Pine Crest School Select Ensemble
Michael Testa & Gretchen Fasulo
Michael Testa, originally from Vineland N.J, resident of South Florida by way of NYC, is the Program Director of Choruses at Pine Crest School Ft. Lauderdale, and Music Director of the All School Musicals. His Choruses are consistently rated Superior at District and State Music Performance Assessments (MPA’s) and his students are very successful at All State, NAfME Nationals as well as ACDA Regional and National Honors Choruses. BA Degree in Vocal Music from Rowan University, NJ and an MM Degree in Vocal Performance from West Chester University, PA. Post Graduate Studies in Voice at NYU and Gubbio, Italy.
Gretchen Fasulo is a Graduate of Stetson University, FL and has taught Elementary through High School Choruses at Pine Crest School since 2007. Her students are consistently named to All State and ACDA Regional and National Honors Choruses as well as receiving Superior Ratings for her MS Chorus and SSAA Ensemble District and State Levels. She was named Arts Teacher of the Year in Broward County in 2006 for her innovative and stylistic pedagogical practises.
Pine Crest School Select Ensemble is comprised of 75 9th-12th graders who are also part of the SSAA and TTBB Ensembles. Pine Crest Choral Ensembles have been rated Superior at District and State Music Performance Assessments and have sung in NYC and Chicago Festival Choruses as well as the Annual Candlelight Festival Chorus at Disney Epcot each year. We are exceptionally honored to be Part of this Eric Whitacre Experience in NYC.
Mississippi School of the Arts Chorale
Patton Rice, has been acclaimed for “exceptional dramatic power and complete command of his voice.” Notable performances include Escamillo opposite Denyce Graves’ Carmen and Polonius opposite Sherill Milnes’ Hamlet. Patton, in his 18th year as Director of Vocal Music at the Mississippi School of the Arts has directed such works at Handel’s Messiah, the Mozart Requiem and Dan Forrest’s Requiem for the Living. In his tenure at MSA, his choirs have won multiple superior awards as well as sweepstakes awards for superior performance and sight-reading at State Festivals.
Mississippi School of the Arts Chorale MSA’s award winning Chorale has performed 6 times at Carnegie Hall and once at Avery Fisher Hall since 2006. Performances in New York have included the Mozart Requiem and New York premiers of René Clausen’s Memorial and Dan Forrest’s Requiem for the Living. The Chorale has performed with both the Meridian and Mississippi Symphony Orchestras and Chorale members even count two American Idol finalist, The Voice finalist, a cast member of The Lion King on Broadway and a Miss Mississippi among their alumni.
Summit Ensemble of the Colorado Springs Children's Chorale
Summit Ensemble Director
Abigail Gast is a mezzo-soprano, conductor, and voice teacher from Kansas City, Missouri. Although voice is her primary instrument, she has also played percussion in wind ensembles, orchestras, and drumlines for over 11 years. While receiving her Bachelor of Arts in Voice and Music Education at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California, Abigail conducted the Concert Choir, Chamber Choirs, and University Orchestra, and enjoyed performing in all these ensembles, as well as the Pepperdine Wind Ensemble and the new music ensemble, Collegium Musicum. Abigail has been featured as a young artist and vocal soloist at several summer festivals, including Amherst Early Music Festival, Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, and Illinois Bach Academy. Abigail studied choral conducting under Dr. Andrew Megill and Dr. Andrea Solya at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. While living in Illinois, she developed her love for teaching young people as the assistant conductor of Central Illinois Youth Chorus.
SUMMIT ENSEMBLE of the Colorado Springs Children’s Chorale
Abigail Gast, Director
David Acton, Accompanist
Summit Ensemble is an auditioned community choir for high-school aged young people. The Ensemble represents some of Colorado Springs’ best high school singers from over 20 high schools in the Pikes Peak Region. They perform 20-30 times per year throughout the community and the state. They perform a broad range of repertoire from classical to jazz. In addition to national touring, the Ensemble has traveled to Japan on numerous occasions as guests of the Japan-American Summit, with performances in Tokyo, Hiroshima, Yamagata Prefecture, Shizuoka, Noto, and Fujioshida. Additionally, the Summit Ensemble has traveled to England, Scotland, Wales, South Africa, Australia, and to Italy where they performed in Venice, Florence, and at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. This year the Ensemble is hosting the Carmina Burana Festival, an intergenerational experience that includes over 150 singers from throughout the state.
