilton High School’s show choir, Rhapsody In Blue. In 2013, he toured as a clinician and performer throughout Germany, Belgium, and France. He is an active adjudicator and clinician, working with competitive show choir and concert choirs from across the country. Furthermore, he is an active member of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), National Association for Music Educators (NAfME), Ohio Choral Director's Association (OCDA), and the Ohio Music Education Association (OMEA). Sterling holds a Bachelors of Music from Wright State University and is currently furthering his education, pursuing his Masters of Educational Leadership. 

Ross Middle School Director of Choirs

Ms. Ruth Mappes is so excited to come onboard as the new Middle School and High School Co-director for the Ross Local School district in Ross, Ohio.  She has the privilege to work with the middle school choirs and general music classes as well as Symphonic Chorale, Legacy Show Choir, and the newly formed middle school show choir, Next Generation. In addition, Ruth also works as the Director of Music Ministries at Southminster Presbyterian Church in Centerville, Ohio.  In May 2017, she had the opportunity to conduct one of the best masterworks of all time, the Rutter Requiem, with her choir of Southminster and Grace United Methodist in Dayton, Ohio

Ruth comes to Ross after teaching three years at The Miami Valley School in Dayton, Ohio.  There, she was the Coordinator of Choir and Performing Arts Department Chair. In addition, she taught courses in Music Technology, Songwriting, Evolution of Popular Culture Music, and Rock Band. She was the music director and conductor for On the Town, Thoroughly Modern Millie, 101 Dalmatians Kids, and Aladdin Kids. Both of her middle and upper school a cappella groups have been professionally recorded and the upper school group, Ars Nova, advanced to finals in the International Championship of High School A Cappella 2017 placing 5th in the nation. Throughout their two-year history in this competition, they won Outstanding Choreography awards three different times. Furthermore, Ars Nova has been nominated for three Contemporary A Cappella Awards and have won two Hermes Advertising Awards for the music video Freedom.  

Ms. Mappes is an active member of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), National Association for Music Educators (NAfME), and the Ohio Music Education Association (OMEA). She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Wright State University with degrees in Music Education and Vocal Performance. She actively works as a clinician in the Cincinnati and Dayton area.

District Accompanist

Mrs. Brenda Hartman is thrilled to be starting her fifth year as accompanist for the Ross School District.  She also serves as accompanist for Wyoming City Schools. Before coming to Ross, Brenda was on staff at Finneytown for 9 years. She has also accompanied all over Cincinnati, including SCPA, Highlands High School in KY, Winton Woods, Goshen and Northern Kentucky University.  In addition to her school duties, she is the contemporary music director at Forest Chapel United Methodist Church, All Saints Catholic Church, and also teaches piano lessons.

In addition to being a pianist, she has a long history as a vocalist.  Brenda has performed with the Cincinnati Pops as part of an Andrews Sisters trio, and also with a professional vocal jazz group, VocalEase, which she founded, traveling with the Pops for performances in Cleveland and NYC's Carnegie Hall. She was a member of the Cincinnati May Festival Chorus for 10 years, and most recently has joined the Hamilton Fairfield Symphony Chorale.

Brenda received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Music with an emphasis in piano from Messiah College in Grantham, PA. She also studied at Susquehanna University in Selinsgrove, PA where she had the opportunity to travel extensively as a member of Re-Creation, an 8 voice vocal group that primarily served as entertainers to hospitalized US Veterans throughout the country.

Brenda currently lives in Finneytown and is married to her husband Ron. They have 2 sons, Andy and Matthew, and 2 beagles, Crosley and Charlotte!

Assistant Show Choir Director

Mr. David Eschenbrenner is a 2008 graduate of Ross High School, and is a recent graduate of Miami University with a degree in Music and a Minor in Business. Throughout the years, David has been heavily involved with the Show choir atmosphere, working with local groups as a guest clinician. He is an alumni of the Ross Show choir, "Rhythm in Motion", having participated as a singer/dancer and assisting the group as a section leader and dance captain. Outside of the Show choir world, David has participated in various community theatre organizations such as Fairfield Summer and Greater Hamilton Civic Theatre. When he is not working with the schools, he is the Audio/Visual Technician for The Presbyterian Church in Hamilton. David is an active member of state and regional music organizations such as ACDA and OMEA and a dedicated member of the music fraternity, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia.

Show Choir Choreographer

Mr. Sam Chenoweth is a freelance show choir choreographer, clinician and adjudicator in addition to his role as Associate Director of Choirs at Carmel High School in Carmel, IN, where his duties include directing/co-directing five curricular choirs, leading two musical theater courses, and directing the musical. A graduate of Fairfield High School and alumni of the show choir program there, he recently graduated cum laude from Ball State University, receiving a Bachelor of Science in Music Education. During his time at Ball State, he served as Production Assistant/Choreographer for the internationally recognized “Ball State University Singers” collegiate show choir, Music Director of “The Prism Project,” an arts program for secondary students with autism, and President of the BSU Chapter of ACDA. Finishing his collegiate career, Sam was named a Presser Scholar in the spring of 2016 and student taught at Center Grove High School under Mrs. Jennifer Dice. In addition to his collegiate work, Sam has choreographed for more than a dozen competitive high school, junior high and unisex groups across the Midwest, most notably leading the Fairfield show choir program. His responsibilities with Fairfield included choreographing, designing and directing all three competitive ensembles; his groups continually receive awards in competition for Best Choreography, Best Vocals, Best Show Design, and also Grand Champion honors. Sam works with many groups throughout the year as a guest clinician and adjudicator and also enjoys spending time in the summer as a counselor for Showchoir Camps of America in Decatur, IL and Tiffin, OH. In his time away from show choir, he has worked as a Vocal Music Instructor for The Children’s Theater of Cincinnati and Music Director or Choreographer for several school and community theatrical productions.