Live performance of Christmas carols and holiday songs provides an unforgettable, emotionally rich experience. Our mission is to bring professional quality caroling performances to people all over the Mid-Atlantic region, especially to places where such experiences can be difficult to find. We want to touch the hearts and souls of as many people as possible, filling them all with the holiday spirit. It is also our mission to pay a fair wage to our talented, experienced vocal artists for their time, energy, education, and experience.
The Village Carolers™ was founded in 2012 by Westminster Choir alumni Michael and Suzanne Chadwick, who have each spent nearly 30 years singing professionally around the world in operas and oratorios.
Shortly after moving from Manhattan to Medford, New Jersey, a local candy shop owner asked Michael and Suzanne if they could use their singer networking resources to put together a caroling group to perform a few carols at her candy shop. Within days, after hearing the high quality level of the voices, multiple people requested us to sing for their event. At the end of that season the group officially became The Village Carolers and has been singing dozens of performances each year ever since.
We present a fun, experienced, and highly talented a cappella quartet (or octet or even a full choir!) for your town, business, or private Christmas party or holiday event. In our brief history, we have sung for hundreds of live or televised events throughout the mid-Atlantic region including Philadelphia, New York, Southern New Jersey, the New Jersey Shore, Central New Jersey, Northern New Jersey, northern Delaware, and southern Connecticut, and eastern Pennsylvania. Our singers are highly experienced and talented, with some of the top level training available throughout the world. You can read more about our individual members below by clicking on their names below.
“Words are simply inadequate to describe the beautiful experience of having the Village Carolers serenade family and friends. We have hired them several times for our Thanksgiving celebration and they have stunned us each time with a breathtaking performance. Our guests were mesmerized as they dazzled us with perfect harmonies singing our favorite carols. We give them our highest recommendation!” – Katharine K.
(click on a name to see that singer’s bio)
Noted for her “splendid dramatic voice, beautiful legato phrasing, and engaging stage presence”, soprano Tamara Black recently sang her first performances of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with the Hershey Symphony. Ms. Black made a Carnegie Hall debut as a soloist with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, and began her opera career on the stages of the Spoleto Festival USA and the Festival dei Due Mondi. She has performed roles such as Mimi in La Bohème, Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, and the title roles in Massenet’s Thaïs, Puccini’s Suor Angelica, Carlisle Floyd’s Susannah, and Puccini’s Madame Butterfly. Equally comfortable on the concert stage, Ms. Black has appeared in a televised performance of the Mozart Coronation Mass with the Julliard Orchestra, and has been a featured guest artist with the Reading Symphony, Pottstown Symphony, Schuylkill Valley Symphony, Albright College Concert Series and the Byndenwood Recital Series. Ms. Black enjoys performing new works, and has premiered several roles in the jazz opera idiom, including Nina in The Bear Prince and Flounder in The Fisherman and His Wife with Yocum Institute, and Nancy in Da Ponte with Reading Theater Project. Ms. Black holds degrees in Vocal Performance from Westminster Choir College and Temple University, and is on the faculty of Albright College.
Holly Gash, international soprano, has performed over twenty leading opera roles and has been the soprano soloist in several oratorios in the United States, Italy and Central America, including Guatemala City, San Jose, Costa Rica, San Salvador and Managua, Nicaragua. After graduating from Loyola University with degrees in Clarinet Performance and Music Therapy, she decided to pursue her enthusiasm for singing and completed her Masters’ Degree in Vocal Performance at the University of Arkansas. Ms. Gash has apprenticed with the Austin Lyric Opera, Virginia Opera, Amarillo Opera and Knoxville Companies. Leading roles in her career have included Luisa Miller, Desdemona in Otello, Violetta in La Traviata, Leonora in La Forza del Destino Countess in Le Nozze di Figaro, Fiordiligi from Cosi Fan Tutte, the Governess in Britten’s Turn of the Screw, Elizabeth Proctor in The Crucible, Elle in Poulenc’s La Voix Humaine, Nedda from Leoncavallo’s I Pagliacci, Madame Butterfly, Tosca, Liu in Turandot, Suor Angelica, Antonia in The Tales of Hoffmann, Rosalinda in Die Fledermaus and Massenet’s Thais. Ms. Gash received many auspicious reviews for her New York Debut with Brooklyn’s Vertical Repertoire Opera Company’s title role in the Baroque opera Cavalli’s Calisto. Oratorio engagements have included Handel’s Messiah, Rossini’s Stabat Mater, Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, Faure’s Requiem and Mozart’s Requiem. Ms. Gash and her husband Tim Bryan are proud newcomers to Yardley, Pennsylvania.
Julie-Ann Green, soprano, earned a Bachelor of Arts degree as a double major in Vocal Performance and Music Education from Rowan University (formerly Glassboro State College). She has earned Artists Diplomas from the Mozarteum Academy in Salzburg, Austria, and has studied Italian Opera, Language, Art and Culture at the Florence Voice Seminar in Florence, Italy. Her vocal talents have attained her numerous honors including Encouragement Grant, Marian Anderson Award; Mozarteum Academy Scholarship; and National Winner, Leontyne Price Vocal Arts Competition.
Ms. Green made her New York solo debut at Carnegie Hall in 1992, and was presented in a solo recital at Weill Hall in 1997. Other major venues include cathedrals in London, Paris, Rome, Vienna, St. Petersburg, Moscow, Madrid, and the Mormon Tabernacle. Popular music performances have been with Barry Manilow, Michael Crawford and with Barbra Streisand. Ms. Green has sung with the Opera Company of Philadelphia since 2001, and has performed solo roles in Porgy and Bess (Strawberry Woman), and Il Trovatore (Inez) as well as their innovative production, the Hip H’Opera Project. Her debut with New York City Opera at Lincoln Center was in Richard Danielpour’s opera, Margaret Garner.
