IN UNISON Chorus Singers & Staff

Kevin McBeth, Director

Kevin McBethKevin McBeth was appointed Director of the SLSO IN UNISON Chorus in 2011. McBeth is the Director of Music at Manchester United Methodist Church in suburban St. Louis. He serves as full-time administrator for the Music Ministry, which includes 18 choral and handbell ensembles, involving nearly 500 children, youth, and adults. Kevin has also served as Adjunct Professor in Choral Music at Webster University. Over the past 20 years, he has conducted honor, festival, and touring choirs (choral and handbell) in the United States and Canada. Previous appointments include Assistant Conductor of the St. Louis Symphony Chorus and Music Director of the St. Louis Metro Singers. His 30-year career in church music has included appointments in churches in Houston, Texas, and Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

McBeth is a graduate of Houston Baptist University, and has done graduate studies in Choral Conducting at the University of Houston. In addition to being a published composer and author, he was also choral music editor for Abingdon Press. McBeth has served on the board of the Iowa Choral Directors Association, the Missouri Choral Directors Association, and the American Guild of English Handbell Ringers. He was also the Repertoire and Standards Chair for the Southwest Division of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA). Influential teachers in conducting have been David Wehr, Robert Linder, and John Yarrington. A strong advocate for training future conductors, McBeth has presented several workshops and interest sessions at the state and national levels.

McBeth has conducted concerts at Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Choirs under his direction have also performed at regional and national gatherings for choral and handbell music, including both state and division ACDA conventions, and at the American International Choral Festival. McBeth has prepared choruses for performances with Sarah Brightman, Josh Groban, John McDaniel, Andy Williams, Billy Porter, Take 6, Larnelle Harris, Jenifer Lewis, Wintley Phipps, and Hugh Smith. In the fall of 2002, the National Religious Music Week Alliance named him as one of the top ten Church Music Directors in the country. In the church music field, he has collaborated with Mark Hayes, John Leavitt, Hal Hopson, Joseph Martin, Howard Helvey, John Purifoy, Michael Burkhardt, Craig Courtney, David Morrow, and Jeffery Ames.

His orchestral conducting credits include performances with the Indianapolis Symphony, Houston Civic Symphony, the New England Symphonic Ensemble, and with members of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra in a concert featuring Garrison Keillor. Most recently, McBeth conducted a Festival Chorus in his first European concert tour to Great Britain, and prepared choruses for a concert at Lincoln Center.

McBeth is the proud father of two talented sons, Cameron and Austin.

Dr. Joseph Welch, Accompanist

Joseph Welch

Dr. Joseph Welch is a highly accomplished pianist, coach, and teacher with a passion for supporting young singers and musicians. He has a wealth of experience in the vocal arts and has collaborated with many talented performers throughout his career.

Welch is known for his sensitive and supportive approach to collaboration, and he has worked with a range of organizations to help develop the talents of young singers and musicians. He is a trainer for the Opera Theatre of St. Louis Artists-in-Training program, where he helps young artists hone their skills and prepare for successful careers in the music industry.

Welch is also an accomplished choral accompanist, and he has worked with a range of groups, including the SLSO IN UNISON Chorus and the St. Louis Children's Choirs Young Men's Chorus. He is known for his ability to bring out the best in his fellow performers, and he has a keen ear for the nuances of vocal performance.

As the founder and artistic director of St. Louis Art Song, Welch has played an important role in promoting the art of song in the St. Louis community. He is passionate about creating opportunities for young singers to showcase their talents and has worked tirelessly to build a vibrant and supportive music community in the area.

Welch's commitment to teaching and mentorship extends to his role as Visiting Professor of Music at Blackburn College, where he has developed a curriculum that prepares pianists and singers to launch successful music careers. He is also active in his local community, serving on the boards of the Southern Illinois Young Artist Organization and the Bunker Hill Education Foundation.

Overall, Dr. Joseph Welch is a highly respected and accomplished musician who has made a significant impact on the vocal arts community in St. Louis and beyond. His musical versatility, collaborative spirit, and commitment to mentorship have earned him the respect and admiration of his colleagues and students alike.

Michelle Byrd, Manager


Michelle Byrd is a talented musician who has made significant contributions to the St. Louis music community. Her passion for music was first ignited while attending public schools in St. Louis, where she was fortunate to have the support and guidance of influential music educators like Delores Greathouse and Patricia Spencer.

After receiving her Associate of Music degree from St. Louis Community College–Florissant Valley, Byrd went on to earn a Bachelor's degree in Music Education with K-12 certification and an emphasis in voice from the University of Missouri–St. Louis. Throughout her time at UMSL, she was recognized as an SLSO IN UNISON Scholar, which reflects her dedication and talent as a musician.

In 2017, Byrd was selected to serve as the SLSO IN UNISON Arts Administration Fellow, a prestigious program that provides hands-on experience in arts management. During her fellowship, she was responsible for coordinating the SLSO Holiday Festival Chorus and demonstrated a keen understanding of the complexities involved in organizing large-scale musical events.

Byrd's hard work and dedication earned her a position on the SLSO staff as the Interim IN UNISON Program Coordinator in 2018. She later became the IN UNISON Programs Coordinator and Chorus Manager, where she has continued to contribute her expertise and passion to the development of the program. She also continues to perform as a second soprano with the chorus.

In addition to her professional achievements, Byrd is also the proud mother of two daughters, Tremayia and Micayia.