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Our Directors

JayJay Althouse, Artistic Director

Jay Althouse is the Director of Choral Music for Susquehannock High School and Southern Middle School in the Southern York County School District, Glen Rock, PA, where he directs the six vocal ensembles for grades seven through twelve, and teaches general music classes.  He graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Music Education from Lebanon Valley College, where he studied voice under Mrs. Victoria Rose, piano under Dr. Shelly Moorman-Stahlman and Dr. Dennis Sweigart, and choral conducting under Dr. Mark Mecham. Jay completed his Master of Music in Music Education degree in 2013 from Boston University with his graduate thesis focused on the use of critical pedagogy in the choral classroom.

In addition to being an educator, Jay is also very involved in musical theatre, serving on the Board of Directors of Liberty Showcase Theatre, Owings Mills, Maryland.  He has been involved with many musical theatre productions as an actor, stage manager, set designer, music director and director in various high school and community theatres in Pennsylvania and Maryland as well as a professional dinner theatre in Pennsylvania. Most recently Jay served as stage manager, co-music director, and co-director for Liberty Showcase’s production of Cinderella (Summer 2011) and Godspell (Summer 2012).  He has served as a guest conductor, choral clinician, and adjudicator in PA and MD. Jay is also a solo performer and an experienced church musician.

SandraSandra Files, Accompanist 

A graduate of Grove City College with degrees in Music (piano) and Communication Studies, Sandra Files is proud to serve as accompanist for the Bel Air Community Chorus. Sandra has enjoyed playing piano, organ, cello, and percussion with a variety of instrumental and vocal ensembles throughout her career. A native of Hershey, PA, Sandra now lives in the Baltimore area with her husband and two cats. When she’s not at the piano, Sandra is the Digital Marketing Manager for the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.

Capt. JimJim McMahan, Choral Director Emeritus

“Cap’n Jim” McMahan is a native resident of Bel Air and no stranger to vocal music. During his high school years he was an annual participant in the Maryland High School Chorus and a member of the first National High School Chorus. Jim graduated from Western Maryland College, where he was the President of the College Choir and sang lead roles with the Baltimore Symphony and the National Symphony in Washington, DC.  He spent 36 years serving his country on active duty, in the reserves and finally the guard. He retired in 1996 at the rank of Colonel. He received numerous honors, including a Meritorious Unit Citation, the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Achievement Medal, National Defense Ribbon, Reserve Component Ribbon, the Maryland Meritorious Service Medal and the French National Defense Medal – Gold Echelon. While serving in the Army, he directed the combined choirs of the Mt. Pocono (PA) Methodist Church and the U.S. Army Tobyhanna Signal Depot.  Jim has a long history of service to the Town of Bel Air. In the mid 1960s, he was instrumental in creating the Bel Air Community Band. In 2002, while serving as a Town Commissioner, he organized the Bel Air Community Chorus and served as their first director. He served twice on the Board of Town Commissioners, and he was elected to the Harford County Council in 2006, 2010, and 2014.  Jim and his wife, Melody live in Bel Air, as do their daughter, Rev. Betsy McMahan, son James McMahan and his wife Jennifer and their children, Carlyn and Jack.