After college and marriage and starting a family, she thought her drumming days were over, but after a hiatus of about ten years she and her husband reluctantly decided to joined the orchestra of their church. It was during this time that she met C. Harry Causey, and he invited her to accompany the National Christian Choir as their percussionist.
Valerie is a full-time pharmacy technician and part-time carpenter’s assistant. She is married to Dan, and they have three children. She has been with the Choir since 1998.
After five years of lessons in his hometown, Michael began studies at the Peabody Preparatory School in Baltimore. During this time, he also started playing regularly at his home church, accompanying the congregational singing and arranging offertories and other music for the services. Gradually, invitations to play came from other churches and ministries, and his concert ministry began.
Michael continued his training at the University of Maryland at College Park where he completed Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in piano performance. During his freshman year at Maryland, he recorded his first solo recording, In Moments Like These. That album began receiving airplay on Christian radio stations across the county, and by the time Michael completed his degree studies, his concert ministry had become a full-time career.
Since that time, there’ve been seven more recordings as well as concert performances around the country, both as a solo pianist and in conjunction with other Christian artists. In addition to the concert ministry, Michael plays regularly at Sandy Cove Ministries in North East, Maryland, and at the church he attends, New Life Community Church in Kingsville, Maryland. He considers it an honor and privilege to include The National Christian Choir in his ministry schedule.
Joan was born, raised, and has always lived in Montgomery County, MD, with the exception of the time she attended college. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Recreation in 1984. After working at numerous jobs (none of which were recreation-related), she became an office manager for a local plumbing company. In 1991, she joined the Federal Government. Since Joan enjoyed the bookkeeping aspects of her prior job, she went back to school for an accounting degree. Joan is currently an accountant in the Travel Office at the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Perhaps when she retires, she will dust off that Recreation degree!
Joan’s husband since 1985 is David Carlson who sings Tenor I with The National Christian Choir. They have one adult son, Tony, who is autistic and has a seizure disorder. This provides many challenges in all aspects of their lives; however, Tony has a wonderful personality, and Joan and David have truly enjoyed watching his growth and accomplishments. Two cats, Maestro and Max round out the family. The Carlsons currently reside in Clarksburg, MD
Joan grew up in the Methodist Church, but she has been a member of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church since 1988. While at Good Shepherd, Joan has participated in the Altar Guild, Teller Team, Capital Campaign Committee, Handbell Choir, Praise Band, and various other musical groups as needed.
Cindy was born and raised in the Baltimore area. Her musical training began at age seven with piano lessons at the Peabody Preparatory in Towson. She learned to play the flute in fourth grade and switched to the clarinet in junior high. Outside of school she taught herself how to play other instruments, including her brother’s trumpet, baritone, and French horn, and a plastic guitar she purchased from Read’s Drugstore and hid under her bed.
Cindy graduated from Towson High School in 1972 and continued to study the clarinet at the Peabody Conservatory of Music in Baltimore. She graduated in 1976 with a degree in music education and began her career as an educator in Maryland. She retired in 2018 with thirty-seven years of service, having taught instrumental music in Howard County and Baltimore County, and secondary mathematics in Washington County. For more than forty years she has served in churches as a pianist, organist, and choir director and has assisted choral directors, vocalists, and instrumentalists as an accompanist.
Upton, PA (halfway between Greencastle and Mercersburg) is where Cindy and her husband, Steve, have lived since 1989. They have two sons, Mike and Zack, and a daughter-in-law, Erica.
Cindy first heard about the National Christian Choir in 2012 and visited the website. The director’s picture and biography seemed to resemble/describe the Kathy Miller with whom she taught in Howard County. Following an email to Kathy and her immediate reply, a friendship was rekindled after thirty-four years. Cindy joined the choir in February, 2013 as an alto. She became a member of the music team in October, 2017.
RB Hooks III
RB holds a BS degree in Computer Science/Business Administration. He began working for the Department of Defense as a Mainframe Systems Database Administrator and Senior Systems Programmer/Analyst. In 1988, RB was recognized as one of the Outstanding Young Business Men of America. In 1990, he went to work for Storage Technology Corporation and has held numerous positions – Senior Software Support Representative, Senior Systems Engineer, Systems Engineering Manager, Support Manager, Senior Product Manager, Sales Executive, District Sales Manager. Currently, RB is the CTO of Public Sector for Sun Microsystems (who purchased Storage Tek) and a featured speaker at conferences and seminars across the US .RB joined The NCC in 1984 as a singer and sang with The Choir until his skills led him to be the current Audio Engineer for The Choir. He mixes all of The Choir’s concerts and is the recording engineer for The Choir.
In addition to RB’s full-time job and other activities, he also runs a complete recording studio (Creative Sound Design) dedicated only to Christian artists from his home. Through that studio, he serves as the engineer for The NCC’s radio program, “Psalm 95.” RB conducts audio seminars for churches and does audio system analysis. He and his wife, Judy, live in Laurel, Maryland.