Mezzo-soprano Mary Abba-Gleason is an active performer and vocal teacher in New York’s Capital Region. She received her BM in Music Education from the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam. At the Crane School she completed a performance certification in voice and studied with Barbara Clark and Catherine Sevenigny. She has had the great privilege to sing under the direction Andre Thomas and tour Europe with the Ottawa Choral Society. She was the alto soloist in the Crane Chorus and Symphony Orchestra’s staged production of J.S. Bach’s St. Matthew Passion. She has also been a featured soloist with the Voices of Cooperstown in their performances of Handel’s Messiah, the Bach Magnificat, and the Vivaldi Gloria. In the Capital Region, she has performed with the New York City Ballet Orchestra at SPAC, and was the mezzo-soprano soloist for the Albany Pro Musica’s performance of Richard Einhorn’s oratorio, Voices of Light. As an Educator, she teaches chorus, voice, and select vocal ensembles at Clayton A. Bouton High School and Voorheesville Middle School in Voorheesville, NY. Ms. Abba-Gleason also holds an MA in Educational Administration from the University at Albany.
Mezzo-soprano Ann Marie Adamick is a lifelong singer and performer who has worked with a variety of classical choral groups for over thirty years. She is a frequent soloist with the Schenectady Octavo Singers and Burnt Hills Oratorio Society, appearing in performances of Handel’s The Messiah, Mozart’s Vesperae Solennes de Confessore, Mozart’s Requiem, Bach’s Magnificat, Vivaldi’s Gloria and Rutter’s Magnificat. Ann Marie was the alto soloist in the 2011 world premiere of Thomas F. Savoy’s chancel opera, The Agon of St. Joseph, and made her Carnegie Hall debut in 2012 performing the Slavonic liturgical works of Vladimir Pleshakov. She has also appeared as a soloist with Albany Pro Musica and the Hudson-Mohawk Chorale. Equally at home with musical theater, Ann Marie has performed many leading roles with Syracuse-based Theater ’90 and Talent Company production companies. Ann Marie has studied with Anne Turner and Carolyn Amory. She is a University at Albany graduate and teaches English as a Second Language and Mandarin Chinese for WSWHE BOCES.
Soprano Memory Apata is a southern-fried New Englander from Little Rock, Arkansas. Her love for choral music began with a passion for all things theater and she holds a B.A. in Music and German from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. She has enjoyed performing extensively in the South with the Arkansas Repertory Theater, Arkansas Children’s Theater, Opera in the Rock, and Opera Memphis. Favorite roles include Roxie (Chicago), Eliza (My Fair Lady), Liesl (Sound of Music), Gretel (Hansel and Gretel), Amahl (Amahl and the Night Visitors), Jack’s Mother (Into the Woods) and Papagena (Magic Flute). Since moving to New England, Memory has hit the ground running, performing with the Rochester Opera House, Opera North, Opera On Tap: Boston, BarnArts, and the Vermont Pride Festival at Chandler. She is a section leader in the St. Thomas Episcopal choir in Hanover. When not singing and acting, Memory can be found organizing scores of scores in Paddock Library at Dartmouth College where she works as a Music Library Specialist.
Mezzo-soprano Virginia Bailey is the Director of Instrumental Music at Auburn High School in Auburn MA. She received her Bachelor of Music degree from UMass Amherst in Music Education with concentrations in piano, French horn, and voice and her Master of Music degree from UConn Storrs in Music Education. An active freelance musician, Ms. Bailey is in demand as an accompanist for several regional theater, school, and choral groups as well as for various churches and the Central MA District choral festivals. She is also a member of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, the chorus in residency with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Boston Pops. With the TFC she has performed with such prestigious conductors as James Levine, John Oliver, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Christoph von Dohnányi, Sir Colin Davis, and Keith Lockhart at venues including Symphony Hall in Boston, Tanglewood in Lenox MA, and Carnegie Hall in New York City. Ms. Bailey also continues her horn performance with the Metrowest Symphony Orchestra and Brookfield Brass Quintet, various orchestras and wind ensembles, and for regional pit ensembles. She studies voice with Jane Hanson and has studied horn with Jean Rife and conducting with James Patrick Miller, Steven Bodner, Charles Peltz, and Glen Adsit.
