Chorosynthesis Singers Roster
Washington D.C. based soprano Sophie Amelkin, who has been praised for her “vibrant stage presence” (Twin Cities Star Tribune) performs actively as a soloist and chamber musician throughout the United States.
Recent solo appearances include Bach’s BWV 211 with Skål Chamber Collective, guest recitalist at the University of Minnesota featuring music of Ladino and Sephardic cultures, Libby Larsen’s monodrama The Magdalene as a Professional Fellow at SongFest in LA, soprano soloist in the world premiere of Paul John Rudoi’s Sermon on the Mount with Magnum Chorum, Faure’s Requiem with the St. John’s Music Series, and as a featured soloist for Ērik Ešenvald’s O Salutaris Hostia with the Santa Fe Desert Chorale. Recent stage credits include Diana (My Princess Diana), Despina (Così fan tutte), St. Teresa of Avila (Four Saints in Three Acts), Bianca (La Rondine), and Susanna (Le Nozze di Figaro).
As an ensemble musician, Sophie has appeared with the Santa Fe Desert Chorale, VocalEssence Ensemble Singers, Skylark Vocal Ensemble, Chorosynthesis, The Thirteen, The Washington National Cathedral Choir, The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Brevitas and the Twin Cities based ensemble MPLS (imPulse). Sophie holds degrees in Vocal Performance from the University of North Carolina Wilmington (B.M.) and the University of Minnesota (M.M.)
Bass Steven Berlanga currently resides Bloomington, IN where he is finishing his DM degree in choral conducting at Indiana University. He has completed a MM degree in choral conducting at College-Conservatory of Music, University of Cincinnati, and a BM degree in vocal performance from California State University – Long Beach. Mr. Berlanga works as a teacher, conductor, clinician, and professional bass-baritone. On stage has sung the roles of Caiaphas in Jesus Christ Superstar, Villains in Tales of Hoffmann, Dick Deadeye in H.M.S Pinafore, and Coline in La Boheme. In 2014 he performed the role of Boris in The King in Yellow with New Voices Opera, and he returned in 2016 to perform as Stranger in The Forest of Dreams. In 2011 Mr. Berlanga performed the baritone solos in Hindemith’s When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d with the Cabrillo Summer Chorus, and he returned in 2012 to perform the baritone solos in Vaughan Williams’s Dona Nobis Pacem with the Santa Cruz Symphony and Cabrillo Symphonic Chorus. As a professional chorister, he has sung with the Vocal Arts Ensemble in Cincinnati, OH and the Santa Fe Desert Chorale in Santa Fe, NM.
Marjorie Bunday, alto, is a recent arrival to Seattle, previously residing in Denver and Washington, DC. Her 25+ year career as both soloist and professional choral artist has included positions with St. Martin's Chamber Choir, Colorado Bach Ensemble, Santa Fe Desert Chorale, Washington Bach Consort, Opera Lafayette, and Woodley Ensemble. Her opera credits include the role of Noble Orphan 3 in Strauss's Der Rosenkavalier with National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall.
Her years in DC included recording projects, recitals, soloist appearances with regional ensembles, church music work; and she was a vibrant presence in DC and Colorado's early music scenes. In Colorado, she was soloist with Seicento Baroque Ensemble, Boulder Bach Festival, Boulder Chamber Orchestra, Colorado Bach Ensemble (Bach's alto cantata Vergnügte Ruh), Baroque Chamber Orchestra of Colorado, and Pro Musica Colorado Chamber Orchestra. She created and led the Denver Early Music Consort from 2012-2015. Critic Robin McNeil called her “not just a fine contralto...also a scholar of music,” and Sabine Kortals of the Denver Post praised her “honey-toned, refined reading” and “strong, soaring tone.”
In Washington, Bunday has performed with Bellevue City Opera Ballet as soloist and chorister in Handel's Messiah. In January, she joins the inaugural Dallas Choral Festival's alto section for a performance of Beethoven's Missa Solemnis. Marjorie has been fortunate to sing the works of many living composers in premiere performances and recordings of art songs, opera roles, choral works, and chamber music, and she is excited to carry that forward with Chorosynthesis.
