Colin Britt serves as Artistic Director and Conductor of the West Village Chorale, as Choir Director at Rutgers Preparatory School, as Music Director for Grace Church Van Vorst in Jersey City, and recently completed an interim appointment directing the choirs at SUNY New Paltz. He completed the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Choral Conducting at Rutgers in 2016, where he studied with Patrick Gardner. Prior to his current appointments, he directed Amuse Singers and North River Sing, and he has also taught on the faculty at the Hartt School and conducted the Hartford Chorale Chamber Singers. His compositions have been performed by ensembles at Rutgers, Westminster Choir College, Hartt, Yale, and Seraphic Fire, the Yale Schola Cantorum, the Yale Alumni Chorus, C4, VOCE, and the Riverside Choral Society, and by ensembles across the country and on four continents. Colin holds degrees from the Hartt School, the Yale School of Music, and Rutgers University.
Hailed by The New York Times for his ensembles’ “warm tone and carefully calibrated blend”, Phillip Cheah is a founding member of C4: The Choral Composer-Conductor Collective and the former Music Director of Central City Chorus, which he led for eleven seasons, and Amuse Singers in New York City. He is a regular guest conductor with various choral ensembles and New York Summer Sings, and has served as the music director for musical theatre productions at The Brearley School, Acting Manitou, Dwight-Englewood School, Bloomington Music Works, and the 13th Street Repertory Company.
Cheah has taught at The Putney School, Cathedral High School, Barnard College, and Manhattan School of Music, and served as the staff accompanist at The Brearley School. He has been the personal assistant to Peter Schickele and worked at Oxford University Press as Manager for Concert and Choral Promotion. He holds both B.S. and M.M. degrees from Indiana University where he studied piano, conducting, and opera coaching. He was also a recipient of the 2002 National Endowment for Humanities Grant to study the German operas of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in Vienna, Austria.
Tyrone Clinton is the founder and director of The Unsung Collective Inc., a nonprofit organization devoted to celebrating people of color in Western art music in NYC. In June of 2021, he pioneered the World Trade Center’s Juneteenth Celebration, the first ever in its history. Exercising the importance of vocal pedagogy for young singers, Clinton has conducted several collegiate ensembles and worked as chorus master alongside John DeMain in Carlisle Floyd’s Susannah at Northwestern University.
Dr. King plays an active role in the vibrant Manhattan choral scene and serves the national and international music community through her guest conducting and body of published work. Her leadership as a conductor is ongoing with not only her own choral ensembles, including the semi-professional Ember Choral Arts and PROJECT: ENCORE, but also as a guest conductor within Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival.
Francisco J. Núñez, a MacArthur Fellow and Musical America’s 2018 Educator of the Year, is a composer, conductor, visionary, leading figure in music education, and the artistic director/founder of the Young People’s Chorus of New York City (YPC). In establishing YPC, he has created an awareness of the ability of young people to rise to unforeseen heights of artistry. YPC’s acclaimed artistry inspires invitations for collaborations and performances from a global array of festivals, cultural institutions, and cities throughout the world. Under his leadership, YPC also provides choristers with artistic outlets beyond the stage. Its mixed-media art installation, Alone Together, exhibited on both coasts. YPC also received a New York Emmy® nomination for its 2020 virtual holiday special, Once Upon the Holidays.
Carmen Roman is a New York City based singer, educator and performer with roots in Youth and Program Development as well as Community Engagement and Organization. She is a graduate of LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts and Hunter College. Carmen is the Director of a center that supports NYC public school students with disabilities as they transition from high school to postsecondary life. She has over 25 years experience in choral music education and programming. Much of that time was with her Youth Chorus in Harlem. Carmen also has experience working with with adult, senior and inter-generational choirs. She prepared her chorus for multiple performances with Sir Elton John. She also had the opportunity to support a 1,000 member rock youth orchestra and choir prepare for a performance in Sioux Falls, where she was also featured as a soloist. Carmen has performed in Kenya, Spain and the Czech Republic. She is a recipient of the ASCAP Foundation Michael Masser Scholarship. Carmen was also awarded grants to support the South Bronx community. Carmen contracted and conducted ensembles for recordings with various artist such as J Cole, Drake, Kanye West, and NEEDTOBREATHE. Carmen is the founder Our Chorus NYC (OCNYC). Participants of OCNYC use their voices to connect and encourage people through story telling.
Jonathan Dove’s music has filled opera houses with delighted audiences of all ages on five continents. He is one of the most performed living opera composers and few, if any, contemporary composers have so successfully or consistently explored the potential of opera to communicate, to create wonder and to enrich people’s lives.
Starting with his breakthrough opera Flight, commissioned by Glyndebourne in 1998, Dove has gone on to write more than thirty operatic works including The Adventures of Pinocchio (2007), Mansfield Park (2011) and Marx in London (2018). Flight, the most successful modern comic opera, has had over thirty productions to date in Europe, the USA and Australia. His television opera When She Died… (2002) was seen by 2.5 million people worldwide.
Dove’s innate understanding of the individual voice is exemplified in his large and varied choral and song output, and his confident optimism has made him the natural choice as the composer for big occasions. In 2010 A Song of Joys for chorus and orchestra opened the festivities at the Last Night of the Proms, and in 2016 an expanded version of Our Revels Now Are Ended premiered at the same occasion. In 2018 They will Rise commissioned by the Dean and Chapter of Westminster Abbey was premiered to commemorate the centenary of the Royal Air Force.
