The Board and Staff

Dr. Jeffrey Jones-Ragona - Interim Musical Conductor

The Live Oak Singers is ever grateful for the friendship and assistance of Dr. Jeffrey Jones-Ragona during this season of transition the chorus finds itself in. As we continue looking for our new artistic director, Dr. Jones-Ragona has stepped in as our interim conductor. Dr. Jones-Ragona is an esteemed musician with years of experience conducting and performing. He will direct the chorus during our in person rehearsals as well as our first in person concert this July. We are thankful for his willingness to assist the chorus during this transition and are so fortunate to be under the direction of someone with so many years of musical experience and expertise.

Ray Norris - Former Artistic Director

A California native, Ray moved to Texas in early 2000, and had lived in San Antonio for 7 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 joined the Live Oak Singers shortly after its founding and for a while served alongside founding Artistic Director, Ron Casola, as the Assistant Artistic Director. He did much to broaden our reach in the community and played an integral part in continuing the legacy of building bridges through music.

After the passing of Ron Casola, Ray stepped up to become the Artistic Director and led the chorus in several concerts and events. Membership grew under his leadership and so did the visibility of the chorus. After 7 seasons, Ray felt it was time to be closer to the people and the places that he loved and missed and returned to Dallas.

The Live Oak Singers, Alumni, and friends wish Ray well in this new season of life as we are forever indebted to his selfless service and contributions to the chorus...Thank you Ray!

Board of Directors:

Joseph Holland - President

Vice President - Vacant

Joseph Cuestas - Secretary

Bill Christiansen - Treasurer

Heather Rosenqvist - Membership

Gary Sartor - Librarian

Ronald Schaffer

Member at Large

Stephanie Carkhuff

Member at Large

Artistic Staff:

Hunter Garrett

Principal Accompanist

Ron Casola

Founding Artistic Director

Ron Casola

April 1948 - February 2017

Founding Artistic Director

Ron founded Live Oak Singers in 2014 and brought to San Antonio his years of experience in non-profit work as well as his vast knowledge in vocal performance and conducting.

To know Ron Casola, was to know laughter and joy. His infectious smile and presence lit up any room and drew others to what would become the Live Oak Singers.

Ron had a passion for music and a desire to bridge communities through song. His passion and desire live on through the mission and work of Live Oak Singers.

If you attend a performance of Live Oak Singers, you will more than likely here the song, "Why We Sing". It is an anthem for our chorus that was left for us by Ron and first performed at his celebration of life in San Antonio. In singing it we remember Ron and continue in the mission of building bridges through music.

Ron, we love you and miss you!

Why We Sing

by Greg Gilpin

A sound of hope, a sound of peace, a sound that celebrates and speaks what we believe.

A sound of love, a sound so strong, it’s amazing what is given when we share a song.

Sooth a soul, mend a heart, bring together lives that have been torn apart.

Share the joy, find a friend, it’s a never – ending gift that circles back again.

Music builds a bridge, it can tear down a wall! Music is a language, that can speak to one and all!

This is why we sing, why we lift our voice, why we stand as one in harmony!

This is why we sing, why we lift our voice, take my hand and sing with me!

This is why we sing, we sing, we sing!