Concert performances of Porgy and Bess (Bess, Clara, Serena) and I Pagliacci (Nedda) have left audiences mesmerized. Ms. Green made her debut as Aida in the spring of 2008, and has recently sung with Lyric Opera of Chicago and San Francisco Opera in their productions of Porgy and Bess. Other recent performances include an appearance with the Allentown Symphony, her debut in the title role of Tosca, the Mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors and as soprano soloist for the Verdi Requiem with both the Lancaster Symphony and Vox Ama Deus Ensemble.
As an active teacher and clinician, Ms. Green is an annual presenter at the Burlington County TeenArts Festival, and has taught at the Friends School Mullica Hill, Christus Academy in Camden, and Settlement Music School’s Camden School of Musical Arts. Ms. Green is currently a vocal teacher at ChARTer~TECH High School for the Performing Arts in Somers Point, New Jersey; and Music Director at First Baptist Church of Pitman, New Jersey.
Winner of the Best Supporting Actress Award at the Dundalk (Ireland) International Drama Festival for her portrayal of Sister Mary Amnesia in the musical, Nunsense, Pamela Jones enjoys bringing diverse and colorful characters to life. She had the opportunity to do this earlier this year when she debuted the roles of Freia in Das Rheingold with Trilogy: An Opera Company at NJPAC and Annie in Porgy and Bess at the Charles Bronfman Hall in Tel Aviv, Israel. She also sang the Strawberry Woman in Haifa, Israel, reprising a role she sang in 2016 at the Semperoper in Dresden and at the Kölner Philharmonie in Cologne, Germany. Last summer she also debuted Clara in Porgy and Bess in Cologne and went on to sing it at the Staatsoper Hamburg. She has been privileged to have performed in many premieres, including title role in the world premiere of The Bird that Wants to Fly with Trilogy: An Opera Company in 2015. Another premiere was the role of Miss Rose in the New York premiere of Séance on a Wet Afternoon by Stephen Schwartz at New York City Opera, and during the twelve years that she sang with the company she portrayed many roles in their Contemporary American Opera Lab (VOX), education division, and on the main stage. Miss Jones made her New York solo recital debut at Merkin Concert Hall. She has been a soloist at the Spoleto Festival USA 2016 in Charleston, South Carolina, Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, the Royal Danish Theatre in Copenhagen, with the American Symphony Orchestra at the Bard Festival, with the Springfield (MA) Symphony Orchestra, the Philadelphia Chamber Choir, the Pioneer Valley Symphony, CONCORA, the Arcadia Players, the Connecticut Opera Alliance, the Opera Company of Brooklyn, Commonwealth Opera, L’Orchestre Philharmonique Sainte Trinité in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, the Berkshire Lyric Opera, Longar Ebony Orchestra, Sing Through Central, Opera Noire of New York, and the American Spiritual Ensemble. In 2011 Ms. Jones completed a recording of Scott Joplin’s opera Treemonisha with Paragon Ragtime Orchestra for New World Records, and when she sang the title role with Trilogy: An Opera Company, the company immediately re-engaged her to sing Spirit McNair in “4” by Trevor Weston. The lyric coloratura soprano is a frequent guest lecturer for Explore New York where she sings a program entitled “Arias in My Life”. Her faculty recitals of German Lieder were well received at the Jewish Community Center on the Palisades in 2014 and 2015 where she taught voice and managed the Music Discovery Partnership for the Thurnauer School of Music. Ms. Jones earned her Master’s Degree in Voice Performance from Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana.
American coloratura soprano Brenna Markey is a recent finalist and encouragement award recipient in the Opera at Florham Violetta DuPont 2018 Vocal Competition. Ms. Markey made her operatic debut in 2015 as Pamina in Die Zauberflöte and has since appeared as Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, Elvira in Bellini’s I Puritani, and Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi.
Ms. Markey will perform as soprano soloist and staff singer with Church of the Redeemer choir on their European tour starting in June of this year. Ms. Markey’s 2016-17 notable performances included Soprano soloist for Vox Amadeus’ Renaissance concert series; Soprano soloist in Vivaldi Gloria with the Lutheran Church of Our Savior; Soprano soloist in Joseph Haydn’s Missa in B “Harmoniemesse” and the role of Rusalka in the Philadelphia premiere of Alexander Dargomyzhsky’s Rusalka under the direction of Ghenady Meirson.
Brenna is a pupil of the highly accomplished Benita Valente and has additionally studied at the Canto de las Americas Summer Workshop under the direction of Veronica Villarroel. A native of Bucks County Pennsylvania, Ms. Markey received her Bachelor degree in music from Temple University’s Boyer College of Music and Dance, graduating with honors and receiving the Professor Klara B. Meyers Tribute Scholarship presented to Ms. Markey by the head of the vocal department, Dr. Christine Anderson.
Soprano Rachel Mikol is a native of Buffalo, New York and a recent graduate of Indiana University. While at IU, Mikol was seen as Mary Bailey in the collegiate premiere of Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer’s operatic adaptation of It’s a Wonderful Life. She has been featured as a Young Artist with Opera Saratoga, Virginia Opera, and Ash Lawn Opera. Recent roles include Sylviane (The Merry Widow) with Opera Saratoga, Niece 2 (Peter Grimes) and Dorabella (Cosi fan tutte), both with Indiana University Opera Theater.
On the concert stage, Mikol was a frequent soloist and member of NOTUS: IU Contemporary Vocal Ensemble at IU, a soloist with the Indiana University New Music Ensemble, the soprano soloist in Brahms’ Liebeslieder Waltzes, Op. 52, and soprano soloist in Handel’s Messiah. She is currently a member and soloist of the Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church Chamber Choir in New York City. Upcoming performances include the role of Frasquita in Carmen with Opera Louisiane. A graduate of Ithaca College, Mikol earned her Bachelor’s degree in Vocal Performance and Music Education. She recently received her Master’s degree in Voice Performance and a Performer Diploma in Voice from Indiana University.
