Emily Nelson, soprano (founding member)
Emily Nelson's passion for music of all kinds has led her down diverse paths. In 2009, she co-founded Utopia Early Music, a group that presents concerts of medieval, renaissance, and baroque music. Apart from early music, Emily's favorite use for her "clear, pure soprano" is in the portrayal of coloratura sidekicks and supernatural beings. 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 as a student of Julie Wright-Costa. She teaches at The University of Utah and Westminster College.
Christopher LeCluyse, tenor (founding member)
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.”
Eleanor Christman Cox, cello
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.
Yvette Marie Gilgen, bass
Salem Gilen recently graduated with her masters of music in vocal chamber music from the University of Redlands, where she studied under former King’s Singer Christopher Gabbitas. A deep lover of choral and early music, Salem is ecstatic to be singing with Utopia. On the opera stage, Salem has brought life to Benoit from Puccini’s La Boheme, Dr Cajus from Otto Nicolai’s Merry Wives of Windsor, and Il Commendatore in a semi-staged production of Mozart’s Don Giovanni, all with the Westminster Opera Studio. As a choral artist Salem served as the interim Artistic Director for American West Symphony Chorus and assistant conductor of the Westminster Chamber Singers. She also sings frequently with Utah Symphony Chorus and serves as bass section leader in the choir for the Cathedral Church of St. Marks. When she’s is not singing, Salem enjoys teaching, eating, and binging Netflix!
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.
Shulamit Kleinerman, vielle and violin
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.
Loren Carle, harpsichord
Accomplished 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.