2019 Chamber Choir
and Choral Conducting Fellows
HARIN AMIRTHANATHAN is a tenor and conductor from Sri Lanka. He pursues a multi-faceted career as a singer, choral conductor, educator, and designer. He received degrees from the Northumbria University at Newcastle and the Royal Schools of Music in London. Harin is currently Choral Director of the Colombo Philharmonic Choir and Chorusmaster of the Chamber Music Society of Colombo. He has directed and co-founded numerous community and professional groups, including Vox One and Contempo, an award-winning all female chorus. He takes great pride in his outreach choral projects constantly striving to raise the standards of choral music and communicating a message of hope through music in Sri Lanka.
At home as a soloist, conductor, or an ensemble member, IAN BANNERMAN gets his hands on as much vocal music as possible. While earning a bachelor’s in voice performance from The University of British Columbia, Bannerman performed with the Vancouver Chamber Choir, musica intima, Arkora, Early Music Vancouver, and more. Passionate about collaborative and self-directed musicianship, Bannerman has formed and performed in numerous small conductorless ensembles. He completed his MM degree studying choral conducting at the University of Alberta in May of 2019. While in Alberta Ian has performed with Pro Coro Canada, Luminous Voices, Early Music Alberta, and Voicescapes.
QUINTIN BEER is a London-based conductor and bass-baritone, recently pursuing his MA in choral conducting from the Royal Academy of Music, studying under Patrick Russill. It is not his first time in the USA, having spent three very pleasurable months in 2012 singing in The Saint Thomas Choir of Men and Boys under the late John Scott. A graduate of Cambridge University, Beer sang in the choir of St. John’s College and was an Assistant Conductor for the University. Beer hopes to share his love of airports, dogs, and obscure English composers with the other Norfolk Fellows this summer. | quintinbeer.com
HENRY BRANSON, tenor, began his musical training at the age of nine as a chorister with the North Carolina Boys Choir. He received a Bachelor of Music in music education from Furman University, and recently completed his Master of Music in choral conducting from East Carolina University. Branson’s primary interests lie in early music. While at Furman, he directed The Twelve Peers, an ensemble dedicated to the performance of early and contemporary music. At ECU, his master’s project consisted of editing and conducting Charpentier’s Messe Pour Les Trépassés with a period orchestra. Beyond music, Branson is a baseball enthusiast and an avid fan of Carolina basketball.
SIEW WOON CHOY is a choral conductor, music educator and soprano. In 2010, she received the Kodály Certificate in Music Education (Kodály Institute, Lizst Ferenc Academy of Music) at the Kodály Seminar Asia. Choy conducts several school choirs in Singapore, and hopes that young choristers will find music-making as joyous and fulfilling as she did when growing up. As a singer, she enjoys collaborating with musicians and composers in improvised performances. Choy is also an avid film photographer, and loves traveling and hiking. She is also a huge foodie, and has recently found the joy of cooking!
CLAIRE CLYNE, conductor and soprano, recently returned to the US after living and studying in Europe. During her time in the UK, Clyne served as conductor of The Founder’s Choir and assistant conductor of the Royal Holloway Symphony Orchestra, leading tours to Poland, France, and Germany. A native of California, Clyne holds an Master of Music in Orchestral Conducting from Royal Holloway, University of London, an Master of Music in Choral Conducting from Boston Conservatory, and a Bachelor of Music Education from Dallas Baptist University. When not working on musical things, Clyne enjoys cycling, swimming, hiking, and spending time in nature with family and friends.
Soprano MARISA CURCIO is a native of Ballston Spa, NY. She recently graduated from Westminster Choir College where she sang with Westminster Choir and Westminster Kantorei. She is a teacher, choral director, and liturgical musician in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, working at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia, and as a section leader for the Episcopal Church at Princeton University. When she is not performing, Curcio enjoys sight-reading obscure 16th-century madrigals and motets, cycling, and eating peanut butter directly from the jar with a spoon.
KATHRYN DAVIDSON, alto, is a choral education and flute performance major at the University of North Texas under the tutelage of Dr. Carol Wilson and Dr. Mary Karen Clardy. Davidson is a member of and featured soloist with Collegium Singers and A Cappella Choir under the direction of Richard Sparks and Allen Hightower, and has been a soloist with the UNT Symphonic Band on James Barnes’ Nineth Symphony under Dennis Fisher. She actively performs early music, masterworks, and new compositions with the Highland Park Chorale, the Dallas Choral Festival, and the Boston Early Music Festival. Davidson is an avid reader of Stephen King novels and enjoys hiking.