Jessica M. Bush, coloratura soprano, is a licensed music educator in Indiana with a Bachelor of Arts in Music Education from Ball State University. Also a dedicated music liturgist, she currently is pursuing a Master of Sacred Music at the University of Notre Dame. There, she studies voice with Dr. Stephen Lancaster, sings with the Notre Dame Vocale, and co-conducts two groups in the Notre Dame Children’s Choir. She has a particular interest in the Renaissance, Baroque, and Classical periods, oratorio, and chamber music, and sings frequent recitals and chamber music performances. Jessica’s recent engagements include her Messiah solo debut with the Notre Dame Chorale; Cunegonde (cover) in Bernstein’s Candide with Notre Dame Opera; Angelo in Handel’s oratorio La Resurrezione; Mary Magdalene in Sing a New Song Unto the Lord, a modern oratorio by Howard Terrell debuted by the Fort Wayne Heartland Chamber Chorale; Nella in Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi with the Notre Dame Pocket Opera; and the soprano soloist in several choral masterworks by composers such as Haydn Schubert, and Vaughn Williams. She studied abroad and performed in Salzburg, Austria, and in May 2015 traveled to Rome to sing in concert at Santa Maria di Monserrato and at a Papal Pentecost Mass at Saint Peter’s Basilica. A composer herself, Jessica enjoys promoting the work of new composers, and she continues to make herself more well rounded by adding to the number of instruments she plays, which includes organ, piano, violin, mandolin, guitar, saxophone, and drums.
Baritone Elijah Blaisdell is earning a reputation as a dedicated, versatile, and sensitive artist, and is sought after as both a soloist and a chorister by ensembles around the country. Recent operatic highlights include the role of Schaunard in La Boheme with the Crested Butte Music Festival in Colorado and ensemble member with the new Ourboros Trilogy in Boston. A passionate advocate for new music, Elijah regularly works with new music ensembles, including The Crossing Choir, Genesis Chamber Singers, and Beth Morrison Projects, and has performed and recorded new works with Cappella Clausura, Comonwealth Chorale, Central Washington University, and Futura Productions. Elijah also collaborates frequently as a soloist with True Concord, St. Andrew’s Bach Society, Cambridge Concentus, Summit Chorale Society, and North End Music and Performing Arts Center. Additionally, Elijah performs with the Boston Lyric Opera, and Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra.
Elijah is a graduate of the New England Conservatory's Masters program in Opera, and is currently based in Boston. Originally from Seattle, Elijah holds a Bachelor’s degree in Vocal Performance from Central Washington University where he studied with Dr. Gayla Blaisdell. He currently studies with Carole Haber.
Mezzo-soprano Rachael Colman is so happy to join the Chorosynthesis Singers again this season. Quickly establishing herself as a sought-after soloist and chamber artist, her flexible voice and sensitive musicality have earned her roster positions with groups such as the GRAMMY®-nominated True Concord Voices & Orchestra, the Santa Fe Desert Chorale, the Handel & Haydn Society, and the Spire Chamber Ensemble. She is best known for her passionate performances of the works of Purcell, Bach, Handel, Mozart, and Rossini. She has been a featured soloist in Bach’s St. John Passion and Purcell's Dido & Aeneas (as Dido), both in collaboration with the Kansas City Baroque Consortium and the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory Singers. Equally at home on the operatic stage, her roles have included Angelina (La Cenerentola), Nancy (Albert Herring), Meg (Little Women), the Baker’s Wife (Into the Woods), Zita (Gianni Schicchi), Prince Charming (Cendrillon), and Cherubino (Le nozze di Figaro), among others. In addition to her contributions to new works with Chorosynthesis, Rachael has participated in workshops with Steve Reich and John Corigliano, and has delved into the world of improvisational music as well - during her study at the OperaWorks program in Los Angeles she created the role of B.B. Worthington in a completely improvised three-act opera. She is a two-time winner of the Kansas City Musical Club voice competition, a Rose Award Winner in the Sigma Alpha Iota musical competition, and first-place winner in the MasterWorks Vocal Competition in Winona Lake, IN. She has been an artist with the Opera in the Ozarks, MasterWorks, and OperaWorks training programs, and holds degrees from the University of Missouri-Kansas City and Baylor University. She also freelances as a graphic designer, specializing in the needs of her fellow musicians. www.rachaelcolman.com
Mezzo soprano Erica Convery is very excited to join Chorosynthesis in its inaugural season. Audiences recently heard Ms. Convery as Cherubino in Carroll Opera Theatre’s production of Le nozze di Figaro and as Prince Orlofsky in Die Fledermaus with Berks Opera Workshop in which Susan Peña of the Reading Eagle described Convery as having “not only an exceptional voice, but is an intriguing presence in this travesti role.” Other recent roles include Dorothée in Bel Cantanti Opera’s Cendrillon, Lola in Cavalleria Rusticana with Maryland Lyric Opera and Der Komponist in Ariadne auf Naxos with The Singer's Theater of Washington. Ms. Convery also enjoys performing recital and concert works, most recently with the Harford Choral Society as the alto soloist in Mozart’s Regina Coeli and Vesperae solennes de confessore and as a recitalist with the Baltimore Musicale.
