Singers

March 2017 Roster

Sopranos: Tansy Deutsch, Debra McCullough, Kristin Jarvis, Yunjin Audrey Kim, Ellen McGaugh, Joan Sussman

Altos: Kathryn Borden, Carol Kerner, Elizabeth P. Kinney, Andrea McGaugh

Tenors: Jason Cloen, Mark Darling, Jacob Dassa, Michael Gehl, Malcolm Matthews, Jeffrey Tabor

Basses: David Gleichman, Rob Kerner, Jason Perfetto, Robert Taylor

 

Pictures and Bios (All singers 2014-Present)

Kathy Tarello

Soprano

Kathy Tarello is a native of Syracuse, NY and a graduate of Tufts University and Columbia University, Teachers College.  She worked as a company member of the New York Gilbert and Sullivan Players for 7 years, singing ensemble and principal roles.  She has also worked with various regional theatres, the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, and most recently the Eastman Rochester Chorus.  Kathy lives in Rochester with her husband and 3 year old son.

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Kathy Tarello

Kathy Tarello

Soprano

Cassie Buckel

Soprano

Cassie discovered her passion for choral singing as a member of the Houghton College Choir, directed by Dr. Brandon Johnson. Since college, she has sung with the Eastman Rochester Chorus, Concentus Women's Chorus, and Vox Lumine. She currently works for the Livingston County Office for the Aging, serving senior citizens in her community.

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Cassie Buckel

Cassie Buckel

Soprano

Amy Steinberg

Soprano

Amy is a “double doctor”—Ph.D. and J.D. and she’s a licensed attorney.
Passionate about singing, she sings with Schola Cantorum, Women of Note, and others.

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Amy Steinberg

Amy Steinberg

Soprano

Pati Piper

Soprano

Pati  Piper has been a Director of Vocal Music at the high school and college level for 37 years. She now enjoys life on the other side of the baton and embraces singing!  She is a member of Eastman Rochester Chorus, Rochester Oratorio Society, sings with Resonanz, a satellite choir of ROS, and in the summer sings with the Chautauqua Motet Choir. She is a huge fan of composer Eric Whitacre and has sung with him in NYC and Chicago since 2011. She has also sung in his Virtual Choirs 2,3, and 4. She is thrilled to sing with Lee Wright and the vocal ensemble First Inversion!

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Pati Piper

Pati Piper

Soprano

Joan Sussman

Soprano

Joan Sussman, an Associate Professor of Communicative Disorders and Sciences at the University at Buffalo, with expertise in speech acoustics and perception, has performed in choirs throughout her life, and once as Sarah Brown in Guys and Dolls.  She feels privileged to be singing with professional singers and looking forward to making beautiful music with First Inversion.

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Joan Sussman

Joan Sussman

Soprano

Lynn Kinsman

Soprano

Lynn is very excited and grateful to be sharing the gift of music with you, through First Inversion. Lynn has always cherished choral singing as her mental release and source of rejuvenation. It is simultaneously very personal and physical while requiring deep listening, understanding, and teamwork with others. Lynn enjoyed singing with the Crane Concert Choir and Crane Chorus while in college, and since coming to Rochester in the late 1980's has sung with First Unitarian Church choir, Rochester Oratorio Society, Madrigalia, Rochester Chamber Orchestra's Fesitval Singers, Finger Lakes Choral Festival, and several community musical theater groups. Lynn is a Systems Analyst at Kodak Alaris and lives in Penfield with her husband and two children.

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Lynn Kinsman

Lynn Kinsman

Soprano

Lindsay Buckel

Soprano

Just recently married, Lindsay Buckel spends her days as a music teacher for grades 5-12 at LeRoy Central School. She graduated from SUNY Fredonia with a degree in vocal music education in 2013 and is currently persuing her masters degree. With a strong background in musical theater and piano, she comes as a well rounded musician. Joining First Inversion is an exciting opportunity in her career as a professional singer.

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Lindsay Buckel

Lindsay Buckel

Soprano

Anica Lee

Soprano
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Anica Lee

Anica Lee

Soprano

Natalie Buickians

Soprano Section Leader

Armenian-American soprano, Liliana Natalie Buickians is a second year Master’s student at the Eastman School of Music.  She completed her undergraduate degrees at Azusa Pacific University in both piano and vocal performance in Spring 2013.
At age 16, she graduated from Lark Musical Society with honors, completing the 10 year classical piano program, as well as the conservatory program.  While at the conservatory, she has participated in numerous piano competitions.  At age 10, she took first place at the Concours Musicale de France in Rouen, France.  During that same year, she made her orchestral debut with W.A. Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 8 in C major. While at APU, she sang in Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, Faure’s Requiem and Handel’s Messiah.  During the last two years of her undergraduate, she worked as a teaching artist with LA Opera’s Education and Community Department as well as a department assistant.
Previous roles include Ginevra from Handel’s Ariodante in “Getting a Handle on Händel” scenes program, Susanna and Pamina in “Mostly Mozart” scenes program, Fanny from G. Rossini’t La Cambiale di Matrimonio and Mrs. Ford in the North American West Coast Premiere of A. Salieri’s Falstaff.  At Eastman she has participated in the Bach Cantata series and was the soprano soloist for Mozart’s Requiem at Summer Sings 2014. She will be performing the role of “Elle” in Eastman Opera Theatre’s winter production of Francis Poulenc’s La Voix Humaine.

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Natalie Buickians

Natalie Buickians

Soprano Section Leader

Yunjin Audrey Kim

Soprano Soloist

The Grand Prize winner of the LaDue Professional Recital Competition, Soprano Yunjin Audrey Kim has made appearances on the opera, concert and recital stage. On the opera stage, Ms. Kim has appeared as Elisetta in Il Matrimonio Segreto at Eastman and has performed lead roles in many main productions and scenes including Cosi Fan Tutte as Fiordiligi, Dido and Aeneas as Dido and, also as First Witch, Don Giovanni as Donna Anna, The Rake’s Progressas Anne Truelove and Der Rosenkavalier as Sophie, to name a few. Ms. Kim has performed in master class with Maestro Gildo DiNunzio from the Metropolitan Opera and in October of 2013, made her debut at Carnegie Hall performing songs of Nikolai Medtner.
Concert solo appearances include a performance of Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle as soprano soloist with First Inversion, Bach’s St. John’s Passion as soprano soloist at The Bach’s Festival, a performance of Messiaen’s Poémes pour Mi with the Eastman Philharmonia, a performance with the Eastman-Rochester Chorus as soprano soloist for Beethoven’s Missa solemnis at Kodak Hall and a soloist for Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 with Ad Hoc Chamber Orchestra. Ms. Kim has been winner of the Mu Phi International Fraternity Competition, the National Association of Teachers of Singing, James Madison University’s concerto competition and Eastman Concerto Competition. Ms. Kim was also featured on the album A Thousand Burnt Offerings released in South Korea in April 2013.
Ms. Kim has collaborated with composer Arlene Elizabeth Sierra, culminating in a performance of her composition Hearing Things in a guest lecture recital. Additional master class performances include Martina Arroyo, Kevin Kennedy, Peter Mark, Wieland Mueller, Sharon Chirstman, Rick Chirstman, and Fabiana Bravo. She also has served as Music Director and Collaborative Pianist in organizations including Opera Scenes and Music Theater Class at James Madison University, Rochester Association of Performing Arts and Pittsford Central School District. Currently, Ms. Kim is serving as Music Department Chair and Teaching Artist at Rochester Association of Performing Arts in Kodak Theatre. Ms. Kim holds a Master’s degree in Vocal Performance and Literature from the Eastman School of Music and a Bachelor’s degree from James Madison University. Ms. Kim currently resides in Rochester, NY where she regularly performs and teaches throughout central New York.

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Yunjin Audrey Kim

Yunjin Audrey Kim

Soprano Soloist

Marrlee Burgess

soprano

Marrlee Burgess has spent the better part of the last 25 years using her artistic training as a dancer, singer and cellist to bring liturgy to life at churches in and around Rochester.  In addition to her work in sacred music, Marrlee also brings a wealth of experience to First Inversion as a soloist and choral singer of early music with groups such as The Publick Musick, Schola Cantorum of Christ Church and Madragalia.  Marrlee received the bulk of her music training, both vocal and instrumental, at Eastman, with additional training at The College of Wooster and the University of Missouri.  Marrlee also has an M.Ed in Counseling Psychology which uses in her day job as Associate Dean at Colgate University.

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Marrlee Burgess

Marrlee Burgess

soprano

Rebekah Ooms

Soprano Section Leader

Rebekah Ooms holds the M.M. degree in Vocal Performance from Colorado State University, where she studied under Dr. Tiffany Blake. Rebekah has performed as the Queen of the Night (The Magic Flute), Susanna (The Marriage of Figaro), Despina (Cosi fan tutte), Adele (Die Fledermaus), Nanetta (Falstaff), Marian Paroo (The Music Man), Johanna (Sweeney Todd), Mabel (The Pirates of Penzance) and Latitia (The Old Maid and the Thief), as well as various other operatic and musical theatre roles. International performances include a choral tour throughout South Korea and operatic roles in Shanghai, China and Orvieto, Italy. She has also been very involved with the local opera company in her hometown of Fort Collins, CO, performing in the chorus, comprimario roles, and covering leading roles for their mainstage productions, as well as participating in outreach performances in regional schools with the same company. Rebekah continues to perform locally, while also furthering a career as a private voice teacher.

