Wisconsin Singers Professional Staff

Robin Whitty-Novotny

Interim Producer - Director Emerita

Robin Whitty-Novotny has a long history with the Wisconsin Singers program, having performed in the troupe as an undergraduate at UW-Madison and serving as Artistic Director/Producer from 1990-2016. Robin has her Master’s degree in Music Education with a concentration in voice, and travels extensively as an adjudicator for choral and show choir competitions. She has worked to build the Singers program into a comprehensive music experience that values professionalism and service. Robin is married to Singers alumnus, Chris Novotny and is blessed to have three beautiful grandsons and two lovely grandaughters.

Michael correctedv2.jpg

Michael Stanek

Artistic Director/Choreographer

Micheal Stanek a native of Spring Green, spent the last 25 years living in NYC working as a performer, director, choreographer and teaching artist. He served at the resident choreographer for The RIDE! (Drama Desk Nominee) and Artistic Director/Choreographer for Broadway Kids With Heart, (Rosie O’Donnell Show). In 2006, he assisted Tony-Award winner Kathleen Marshall on 70, Girls, 70, starring Olympia Dukakis (City Center Encores! Stanek has performed all over the United States and Europe touring with 42 nd Street and creating the original role of the Prince in Beauty and the Beast (Disney-MGM Studios). He has directed/choreographed over 100 different theatrical productions and is 25-year member of Actors’ Equity Association and 10-year associate member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society.

Chris Novotny

Director of Business Operations

Chris Novotny is a Wisconsin Singers alumnus who has served on the Friends of Wisconsin Singers Executive Board since its inception in 1994. A UW graduate (BBA '97/ MBA '11), Chris is a currently CFO/COO of On-Site Studios, a national virtual video production company. He provides business oversight to the Wisconsin Singers program, to which he attributes much of his success.

Chris also serves as Wisconsin Singers’ Sound Engineer and brings an exceptional talent to enhancing the overall sound of the Singers show.

Jess Mullen

Instrumental Director

Jess Mullen, hailing from West Chester Ohio, earned his Bachelor's of Music Education at Ohio State University, where he played saxophone in a variety of jazz and classical ensembles. After receiving his undergraduate degree, Jess taught band and general music for Chicago Public Schools. Following his career with Chicago Public Schools, Jess completed his Master's Degree in Music Education at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Currently, he is working towards his doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction here at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he supervises music education practicum students and teaches courses in popular music. Jess brings more than ten years of experience as a music educator, as well as a love of jazz and popular music, to the Wisconsin Singers.

Taras Nahirniak

Vocal Arranger-Orchestrations


Taras is a freelance arranger and composer, with numerous published works. He writes and composes for vocal groups, drum corps, and marching bands in the U.S., Europe and Japan. Taras is the producer and chief orchestrator for the Kids From Wisconsin and also serves as the music director at Bethany United Methodist Church. He is also a Wisconsin Singers Alumni (1984-1989) and is delighted to be arranging for their 50th anniversary.