The Thirteen’s Artistic Advisory Board
Christopher Arneson is a professional voice trainer and vocologist who works with singers and actors to build powerful, effective voices. In 2003, he joined the voice faculty at Westminster Choir College of Rider University where he is Director of Voice Pedagogy, and teaches Voice, Voice Pedagogy, Literature for Teaching, and Speech for the Actor. Dr. Arneson is the co-director of the CoOPERAtive Program, a young artist program for singers, held at Westminster Choir College.
Dr. Arneson’s students have gone on to further study in the Master of Music, Artist Diploma, and Doctoral programs at Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, Boston University, Ithaca College, Eastman School of Music, Indiana University and Yale School of Music. They have also appeared in young artist programs at Chautauqua Opera, Central City Opera, Santa Fe Opera, and Washington National Opera. His professional-level students have appeared at the Metropolitan Opera, New York City Opera, Los Angeles Opera, San Francisco Opera, and Lyric Opera of Chicago.
Dr. Arneson has enjoyed success in opera, concert and recital. His operatic repertoire ranges from Baroque to contemporary, with performances of works by Handel and Lully, John Adams and Phillip Glass. His formative training was with the Tri-cities Opera where he debuted as Silvio in I Pagliacci, at the age of 22. Many of Dr. Arneson’s most significant successes occurred in Mozart operas, with acclaimed performances as Don Giovanni, Figaro, Count Almaviva, and Guglielmo. He has appeared with the Opera Orchestra of New York in works of Donizetti and Boildieu, and as Figaro in the Metropolitan Opera Guild’s production of The Barber of Seville. He appeared with the New Jersey Symphony singing the Old American Songs of Aaron Copland and in performances of Strauss’ Zigeunerbaron with the New York Philharmonic under the direction of Kurt Mazur In Europe, Dr. Arneson appeared at the Netherlands Opera, the Paris Opera, and the The Edinburgh Festival in Scotland.
Dr. Arneson is a frequent guest speaker regarding the training and care of the professional voice. He is a faculty member for the New York Singing Teachers Association’s (NYSTA) professional development program, where he teaches classes in vocal repertoire and applied pedagogy. Dr. Arneson is chair of the NATS Pedagogy Curriculum Committee and has recently published articles in the NATS Journal of Singing; “Teaching Teachers and Performance Anxiety: A 21st Century Perspective”.
Dr. Arneson was formerly the co-director of the Voice and Speech department in the MFA program at the renowned Actors Studio of the New School University in New York. In addition, he taught voice and vocal pedagogy at the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Dr. Arneson completed vocology internships at the Grabscheid Voice Center at Mt. Sinai Hospital and the Vox Humana Laboratory at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital, both in New York, where he continues to collaborate with otolaryngologists and speech-language pathologists in the remediation of voice disorders. Dr. Arneson holds both Bachelor of Music and Master of Music in Opera degrees from Binghamton University, completed post-graduate studies at Cornell University where he studied with renowned Verdi scholar Roger Parker, and earned a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University where he studied Seventeenth Century Venetian Opera with Dr. Irene Alm. Dr. Arneson is an editor for The Journal of Singing, Unbridled Books, Inside View Press. He will also edit the new revised edition of the Royal Conservatory of Music’s Vocal Repertoire Collection, published by Frederick Harris, Ltd. He is a member of the American Academy of Teachers of Singing, and he has recently been designated as Master Teacher for the NATS 2011 Teaching Intern Program.
James David Christie
James David Christie has been internationally acclaimed as one of the finest organists of his generation. He has performed around the world with symphony orchestras and period instrument ensembles as well as in solo recitals. He was the 1979 First Prize winner of the Bruges (Belgium) International Organ Competition and was the first American ever to win First Prize in this prestigious competition; he was also the first person in the competition’s eighteen-year history to win both the First Prize and the Prize of the Audience. James David Christie has served as Organist of the Boston Symphony Orchestra since 1978 and has performed and recorded with the major orchestras of Vienna, London, Stuttgart, Koblentz, Paris, Philadelphia, San Francisco, San Diego, Seattle, Baltimore, New York, Boston, etc. He has given over fifty tours of Europe and performs regularly in Canada, Asia, Australia and Iceland. He is Music Director of Ensemble Abendmusik, a Boston-based period instrument orchestra and chorus specializing in sacred music of the 17th and 18th centuries. He has performed with many period instrument orchestras including the Academy of Ancient Music, the Bach Ensemble, Handel & Haydn Society, Boston Baroque, the New York Collegium, etc. He was awarded an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree from the New England School of Law for his outstanding contributions to the musical life of Boston and the New England Conservatory honored him with their Outstanding Alumni Award. James David Christie has recorded for Decca, Philips, Nonesuch, JAV, Northeastern, Arabesque, Denon, RCA, Dorian, Naxos, Bridge and GM and has received several awards for his solo recordings, including the Preis der Deutschen Schallplatten Kritik and the Magazine d’Orgue: Coup de Coeur.
