Who We Are
Polly Murray, Founder and Artistic Director
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.
Nick Watts, Choir Accompanist
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.