Miss Convery made her Carnegie Hall & Kennedy Center concert debuts while finishing her Master of Music degree at the Peabody Institute and was described as “breathtaking” by Stockton Record’s Lori Gilbert. Erica Convery received two consecutive scholarship grants from the Stockton Opera Competition, is a recipient of two consecutive Peabody Career Grants, winner of the George Castelle Memorial Award as well as a member of the elite music honor society of Pi Kappa Lambda. Ms. Convery currently resides in Lynnwood, Washington.
Recognized across the country as a promising young artist, Seattle-based Tenor William Gardner regularly performs repertoire spanning opera, oratorio, and ensemble work. His 2018/19 season includes performances as tenor soloist in Mozart’s Requiem, Vesperae Solennes de Confessore, K. 339, and Regina Coeli, K. 276 at St. James Cathedral, Haydn’s The Creation with Great Bend Center for Music, Handel’s Messiah with Master Chorus Eastside and the Bainbridge Chorale, and Bach’s Christ lag in Todesbanden, BWV 4 with Choral Arts Northwest. On stage he will perform the roles of The Defendant in Seattle Gilbert & Sullivan Society’s production of Trial by Jury and Jeppo Liverotto in Donizetti’s Lucrezia Borgia with Puget Sound Concert Opera.
Highlights of the 2017/18 season include the role of Martin in Aaron Copland’s The Tender Land as part of Seattle Opera’s inaugural Summer Young Artist Academy, the Fisherman in Stephen Paulus’ The Three Hermits, and tenor soloist in Henry Purcell’s The Fairy Queen. Other recent solo credits include Craig Hella Johnson’s Considering Matthew Shepard, Trevor Weston’s Griot Legacies, Mozart’s Coronation Mass, Duruflé’s Messe cum jubilo, Purcell’s Hail! Bright Cecilia, and Ross Lee Finney’s Pilgrim Psalms with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project.
As a chorister, William sings with Chorosynthesis Singers, Choral Arts Northwest, and the Cathedral Cantorei of St. James Cathedral. His ensemble work has brought him on tours across the United States, Canada, Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, and Iceland. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Harvard University and currently studies at the University of Washington. www.williamgardnertenor.com
Los Angeles based vocalist Adam Faruqi is known for singing in a wide number of styles, from art song, opera, and choir to pop, rock, and country. He performs regularly with the Los Angeles Master Chorale and LA Opera Chorus, as well as smaller local ensembles such as Concerto Noho, Camerata Rus, and others. Adam is a founding member of P7, a brand new choral ensemble that seeks to create music in unconventional resonant spaces (named after the lowest floor in the parking structure underneath Walt Disney Concert Hall in downtown LA). Adam has also appeared in the soundtracks for Hollywood and indie films, as well as several video game soundtracks. Notably, Adam recently recorded under the baton of John William for the Star Wars: The Last Jedi soundtrack.
In his free time Adam composes, arranges, and records music in his home studio. He is the creator of Sh*tty A Cappella, a completely free, multi-track recording project which aims to blend elements of humor and musicianship. If you’d like to have a listen, click here. (NSFW) Adam received a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music, and was honored with the Opera Award upon his graduation in 2015.
Megan Larson Gardner, soprano, is passionate about choral music and believes it to be the most sublime form of human expression. She grew up in Maradi, Niger, and Grande Prairie, Alberta, where she received Royal Conservatory training in voice and piano. At fourteen, she did an online search for “choir” and “college” and discovered Westminster Choir College, in Princeton, New Jersey. Seven years later she graduated from WCC with a B.A. in Music, having performed with the school's top ensembles in thirteen different states, and went on to sing professionally in New York at Marble Collegiate Church, Trinity Wall Street, and others.
Since moving to Washington, she has appeared with the Byrd Ensemble and Bellevue City Opera, and become a member of the Mägi Ensemble, whose recently released album Baltic Sounds features Megan as a soloist. Megan sang the role of Margjit in the Seattle Choral Company’s performance of Eivind Groven’s Margjit Hjukse, featured in concert and on King FM radio. She has also performed soprano solos for Poulenc’s Gloria with Eastern Washington University Symphonic Choir & Orchestra, Gabrieli’s In Ecclesiis with Spokane Symphony Chorale, and Handel’s Messiah with the Princeton Society of Musical Amateurs. Her opera experience includes Charpentier’s Louise, Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande, and Rihm’s Proserpina.