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Rebekah Ooms

Rebekah Ooms

Soprano Section Leader

Brenda Tremblay

Soprano

Brenda Tremblay is the morning host on WXXI-FM, Classical 91.5. She’s interviewed Yo-Yo Ma and Renée Fleming and has earned three Gracie Awards from the Association of Women in Radio and Television. She also serves as the Music Director of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Brockport and sings in the Eastman-Rochester Chorus. When not talking about or making music, Brenda likes to read, garden, daydream, and chill with her adorably lazy chihuahua.

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Brenda Tremblay

Brenda Tremblay

Soprano

Glenda Brayman

Soprano

Glenda Brayman is a retired attorney, formerly employed by the New York State Judiciary.  She sings with the chamber choir Madrigalia as well as the jazz trio Company B.

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Glenda Brayman

Glenda Brayman

Soprano

Helvi McClelland

Soprano

Helvi McClelland received a bachelor of music degree in piano performance from the Eastman School of Music, where her teachers were Orazio Frugoni and Maria Luisa Faini. She is the pianist for the Genesee Valley Orchestra and Chorus and for Grasshopper Productions, a Copake-based artistic eurythmy group. (Eurythmy is a movement form initiated by Rudolf Steiner.) She also plays with singers and other instrumentalists and sings with the women's chorus Concentus. In 2012, she retired from 23 years of work as an attorney-mediator.

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Helvi McClelland

Helvi McClelland

Soprano

Kristin Jarvis

Soprano

Kristin Jarvis is a member of The Lutheran Church of the Incarnate Word senior choir (Thatcher Lyman director) and of The Eastman-Rochester Chorus (William Weinert, director). She is also an accomplished recitalist, having participated in numerous performances here in Rochester and in Columbus, OH. Kristin resides in Rochester, NY with her family and several feathered and furry animals.

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Kristin Jarvis

Kristin Jarvis

Soprano

Linda Wojciechowski

Soprano

With an undergraduate performance degree from Eastman School of Music earned concurrently with a Bachelor’s Degree in English from the University of Rochester and a Master’s Degree from Ohio State University, Linda Wojciechowski quickly earned critical acclaim as an actress as well as singer.  While completing her academic pursuits, the young soprano made her debut on stage at the Chautauqua Opera as an apprentice in their young artists’ program and went on to sing in regional houses throughout the United States.  Her operatic repertoire began with such roles as Musetta in Puccini’s La Boheme, Norina in Donizetti’s Don Pasquale, Miss Jessel in Britten’s Turn of the Screw, the title role in Massenet’s Manon, Juliette in Gounod’s Romeo et Juliette, and others.  Concert engagement featured the versatile soprano in Mozart’s Laudate dominum and Exsultate jubilate, Beethoven’s Mass in C, the Magnificat and Saint Matthew Passion of Bach, and Handel’s Messiah.  Recital favorites include the music of Debussy, Poulenc, Ives, and Strauss.
In her capacity as business manager and artist liason for tenor Gregory Kunde, the soprano has traveled extensively throughout Europe.  Studying with such luminaries as June Anderson, Edita Gruberova, Mariella Devia, Renee Fleming, Ruth Ann Swenson, and Natalie Dessay, she soon developed her own brand of style and interpretation, expanding her repertoire as well.  A featured soloist with the Rochester-based Gregory Kunde Chorale and other local musical groups, Ms. Wojciechowski has appeared with great success as Violetta in La Traviata, the Countess in La Nozze di Figaro, Hanna in The Merry Widow, and Constanza in Die Entfuhring aus dem Serail as well as soprano soloist in Mozart’s Requiem, Vivaldi’s Gloria, and Rossini’s Petite Messe Solenelle, among others.

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Linda Wojciechowski

Linda Wojciechowski

Soprano

Lisa Barnes

Soprano

Lisa Barnes has enjoyed 28 years as Chair of the Music Department at Allendale Columbia School. She directs five vocal ensembles, including a vocal jazz ensemble whose members have consistently placed at the All-County and All-State levels. She was the first recipient of the David Pynchon Chair of Visual Performing Arts, created to recognize excellence in the Arts at Allendale Columbia School. A frequent church soloist and avid jazz singer, she has appeared with Westview Project, the Norm Tibbils Duo, and fronts a house jazz quartet at Label 7 Napa Eatery, of which she is co-owner.

Lisa holds a degree in Master of Music from Nazareth College and Orff Level III certification from the Eastman School of Music.

As a specialist in childhood music, and owner of the Creative Music Studio, she has produced 20 successful seasons of  ADIOS Summer Theater Camp for Children,  given private voice lessons, taught music and movement/Orff classes, and is a former faculty member of the Hochstein School of Music.

Ms. Barnes has performed professionally for over 30 years.  She toured nationally as a singer/entertainer with the band “Incognito”, the cabaret group “City Six”, and sang first soprano with the Rochester Oratorio Society.

Theater experience includes Marion the Librarian in The Music Man, Phyllis in Iolanthe, Cinderella in Cinderella, and Donna in the 50’s revue Johnny Roma Presents the Starlettes.  Lisa is thrilled to work with Lee Wright and to be a member of First Inversion.

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Lisa Barnes

Lisa Barnes

Soprano

Debra McCullough

Soprano

Debra has enjoyed a variety of musical pursuits throughout her career.  She earned degrees in Clarinet Performance and Music Education from SUNY Fredonia and Boston University and has taught music - general, vocal, and instrumental - at levels from elementary school through adult.  Her choral music experience includes singing and directing choirs at First Unitarian Church as well as singing with Genesee Valley Orchestra & Chorus, Concentus Women's Chorus, and First Inversion.  She currently studies voice with Jane McCoy.  In addition to the clarinet and voice, Debra plays the Japanese koto.  She shares her home with a husband, three cats, and four dogs.

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Debra McCullough

Debra McCullough

Soprano

Kearstin Piper Brown

Soprano Soloist

Soprano Kearstin Piper Brown recently premiered the role of Epiphany Proudfoot in Mark Scearse's Falling Angel with the Center for Contemporary Opera. She also made her debut with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra under conductor Robert Spano in the role of the High Priestess in Aïda, and was also invited to sing concerts under the auspices of Cincinnati Opera, the Lebanon Symphony and Chorus, and Opera Ebony. In previous seasons she was heard as Violetta with Utah Lyric Opera, Musetta with Dayton Opera, Micaëla with Arbor Opera Theater, and Clara in Porgy and Bess at the Teatro di San Carlo in Napoli (Italy). She performed Euridice in Gluck's Orpheus with Opera Memphis and with Cincinnati Opera, where she portrayed the role of Mrs. McDowell in the world premiere of Rise for Freedom: The John P. Parker Story by composer Adolphus Hailstork.
 
Ms. Brown has performed the role of Bess worldwide with Opera Kazan, Skylight Music Theatre, Dayton Opera, Virginia Opera, and the Belarusian State Philharmonic Orchestra Minsk. In addition, the European Porgy and Bess tour of New York Harlem Productions brought her Bess to such prestigious venues as the Hamburgische Staatsoper, the Semperoper Dresden, the Deutsche Oper am Rhein, and the Komische Oper Berlin. Another touring production of the Gershwin classic was with Cape Town Opera, where she premiered the role in 2009 and subsequently went on tour to the Edinburgh Festival, the Royal Festival Hall London, and the Israeli Opera. 
 
Ms. Brown starred in the gala concert Our Songs – The Music of African American Composers at the Bruno Walter Auditorium at Lincoln Center with Opera Ebony, and the year before she was heard at Jazz at Lincoln Center under the auspices of the Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation. The versatile soprano has also sung with the American Spiritual Ensemble, toured with the 3 Mo’ Divas (sister group of the 3 Mo’ Tenors), and scored an early success as Sarah in the Light Opera Works Chicago regional premiere of Ragtime, earning her a “Best Actress in a Musical” nomination from the Black Theater Alliance in Chicago. In addition, she has appeared in theater productions in the Washington DC area with the Studio Theater, Roundhouse Theatre, Arena Stage, and the Kennedy Center Theatre for Young Audiences. 
 
Highlights of Ms. Brown’s performances as a concert soloist include an appearance at the Palais Augarten in Vienna, a gala of American music with the Moscow City Symphony Orchestra, Handel's Messiah with the Lebanon Symphony, the Festival Classique’s Opera Under the Stars concert with the Residentie Orkest in The Hague and the Edison Awards Gala 2010 with the Amsterdam Sinfonietta, both of which were televised LIVE in the Netherlands, as well as concerts with the Pasadena Symphony and Pops, the Cedar Rapids Chorale and Symphony, and the Hines-Lee Opera Ensemble at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. 
 
