The Board and Staff

Ray Norris - Artistic Director

A California native, Ray moved to Texas in early 2000, and has been in San Antonio the past 4 years. His music background spans four decades and includes participation in various vocal performance groups and choirs including Redeemed, Voices of Hope and Resounding Harmony. Ray was also part of the cast of HMS Pinafore at the Long Beach community Playhouse, and various other local productions.

Ray has over ten years’ experience as Director of Music for several churches and religious organizations. He has also directed music for several ECWR conferences, and the ‘Bloomin Ball’ in Dallas for the Aids Interfaith Network.

His leadership began at an early age of 15 leading his DeMolay (a Masonic youth group) chapter in California as Master Councilor. Since then he has held many board officer and member roles, and in his professional career has led technology departments, teams, and projects for over 30 years.

Ray is currently a Project Manager for a local San Antonio based company.



Board of Directors:

Joseph Holland - President

Vice President - Vacant

Joseph Cuestas - Secretary

Bill Christiansen - Treasurer

Sarah Gjerstad - Fundraising

Gary Sartor - Librarian

Ronald Shaffer

Member at Large

Tony Castanon-Newman

Member at Large

Bob Sartor

Member at Large

Artistic Staff:

Ray Norris - Artistic Director

Principal Accompanist

Ron Casola

Founding Artistic Director

Ron Casola

April 1948 - February 2017

Founding Artistic Director

Ron Casola earned his Bachelor's degree in Performance of Voice with a minor in both conducting and piano from Illinois Wesleyan University. He studied voice under Dr. David Nott. Additionally Ron studied conducting with Margaret Hillis (founder and director of the Chicago Symphony Chorus), Robert Shaw (founder and director of the Robert Shaw Chorale) and Ned Rorem (contemporary composer and director). Ron has soloed with the Phoenix Symphony, the San Diego opera, and the Boston Pops under the direction of Doc Severinson at Carnegie Hall.

Ron has been a guest vocal and conducting clinician throughout California, Arizona and the Chicago areas. He has been directing choirs for forty years and teaching and coaching voice for forty-five years. Ron was the Founding Artistic Director of the Phoenix Metropolitan Men's Chorus in 1990 (gay men's chorus), the Founding Artistic Director for Soul Survivors in 2007 (breast cancer survivors singing to raise funds for student nurses in cancer research) and the Founding Artistic Director of the Voices of the Desert in 2008 (LGBT and allies chorus in Phoenix raising funds for displaced LGBT youth).

The Live Oak Singers is part of the legacy of Ron Casola. His infectious smile, love of life, and passion for music live on through the music that we share.