Besides the Western choral tradition, Megan also loves ethnomusicology, bringing people joy as a professional Christmas caroler, and, most of all, her husband Peter and daughter Kalena. She is excited about her first project with the talented members of Chorosynthesis!
Milena Gligic is a Los Angeles based vocalist and pianist originally from Belgrade, Serbia. She is an alumna of the Young Artist Program at LA Opera where she worked as a pianist on several mainstage productions under Placido Domingo and James Conlon. She is often collaborating on projects with the LA Phil, The Industry and the Pacific Opera Project. Milena has performed with major professional choirs in the US: the LA Master Chorale, Washington Bach Consort and Collegiate Chorale in NYC. Well-versed in new and experimental music, she is a member of the Contemporaneous ensemble and Chorosynthesis choir. Her singing background is versatile as she studied and performed in many styles: operatic, jazz, pop and Balkan ethno. She has a Doctorate in Collaborative Piano from the University of Maryland and she is specialized is working with singers on vocal repertoire in many different languages. All her diverse musical experiences helped her win a position for a Vocal Coach/Accompanist at the CalArts Institute where she is currently teaching.
Meaghan Guterman, soprano, is a newcomer to the Seattle area and is thrilled to join Chorosynthesis for their upcoming project. Prior to moving to Seattle, she resided in Milwaukee where she maintained a busy schedule teaching, serving as a section leader and cantor at the Basilica of St. Josaphat, tutoring b’nai mitzvah students, as well as performing with numerous ensembles including the Milwaukee Chamber Choir, Milwaukee Choral Artists, Collegium Ladyes, and Chicago’s Bella Voce. She was also a section leader for Congregation Shalom’s High Holiday choir for five years, a guest artist with the East Side Chamber Players, and an active performing member of the MacDowell Club of Milwaukee. Recent engagements included the solo quartet in Allegri’s Miserere Mei, and repertoire ranging from Schumann to Tesori. She also had the pleasure of playing Mrs. Nordstrom in A Little Night Music and Glinda/Aunt Em in The Wizard of Oz last season. Meaghan holds vocal performance degrees from the University of Iowa (BM) and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (MM). She is currently a section leader at St. James Cathedral in Seattle.
Jim Howeth, tenor feels very honored to be a member of the Chorosynthesis family. Years after early musical training as a horn player, he discovered a passion for choral singing, which he was finally able to start pursuing in 2004. Prior to moving to the Pacific Northwest in 2011, Jim lived in southern California, where he sang with a number of different choral groups in Los Angeles and Orange County as both a volunteer chorister and also as a hired professional. Currently, Jim is very active in the Seattle choral community, performing regularly with the Seattle Symphony Chorale, Seattle Pro Musica, and Vox16, a professional chamber choir affiliate of Byrd Ensemble. Additionally, he is a staff musician at University Unitarian Church in Seattle, serving as tenor section leader and soloist. Aside from singing, Jim’s other passion is being “the silliest dad ever” to two adorably terrible little boys.
Hailing from the rural mountains of Eastern Washington, Anthony James, tenor is an emerging artist in the field of opera. He attended Andrews University and the University of Washington, and has studied with teachers and coaches from around the world. He was a finalist for the prestigious Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center program at the Lyric Opera of Chicago in 2012, a finalist for the university division of the Classical Singer Competition in 2013, and a reserve finalist in the Meistersinger Competition in 2013. Some of his favorite roles performed include Rodolfo in La Bohème, Frederick in Pirates of Penzance, Tamino in The Magic Flute, and Basilio in Le Nozze di Figaro. His recent choral engagements include The Withing Project, a theatrical collage by Hope Wechkin, The Messiah with Belleview City Opera Ballet, and The Messiah with Pacific Music Works, all in 2015. When not singing, Anthony is also a professional graphic designer and photographer, owner of Findae Photography and Design. He currently resides in Seattle, Washington.
Michael Jones, tenor, performs nationwide as a soloist and chamber musician. A Chicago native, he regularly sings with The Crossing, Music of the Baroque, William Ferris Chorale, Grant Park Opera Chorus, The Bridge Ensemble, Bella Voce and Chorosynthesis. Michael has recorded on Parma, Albany, World Library Publications (WLP), and GIA. He has performed on five Downbeat Award-winning recordings. Michael studied at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music for his bachelors in jazz trumpet and Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music for his masters in jazz trumpet.
