PERFORMERS

SOPRANOS

Photo: Lu Zang Photography

SOPHIE AMELKIN (3rd Season) | 2018 CD Launch Concert

Hometown: Wilmington, NC

Current Residence: St. Paul, MN

Awards & Distinctions: 2017 St. Paul Schubert Club Special Music Grant.

Upcoming Engagements: Santa Fe Desert Chorale 2018 Summer Festival Season; Concert season with VocalEssence Ensemble Singers.

Past Career Highlights: Professional Fellowship, SongFest, Los Angeles (CA); Soprano soloist, world premiere of Paul John Rudoi’s oratorio Sermon on the Mount; Despina in Così fan tutte with Opera Wilmington; Saint Teresa of Avila in Four Saints in Three Acts with VocalEssence and the Metropolitan Symphony.

Educational Background: Master of Music (Vocal Performance), University of Minnesota; Bachelor of Music, University of North Carolina, Wilmington.

Passion Outside of Singing: Any opportunity to travel to new places! Spending time with my wonderful husband, Matthew and my sweet beagle, Lucy.

Special Desert Chorale Memory: “My very first day of rehearsal of my very first season with the Desert Chorale. I will never forget the moment when we all opened our mouths and began to sing – it was a magical sensation to weave my voice into the fabric of such wonderful colleagues.”

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Photo: Amy Coady

SARAH HAWKEY (2nd Season) | 2018 CD Launch Concert

Hometown: Florissant, MO

Current Residence: New York, NY

Awards & Distinctions: Recipient of the National Endowment for the Humanities Grant for the study of J.S. Bach in Germany; First Place Winner of the Opera Theater of St. Louis Artist-in-Training Competition; Semi-Finalist in the Oratorio Society of New York Competition; Semi-Finalist in the Rochester Oratorio Society Competition.

Upcoming Engagements: Appearance in an Italian repertoire program with Duo Seraphim, the acclaimed viola da gamba-soprano duo, on The Gotham Early Music Scene, Inc. series; World premiere of Matriarch by Abraham Z. Morrison for viola da gamba and soprano; Co-creating an entire program of new music for soprano and period instruments by composers including Jessica Meyer, Pamela Stein-Lynde, and Anthony Blake Clark.

Past Career Highlights: World premiere of Kverndokk’s Upon This Handful of Earth (Role of Child), New York Opera Society & Sacred Music in a Sacred Space; Mozart’s Mass in C minor, K.427 (Soprano 1), The Gotham Early Music Scene, Inc., Greeley Philharmonic and Western New York Chamber Orchestra; Vivaldi’s solo motet In furore iustissimae irae RV 626 and Handel’s Messiah with a Baroque orchestra (New York, NY).

Educational Background: University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music.

Passion Outside of Singing: “I love nature, especially backcountry alpine hiking and wilderness camping in Yosemite. In my spare time, I study the metaphysical properties of stones, dive deeper into my meditation/trance practice, and teach both yoga and violin.”

Special Desert Chorale Memory: “Being so moved by the power of our first performance of Poulenc’s Liberté that I burst into tears during the applause.”

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Photo: Brent Hetherington

CHELSEA HELM (Debut Season) | 2018 CD Launch Concert

Hometown: West Bloomfield, MI

Current Residence: Houston, TX

Awards & Distinctions: First Place 2013 Grand Rapids Collegiate Vocal Competition; 2013 Western Michigan University School of Music Presidential Scholar.

Upcoming Engagements: Title role in the premiere of Lolly Willowes in Michael Alec Rose’s chamber musical, Houston, TX.

Past Career Highlights: Norina in Donizetti’s Don Pasquale, Janiec Opera Company; Soloist in Orff’s Carmina Burana, Grand Rapids Symphony; Soloist in Schubert’s Salve Regina, D.676 and Vaughan Williams’ Serenade to Music, Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra.

Educational Background: Master of Music (Voice Performance), The Shepherd School of Music, Rice University; Bachelor of Music (Voice Performance and Music Education), Western Michigan University.

Passion Outside of Singing: Yoga.

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Photo: Bonica Ayala Photography

STEFANIE MOORE: (7th Season) | 2018 CD Launch Concert

Hometown: Austin, TX

Current Residence: Santa Monica, CA

Awards & Distinctions: 2003 Victoria Bach New Young Artist, 2016 GRAMMY® Award Nomination for Considering Matthew Shepard with Conspirare.

