Berkshire Choral Festival

Professionals you can learn from

The faculty who teach our workshops and classes are career singers and musicians with advanced training and performance experience. If it’s possible to come away from BCF without learning something new, no one has done it yet.

The faculty listed below are from the 2013 season. The 2014 faculty will be announced shortly.

Kathy FitzGibbon

soprano

Kathy is Director of Choral Activities at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon, where she has conducted concerts of music ranging from medieval chant to Carmina Burana to the North American premiere of a mass for chorus and Javanese gamelan. She conducts two of Lewis & Clark’s three choirs, one of which toured Egypt this spring, and teaches courses in conducting and music history. Kathy is also Artistic Director of Resonance Ensemble, a professional vocal ensemble committed to exploring the resonances between music of all eras and art, politics, history, literature, and culture. Kathy’s work with Resonance was cited in the Wall Street Journal as an example of innovative “alternative classical” programming in Portland and has been awarded numerous grants. Kathy has also conducted undergraduate choirs at Harvard, Boston, Cornell, and Clark Universities, and at the University of Michigan. This year’s guest conducting performances included the E Himeni Kokou choral festival in Oahu, Hawaii; Oregon premieres with new music groups FearNoMusic and Third Angle New Music; and an upcoming summer sing on July 23rd with the Masterworks Chorale in Dedham, Massachusetts. She has directed secondary choral programs and adjudicated solo and choral competitions around the United States. A lyric soprano, Kathy is a frequent recitalist and concert performer of early through new music. She holds degrees from Princeton, the University of Michigan, and Boston University, and she has presented choral music research at conferences across the United States and Europe. This year is Kathy’s sixteenth at BCF and her thirteenth on the faculty. While she is sorry only to be at BCF for Sonoma and the first two Sheffield weeks, she leaves early for happy reasons: she will be married in Oregon in August.

Sun Young Chang

soprano

Sun Young has worked extensively both teaching voice and performing for over a decade, both in her native Korea and in the United States. She received her Master’s degree and Professional Studies Diploma from Mannes College of Music and made her Carnegie Hall debut in 2006 (and returned in 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010). She was named a Finalist in the Connecticut Opera Guild Competition and the Violetta Du Pont Vocal Competition, and a Semi-Finalist in the Rochester Oratorio Vocal Competition and Joy In Singing Competition.

An active performer, Sun Young began as an apprentice at the Hot Springs Music Festival in 2008 and was asked to return the following year as a Guest Artist. She has concertized annually (since 2007) with Rangeley Friends of the Art Summer Concert Series and has made guest appearances at concert series from the Herbert Axelrod Theater to Seabrook (NJ). She has performed opera roles such as Mimi, Lauretta, Giulietta, Micaela, Donna Elvira, Pamina, Nella, Gilda, Anne Truelove, and Zerlina with such companies as Empire Opera, the Delaware Valley Symphony Orchestra, Kaye Playhouse, and the Actors Studio.

Also a Teaching Artist for the Metropolitan Opera Guild, Sun Young has worked as a private voice instructor and coach since 2002. She teaches actively at Kean University, Concordia Conservatory of Music and Art, Rosedale Achievement Center, and Wartburg Adult Care Community and has been on the faculty of the Westerhoff School of Music and Art and the Joy of Singing LLC. She also volunteers actively, concertizing at Women In Need Casa Rita Drug Abuse Clinic of the Bronx and gives her time regularly for Sing for Hope.

This is Sun Young’s third year on the BCF faculty; she will be in Sheffield the whole season.

Melissa Attebury

mezzo-soprano

Melissa is a native of Kansas. She has performed numerous operatic roles including the title role in Carmen, Dorabella (Cosi fan tutte), Lelia (Iolanthe), Kate (Pirates of Penzance), Pitti Sing (Mikado), Melissa (Princess Ida), Susanna (Le nozze di Figaro), Phoebe (Yeomen of the Guard), Stephano (Romeo et Juliette), and Orlovsky (Die Fledermaus) and Mrs. Noye (Noye’s Fludde). She made her Carnegie Hall debut with the New York Philharmonic singing Rosalia in West Side Story. Solo concert engagements include Messiah, Lord Nelson Mass, Purcell Te Deum and Jubilate, Bach Mass in B Minor, Mozart Requiem and Mass in C Minor, and the Monteverdi Vespers. She was a featured soloist on the 2013 GRAMMY-nominated recording of Israel in Egypt with the Choir of Trinity Wall Street. Recent solo performances include Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, several Bach cantatas as part of Trinity Wall Street’s Bach@1 series, Handel’s Messiah at Alice Tully Hall, and the Stravinsky Festival of his late sacred works. She has performed as a soloist at BCF in Elijah. In addition to singing, Melissa manages Music Education and Outreach at Trinity Wall Street, conducts the Trinity Youth Chorus, and maintains a private voice studio. A complete performance schedule can be found at www.melissaattebury.com. Melissa joins BCF’s faculty for the fourth time, this year in Sheffield Weeks 3 and 4.