Ms. Brown holds a Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance and Literature from Northwestern University’s School of Music, a Bachelor of Arts degree from Spelman College, and is a member of Sigma Alpha Iota International and Professional Music Fraternity for Women. She was a young artist at the International Institute of Vocal Arts in Italy, the Opera Colorado and the Utah Festival Opera, as well as an Artist-in-Residence with Dayton Opera, Opera Memphis, and Cincinnati Opera. She has been a prize winner in several international competitions, including the Montserrat Caballé International Singing Competition 2009 (3rd prize), the William Matheus Sullivan Foundation 2010, the Gerda Lissner Foundation International Vocal Competition 2011, and the Licia Albanese-Pucinni Foundation International Vocal Competition 2012. 

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Kearstin Piper Brown

Kearstin Piper Brown

Soprano Soloist

Juli Elliot

Soprano

Juli Elliot is a Rochester, NY based pianist and vocalist. She also conducts Eastman Community Music School’s New Horizons Chorus. She teaches piano and voice privately and regularly accompanies for Eastman Community Music School, Hochstein and several Monroe County school music departments. In Rochester, she has performed with Voices and Madrigalia as both pianist and singer as well as singing with First Inversion and Musica Spei. She has performed solo and choral music in England, France and Italy, singing with Fairhaven Singers (Cambridge), City of Oxford and Vox choirs in (Oxford), Farm Street Singers and Excalibur Voices (London). Recent solo engagements include soprano soloist in the ‘St. John Passion’ with the Bach Collegium, Ravel’s Trois Chansons in London’s St. Clement Danes for the Brandenburg Choral Festival and Erik Esenvald’s Only in Sleep with Madrigalia, as well as several recitals at Jesus College, Oxford University, UK.

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Juli Elliot

Juli Elliot

Soprano

Robin Steitz

Soprano Section Leader

Robin Steitz is a first year Master's student in voice at the Eastman School of Music. She received her undergraduate degree in Linguistics and Anthropology from Reed College in Portland, OR, and before coming to Eastman was working as a high school math teacher in her home town of Washington, D.C. She has always had a passion for choral singing, and has had the privilege of singing with many outstanding ensembles including the Oregon Repertory Singers, the Washington Master Chorale, and the National Philharmonic Chorale. Through choirs, she learned to cherish an engagement with music that ultimately led her to choose it as a guide to her path in life. She began her private study with Metropolitan Opera soprano Danielle Talamantes in 2014, and soon became involved in ensemble singing with several professional opera companies in the Washington DC area, including Riverbend Opera and Opera Bel Cantanti. That summer she attended the AIMS in Graz, Austria summer voice program, where she won the Harold Heiberg Preis for most outstanding singer of German Lied. She was then invited in the fall of 2014 to present a full Lieder recital at the Austrian Embassy in Washington, DC. In 2015 she won the COSMIC Symphony Young Artist's Competition, and performed Johann Strauss's Frühlingsstimmen with the COSMIC Symphony Orchestra in Southern Maryland. At Eastman, she has sung the role of Adina in Eastman's Graduate Opera Workshop scenes, and will sing in the ensemble in Eastman Opera Theater's upcoming production of Le Nozze di Figaro. This summer, she will sing the role of Sister Genovieffa in Oberlin in Italy's production of Suor Angelica in Arezzo, Italy. She is currently in the studio of Ms. Carol Webber.

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Robin Steitz

Robin Steitz

Soprano Section Leader

Ava D'Agostino

Soprano

Ava D’Agostino is a native of Rochester, New York, and has recently earned a bachelor’s degree in music education from the State University of New York at Fredonia. While attending Fredonia, Ava was heavily active in the voice area and choral program, participating in the women’s choir, college choir, vocal jazz ensemble and master works choir. She was also involved with the opera program at Fredonia, participating in the Student Opera Theatre Association. She performed in several of their opera scenes productions including a newly commissioned work entitled Felice by Benton Hess, vocal coach of the Eastman School of Music. Ava was an ensemble participant in the curricular Hillman Opera productions. Ava holds the position of soprano section leader at the Fredonia Trinity Episcopal Church. In the near future, Ava plans to pursue graduate studies in vocal performance and pedagogy.

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Ava D'Agostino

Ava D'Agostino

Soprano

Ellen McGaugh

Soprano
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Ellen McGaugh

Ellen McGaugh

Soprano

Kathryn Borden

Alto

Kathryn Borden is most aligned with her soul when she is singing. She believes that self-expression through music is a universal gift, and she is thrilled to share this experience with you! Kathryn studied voice at the Eastman School of Music, SUNY Geneseo, and The New England Conservatory of Music. She is a former Madrigalia member (the Roger Wilhelm years), and has enjoyed performing in musical theatre. Kathryn lives in Victor with her three teenage musical sons, five cats, three mice and a tank full of fish.

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Kathryn Borden

Kathryn Borden

Alto

Alexandra Bermel

Alto

Alexandra Bermel is a research scientist at Kodak and sings with Glenda Brayman in the Vocal Jazz Trio "Company B".  She has two daughters and a husband who are the joy of her life.

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Alexandra Bermel

Alexandra Bermel

Alto

Hannah Kurth

Alto Section Leader

An Iowa native, Hannah is a second year Master’s student at Eastman, studying with Katherine Ciesinski. While at Eastman, she has performed as a soloist with the Women’s Chorus, the Repertory Singers, and in the Bach Cantata series. She covered the role of Mother Marie in Poulenc’s Dialogues of the Carmelites last spring, and in the fall performed the role of Florence Pike in Albert Herring with Eastman Opera Theater. In 2009 she received her Bachelor's in Music from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where she studied with Alisa Belflower. Favorite roles from her studies in Nebraska include Cherubino (Le Nozze di Figaro), The Old Lady (Candide), the Third Lady (Zauberflöte) and Stéphano (Roméo et Juliette). She has spent the past two summers singing and dancing as a Young Artist with the Ohio Light Opera, and will return this summer to perform the role of Molly Grant in Kurt Weill's One Touch of Venus.

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Hannah Kurth

Hannah Kurth

Alto Section Leader

Megan Lighthouse

Alto

Megan has resided in Rochester for 4 years and is a stay at home mom to a spirited 2 1/2 year old girl. She is awaiting the birth of her second child in December and is thrilled to be singing with First Inversion in their debut concert.

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Megan Lighthouse

Megan Lighthouse

Alto

Migle Zaliukaite

Alto

A native of Lithuania, mezzo ­ soprano Migle Zaliukaite began studying music at the age of six at
the music school Liepaites. She studied with acclaimed mezzo ­ soprano Birtue Almonaityte.
From 2012- ­ 2013, she completed Professional Certificate of Merit in voice at the New England
Conservatory. In 2013, Migle began her studies with mezzo ­ soprano Katherine Ciesinski at
Eastman School of Music, where she is supported by scholarship.

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Migle Zaliukaite

Migle Zaliukaite

Alto

Ashley Hibbard

Alto Section Leader

Ashley Hibbard, mezzo-soprano, hails from Miami, FL. She has performed the roles of Siebel from Gounod’s Faust, Third Lady from Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, and Orfeo in Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice. She had her debut with the RPO in October 2011 as the alto soloist in Mahler’s Symphony No. 2. She also performed this work with the Asheville Symphony in November 2011, and returned to ASO in April 2013 as the alto soloist in Mozart’s Requiem. She also performed with the RPO in April 2014 in Hanson’s Merry Mount as Plentiful Tewke, and had her debut at Carnegie Hall with this piece in May. She has also performed with the Genesee Valley Orchestra and Chorus as the alto soloist in Handel’s Messiah, as well as Rochester area performances of Saint-Saëns Oratorio de Noël, Ravel’s Shéhérazade, and J.S. Bach’s Magnificat in D & St. John’s Passion. She most recently performed with the Finger Lakes Choral Festival in July 2014 as an alto soloist. Ashley enjoys new music and has premiered several works & recordings, some of which include – Cary Ratcliffe’s Eleni (June 2014), Carson Cooman’s In Beauty Walking with the chamber string ensemble Gibbs and Main, and Liza Seigido’s Lamentos de un Presidiario. She received her B.M. from FIU under Robert Dundas and her M.M. from Eastman under Robert Swensen. Ashley currently resides in Rochester, NY with her husband, Trevor.