Wendy Moy is the Director of Choral Activities and Music Education at Connecticut College, the Director of the Eastern Connecticut Symphony Chorus, and a Co-Artistic Director of Chorosynthesis Singers. They recently released a double CD of new music on themes of social consciousness, hosted a Symposium on New Choral Music and Social Consciousness, and launched the Empowering Silenced Voices Choral Database. Wendy is frequently sought as a guest conductor and clinician and recently made her conducting debuts in Brazil and China. She was named the third-place winner of The American Prize in Choral Conducting, professional division. She sings with CONCORA (Connecticut Choral Artists) and with Chorosynthesis Singers when not conducting.
Wendy has presented her ethnographic research on the Seattle Men’s Chorus at College Music Society regional conferences, the National In-Service Conference of the National Association for Music Education, the National ACDA Conference, the Gay and Lesbian Association of Choruses Festival, and the Together in Music Conference: Expression, Performance and Communication in Ensembles (York, England). She also actively presents on the subject of using the music of social consciousness to bring equity and inclusion to the ensemble and classroom. Wendy has been interviewed for featured articles in The Choral Journal, The Voice of Chorus America, and Teaching Music Journal on the subjects of entrepreneurship and culture-building in the choral arts. She serves on the ACDA Standing Committee for International Activities and reviews music grants for the National Endowment for the Arts. Wendy holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music Education from Seattle Pacific University, a Masters of Music Education from Westminster Choir College, and a Doctor of Musical Arts in Choral Conducting from the University of Washington. www.wendymoy.com
A charismatic and versatile musician, baritone & conductor Brian Mummert adapts easily to a wide variety of musical genres and eras. He has appeared as a soloist at the American Bach Soloists Festival, with the New York Pops at Carnegie Hall, and in the world premiere of Georgi Andreev’s A Melancholy Beauty at Avery Fisher Hall and the Kennedy Center, and has directed a variety of vocal ensembles in venues spanning six continents. Brian’s ensemble affiliations as a singer include the Yale Choral Artists, Santa Fe Desert Chorale, New York Choral Artists, and The Thirteen. He is the founder and musical director of The New Consort, a project-based, solo-voice ensemble dedicated to the juxtaposition of music from diverse composers and repertoires and winners of the 2015 American Prize in Chamber Music. Brian holds a B.A. in Music from Yale University, where he served as the musical director of the Whiffenpoofs, America’s oldest collegiate a cappella group, for their Centennial year, and an M.M. in Voice from the Peabody Institute, where he studied with William Sharp and received the George Castelle Memorial Award in Voice. He looks forward to further graduate work in conducting at Trinity College Cambridge this fall. www.brianmummert.com
Originally from Stillwater, 29 year old Minnesotan Tenor, Josh R. Pritchett, is quickly establishing himself as a versatile performer of both opera and concert repertoire. Chorally, Josh is a member with midwestern choruses, such as: The Strangers, Bella Voce, The Marion Consort, The Grant Park Chorus, Elgin Master Choral, Chicago Choral Artists, Vox Nova, and the Chicago Bach Project. Josh has recently collaborated with The Baroque Opera Workshop, in NY, performing the role of Egeo, in Cavalli's Il Giasone; and the Ensemble with Haymarket Opera co., Telleman’s Don Quichotte auf der Hochzeit des Comacho. Josh has performed worldwide for various concerts and operas: Paris, in Offenbach's La Belle Helene; Franz, in Le Conte d'Hoffman, and FE-NI-HAN, in BA-TA-CLAN. Josh was also a featured soloist for the Orvieto Musica festival in Orvieto Italy, and featured soloist for the World Peace Bell Ceremony in S. Korea. Josh received his Bachelor of Music at the University of Wisconsin River Falls, and went on to pursue his Master of Music in vocal performance at North Park University in Chicago IL. Being known for his acting background, and Leggiero ease, Josh has trained as both Character Tenor and Baroque concert soloist.
Tenor Anthony Ray is a Los Angeles based choral musician, genealogist, and writer. His music education began when he was twelve, having studied clarinet, organ, and voice. For the majority of his musical career, he was primarily an instrumentalist. At the prompting of his organ teacher, he began to take voice lessons with Alis Clausen Odenthal and joined his first choir while a junior at West Coast Baptist College where he studied religious education. While attending WCBC, he started a handbell choir and performed in the college orchestra. Upon graduation, he was a music educator and taught elementary through high school music classes. He is currently pursuing a second bachelor’s degree in music education from California State University Los Angeles with hopeful plans of continuing into post-graduate studies.
