Jera, Jenna, and Jillian
Jera: September 12th
Jenna: February 27th
Jillian: June 26th
Jera: Phil. 1:6
Jenna: Psalm 119:11
Jillian: Titus 3:5
Jera received her Bachelor's degree in piano performance from Grand Valley State University in the spring of 2012. She completed a Junior and Senior recital and studied a large repertoire of musical literature. During her years of college study, Jera studied piano pedagogy with Dr. Helen Marlais, which focused on teaching beginning to advanced piano. She studied organ with Dr. Gregory Crowell, voice with Dr. Elizabeth Stoner, and piano with Dr. Giuseppe Lupis. Jera has active memberships in the Michigan Federation of Music Clubs and the Greater Muskegon Music Teachers' Association.
Currently, she teaches private lessons at her home studio, accompanies the Whitehall High School and Middle School choirs as well as the choir and the congregation at Sheridan Drive Baptist Church, and directs the children's choir, Christmas program, and Vacation Bible School. She has accompanied several performers and has worked with small and large ensembles, including the Grand Valley New Music Ensemble (where she toured through the East Coast), Grand Valley Chamber Ensemble, Grand Valley University Arts Chorale, Grand Valley University Singers, Holland Symphony, and Bee Bop Band. Jera also performs with her sisters as The Leffring Sisters and arranges each of their selections. The Leffring Sisters have performed at several churches and community events.
In 2008, 2012, and 2015, the girls were asked to sing the National Anthem for the Michigan International Speedway, which was aired on National television. In 2008 and 2009, The Leffring Sisters were the feature performance in Downtown Muskegon's Beardsley Theatre for Waddell and Reed. The Leffring Sisters performed on Muskegon's Frauenthal Theater stage in 2010, 2011, 2013, and 2015 with guest artists Jeremy Leffring, Bradley Saniga, and Justin Auten. All the girls were homeschooled and are very active at their church, Sheridan Drive Baptist.
Throughout her highschool years, Jera competed in several area competitions with the Grand Rapids Michigan Federation, Michigan Federation of Music Clubs, the Greater Muskegon Music Teachers' Association, and many others. She has received twelve consecutive superior ratings in the GRMFM Jr. Festival in addition to four superiors for both piano concerto and organ performance. She received the Grand Cup for achieving multiple superiors. In 2006 and 2007, she won first place in piano performance and piano concerto for the MFMC state competition. In 2007, She won first place in the GMMTA Awards Recital and was asked to perform as a guest artist in April of 2008. Jera studied piano and organ with Wilma Jeanne Swartz, violin with Jennifer Alman and Bruce Dauser, harp with Mary Wagner, and voice with Cynthia Twinning during high school. She also played violin, harp, and piano in the Holland Area Youth Orchestra as well as the West Michigan Youth Symphony.
Jenna teaches music at New Era Christian School. She graduated from Grand Valley State University, earning a music degree with an emphasis in viola and piano. She has received twelve consecutive superior ratings for piano performance in the GRMFMC Jr. Festival as well as four superiors in organ performance. Jenna took first place several times in the GMMTA Awards Recital and was featured as a guest performer in the 2010 Awards Recital. Jenna also took first place in the MFMCA state competitions. She has been asked to play in several Honors Recitals after accomplishing musical testing with a high grade.
During her college years, Jenna studied viola with Professor Paul Swantek and piano with Dr. Giuseppe Lupis. Recently, Jenna collaborated with Pablo Mehave-Veglia and Carol lei Breckenridge. Jenna has performed with the Grand Valley University Orchestra as well the Grand Valley University Arts Chorale, Cantate Chamber Ensemble, Early Music Ensemble (where she went on tour in London), and has been featured on the harpsichord, fortepiano, and viola. She teaches choir at New Era Christian School and private lessons in her home studio and through Meyer Music.
Jillian is twenty one years old and is a senior at Grand Valley State University, earning a music BA degree with an emphasis in piano, voice, and organ. She has received several superior ratings in piano performance for the GRMFMC and many for organ performance as well. She also took first place in the GMMTA Awards Recital and was later featured as the guest performer in the 2012 Awards Recital. She played violin in the Holland Area Youth Symphony as well as the West Michigan Youth Orchestra. Currently, Jillian studies organ with Dr. Gregory Crowell, voice with Dr. Min Jin, and piano with Dr. Giuseppe Lupis. She sings in the Grand Valley Select Women’s Ensemble and is active in many musical events at Grand Valley.
She enjoys theater arts as well and has been cast in several productions including The Muskegon Civic Theater’s "The Music Man", and Homeschool Performing Art’s production of "Jane Eyre", "Beauty and the Beast", and "Peter Pan". She sings in her church choir and helps lead the children programs along with Jera. She also leads the children's' choir at her church. Along with music, she enjoys heading the T&T girls program in AWANA. As the youngest of the three girls, Jillian keeps up pretty well with her older sisters.