Our Staff

Blake Nawa’a, Assistant Conductor

The Colorado Chorale has selected Blake Nawa’a as the new Assistant Director as the ensemble celebrates its 52nd season. Nawa’a will begin his tenure November 2021 in anticipation of the Chorale’s return to live performances for the holiday season.

A musician accustomed to wearing many hats, Blake works around the wider Denver metro area as a voice teacher, musical theatre music director, conductor, and soloist.

He is a double-graduate of the University of Denver with a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance and a Master of Music in Choral Conducting.

He sings with many of Denver’s choral ensembles, including St Martin’s Chamber Choir, Anima, the Colorado Bach Ensemble, and the Evans Choir.

He also music directs and performs in the Original Dickens Carolers, a Denver-based organization that sends Dickensian-attired quartets to engagements across Colorado during the Christmas season.


Madeleine Vande Polder, Accompanist

Madeleine Vande Polder is a young collaborative pianist based in the Denver, Colorado area. She received her Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance from Truman State University under the instruction of Dr. David McKamie and Dr. Michael Bunchman. While there, she played for the orchestra, wind symphony, opera, musical theatre, Truman’s top choir, Cantoria, and various chamber groups. Maddy was the recipient of the Truman Piano Fellowship Award, the top scholarship a pianist can be awarded.

Following her undergraduate studies, she went on to the University of Colorado, Boulder to pursue a Master in Collaborative Piano as a student of Dr. Margaret McDonald and Dr. Alexandra Nguyen. She received a Teaching Assistant position and gained training in playing with and coaching vocalists and instrumen

talists. She was also the pianist for the school’s University Choir for two years under the baton of Dr. Elizabeth Swanson along with being chosen as the pianist for the Summer Conducting Programs with Dr. Dick Larson and Dr. Robert Ward.

Maddy has also performed internationally in Costa Rica, Hungary, Germany, Austria, and Ireland; and performed in master classes for top pianists in the collaborative field including Dr. Warren Jones, Dr. Nelita True, Dr. Andrew Campbell, and Dr. Rita Sloan.

Dr. Daniel L. Grace, Artistic Director Emeritus

photo-daniel-graceDr. Daniel L. Grace led the Colorado Chorale for 35 years; he retired from the Chorale at the end of the 2008-2009 season.

Noted for his innovative programming, Dan said he planned his concert seasons looking for “two factors: cohesion and variety.” He directed the Chorale in the masterworks; in collaborations with gospel singers, Native American musicians, Celtic dancers, a marimba ensemble, and professional storytellers; and in fully staged musicals from the Broadway tradition.

Dan is a highly regarded clinician, adjudicator, and panel moderator throughout Colorado. Active in the Colorado Music Educators’ Association and the American Choral Directors’ Association, Dan was inducted into the CMEA Educators Hall of Fame in 1992 and chosen as the ACDA Conductor of the Year in 1987.

As Dan retired from the Colorado Chorale after its 39th season, he also honored his talented wife, Billie Grace, the Chorale’s First Lady Emerita.

In gratitude, the Colorado Chorale recognizes the dedication, hard work, and devotion to excellence of Dr. Daniel L. Grace, Artistic Director Emeritus!

Board of Directors


Kendall Bridges



Kate Amack
Vice President


Deb Roth

Kevin Eronimous


Ralph Henning
Member at Large

Kathy Kilmer
Member at Large

Peter Severson
Member at Large

Samantha Taylor

Debbie Shumake
Member at Large