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Ashley Hibbard

Ashley Hibbard

Alto Section Leader

Jessica Ann Best

Mezzo-Soprano Soloist

Jessica Ann Best is a sparkling and versatile American mezzo-soprano who commands the stage with her vibrance and poise. Ms. Best is known as a "believable" actress; paired with a voice that sings with elegance and heartfelt-nuance. In October 2015, Ms. Best will sing the title role in the world premiere of a new opera, Alice Ryley, by Michael Ching. The work will premiere in October 2015 in Savannah, Georgia-as it is commissioned by the Sherrill Milnes VOICE Programs and in production with the Savannah Voice Festival. She is thrilled to sing the Mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors with Nickel City Opera in November 2015. Ms. Best recently performed the role of Marcellina, while covering Cherubino in Nickel City Opera's June 1015 production of Le Nozze di Figaro. In March 2015, Ms. Best performed Ciesca in Gianni Schicchi and The Abbess in Suor Angelica with the Savannah Music Festival and the Savannah Voice Festival, under the baton of Maestro Eugene Kohn. Ms. Best was a Festival Artist this summer with the Savannah Voice Festival, where she also completed two years as their Director of Education and Outreach. She now serves as an ambassador for the company; singing major roles and concerts. Ms. Best made her Gotham Chamber Opera Debut in 2013, covering the mezzo roles in Baden~Baden 1927 and appearing as a feature member of the ensemble. Other opera credits include:The Santa Fe Opera Apprentice Program, Opera Tampa, the Rochester Lyric Opera and Finger Lakes Opera. She was a concert artist with the Rochester Lyric Opera this fall, followed by a series of concerts in Tampa and Savannah for National Opera Week. Ms. Best is also a concert and oratorio artist and recitalist; singing with The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, the Rochester Oratorio Society, The Rochester Bach Festival, and The Rochester Chamber Orchestra and First Inversion. A musical theater artist, Ms. Best has been in performances at Geva Theatre and is a semi~finalist in the American Traditions Competition. Ms. Best is a member of AGMA and the Actor's Equity Association. She holds a Master of Music from Northwestern University in Vocal Performance and a Bachelor of Music from Nazareth College. She is thrilled to sing this beautiful Vivaldi and Hasse with First Inversion!

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Jessica Ann Best

Jessica Ann Best

Mezzo-Soprano Soloist

Barbara Consler

Alto
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Barbara Consler

Barbara Consler

Alto

Elizabeth P. Kinney

Alto
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Elizabeth P. Kinney

Elizabeth P. Kinney

Alto

Elizabeth Sharonov

Alto Section Leader

Mezzo-Soprano Elizabeth Sharonov studies under the direction of Professor Jan Opalach at the Eastman School of Music for the distinguished Master of Music degree. Ms. Sharonov holds a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from the University of Houston, Moore's School of Music where she studied with Melanie Sonnenberg. While studying at Eastman, Ms. Sharonov has performed the role of Mother Marie in Dialogues of the Carmelites, and has been a member of the nationally renowned Schola Cantorum under the direction of Stephen Kennedy. She has been featured in Eastman’s Bach Cantata Series and in Beethoven’s Mass in C as the Alto soloist. Recently, she made her Lone Star Lyric Opera debut performing Ethel in Jake Heggie's Again, and Paula Dean in Kelly Estes' American Shorts. In 2012, Ms. Sharonov won the title of First Round Finalist in the Classical Singer Magazine Competition and portrayed the role of Lola in Calleria Rusticana with the Kingwood Summer Opera. In 2011, she competed chorally with the University of Houston Concert Chorale at the Florilège Vocal de Tours in Tours, France, as well as the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod in Llangollen, Wales, in 2009. Other collaborations include work with Houston Grand Opera, Ars Lyrica, Mercury Baroque, Gilbert and Sullivan Society of Houston. Ms. Sharonov’s upcoming performances include: Alto soloist for Haydn’s Nelson Mass and the role of Julie Gibbs in Eastman Opera Theatre’s production of Our Town.

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Elizabeth Sharonov

Elizabeth Sharonov

Alto Section Leader

Emily McAdoo

Alto

Emily McAdoo is a native of Geneva, NY and holds a Bachelor's degree in Music Education from Nazareth College and Master's degree in Musicology from the University at Buffalo. She works as a music teacher in Rochester, a fourth grade teacher in Geneva, and tennis coach at SUNY Brockport and Tennis Club of Rochester. In addition to First Inversion, Emily sings in the Ignatian Schola, based in New York City. She is thrilled to be singing her first Rochester concert with First Inversion!

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Emily McAdoo

Emily McAdoo

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Kelley Madden

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Kelley is a biomedical researcher at the University of Rochester. She has sung in the Senior Choir at Incarnate Word Lutheran Church for many years, and she looks forward to expanding her musical horizons with First Inversion!

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Kelley Madden

Kelley Madden

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Mary Z. Slack

Alto

Mary Slack earned a degree in General Music from Nazareth College of Rochester. She has been singing since she started talking, has performed many types of vocal music, including the Gilbert & Sullivan operettas with the Off-Monroe Players, and was a charter member of the Gregory Kunde Chorale. An all-around musician, Mary has also played many different instruments, including the piano, oboe, clarinet, viola, violin, guitar and kazoo. She works in international trade compliance, and lives in Penfield.

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Mary Z. Slack

Mary Z. Slack

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Pat Sanborn

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Pat Sanborn

Pat Sanborn

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Tansy Deutsch

Alto

Tansy Deutsch is a clinical psychologist by day, and amateur musician by night, singing with Concentus Women's Chorus for 9 years. Previously she sang with Anna Crusis Women's Choir in Philadelphia, and with Svirka, a small women's chorus in Albuquerque devoted to singing folksongs of the Balkans.

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Tansy Deutsch

Tansy Deutsch

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Paulina Swierczek

Soprano/Alto Section Leader

An extremely versatile artist, Paulina Swierczek’s 2014-2015 season includes appearances as the soprano soloist in Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass, Poulenc’s Gloria, Shostakovich’s Seven Romances on poems by Aleksandr Blok, Schoenberg’s Pierrot lunaire and numerous cantatas by J. S. Bach. She has appeared with many of the fine ensembles of the Eastman School of Music, including the Eastman School Symphony Orchestra, the Ossia Ensemble, the Collegium Musicum, and the Eastman Repertory Singers. Among others, she has worked with esteemed musicians such as Graham Johnson, Margo Garrett, Roger Vignoles, Martin Katz, Craig Rutenberg, Thomas Muraco, Lucy Shelton, William Bolcom and Libby Larsen. Operatic roles include Venus, Cephise and Zayde in Campra’s L’europe galante, the New Prioress (The Dialogues of the Carmelites), Angelica (Orlando), Madame Herz (Die Schauspieldirektor), Rosina (Il barbiere di Siviglia), Cleopatra (Giulio Cesare in Egitto), Countess Almaviva (Le nozze di Figaro) and Pamina (Die Zauberflote). Paulina was the winner of the Annabel Muenter Vocal Prize in the 2014 Friends of Eastman Opera Competition and was awarded the Honorable Mention Prize by Dawn Upshaw in the 2014 Jessie Kneisel Lieder Competition. Paulina completed her undergraduate work at the Eastman School of Music under the tutelage of Rita Shane, and has remained in Rochester to pursue her Master’s degree. She currently studies with Dr. Constance Haas and will be working with acclaimed tenor Anthony Dean Griffey in Fall 2015. This summer she will appear on the operatice stage as Euridice in Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice and Anne Trulove in Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress in Rochester, NY. She is the co-founder of Midsummer Night Opera.

paulinaswierczek.com

midsummernightopera.com

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Paulina Swierczek

Paulina Swierczek

Soprano/Alto Section Leader

Nancy Berlove

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Nancy is a graduate of Case Western Reserve University where she studied and performed medieval and Renaissance music. She earned her MA in Music Education from Eastman School of Music in 1976 and taught choral music in the Brighton School District.  She has sung with the U of R Chapel Choir with Roger Wilhelm, the Rochester Eastman Chorus and a variety of madrigal groups in the Rochester area.  After a long break from performing, she is thrilled to rekindle her love of choral music with First Inversion.  She has worked as a sign language interpreter since 1981 and owns Sign Language Connection, an interpreting company in Rochester.

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Nancy Berlove

Nancy Berlove

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Andrea McGaugh

Alto Section Leader

Andrea McGaugh graduated from the Eastman School of Music in December 2015, receiving degrees in both Vocal Performance and Music Education, studying with Professor Jan Opalach. She has appeared in Eastman Opera Theatre’s productions of She Loves Me (Ilona Ritter), Dialogues of the Carmelites, The Old Maid and the Thief (Miss Todd), and Ned Rorem's Our Town (Mrs. Gibbs), as well as Geneva Light Opera’s productions of The Magic Flute (Third Lady) and Così fan tutte (Dorabella). Andrea has participated in masterclasses with Roger Vignoles, Dr. Jonathan Retzlaff, and American mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe, and was a finalist in both the Jesse Kneisel German Lieder Competition and the Marcella Sembrich International Voice Competition. In 2014, Andrea made her Carnegie Hall debut with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra as Desire Annabel in Howard Hanson’s Merry Mount and received the Ornest Award for excellence in academic and musical study at Eastman. An advocate for all collaborative forms of music-making, Andrea is a dedicated choral singer and chamber musician. She has served as section leader and soloist for the Eastman Chorale, Eastman Repertory Singers, St. Michael’s Chamber Choir, Rochester Festival Singers, Downtown Church Chancel Choir, and the Lake Placid Sinfonietta. Andrea currently resides in Rochester, where she continues to teach and perform throughout the community.

