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.”
Aubrey Adams-McMillan, mezzo-sopranoAubrey Adams-McMillan, mezzo-soprano is a Utah native with an active performance and teaching career. Hailed for her artistry and beautifully balanced tone, she enjoys a career in opera, art song, early music, chamber music, musical theater, and oratorio. Aubrey teaches at Westminster College in Salt Lake city and recently accepted the position of assistant choral director. She holds a bachelor of Music from Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey and a Master of Music from the University of Utah.
Loren Carle, harpsichordAccomplished harpsichordist and organist Loren Carle recently moved to Salt Lake from Canada, where he served as titular organist at St. Matthias' Anglican Church in Westmont (Montréal), Quebec. He is a graduate of Mount Allison University with a Bachelor of Music with Distinction in Organ Performance. He received his Master of Music in Harpsichord Performance from McGill University, Montreal, where he studied harpsichord and organ. Loren brings to his performance as both a concert and a church musician a love of diversity—from the earliest sources of liturgical chant through the masters of the sixteenth century, to the best offerings of today’s composers and Christian hymnody from around the world. In addition to recitals in eastern Canada, California, and Melbourne, Australia, Loren has been contributing to the Utah early music scene since 2015.
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 lute
Aficionado 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
Rotem Gilbert, recorder and double reedsRecorder and double reed player Rotem Gilbert is a native of Haifa, Israel and a founding member of Ciaramella, an ensemble specializing in music of the 15th and 16th centuries. Ciaramella has performed throughout the United States, in Belgium, Germany, and Israel, and released a CD on the Naxos Label, and two recordings with Yarlung Records. Their recent CD Dances on Movable Ground has earned 5 stars by the British magazine Early Music Today and was picked the Editor's Choice, lauded for its "expressive fluidity and rhythmic vitality". She was a member of Piffaro (1996-2007), and has appeared with many early music ensembles in the United States and in Europe. Rotem has been featured as a soloist for the Pittsburgh Opera, the LA Opera, Musica Angelica and the LA Phil. After studies on recorder at Mannes College of Music in New York with Nina Stern, she earned her solo diploma from the Scuola Civica di Musica of Milan where she studied with Pedro Memelsdorff. She earned her doctorate in Early Music performance practice at Case Western Reserve University. She has recently been promoted to associate professor at the USC Thornton School of Music where she teaches Baroque and Renaissance performance practice courses and is an instructor of early music winds. Rotem received the 2012 Dean’s Award for Excellence in Teaching at USC and together with Adam Gilbert is the joint recipient of Early Music America’s 2014 Thomas Binkley Award for “outstanding achievement in performance and scholarship by the director of a university or college early music ensemble.” She has been a regular faculty member of early music workshops and is the co-director of SFEMS Recorder Workshop in the Bay Area. Rotem can be heard on the Deutsche Grammophon's Archiv, Passacaille, Musica Americana, Dorian, Naxos and Yarlung labels.
Melissa Heath, soprano
Soprano Melissa Heath enjoys a varied career of opera, concert and recital work. Recent opera roles include Countess in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro and Nanetta inVerdi’s Falstaff. Recent concert work includes Vaughan Williams’ Dona Nobis Pacem and Mozart’s Requiem with the Temple Square Chorale and Orchestra at Temple Square, Handel’s Messiah with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir in their 2014 Easter Broadcast, and Haydn’s Creation with the Salt Lake Symphony. With Utah Symphony, Ms. Heath has performed both Nielsen’s Symphony no. 3 and Handel’s Messiah. She was a district winner in the Metropolitan Opera’s National Council Auditions, and in 2012 and 2014 was a regional finalist in the National Association of Teachers of Singing’s biennial art song competition. Ms. Heath holds a Bachelor’s degree in voice from Brigham Young University, and her Master of Music and Doctorate of Musical Arts degrees in voice from the University of Utah, and is an assistant professor of voice at Utah Valley University.
Leslie Henrie, violinDr. Leslie Henrie is a local professional violinist, violist, and teacher. She received her Bachelor of Music degree in Violin Performance at the University of Utah in 2001 and her Masters of Music degree in Violin Performance at the University of Kansas in 2006. She completed her Artist’s Diploma in 2008 at Park University’s International Center for Music, and while living in Kansas City she held positions as the associate concertmaster and principle second violin for the St. Joseph Symphony. She completed her Doctorate of Musical Arts degree in violin and viola performance and pedagogy at the University of Utah in 2013. She performs and records extensively with many other professional organizations in the Rocky Mountain region, including the Utah Symphony, Boise Philharmonic, Vivaldi Virtuosi, Utah Chamber Artists, and the LDS Church. She has served on the string faculties at Salt Lake Community College, Utah Valley University, and the University of Utah. Currently, she is the concertmaster and president of the newly formed Sinfonia Salt Lake, a professional chamber orchestra in Salt Lake City. She also maintains her own private studio in Draper, Utah, where she lives with her two children, Connor and Georgia.
Therese Honey, Celtic harp
Childhood fascination with the harp blossomed into an exciting and successful career as a professional harpist and recording artist for this Houston native. Therese researches and performs Celtic, Medieval and Renaissance music on various harps in her collection of a dozen instruments. Honey’s unique specialization keeps her in demand for lectures, concerts and festival engagements across the United States. She has an active studio in Houston. Therese has performed with the Chieftains, and at the 20th Annual Carolan Festival in Keadue, Co. Roscommon. In addition to presenting concerts and workshops across the United States and Canada, she has been a frequent performer at the North Texas Irish Festival and is a two time first-place winner of the Gulf Coast Celtic Harp Competition. Ms. Honey has released four solo recordings and has published several books of arrangements of Celtic and Early Music for Celtic harp. She performs & records with the Texas Early Music Project & Istanpitta, and Wyndnwyre.
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.
Megan Lee, mezzo-soprano
Megan is a performer, teacher, and vocal coach native to Salt Lake. She received her Vocal Performance degree from the University of Utah in the Spring of 2013. Her exposure to Art Music and Early Music began in 2000 as she attended the Madeleine Choir School, performed with the choir at the Cathedral of the Madeleine, and developed her musical training. She has been a featured soloist and cantor for many liturgical services within the Salt Lake Valley, and performed operatic and musical theater roles while at the University of Utah. Her most recent Early Music performance was with HeArt in August. Megan teaches private voice and music theory, and has instructed and coached students with Granger School of Music, J.E. Cosgriff, the Madeleine Choir School, and Music Garage. She is currently a music curriculum developer for Educational Advantage in Park City. Megan can also be seen performing with various local bands around Utah.
Gretchen Windt, mezzo-soprano
Originally 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.