Mezzo-Soprano Maria Bedo’s vocal repertoire includes a diverse mix of contemporary opera, oratorio, standard opera repertory as well as music theater. This Vermont native has performed with the Des Moines Metro Opera, Tri-Cities Opera, Center for Contemporary Opera and Wichita Opera Theater singing such roles as La Perichole, Charlotte in Werther, Prince Orlofsky in Die Fledermaus, Cherubino in The Marriage of Figaro, Mother in Amahl and The Night Visitors and Mercedes in Carmen. Her 20th century opera credits include the Telephone Supervisor in the premiere of Jack Beeson’s opera Sorry, Wrong Number, Mother/Allison in the stage premiere of Lee Hoiby’s This is the Rill Speaking, Beggar Woman in the Kansas premiere of Sweeney Todd and Dinah in Trouble In Tahiti. In oratorio, she has sung the alto solos in Vivaldi’s Gloria, Handel’s The Messiah, Bach’s Mass in B minor, Magnificat and various Cantatas including 72, 89, 106 and 161. Most recently, she performed the alto solos in the Mozart’s Requiem at the Maverick Concert Hall with Ars Choralis and in New Paltz with the SUNY New Paltz Chorale. Maria is a member and soloist with Kairos, a vocal chamber ensemble based out of New Paltz, NY.
Maria completed her Masters Degree in Voice at SUNY Binghamton where she held a graduate assistantship. Other teaching experience includes five years of both classical and musical theater vocal instruction at DeSales University in Allentown, PA and seven years as an adjunct faculty member at Kean University in New Jersey. During this period she was also the Executive Director of the George London Foundation for Singers in NYC while singing with the New York Choral Artists in concerts for the New York Philharmonic, Vienna Philharmonic and the Mostly Mozart Festival. An avid outdoors person, she moved to Ulster County to enjoy life outside the bustle of New York City in the beautiful Catskill Mountains.
Mezzo-soprano Lauren A. Boice has sung nationally and internationally as a soloist for over 25 years. Since 2003, she has performed with the Tanglewood Festival Chorus in Boston, Lenox and Carnegie Hall, and on their 2007 European Tour. She has worked with such conductors as Andris Nelsons, James Levine, Sejii Ozawa, Colin Davis, Keith Lockhart, Marvin Hamlisch, and John Williams. She participated in the Grammy-winning recording of Ravel’s Daphnis et Chlöe. She performed with the Master Chorale of Washington and National Philharmonic Chorale in Washington, D.C. and with Chorus pro Musica as a featured soloist, and the New England premiere of Adams’ Nixon in China. She has also sung the National Anthem at Fenway Park. She is presently an “attorney by day and an alto by night”, and thanks her husband Randall for embracing her two careers.
Mezzo-soprano Sarah Christy is a graduate of the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam where she studied voice with Dr. Jill Pearon & Shannon Unger. She received her Master’s Degree in Liberal Studies from Stonybrook University. A Clifton Park native, she has returned to the area after being a high school choral director on Long Island for the past eight years. On Long Island, she sang and conducted for various choirs, including the Stonybrook Camerata Singers & SOLI Choir. This fall, she will begin her appointment as the choir director at Averill Park High School.
Bass-baritone James Crum has been an active choral singer in Cobleskill and the Capital District for over thirty years. He attended Fredonia State majoring in voice for several years and subsequently graduated from Paul Smiths College of the Adirondacks where he majored in Forestry and Surveying. He has continued his love of choral music and is active in many choral organizations and a frequent soloist. He is noted for his musical discernment and interpretation. James was a founding member of Cobleskill Chamber Singers and Cobleskill Vocal Ensemble. He has been a member of Albany Pro Musica for twelve years and served on the APM Board of Directors. He also sings with the Cathedral Choir of Men and Boys at the Episcopal Cathedral of All Saints in Albany for major feast days and choral concerts and is a charter member of Aoede Consort. James is a Vice President at Lancaster Development, Inc. in Richmondville and serves in many community and church related positions. He lives in Cobleskill and is married to Joanne Darcy Crum. They have one daughter, Darcy, who holds a masters degree in vocal performance from Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.