James David Christie holds positions as the Distinguished Artist in Residence at the College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, MA, Chair and Professor of Organ at the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music, Oberlin, OH, and serves as College Organist at Wellesley College, Wellesley, MA. He has previously held positions at Boston Conservatory, Harvard University, M.I.T. and Boston University. This past season, he performed many concerts and master classes in the United States, Japan, Estonia, Germany, France, the Netherlands, and Monaco and served on international competition juries in Erfurt-Merseburg-Weimar (Germany) and the First Canadian International Organ Competition in Montreal. He was the featured artist and teacher for the 2010 Académie “Dom Bedos” in Bordeaux on the restored Dom Bedos organ of 1748 at the Église de Sainte Croix; he gave master classes at the Chateau de Versailles and at the Conservatoire à Rayonnement Régional de Paris and performed recitals in Toulouse, Reims and Paris, including the final 2010 Tuesday Evening Artists Concert at Notre Dame Cathedral. In the summer of 2011, he taught and performed at the McGill Summer Organ Academy in Montreal, Canada, the Oberlin Summer Organ Academy for High School Students and he gave concerts in Spain, Germany and France. This coming year, he will serve on international competition juries in Lübeck, Moscow and Amsterdam.
National Philharmonic Chorale Artistic Director Stan Engebretson has conducted throughout the United States and in Europe, most notably in the Cathedral of St. Mark in Venice, Italy, and in conducting workshops in Cologne and Trier, Germany and St. Moritz, Switzerland. He has studied with great masters of choral music, including Robert Shaw, Gregg Smith, Richard Westenburg, Roger Wagner and Eric Ericson, Conductor Emeritus of the world-renowned Swedish Radio Choir in Stockholm, Sweden.
A native of North Dakota, Engebretson grew up in a musical environment, receiving his early training in the Scandinavian choral tradition. After receiving undergraduate and Master's degrees in Piano and Voice from the University of North Dakota, he earned his Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Conducting from Stanford University. Dr. Engebretson has held faculty positions within the University of Texas system and at the University of Minnesota. In addition, he served as the Artistic Director of the Midland-Odessa Symphony Chorale and was the Associate Conductor of the Minnesota Chorale.
In Washington, DC since 1990, Dr. Engebretson, in addition to his work with the National Philharmonic Chorale, is Professor of Music and Director of Choral Studies at George Mason University, and is the Director of Music at the historic New York Avenue Presbyterian Church. From 1993-2003, he was the Artistic Director of the predecessor to the National Philharmonic Chorale, the Masterworks Chorus and Orchestra, and their semi-professional smaller ensemble, the National Chamber Singers. In addition to these commitments, Dr. Engebretson remains active in other areas, including performances as a professional chorister. From 1993-2000, he served as lecturer for the Carmel Bach Festival and since 1998, he has led the Smithsonian Institution’s Study Journeys at the Spoleto-USA Festival of the Arts. In the summer of 2003, Dr. Engebretson appeared at the Europa Cantat in Barcelona, Spain, guiding participants on the presentation and interpretation of American music.
Hugh Ferguson Floyd
Hugh Ferguson Floyd is Coordinator of Choral Music at Furman and Director of Furman Singers. Prior to Furman, Dr. Floyd was Director of Choral Studies at the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music and conductor of the Akron Symphony Chorus. At Oberlin, Dr. Floyd conducted the College Choir, the College Singers, and the Musical Union with the Oberlin Chamber Orchestra. He also taught conducting and frequently prepared the opera chorus. The Oberlin College Choir performed regularly with the Cleveland Orchestra, and recently sang for the American Choral Directors Convention and with the renowned Kronos Quartet.
