Amanda Williams is a rising lyric soprano in the DC metro area. Praised as a performer who "carries herself beautifully," "shows great promise" and possesses a "warm" and "consistent sweetness of tone and clarity of articulation," she excels in the lyric soprano repertory of the eighteenth and twentieth centuries. She has made her mark in such roles as Fiordiligi in Mozart's Così fan tutte and Helena in Britten's A Midsummer Night’s Dream. She has also been featured as a soloist in masterworks such as Haydn's Lord Nelson Mass, Handel's Messiah, and Vivaldi's Gloria. She has had the privilege of performing with the Washington National Opera Chorus, the Baltimore Choral Arts Society, and Lyric Opera Baltimore. Ms. Williams holds a Bachelor of Music degree from West Chester University, as well as a Master of Music degree and Graduate Performance Diploma from Peabody Conservatory.
Pianist Andrew Stewart grew up in California and has been based in Baltimore since 2000. Much in demand as a soloist and collaborative artist, he has worked with countless singers and instrumentalists; premiered works by composers including Garth Baxter, Hollis Thoms and John Belkot; and performed with a great many organizations, among them the Bach Society of Baltimore, OperaBelle, the Atlantic Guitar Quartet, Assisi Performing Arts in Italy, and most recently the Choirs of Goucher College and the Annapolis Chorale. He is featured on the album Katherine Keem Sings Songs and Arias by Garth Baxter, released in 2014 on Centaur Records, as well as Ask the Moon, due for release in early 2018. Mr. Stewart has been associated with the Lyric Opera of Baltimore for well over a decade, giving upwards of seventy performances a year as part of its education component and teaching on the faculty of the Lyric Opera Camp. He is also the creator of several shows including "Opera Games," a much-requested interactive program about the basics of opera, and has appeared on Maryland Public Television in the short film "Opera Magica" which he produced with educator Evon Hewitt, Jr. Additionally he maintains a busy schedule as a theatrical musical director, having led more than forty productions since 2006. Mr. Stewart studied with Charles Asche at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and with Marian Hahn at the Peabody Conservatory. Other teachers include Marie Brown Curea and Sharon Mann. He lives in Lutherville, Maryland with his family.
Soprano Rachel Sitomer has performed with opera companies across the mid-Atlantic region, including Opera Company of Brooklyn, Repertory Opera Theatre of Washington, Baltimore/Washington Repertory Opera Company, Riverbend Opera in McLean, VA, and Opera AACC in Arnold, MD. She made her New York City debut in the role of Monica in Chelsea Opera’s production of The Medium, a role which she “sang and act[ed] with beautiful subtlety.” Other notable roles include Gilda in Rigoletto, Zerlina in Don Giovanni, Papagena and Pamina in Die Zauberflöte. Dedicated to bringing the joy of opera to a wider population, Ms. Sitomer is a frequent performer with the D.C. Metro chapter of Opera on Tap, performing opera and musical theater repertoire in restaurants and bars in Washington, D.C. She has also participated in opera outreach performances with The Opera Company of Brooklyn, as Papagena in The Magic Flute and with Opera AACC as Hansel in Hansel and Gretel. Ms. Sitomer holds a B.A. in music (voice and violin) from Bucknell University (magna cum laude) and she maintains a violin and voice studio, teaching students ranging in age from six to adult. She is the music director at Ascension Catholic Church in Bowie, MD, a cantor at St. Andrew by the Bay Roman Catholic Church in Annapolis, MD, and the mother of two adorable boys.
David Drosinos received his diploma from the Peabody Conservatory of Music, where he studied clarinet with Loren Kitt, principal clarinetist with the National Symphony Orchestra. He won the Sidney Jensen Memorial Award for outstanding clarinet performance and has been guest artist at the Greek Embassy in Washington and the Taj Mahal in Atlantic City. The Washington Post praised him for “playing with an unusually smooth and agile touch.” Of his Finzi Clarinet Concerto, the Baltimore Sun noted, “He played the idyllic score with technical security, tonal warmth and exceptionally eloquent phrasing.” David was the principal clarinetist and soloist with the Peabody Symphony Orchestra on their tour to Russia, and a featured soloist with the Concert Artists of Baltimore. His Greek Band Zephyros was a featured act at the International Clarinet Association in Washington, DC. Mr. Drosinos resides in Cockeysville, Maryland, and he teaches at Shepherd University, the Baltimore School for the Arts, and Peabody Preparatory.