Baritone Siddharth Dubey is an up and coming opera singer from the Capital Region area and at 27 years old he is already making a tremendous impact in the opera world. A recent graduate student at Manhattan School of Music and a former student at the Eastman School of Music, Siddharth was the winner of the 32nd annual Jessie Kneisel Lieder Competition held at Eastman. Siddharth has also done the OperaWorks Program with Ann Baltz, sung in masterclass in Austria with renowned Opera Singer Barbara Bonney, and also sung major roles with New York Opera Companies including Manhattan Opera Studio. Siddharth made his debut at Carnegie Hall on December 14th, 2015 in Mozarts opera Die Zauberflӧte where he sang Papageno.
Originally hailing from Mastic, New York, soprano Claudia C. Feeney studied voice at Fredonia State University and graduated cum laude with a Bachelors of Science in Music Education. While at Fredonia, Claudia was selected as a Concerto Finalist in 2009 and performed several roles with The Hillman Opera Company. She also participated in a master class with renowned vocal coach, collaborative pianist and clinician Donna Loewy of the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music. Claudia sang with The Fredonia Chamber Singers for three years under the direction of Dr. Donald P. Lang and travelled with this ensemble to Europe for an international tour in Wales, Ireland, Scotland and England. She has also sung as a soprano with Albany Pro Musica for two seasons. She studied voice with Ms. Delia Wallis, Dr. Gwendolyn Detwiler and Ms. Julie Newell. Claudia is a certified music teacher, and currently teaches Choir and Voice lessons at Guilderland High School.
Soprano Carla Fisk, regional finalist of the Metropolitan Opera’s National Council Auditions, has performed in many operas in Europe and the United States. In Rome, Italy, she was chosen to sing on Italian National Television (RAI Uno), performing Hanna from Die Lustige Witwe. She then went on to be a part of the Baltimore Opera’s Young Artist Program singing the role of Beauty in Giannini’s Beauty and the Beast (an Educational Outreach Opera) and performing the role of Despina in Mozart’s Cosi fan Tutte. They asked her back to sing the role of Second Lady in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte directed by Werner Herzog and conducted by William Crutchfield with the main stage of Baltimore Opera. In her performing career she has sung the role of the Contessa in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro, The title role in Puccini’s Suor Angelica, Donna Anna in Mozart’s Don Giovanni, Mimi in Puccini’s La Boheme, Nedda in Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci, and Laetitia in Menotti’s The Old Maid and The Thief.
After moving to New York City she started a non-profit group called Opera on Tap. Opera on Tap is an educational and cultural outreach organization that seeks to bring opera to unconventional performance spaces like bars. Over time it became something that supports young singers, supports new music – chamber and opera – to be performed, and reaches out to children as well. This group has taken off like wild fire since its inception in 2005. Opera On Tap has been written about in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Time Out Magazine. Opera On Tap has also been on NPR’s “All Things Considered”, WNYC “Soundcheck”, and Current TV. Carla remains an active managing “Diva”, promoting shows, performing in shows, working with the scholarship programs for singers, and is their Educational Outreach Director (writing and directing shows for children).
Since moving to the Albany area, Carla teaches private voice instruction and has performed as soloist in oratorio works such as Handel’s Messiah, Brahms’ Ein Deutches Requiem, Vivaldi’s Gloria, Mozart’s Coronation Mass, Fauré’s Requiem, Einhorn’s Voices of Light, and Poulenc’s Gloria. She is pleased to be participating with Auriel Camerata this year!
Tenor Casey Gray is an adjunct faculty member at The College of Saint Rose, Vocal Coach/Music Director at the Saratoga Children’s Theatre, and Co-Music Director and Organist at Trinity United Methodist Church in Albany. He earned his Master of Music degree in Voice Performance from SUNY Fredonia, where he studied with Laurie Tramuta. In 2009, he earned the Bachelor of Arts Degree in Music: Voice, cum laude from Bethany College where he studied with David J. Rudari.
As a performer, Casey has appeared in the Hillman Opera productions: La Bohème, Les Contes d’Hoffmann as Pitichinaccio and in 2014 made his first appearance as a guest artist as Little Bat in Susannah. In 2011 he premiered in a Chamber Oratorio: Samaritan as the Evangelist/Victim, by composer Sean Doyle. With the Western New York Chamber Orchestra he has performed the role of Alfred in Die Fledermaus. In the summer of 2008 he studied with Wanda Brister and performed as a soloist at the Schlern International Music Festival in Völs am Schlern, Italy. Casey continues to be an active recitalist and performer throughout New York State.