Dr. Floyd is a graduate of Furman University, the Eastman School of Music, and the University of Michigan. He studied conducting privately with Elizabeth A.H. Green, Margaret Hillis, and Ann Howard Jones. He has conducted workshops, master-classes, and All-State Choirs around the country. Prior to Furman and Oberlin, he was Director of Choral Activities at The Interlochen Center for the Arts, assistant conductor of the Charlotte (North Carolina) Symphony and director of the Oratorio Singers of Charlotte. He served as chorus master for the Grand Rapids (Michigan) Symphony, and opera chorus master and conductor in residence at the Brevard Music Center. Dr. Floyd has also prepared ensembles for the Cleveland Opera and for such eminent conductors as Robert Shaw, Margaret Hillis, Robert Page, Franz Welser-Möst, Ben Zander and Robert Spano.
J. Reilly Lewis
J. Reilly Lewis, a native of Washington, DC, began his musical career at the age of eight as a member of the Junior Boy’s Choir at Washington National Cathedral. He received his bachelor’s degree from Oberlin College and master’s and doctoral degrees from The Juilliard School of Music. In 1985 he was selected as Music Director of the Cathedral Choral Society , the resident symphonic chorus of Washington National Cathedral. He has conducted the Cathedral Choral Society in appearances at the Kennedy Center, most recently in performances of Orff’s Carmina Burana with The Washington Ballet and Handel’s Messiah with the National Symphony Orchestra. Dr. Lewis has presided over many premiere performances with the Choral Society at Washington National Cathedral including several world premieres. He leads the Cathedral Choral Society in eight of its current recordings.
An internationally known Bach specialist, Dr. Lewis is founding music director of the Washington Bach Consort. A keyboard artist and conductor, he has performed at the Aspen Music Festival, the International Handel and Bach festivals held in Halle and Leipzig respectively, the Cologne New Music Festival, and in Washington with the Smithsonian Chamber Players. He has performed Bach’s Goldberg Variations in concert many times and given numerous solo organ recitals throughout the U.S. and abroad. Dr. Lewis has been the featured organ soloist with the National Symphony Orchestra at several summer concerts and recently performed Barber’s Toccata Festiva, with Leonard Slatkin at the podium, in a Cathedral Choral Society concert. Among his most recent honors are the University Club of Washington’s 2004 Distinguished Washingtonian Award for the Arts and a 2005 Special Recognition Mayor’s Arts Award for his significant contributions to the arts and cultural community of Washington, D.C. Washingtonian Magazine named him a “2005 Washingtonian of the Year.”
Nathan Medley is rapidly becoming one of the leading countertenors of his generation. His upcoming season includes his Los Angeles Philharmonic debut under Gustav Dudamel premiering John Adams’ new oratorio, ‘The Gospel According to the other Mary’. His performing career has taken him around the United States and Europe singing recital, oratorio and opera repertoire. His opera credits include the roles of Oberon in A Midsummer Night's Dream, Dema in Cavalli's L'Egisto, and Ottone in Monteverdi's L'incoronazione di Poppea. The latter of which he covered for the Juilliard School on short notice. As Ottone, Medley won praise from Clevelend critics for an interpretation "sung with baroque perfection." Mr. Medley ...has worked under the direction of Stephen Stubbs, Umberto Finazzi, Sally Stunkel, Jonathon Field, Webb Wiggins, and Danielle Patelli. As a core member of the ensemble, Echoing Air, Medley sings frequent concert performances of chamber music. Echoing Air, now in its third season, enjoys a full local concert season in Indianapolis as well as annual tours throughout the midwest and United States. In addition to the standard baroque concert repertoire, Mr. Medley frequently commissions and performs modern works in an effort to broaden public awareness of the countertenor voice type. In 2008, Mr. Medley became a Presser Scholar and began a study of pedagogical approaches to the countertenor voice type and 20th-century countertenor repertoire. He has appeared in master classes with Marilyn Horne, Emma Kirkby, and Ellen Hargis, and holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Oberlin Conservatory in voice and historical performance. Nathan is also an active teacher with students of all ages and skill levels. He is an adjunct professor of voice at Marian University and also teaches at the University of Indianapolis.
Andrew Megill is recognized as one the leading choral conductors of his generation, known for his passionate artistry and unusually wide-ranging repertoire, extending from early music to newly composed works. He has prepared choruses for performances with many leading orchestras, including the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, the National Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, and the Dresden Philharmonie, collaborating with conductors such as Pierre Boulez, Charles Dutoit, Rafael Fruhbeck du Burgos, Kurt Masur, and Kent Nagano.
