Emily Nelson's passion for music of all kinds has led her down diverse paths, from the ars subtilior to Milton Babbitt, Appalachian ballads, jazz, and the second Viennese school. In 2009, she co-founded Utopia Early Music, which has so far enjoyed seven concert seasons and increasing popular success. Emily's favorite use for her "clear, pure soprano" is in the portrayal of coloratura sidekicks and supernatural beings. For example, Emily appeared as The Fairy Godmother in Massenet's Cendrillon, Blonde in Mozart’s Die Entführung aus dem Serail at Oper im Park, St. Anton am Arlberg, Austria, Susanna from Le nozze di Figaro, the Queen of the Night from Die Zauberflöte with Utah Lyric Opera Ensemble, and as a mysterious ice siren in Vaughan Williams' Sinfonia Antarctica with Salt Lake Symphony. Emily recently sang with the Ohio Light Opera in The Mikado (Yum Yum), The Yeoman of the Guard (Elsie Maynard), Die Fledermaus (Adele), and as a braid-swinging Wagnerian soprano in Victor Herbert's Dream City and the Magic Knight (Elsa), which was released in 2015 by Albany Records. Emily holds degrees in voice, music history, and early music performance from Indiana University and the University of Utah, where she completed her doctorate in vocal performance. She recently joined the voice faculty at Westminster College.
Christopher LeCluyse discovered early music in seventh grade, when an inspired music teacher played Machaut’s Messe de Nostre Dame for his class. He studied voice and English at the Oberlin Conservatory and Oberlin College and has since continued pursuing both vocations as a singer and a teacher. While completing a PhD in English at the University of Texas at Austin, he sang with Conspirare, the Texas Early Music Project, La Follia Austin Baroque, and the Schola Cantorum at St. Mary’s Cathedral and appeared as a guest artist with the Houston-based groups Ars Lyrica and Canzonetta. In the San Francisco area, Chris has performed with Magnificat, the San Francisco Early Music Society, and Voices of Music. Most recently he joined Magnificat for performances of Lutheran Christmas Vespers from 1660 and of late Renaissance choral works for forty to sixty voices. Closer to home Chris has performed with the Utah Symphony and the Salt Lake Choral Artists. Chris is an associate professor of English and writing center director at Westminster College. His recordings include Threshold of Night, a CD with Conspirare of choral works by Tarik O'Regan, nominated in 2009 for two Grammy awards: “Best Classical Album” and “Best Choral Performance.”
Lisa Chaufty, recorder
Lisa began her musical studies as a flutist in Rhode Island and discovered early music and the recorder while an undergraduate at Wellesley College. Her training in Medieval/Renaissance Studies and Musicology inform her work as a performer and teacher of early music. Lisa has been praised for her "remarkably vibrant" playing, performing as a soloist with groups such as the Choir of the Cathedral of the Madeleine and Utopia Early Music. She has also played in and co-organized several Sundays@7 Baroque concerts at the University of Utah since 2009. Most recently, Lisa is the co-founder of heArt Music, an early music organization dedicated to performance and outreach to Salt Lake City's Hispanic population. Lisa plays primarily early music; however, she has traveled into the realm of new music, premiering Miguel Chuaqui's Arioso for Recorder and Live Electronics in 2012, and performing most recently in June 2014 at the New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival. In the past years, Lisa has returned to her first instrument (in its ancestral form), and performs on the traverso as well as the recorder. Lisa directs the University of Utah Early Music Ensemble. She is also the director of the Emma Ray Riggs McKay Music Library in the School of Music on the University of Utah campus.
Baritone Michael Chipman is an assistant professor of voice and head of the vocal performance program at Westminster College in Salt Lake City, Utah. He has performed twice as a soloist at New York's Carnegie Hall and has sung with opera companies and orchestras across the United States and abroad. He recently performed Schubert's masterpiece, Winterreise, on the NOVA Chamber Music Series, and last summer he sang the role of Guglielmo in Mozart's opera Così fan tuttein St. Anton, Austria. He is the co-author of "The Naked Voice", a book on vocal technique published by Oxford University Press in 2007. He holds a masters degree in voice from the University of Utah and an Artist Diploma in vocal performance from Oberlin College Conservatory.