Casey recently moved to Saratoga Springs from the Western New York area where he served as an Adjunct Faculty member at SUNY Fredonia. In addition he worked as a freelance voice teacher, vocal coach, and accompanist for various programs such as: SUNY Fredonia Pops concert series, the department of Theatre and Dance Mainstage Musical productions, Chorus Master of Hillman Opera productions, and All-County Music Festivals throughout New York state.
Conductor William Jon Gray is Director of Choral Studies, tenure-track Assistant Professor, at the University at Albany, where he conducts the Chamber Singers and the University-Community Chorale, and where he teaches Introduction to Opera and Diction. He comes to the University at Albany from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, where he held the position of chair of the choral department, and where he conducted the Pro Arte Singers, the University’s prestigious chamber choir, and taught graduate-level conducting, choral literature, and score study. Since 2010 he has been chorus director of Chicago’s Music of the Baroque, conducting the fully professional chamber chorus in subscription series concerts and preparing the ensemble for performances with internationally renowned conductors Jane Glover and Nicholas Kraemer. He has been associate conductor of the Carmel Bach Festival in California, leading major choral and orchestral works and preparing performances with conductor Bruno Weil. He has also been assistant conductor of Boston’s Handel and Haydn Society.
Dr. Gray has made guest appearances with orchestras and choruses at festivals around the United States, including the Handel and Haydn Society, Princeton Festival, National Chamber Orchestra, Billings Symphony, and the Lafayette Symphony. In August 2011 he prepared the professional Grant Park Music Festival Chorus for performances of Dvořák’s The Spectre’s Bride and Haydn’s The Seasons in collaboration with Carlos Kalmar. He has prepared choruses for the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and the National Chamber Orchestra, and has served as faculty director of opera choruses for the Indiana University Opera Theatre, collaborating with such notable stage directors as Tito Capobianco (La Traviata), Colin Graham (Peter Grimes), Vincent Liotta (A View from the Bridge), and Tomer Zvulun (Faust).
William Jon Gray was artistic director of the Masterworks Chorus and Orchestra of Washington, DC, from 1986 to 1993, and artistic director of the Bach Chorale Singers from 1994 to 2010, conducting more than 100 performances of major choral works. With the Bach Chorale Singers, he received national critical acclaim for the commercially released recording, “In Praise of the Organ: Latin Choral and Organ Music of Zoltán Kodály.” Recent conducting appearances include Handel’s Esther in Charleston with the Pro Arte Singers and Baroque Orchestra, Haydn’s The Creation in Indianapolis and Bloomington, and Mendelssohn’s Elijah with Metropolitan Opera baritone Timothy Noble and mezzo-soprano Marietta Simpson.
Performances in the 2014/15 season included “How Can I Keep from Singing”, a syncretic concept program juxtaposing repertoire from the classical, vocal jazz, musical theatre, spiritual, and folk genres performed by the University at Albany Chamber Singers and University-Community Chorale. With Chicago’s professional Music of the Baroque Orchestra and Chorus William Jon Gray conducted the popular Holiday Brass and Choral concerts in December as well as Allegri’s Miserere, Palestrina’s Missa Papae Marcelli, and Monteverdi’s Madrigali Libro VIII in April, as well as preparing Bach’s Weihnachts Oratorium, Mozart’s Requiem, Haydn’s Te Deum für die Keiserin, Handel’s Dettingen Te Deum, and Haydn’s Mass in Time of War in collaboration with conductors Jane Glover and Nicholas Kraemer.
In the 2015/16 season William Jon Gray will appear as guest conductor of the professional Auriel Camerata in a concert featuring Bach motets and Heinrich Biber’s Mystery Sonatas, and as conductor and harpsichord soloist with the Musicians of Ma’alwyck in Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos No. 2 and No. 5.
William Jon Gray studied at Indiana University, the Juilliard School, New England Conservatory, and Boston University. He performed frequently with Robert Shaw as a member of the Robert Shaw Festival Singers, both in recordings and concerts in France and at Carnegie Hall.