These young people, whether traveling out of town or singing in local schools, demonstrate good citizenship and are positive role models. They achieve a standard of musical excellence that makes them a group in demand for performances throughout the Pikes Peak region and beyond.
Blue Hawk Singers
Dr. Brent Rogers
Dr. Brent Rogers is Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and Associate Professor of Music at Dickinson State University in North Dakota, where he has taught since 2015. He is a former member of the Brigham Young University Singers, and the professional choral ensembles Brevitas and True Concord. In addition to extensive experience as a singer in both solo and choral engagements, he is an accomplished collaborative pianist. He currently lives in Dickinson with his wife, soprano Kelsey K. Rogers, and their four sons, but will relocate with his family to the St. Paul, MN area in July.
The Dickinson State University Blue Hawk Singers are DSU’s premier choral ensemble. Current members represent a variety of degree programs, including many music and music education majors. Alumni of the ensemble teach music throughout southwestern North Dakota, making critical contributions to the artistic and cultural life of their communities. They have performed at Carnegie Hall twice since 2017, and are excited to experience their first performance at Lincoln Center!
Montclair State University Chorale & Alumni Affiliates
Dr. Heather J. Buchanan
Australian born conductor Heather J. Buchanan is Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities at Montclair State University, where she conducts choirs ranging in size from 24 to 150 voices. Choirs under her direction have won critical acclaim for their “heartfelt conviction,” “vibrant sound,” “eloquence,” and for singing with the “crispness and dexterity of a professional choir.” Dr. Buchanan specializes in Body Mapping pedagogy, a neuro-anatomical approach for teaching music technique. A vibrant teacher, dynamic performer, and passionate musicians’ health advocate, Dr. Buchanan is in demand as a guest conductor, somatic educator, and choral clinician in the USA and abroad.
The Montclair State University (MSU) choral program is an inclusive and dynamic community built on humanistic values (INTEGRITY – COMPASSION – RESPECT), artistic excellence, and service through music. Currently comprising four choirs, over the past 20 years it has been recognized for successful collaborations with world-renowned artists and celebrated professional musicians in national and international venues, including VOCES8, Richard Alston Dance Company, Rhiannon Giddens, and Meredith Monk. Montclair State choirs regularly appear with the New Jersey Symphony in masterwork collaborations. Pianist Steven W. Ryan is the choral accompanist. The choir for this DCINY festival includes NJ-based alumni and choristers from Bergenfield HS, Hillsborough HS, Nutley HS, and Verona HS.
Newton County High School Choir
Chandler Smith is in his 4th year of teaching and his third year at Newton County High School. He is a performer in and out of the United States, a clinician, and adjudicator. His Choirs have received both Superior and Sweepstakes Awards at local and state choral festivals. He is a member of the National Association for Music Education, American Choral Directors Association, and the Mississippi Music Educators Association. Mr. Smith received his Bachelor of Music Education in vocal and instrumental pedagogy from Delta State University, and a Master of Music in Choral Conducting from Mississippi College.
The Newton County High School Choir has a 30 year history of excellence in the field of choral music. They have consistently received both Superior and Sweepstakes awards at local and state choral festivals. Additionally, the Newton County Choirs have performed alongside the Meridian Symphony Orchestra, and sung nationally in venues such as Carnegie Hall and internationally throughout Europe. They frequently perform at various local events, and have been invited to sing at the Mississippi Association of School Administrators Leadership Conference and the Mississippi State Capitol. They have provided various world premiere performances including an upcoming commission in the Spring.
Jonath Backia Seelan Baskaran
Jonath Backia Seelan Baskaran is best known for his peppy and stirring harmony works for the revival of traditional Tamil Christian songs. Under his baton, the choir has performed Mendelssohn's Elijah, Handel's Messiah, Judas Maccabeus, Coronation Anthems, Haydn's Creation & Mass in C Minor, cantatas and Contemporary & modern choral works. Under his wing the choir participated in the 9th annual presentation of Handel’s Messiah Refreshed, Thomas Beecham/Eugene Goossens’ 1959 re-Orchestration for Full Symphony Orchestra organized by DCINY in Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage, Carnegie Hall, New York on December 1, 2019. Apart from conduction, he works to bring together orchestral and choral groups to perform together. He is an accomplished Pianist, serving as church organist for 20 years at St. Thomas church, Srivilliputtur and is currently an Associate of Trinity College London in singing. He is also a music educator.