Praised for his bold, no-compromise manner of playing as well as his sensitivity in ensemble settings, Andrew Kwon’s virtuosity and charismatic stage presence have captivated audiences throughout the world. Born into a musical family, Andrew first began his studies on the violin in Korea with his father, who was a choir and orchestra director. In the past few years, Andrew has performed solo, chamber, and orchestral works in Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall (New York), the U.S. Library of Congress’s Coolidge Auditorium (Washington, DC), the Music Center at Strathmore (Washington, DC), the Maison symphonique (Montreal), Meyerhoff Symphony Hall (Baltimore), and the Kennedy Center Concert Hall, as well as its Eisenhower Theatre and the Millenium Stage (Washington, DC). He has performed as a soloist with the Pacific Philharmonic, Columbia Orchestra, the Landon Symphonette, youth orchestras in both Maryland and California, and as an orchestral musician with the Alexandria, York, Lancaster, and Mid-Atlantic Symphonies, as well as the Concert Artists of Baltimore and the Baltimore Chamber Orchestra. As an orchestral musician, he has held concertmaster and principal positions in various ensembles including the Pacific Philharmonic, Peabody Symphony Orchestra, l’Orchestre Symphonique d’Orford, the Kennedy Center Summer Music Institute Orchestra, and the Peabody Concert Orchestra. Andrew is playing on a violin labeled “1854 Raffaele & Antonio Gagliano” (Naples) and a W.E. Hill and Sons bow (London), on loan from the Peabody Institute Instrument Collection.
Dr. Min Jin, tenor, has delighted audiences with his concert and opera performances throughout Korea and the U.S. His virtuoso singing has taken him to many of the major concert halls throughout the Metropolitan area such as Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center as a recitalist, opera performer, as well as an oratorio soloist with choral societies. His opera performances include the leading tenor roles in La Boheme, Rigoletto, Carmen, Otello, La Rondine, Lucia di Lammermoor, Roméo et Juliette, L’elisir d’amore, Manon, Werther, and several other roles with the New Jersey State Opera, Ann Arbor Opera, Aspen Opera, Rochester Mercury Opera, Dicapo Opera, NY Touring Opera, Academic Opera, Mannes Opera, Eastman Opera, PoHang Opera and Kwangju City Opera. As a soloist, he has performed with numerous regional orchestras on the East Coast and the Midwest. Concert credits include Britten’s Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings, Haydn’s Creation and The Seasons, Handel’s Messiah, Mozart’s Coronation Mass and Requiem, Dubois’s The Seven Last Words of Christ, Mendelssohn’s St. Paul and Elijah, Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis and Mass in C Major, and his Symphony No. 9, among others. Dr. Jin previously served as an Affiliate Professor at Grand Valley State University in Michigan. Currently, Dr. Jin is an Assistant Professor of Voice at Towson University in Maryland.
Marika Suzuki, 21, began her violin studies at The Colburn School in Los Angeles. An aspiring chamber musician, Marika has worked with members of Quatuor Arthur LeBlanc, and the Dover, Ying, Borromeo, Emerson and St. Lawrence String Quartets and has studied chamber extensively with Michael Kannen, Maria Lambros and Gina Coletti at the Peabody Institute and Ed and Mari Edelman Chamber Institute. Her ensemble, Quartet Brio, had the honor of performing Haydn’s “Sunrise” Quartet for the Chinese Delegation of the National University of Singapore and President of Johns Hopkins in 2015. Currently, Marika leads the Peabody String Sinfonia, a conductor-less chamber ensemble with a mission to spread the beauty of music in homeless shelters, recovery centers and other sensitive venues throughout the Baltimore area. Marika is pursuing a Bachelor's Degree in Violin Performance at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University with Violaine Melançon.