Bass-baritone David Loy performed with the Washington Men’s Camerata in Washington, D.C., the Pittsburgh Camerata in Pittsburgh PA, Aoede Consort in Albany NY including Aoede’s performance of Pleshakov at Carnegie Hall in January 2012. David also now sings with Albany Pro Musica. David founded contemporary a cappella group Quarternote, which performed mostly doo-wop for five years in the Washington D.C. area. He later founded vocal jazz and doo-wop group InVoice in Pittsburgh PA, which performed regionally for seven years. InVoice recorded the CD “Out of Nowhere” and also toured and recorded with the River City Brass Band. David plays bass guitar and has performed with several regional rock bands and at Northway Church, playing everything from Alternative Rock and Classic Rock, to Oldies and Contemporary Christian music. David graduated from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN, and is an engineering manager in Renewable Energy with GE in Schenectady, NY.
Soprano Tess McCarthy has performed most recently as the soprano soloist for the Burnt Hills Oratorio Society in their Spring 2015 concert, and a collaboration in March 2015 with the Musicians of Ma’alwyck. Ms. McCarthy is the recipient of the 2014 Joel Dolven Vocal Award, Advanced Division, sponsored by the Mendelssohn Club. She currently sings with Albany Pro Musica and serves as soloist and section leader at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Albany. Tess teaches choral and general music at The Albany Academies. A native of Troy, NY, Ms. McCarthy is pursuing a Master’s degree at the College of Saint Rose, studying voice with Lucille Beer. Ms. McCarthy received her Bachelor’s degree in music from The College of Saint Rose in 2010, graduating cum laude. During her time at Saint Rose, she performed as the soprano soloist in presentations of Mozart’s Missa Brevis in F and Vivaldi’s Gloria and was asked to perform at numerous honors convocations. She has participated in master classes utilizing Alexander Technique and with pianist Vera Danchenko-Stern, who teaches at Peabody Conservatory. In the summer of 2014, Ms. McCarthy traveled to Ilinois, where she won a place in the Midwest Opera Institute’s summer program, performing in Bizet’s Carmen, under the direction of The Metropolitan Opera’s Joshua Greene. Future engagements include participation in the Daniel Ferro Vocal Program in Chianti, Italy in the summer of 2015, and another collaboration with the Musicians of Ma’alwyck in the Fall of 2015.
Soprano Barbee Monk is an active soloist, choral singer, and voice teacher in the New York City area. She has received consistent praise for her performance, having been described as “sterling,” “sparkling,” “ravishing,” and “a true singing actress” by reviewers. Ms. Monk has recently been seen as Pamina (Die Zauberflöte) with Opera Theatre of Montclair, Frasquita (Carmen) with New Rochelle Opera, Susanna (Le nozze di Figaro) with The Opera Atelier (Miami, FL), the triple role of the Bride/Wife/Mother (The Vanishing Bridegroom) with Barnard Opera (New York, NY), and the Acting Coach in the world premier of Mason’s Entanglements at Miami’s Lowe Art Museum.
As a concert and oratorio soloist she has appeared with the Alhambra Orchestra (Miami, FL), Civic Chorale of Greater Miami, Music at Atonement series (Tenafly, NJ), and Music at St. Mark’s series (Jacksonville, FL), singing such repertoire as Mozart’s Exsultate, jubilate, Bach’s Johannes-Passion, Handel’s Messiah, Vivaldi’s Gloria, and Ticheli’s Angels in the Architecture. In 2012 she won the voice competition at the Frost School of Music at Salzburg program, the prize of which was a public performance at the Schloss Mirabell where she sang works by Gounod, Wolf-Ferrari, Bacon, and Hundley.
Ms. Monk is currently the Soprano Section Leader and Soloist at the Church of the Atonement in Tenafly, NJ, and has previously served as a Section Leader and Soloist for St. Patrick Catholic Church in Miami Beach, Florida, as well as St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Jacksonville, Florida. Her choral experiences have allowed her the opportunity to sing in such diverse venues as the Basilica di San Marco (Venice, Italy), Walt Disney World (Orlando, FL), Fairchild Tropical Botanical Garden (Miami, FL), and areas throughout Florida when she appeared as a chorus member for the Star Wars in Concert tour. Her 2015-2016 season includes appearances with the New Jersey Music Society and Music at Atonement series.