Upcoming Engagements: Conspirare National Tours of Considering Matthew Shepard and the PBS telecast of the work in conjunction with the 20th anniversary of Matthew Shepard’s death (2018); Exploring the issues of social justice and diversity/representation through the art of choral music with Alexander Blake’s Tonality (CA); Soprano soloist in a fully-staged production of Bernstein’s Mass with the Austin Symphony, Ugandan Children’s Choir, Conspirare, Marching Band, and Christopher Cross led by Conductor Peter Bray.

Past Career Highlights: Soprano soloist for the Fauré Requiem and Lili Boulanger’s Pie Jesu with the late Conductor J. Reilly Lewis and the Cathedral Choral Society at the National Cathedral (DC); Gala Season-Opening concert of the Mozart Requiem with the Austin Symphony and Peter Bay which was live-streamed; World premiere of Craig Hella Johnson’s Considering Matthew Shepard.

Educational Background: Master of Music (Opera Performance), University of Kansas; Special Course (Voice), Trinity Conservatory of Music, London; Bachelor of Music (Voice), University of Kansas.

Passion Outside of Singing: “Cats, yoga, murder mysteries, and my sweet son, Tristan.”

Special Desert Chorale Memory: “At the end of my first season our small group had one more concert while the large group season had officially ended. A baritone didn’t realize this, so he went home! We were a one-to-a-part chamber music group with difficult repertoire including Hindemith Madrigals! Dennis Shrock had to sight read the missing baritone’s part, which was revenge for programming such difficult music. What a way to end a season!”

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Photo: John Armato

EMILY NOËL (6th Season) | 2018 CD Launch Concert

Hometown: Baltimore, MD

Current Residence: Winchester, VA

Upcoming Engagements: Release of Jessica Krash’s new song cycle Sulpicia on Albany Records; Program of 17th century songs with The Folger Consort; East Coast tour with folk band Floyds Row.

Past Career Highlights: Belinda in Dido and Aeneas and Mariana in Measure for Measure at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts; The Merchant of Venice at the Wannamaker Theatre at Shakespeare’s Globe in London; The Second Shepherds’ Play with the Folger Theatre.

Educational Background: Master of Music, Peabody Conservatory; Bachelor of Music, University of Maryland.

Passion Outside of Singing: Directing the opera productions at the Community College of Rhode Island.

Special Desert Chorale Memory: “Meeting Harris Ipock during the 2013 summer season… we were married on June 10, 2017!”

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Photo: Summer Maulden

KATHLENE RITCH (10th Season) | 2018 CD Launch Concert

Hometown: Kerrville, TX

Current Residence: Santa Fe, NM

Upcoming Engagements: SFDC tours!; Radio host on Classical KHFM; Voice Faculty at Santa Fe University of Art and Design.

Past Career Highlights: Sweeney Todd with George Hearn and Patti Lupone, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts; Hermione in Die ägyptische Helena with Deborah Voigt and the American Symphony Orchestra; Considering Matthew Shepard with Conspirare, Symphony Hall, Boston.

Educational Background: Bachelor of Music Studies, University of Texas at Austin.

Passion Outside of Singing: My family.

Special Desert Chorale Memory: “My Community Engagement appearance last winter was as part of a quartet caroling at CHRISTUS St. Vincent. The people we sang for were so appreciative and even sang along. It was a wonderful hour of healing through music and smiles.”

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Photo: Amanda Davis Kent Smith Photography

ALISSA RUTH (2nd Season) | 2018 CD Launch Concert

Hometown: Lexington, OH

Current Residence: Columbus, OH

Upcoming Engagements: Performances with the Santa Fe Desert Chorale; Performances with the Lancaster Chorale, (OH); Vocalist with Aire Born Recording Choir for Beckenhorst Press, Zionsville (IN).

Past Career Highlights: Soloist for Jake Runestad’s The Hope of Loving; Soloist for Eric Whitacre’s Alleluia; Soloist for Claudio Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610 with Lancaster Chorale (OH).

Educational Background: Bachelor of Music (Education), Capital University (OH).

Passion Outside of Singing: Running, cooking, and travel.

Special Desert Chorale Memory: “I look forward to creating wonderful memories with the Chorale.”

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