Founded in 2005, Singspirations, a 75-mixed voice choir, is one of the largest open access western classical choirs in India. The choir is renowned for its energy filled presentations and its repertoire is diverse and challenging reflecting adventurous spirit. Its aim is to present choral singing with excellence that will inspire and refresh audiences while moulding its singers’ vocal abilities. With core value to be for the benefit of others, the choir performs dedicated fund raising concerts to help missionary organizations every year. Notable presentations includes Mendelssohn's Elijah, Handel's Messiah, Judas Maccabeus, Coronation Anthems, Haydn's Creation & Mass in C Minor, cantatas and other contemporary & modern choral works.
Ozarks Technical Community College: Chamber Choir
Alberta L. Smith
Alberta L. Smith is a highly respected singer and choir director whose experience ranges from performances at the Missouri Music Educators Conference to Carnegie Hall. Alberta has served as a professional choral director for the past forty three years, in settings as diverse as a large urban school in St. Louis, to a rural setting in central Missouri, to a graduate assistant position with Dr. Guy B. Webb of Missouri State University, to a twenty nine year tenure with the Springfield R-12 School District.
Alberta holds degrees from Southwest Baptist University (B. M. in Education) and Missouri State University (M. A. in Music Education). She continues to serve her district and state organizations working extensively with both middle school and high school vocal music programs. Alberta is an active member of MMEA, NAfME, ACDA and MCDA where she served as District Coordinator and Resource Chair for Two Year Colleges. Alberta also serves a a grant reader for the Missouri Council of the Arts.
In addition to her professional responsibilities, Alberta conducts two choirs at Ozarks Technical Community College. Alberta’s commitment to producing the highest quality musical performances, as well as her dedication to the lives and futures of her students is her calling.
The Chamber Choir from Ozarks Technical Community College has been the flagship ensemble under the direction of Alberta L. Smith since 2014. The singers come from various backgrounds and are graduates from excellent high school choir programs that surround our area. They provide music for our Veteran's Day Celebration and present a concert each semester of a cappella selections. They collaborate with local choirs and raise funds for local charities at Christmas and at their Pop's Concert in the Spring. The college recently awarded them 30,000 USD to support this trip and the great honor of singing with Eric Whitacre and DCINY. They are making their third appearance with DCINY.
Saint Edward’s School Choirs
Dr. Anthony C. Baron
Anthony Baron serves as Director of Choral Music at Saint Edward’s School and Director of Music and Choirmaster at Trinity Episcopal Church in Vero Beach, FL. He also is the Chorusmaster for the Vero Beach Opera. Favorite performances Dr. Baron has been a part of include Handel’s Messiah with the New York Philharmonic, and El Nino under the baton of John Adams at Carnegie Hall. Dr. Baron holds degrees from Westminster Choir College and the Eastman School of Music.
The Saint Edward’s School Choirs are comprised of 35 students in high school at Saint Edward’s School. The students perform in a variety of musical styles. Stretching the definition of what it means to be a choir, the choir frequently engages in multidisciplinary performances as soloists and small ensembles. In addition to their annual Lessons & Carols Service, the ensemble performs throughout the Vero Beach area. Following a NYC performance in 2022, they return to NYC this year to perform underneath the baton of Eric Whitacre.
The Pembroke College Chapel Choir
Anna Lapwood is an organist, conductor and broadcaster, and holds the position of Director of Music at Pembroke College and Associate Artist of the Royal Albert Hall. In 2023 she signed to SONY Classical as an exclusive recording artist. A strong advocate for music education at home and abroad, Anna works hard to bring music to children of all backgrounds. She plays concertos with some of the world’s greatest orchestras and is a regular broadcaster on radio and television. Anna is a terrific protagonist for her instrument, the organ and reaches a huge audience through her concerts and social media.
Directed by Anna Lapwood, The Chapel Choir of Pembroke College has one of the most exciting and varied ranges of choral endeavours among Oxbridge choirs. Recent collaborations include recordings at Abbey Road Studios with Grammy-award winning composer Christopher Tin and singer-songwriter Tom Chaplin and concert appearances with Eric Idle, Alex Macqueen and The Swingles. The choir is excited to be touring the East Coast of the USA in 2023, singing concerts and services in Boston, Worcester, Stamford, New Haven and New York. This is the choir’s first international tour since before the pandemic, and everyone is thrilled to be back on the road.