Soprano Maria Palombo holds a Master of Music degree and Advanced Certificate in Vocal Pedagogy from New York University. She attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill graduating with degrees in Music and Drama and a minor in Speech & Hearing Science. She has performed professionally at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City, with Opera 691 and with North Carolina Opera. Her favorite university credits include Gianni Schicchi (Lauretta) and La clemenza di Tito (Servilia). She sang the role of Zweite Dame in Die Zauberflöte at the Amalfi Coast Summer Music Festival and at the National Opera Center with New York Lyric Opera. Maria’s NYU credits include the title role in Cendrillon and Monica in The Medium. Most recently, she sang Kiss Me Kate and Night Caps (The Penthouse Suite) with Opera Theater of Pittsburgh as a member of their Young Artist Program. Maria currently serves as the soprano section leader at Nassau Presbyterian Church in Princeton, NJ and sings as an active member of the Philadelphia Symphonic Choir, the official choir of the Philadelphia Orchestra.
American Coloratura Soprano Julia Katherine Walsh has garnered critical acclaim in Opera, Concert and Recital performances throughout Germany and the USA. She is best known for her interpretations of the works of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Richard Strauss and 20th Century American composers, and especially for her portrayals of The Queen of the Night, Konstanze, and Zerbinetta. Her incisive and believable characterization, combined with a brilliant and agile instrument, allow Julia to deliver performances which delight both audiences and critics alike.
Julia has performed the roles of: Sandmann and Taufee in Hänsel und Gretel and Königin der Nacht in Die Zauberflöte (Freies Landestheater Bayern), Königin der Nacht, Pamina and Papagena in a children’s adaptation of Die Zauberflöte (Junge Oper Detmold), Konstanze in Die Entführung aus dem Serail (Theater Lünen & Oper Schloss Laubach), Rosine in Der Barbier von Sevilla (Opernakademie Bad Orb); Dido in Dido and Aeneas, Papagena in The Magic Flute, and Oscar in Un Ballo in Maschera with Center City Opera Theater, Just Jeanette in the New York Premiere of Too Many Sopranos (Hunter College), Diana in Orpheus in the Underworld (Bronx Opera Company), Ines in Les Bavards (Intermezzo), Najade in Ariadne auf Naxos (Intermezzo) and Barbarina in Le Nozze di Figaro (Brevard Music Center). She has also covered the roles of Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady (Ash Lawn Opera) and Adina in L’elisir d’amore (Center City Opera Theater). Julia has performed in opera scenes with Joan Dornemann’s International Vocal Arts Institute where she sung Gilda in Rigoletto, Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos, Königin der Nacht in Die Zauberflöte, Sophie in Der Rosenkavalier, Adina in L’Elisir d’Amore, Madamoiselle Silberklang in Der Schauspieldirektor, and Adele in Die Fledermaus, as well as with the Lotte Lehmann Akademie where she sang Olympia in Les Contes d’Hoffmann, and also with the New York Lyric Opera Theater, where she sang Gilda in Rigoletto as an Artist-In-Residence.
On the Concert stage Julia performed in December 2017 in Bad Orb, Germany in a New Year’s Gala Concert with Anke Eva Blumenthal in connection with the Opernakademie Bad Orb where she sang arias from Lakmé, Candide, Der Vogelhändler and Die Zauberflöte, as well as Duets and Ensembles from Operetta classics like Die Fledermaus, Die Lustige Witwe and Wiener Blut. She performed in 2014 with the Johann-Strauss-Orchester Frankfurt singing arias from Die Fledermaus and Viennese Songs from Johann Strauss in three concerts in the Frankfurt Metropolitan Area. She has been a soloist with The Reading Choral Society and Reading Symphony Orchestra in Fauré’s Requiem and Mozart’s Vesperae solennes de confessore.
As a Recitalist in 2017, Julia sang a Liederabend with her Duo-Partner and Pianist Clarin Isai Merk and Simon Vater on Clarinet at the Kinikum Rechts der Isar in Munich, performed at a concert held by GEDOK e.V. at The Seidlvilla in September where she sang selected songs of American Composer Gloria Coates, at the end of August in a Masterclass with Thomas Quasthoff and Justus Zeyen at the Schubertiade in Schwarzenberg, Austria, and before that in June at The Seidlvilla once again with her Pianist, Clarin Merk, and at the Richard-Strauss-Festival in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. Last Summer she was honored to be invited for the first time to the Schubertiade in Hohenems, Austria, one of Europe’s most prestigious Art Song Festivals, to sing in a Masterclass with Thomas Hampson and Wolfram Rieger. Prior to that she performed in February at the famous “Asamkirche” in the Ursuline Convent in Straubing, Germany and raised nearly 350 Euros to benefit two good causes: a local music school and the Convent’s Foundation to help students in need. She also performed that year at The Seidlvilla in Munich and at the Klinikum Rechts der Isar as part of their Seelsorge Concert Series. In December she sang with Julia Chalfin and Sophie Raynaud in Ms. Chalfin’s ‘Opernstammtisch’ at the Schlachthof in Munich, and a few weeks later, a Christmas Eve concert in Allentown, Pennsylvania at St. Timothy’s Lutheran Church.
In 2014 Julia was chosen as one of 5 participants in a Masterclass with famous Mezzo-Soprano Brigitte-Fassbaender at the Richard Strauss Festival in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, where she performed several of Strauss’s Lieder and Zerbinetta’s Aria from his Opera Ariadne auf Naxos, to great acclaim. In 2013, Julia worked closely with Ingeborg Hallstein, another legendary singer, while she took part in a Masterclass that Hallstein gave on ‘The Style of Operetta’, at Schloss Henfenfeld. Julia sung the famous ‘Schwips-Lied’ in the final concert there and received thunderous applause.