Ms. Monk is currently on the music faculty of Professional Arts Academy in Edgewater, New Jersey, and has previously held positions at the University of North Florida (Jacksonville, FL), 6th Borough Music Academy (Hoboken, NJ), and The Mandelstam School (South Miami, FL). She holds a Master of Music from the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami and a Bachelor of Music with Latin Honors and University Honors from the University of North Florida; she is also an alumna of the European Music Academy in the Czech Republic. Originally from Ft. Worth, Texas, Ms. Monk grew up in Jacksonville, Florida, and now resides in northeast New Jersey.
Tenor Matt Perkins, a native of New York City, is a graduate of Cornell University where he was President of the Glee Club, Cornell’s oldest student organization. At Cornell, he catalyzed the Glee Club and Chorus’s 80-student performance tour across China (featuring stops at the US Embassy, the world-renowned Oriental Arts Performing Center in Shanghai, and a special performance with the members of the Hong Kong Philharmonic), led the Glee Club in his final year as featured performers at the ACDA Eastern Convention, and performed world premieres by Lee Hoiby, Chen Yi, Steven Stucky, Julian Wachner, and Augusta Read Thomas. Since his first violin lesson at age six, Matt has been fortunate enough to contribute with membership in numerous musical organizations, including the Choir of Men and Boys at the Cathedral of All Saints in Albany under Woody Bynum, Aoede Consort under Dan Foster, the Boston Choral Ensemble under Miguel Felipe where he performed North American premieres of Thomas Jennefelt and Paul Crabtree, the University of Pennsylvania Choir under Bill Parberry, Cantori NY under Mark Shapiro receiving 2nd Place in the 2012 American Prize, Community Chorus division, Ensemble Companio under Joseph Gregorio receiving 1st Place in the 2012 American Prize, Community Chorus division, and the Yale Camerata and Chamber Chorus under Margaret Brooks. 2012 marked Matt’s Carnegie Hall debut when he sang Stravinsky’s Oedipus Rex with the Philadelphia Singers with the Philadelphia Orchestra, under the baton of Charles Dutoit. In 2012, Matt was fortunate to perform the National Anthem at Fenway Park before a Red Sox / Blue Jays game, when upon arriving at the Park, Matt quickly learned the Canadian National Anthem. Matt currently studies voice in New Haven, CT with Grammy award-winning tenor Dann Coakwell. Matt is Director at GE’s Energy Ventures division leading new business development for the grid of the future.
Tenor John E. Schreiner began singing in church choirs as a boy in Kalamazoo, Michigan. His undergraduate study at Kalamazoo college combined mathematics and music, including a semester in Budapest where he studied math at the Technical University and sang with the Matthias Church choir. After college, he served an apprenticeship with C.B. Fisk, Inc. organ builders in Gloucester, Massachusetts and, with them, has built organs for churches and concert halls in Switzerland, Japan, South Korea, and throughout the United States. His company, Schreiner Pipe Organs, Ltd. in Schenectady, builds new pipe organs for churches and schools, tailored to suit the musical needs for each situation. Schreiner has performed with church and community choirs for most of his life. In addition to being a founding member of Auriel Camerata, he is a member of Albany Pro Musica and the Choir of Men and Boys at the Cathedral of All Saints in Albany, New York.