Mr. Megill teaches at Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ, and serves as Chef de choeur for the Montreal Symphony Orchestra and as Music Director of the Masterwork Chorus. He is especially admired for his work in Baroque music. He is Artistic Director of Fuma Sacra, one of America's finest ensembles specializing in early music, and frequently collaborates with leading Baroque specialists, including Masaaki Suzuki and Ton Koopman. Mr Megill has been a guest conductor at the Yale Institute of Sacred Music, the Juilliard Opera Center, and Emmanuel Music (Boston), and served as interim choirmaster for Trinity Church (Wall Street) in Manhattan.
His repertoire extends from early music to newly commissioned works. He has conducted regional or world premieres of works by Caleb Burhans, Paul Chihara, Sven-David Sändstrom, Lewis Spratlan, Stephen Stuckey, Jon Magnussen, and Arvo Pärt and has collaborated with the Mark Morris Dance Company, folk singer Judy Collins, puppeteer Basil Twist, and filmmaker Ridley Scott.
Joe Miller is conductor of two of America’s most renowned choral ensembles – the Westminster Choir and the Westminster Symphonic Choir. As director of choral activities at Westminster Choir College of Rider University in Princeton, N.J., he also oversees an extensive choral program that includes eight ensembles.
His recordings with the Westminster Choir have garnered critical praise. His debut CD, Flower of Beauty, was described by American Record Guide as setting “the gold standard.” Noël, a collection of French Christmas music recorded at New York’s Cathedral of Saint John the Divine with renowned mezzo-soprano Jennifer Larmore, was the centerpiece of a 2010 national public radio holiday program. His 2011-2012 season with the Westminster Choir includes a concert tour of the South, several national radio broadcasts, a Carnegie Hall Community Sing concert and their annual residency at the Spoleto Festival USA.
Dr. Miller is also founder and conductor of the Westminster Chamber Choir, a program that offers professional-level choral and vocal artists the opportunity to explore challenging works for two weeks each summer on the Westminster campus in Princeton. He also leads the annual Westminster Choral Festival, which welcomes singers and conductors to study and perform a major choral work with orchestra.
In demand as a guest conductor and clinician, this season he will participate in residencies at Baldwin-Wallace Conservatory of Music and Temple University. He will also conduct the Texas All-State Choir, the ACDA (American Choral Directors Association) Southern Division High School Honor Choir and Oklahoma All-State Collegiate Choir. He will also serve as headliner for the Georgia ACDA and collaborate with David Robertson and the Orchestra of St. Luke's for Carnegie Hall’s Carmina Burana Project. Dr. Miller earned a master’s degree and a doctorate in choral conducting from the College-Conservatory of Music, University of Cincinnati. He holds a bachelor’s degree in music education and voice from the University of Tennessee.
Steven Rickards has received international acclaim as one of America’s finest countertenors. He recently took part in the premiere of John Adams's oratorio El Niño at the Châtelet opera in Paris. There have been subsequent performances of the work with the Adelaide Symphony, the BBC Philharmonic, the Deutsches Symphonie Orchester, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, the Tokyo Symphony, and the Malmö Opera (Sweden). His schedule of performances has included frequent appearances Joshua Rifkin and the Bach Ensemble with performances throughout the United States, Europe, and Australia. He has also performed with The American Bach Soloists, Chanticleer, Ensemble Voltaire, the Gabrieli Consort, Chicago ’s Music of the Baroque, the New London Consort, The St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Seattle Baroque Orchestra, the Opera Company of Philadelphia, The Santa Fe Opera, and the symphony orchestras of Indianapolis, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, and St. Louis and Tokyo. He has sung at Carnegie Hall with the Oratorio Society of New York, and in France as a soloist with The Festival Singers under the direction of Robert Shaw and with Paul Hillier and the Theatre of Voices. Rickards was the was the soloist in the American premiere performance of Michael Nyman's Self-Laudatory Hymn of Inanna and Her Omnipotence with the Netherlands Wind Ensemble at Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall. He has recorded for Chanticleer, Decca, Dorian, Four Winds, Gothic, Harmonia Mundi, Koch, Newport Classics, Smithsonian, and Teldec the labels. Rickards can also be heard on the Naxos label where he has recorded two solo albums with lutenist Dorothy Linell of the songs of John Dowland and Thomas Campion.
Steven currently lives in Indianapolis where he teaches singing at Butler University, Marian University, and the University of Indianapolis, where he is director of the Vocal Arts Institute. He received his doctorate from Florida State University.