Two talented professionals offer artistic leadership and support for VBCS.
Jason Hobratschk, Artistic Director
Jason Hobratschk is the current musical director of the Vero Beach Choral Society. He also currently serves as the Organist and Choirmaster at St Augustine of Canterbury Episcopal Church, Vero Beach.
Jason was born in La Grange, Texas in 1975 and grew up on his family’s farm. He graduated summa cum laude from Concordia University at Austin, Texas with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Church Music – Organ, Church Music – Conducting, and Environmental Science in May 1998. During his undergraduate studies, he served as a university Chapel Organist and as Apprentice in Church Music at St. Martin’s Lutheran Church.
After a stint as an environmental consultant for the firm Terracon, Jason moved to Portland, Oregon in order to further his musical education. In 2005, he was awarded a Master of Music degree in Organ Performance from Portland State University (PSU) in Portland Oregon, where he studied organ with Dr. Lyn Loewi. Jason was also a baritone in the internationally-acclaimed PSU Chamber Choir under the direction of Dr. Bruce Browne. Additionally, he directed the PSU Men’s Chorus. While in Portland, Jason was Organist and Handbell Director at Bethany Presbyterian Church and Minister of Music at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church.
From September 2009 through July 2010, Jason lived in Munich, Germany as a Fulbright scholar and conducted research for his dissertation, Werner Egk and Joan von Zarissa: Music as Politics and Propaganda under National Socialism. Upon his return from Germany, Jason moved to Vero Beach.
Jason recently received his Ph.D. degree in Musicology from Florida State University in Tallahassee. Prior to taking on the role of Artistic Director with the Vero Beach Choral Society, he served as Assistant Director to his predecessor Daniel Koh.
Joanne Knott, Principal Accompanist
Joanne Knott, our Principal Accompanist, has had a lifelong love of music and teaching. In high school, she participated in several competitions and won an award with the National Piano Players Association. Throughout her college career, she was the accompanist for different choirs, instrumentalists, and soloists, and performed for several theater productions as well. While receiving her BA and teaching credentials at San Diego State University, she started up her own piano business with a clientele of 45 piano students and was a member of the Music Teachers Association of California. She also spent four years as accompanist to a professional violinist in San Diego with whom she recorded a CD, and is currently the accompanist for the Vero Beach Choral Society.
Joanne resides in Florida with her husband and keeps herself busy as a full-time mom of an active 8-year-old and 10-year-old. She still enjoys teaching piano and playing for her church and choir.
In addition, from time to time, select musicians are retained to help enhance a specific performance.
The leadership of the Vero Beach Choral Society is organized by a volunteer Board of Directors which manages the day-to-day activities of the organization, plans concert schedules, and retains directors and musicians.
The Board of Directors is nominated and elected by the members, both singing, and non-singing, to serve in various capacities. The officers and other members of the Board of Directors for the current season are as follows:
Father Berek Q. Smith (President)
Priscilla “Lala” Maresi (Vice President)
Alan Northcott (Treasurer)
Shirley Goodell (Secretary)
Other volunteers play key roles in the operations of VBCS. Karen Herbst, one of our own altos, manages our extensive music library. Amy Cosner (soprano) serves as membership chair.