Founding Artistic Director

Polly Murray


Polly Murray is an accomplished choir director and music teacher who has served on the faculty of the Haddonfield School District for twenty years. She established the ChildrenSong program to provide performance experiences to South Jersey’s young vocalists who may not have access to such opportunities due to circumstances of their schooling.

Ms. Murray received music performance degrees from Temple and Northwestern Universities, has pursued post-graduate work at Westminster Choir College, and studied at the Kodály Institute in Kecskemet, Hungary through a Geraldine Dodge Foundation Fellowship Grant. She has been featured in the Philadelphia Inquirer and Camden County Courier-Post as an outstanding music teacher in the region and has received numerous education awards for her distinguished teaching practices and contributions to the arts in South Jersey. She has also directed children’s honor choirs on the regional and state levels.

In addition to teaching and conducting ensembles, Ms. Murray has presented numerous music workshops both statewide and internationally. In July 2014, she presented a choral workshop in Kasukabe, Japan for a prominent girls high school as part of a cultural exchange program.

Accompanist

Nick Watts


Nick Watts was born and raised in Yorkshire, England. He enjoyed an active musical life as a young student, singing in the local church choir, playing in early music ensembles and youth orchestras, and studying piano, flute, and organ. He went to York Minster for organ lessons at age fifteen, learning from John Scott

Whitely, assistant organist at the Minster.

Following High School, Nick was awarded an organ scholarship to the Abbey School in Tewkesbury, England, where he accompanied the choir each weekday for evensong in the abbey. Advanced studies continued at Cambridge University. He was the organ scholar at Queens’ College, and had the privilege of directing both the chapel choir and the St. Margaret Society Chorus. After earning his Bachelor of Music degree, Nick went to Guildhall School of Music in London, where he continued to study piano performance and earned a diploma in Music Therapy.

Nick came to the United States in 1983 as a music therapy intern at Norristown State Hospital and continued his training by earning a Master of Family Therapy degree from Hahnemann University and earning a certificate from the Music for People program. Nick has been self-employed since 1993, allowing him the opportunity to develop his career as both a musician and family therapist. He has spent the last sixteen years working with emotionally disturbed adolescents in the foster care and juvenile justice systems at Ranch Hope, and the last twelve years as

the Minister of Music at Christ Episcopal Church in West Collingswood. He has freelanced as a pianist and accompanist, accompanying the Greater South Jersey Chorus for seven seasons, playing for weddings and parties, and accompanying local singers and instrumentalists. He continues to enjoy associations with some of South Jersey’s most talented teachers and students, and is particularly delighted to have the opportunity to work with ChildrenSong of New Jersey as accompanist.

Assistant Director

Carl Ellinwood


Carl Ellinwood is currently the Vocal Music Teacher at Mansion Ave School and Haviland Ave School, in Audubon, NJ. Prior to returning to NJ, Carl was the General Music, Band, and Chorus Teacher ay Oakville Elementary School, Part of St. Mary’s County Public Schools, in Mechanicsville, MD. He also served as the Artistic Director of the St. Maries Children’s Chorus, the Children’s Branch of St. Maries Choral Arts, and was the 2016 guest conductor for the St. Mary’s County Elementary Honors Chorus. 

As a singer, Carl has performed as a soloist and chorister in the Washington DC area and Philadelphia. Professional ensembles include the Washington Master Chorale, Choralis, the Washington National Cathedral, and the Old Presbyterian Meeting House in Alexandria, VA, where he also served as the Children’s Choral Director. In Philadelphia, Carl has sung with Opera Philadelphia, Philadelphia Singers, and the Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia. Carl was also a Tenor Section Leader for the Washington Memorial Chapel in Valley Forge and for St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Philadelphia, where Carl was the Tenor Soloist for Dale Adelmann’s Steal Away which was performed at the Washington National Cathedral. This year,  Carl  will be singing with The Village Carolers, a caroling group that performs in various areas during holiday season in New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New York, and Connecticut.


Carl  received his Bachelors of Arts in Music and Bachelors of Arts in Radio/TV/Film at Rowan University. While at Rowan Carl was a member of the Concert Choir which performed at venues in Rome, Vatican City, Sienna, Florence, and Venice. At Rowan he also played the First Priest and Armored Man in The Magic Flute and was part of the ensemble in Albert Herring. Carl graduated with a Masters of Music Education from Marywood University where he studied voice with Ellen Rutkowski. At Marywood, Carl was a member of Campus Choir, where he was a featured soloist in Rachmaninoff’s All-Night Vigil. He also was a soloist for Chamber Singers performing “Easter” and “The Call” from Five Mystical Songs by Vaughan Williams. Carl was involved in the Marywood Opera Scenes Showcase performing various roles from RigolettoDialogues of the CarmelitesLa BohèmeThe Magic FluteCandide, and Don Pasquale.


Carl has performed the roles of Spalanzani, Cochenille, and Frantz in The Tales of Hoffmann at the Halifax Summer Opera Workshop in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. Carl has also performed with the Tim Keyes Consort featuring arrangements of Te Deum by Gibbons, Mozart, and Dvorak. Carlperformed with the Philadelphia Singers in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9Alexander NevskyCarmina Burana, Faure’s Requiem and Durufle’s Quatre Motets. In 2013, Carl joined the Opera Philadelphia chorus for Nabucco at the Academy of the Arts, and joined the Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia as a core singer. 


Carl is proud to be joining ChildrenSong where he will continue his passion in teaching choral music to many talented students in the local and surrounding the communities!