Ory Brown

mezzo-soprano

Ms. Brown has sung a variety of operatic roles with Sarasota Opera, Nashville Opera, Oswego Opera, and the Caramoor Opera Festival, including roles in The Medium, Falstaff, H.M.S. Pinafore, and Jenufa. She has been involved in several ongoing projects with American Opera Project (Kimper’s Bridge of San Luis Rey, Patience and Sarah, Hamer’s The Lost Childhood, and most recently, Stephen Schwartz’s Séance on a Wet Afternoon). Active on the concert stage, Ms. Brown has appeared as soloist with the Orpheus Chamber Ensemble, American Symphony Orchestra, Little Orchestra Society of NY, St. Luke’s Chamber Ensemble, Hartford Symphony, Spoleto Festival, Voices of Ascension, Kalamazoo Bach Festival and the Mark Morris Dance Company. In 1998 she sang Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis with the Berkshire Choral Festival. Recent debuts include performances at the Bard Festival, the Center for Contemporary Opera, Dessoff, the South Dakota Symphony, and the S.E.M. Ensemble. Other interesting ventures include The Late Show with David Letterman, the Salt Lake Olympics, several appearances with P.D.Q Bach, and most recently, Bravo’s Project Runway. Ms. Brown holds a graduate degree in Choral Conducting and an undergraduate degree in Church Music from Westminster Choir College. She has been on the faculty of University of Richmond, Longwood College, the Brearley School and Bloomsburg State College. This is her third year with BCF, where she will be on faculty in Sheffield the whole season.

Daniel Molkentin

tenor

Daniel enjoys an active schedule performing solo and ensemble works ranging from the 16th to 21st centuries. Highlights of past seasons include Schubert’s Winterreise and Die schöne Müllerin, Schumann’s Dichterliebe, Wolfgang Rihm’s Das Rot, Marschner’s Der Vampyr (Gadshill), Mozart’s Requiem, Handel’s Judas Maccabaeus, Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde (arr. Schönberg).

Daniel is on the voice faculty of the Mannes College of Music Extension Division, where he also teaches English and German diction. He has served as the German diction coach for many ensembles, including the Bard Summer Music Festival, Berkshire Choral Festival, Clarion Music Society, Liederkranz Opera Theatre, Manhattan School of Music Symphonic Chorus, Oratorio Society of New York, and Westchester Choral Society. Through his work with these ensembles he had the opportunities to collaborate with conductors Leon Botstein, Stephen Fox, Vance George, Jane Glover, Liz Hastings, Frank Nemhauser, Stephen Smith, and Kent Tritle on a wide range of works. Daniel’s passion for teaching diction led him join forces with Trudy Weaver Miller to co-found and develop SingersBabel, a website dedicated to providing singers and musicians with lyric diction resources and tools for preparing texts in foreign languages. His translations and pronunciation guides of German choral and solo works such as Matthäus Passion, Die Schöpfung, Ein deutsches Requiem, Dichterliebe, and Winterreise are being used with increasing frequency around the United States.

This will be Daniel’s eighth year at BCF, where he will be the tenor faculty in Sheffield’s Weeks 1 and 2.

Jason McStoots

tenor

Jason has performed around the world and throughout the US in opera, oratorio, and recital. He has been described by critics as “a natural, a believable actor and a first-rate singer,” “light and bluff, but neither lightweight nor bland, and with exemplary enunciation” and as having “a silken tenor voice” and “sweet, appealing tone.” Recent appearances include Apollo in Monteverdi’s Orfeo with the Boston Early Music Festival, Pedrillo in Abduction from the Seraglio by Mozart with the Connecticut Early Music Festival, soloist for Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610 with the Green Mountain Project, soloist for Bach’s Christmas Oratorio with Emmanuel Music and with the Cape Cod Symphony for Handel’s Messiah. He has appeared with such groups as Boston Lyric Opera, Pacific MusicWorks, Boston Camerata, Handel Choir of Baltimore, New Haven Symphony, Tragicomedia, and the Tanglewood Music Center.

Jason is a core member of the up-and-coming Renaissance vocal ensemble Blue Heron. He can be heard on recordings with them as well as Cut Circle and Coro Allegro. In addition he has been featured on the Grammy-nominated recording of Lully's Pysché and on the newly released discs of works of Charpentier and John Blow with the Boston Early Music Festival on the CPO label.