Julia was a 2012 Semi-Finalist in The American Prize’s “Chicago Opera Award” category, a Finalist in their “Opera (Women)” category, and in 2017 a Finalist in their “Art Song/Oratorio” category, an Encouragement Winner in the 2010 CareerBridges Competition, Finalist in the 2009 Thursday Musical Young Artist Competition, the 2010 Kennett Symphony of Chester County’s Young Artist Competition, and a Semi-Finalist in the 2009 Orpheus Vocal Competition, 2010 North East Regional Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in New Haven, Connecticut, and the Joy In Singing auditions in New York City. Julia was also the winner of the 2006 Reading Choral Society’s Young Artist Competition.
Julia was also a performing member of the Professional Women Singers Association of New York City from 2009 until 2013 and is a current member of musica femina muenchen, a professional organization for women musicians and composers in Munich, Germany. An alumna of The Berks Classical Children’s Chorus in Reading, Pennsylvania (now the Berks Youth Chorus), where she developed her love of singing, Julia went on to receive her Bachelor’s Degree in Voice Performance from Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey and her Master’s Degree in Voice Performance from Hunter College in New York City.
Mezzo-Soprano Tanisha Anderson has sung throughout the East Coast and in Europe with companies such as Opera Philadelphia, The Princeton Festival, The Spoleto Festival of Two Worlds (Charleston, SC & Spoleto, Italy), Berks Opera, The Opera Company of Montclair, Westminster Opera Theater, The New York Choral Society, The New York Choral Society Chamber Singers, The Crossing, Vox Ama Deus, The Philadelphia Symphonic Choir and the Phoenicia International Festival of the Voice. Ms. Anderson has performed under such conductors as Riccardo Muti, Steven Mecurio, Robert Shaw, Joseph Flummerfelt, Donald Nally, Kurt Masur, and Yannick Nézet-Séguin in such places as Carnegie Hall, Avery Fischer Hall, The Academy of Music, McCarter Theater and The Kimmel Center. Performances of note include the Bejiing Modern Music Program, the Richard Tucker Music Foundation Gala, American Ballet Theater’s performance of Sibelius’ The Tempest, Christmas at Carnegie Hall, and as an ensemble member on Decca’s recording of Pagliacci under the direction of Riccado Muti, featuring Luciano Pavarotti in the title role. In 2014, Ms Anderson became a member of the renowned group The Crossing, and under the direction of Donald Nally, joined a world premiere recording of Gavin Bryar’s The Fifth Century which won Best Choral Performance at the 2018 Grammy Awards. Ms Anderson was a proud ensemble member in the Spoleto Festival’s special anniversary production of Porgy and Bess, sang the role of Tia Isabel in Capitol Opera Richmond’s production of Felipe de Leon’s Opera Noli Me Tangere, and covered the role of Tisbe in Berks Opera Company’s production of La Cenerentola.
Suzanne Chadwick, Contralto, has sung with The Spoleto Festival dei due Mondi, Opera Festival of New Jersey, The Princeton Festival, The Little Opera Theater of New York, Berks Opera, ConcertOPERA Philadelphia, Empire Opera, One World Symphony, The Brooklyn Symphony Orchestra, Opera Company of Brooklyn, American Singers’ Opera Project, and the Austrian/American Mozart Academy. Ms. Chadwick has also worked extensively as a choral member throughout New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, and on such recordings as Pagliacci (Muti / Philadelphia Orchestra), Honneger’s Joan of Arc (Masur/New York Philharmonic) and Dvorak’s Stabat Mater (Macal/New Jersey Symphony). Additionally, she has served as a Staff Singer/Section Leader at St. Paul’s in Chestnut Hill, PA and Trinity Episcopal in Moorestown, NJ. Other credits: Florence (Yeston/Kopit Phantom), Rosemary Clooney’s White Christmas (Sands, Atlantic City), and originating the role of “Mrs. K” in the new musical, The Real Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Along with her husband, Michael, Ms. Chadwick owns/manages The Village Carolers and can be heard on their recording, Sing We Now of Christmas. Favorite roles performed include Dame Quickly (Falstaff), La Zia Principessa (Suor Angelica), Marthe (Gounod’s Faust), Maddalena (Rigoletto), Dritte Dame (The Magic Flute), and Mary of Bethany (Passion).
Marissa Chalker, mezzo-soprano, is an active chorister and ensemble member with companies such as Opera Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Symphonic Choir, The Philadelphia Singers, The Thirteen Chamber Choir, CoOperative Concert Opera, The Princeton Festival, Opera Cleveland, Opera Per Tutti, Westminster Symphonic Choir, and the Baldwin-Wallace Bach Choir. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Baldwin-Wallace College in Voice Performance and a Master’s Degree from Westminster Choir College in Voice Performance and Pedagogy. Marissa resides in Philadelphia with her husband, George Somerville, teaches private voice and piano lessons, and frequently sings in the Philadelphia/greater New Jersey area. For more information and upcoming performances, visit www.marissamaechalker.com.
Julia Fernandez, originally from Honolulu, HI received her formal vocal training at Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ. A finalist in the NATS competition and a Winner of the Austrian-American Society Mozarteum Scholarship Competition, Ms. Fernandez has performed chorally and as a soloist throughout Europe, Eastern Europe, Asia and North America. In the past decade, Ms. Fernandez has been a member of over 20 choirs and ensembles ranging the genres of folk to opera. Ms. Fernandez has performed as a soloist at the annual Interpretacion de la cancion Española in Granada, Spain; and at the Festival of the Aegean in Greece and in the USA. Recent performances include choral work with Opera Philadelphia, the Curtis institute, and the Metro Chamber Orchestra and solo engagements with the Society of Musical Arts Orchestra. A career musician, Ms. Fernandez is the Contracts and Licensing Manager at Subito Music Corporation and Rental Librarian at Schott New York for performance rights in North America, Latin America, parts of the Middle East and Asia. When not pouring over performance rights or singing, Ms. Fernandez enjoys small venue performances as a folk harpist.