REINA DICKEY, mezzo-soprano, is a master’s student in choral conducting at Temple University. Prior to graduate work, Reina was an associate director at Walnut Hills High School, a public academic magnet school in Cincinnati, OH where she directed, assisted, and accompanied 7th-12th grade choirs. She also worked as children’s choir director and choral accompanist at Epiphany United Methodist Church in Loveland, OH. Dickey graduated summa cum laude from Miami University (Oxford, OH) in music education with an emphasis in piano. In her free time, Dickey enjoys hiking with her fiancé, Luke, and listening / contributing to their eclectic vinyl collection.
MICHAEL FOLLIS (voice, bass) is a senior at the University of Texas at Austin studying vocal performance under renowned professor of voice Dr. Cynthia Morrow. He is involved in many ensembles in the Austin area, including the University of Texas Chamber Singers, Austin Cantorum, and the Schola of St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church. In 2019, Follis was named Director of the Longhorn Singers, the official choir of the University of Texas. He has performed as soloist in numerous masterworks with the University of Texas Chamber Singers, including Herbert Howell’s Requiem and Jennifer Higdon’s Ruminations for orchestra and chamber chorus.
JAMES FRANKLIN, tenor, is the Director of Choral Activities at East Carolina University where he conducts the internationally renowned ECU Chamber Singers, teaches undergraduate conducting, and directs the graduate program in choral conducting. Recent honors include invitations to perform at the European Grand Prix for Choral Singing (Bulgaria), Boston Early Music Festival Fringe Concert Series, Piccolo Spoleto Festival in Charleston, SC, and Duke Chapel in Durham, NC. Franklin’s ensembles have been invited to collaborate with such notable groups as the Bach Society Houston, Rice University Symphony Orchestra, Mercury Baroque Orchestra, and Houston Masterworks Chorus. Franklin has performed with many professional choirs including the Grammy-nominated South Dakota Chorale, Orpheus Chamber Singers, Dallas Bach Society, Houston Bach Society, Fuma Sacra of New Jersey, and Texas Choral Artists.
NATE MAY is a composer and performer whose interest in human ecosystems has impelled explorations of a wide variety of sounds and interactions. Raised in Huntington, West Virginia, much of his work stems from a “fascination, love, and respect for the people” of Appalachia (Soapbox), including his oratorio State, the result of interviews he conducted with Appalachian migrants in Cincinnati. His chamber and orchestral music has been performed by the International Contemporary Ensemble, Wild UP, the Yale Philharmonia, Patchwork Duo, and many others. Currently pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts in composition at the Yale School of Music, he holds a bachelor’s degree in jazz piano from the University of Michigan. | John And Astrid Baumgardner Scholarship
AUSTIN MCWILLIAMS, counter-tenor, recently completed his Master of Music in choral conducting at Western Michigan University under Kimberly Dunn Adams. There, he conducted university operas and designed a recital on HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention in collaboration with several community organizations. Austin is on the artistic and conducting staff of the Ad Astra Music Festival in Kansas and is faculty at Missouri Scholars Academy. In 2017, he earned his Bachelor of Science in computer engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he studied electronic music synthesis with Lippold Haken. | austinmcwilliams.com
ZACH REECE is a bass-baritone from Springfield, Missouri, where he is currently seeking a degree in music education from Missouri State University. He sings in the Missouri State University Chorale, and has toured with the ensemble to South Africa, Scandinavia, and China. This May, the MSU Chorale recorded an album for commercial release. Reece has sung as a recording artist for Walton Music and Choristers Guild and is the associate conductor of the First & Calvary Presbyterian Chancel Choir.
Born and raised in Southern California, ERIC D. REYES developed a love of music at an early age. As a Mexican-American conductor, pianist, and baritone, he seeks to make music that communicates beauty and brings about unity. A graduate from Moody Bible Institute, Reyes holds a degree in piano performance and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in choral conducting at the University of Michigan. When not making music, he enjoys traveling, reading, and spending quality time with friends. Eric is grateful for family, friends, and mentors who ceaselessly inspire him, namely Dr. Eugene Rogers and Dr. Xiangtang Hong. SDG.
A native of Atlanta, Georgia, SANDY SHARIS is a master’s student in vocal performance and pedagogy at The Ohio State University. She is equally involved in solo and ensemble work and currently studies voice under Dr. Scott McCoy. Among Sharis’ summer training experiences are the Festival Lyrique de Belle-Île-en-Mer, Aquilon Music Festival, and the International Baroque Institute at Longy. Outside of music, she enjoys foreign language study, exercise, and her work as a personal trainer. Sandy has studied voice with Dr. Bruce Schoonmaker and Mr. Bradley Howard, and she received her Bachelor of Music degree in vocal performance from Furman University.