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Andrea McGaugh

Andrea McGaugh

Alto Section Leader

Sarah Bertrand

Soprano/Alto Section Leader

Sarah Bertrand, soprano, is currently pursuing a masters of music at the Eastman School of Music under the instruction of mezzo-soprano, Kathryn Cowdrick.  She completed her undergraduate degree at Southeastern Louisiana University in 2013.

Recent roles include Miss Pinkerton in The Old Maid and the Thief and Sister Anne of the Cross in Dialogues of the Carmelites with the Eastman Opera Theatre.  During her undergraduate degree, she performed Mauguleonne in Viardot's Cendrillion, Pamina in The Magic Flute, the Mother in Hansel and Gretel, Signora Naccarelli in The Light in the Piazza, and Sister Genevieve in Suor Angelica.  Ms. Bertrand was most recently seen as Mrs. Webb in Our Town with the Eastman Opera Theatre.

Scene work includes Mathilde in Elisabetta Regina d'Inghilterra, Zelmira in Zelmira, Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, Palmide in Il Crociato in Egitto, Adonella in Francesca da Rimini, and Countess Almaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro.

Ms. Bertrand was awarded the Donald George Vocal Performance Scholarship, the Dr. Wilcox Award for excellence in the arts, and participated as a finalist in the Regional NATS competition.  Ms. Bertrand also received a Jury Honors award from the Eastman School of Music.

Most recently Ms. Bertrand performed a concert of Louis Karchin's music in collaboration with Se-Hee Jin, piano.  The concert included the premiere of Mr. Karchin's Two Songs on Poems by Seamus Heaney (2013).

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Sarah Bertrand

Sarah Bertrand

Soprano/Alto Section Leader

Mary Mowers

Alto

Mary Mowers (mezzo-soprano) is a professional vocalist with a wide
range of styles. She is a cantor, soloist, and section leader for
Saint Anne Church, and is involved in several chamber choirs in the
Rochester area. Mary attended Mansfield University of PA studying
classical singing, and the School for Music Vocations in Iowa,
studying jazz singing, arranging, and piano with Grammy nominated
vocal arranger Phil Mattson. She has been involved in several
recording projects as a soloist and choirster including VoicesIowa's
Count Your Blessings, Madrigalia's For Better or For Worse and On This
Day Earth Shall Ring, and on local composer Cary Ratcliff's new opera
recording, Eleni.

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Mary Mowers

Mary Mowers

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Carol Kerner

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Carol Kerner

Carol Kerner

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Thomas Madden

Tenor

Thomas Madden is a member of the Lutheran Church of the Incarnate Word where he serves on the congregation council, chairs the worship and music committee, and enjoys the spiritual nourishment of choral singing. Following a long technical career, he now is executive director of Lutheran Charities of Western New York and serves as vice president of the Upstate New York Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Tom is a member of the board of directors and de facto house manager for Stages youth theatre.

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Thomas Madden

Thomas Madden

Tenor

Christian Bigliani

Tenor

From Atlanta to New York to Rome, pianist, musical theatre performer and educator Christian Bigliani has enjoyed an eclectic mix of performing and teaching in his emerging career. Bigliani has performed at the Vatican, Carnegie Hall, Atlanta Symphony Hall, and in the classrooms of South Forsyth High School.

Drawing from his diverse musical adventures, he is a successful teacher in the areas of choir, musical theatre, dance, and piano. While working at South Forsyth High School in Georgia, he created engaging dance classes to supplement musical theatre performance. His theatre ensembles have consistently won top accolades in the Georgia High School One-Act competition for best ensemble in a musical. He was awarded honourable mention in the Georgia High School Musical Theatre Awards (Shuler Hensley Awards) in 2011 for music direction in Anything Goes.

Christian currently lives in Rochester, NY, where he is completing a Master of Music in Music Education at the Eastman School of Music.

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Christian Bigliani

Christian Bigliani

Tenor

Jason Cloen

Tenor

Jason Cloen is a social worker and organist who recently moved back to the Rochester area. Although he loves his day job as a pediatric palliative care social worker at Lifetime Care, Jason also has a passion for music. In addition to First Inversion, Jason sings in Madrigalia and serves as the Music Ministry Intern at Downtown Presbyterian Church.

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Jason Cloen

Jason Cloen

Tenor

Orlando Diaz

Pianist/Tenor

Orlando Diaz is the pianist you've been waiting for your whole life. A recent graduate of the Eastman School, there is nothing he cannot do. He is currently employed as a pianist at Williamson First Presbyterian Church, Webster Thomas High School, Northstar Christian Academy, and the 198th Army Reserve Band. On top of this Orlando is responsible for masterminding multiple experimental concerts, where which he aims to redefine terms like "solo recital" and "conducting concertos from the piano." He performs classical repertoire as well as original, improvised, pop, and new music, and tries to avoid jazz, if at all possible. Orlando spends most of his time at the piano practicing, improvising, composing, writing poetry and coloring.

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Orlando Diaz

Orlando Diaz

Pianist/Tenor

Michael Gehl

Tenor

Michael Gehl,  a recently (semi) - retired physician, having lived and worked in New York City for 30 years, returned to Rochester in 2011.  In addition to being the city where he first practiced medicine, Rochester offers Michael the opportunity to enjoy the snow (yes, some of us like it) and more, to participate in Rochester's wonderful musical community. Currently he sings in The Rochester Oratorio Society and Resonanz, its jazz ensemble; Madrigalia, the Christ Church Chancel Choir, and now First Inversion, the most exciting of them all!

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Michael Gehl

Michael Gehl

Tenor

Jeff Tabor

Tenor Section Leader/Soloist

Bio coming soon!

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Jeff Tabor

Jeff Tabor

Tenor Section Leader/Soloist

Jacob Dassa

Tenor

Jacob Dassa is a freshman at the Eastman School of Music pursuing his BM in Organ Performance in the studio of Professor David Higgs. Originally from Los Angeles, California, Jacob began his musical studies at the age of five at the piano. He competed and performed in regional and state-wide festivals throughout his childhood until 2012, when he began studying piano performance at Interlochen Arts Academy under the instruction of Dr. Michael Coonrod. Jacob began studying Organ Performance in the summer of 2013 with Professor Cherry Rhodes from the USC, Thornton School of Music. He continued his organ studies at Interlochen Arts Academy with Mr. Thomas Bara, performing with his studio in various venues, such as Grace Cathedral in San Francisco. Jacob enjoys collaborative work including chamber music, basso continuo, and choral accompaniment.

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Jacob Dassa

Jacob Dassa

Tenor

Sean McNeeley

Tenor Section Leader

Sean McNeeley, tenor, is currently pursuing his Bachelor’s of Music degree in Voice Performance at the Eastman School of Music in the studio of Robert Swensen. Sean is an alumnus of The Juilliard School’s Pre-College Division, where he studied with Lorraine Nubar. A nine-time recipient of the Children’s Foundation of the Arts Grant, he has also attended the Boston University Tanglewood Institute’s Young Artist Vocal Program. In the Rochester area, Sean has performed as a soloist for Eastman’s Bach Cantata series. He has also performed with both the Eastman Chorale and Eastman-Rochester Chorus as well as the Festival Singers. Sean is also a former chorister of the St. Thomas Choir of Men and Boys (New York City), having sung under both Dr. Gerre Hancock and Dr. John Scott.

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Sean McNeeley

Sean McNeeley

Tenor Section Leader

Matthew Swensen

Tenor Soloist

Tenor Matthew Swensen is completing his undergraduate degree at the Eastman School of Music in voice performance. A native of Rochester, NY, Mr. Swensen has one numerous awards, including 1st prize in the William Schmidt vocal competition, 1st place at the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra Concerto Competition, 3rd Place at the Classical Singer High School Voice Compeition, 1st place at the Glenn Miller Voice Competition, 1st place in the inaugural Jonathan B. Angelone Scholarship Competition, 1st place in the National Association of Teachers of Singers Competition, 1st place in the Barbara Starpoli Voice Competition, and 1st Place at the Upstate NY NATS Conventions in 2009 and 2010. He sang the role of Heddle Nash for the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra’s recording of Vaughan Williams’ “Serenade to Music,” recorded on the Harmonia Mundi Record Label. Past performance include several benefit recitals in Rochester and in Boston, MA. Matt was the tenor soloist for the Bach St. Matthew Passion with the Eastman Chorale and Orchestra, Handel’s Messiah with the Brookline Orchestra at St. Paul’s Church in Boston and with the Genesse Symphony, the Mozart Requiem in Boston Massachussets with the Brookline Symphony, and the Bach Magnificat with Third Presbyterian Church and soloists from the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra.