Samantha Ferrara is a singer, actor, dancer and teacher splitting her time between New York and New Jersey. A resident of Bernardsville, New Jersey, Ms. Ferrara can be frequently found on both the professional and community stage; recent credits include Ragtime (Evelyn Nesbit), The Secret Garden (Lily Craven), Mary Poppins (Mary Poppins), and The Hunchback of Notre Dame at Paper Mill Playhouse. She graduated in 2014 from Westminster Choir College of Rider University where she studied Music Education and Musical Theater. She is currently studying with Ryan Scott Oliver and Lindsay Mendez’s Actor Therapy program, and has previously studied at The Patrick Page Studio. In addition to her performing, Ms. Ferrara is Director of the Broadway & Beyond Musical Theater program at the Continuo Arts Foundation in Summit, New Jersey, as well as a member of Sonaré, a year-long Young Artists program sponsored by the Minuetto Music Festival. Ms. Ferrara made her 54 Below debut in September 2018, and will be performing in 4th Wall Theatre’s production of Sondheim on Sondheim in December 2018.
Southern New Jersey native and mezzo soprano Brittany Griffith is excited to be able to share her love of all things Christmas and Victorian this season with The Village Carolers! As a professional chorister, Brittany enjoys performing as the alto section leader and soloist at St. George’s Episcopal Church in Ardmore, Pennsylvania, as well as
with The Choral Arts Society of Southern NJ. She has performed as a soloist in a number of major works including Handel’s Messiah, Verdi’s Gloria, and Britten’s Rejoice in the Lamb.
Ms. Griffith is also no stranger to the regional opera stage, having performed recently as Rosina (Il barbiere di Siviglia) and Nicklausse (Les Comtes d’Hoffmann) with Center
Stage Opera, as well as Mercedes (Carmen) and Oscar (Il Reggente) with Amici Opera Company. In addition, she has covered roles and sung in the choruses of several Delaware Valley Opera Company productions, including The Magic Flute, Madama Butterfly, Carmen, Amahl and the Night Visitors, and Die Fledermaus. Notable
collegiate credits include her portrayals of Sesto (La Clemenza di Tito), Prince Orlovsky (Die Fledermaus), and Octavian (Der Rosenkavalier).
Ms. Griffith earned her bachelor’s degree in vocal music education from Rowan University in Glassboro, NJ, and currently holds a position teaching vocal and general music to the wonderful students of Rieck Avenue Elementary in Millville, NJ.
Mezzo-soprano Sarah Hoch is elated to come-a-wassailing with The Village Carolers this holiday season! Originally from Massachusetts and an alum of the Drake University Musical Theatre BFA program, Sarah has spent the last five years moving around the country for her love of music and theatre. After graduating, she spent a year as a company member of Playhouse on the Square in Memphis, where she took on roles in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (Hedy), Annie (Grace), Spring Awakening (Wendla), Avenue Q (Bad Idea Bear/Swing), Xanadu (Erato), and Present Laughter (Joanna), among others. Based out of Chicago for the next four years, Sarah was a regular performer for the Chicago Cabaret Project, also with whom she was a Christmas caroler for three years at the Peninsula and Drake Hotels and corporate events. You may have seen her in her Dickensian wear on Monday Night Football in front of the famous Drake Hotel Christmas tree. Other favorite musical theatre roles from her travels include Charity in Sweet Charity (MadKap Productions); Vivienne in Legally Blonde (Midtown Arts Center); Casey in First Date (Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati); Dyanne in Million Dollar Quartet, Rizzo in Grease, and Cindy Lou in Winter Wonderettes (Old Creamery Theatre); Louise in Gypsy, Evelyn Nesbit in Ragtime, Bella in Lost in Yonkers (Great Plains Theatre); and Millie in Why Do Fools Fall in Love (St. Vincent Summer Theatre). Sarah recently moved to New York and shortly after joined Actors Equity. She enjoys teaching young students how to belt healthily with her background in Jo Estill pedagogy, dabbling in guitar and piano, and developing new musicals with her husband, composer David Kornfeld. Check out her website at www.sarahdhoch.com for more information on upcoming projects!
Elizabeth Wojtowicz, mezzo soprano, holds the Master of Music degree in Voice Performance and Pedagogy from Westminster Choir College and the Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance from Baldwin Wallace University. Originally from Buffalo, she is an active performer and soloist throughout New York, New Jersey, and the Philadelphia area. Her most recent opera credits include Second Lady in The Magic Flute, Hansel in Hansel and Gretel, Cherubino in Le Nozze di Figaro, Prince Orlofsky in Die Fledermaus and Bradamante in Handel’s Alcina. Elizabeth has performed with Opera Theatre of Montclair and The Princeton Festival, and has participated in several opera programs such as OperaWorks, the Florence Voice Seminar, and Oberlin in Italy. She has been featured as the alto soloist for major works including Durufle’s Requiem, Handel’s Messiah, and Mendelssohn’s Elijah. She is also an alto staff singer at St. Thomas’ Episcopal Church – Whitemarsh in Ft. Washington, PA and is on the voice, piano, and acting faculty at Cornerstone Music Studios in Millstone Township, NJ. For more information, visit www.elizabethwojtowicz.com.
Tenor Carl Ellinwood has performed as a soloist and chorister in the Washington DC area and Philadelphia. Professional ensembles include the Washington Master Chorale, Choralis, the Washington National Cathedral, and the Old Presbyterian Meeting House in Alexandria, VA, where he served as the Children’s Choral Director. Carl was the Artistic Director of the St. Maries Children’s Chorus, the Children’s Branch for St. Maries Choral Arts. In Philadelphia, Carl has sung with Opera Philadelphia, Philadelphia Singers, and the Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia. Carl was also a Tenor Section Leader for the Washington Memorial Chapel in Valley Forge and for St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Philadelphia, where Carl was the Tenor Soloist for Dale Adelmann’s Steal Away which was performed at the Washington National Cathedral.