JUSTIN SHEN, tenor, is the Associate Choir Director at Clear Falls High School in League City, Texas. He is a native of Waco, Texas, a town famous for a cola — Dr. Pepper (which he hates). In May 2017, he graduated summa cum laude from the Moores School of Music at the University of Houston with a degree in music education. Alongside teaching, Justin is active in the Houston choral arts scene — performing with ensembles like Houston Chamber Choir, Cantare Houston, Houston Symphony Chorus, and more. He loves dogs, Coca Cola, and the walk from the fridge to the bed.
AARON TAN is a Canadian organist, engineer, and pianist. His primary musical tutelage has been with John Tuttle, David Palmer, and Joel Hastings. He has also coached with Huw Lewis and Martin Jean. Tan currently serves as Organ Scholar at Church of the Resurrection, New York City, and as a Director of Music for the Berkeley Divinity School at Yale. As a scientist, Aaron holds a Ph.D. in materials science from the University of Michigan, studying soft matter. Aaron also enjoys gardening (when possible!) and typography. | aarontan.org
KAORU TANI is choral conductor and singer in Japan. In 2010, she received a bachelor’s degree in vocal music at the Kunitachi College of Music in Tokyo. She further studied choral and orchestral conducting under Erwin Ortner at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna from 2011 to 2014. She continued to study choral conducting under Johannes Prinz at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Graz and was awarded an Master of Arts in choral conducting in 2017. Tani is a leading conductor of the Hugo Distler Vokalensemble, vocalconsort initium, and Tokyo Bay Youth Choir. | tanikaoru.com
EVAN TIAPULA, bass baritone, is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Music in both vocal performance and composition at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. Accepted at age fifteen as the youngest-ever member of the San Francisco Symphony Chorus, he performs regularly under conductors Michael Tilson Thomas and Ragnar Bohlin. He has received honors in composition from the National YoungArts Foundation and NextNotes. Originally from Brisbane, California, Tiapula appeared in the San Francisco Opera Children’s Chorus before joining the San Francisco Conservatory of Music Pre-College Program. Tiapula now studies privately with tenor Salvatore Champagne and his interests include Renaissance poetry and music journalism.
Soprano LAUREN TOMPKINS is a cantor and staff singer at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Richmond, VA. She has performed as a soloist for the Richmond American Guild of Organists and Williamsburg Choral Guild, and is member of several professional vocal ensembles, including the Schola Cantorum at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, and the Virginia Chorale of Norfolk. Recent engagements include: Leonard Bernstein’s Chichester Psalm, and soprano soloist in JS Bach’s Jesu Meine Freude. In 2017, Lauren won second prize at the Virginia National Association of Teachers of Singing Competition. On her days off, she enjoys riding rollercoasters with her kids and snuggling her Siamese cat.
Soprano and Texas native, ANDREA WALKER graduated from the University of Houston with a degree in vocal performance. She enjoys singing with professional ensembles in Houston including the Houston Chamber Choir. In addition to performing as a soloist and ensemble singer, she is a passionate church musician serving as a cantor at the Cathedral of the Scared Heart and Associate Music Director at St. John Vianney Catholic Church. Andrea is thrilled to begin her Master of Music in voice at the Yale Institute of Sacred Music this fall. In her spare time, she enjoys singing in a barbershop quartet and traveling.
CHRISTOPHER WATSON, tenor and conductor, has been Director of Music at Trinity College in Melbourne since January 2017. He has made over 500 appearances with the Tallis Scholars, and in 2007, made his Carnegie Hall debut with Theatre of Voices, giving the world premiere of David Lang’s little match girl passion, the recording of which won a Grammy®-Award. Having moved to the other side of the world, Watson is now enjoying a life largely free of airports and full of liturgical music making in a city with one of the great cricket grounds, and many beaches and wineries within easy reach.
MADELEINE WOODWORTH, conductor, grew up singing and playing organ at Grace Episcopal Church in Oak Park, Illinois. In a series of musical epiphanies, she discovered her love of piano at age 11 (after five years of lessons), her fascination with the organ at age 13 (at a Pipe Organ Encounter), and her passion for choral conducting at age 19 (at Eastman). As a gymnast, Woodworth developed an interest in body awareness, which now informs her keyboard and conducting technique. When not making music, Wordworth enjoys snuggling with her cat Tigger, traveling, playing board and video games, and making bad puns.
GLORIA YIN is a conductor and alto from London, UK. She received a Bachelor of Arts from Princeton University — where she studied mathematics, of all things. She also received a Certificate in Piano Performance and the Isidore & Helen Sacks Memorial Prize for extraordinary achievement in the arts. Yin has since decided that being a mathematician was not the life for her, and is pursuing conducting full-time. She currently remains based in Princeton, where she studies conducting with Gabriel Crouch and singing with David Kellett. In her spare time Yin enjoys exploring the American wilderness, baking pies, and learning the organ.