He sang tenor arias in Bach’s St. John Passion for the Rochester Bach Festival, with David Chin, conductor. Past roles with Eastman Opera Theater include Cobweb in Britten’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” in 2003, Lippo Fiorentino in Kurt Weil’s Street Scene in 2012, Stephen Kodaly in Jerry Bock’s “She Loves Me” in 2013, and Father Confessor in Poulenc’s “Dialogues of the Carmelites” in April 2014. He just finished singing Remendado in Finger Lakes Opera’s Carmen. In the Fall he sings Mayor Upford in Britten’s Albert Herring on November 6th and 8th in Kilbourn Hall. His degree recital at Eastman is Friday, November 14th at 7PM in Hatch Hall, and he is hosting a Liederabend recital of Strauss and Schumann on December 1st at 8:30PM in Ciminelli Hall at the Eastman School.

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Matthew Swensen

Matthew Swensen

Tenor Soloist

Matthew Valverde

Tenor Soloist

Matthew Valverde is quoted as in the New York Classical Review as having a huge, handsome tenor voice.  He is a DMA candidate in vocal performance at the Eastman in the studio of Kathryn Cowdrick. He has been a featured soloist in Texas and upstate New York including performances of Bach’s Magnificat and St. John Passion, Handel’s Messiah, Beethoven’s Mass in C, Dvorák’s Stabat Mater, Mozart’s Requiem, Britten’s Serenade and War Requiem, and Vaughan Williams’s Serenade to Music.

Experienced on the opera stage, Matthew has been with Eastman Opera as Sam in Weill’s Street Scene, as Paolino in Cimarosa’s Il matrimonio segreto, and as Vašek in Smetana’s The Bartered Bride. He made his Carnegie Hall debut last May with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra as Jonathan Banks in Howard Hanson’s Merry Mount.

He participated in the Vancouver International Song Institute’s Song Scholarship Program, the 2012 Art Song Festival at Baldwin-Wallace College, and the Marilyn Horne Foundation’s 2010 The Song Continues at Carnegie Hall.

Matthew is equally comfortable as choral singer and conductor, and has prepared and conducted two world premieres at the Clear Creek Music Festival in Halfway, Oregon.

A recipient of Eastman’s 2012-13 Teaching Assistant Prize, Matthew has a passion for vocal pedagogy and teaching voice. He is on the voice faculties at Nazareth College and the Eastman Community Music School.

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Matthew Valverde

Matthew Valverde

Tenor Soloist

Justin Doyle

Tenor

Justin is a Content Marketing Manager at Xerox Corporation, and sings with the chamber choir Madrigalia. In addition he sings for local churches, musical theater productions, and even picks up the clarinet every year for his community's Summer Park Band series. Justin and his partner Michael are very active with two young sons in the house, but he sometimes has time for his other passions - home improvement, cooking and reading!

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Justin Doyle

Justin Doyle

Tenor

Sanders Lau

Tenor Section Leader

A native of Hong Kong, Sanders Lau is now pursuing Master of Music in conducting at the Eastman School of Music, where he studies with William Weinert and Brad Lubman. At Eastman, Sanders conducts the Repertory Singers, the Chorale Chamber Singers, and the Women’s Chorus.
Sanders is an active chorister and soloist. He sings with ensembles including First Inversion, St. Michael’s Chamber Choir, and Voices. He has sung tenor solos in J.S. Bach’s St John Passion, Cantata No. 131; Handel’s Dixit Dominus, Mozart’s Requiem (cover), Coronation Mass, Missa Brevis in F, Vesperae solennes de confessore; Schubert’s Mass in G; Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms; Howard Goodall’s Missa Aedis Christi; and Bob Chilcott’s St John Passion (Evangelist, Hong Kong Premiere) and Requiem (cover).
Sanders has studied voice with Katherine Ciesinski, Matthew Valverde, Jimmy Chan, Margaret Yim, and Caleb Woo. He studied conducting with Esmond Lim and Felix Yeung, and has participated in masterclasses with acclaimed conductors including Helmuth Rilling, Stephen Layton, Jeffrey Thomas, Jeffrey Douma, Fred Sjöberg, Dénes Szabó, Rolf Beck, Theodora Pavlovitch, Stephen Sano, and Steve Zegree. Sanders graduated from The Chinese University of Hong Kong.

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Sanders Lau

Sanders Lau

Tenor Section Leader

Christopher Petit

Harmonic Splendor: Rehearsal Pianist and Tenor, Rossini: Piano (secondo)

Christopher Petit received the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the Eastman School of Music as a student of David Higgs.  He earned a BA in Art History from the College of Wooster, where he was awarded a research grant for his thesis on the labyrinth at Chartres Cathedral.  Chris was awarded third prize in the 2008 Dublin International Organ Competition, was a finalist in the 2009 Kotka International Organ Competition, Finland, a semi-finalist in the 2013 Westfield International Organ Competition, and was the first recipient of Eastman's Gerald Barnes Award for Excellence in Pipe Organ Performance. Currently he is Director of Music at St. Paul's Lutheran Church, Pittsford, Director of the Genesee Valley Orchestra and Chorus, organist for the University of Rochester’s Protestant Chapel Community, and a member of the Christ Church Schola Cantorum.  Chris also teaches Healthy Keyboard Technique to incoming organ students at the Eastman School of Music, and is director of workshops for People in Concert (www.peopleinconcert.com), a company that brings the benefits of the arts to businesses and organizations.

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Christopher Petit

Christopher Petit

Harmonic Splendor: Rehearsal Pianist and Tenor, Rossini: Piano (secondo)

Tyler Cervini

Tenor Section Leader
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Tyler Cervini

Tyler Cervini

Tenor Section Leader

Nick Huff

Tenor Section Leader

Nick Huff is a tenor from the Chicago-Milwaukee area. He has been seen in Carthage College Student Opera productions of L’elisir d’amore (Nemorino), Gianni Schicchi (Rinuccio), Le nozze di Figaro (Basilio & Curzio), in The Racine Theater Guild’s production of Les Miserables (Marius), and more recently in Carthage Opera’s Il tabaro (Luigi), and as Don Quixote in Carthage Theater Department’s Man of La Mancha. Mr. Huff is now in a graduate program at The Eastman School of Music where he has just finished performing the role of Bill in Barber’s mini-opera A Hand of Bridge and has recently been cast to reprise his role as Don Basilio this spring in the Eastman Theater production of Le nozze di Figaro.
Nick studied under Greg Berg at Carthage College where he graduated Magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in vocal performance. At Eastman Nick studies under the renowned Robert Swensen.
Aside from singing, in his spare time Mr. Huff is also a professional cake decorator, was previously a professional cartoon artist as well as PR director for various music organizations at Carthage and in Kenosha.
Mr. Huff is currently a candidate for an MM Degree in Voice and Literature at the prestigious Eastman School of Music in Rochester New York.

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Nick Huff

Nick Huff

Tenor Section Leader

Colin Mann

Tenor/Baritone

Baritone Colin Mann recently earned his bachelor of music in music
education and voice performance from Fredonia, State University of New York, studying with Daniel Ihasz. Colin is a new singer to the
Rochester area after growing up in Buffalo, New York. He is an active, young professional in the field of singing and choral music, planning to pursue graduate work in choral conducting. Colin is the
baritone/bass choral scholar at the Church of Ascension and sings with the Eastman-Rochester Chorus. He enjoys making music and cooking for his loved ones.

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Colin Mann

Colin Mann

Tenor/Baritone

Nils Klykken

Tenor
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Nils Klykken

Nils Klykken

Tenor

Nate McEwen

Tenor Section Leader/Soloist

Nathaniel McEwen, tenor, is a doctoral student in vocal performance and literature at the Eastman School of Music under the tutelage of Prof. Jan Opalach. Since beginning his vocal training with the late soprano Judith Kellock during his junior year at Cornell University, Nathaniel has participated in SongFest in Los Angeles and has sung in masterclasses led by renowned soprano Renée Fleming, American composer Jake Heggie, noted tenors Ian Bostridge and Anthony Dean Griffey, and collaborative pianists Graham Johnson and Martin Katz. Nathaniel has sung as soloist in performances at Cornell of Britten’s Rejoice in the Lamb, Rachmaninoff’s All Night Vigil, Haydn’s Harmoniemesse, and J. S. Bach’s Cantata No. 153, as well as Schubert’s Mass No. 4 with the Cayuga Chamber Orchestra (CCO). He was also invited to sing selections from Dichterliebe at a concert for Cornell University donors in Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center. Since his enrollment at Eastman, Nathaniel has been the tenor soloist in the Rochester Philharmonic’s performances of J. S. Bach’s Magnificat, has sung the part of Uriel in Haydn’s Die Schöpfung with the Eastman Philharmonia (in English) and with the CCO (in German), has been featured multiple times in the Eastman Bach Cantata Series, has sung with the Rochester-based professional chamber choir Voices, and has made his operatic debut as the title role in Eastman Opera Theatre’s recent production of Britten’s Albert Herring.

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Nate McEwen

Nate McEwen

Tenor Section Leader/Soloist

David Henkel

Tenor

Picture and Bio coming soon!