Anthony is currently a member of the Los Angeles Master Choral and is a staff tenor at St. Thomas the Apostle Episcopal Church, Hollywood. He has performed with many choral ensembles including the Sunday Night Singers, Tonality, Lore, and many other southern California-based groups, and has worked with such esteemed conductors such as Gustavo Dudamel, Grant Gershon, Jenny Wong, Eric Whitacre, Maria Guinand, Alan Gilbert, and Michael Tilson Thomas among many others. His voice has been described as particularly suited for liturgical music and early music through baroque styles.
In addition to being a musician, Anthony is a historical researcher, specializing in early California history.
Soprano Melinda Schlimmer, a native of the Seattle area, has been singing all her life. She got her start singing at home and in church choir, and was a regular at summer choir camps throughout high school. During her undergraduate coursework at the University of Washington, she studied voice privately with Tess Altiveros and John Eric Rutherford, as well as singing with the University Chorale. Upon graduation, she joined the prestigious, professional level Seattle ensemble, Choral Arts; most recently, she became a member of the newly formed Chorosynthesis Singers. Miss Schlimmer has performed for several dignitaries, including the President of the United States (2015) and the President of Latvia (2010); in addition, she has sung at numerous choral conventions (2010 and 2011 regional MENC conferences, University Chorale; 2015 National ACDA Convention, Choral Arts). With a warm, laser-like soprano tone, she specializes in early music and contemporary choral works. Singing premieres is one of her special joys, and she's thrilled to be pioneering so many great new works with Chorosynthesis! When she isn't singing, Melinda enjoys cycling, exploring the outdoors, and creating objects out of fabric.
Co-Artistic Director and Baritone Jeremiah Selvey currently serves as Visiting Director of Choral Activities at Connecticut College, where he directs Camel Heard and Chorale and teaches music theory for non-majors. He also runs a private voice studio with students all over the country. Jeremiah is regularly sought after to perform in oratorio roles, to teach voice master classes, and to guest conduct. He is a choral/vocal pedagogue of academic, community, and professional singers. Jeremiah’s compositions have been performed on four continents, and his research on choral expressivity has been presented in Asia, Europe, and throughout the United States. He is most recently published by The Choral Scholar and the Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education. Jeremiah grew up as a musician in Spain and the United States, and his career has followed an international path with performances throughout North America, New Zealand, Australia, and Europe. In his free time, Jeremiah sells health and wellness supplements, explores hiking and backpacking, and volunteers for Chorosynthesis. www.jselvey.com
Acclaimed for having a voice “perfectly suited to Baroque music” by KCMETROPOLIS, baritone Jared Swope has begun a blossoming career as an oratorio and choral singer. While balancing his undergraduate studies of music education and voice performance, he has performed regularly with the Trinity Chamber Artists (KC) and the Tennessee Chamber Chorus. Recently, he performed as bass soloist in Te Deum Antiqua’s presentation of Dietrich Buxtehude’s Membra Jesu nostri. In April 2015, Jared performed as a member of the Carnegie Hall Chamber Chorus alongside Peter Phillips’ Tallis Scholars in their sold-out ‘Spem In Alium’ Project. For the past two summers, he has participated in the Weimarer Bachkantaten Akademie, performing 6 cantatas of J.S. Bach under the baton of Helmuth Rilling throughout Germany. Jared recently earned his Bachelor’s of Music-Vocal Performance and Bachelor’s of Music Education degrees from Missouri State University in Springfield, MO.
Praised for his ringing voice and easy stage presence, Korland Simmons is quickly making a name for himself. He is a recent winner of the dell’Arte Opera Ensemble/Osgood Fest prize for achievement in multiple roles/operas. Recent engagements have included Concerts at One (Trinity Wall Street) and the Harvard Club of New York.
This past summer he made two new role debuts: Don Basilio (Le Nozze di Figaro) and Mendoza (Hiram Titus’ Rosina). In January, Korland performed as part of the first Freedom Concert, a benefit for the ACLU and in response to the killings of Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown and countless others. This included performing with a small group of Freedom Concert singers live on the Melissa Harris-Perry show (MSNBC).
Korland’s previous operatic roles include Remus (Treemonisha), Remendado (Carmen), Eduardo Milfort (La Cambiale Matrimonio) and Mayor Upfold (Albert Herring). A frequent interpreter of new works, he premiered Shawn Jaeger’s The Generals, Richard Webster’s Empathy, and sang the role of Conrad in ThomasPasatieri’s The Goose Girl. As a teaching artist, Korland was also privileged to work with the Boston-based group Mssng Lnks in their efforts to broaden performance opportunities for disadvantaged youth.