Throughout his career Dove has made a serious commitment to community development through innovative musical projects. Tobias and the Angel, a 75-minute opera written in 1999, brings together children, community choirs, and professional singers and musicians in a vivid and moving retelling of the Book of Tobit. His 2012 opera Life is a Dream, written for Birmingham Opera Company, was performed by professionals and community choruses in a disused Birmingham warehouse. 2015 brought the World Premiere of The Monster in the Maze, a community opera co-commissioned by the London Symphony Orchestra, Berliner Philharmoniker and Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, premiered under the baton of Sir Simon Rattle in three separate translations and productions. The Monster in the Maze has since been performed around the world, translated further into Taiwanese, Portuguese, Swedish and Catalan, and received a BASCA British Composer Award in 2016’s ‘Amateur and Young Performers’ category.
Dove’s work for orchestra has included a Proms commission for the BBC Symphony Orchestra Gaia Theory (2014) which takes its inspiration from the ground-breaking writings of scientist and environmentalist James Lovelock. His work for children and family audiences Gaspard’s Foxtrot, based on the book by Zeb Soanes with illustrations by James Mayhew, was co-commissioned by the Philharmonia Orchestra, Three Choirs Festival Association, Docklands Sinfonia, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and Royal Scottish National Orchestra and premiered in 2019. A film of the work, featuring the RSNO with Zeb Soanes alongside moving illustrations from the book, had already been seen by 104,000 children in 2022. A second Musical Tale, Gaspard’s Christmas, commissioned by the RSNO, premieres in 2022. In Exile (2021) for solo baritone, solo cello and orchestra, depicts a day in the life of an involuntary exile. Written for Simon Keenlyside and Raphael Wallfisch, it was commissioned by the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra as part of its centenary commission series.
Jonathan Dove won the 2008 Ivor Novello Award for classical music and was made a Commander of the British Empire (CBE) in the Queen's 2019 Birthday Honours for services to music.
Alasdair Middleton was born in Yorkshire and trained at the Drama Centre, London.
His work as a librettist includes: with Jonathan Dove – The Monster in the Maze (Berliner Philharmoniker, London Symphony Orchestra, Aix-en-Provence Festival) winner of a BASCA British Composer Award, We Are One Fire (BBC Singers, BBC Proms 2019), Diana and Actaeon (Royal Ballet), The Walk From The Garden (Aegeas Salisbury International Arts Festival), Life Is A Dream (Birmingham Opera), Mansfield Park (Heritage Opera), Swanhunter (Opera North), The Enchanted Pig (The Young Vic, ROH2), The Adventures of Pinocchio (Opera North), and the cantata On Spital Fields (Spitalfields Festival, winner of a Royal Philharmonic Society Award); The Feathered Friend. He has written four plays; Aeschylean Nasty, Shame On You Charlotte, Casta Diva and Einmal.
Simon Halsey occupies a unique position in classical music. He is the trusted advisor on choral singing to the world’s greatest conductors, orchestras and choruses; as an ambassador for choral singing to amateurs of every age, ability and background he has led ground-breaking massed choral events, notably for New York’s Lincoln Center.
Making singing a central part of the world-class institutions with which he is associated, he has been instrumental in changing the level of symphonic singing across Europe. He holds positions across the UK and Europe as Choral Director of London Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, Chorus Director of City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra Chorus, Principal Guest Conductor and Choral Ambassador of Orfeó Català, Creative Director for Choral Music and Projects at WDR Rundfunkchor, Conductor Laureate of Rundfunkchor Berlin and Professor and Director of Choral Activities at University of Birmingham. His work is the subject of the documentary film Unsere Herzen – Ein Klang (Our Hearts – One Sound), which will be released to cinemas in September 2022.
Halsey’s numerous awards include three Grammys for his recordings with the Rundfunkchor Berlin. He was made Commander of the British Empire in 2015, was awarded The Queen’s Medal for Music in 2014, and received the Officer’s Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany in 2011 in recognition of his outstanding contribution to choral music in Germany.
After being named Presidential Scholar in the Arts and performing at the White House Harper joined and performed soloist roles with The Dance Theater of Harlem and later as a Principal Artist in William Forsythe’s Ballet Frankfurt.
Harper has choreographed for The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Richmond Ballet, Ailey II, Tanz Graz, Hubbard Street II, and her own company, The Francesca Harper Project, which was founded in 2005 and tours Internationally.
Harper performed in four Broadway productions including The Color Purple, then toured in leading roles in Sweet Charity, Sophisticated Ladies and Lady Day at Emerson Bar and Grill for which she was nominated for best Actress in a Musical. She also served as a Ballet Consultant for the Oscar winning film, “Black Swan.”
Harper was Movement and Casting Director for The Bessie Award winning, “The Let Go,” commissioned by the Park Avenue Armory and for Zendaya and Tommy Hilfiger’s Apollo Theater production for Fashion Week in 2019. Fellowships include Urban Bush Women’s Choreographic Center Initiative andThe Ballet Center at NYU. New works include a new creation for Wendy Whelan, Associate Artistic Director of The New York City Ballet and her own autobiographical work, “Unapologetic Body, supported by Urban Bush Women’s CCI. Harper is currently engaged as Executive Producer with Sony Pictures on a series in development while also pursuing an MFA in performance creation at Goddard College. In 2021 Francesca was appointed as Artistic Director for Ailey II in addition to being commissioned by filmmaker Ava Duvernay to create an original work that will Premiere at the Guggenheim museum in March, 2023.
Commissioned by Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts
Main page photo credits: Nina Wurtzel (Harper); Marshal Light Studio (Dove); Jamey Stillings, courtesy First Republic Bank (Núñez)