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David Henkel

David Henkel

Tenor

Craig Knight

Bass

Craig Knight has been a choral/general music teacher at Twelve Corners Middle School in Brighton for the past 19 years. Before starting his career, he had the opportunity to study abroad at Heidelberg University in Germany where he studied German as a Foreign Language and Musicology. Craig enjoys summer vacation and rollerblading down Park Avenue with his dog Chevy.

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Craig Knight

Craig Knight

Bass

Brent Neeley

Bass

Brent Neeley is a mathematics teacher at Allendale Columbia who, three years ago, escaped public school life and relocated to Rochester. Prior to moving to Rochester he lived in Hornell where he sang with several vocal groups, performed in numerous musical theater productions and co-directed Hornell High School musicals with his dear friend Pati Piper. Since moving to Rochester Brent has taken advantage of the many performance opportunities that the city has to offer. He sang with Madrigalia under the direction of Lee Wright, and is currently a member of the Eastman Rochester Chorus. He was also thrilled to be part of Webster Theatre Guild's recent production of Jekyll and Hyde. Brent is excited to be working with Lee again, and is honored to be a part of such a talented community.

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Brent Neeley

Brent Neeley

Bass

Joe Pellittieri

Bass

Joe is budding music educator, who is finishing up his final requirements for a degree in Music Education from Ithaca College. He has sung under the direction of Dr. Janet Galván, Prof. Lawrence Doebler, and Dr. Derrick Fox, during his tenure at IC. His college ensembles have sung in multiple venues in the greater Ithaca area, as well as on tour, throughout New York State. A baritone, Joe has taken voice lessons under Dr. Brad Hougham, who greatly aided in his musical development. Joe is excited to return to his hometown of Rochester, to work with his fellow Ithaca College Alum, Lee Wright.

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Joe Pellittieri

Joe Pellittieri

Bass

Evan Roberts

Bass Section Leader

Choral music is a lifetime passion for Evan, a senior at the Eastman School of Music in the studio of Rita Shane. He has sung in choirs from the time he was 4 years old without a break. It wasn't until his junior year of high school that he branched off into solo repertoire. Evan loves to play chess and spends almost all of his free time either studying chess openings/endgames or listening to Lieder.

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Evan Roberts

Evan Roberts

Bass Section Leader

Brian Stevens

Bass

Picture and bio coming soon!

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Brian Stevens

Brian Stevens

Bass

Jack Spula

Bass

Born and raised in Niagara Falls, NY, Jack Spula came to Rochester to study at the Eastman School of Music, where he earned BM and MA degrees in musicology. He minored in piano there, studying with Blair Cosman, and he also studied voice with John Maloy; he went on to study voice with Biagio (Benny) Prestianni, as well. While at ESM he sang in the Collegium Musicum ensemble, first under George Corwin and later under Paul O’Dette. After years on the staff of the Sibley Music Library, Jack turned to creative writing, earning a master’s in English literature and Poetry at the University of Houston. He spent a decade on the staff of the Rochester Peace and Justice Education Center, where he devoted himself to social and environmental activism, antiwar organizing, alternative journalism and teaching. Jack has also served as organist for several Rochester-area congregations and as the principal accompanist for the Rochester Gay Men’s Chorus. These days he is the keyboard player with the newly-formed Rococo Project, which specializes in neglected late 18th-century repertoire. Jack lives in the Highland Park Neighborhood with his partner, Liz; both are retired and do volunteer work with social-justice, food-justice and environmental groups.

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Jack Spula

Jack Spula

Bass

Tim Thomas

Bass

Tim Thomas has degrees in music and law from the University of Iowa.  He has been active in choral groups since high school.

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Tim Thomas

Tim Thomas

Bass

Mark Darling

Bass

Mark is an IT Director with a passion for choral music.    He is a member of the Eastman Rochester Chorus, sings with the Berkshire Choral Festival each summer and is a founding member of Finger Lakes Camerata.  In his spare time, Mark organizes and performs in annual fundraisers for the Ontario County Arts Council, including this year’s Spaghetti Opera XV, to be held on October 10th.  He sings in the choir at St. John's Episcopal Church and recently joined the Fiddlers of the Genesee.  Mark lives on a farm in Farmington with his wife, two of his three children, two dogs, seven cats, two sheep and twenty chickens.

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Mark Darling

Mark Darling

Bass

Cody Muller

Bass Section Leader

Cody Muller, Bass, is a new candidate for the Master of Music in Performance and Literature at the Eastman School of Music under the tutelage of Jan Opalach. Having recently graduated from Belmont University in Nashville, TN with a Bachelor of Music Performance, Cody is no stranger to the stage. With Belmont Opera Theatre, Cody has performed the roles of Martino in Rossini's "L'occasione fa il ladro" as well as Keçal in Smetana's "The Bartered Bride." Most recently Cody was seen in the title role of Mozart's "Le nozze Di Figaro" at Belmont.

Between his degrees, Cody performed internationally with the Toronto Summer Opera Workshop in the role of Don Alfonso in Mozart's "Così fan tutte." Additionally, Cody placed second in the National Association of Teachers of singing, NATS, national student competition. Cody is incredibly excited to be joining the Eastman, and Rochester, family. He is excited for this collaboration with First Inversion, and he is looking forward to many more.

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Cody Muller

Cody Muller

Bass Section Leader

Isaac Assor

Bass Soloist

Isaac Assor is a first year Master’s student in Vocal Performance and Literature at Eastman School of Music, studying with Katherine Ciesinski. He recently completed his undergraduate degree at Columbia University, double majoring in Music and Psychology. He recently performed as the bass soloist in Beethoven’s Missa solemnis with the Barnard-Columbia Chorus, the title role in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas with the Columbia Bach Society, Papageno in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte and Pandolphe in Massenet’s Cendrillon with the Siena Music Festival, the Gamekeeper in Janeček’s The Cunning Little Vixen, as well as Ottone in Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea with the Manhattan School of Music Summer Voice Festival. He is also the former president, and now a member of the Board of Directors of the Musical Mentors Collaborative, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing free private music instruction to children in underserved regions of NYC. He is excited and honored to be a part of First Inversion’s debut performance! Please visit www.isaacassor.com for more information!

Personal Link ×
Isaac Assor

Isaac Assor

Bass Soloist

David Hamilton

Bass

David Hamilton is a practicing gastroenterologist and internist with the Olsan Medical Group. He is also an Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine in the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. His wife, Molly, a church musician, is a DMA graduate of the Eastman School of Music. They have three children and two grandchildren.

When he is away from the stethoscope, David enjoys singing in the Senior Choir at the Lutheran Church of the Incarnate Word, where he is currently also President of the Church Council. His other interests include skiing, golf and (to the dismay of his friends) telling puns.

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David Hamilton

David Hamilton

Bass

Jason Holmes

Bass Section Leader
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Jason Holmes

Jason Holmes

Bass Section Leader

Jason Perfetto

Bass

Born and raised in Beaver Falls, NY, Jason studied voice at the Fredonia School of Music. While at Fredonia he was a member of the Fredonia Festival Chorus, under Donald P. Lang and also sang with the Fredonia select Chamber Singers. Jason has been in Rochester since graduating from Fredonia with Mathematics and Computer Science degrees. He has performed with the Eastman Rochester Chorus since 1996. He has also sung with several local Barbershop Choirs, and participated in the 2006 Classical Music Festival in Eisenstadt, Austria, celebrating the 250th Anniversary of Mozart’s birth. You can find Jason living in the Park Avenue district, pursuing his many other interests including photography, medieval studies and teaching Scuba Diving.

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Jason Perfetto

Jason Perfetto

Bass

Josh Ooms

Bass Section Leader

Baritone Joshua Ooms studies with Dr. Robert McIver in pursuit of the Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance and Literature at the Eastman School of Music.  He completed his undergraduate degree at Colorado State University, where his roles included Baron Zeta in The Merry Widow, Geronimo in Il matrimonio segreto, Judge Turpin in Sweeney Todd, Don Alhambra in The Gondoliers, Bartolo in Le nozze di Figaro, Frank in Die Fledermaus and Balthazar in Amahl and the Night Visitors.  He appeared as Uncle Yakuside in Madama Butterfly with Opera Fort Collins and sang in the Ralph Opera Center’s Inaugural Gala as Raimondo in the sextet from Lucia di Lammermoor and as Pangloss in the finale of Candide.  He first appeared internationally in Orvieto, Italy as Don Alfonso in Cosi fan tutte and was featured in several concerts at the American Institute of Musical Studies Program in Graz, Austria.  His concert performances include Pontifex II in Colorado Bach Ensemble’s production of St. Matthew Passion, the bass soloist in six of J.S. Bach’s cantatas in the Eastman Bach Cantata Concert Series, the role of Raphael as a guest soloist in CSU’s production of Haydn’s The Creation and the role of Jesus in the Rochester Bach Festival’s production of Bach’s St. John Passion. He performed as M. Javelinot in Eastman Opera Theatre’s production of Dialogues of the Carmelites, in Albert Herring as Superintendent Budd, and will soon appear in Our Town as Dr. Gibbs.  He joined the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra at Carnegie Hall last May to sing the role of Faint-Not Tinker in Howard Hanson’s Merry Mount and will soon sing the role of Baron Douphol in its production of La Traviata.