His oratorio credits include the Mozart Requiem, Handel’s Messiah, and Bach’s Magnificat in D. Korland is a native of Little Rock, AR and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music from Duke University. He continued his vocal studies at the University of Michigan under the tutelage of George Shirley. He currently studies with Neil Semer.
Pennsylvania native and current Brownsville, Texas resident Sean Taylor is Assistant Professor of Voice and Director of Choral Studies at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, where he conducts the Master Chorale and Chamber Singers and teaches applied voice, conducting, and choral literature. Previously he was on the faculties of Washington & Jefferson College in Pennsylvania, Central State University in Ohio and taught public school in Eastern Ohio.
Sean holds a Doctor of Musical Arts in Choral Conducting from the University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music, a Master of Music in Conducting from Carnegie Mellon University, where he was assistant conductor to Grammy winner Robert Page, and a Bachelor of Music in Music Education from Westminster College (PA). His primary area of research is Latin diction; he is a diction specialist with SingersBabel (www.singersbabel.com), for which he authors phonetic guides and recordings of Latin texts.
Sean is Artistic Director of Alium Spiritum, a vocal quartet based in south Texas and sings with Austin-based Conspirare, Cincinnati’s Vocal Arts Ensemble, Oregon Bach Festival, the Taylor Festival Choir of Charleston, the Dallas Choral Festival, and Berkshire Choral International, for which he has served as summer faculty and soloist for 10 years. He is a former member of the Cincinnati Opera Chorus, May Festival Chorus, Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh and the Pittsburgh Opera Chorus.
Since 2016, Sean has served as music director and conductor of a choral/orchestral concert series in Brownsville made possible by a grants from the NEA. He has guest conducted festivals in Texas and Pennsylvania and presented his work using technology in choral rehearsals at state conferences in Texas, Ohio, and New York. Sean balances his scholarly and artistic work with video games, Batman movies, and preparing for Shark Week.
Joshua Vander Plaats, bass, is known for his uniquely low range and dark timbre. A native of Sioux Center, Iowa, Joshua recently graduated with a degree in vocal performance from the University of Idaho, where he studied under Dr. Kyle Ferrill. In 2013 Joshua attended Sonoma Bach Festival's choral workshop, “Chanticleer in Sonoma,” where he worked directly with members of the Grammy-Award-winning ensemble. He has also received the honor of being selected as a finalist for Chanticleer.
Alto Lauren Vanderlinden is currently pursuing a PhD in ethnomusicology from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her research focuses on the intersections of music, gender, and class on the American rodeo circuit, as well as multispecies ethnography and human-animal relationships. She is a graduate of Lawrence University in Wisconsin, where she received a B.A. in music and anthropology and worked extensively as an ensemble manager with the Academy of Music’s Girl Choir, a K-12 program focused on empowering young women through choral music. Lauren also performed with Lawrence University’s Cantala and Concert Choirs and sung in many world and U.S. premieres of small ensemble and solo vocal works. Since moving to California, Lauren has sung with several choirs in the Santa Barbara area, including the UCSB Concert Choir, Adelfos Ensemble, Quire of Voyces, and the Music Academy of the West’s Festival Chorus. She is also one of the alto section leaders at All Saints-by-the-Sea Episcopal Church in Montecito, California. She is passionate about building meaningful community through music, and is thrilled to be joining Chorosynthesis this season!
Katie Walders, soprano, whose voice “electrified…with operatic ecstasy (Ken Herman, San Diego Story),began her professional career in Washington D.C., singing with some of the finest choirs and conductors in the city. Katie has performed in some of the world’s most prestigious venues, including the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington National Cathedral, St. Giles Cathedral (Scotland), Seoul National Theatre (Korea), Copley Hall (San Diego), Cadogan Hall (London), Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod (Wales), and Smetana Hall (Prague).
Since moving to San Diego in 2011, Katie has been sought after as a soloist and choral musician, regularly performing with the Bach Collegium of San Diego, San Diego Pro Arte Voices, and SACRA/PROFANA. Recent solo appearances include Handel’s Messiah, Saint Saën’s Christmas Oratorio, Brahms’ Requiem, and Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass with the Village Community Chorale, and Handel’s Messiah and Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms with the La Jolla Symphony & Chorus. Katie Walders is a member of the Berwick Chorus of the Oregon Bach Festival and Chorosynthesis. Recent engagements include performing at the World Symposium on Choral Music in Seoul, South Korea, and at Festival Mozaic in San Luis Obispo, CA.
