Chamber Choir

Rock Creek choir


Auditions are now open for the 2024-2025 PCC Chamber Choir at Rock Creek!

  • Frequent opportunities to perform choral-orchestral masterworks
  • Regular collaborations with professional and community arts organizations
  • Regional, national, and international travel to festivals and competitions

Placement auditions will be held online using Zoom.

Interested in auditioning?
Fill out the audition form

Once submitted, you’ll be redirected to our audition scheduler. If you have filled out the form and just need to register for an audition slot, go directly to the audition scheduler.

If no audition time slots are available or if you’re looking for more information, please contact Samuel Barbara.

The PCC Chamber Choir at Rock Creek is a select ensemble of 32 highly-skilled singers from around the Portland Metro Area.

The choir toured Seattle and Vancouver, BC in 2019, participating in numerous clinics, exchanges, and concerts. During the same school year, the ensemble appeared on stage with the Oregon Symphony and performed with Thomas Lauderdale at a PCC President’s Circle Foundation event. Other recent highlights include performances of Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Caroline Shaw’s, “To the Hands” (concerts presented to benefit the Portland non-profit IRCO) and a recent collaboration with the Pacific University choir in performances of the ground-breaking Misa Criolla by Ariel Ramirez.

The PCC Chamber Choir at Rock Creek has established itself as one of the premier collegiate choral ensembles in the region. The choir, made up entirely of community college students, performs a wide variety of challenging choral repertoire at a high level and consistently seeks to raise the bar. Last year the choir made its first recordings and was invited to perform at the OMEA state conference.


Choir concert
June 13, 2023
Rock Creek Campus, Building 3, Forum Theater Room 114


Thank you! Our donation process is officially through the PCC Foundation. In order for the donation to get directed to the Rock Creek Chamber Choir, please choose “Other” under “Designation” and write “Rock Creek Chamber Choir.”


Sam Barbara

Dr. Samuel Barbara

Dr. Samuel Barbara is the Director of Choral and Vocal Studies at Portland Community College, Rock Creek Campus, where he conducts the chamber and concert choirs, and teaches applied lessons and class voice. Before relocating home to Oregon, he served as Director of Choral Activities and assistant professor of music at Westminster College in New Wilmington, Pennsylvania. He completed his doctorate in choral music at the University of Southern California, where he was a senior teaching assistant in the Department of Choral and Sacred Music and assistant conductor of the USC Thornton Chamber Singers. While at USC, he studied under Jo-Michael Scheibe, Nick Strimple, Cristian Grases, and Donald Brinegar. Before moving to Southern California, Dr. Barbara served as Director of Choirs at Cleveland High School in Portland, where he was awarded the “Golden C” for excellence in teaching. Under his direction, the Cleveland “A” Choir won the 5A Oregon State Choir Championships three times. Samuel earned his Bachelor of Arts in Music and Master of Arts in Teaching degrees from the University of Portland. After completing his undergraduate work, Samuel was awarded a Fulbright Grant to teach English and study music in Weimar, Germany. While in Weimar he taught at the Musikgymnasium Schloss Belvedere, sang in the chamber choir at the Franz Liszt Music Conservatory, and took choral conducting coursework under Professor Jürgen Puschbeck.

Samuel has sung professionally, both as a soloist and an ensemble member, and he remains active as a vocal artist. As a member of the University of Southern California Thornton Chamber Singers, Dr. Barbara appeared on live television with Barry Manilow and sang backup with the Rolling Stones; worked closely with notable composers such as Morten Lauridsen, Paul Mealor, Wolfram Buchenberg, and David Conte; attended master classes with Rodney Eichenberger, Jamison Marvin, Joan Conlon, and Vance George; and performed with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra under the baton of Maestro Helmuth Rilling. Under Dr. Barbara’s direction, the Westminster College Concert Choir appeared live onstage with the internationally renowned performing group “The Tenors,” performed J.S. Bach’s Cantata 191 with the Warren Philharmonic Orchestra and collaborated with the Shenango Valley Chorale to present Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms. Each year, the Concert Choir and Chamber Singers embarked on an extensive performance tour, and, under his direction, the ensembles performed in cathedrals throughout Germany, Austria, and the Czech Republic.

Prior to serving at Westminster College, Dr. Barbara was Interim Director of Choral Activities at the University of Tennessee at Martin. While in Tennessee, Samuel presented for the Tennessee Music Educators Association, lectured on Music in Terezín as a part of the UT Martin Academic Speakers Series, conducted the UT Martin Honor Choir, and was invited by the West Tennessee Vocal Music Educators Association to adjudicate their choral and solo and ensemble festivals. Dr. Barbara has also presented his research at state conferences of the National Association for Music Education in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia and is published in volume four of Teaching Music Through Performance in Choir. Samuel served as Festival Host for the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association District 5 Honors Chorus and Choral Music Performance Assessment, Treasurer for the Pennsylvania chapter of the American Choral Directors Association, as well as the tri-state chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing. Dr. Barbara is in demand as a guest conductor, choral clinician, and adjudicator. His research interests include solfège as a path to music literacy, Evangelical church composers active during the Third Reich, and the choral music of the contemporary German composer, Wolfram Buchenberg.

Lee Nolan

Lee A. Nolan

Lee A. Nolan received his Master of Music degree from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and his Bachelor of Music degree from the University of South Florida in Tampa. Mr. Nolan serves as accompanist for the PCC Rock Creek Choirs and the Oregon Chorale, coaches vocalists, and teaches piano, guitar, and banjo. His principal professors were Peggy Salkind in San Francisco and Robert Helps in Tampa and San Francisco. While studying with his great mentor, composer/pianist Robert Helps, Mr. Nolan discovered his facility for learning and performing contemporary classical works, and like Robert Helps before him, gave acclaimed premiere performances of works by William Susman, David Del Tredici, Robert Helps, and many others. In 1995 he recorded his debut CD Mendocino Suite by David Wurts, released on Wild Iris Productions. While residing in San Francisco, he performed at Cowell Theater, City Hall, Herbst Theater, and Davies Symphony Hall. In 1997 Nolan commissioned Bruce Christian Bennett to compose Schematic Nocturne for him, which he premiered. In 1999-2001 he toured Switzerland, Germany, and Italy as a pianist for the Singing Waiters, an L.A.-based vocal group. It was near the end of 1999 on one such tour that Mr. Nolan found himself playing ragtime piano for the entertainment of legendary pop star Sting at the Dolder Grand Hotel.

Lee Alan Nolan had taught himself to read music by the age of 4, although did not begin piano lessons until the age of 8. While growing up in Florida, Mr. Nolan began winning many awards for his performances, including the Music Teachers Association Community Service Award, the piano scholarship at U.S.F. the Zbar Award, and the Grand Prize of the Florida Orchestra Young Artist Concerto Competition, for which he performed Ravel’s Concerto in G Major with the Florida Orchestra. Before his move from Ridgecrest, California, he was Music Director and Pianist for Cabaret in 2010, pianist and vocalist for RMES’ Classic Autumn in 2011, and Broadway Nights in 2013. His numerous solo concerts in recent years have invariably been received with standing ovations, including most recently his 2015 French-influenced program “Sacre Bleu!” and his 2016 one-man shows “Across the Genre-ations.” He also received special recognition for his accompanying work for the 2016 Ridgecrest Opera Guild Prima Voce and Troubadours concerts.