Eleanor Christman Cox is a freelance cellist and instructor in the Salt Lake City area, where she has appeared with groups such as Ballet West and Utopia Early Music, and on the University of Utah Sundays@7 series and Utah Valley University faculty recitals. Also very committed to education, she is currently on faculty at Idaho State University and Salt Lake Community College. Ms. Cox holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Bachelor of Music degree from Indiana University-Bloomington. At home on both modern and baroque cello, Ms. Cox has performed nationally and internationally with such groups as Jeune Orchestre Atlantique, American Baroque Orchestra, and Choral Arts Philadelphia. As a proponent of new music, she has worked with composers John Harbison, David Ludwig, and Stephen Dembski, whose Suite for Solo Cello she premiered. Most recently, she has partnered with staff at the Utah State Veteran's Nursing Home in creating a program that brings music to immobilized veterans in Salt Lake City.
Eleanor Christman Cox, cello
Adam Cockerham, theorbo and luteAficionado of both early music and new music, lutenist and classical guitarist Adam Cockerham is known for his moving solo performances, his nuanced ensemble work, and sensitive accompaniments. As a finalist in the Carmel Society Instrumental Competition, his performance was regarded as being “beautifully and effortlessly executed” by Peninsula Reviews. Cockerham received his Bachelor of Music Degree and Master of Music degree from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music with a Secondary Emphasis in Historical Plucked Strings and is continuing his studies at the Juilliard School as a member of acclaimed early music group, J415. Partnering with acclaimed mezzo-soprano Danielle Sampson, the two founded Jarring Sounds, a voice and guitar/lute duo in 2011. www.adamcockerham.com
Specializing in historical off-shoulder technique on medieval vielle and Renaissance and Baroque violin, Shulamit Kleinerman has performed and recorded with ensembles including Utopia Early Music, Istanpitta, and The Christmas Revels. With the Elizabethan quartet Plaine & Easie, winner of the 2009 Early Music America Competition in Renaissance Music, Shula earned acclaim for her “blazing scale passages” (Third Coast Digest) and “enticing solos [that] reminded one how close early music can be to folk fiddle tunes” (Express Milwaukee). Her 2008 recording of 17th-century English country dance, New New Nothing—“earthy and enjoyable” (EMAg)—was recorded during an artist residency at Seattle’s Jack Straw Productions.
She is the founding director of Seattle Historical Arts for Kids, where children and teens study and perform the arts of the 12th-18th centuries. SHAK’s all-ages CD, Merry It Is!,has been praised as not “just a pedagogical tool, though it’s an excellent one; it’s also a pleasure to listen to” (Karen Cook, Duke University). Shula’s work in historical music education was honored with Early Music America’s 2015 Laurette Goldberg Award.
Gretchen Windt, mezzo-sopranoOriginally from Chicago, mezzo soprano Gretchen Windt has performed in operas and oratorios throughout the country. She was an Apprentice Artist with Sarasota Opera including mainstage performances of Die Fledermaus (Ida). She was an Apprentice Artist with the Utah Symphony & Opera; since completing her apprenticeship, she has returned to Utah Symphony & Opera for subsequent engagements. She was an Apprentice Artist with the Sugar Creek Symphony and Song Festival in Illinois and a Young Artist with Ohio Light Opera. She has performed regularly with Cincinnati Opera; highlights include mainstage performances of Golijov’s Ainadamar (Voice of the Fountain), the world premiere of Hailstork’s Rise For Freedom, and a touring production of The Magic Flute. She has performed with Opera Southwest, Chesapeake Chamber Opera, Opera Idaho, and various regional companies in Chicago including Bowen Park Opera, OperaModa, and DuPage Opera Theatre. Internationally, she performed the title role of La Cenerentola in Novafeltria, Italy with La Musica Lirica. Recent performances include Salome (Page) with Utah Opera, Le Nozze di Figaro(Cherubino) with both Opera Idaho and University of Utah Lyric Opera Ensemble, Die Fledermaus(Prince Orlofsky) with Ohio Light Opera, and the title role in Massenet’s Cendrillon with University of Utah Lyric Opera Ensemble. Most recently, she completed a third season with Ohio Light Opera performing in productions including The Mikado (Pitti-Sing) and La Vie Parisienne (Métella) as a Resident Professional Artist. Ms. Windt recently graduated from the University of Utah with a Doctor of Musical Arts degree. In addition, she completed degrees at the University of Cincinnati-College Conservatory of Music (M.M. in voice/opera) and North Park University (B.M.E. in music education/voice) in Chicago, IL.