About the Directors:

The Choirs at Sacred Hearts are blessed to have TWO wonderful directors:

Jennifer Wu, Director of Choirs

- Jen Wu is an accomplished singer in multiple genres, as well as a multi-instrumentalist and educator.  Jen has taught singing and led young peoples' choirs for many years in both New York City and California.  She has toured the world as lead soprano in numerous opera productions, and is a member of the internationally acclaimed award-winning a capella choir Ghostlight Chorus.  Jen has sung with symphonic choirs in concert with the New York Philharmonic, Detroit Symphony, and the San Diego Opera.  Jen is fluent in six languages, and is a graduate (Magna cum laude) of Columbia University.

James Lake, Parish Organist & Director of Music

- Jim has been the organist and music director at Sacred Hearts & St Stephen since 2003. He earned his Master of Music degree as a scholarship student at Manhattan School of Music, and a Bachelor of Music at Rice University's prestigious Shepherd School of Music. Jim's continuing organ studies were at the Cathedral-Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark, NJ, and at St. Patrick's Cathedral in Manhattan. A frequent performer with symphony orchestras, Jim has performed at all of New York City's major concert venues, including Carnegie & David Geffen Halls, the Metropolitan Opera, Jazz at Lincoln Center,  Madison Square Garden, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, and the Barclays Center. As a recording artist, Jim has performed for television and radio, and was heard on Broadway in the soundtrack to Lincoln Center's Tony-Award-winning production of War Horse.

As a music teacher, Jim is known for his ability to recognize the unique perspective of each student's own understanding, and his use of that perspective as an avenue to developing each individual's sense of music.

Evelyn Troester DeGraf, Choir Director Emerita

- Evelyn Troester DeGraf is an internationally accomplished musical director, choral conductor, and music educator. Originally from Germany, Evelyn received her Masters degree with a dual concentration in performance and music education at the renowned University of Music and Performing Arts in Munich in 2005. She earned her Doctoral Degree at Columbia University’s prestigious Teachers College. Mrs. DeGraf’s focus on pedagogy and psychology has led her to develop teacher training workshops on creativity development and leadership, the subject of which she was invited to lecture at The ECONOMIST Human Potential Conference in New York. An enthusiastic teacher, Evelyn has taught piano and voice for over a decade to all ages, and especially enjoys offering choral and jazz improvisation classes.

As a well-travelled, versatile musician, Evelyn finds herself equally at ease singing Strauss, Kurtág, de Falla, or Thelonious Monk. She recently conducted choirs for several US performances with rock legends The Rolling Stones. Throughout her singing career, Mrs. DeGraf has had the opportunity to work with master artists such as James Levine, Guiseppe Sinopoli, Candace Goetz, and Rhiannon. Evelyn is the founder and music director of the acclaimed professional a-capella choral group, Ghostlight Chorus. She is also an accomplished pianist, guitarist, and has studied organ with Andrew Henderson and Jim Lake.

Evelyn, or “Evi,” as she is known to her friends, is a lover of the written word, Yoga, the outdoors, and all things food-related. She marvels at the people that the arts have brought into her life and the invaluable gifts she receives from making music.