About Us

Our Mission Statement

The Portland Peace Choir strives to exemplify the principles of peace,  equality,  justice,  stewardship of the Earth,  unity and cooperation.  We sing music from diverse cultures and traditions to inspire peace in ourselves,  our families,  our communities,  and the world.  The Portland Peace Choir welcomes all voices.

Our Music Director, Jesse Cromer

Jesse Cromer returned home to Oregon nearly six years ago after living in New York City for nine years. He grew up in Stayton, Oregon. Leaving the Northwest to pursue music, Jesse graduated from the Manhattan School of Music with a bachelors degree in vocal performance in 2009, and has been an active performer, conductor, and teacher ever since.

In high school, he had a sizable piano studio in Stayton and cut his teeth on choral music by singing with groups such as the Festival Chorale, under the direction of Solveig Holmquist, and the Willamette Master Chorus with Paul Klemme. All four summers in high school, Jesse sang under Anton Armstrong and Helmuth Rilling at the Oregon Bach Festival Youth Choral Academy.

While at the Manhattan School of Music, he was the assistant director of the small women’s chorus for his last two years, under Robert Isaacs. As a performer, Jesse sang with the illustrious MSM Opera Studio, performing and covering several roles on the main stage for three years. The summer after junior year, he toured Germany with the Festival Ensemble Stuttgart, conducted by Helmuth Rilling.

After college Jesse continued to teach, but largely focused on performing. He taught voice and piano lessons, with a studio of 5-10, mostly friends and referrals. His current voice studio in SW Portland has 25 singers. He is a Top Pro on Thumbtack, and has over 50 five-star reviews. Recently, Jesse has expanded his studio, adding eight coaches teaching his unique vocal technique around the Portland area. The new studio is called All Access Studios. They’re currently building the website, and training new coaches in Salem and Seattle, and everywhere in between.

Jesse has performed numerous recitals for Silverton United Methodist Church, Rockwood, and Cherry Park United Methodist Churches, most recently Die Winterreise by Schubert, and Dichterliebe by Schumann. He has also done lots of solo concert work, and has sung with many Salem / Portland choral groups. While in New York, he was in two Off-Broadway shows, performed title opera roles with companies such as New York Lyric Opera, Underworld Productions, and many more. Throughout college and after, he sang with some of the finest choirs in NYC, including Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, The Church of the Holy Family, and with the Salvatones, to name a few. Immediately before leaving New York, Jesse toured the east coast with famous hip-hop super-group, Deltron 3030, culminating in an appearance on the Letterman Show. The last two years, Jesse has been involved in filming multiple Netflix movies and television shows, including a singing role in the most recent season of Documentary Now! on IFC (Which can now be viewed on Netflix –Season 3 Episode 3). He is also active in local professional theatre.

Jesse is thrilled beyond measure to be PPC’s new director. He sincerely values the mission, accessibility for all, and all of the people he has met thus far.

Our Accompanist, Naomi Keiko Andress

Naomi “Keiko” (pronounced “Cake-oh”—and yes, that’s the real-life name of the killer whale from Free Willy) Andress has been playing piano all her life since she began plonking the keys on her parents’ old upright as a toddler. She is classically trained and has a decade’s worth of combined experience as a choir accompanist and church pianist. For the past four years she has had the privilege of accompanying the Cherry Park United Methodist Church Choir under the direction of Jesse Cromer and looking forward to working with him in the Portland Peace Choir as well! In addition to playing for the Cherry Park choir and the PPC, Keiko also plays keyboards in a couple bands with her friends in indie-pop-rock projects the Great State and Tiny Little Empire. Keiko is also a Lewis & Clark Law School grad aspiring to eventually practice immigration law. She is very excited and grateful for the opportunity to play piano for the PPC as it seeks to promote peace through music!

The Portland Peace Choir is fortunate and very pleased to have Jesse as our Music Director and Keiko as our Piano Accompanist.