Upcoming appearances include the role of Tabarco in Handel’s Almira with the Boston Early Music Festival, Ixion in BEMF’s revival and tour of Charpentier’s Orphée, concerts of new world Baroque music with Chatham Baroque in Pittsburgh, as well as numerous concerts with Blue Heron and the NYC based ensemble TENET. Jason is also a voice teacher and up-and-coming stage director. He teaches at Brandeis University ,where he recently restarted the dormant opera workshop project. He has served as stage director for productions of Mozart’s Abduction from the Seraglio, Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, Strauss’s Die Fledermaus, and Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors. This is Jason’s sixth year with BCF as a faculty member, this season in Sheffield’s Weeks 3 and 4. www.jasonmcstoots.com

Richard Giarusso

bass

Richard is a versatile musician with practical and scholarly experience in a wide range of repertoire. After undergraduate study in music and English at Williams College, where he worked closely with Kenneth Roberts, he earned the PhD in historical musicology from Harvard University, completing his dissertation under the supervision of the late Reinhold Brinkmann. His research focuses on the music of Schubert, Bruckner, Mahler, and Vaughan Williams, and he currently serves on the musicology faculty at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore. In addition to his work at Peabody, he also offers interdisciplinary classes in music and literature at the Johns Hopkins University. A frequent lecturer for arts organizations in the mid-Atlantic, he has presented talks for the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Baltimore Symphony, the Washington Bach Consort, the Handel Choir of Baltimore, the Shriver Hall Concert Series, and the Baltimore Museum of Art.

In addition to his academic work, Richard maintains an active career as a singer and conductor throughout the Northeast. Since 2009, he has served as artistic director of the Maryland Choral Society. He has studied voice with Keith Kibler, Pamela Dellal, and Elizabeth Daniels and conducting with E. Wayne Abercrombie and Bradley Wells. In addition, he has performed in master classes with Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, Mitsuko Shirai, and Hartmut Höll and has coached German art song with Robert Levin, Malcolm Bilson, and John Shirley-Quirk. An experienced ensemble singer, he was a regular member and frequent soloist with the Choir of the Church of the Advent (Boston). Praised by The Washington Post for his “expressive and perfectly controlled voice,” he currently performs with the Washington Bach Consort, the Choir of St. Paul's Church, K Street, and Cathedra, the vocal chamber ensemble of the Washington National Cathedral. Solo engagements during the 2012-13 season include a joint recital with soprano Allison Mondel, a recital of Schubert lieder at Georgetown University, and appearances with the Washington Bach Consort and the Cathedral Choral Society. As a conductor, he led the annual productions of The New Opera (Williamstown, MA) from 2004 through 2007 and served as music director for the inaugural season of the Hubbard Hall Opera Theatre (Cambridge, NY) in 2008. He returned to the Berkshires in January to lead staged performances of Mozart's Marriage of Figaro at Williams College, and he made his conducting debut with the Washington Bach Consort in April. This is his seventh season at BCF, where he will be bass faculty in Edinburgh as well as Weeks 1 and 2 in Sheffield.

Sean Taylor

bass

Sean recently earned the Doctor of Musical Arts in Choral Conducting from the University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music. Over the past year, he has been on the faculty of Washington & Jefferson College in Pennsylvania and Central State University in Ohio. While a student at CCM, he served as assistant conductor of the CCM Chorale and Chamber Choir under Earl Rivers and as music director of the UC Cabaret Singers. At Knox Presbyterian Church, he is the assistant director of the Knox Choir and director of the Handbell Choir and Youth Ensemble. In addition to extensive freelance solo work, Sean sings with the Cincinnati Opera Chorus, Cincinnati May Festival, and the Vocal Arts Ensemble, Cincinnati’s professional chamber choir.

Originally from Pittsburgh, Sean earned a Master of Music in Conducting from Carnegie Mellon University, where he was assistant conductor to Robert Page. While in Pittsburgh, Sean was a Conducting Assistant and member of the professional corps of the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh, directed by Betsy Burleigh. He was also a member of the Pittsburgh Opera Chorus and professional choir of Third Presbyterian Church.

Sean received a Bachelor of Music in Music Education with an emphasis in voice from Westminster College in New Wilmington, PA and taught music in the Beaver Local School District in Lisbon, OH, before returning to graduate school. Recently, he led performances of Handel’s Messiah, Faure’s Requiem, Mozart’s Vesperae Solennes de Confessore, Schubert’s Mass in G and J.S. Bach’s motet Jesu, Meine Freude in Cincinnati and Beethoven’s Mass in C, Haydn’s Creation (part 2) and Kurt Weill’s opera Street Scene in Pittsburgh. This is Sean’s sixth season with BCF, where he’s serving as bass faculty in Sonoma and both staff conductor and bass faculty in Sheffield.