Soprano Katherine Boyce (née Crowe) received her Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance from Towson University and her Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY. During her graduate studies, she performed Pamina in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, Laurie in Act III of Copland’s The Tender Land, and the Siren in the premiere of Dr. Phillip Collister's Pasticcio Furioso. She has also performed several roles at Annapolis Opera through Towson University's Opera in a Can program, singing the title role in Barab's Little Red Riding Hood, Despina in Mozart/Davies' The Three Little Pigs, and Pamina in a children's version of The Magic Flute. At Eastman, Katherine was a Howard Hanson Scholar and performed roles in multiple Eastman Opera Theatre productions, including Lehár’s "The Merry Widow," Poulenc’s "Les mamelles de Tirésias” and Kander’s “Cabaret.” As a member of Eastman’s elite Institute for Music Leadership’s Arts Leadership Certificate Program, she received a grant to intern at the Washington National Opera and was a Generation E-Student Scholarship Recipient. Katherine currently performs and teaches in the Baltimore/DC area, is a member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing, and continues her studies with Jennifer Casey Cabot.
Hailed for his “emotional sound” (DCMetro Theater Arts US and Beeld SA), South African cellist Jacques-Pierre Malan has performed across Europe, South Africa, and the United States. Malan appears annually as soloist with the Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra, Kwazulu Natal Philharmonic Orchestra and the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra in South Africa. As a member of the South African National Youth Orchestra, Malan toured in Germany, giving concerts at the Beethoven Haller in Bonn as well as at the Philharmonie Concert Hall in Berlin. He became a member of the “12 Celli Family” from Germany, touring regularly around Europe. In the Netherlands, Malan performed solo and chamber recitals at the Appeldoorn Music Festival and the Zuid Afrika Huis to represent South African Dutch history. Malan received a Graduate Performance diploma in Solo and Chamber Music and a Master of Music degree in Pedagogical and Performing Arts from the Peabody Institute of John Hopkins University. He has performed as soloist and chamber musician in Baltimore at the Peabody Conservatory, Walters Art Museum, Music of the Great Hall; in Washington, DC at the Kennedy Center, Phillips Collection, Smithsonian of Natural History, National Press Club; and in New York at Carnegie Weill Recital Hall. Malan is currently employed under an O1 visa with “Chamber Encounters,” “Friends of Chamber Music Concert Series,” “The Embassy Concert Series,” and the “Mid Atlantic Symphony Orchestra.”
Award-winning conductor and multi-instrumentalist Joshua Hong is in high demand as a chamber and orchestral violinist, collaborative pianist, educator, and guest conductor throughout the Baltimore and Washington, D.C. region. Joshua has made concerto appearances on piano and violin with, among others, the New West Symphony and Thousand Oaks Philharmonic, and currently serves as Music Director of the innovative Occasional Symphony and Assistant Conductor of the Baltimore Chamber Orchestra. His performances have been described as “supple, buoyant . . . sensitively conducted” (Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun). Joshua recently obtained a Master of Music degree in orchestral conducting from the Peabody Conservatory, where he studied under the tutelage of Gustav Meier and Markand Thakar. He also holds a degree in violin performance from the Juilliard School. Joshua is a founding member of the Atlas Quartet, winners of the Peabody Institute’s Yale Gordon Chamber Fellowship and semi-finalists in the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition.
Mezzo-soprano Christianne Rushton has thrilled audiences with her engaging presence and versatility on both the operatic and concert stages. She has performed at New York’s Alice Tully Hall and is a past first prize winner of the Canadian Music Festival, a second prize winner of the prestigious Eckhardt-Gramatté Competition, a two-time grant recipient from the Canada Council for the Performing Arts, and a winner of the Canada Council’s Bernard Diamant Prize in Voice. Christianne is Associate Professor at Acadia University where she is head of vocal studies and Director of the School of Music. She is a graduate of the Juilliard Opera Center and she completed her DMA from SUNY Stony Brook. Christianne recently received an Emerging Leader Award from the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS), and is President of the Canadian Atlantic Provinces chapter of NATS. Dr. Rushton is also the President of the Nova Scotia Federation of Provincial Music Festivals and is active as an adjudicator, pedagogue and performer across the country.