Carl received his Bachelors of Arts in Music and Bachelors of Arts in Radio/TV/Film at Rowan University. While at Rowan Carl was a member of the Concert Choir which performed at venues in Rome, Vatican City, Sienna, Florence, and Venice. At Rowan he also played the First Priest and Armored Man in The Magic Flute and was part of the ensemble in Albert Herring. Carl graduated with a Masters of Music Education from Marywood University where he studied voice with Ellen Rutkowski. At Marywood, Carl was a member of Campus Choir, where he was a featured soloist in Rachmaninoff’s All-Night Vigil. He also was a soloist for Chamber Singers performing “Easter” and “The Call” from Five Mystical Songs by Vaughan Williams. Carl was involved in the Marywood Opera Scenes Showcase performing various roles from Rigoletto, Dialogues of the Carmelites, La Bohème, The Magic Flute, Candide, and Don Pasquale.
Carl has performed the roles of Spalanzani, Cochenille, and Frantz in The Tales of Hoffmann at the Halifax Summer Opera Workshop in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. Carl has also performed with the Tim Keyes Consort featuring arrangements of Te Deum by Gibbons, Mozart, and Dvorak. Carl performed with the Philadelphia Singers in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, Alexander Nevsky, Carmina Burana, Faure’s Requiem and Durufle’s Quatre Motets. In 2013, Carl joined the Opera Philadelphia chorus for Nabucco at the Academy of the Arts, and joined the Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia as a core singer.
Carl is proud to be singing with the Village Carolers once again and looks forward to the upcoming season!
Tenor William Lim has performed for various companies including Opera Philadelphia, Opera MODO, Poor Richard’s Opera, Center City Opera Theater, Concert Operetta Theater, Opera in the Ozarks, and Opera New Jersey. As a professional chorister, he sings with the Philadelphia Singers, Vox Ama Deus, the Archdiocesan Choir of Philadelphia, St. Paul’s Episcopal Chestnut Hill Church Choir, and Singing City. His roles include Gherardo in Gianni Schicchi, Guillot de Morfortaine in Manon, and Mayor Upfold in Albert Herring. He created the roles of After de Monk and Beau Nash in Julian Livingston’s Napa de Monk, Queen of the Lost Waters, and Beau of Bath. He was a featured Young Artist in the 2009 season of Opera in the Ozarks, and there, he received the Outstanding Colleague award. He also served as Studio Artist in the 2011 Opera New Jersey Victoria Mastrobuono Emerging Artist Program. He was a featured performer in the 2010 American Musicological Society conference.
Nicholas Petroski has a Bachelor in Music Education from Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University. Nicholas has performed in an ensemble setting and as a soloist at various venues over the country and the Netherlands, including Lincoln Center, University of Utrecht, and most recently at Minneapolis Convention Center. He has been invited as a guest soloist for organizations such as the Rutgers University Glee Club, and the Summit Chorale. Nicholas has had the opportunity to perform in a number of operas such as Gounod’s Romeo and Juliet, and Puccini’s La Boheme with the Castleton Performing Arts Festival, and Eastern Opera of New Jersey. He is currently teaching music in Mount Laurel, New Jersey, and is also the Music Director of the Garden State Chorale located in Cherry Hill, New Jersey.
Craig Sanphy, tenor, from Concord, New Hampshire, has seen his career blossom these past years. He has worked with numerous professional companies and organizations, including The Continuo Arts Foundation, MidAmerica Productions, MidAm International, Paper Mill Playhouse, Princeton Festival, Westminster Choir College Opera Theatre, and the Texas Music Festival. Mr. Sanphy made his international debut with the Festival of the Aegean in Syros, Greece, in which he performed as soloist for Mozart’s Coronation Mass and the Beethoven Choral Fantasy Op. 80.
Stage credits include Light in the Piazza (Giuseppe, Fabrizio U/S), Die Flederamus (Alfred), Don Giovanni (Don Ottavio), Le Nozze di Figaro (Don Curzio), Susannah (Elder Hayes), The Gondoliers (Marco Palmieri), The Mikado (Nanki-Poo), and The Hunchback of Notre Dame premiere at Paper Mill Playhouse. In addition to his prolific recital and solo repertoire, he is often seen on the concert stage as tenor soloist including performances of Schubert’s Mass in G, Mozart’s Coronation Mass, Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy, Haydn’s The Seasons, and The Seven Last Words of Christ (Dubois, Hadyn, and Franck).
Mr. Sanphy holds a M.M. from Wichita State University and a B.M. in Vocal Performance from Westminster Choir College. During his time at WSU, he served as assistant to the dance department and the Kansas Dance Festival, as well as voice assistant. He studied under the tutelage of Dr. Pina Mozzani (WSU) and Dr. Eric Rieger and Professor Marvin Keenze (WCC).
Mr. Sanphy is a teacher of voice, dance, and musical theater at The Continuo Arts Conservatory of Music and serves as Artist-in-Residence throughout the season for The Continuo Arts NJ Civic Chorale and Sonare, which serves as choir in residence for MidAmerica Productions at Carnegie Hall. As an active church musician, he serves as tenor soloist and section leader for the Presbyterian Church in Westfield
Tenor Alex Sheets has been involved in stage, theatre, film, and television across the United States. Hailing from Staunton Virginia, Alex received his B.F.A in Musical Theatre from Shenandoah Conservatory. After graduation, Alex moved to Pismo Beach where he worked at The Great American Melodrama predominately for the next four years. During his tenure at the Melodrama, Alex worked both on stage and behind the scenes. He co-wrote three Vaudevilles (A Starry, Starry Night, Pirates Take The Stage, and The Country Barn Dance Review) as well as composing/arranging numerous songs for other shows. After the Melodrama, Alex spent a summer working for RWS, training in stunts and stage combat, as well as playing guitar in The Kennyville Party Band. Alex was most recently seen on the road with the MAMMA MIA! Farewell Tour, as an ensemble member and understudy for the roles of Sam and Harry.