Mitchell Vines

pianist

Mitchell has an active performing career that has taken him to Europe, South America, Asia and throughout the United States. The German newspaper Hessiche-Niedersachsische Allgemeine wrote “The sensitive playing of American pianist Mitchell Vines captivated the audience. He performed with virtuosity and bravura.”

Mitchell’s teaching and performing experience includes positions with the Aspen Music Festival, Mannes School of Music, Brooklyn College Conservatory of Music, Harlem School of the Arts, Berkshire Choral Festival, New York Summer Opera Scenes, Cunard Cruise Lines, and CantaLyrica Chamber Choir. He was twice soloist with the New York Repertory Orchestra, performing Bartok’s 3rd piano concerto and Milhaud’s Le Carnaval d’Aix. Mitchell is highly in demand as a collaborative pianist and is a music director for theater, opera and cabaret. He is the artistic director of Afternoon Music, a concert series in Summit, NJ.

Mitchell can be heard on the CD "American Music for Trumpet and Piano" on Capstone Records, and he is featured on a CD of vocal chamber music by North German composers on the Syrinx label. Recent recordings include a CD of compositions by Paul Zeigler and a recital with Japanese soprano Selena Miyazaki.

A native of Portland, Oregon, Mitchell holds a Bachelor of Arts from Portland State University and a Master of Music from the Eastman School of Music. While at Eastman, he held a fellowship in accompanying and received the Performer's Certificate, the conservatory’s highest honor. Previously music director of Bay Ridge United Methodist Church, he is currently music and choir director of the Unitarian Church in Summit and Temple Israel in New York City. This is his third year with BCF, where he will serve as accompanist in Weeks 2, 3, and 4 in Sheffield.

Patrick T. Waters

tenor

Patrick, (B.M. Manhattan School of Music; M.S.M. Boston University), has enjoyed the benefits of a diverse musical background, holding degrees in composition, conducting, and sacred music, along with studies in piano and vocal performance. Mr. Waters has studied conducting with Dr. Ann Howard Jones, Bruce Hangen, Robert Isaacs, and Paul Brantley, and has worked in master classes with John Alexander, Jane Glover, Frank Nemhauser, and Kathy Saltzman Romey. He is currently pursuing a Performance Diploma in voice at Boston University, studying with James Demler. Iin 2009, he was a featured soloist in Berkshire Choral Festival’s performance of Rachmaninoff’s All-Night Vigil. Patrick performs regularly with Cambridge Concentus, earning acclamation with the group in their landmark performance of Haydn’s Mariazellermesse at Boston University’s Haydn & Landon Musicology Conference in 2009, and in his critically-praised performance of Bach’s cantata Liebster Gott, wenn werd ich sterben in 2011. He has performed with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project and the Boston Youth Symphony, and recently sang the role of the tenor soloist in the Back Bay Chorale's recent performance of Orff's Carmina Burana. Since 2009, he has collaborated extensively with Music at Boston University Marsh Chapel, where he is a member of the music staff. He returns to BCF for the fifth year, where he will be a staff conductor for the whole Sheffield season.

Joseph Baldwin

baritone

Joseph is the Iva Dee Hiatt Distinguished Assistant Director of Choral Activities and lecturer in music at Smith College. He is conductor of the Smith College Chorus and teaches conducting, musicianship, and studio voice.

From 2010 to 2012, Joseph served as Founding Artistic Director & Conductor of the Community Chorus of Detroit. Under his artistic leadership, the regional chorus became known for its engaging, imaginative performances of a sophisticated, diverse repertoire. Joseph has conducted a wide variety of collegiate ensembles at the University of Michigan; he has prepared choruses for performances under the baton of Leonard Slatkin, Jerry Blackstone, and Kenneth Kiesler.

Joseph is an active area soloist and currently sings with the Yale Choral Artists. He has most recently been an ensemble soloist in the Beethoven Choral Fantasy with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and the UMS Choral Union, conducted by Leonard Slatkin, and an ensemble member of the Great Lakes Festival Singers, in collaboration with composer Chen Yi and eighth blackbird. His primary teachers include Herbert Burtis, Karen Brunssen, and Daniel Washington.

A strong advocate for the choral arts at all levels, Joseph is a frequent guest conductor and clinician and has conducted the National High School Music Institute Chorus at Northwestern University. He represents Massachusetts as the national board member for the National Collegiate Choral Organization and is a proud member of the American Choral Directors Association and Chorus America.

Originally from Washington, Georgia, Joseph received a Master of Music in Conducting at the University of Michigan under the tutelage of Jerry Blackstone. He holds a Bachelor of Music (cum laude) with a double major in Voice & Opera Performance and Choral Conducting Studies from Northwestern University.

Joseph first came to BCF as a conducting apprentice two years ago and this year will serve as a staff conductor Weeks 3 and 4.