Known for his expressive voice of “liquid gold” and the “stage presence of a lion” Peruvian native José Sacin is considered one of the leading South American baritones of our time. He has performed and collaborated with the foremost figures of the opera and music world today including a nationally televised performance for Pope Benedict XVI alongside Placido Domingo at Nationals Stadium in Washington, DC; with Gregory Buchalter of the Metropolitan Opera; the Chilean soprano Veronica Villaroel; American soprano Alessandra Marc, Enrique Ricci and Will Crutchfield. He performed the world premiere of selected passages from the newly discovered version of Verdi's La Forza del Destino with Philip Gossett at the Caramoor International Festival. He has worked with the Washington National Opera, Opera de Lima, Opera Delaware, Baltimore Opera, Opera Camerata of Washington, Caramoor Opera Festival, Opera North, Choral Arts Society of Washington, Mediterranean Opera Studio, Maryland Opera Society, In Series, Opera New Hampshire, Opera NOVA, among others. Main roles include the title roles of Rigoletto, Macbeth, Gianni Schicchi and Don Giovanni, Germont (La Traviata), Tonio (Pagliacci), Alfio (Cavalleria), Figaro (Barber of Seville), Count Almaviva (Le Nozze di Figaro) and Rodrigo (Don Carlo). Sacin has extensive appearances in Spanish Zarzuelas like El Barberillo de Lavapies, Los Gavilanes, Luisa Fernanda, La Tabernera del Puerto, El Duo de la Africana and Bohemios.
Described by the Washington Post as “imposing and promising,” tenor Patrick Cook is earning praise for his performances across the country in venues including The Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall. Cook recently debuted with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Marin Alsop in a production of Bernstein’s Candide. He has performed with opera companies throughout the Mid-Atlantic region including Annapolis Opera, Wolf Trap Opera, Washington Concert Opera, and Washington National Opera. Cook appears regularly as a concert soloist performing with the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra, Metropolitan Philharmonic, The Washington Chorus and the DC Wagner Society. A 2011 and 2010 DC District Winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, he can be heard on the American Symphony Orchestra’s recording of Meyerbeer’s Les Huguenots as Bois-Rosé. Cook holds advanced degrees from the University of Maryland, Bard Conservatory, and The Juilliard School. Cook teaches voice at Towson University and Northern Virginia Community College.
Pianist Ju Young Lee performs actively as collaborative artist. In 2013, Lee was the finalist in the Liszt Garrison Competition as a Collaborative Artist and also received the Best Interpretation Award of American songs. As an assistant coach, she accompanied and coached for Hansel and Gretel, Cendrillon, Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Street Scene, and Così fan tutte, productions of the Peabody Opera Department. Lee completed a Master of Music degree and a Graduate Performance Diploma in vocal accompanying with a full tuition scholarship as a Graduate Assistantship in Peabody Opera Department at the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University, where she studied with Eileen Cornett. Currently, she is a rehearsal pianist at Lyric Opera Baltimore.
Award-winning violinist Alexis Meschter performs as soloist and chamber musician in the U.S. and in Europe. This season, Alexis was the winner of the William Marbury Competition at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University as well as the first prize winner of the LISMA Foundation International Competition on Long Island, NY. He has studied and performed at the Summit Music Festival in Purchase, NY, Casalmaggiore International Music Festival in Italy, and the National Symphony Orchestra Summer Music Institute in Washington, DC. In past seasons, he has appeared with the Newark Symphony Orchestra and the Wilmington Community Orchestra. He is enrolled at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore and studies with the renowned Russian violinist and teacher Victor Danchenko.
Katerina Burton, soprano, has been praised for her “distinctly rich tones” and for her versatility in the art song and operatic repertoire. Ms. Burton was most recently seen as Lola Markham in Towson University’s production of Gallantry and as the Fairy Godmother at Annapolis Opera in Cinderella: A Children’s Opera, a collaboration with Towson’s “Opera in a Can” program. Other roles include the title character of Suor Angelica at Towson and the role of Erste Dame in Towson’s 2014 production of Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte. Ms. Burton is a frequent competitor and was most recently awarded 3rd prize in Annapolis Opera’s 29th Annual Vocal competition and won 1st place in the Shirley Rabb Winston Voice Competition for the D.C. Chapter of the National Society of Arts and Letters. In 2015, she was a recipient of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions Encouragement Award for the Mid-Atlantic Region. Ms. Burton is also a first place winner in the 2017 NATS Maryland/D.C. District competition. She recently graduated from Towson University where she earned her Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance, and she will be attending The Juilliard School in the fall.