Tenor and Artistic Director Derek W. Stannard is a graduate of the Crane School of Music at the State University of New York at Potsdam where he studied voice with Dr. Kirk Dougherty. In addition to being the Artistic Director of Auriel Camerata, he holds the position of Director of Music Ministries at Church of the Immaculate Conception, in Glenville, New York. While in Potsdam, Mr. Stannard was an active member of Concert Choir, Men’s Ensemble, Crane Chorus, Opera Ensemble and the Early Music Ensemble. He had the privilege of premiering The Sailor-Boy and the Falcon starring Metropolitan Opera mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe, and sang many other roles while at Crane including Pluto in Orpheus in the Underworld by Offenbach. Mr. Stannard was the tenor soloist in the Adirondack Voices presentation of the Verdi Requiem in May of 2011. In addition, he is an active member of Albany Pro Musica, and a former member of Aoede Consort (Carnegie Hall premiere, choral works of Vladimir Pleshakov, January 2012) and Voices of Cooperstown (Charpentier Mass de Minuit pour Noel, Handel’s Messiah). He has sung with the Lake George Opera (Rossini’s L’italiana in Algeri), Battenkill Chorale, Broad Street Chorale, Burnt Hills Oratorio Society, Berkshire Choral Society, and Adirondack Voices. Whenever possible he serves as a guest chorister at the First Presbyterian Church, Glens Falls, The Cathedral of All Saints, Albany, The Cathedral of Immaculate Conception, Albany, and Brick Presbyterian Church, NYC. In addition he maintains a small, private voice studio, specializing in the male voice. As an active church musician, he continues to create sacred performance opportunities including the acclaimed annual “Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols” and “A Celebration of Handel’s Messiah” as well as community-wide hymn sings. Mr. Stannard is excited to be a part of the ever-growing choral music community in upstate New York and Vermont areas.
In the Albany area, mezzo soprano Valene Synakowski has appeared as a soloist with Albany Pro Musica, the Guilderland Town Band, and Auriel Camerata. As a chorister, Ms. Synakowski has performed with the The College of St. Rose Chamber Singers, Albany Pro Musica, and Auriel Camerata. She has performed in Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, EMPAC at RPI, Key Hall at Proctors and Carondelet Chapel.
Valene’s musical curiosity and interests are broad in scope, and she has a versatile voice that is easily at home in many genres, from early music to jazz. Valene’s voice has been hailed as “rich”, “expressive”, with “a sound that inhabits the text.” A native of Gloversville, NY, Ms. Synakowski holds an MS in Music Education (summa cum laude) from Boston University, and a BS in Music Education (magna cum laude) from The College of St. Rose. She has studied voice with Sharon Stohrer, Susan Fedak and Eileen Bush. She has performed under the batons of Dr. David Griggs-Janower, JoAnn Falletta and David Alan Miller.
A passionate educator and advocate for the arts in our schools, Ms. Synakowski teaches vocal music at New Lebanon Central Schools.
Baritone Tyler Thomas is steeped in the dual traditions of classical music and jazz, having performed both under the baton of noted Bach scholar Helmuth Rilling, and with Janis Siegel of the Manhattan Transfer and Peter Eldridge of the New York Voices. Both a perpetual student and passionate teacher, he has performed as a guest artist and clinician at Collin College in Plano, Texas, and in numerous masterclasses, most recently with acclaimed jazz vocalist Kurt Elling. Tyler has toured and recorded with the UNT Jazz Singers, headlining at the Oceanside Jazz Festival in Oceanside, California, and the Jazz Education Network Conference in Atlanta, Georgia. Equally at home in musical theatre, his past roles include Leaf Coneybear in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee with SUNY Potsdam and Sky Masterson in Guys and Dolls with Clarkson Theatre Co. An active arranger and songwriter, his works for SSAA and SATB ensembles were most recently featured at the Denton Arts and Jazz Festival in Denton, Texas. Tyler holds both a BM in Music Education from the Crane School of Music, with dual concentrations in voice and horn, and an MM in Jazz Studies from the University of North Texas, with a concentration in pedagogy. He currently teaches voice and music technology at Shaker High School in the North Colonie school district.
Irina had her opera debut as Cornelia in Handel’s Giulio Cesare in Egitto, directed by Michael Clement, with Upstate Chamber Opera in September 2014. Irina’s solo appearances included the Obukhova Classical Voice Competitions (3rd place in 2014), alto solo in Paulus by Mendelssohn with Octavo Singers, Russian Winter Festival, Mosaic Arts and Octavo Singers Concert Series, Festival of Nations, NATS Art Song Festival and duets recital “Just Duet!!”
Irina currently studies with Michael Clement and Frances Wittmann.
