OUR MUSIC TEAM
Carol Nike, Director, graduated from Las Cruces High School and has a bachelor's degree in voice performance and a master's in choral conducting, both from New Mexico State University. While living in the United Kingdom and working there in the corporate world for many years, she was also active in church, classical, and theatrical music. Since returning to Las Cruces in 2010, she has conducted the Celestial Sounds women’s chorale and continues to serve as music director at St. James Episcopal Church, in addition to teaching private voice lessons.
Judy Bethmann, Assistant Director, graduated from Iowa Wesleyan College in Mt. Pleasant with a bachelor’s degree in music education. Judy taught in Iowa for thirty years before moving to Las Cruces in 2001 and joined the Mesilla Valley Chorale that same year. She retired as band director and elementary music teacher at White Sands in 2013. She is active in community theater and P.E.O., is Vice President at Wellspring Church, and is also conductor of the New Horizons Band at NMSU.
Jeonai Batista, Accompanist, currently the choir director at Centennial High School, Las Cruces, NM. In 2023, he earned his Masters in piano performance at New Mexico State University where he is also worked as Graduate Assistant teaching voice and functional piano. In 2021, he earned his master’s degree in choral conducting at Louisiana State University. He obtained his Bachelor of Arts with concentration in voice and piano performance from Mississippi State University in 2019, At MSU, he was part of many ensembles including States Singers, Men of State, and he was pianist for Wind Ensemble and piano accompanist for voice students. He plans to pursue a Doctorate in music here in the United States before returning to his home country, Brazil, to open a music conservatory for children.
Asa Cleveland, Assistant Accompanist, has been playing the piano since he was very young, having been taught by his mother and sister. He studied under Naomi Rupp and is currently being taught by Lela York. He has accompanied soloists and ensembles in past years and occasionally plays piano for Grace Bible Church as needed. He plays alto sax in the Main Street Homeschool Band and the New Horizons Band, and was first chair alto sax in the 2023 All-State Small School Band. Asa also enjoys playing guitar, violin, mandolin, and ukulele.