Tenor Cameron Smith has performed Tamino in The Magic Flute with Light Opera of New Jersey and Geneva Light Opera, Ernesto in Don Pasquale and Count Almaviva in Il Barbiere di Siviglia with American Landmark Festivals, Don Jose in La Tragédie de Carmen with Hubbard Hall Opera Theater, Tony in West Side Story with Boheme Opera NJ, Nemorino in L’Elisir d’Amore with Opera in the Heights, Stravinsky’s Renard at Tanglewood, Ermanno in Rossini’s L’Equivoco Stravagante with Bronx Opera, and Alfredo in La Traviata at Seagle Music Colony. With New York Gilbert and Sullivan Players, he has been Nanki-Poo in The Mikado, Ralph Rackstraw in HMS Pinafore, Lord Tolloller in Iolanthe, The Defendant in Trial By Jury, Captain Fitzbattleaxe in Utopia, Limited, and Leonard Meryll in The Yeomen of the Guard. Other concert engagements include Handel’s Messiah, Saul, and Alexander’s Feast, Puccini’s Messa di Gloria, Haydn’s Creation, Carissimi’s Judicium Salomonis, Alice Parker’s An American Kedushah, Bach’s Magnificat. He holds an MM from Manhattan School of Music and a BFA from The State University of New York at Purchase.
Tenor, George Ross Somerville, is quickly establishing himself as a singer of great vocal variety and dramatic complexity. In Sarasota Opera’s Tosca, he “was an excellent and spidery Spoletta, his versatile tenor holding us like Velcro.” (Brooklyn Daily Eagle / Nino Pantano) Originally from Point Pleasant, New Jersey, he has appeared with companies such as Opera Saratoga, Sarasota Opera, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Des Moines Metro Opera, Opera Philadelphia, The Princeton Festival, CoOperative Concert Opera, Opera Slavica, and the Metropolitan Opera.
In the 2016-2017 season, he made his solo debut with Opera Philadelphia as the Prince of Persia in the Renaud Doucet production of Turandot, conducted by Corrado Rovaris. He originated the role of The Runt in James Darrah’s production of Breaking the Waves, and he made his New York debut with The Prototype Festival, reprising his role in Breaking the Waves, conducted by Julian Wachner. He also sang The Evangelist in the St. Matthew Passion with David Spitko’s ensemble, The Choristers, and he created the role of Morbus in Opera Philadelphia’s world premiere of The Wake World by David Hertzberg. He currently is working with composers to bring new and exciting characters to the stage.
Highlights of previous seasons include his debut with Des Moines Metro Opera as Horace Adams in Peter Grimes, as well as Trin in La Fanculla del West, his company debut at Opera Saratoga as First Armored Man in Die Zauberflöte, a role debut as Laca in Opera Slavica’s production of Jenufa, and The Evangelist in the St. John Passion with The Thirteen Chamber Choir, conducted by Matthew Robertson.
As a professional chorister, he has appeared in the ensemble with The Cleveland Orchestra, The Philadelphia Orchestra, The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, and The New York Philharmonic. An active church musician, he is a frequent cantor at many catholic churches in the Tri-state area, and he is the tenor section leader at Nassau Presbyterian Church in Princeton New Jersey.
A graduate of Oberlin Conservatory and Westminster Choir College, Mr. Somerville is a new member of the coaching faculty at The CoOPERAtive program, he is on the full chorus roster of Opera Philadelphia, and he is a member of the Extra Chorus with the Metropolitan Opera.
Tenor Orin Strunk is a 2015 graduate of Westminster Choir College, where he received his Master’s Degree in voice performance. He also received his Bachelor’s Degree in 2013 from the same institution. Orin currently studies with Harold Evans. Past voice teachers include Laura Brooks Rice, Lindsey Christiansen and Tamara Black. Mr. Strunk also studied with Lorraine Nubar while attending Juilliard’s Pre-College Voice Program.
Orin started off 2018 by singing the role of Beadle Bamford in Baltimore Concert Opera’s production of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street. Following that production, Orin debuted his first professional lead role as Sancho Panza in Pensacola Opera’s Man Of La Mancha. Most recently, Orin sang the role of Gherardo in Opera Delaware’s co-production of Gianni Schicchi and Buoso’s Ghost. Mr. Strunk has also performed as a member of the Opera Philadelphia chorus, where he has participated in productions of Cold Mountain, Capriccio, L’elisir d’amore, and Turandot. Orin was a 2015 and 2016 member of the Janiec Opera Company at the Brevard Music Center, where he debuted the role of Dr. Fowler in the world premiere of J. Mark Scearce’s Falling Angel.
Currently, Orin is one of the inaugural young artists in Opera Delaware’s new Young Artist Development Program. In 2019, Orin will sing the role of Father Grenville in Opera Delaware’s production of Dead Man Walking.
Brian Wong is a versatile vocal and instrumental performer whose talents span musical genres, including classical, jazz, pop/rock and musical theatre. He was most recently seen in the ensemble of Boheme Opera NJ’s Carmen. As a baritone soloist, in April he performed in the U.S. premiere of When Day is Done 当时光已逝 by composer Meiqiao Wang. With his former surf rock band, the TarantinosNYC, he recorded two albums, and performed at Music Hall of Williamsburg, Rockwood Music Hall, Brooklyn Bowl, Nitehawk Cinema, Le Poisson Rouge, Lucille’s at B.B. King Blues Club, and the US Open.
Co-Founder Michael Chadwick’s powerful bass has been featured in various operatic roles including Rocco in Fidelio, Il Commendatore in Don Giovanni, Daniel Webster in The Mother of Us All, Colline in La bohème, Betto in Gianni Schicchi, Don Alfonso in Così fan tutte, the title character in Inessa Zaretsky’s The Man in the Long Black Coat, and Judge Thatcher in Tom Sawyer. Concert solo credits include Händel’s Messiah, Fauré’s Requiem, Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, among many others.