Katie holds a bachelors degree in Music Industry from James Madison University (VA), and a Masters in Arts Administration and Cultural Policy from Goldsmiths College, University of London. Katie is the Founder and Executive Director of the San Diego Summer Choral Festival and the San Diego Pro Arte Voices. She is the soprano soloist and section leader with the Village Community Presbyterian Church in Rancho Santa Fe.
Diane Walters, described as a “clear, beautifully colored soprano” by the Broad Street Review in Philadelphia and “sweetly endearing” by Music in Cincinnati, is an artist based in Brownsville, Texas. A specialist in collaborative music, Diane has sung with ensembles across the country and in Europe including the Grammy award-winning ensemble, The Crossing, Cincinnati’s Vocal Arts Ensemble, Chorosynthesis, RedShift, Taylor Festival Choir, Weimar Bach Cantata Academy, Berwick Chorus of the Oregon Bach Festival, Schola Cincinnati, Dallas Choral Festival, and JSB Ensemble of the International Bachakademie Stuttgart. Diane apprenticed for two summers with Berkshire Choral International and is now soprano faculty. She recently founded, Alium Spiritum, a chamber vocal quartet dedicated to one-on-a-part music and school outreach.
A frequent soloist, Diane has appeared recently with the Warminster Symphony, Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia, Network for New Music, the Northern Kentucky Community Chorus, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Master Chorale. Recent works include Mozart’s Requiem, Honegger’s King David, Messiah, Mozart’s Mass in c minor, and Fasch’s Misssa à 16 voci in Quattro Cori.
Diane is faculty at University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. She received a Bachelor of Music from Capital University Conservatory of Music, and a Master of Music and a Professional Studies Diploma from the Boyer College of Music and Dance at Temple University. When not singing, Diane spends her free time tangled up in a knitting project or baking pastries.
Anne Walsh, soprano, is described as a "promising rising star of the lyric stage" by Artistic Director Damon Ploumis of Lyric Opera Studio Weimar, and further described by Jonathan Bautista, Artistic Director of the Nova Vocal Ensemble of Los Angeles as a "versatile, sensitive, and virtuosic" soprano and a "crucial addition" to any soprano section. Born and raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota, she graduated with her BA in both k-12 Music Education and Vocal Performance from Luther College in 2012. She toured the British Aisles as soprano and soloist with the Nordic Choir in 2012 under the direction of Dr. Allen Hightower. Anne is a former member and soloist of The Singers - MCA, directed by Dr. Matthew Culloton, with whom she performed in the Chicago Ravinia Festival in 2014. Anne moved abroad to Grand Cayman Island in 2014 after accepting a position as Head of Vocal Music and Theatre Departments at Cayman International School. During her two year tenure teaching at CIS, Anne spent her summers performing on stage with Lyric Opera Studio Weimar in Weimar, Germany. Since moving to LA in 2017, Anne has worked as a vocal coach for singers of all ages and has built up her own private teaching studio. She works as a soloist and section leader with the STTA Choir in West Hollywood and enjoys doing improv comedy and getting outside to the beach and the mountains in her spare time. She's excited to be joining Chorosynthesis for her first season.
Critics have praised Brenna Wells for her “angelic”, “soaring”, and “captivating” soprano voice. Her operatic roles include Galatea in Acis and Galatea, First Witch Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, La Musique in Charpentier's Les Plaisirs de Versailles, and she was Première Nymphe de l’Acheron in the Boston Early Music Festival’s production and Grammy-nominated recording of Lully’s Psyché. Ms. Wells has sung and recorded with such acclaimed ensembles as the BEMF Orchestra, Blue Heron, Britten-Pears Baroque Orchestra, Boston Baroque, Opera Boston, L’Académie, and the Handel and Haydn Society. She has appeared in many festivals world-wide including the London Handel Festival, Aldeburgh Festival, Amherst Early Music Festival, BBC Proms, and in both 2008 and 2009, she was selected to perform in the Early Music Seminars at the Fondazione Giorgio Cini in Venice, Italy. In 2013, she had the unexpected dream debut of singing back up vocals on "You Can't Always Get What You Want" with the Rolling Stones on their 50th Anniversary Tour. Recent season highlights include solo appearances with the Handel and Haydn Society, Boston Baroque, Collage New Music, Connecticut Early Music Festival, Boston Baroque, Ensemble viii, Lorelei, Yale Choral Artists, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, The Metropolitan Chorale, Boston Early Music Festival, and Emmanuel Music as their Lorraine Hunt Lieberson Fellow. This season includes performances with Seraphic Fire, Handel and Haydn Society, Ensemble Viii, The Samammish Symphony, Early Music Underground, and the Vermont Symphony Orchestra, among others.