Mezzo-soprano Christine Thomas has performed everything from the motets of J.S. Bach to the melodies of Irving Berlin to the minimalism of Philip Glass. The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel called her voice “an amazing instrument.” The Washington Post said, “her voice is lovely and her stage presence is natural and full of vitality." Recent performances include Marcellina in Le nozze di Figaro, Mrs. Paroo in Music Man and Mother Abbess in Sound of Music. In October 2015, she made her NYC debut in scenes from On The Town, Candide and Wonderful Town in a tribute concert entitled Bernstein Remembered. She is an alto soloist at Cathedral of Mary our Queen and at Temple Oheb Shalom in Baltimore. On recordings, Ms. Thomas may be heard on Mark Brymer's “Christmas Suite” with Milwaukee Children' s Choir, “Flight Box” with Present Music, "Cinq Poèmes de Tristan Tzara" with pianist Milton Peckarsky on the CD La Clé de L'Horizon and on comedian/singer Joel Kopischke’s CD, I Got Yule, Babe. Ms. Thomas received an M.M. in vocal performance from the Peabody Conservatory. She is on the voice faculty at Howard Community College and Oldfields School and teaches privately at her home in Roland Park.
Elizabeth Sarian, mezzo-soprano, is known for her unique vocal timbre, sensitive artistry, and refreshing sense of humor. She is currently a Master’s student studying at Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University. Originally from Long Island, New York, Elizabeth is a recent graduate of Hofstra University, where she earned her B.S. in Music Performance. In November of 2015, Elizabeth was seen performing the role of Mae Jones in Peabody Opera's production of Street Scene at the Modell Performing Arts Center at the Lyric in Baltimore. Elizabeth is also singing the role of 3rd lady in Peabody’s Outreach production of Magic Flute, Papageno! Previous opera credits include the Sorceress in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, Mathurine in Gluck’s L’ivrogne corrige, Marie in Schubert’s Die Verschworenen, and Melissa in Gilbert and Sullivan’s Princess Ida. Elizabeth has also studied at several summer festivals such as the Westchester Summer Vocal Institute, Oyster Bay Music Festival, and mostly recently, Songfest, where Elizabeth performed in master classes with renowned artists John Aler, Susanne Mentzer, and Ann Murray.
Jessica Albrecht, BM University of Maryland, is currently pursuing a Masters of Music at the Peabody Institute in the studio of Alan Stepansky, former New York Philharmonic cellist. She performs regularly with Perfect Harmony String Ensemble and the Peacherine Ragtime Society Orchestra, hailed by the Washington Post as “the premier American ragtime ensemble.” Albrecht is a founding member of Ensemble Deburau, a contemporary chamber ensemble based in College Park. She has performed at prestigious venues such as the Kennedy Center, the Modell Performing Arts Center at the Lyric, and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. Albrecht is a Finalist in the Arts of the merit-based Maryland Distinguished Scholarship, the 2013 recipient of the highly selective Clifford Arnold Bernsen Memorial Scholarship Fund, and was recently awarded the Tretter Award in chamber music. She teaches private cello lessons in the College Park area as well as freelances throughout D.C. and Baltimore.
Joseph Regan is a successful singer and voice teacher based in the Mid-Atlantic region making appearances throughout the east coast. A specialist in French Mélodie, Mr. Regan is a deft interpreter of this exquisite art form and is frequently engaged around the region to perform in this capacity. Joseph can be seen on the opera stage where he has performed the roles of Fenton from Verdi’s Falstaff, Tamino from Mozart’s Magic Flute, Jenik from Smetana’s Bartered Bride and many more. Mr. Regan is also an accomplished performer of musical theatre. He has performed Henrik in Sondheim’s A Little Night Music, Nicely-Nicely Johnson from Loesser’s Guys and Dolls, and has performed a number of cabaret and recital programs dedicated to the style. Additionally, Mr. Regan is well known for his work in the field of oratorio. He has sung Handel, Haydn, Mendelssohn, Mozart, Rossini, and is particularly notable for his expertise singing Bach. He has performed the St. John Passion solos on multiple occasions and has performed more than a dozen of Bach’s Cantatas. Mr. Regan is also a highly sought after ensemble singer and sings regularly with top choral groups in the region, with whom he has toured much of the Eastern seaboard.