Michael spent decades singing professionally in opera and oratorio choruses around the U.S. and abroad including the Dallas Opera, Dallas Symphonic Choir, the Opera Festival of New Jersey, the Spoleto Festival USA and Spoleto Festival dei Due Mondi, Princeton Pro Musica, Fort Worth Opera, Princeton Opera, and many others. Additional credits include singing on the composer’s demo for the 2013 Disney feature film Frozen, performing the roles of Caiaphas in Jesus Christ Superstar, Cléante in Le malade imaginaire (The Imaginary Invalid), Mendel in Falsettos, Chief Bromden in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Ham in Two by Two, Mortimer in The Fantasticks, Cox in Cox and Box, and Eddie/Dr. Scott in The Rocky Horror Show. Michael attended Westminster Choir College and received his B.A. in Liberal Arts from its parent, Rider University. During his time singing with the Westminster Symphonic Choir he performed with the New York Philharmonic, the Philadelphia Orchestra, and the New Jersey Symphony.
Michael has been the stage director for dozens of operatic productions including Falstaff, La Cenerentola, Faust, Don Giovanni, L’Elisir d’Amore, Gianni Schicchi, Le nozze di Figaro, Carmen, Don Pasquale, Le Villi, The Old Maid and the Thief, and Trouble in Tahiti. Outside of his vocal work Michael is a multiple award-winning photographer, and provides supertitles for opera companies all around the world.
Ivan Conrad is a commanding actor with a powerfully cutting, yet artistically versatile voice. Of over 75 roles performed across a dozen European cities in Italy, Germany and Greece, and in more than 30 of the United States, highlights of Conrad’s career include the title-roles Der Fliegende Holländer and Gianni Schicchi both Figaro and Il Conte in Le nozze di Figaro, Amonasro in Aïda, Escamillo and Zuniga in Carmen, Marcello, Schaunard, and Colline in La bohème, Monterone, Marullo and Ceprano in Rigoletto; and Silvio in I Pagliacci. Conrad is currently preparing Scarpia in Tosca, Le Dancaïre in Carmen, and the title role in Der Kaiser von Atlantis.
So far this season, Conrad performed Figaro in Greve in Chianti, in Tuscany; returned to Long Island Opera Company to perform Schaunard, then to Opera at the Madison on Long Island to cover Marcello; as well as Amonasro in Aïda and Sprecher and 2nd Priest in Die Zauberflöte with Connecticut Lyric Opera. Last season Conrad was seen as Gianni Schicchi with Salt Marsh Opera in Connecticut and Rhode Island; performed Zuniga and covered Escamillo with Opera at the Madison on Long Island; performed Perchik in Fiddler on the Roof with Klezmer Company Orchestra in Miami; performed Peter in Hänsel und Gretel and Joey in The Most Happy Fella at Quisisana in Maine; and was invited to perform operatic scenes at Carnegie Hall with New York Lyric Opera Theatre.
In previous years, Conrad made his Carnegie Hall solo debut as the baritone soloist in Robert S. Cohen’s Alzheimer’s Stories; was the baritone soloist in Beethoven Symphony no. 9 with Ars Musica in New Jersey; performed major roles in 3 operas and 6 concerts in Syros, Greece with the Festival of the Aegean and Greek Opera Studio; and was a Studio Artist at Sarasota Opera and Natchez Festival of Music performing Frank in Show Boat, covering Escamillo in Carmen and Rolando in La Battaglia di Legnano. He also performed a concert of opera scenes at the National Opera Center in New York with Opera Breve.
Other previous engagements include the ensemble of Shostakovich’s Symphony No.13 ‘Babi Yar’ and Bach’s B Minor Mass with the New York Philharmonic; the soloist for Messiah and Beethoven Mass in C with the New Mexico Philharmonic, and as a guest artist with the Santa Fe Desert Chorale. An Albuquerque native based in Manhattan, Conrad earned a Bachelor of Music and a Bachelor of Music Education from the University of New Mexico, then a Master of Music from the Manhattan School of Music where performed Raimondo in Lucia di Lammermoore and the bass of the opera box quartet in The Ghosts of Versailles.
Erik Potteiger is a professional singer, percussionist, pianist, and composer currently based in Reading, PA. He received his Bachelors of Music in Choral Music Education and Vocal Performance from the University of South Carolina. Erik has performed vocally as a bass in ensembles and solo setting across a plethora of cities and states in the US, as well as eight countries across three continents. A few of the professional vocal ensembles Erik currently sings for include the 2018-2019 Voces8 Scholars Program Ensemble (London, England), The Cathedral Singers (Columbia, SC), The Cecilia Ensemble (Augusta, GA), Coro Vocati (Atlanta, GA), and The Red Shift (Baton Rouge, LA). He studied voice under Walter Cuttino and Jacob Will, as well as choral singing and directing under Joel Scraper, Alicia Walker, and Larry Wyatt.
Bass-Baritone Gary Scott Press is an active performer in the Greater New York City Area. He is a member of the Musica Viva of New York and the All Souls Church Choir, both based in Manhattan. He has performed choral works with the New York Philharmonic, St. Petersburg Symphony, Choir of the Alvin Alley Dance Company, St. George’s Choral Society, and at Lincoln Center’s White Light Festival and the Hotchkiss Summer Portals. Most recently, he was a vocalist in the world premiere of David Lang’s Mile Long Opera which took place on NYC’s Highline. Mr. Press has performed in all the major performing venues in New York with distinguished conductors including Vladimir Ashkenazy, Yuri Temirkanov, Lorin Maazel, Kent Tritle, James Bagwell and Amy Kaiser. Gary has recently been featured as soloist with The Dessoff Choirs and at The Performing Arts Institute in Northeastern PA. Mr. Press has had a lengthy and diverse life in music having earned performance degrees at the Eastman and Manhattan Schools of Music leading to a performing career as a professional tuba player spanning more than 20 years before shifting his specialization to voice. He has studied with the renowned tenor Robert White.
We may substitute other talented singers depending on your event’s location when the need arises, or due to illness or scheduling conflicts. They are very experienced, having sung with opera and/or Broadway ensembles including such prestigious organizations as the Metropolitan Opera. Requests for particular singers may be made, but they are subject to distance and availability.