Alexander Turpin (tenor) is a versatile performer whose engagements have brought him abroad to stages in Italy, Austria, the Czech Republic, Australia, and New Zealand. Some recent roles include Tamino (Die Zauberflöte), Sam Kaplan (Street Scene), Father Grenville (Dead Man Walking), Vašek (The Bartered Bride), Balladeer/Oswald (Assassins), and Léon (Signor Deluso). Also a passionate recitalist, recent performances include Schumann’s Dichterliebe and both Liederkreis cycles, Schubert’s Die schöne Müllerin, Poulenc’s Tel jour tel nuit, Fauré’s La bonne chanson, Berg’s Sieben frühe Lieder, Sviridov’s Six Romances to Poetry by Pushkin, and Britten’s Canticle II (with Martin Katz, piano). Last season saw Mr. Turpin’s first performances of Schubert’s masterwork Die Winterreise (with pianist John Elam), as well as appearances as a guest artist with the Burnt Hills Oratorio Society, Octavo Singers, and the University at Albany (under the baton of William Jon Gray). Mr. Turpin is a graduate of the University of Michigan (Master of Music in Vocal Performance) and the Eastman School of Music (Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance), and has also studied at the Humboldt University in Berlin, Germany (German Language and Culture) as well as at St. Petersburg State University in St. Petersburg, Russia (Russian Language and Literature). He is currently a member of the voice faculties at the College of Saint Rose in Albany, NY and Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY.
Mezzo-soprano Lydia Walrath is a native of Altamont, New York. A graduate of Ithaca College, Lydia holds a Bachelor’s of Music degree in Vocal Performance and is an alumnus of the Epsilon Chapter of Sigma Alpha Iota International Music Fraternity for Women. Lydia has performed in a wide range of choral and theatrical ensembles both locally and abroad. Favorite endeavors include The Music Man at Glimmerglass Opera (both in Cooperstown, New York and Muscat, Oman), The Sound of Music with Schenectady Light Opera Company, two choir tours with Lawrence Doebler’s Choir at Ithaca College, and four years in the Guilderland Players under the direction of Andy Maycock. Currently, Lydia is a member of Albany Pro Musica and is a vocal student of Rae Jean Teeter. Lydia spends her days assisting citizens of New York State with their taxes and her free time searching for more places to sing, and partaking of excellent food and wine with family and friends. She lives in Albany with two roommates, three cats, and one very well loved coffee pot.
Bass Nicholas A. Wiggins, a native of Clifton Park, is a graduate of the University of Rochester where he studied in the vocal studio of Jan Opalach, professor of voice at Eastman School of Music. Nicholas’ passion for music is rooted in his mother’s innate love of gospel and his father’s passion for jazz. Since performing on NBC’s national television show The Sing-Off as a member of the Yellow Jackets, Nicholas has been fortunate enough to share his music on tours in the US, Africa, Hong Kong, Mexico, Ecuador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, and at home in the Capital Region. Professionally, Nicholas has been a soloist with the Eastman Chorale, the Octavo Singers, and the Burnt Hills Oratorio Society. His opera credits include the roles of Antonio in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro, the title role in Mozart’s Don Giovanni, Balthazar in Menotti’s Amahl and The Night Visitors, Lescaut in Massenet’s Manon, Elmer Blake in Schumann’s The Mighty Casey, Figaro in The Marriage of Figaro, Unplugged at Williams College, Barone Douphol in Verdi’s La Traviata at Hubbard Hall, and most recently, Mercutio in Gounod’s Romeo et Juliette. Nicholas has been presented in recital as part of the Bel Canto Series hosted by the University at Albany, and was a finalist in the New Tang Dynasty Vocal Competition at Carnegie Hall. He has received an Eastman School of Music Jury Award, and the 2010 Links Inc. Scholarship.
Soprano Meghan Renee Zuver‘s credentials include a BA in vocal performance from Wichita State University, and an MM from University of Missouri – Kansas City. Meghan has performed extensively throughout the Midwest, including two years with the Simon Carrington Chamber Singers. Since moving to Boston last year, she has performed with Boston OperaHub and Tanglewood Festival Chorus, and has been a featured singer in two master classes taught by John Oliver. Meghan has been a featured soloist with the Boston Symphony (Szymanowski’s King Roger, 2015) and appeared as a soloist in the multimedia production of The Defiant Requiem under the direction of Murray Sidlin. Meghan makes her home in Boston where she teaches Voice at the Elliot Page Studios.