Samara Bortz
Crescent Choirs Founder & Artistic Director

Director of Women’s Choir, Luna Vocal Ensemble, Youth Choir & Children’s Choirs

Samara fell in love with singing when she joined the White Rock Children's Choir in elementary school. Fast forward twenty+ years, and she still spends each day creating music with others. As a teacher and conductor, Samara helps others experience the gift of music-making. She creates a space for singers to build confidence, develop vocal technique and musical skills, and explore the choral arts with support, guidance, and encouragement.

Samara works with singers of all ages. In addition to her work with Crescent Choirs, she has a studio of private voice students in the White Rock/South Surrey area. In the past, Samara has taught singing, musical theatre, and choir at Cornerstone Montessori School, StageCoach Theatre Arts, Lights Up Musical Theatre, Vancouver Performing Stars, and the Sarah McLachlan School of Music. 

Samara holds a Bachelor of Music in voice performance from Mount Allison University and a Master of Arts in historical musicology from UBC. Her first and foremost love is choral music. She sings with Aurora Chamber Choir and has previously enjoyed singing with Phoenix Chamber Choir and UBC’s University Singers. Samara has completed a Master of Music in choral conducting at UBC, where she directed the Men's Choir and Chamber Choir.

Andrew Bortz
Aurora Chamber Choir Founder & Director

Crescent Choirs Collaborative Pianist

Andrew is a sought-after conductor, composer, singer, and pianist. He recently completed a Master of Music in choral conducting from UBC, where he directed the Chamber Choir, Men's Choir, and Women's Choir. His previous studies include a Bachelor of Music in voice, piano, and composition from Whitworth University.

Andrew directs Aurora Chamber Choir, our new young adult choir. In addition, Andrew sings with Vancouver based ensemble, Musica Intima and has a studio of voice and piano students. In the past, he has worked as an assistant conductor for Phoenix Chamber Choir. As an accompanist, Andrew is known for his sensitive and intuitive music making, playing with high school and collegiate choirs across the US and Canada. 

Jenna Baumgartner

Women's Choir Assistant Conductor


Jenna is currently studying Music Education at UBC as she pursues her lifelong passion for choral music and the choral community. Singing in the UBC University Singers and the Vancouver Youth Choir, she is working towards building a foundation of skills and experiences that will allow her to share this passion with others. Being a part of the Crescent Choirs community will be an exciting new chapter in this journey.

David Liao

Angeli Children’s Choir Collaborative Pianist

David is currently in Grade 12 at Semiahmoo Secondary. He has played piano for around ten years and is currently working on his performance diploma for music. Music has been a big part of David’s life and he hopes it will remain as his lifelong hobby. As the oldest child in his family with two younger siblings, David loves working with children and watching them progress and grow. In the future, he hopes to become an engineer and a part-time musician. David is thrilled to work with all of these talented kids in Angeli!