Artistic Staff

Sally Husch Dean

Sally Husch Dean

Artistic Director, Director Caprice, Brioso

Sally Husch Dean, founding artistic director of San Diego North Coast Singers has been a leader in the performing arts community of San Diego County for thirty years. Her contributions to the cultural fabric of the area are focused in music education in general and the choral music arena in particular. She founded Sorelle San Diego women’s chamber chorus in 2013.

Ms. Dean holds a Bachelor’s degree in Voice Performance from the University of California, San Diego, and a Master of Music: Choral Conducting from California State University, Los Angeles. She has studied conducting with David Chase in San Diego and Donald Brinegar in Los Angeles.

As the founding artistic director of the San Diego North Coast Singers Youth Chorus, Dean has led the prestigious youth ensemble on national and international tours. She served as adjunct faculty member of Palomar College in San Marcos California where she directed both the Palomar College Chamber Singers and the Palomar College Chorale from 2007-20016. She is a long-standing member of the soprano section of the La Jolla Symphony Chorus.

Justine Hansen

Director Brioso

Justine Hansen is a conductor and music educator based in San Diego, California where she serves as Director of Adult Music at First United Methodist Church in Chula Vista and as Assistant Artistic Director for the San Diego Women’s Chorus. Justine also works with Dr. Emilie Amrein as the music director for the USD Youth Choral Academy. She has previously held choral positions at the Bishop’s School in La Jolla, California and in the Milwaukee public schools.

Justine holds a BFA in Choral Music Education from the University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee, and a Master of Choral Music Education degree from Kent State University.  She has studied conducting with Dr. Sharon Hansen (UW-Milwaukee and Milwaukee Choral Artists), Dr. Patrick Walders (San Diego State University), and Dr. Chris Peterson (Cal-State Fullerton).  Hansen is an active member of ACDA and NAfME, and serves on the board of the California Music Educator’s Association.

Paul Hayes

Director Giocoso

Paul’s desire is to pass on his love for music to the next generation.  He found a vehicle to teach music to children through the Kodaly methodology under the tutelage of Martha Rosacker, Diane Geller, Pam Wade, and Dr. Katherine Hickey at Palomar College.

Paul interned with the Palomar Youth Chorale as he completed his Kodaly certification.  After a career as a regular education second grade teacher in Vista and then a business coach with Buffini and Company in Carlsbad, he recently returned to complete his second undergraduate major in Music at Concordia College, Moorhead,MN. There he studied conducting with Dr. Rene Clausen and sang with The Concordia Choir.

He also holds a Business Administration degree from California Baptist University and a Masters in Education from Golden Gate Seminary. Paul is a lifetime member of  the Organization of Kodaly Educators (OAKE).

Michelle Risling

Director Capella

Michelle Risling earned her K-12 teaching credential and Bachelor of Arts in Music Education, choral emphasis, at California State University, Fullerton. There, she studied conducting and music education with Drs. Robert Istad and Christopher Peterson. She held section leader positions in both CSU Fullerton’s Concert Choir and Women’s Choir, and was a member of the Jazz Singers under Dr. Laura Harrison.

She is currently the general music and choir teacher at Temecula Preparatory School. She is an active member of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), the Southern California Vocal Association (SCVA) and the National Association for Music Education (MENC).

Michelle sang in North Coast Singers for ten years prior to college and has composed a song cycle for Caprice, which has been performed multiple times in years since.

Dr. David Chase

Director Ragazzi

Dr. David Chase has been a North County resident 39 years and he is currently celebrating his 40th anniversary as Choral Director of La Jolla Symphony and Chorus.

He is Professor Emeritus at Palomar College, where he has taught music classes for nearly as long. He holds three music degrees from The Ohio State University and University of Michigan. He has prepared choruses for numerous internationally renowned conductors and he sang and recorded with Robert Shaw in Souillac, France.

With La Jolla Symphony Chorus, he has made nine international tours, including one to the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan, and made his Carnegie Hall conducting debut with LJSC and the North Coast Singers in May of 2012.


Anna Juliar

Born in Archangelsk, Russia, Anna studied Piano Teaching and Accompanying at Archangelsk Music College, and Music Education at the Russian State Pedagogical University. Anna has worked as a performer, accompanist, and instructor since 1997 in both Russia and the US, where she has lived since 2004. She toured through Europe with the Sound of America Honor Band and Chorus as their principle accompanist from 2006-2010. She has also worked with the Albany Symphony and was the principle accompanist for Albany Pro Musica from 2010-2011. Anna served as a judge for the Parillo Piano Competition, and was a frequent accompanist for the New York State School Music Association. She continues to offer private piano lessons and work as an accompanist in California, where she has lived since 2013.

Jeanne Saier

Jeanne comes from a large musical family. She cannot remember a time when she has not accompanied instruments or played chamber music. Jeanne holds a teaching diploma from the Royal College of Music in London and a Bachelors Degree from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

An active violinist as well as pianist, Jeanne is a longtime member of the La Jolla Symphony and is a founding musician of both the Lyric String Quartet and the Allouette Piano Trio.

Ronel Wishnuff

Ms. Wishnuff received her Bachelors of Music degree from the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg with a distinction in piano and is currently obtaining a Masters degree in Piano Performance at San Diego State University.

Ms. Wishnuff taught for 15 years at the Blairgowrie Music Centre in Johannesburg. She is also an enthusiastic singer and has been a member of the South African Broadcasting Symphonic Choir and the prestigious chamber choir, The Chanticleers Singers’ under the direction of one of South Africa’s icons, Richard Cock.

Administrative Staff

Miel Burnett

Program Director

North Coast Singers’ Program Director, Miel Burnett, received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Studies with a minor in Business Administration from the University of San Diego, and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of San Diego, School of Law.

She is an alumni parent, a former Caprice parent representative, and this is her tenth year as Program Director.