Staff & Board of Directors

Iowa Youth Chorus Staff

John Cook, Executive Director

Hi everyone, my name is John Cook and I am beyond excited to join you here at the Iowa Youth Chorus. I was born outside Atlanta, Georgia and as a child was a member the Cobb Youth Chorus which like IYC fostered in me a love of singing.

I have a Bachelor’s in Vocal Pedagogy from Valdosta State University and a Master’s in Choral Conducting from Butler University in Indianapolis. And because I am slightly crazy, I am currently pursuing a Master’s in Public Administration from Drake. I am married to Lisa Cook, an ELL teacher at East High School and we have 4 kids. I have lived and worked in Georgia, Indiana. California (twice), Colorado and Iowa and been involved with choral music for over 35 years. I am an avid reader and soccer coach and I can quote large chunks of “The Empire Strikes Back” from memory.

Over the next few months look for me at rehearsals from time to time, know that you can always reach me via email, and don’t forget to follow Iowa Youth Chorus on Twitter and Facebook for information, updates, and some fun along the way.

Happy singing everyone!

Jim Shutt, Artistic Director, Conductor, Concert Choir

Mr. Shutt has taught vocal music for more than twenty years. He received his undergraduate degree (B.A.) from Luther College and his Master of Arts in Effective Teaching from Viterbo University. In 2005 he attended the well regarded Comprehensive Musicianship Project at Drake University designed specifically for choral directors. Mr. Shutt is an active member of the Iowa Choral Director’s Association and served as 7-8th grade Opus Chair, hosted the SC-ICDA (South Central Iowa Choral Directors Association) 5-7th grade Youth Festival Honors Choirs. This year he will host the 7-8th grade treble and 7-8th mixed Youth Festival Honor Choirs.

Mr. Shutt is currently the vocal director in the Dallas Center-Grimes School District. He directs choirs in the 6th grades, the show choir ILLUSION, spring musicals and teaches voice to all students in the middle school vocal program. He has taught all levels (K-12) vocal/choral music in schools, churches and private lessons. Additionally, he has directed numerous ensembles including hand-bells, brass, pit orchestra, and a STOMP ensemble.

Iowa Youth Chorus

Board of Directors 2016-2017


Maggie Hibbs
President, Iowa Youth Chorus Board

Heather Bagley
Vice President, Iowa Youth Chorus Board

Jennifer Klyn
Secretary, Iowa Youth Chorus Board

Kimberly Cordray
Treasurer, Iowa Youth Chorus Board

William Jay Ramsey, MD, PhD

Deb Brewer-Cotlar

Robert “Clif” Coker

Mara Brown

Victor Ayara

Braeden Stanley

Bob Fitch

Theresa Nash

Cody Parmley

Board of Directors meetings are held monthly with special meetings called as needed.