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Josh Ooms

Josh Ooms

Bass Section Leader

Tyler Dzuba

Bass

Tyler Dzuba is the Head of the Physics-Optics-Astronomy Library at the University of Rochester, River Campus Libraries. A native of North Carolina, he moved to Rochester in 2012 and happily returned to the choral scene with the Eastman-Rochester Chorus, plus a brief stint with Madrigalia. When not singing or librarianing, Tyler can usually be found sipping on coffee around the city while catching up on his ever-expanding reading list.

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Tyler Dzuba

Tyler Dzuba

Bass

Alan Cline

Bass Soloist
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Alan Cline

Alan Cline

Bass Soloist

Steven Metcalfe

Bass

The Reverend Steven Metcalfe is an Episcopal priest, recently retired and living in Rochester.  Fr. Metcalfe has served three congregations in the Diocese of Western New York and one in the Diocese of Southern Ohio.  Having sung liturgically for over 30 years, he has welcomed the opportunity to sing at Christ Church, downtown Rochester, with the Eastman-Rochester Chorus and now with First Inversion.  As a retired person, Steven continues his activity with the Episcopal Church, now in the Diocese of Rochester, by supply work for other clerics and through programs of interest in the parish he now attends.  His children all live in Buffalo along with one grandson, Elijah, and visits to the other Western New York City are frequent and exceptionally nourishing.

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Steven Metcalfe

Steven Metcalfe

Bass

John Meyer

Bass Section Leader
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John Meyer

John Meyer

Bass Section Leader

Charles Sciascia

Bass Section Leader
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Charles Sciascia

Charles Sciascia

Bass Section Leader

David Hahn

Bass Section Leader

David Hahn is a conductor, performer, and music educator currently finishing the Master of Music degree in Conducting at the Eastman School of Music. In addition to his conducting responsibilities at Eastman, David is on the voice and piano faculty at the Rochester Academy of Music and Arts and oversees the choral program at the Aldersgate United Methodist Church in Rochester. In the upcoming season, David will join the faculty at the Nichols School in Buffalo, NY as the Director of Upper and Middle School Choirs where he will oversee and conduct a choral program of three choirs, teach arts electives and lessons, and serve as a faculty advisor. He has also received a scholarship to study conducting with Victor Yampolsky and Erin Freeman as one of six conducting participants chosen to attend the Wintergreen Conductors’ Summit in July 2016. At the Eastman School of Music, David has conducted both choral and orchestral ensembles including the Eastman Chorale, Eastman Repertory Singers, Eastman-University of Rochester Women’s Chorus, Graduate Conducting Orchestra, and as part of the Bach Cantata Concert Series. Before coming to Rochester, David resided in Chicago where conducted the Sanctuary Choir and Orchestra at The Moody Church, the Moody Oratorio Chorus, and the Moody Chorale, with which he traveled extensively throughout the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, South America, and Brazil. David also formed and directed the Con Brio Chamber Singers, a professional ensemble that premiered new works and performed live, radio-recorded concerts. As a young baritone, David has had many opportunities to sing professionally in churches and organizations, most notably with the Chicago Choral Artists, VOICES, and the Eastman-Rochester Chorus, in which he has also been selected for solos in Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem and Dominick Argento’s Four Seascapes. He also accepted an invitation to sing in the Summer Fest Choir and the Chamber Choir at the 2013 Summer Choral Festival and Competition in Lisbon, Portugal. David has studied vocal performance with Robert Swensen at the Eastman School of Music and Terry Strandt at the Moody Bible Institute. Additionally, he has studied voice with Kyle Ferrill at the Interlochen Center of the Arts where he also sang in the Interlochen Festival Choir and worked as a Unit Leader in the High School Boys Division. David’s love for choral music and conducting developed in the church. At the age of 14, he began his conducting career under the mentorship of Jim Mitchell at The Chapel in Ohio where he was given regular opportunities to conduct the 150-member choir and 30-piece orchestra. David endeavors to inspire his students in the same ways he has been inspired by his mentors, and is passionate about teaching, mentoring, and advocating for students interested in pursuing a career in music. His conducting mentors include William Weinert, Brad Lubman, Tim Stafford, and Jim Mitchell. He has participated in masterclasses and workshops with William Weinert, Jerry Blackstone, Craig Arnold, Eugene Rogers, Brett Scott, Mary Hopper, Kit Bridges, and Levi Hernandez. David holds the Bachelor of Music degree in Sacred Music, Voice emphasis with honors from the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago.

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David Hahn

David Hahn

Bass Section Leader

Rob Kerner

Bass
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Rob Kerner

Rob Kerner

Bass


April 2016 Roster

Sopranos: Glenda Brayman, Marrlee Burgess, Juli Elliot, Kristin Jarvis, Lynn Kinsman, Pati Piper, Kearstin Piper-Brown, Amy Steinberg, Joan Sussman

Altos: Kathryn Borden, Barbara Consler, Elizabeth P. Kinney, Megan Lighthouse, Emily Lohner, Kelley Madden, Debra McCullough, Andrea McGaugh, Kelley Madden

Tenors: Jason Cloen, Orlando Diaz, Michael Gehl, Nick Huff, Malcolm Matthews, Jeffrey Tabor

Basses: Mark Darling, David Hahn, Steven Metcalfe, Cody Müller, Brent Neeley, Jason Perfetto, Jack Spula, Robert Taylor

January 2016 Roster

Sopranos: Glenda Brayman, Cassie Buckel, Lindsay Buckel, Natalie Buickians, Ava D’Agostino, Juli Elliot, Kristin Jarvis, Robin Steitz, Joan Sussman, Brenda Tremblay

Altos: Barbara Consler, Tansy Deutsch, Carol Kerner, Elizabeth P. Kinney, Megan Lighthouse, Emily Lohner, Helvi McClelland, Andrea McGaugh, Kelley Madden, Mary Mowers

Tenors: Tyler Cervini, Jason Cloen, Nick Huff, Nils Klykken, Colin Mann, Malcolm Matthews, Nate McEwen

Basses: Alan Cline, Mark Darling, Tyler Dzuba, Steven Metcalfe, John Meyer, Brent Neeley, Joe Pellittieri, Jason Perfetto, Jack Spula

November 2015 Roster

Sopranos: Glenda Brayman, Kearstin Piper Brown, Cassie Buckel, Kristin Jarvis, Yunjin Audrey Kim, Debra McCullough, Amy Steinberg, Joan Sussman,

Altos: Nancy Berlove, Jessica Ann Best, Kathryn Borden, Tansy Deutsch, Elizabeth P. Kinney, Emily Lohner, Helvi McClelland, Andrea McGaugh

Tenors: Jason Cloen, Mark Darling, Michael Gehl, Matthew Valverde

Basses: Alan Cline, Mark Darling, Tyler Dzuba, David Gleichman, Steven Metcalfe, Joe Pellittieri, Jason Perfetto, Jack Spula

April 2015 Roster

Sopranos: Glenda Brayman, Cassie Buckel, Kristin Jarvis, Yunjin Audrey Kim, Debra McCullough, Pati Piper, Amy Steinberg, Joan Sussman, Brenda Tremblay

Altos: Nancy Berlove, Sarah Bertrand, Kathryn Borden, Elizabeth P. Kinney, Kelley Madden, Helvi McClelland, Andrea McGaugh, Paulina Swierczek

Tenors: Christian Bigliani, Tyler Cervini, Jason Cloen, Mark Darling, Jacob Dassa, Michael Gehl, Christopher Petit,

Basses: Alan Cline, Tyler Dzuba, Steven Metcalfe, Joe Pellittieri, Jason Perfetto, Evan Roberts, Jack Spula, Tim Thomas

January 2015 Roster

Sopranos: Lisa Barnes, Glenda Brayman, Cassie Buckel, Lindsay Buckel, Marrlee Burgess, Kristin Jarvis, Lynn Kinsman, Helvi McClelland, Debra McCullough, Rebekah Ooms, Pati Piper, Joan Sussman, Brenda Tremblay, Linda Wojciechowski

Altos: Kathryn Borden, Barbara Consler, Tansy Deutsch, Elizabeth P. Kinney, Hannah Kurth, Kelley Madden, Emily McAdoo, Pat Sanborn, Elizabeth Sharonov, Mary Z. Slack

Tenors: Christian Bigliani, Jason Cloen, Jacob Dassa, Orlando Diaz, Justin Doyle, Michael Gehl, Sanders Lau, Thomas Madden, Christopher Petit, Jeff Tabor, Matthew Valverde

Basses: Mark Darling, Tyler Dzuba, David Hamilton, Jason Holmes, Craig Knight, Brent Neeley, Joshua Ooms, Joe Pellittieri, Jason Perfetto, Jack Spula, Brian Stevens, Tim Thomas