Performing Members

Susanna Adams, Viola:

Susanna made the switch from violin to viola in 1999. She is a graduate of Smith College and holds masters degrees from Harvard and Berkeley. She obtained a B.S. in Music Education from U.S.M. in 1997. She is a member of Maineblend, the Woodfords Church Chancel choir, Choral Art Society Masterworks Chorus, and the Southern Maine Symphony Orchestra where she plays viola.

Seth Blank, Horn:

Seth has played Horn since elementary school in New York. He participated in a wide variety of symphonic, opera, chamber and solo work while attending Boston University for both undergraduate and Medical School. Since settling in Maine in 1992, he has played with the Southern Maine Symphony, the Maine State Ballet Orchestra and the Centennial Brass Band. Seth is a physician in the Portland area.

Steven Blumenthal, Piano:

Steve Blumenthal studied piano with Niels Østbye of Columbia University. While pursuing his medical education and later directing a pediatrics emergency room in Queens, New York, he continued post-graduate music studies at Columbia University and at the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College. He participated in master classes with Jeanne-Marie Darré. He now lives in Cape Elizabeth with wife and PSO violinist/teacher Holly Ovenden, and has a pediatrics practice in Portland, Maine.

Mark Braun, Piano:

Mark grew up in Minneapolis, Minnesota, moved to Chicago at age 28 and arrived here in Maine on the winds of the blizzard of ’96. He has been an active member of both the Marston-Kotzschmar Club and the Portland Rossini Club since 1996. In past years, he has played a variety of music, has performed solo, four-hand and eight-hand compositions, and chamber music, including sonatas for French horn and piano, and trios for piano, French horn, and violin or voice. He likes to write his own program notes, finding that the process helps him to better understand and interpret the musical works he’s performing. He is currently an internist in solo practice in Scarborough.

Judith Coleman, Piano:

Judith Coleman took piano lessons from age 9-18, and graduated from Bates College in 1971, majoring in English Literature. She returned to music in the early 80’s, taking many courses at U.S.M. and studying piano with Portland area teachers. She has played for the Rossini and Marston Kotzchmar Clubs 30 years. She devoted the first 15 years of performance to solo repertoire, the next 10 to chamber music, and the last 5 to 4 hands piano music. Judy has taught piano in her home in Standish for 30 years, and now is semiretired, with just a few delightful young students. She enjoys many activities with her retired husband Phil and their 2 sons and 2 granddaughters.

Carol Eaton Elowe, Piano:

Carol Eaton Elowe, born in Portland, Maine, holds a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance from the New England Conservatory and a Master of Music from Syracuse University where she was awarded membership in the honor society Pi Kappa Lambda. Her piano studies began in Portland under Ocy Downs and continued at the Manhattan School of Music with Dora Zazlavsky. Her teachers also include Jean Alderman, Frederick Marvin and Frank Glazer. She has appeared as guest soloist with the Boston Pops Orchestra, the Syracuse Symphony and as part of numerous recital series throughout the Northeast. She was a piano faculty member and recitalist at Phillips Andover Academy for many years. Carol Elowe is a Founder and the first Director of the Portland Conservatory of Music. Presently she is a member of the piano faculty and serves on the Board of Directors.

Robert Enman, Piano, Violin:

Robert studied both piano and violin as a youth in Oregon. As a graduate student at Yale his focus was on the piano where he earned a Master’s Degree in performance. While he has taught piano and appeared in solo and chamber music in each of his teaching positions at the college and private school levels, he has also maintained his skills as a violinist in several symphonies, including his current role as a member of the first violin section in the Bangor Symphony. Having recently retired, Robert is increasingly active in several chamber groups including a piano trio, various instrumental duos, a two piano team, and as violinist in a string quartet.

Barbara Graustein, Cello:

Barbara grew up in Glencoe, Illinois and attended New Trier High School. She received her music degree at Oberlin College where she played in the orchestra and sang with the Oberlin College Choir. On choir tours she sang as well as played cello in the Bach Cantatas. After graduating from Oberlin, she taught third and fourth grade in Evanston, Illinois, in Beirut, Lebanon, and then in Portland, Maine, where she married John. Barbara played cello in the Portland Symphony Orchestra for 16 years and now plays in various ensembles, sings in the Choral Art Society Masterworks Chorus and in the Royal River Chorus, which is part of Sweet Adelines International. Barbara and John have two grown sons, both physicians. They all enjoy skiing, tennis and biking.

Elizabeth Harmon, Soprano:

A Maine native, Beth received her Bachelor of Music degree at  Westminster Choir College where she sang under such inspiring  conductors as Leonard Bernstein, Leopold Stokowski, William  Steinberg, and Sir Malcolm Sargent. Most recently, she has been a  student of Ellen Chickering. She has been Director of the Chancel  Choir at Cumberland Congregational Church for thirty-five years.  Beth is also a longtime member of the Choral Art Society and  recently joined the Greater Freeport Community Chorus. A member  of Portland Rossini Club since 1980, she has served on the Board in  a number of capacities, including Secretary, Scholarship Chair, and Program Chair.  Currently, she is President.

Cynthia Henriques, Piano:

Cynthia attended Chatham Hall in Virginia where she won the Music Prize in her  senior year. She was a piano music major at Smith College, where she sang with the  Smith College Chamber Singers, and she pursued further study with Horace Alwyn at  Bryn Mawr College. She currently studies with Martin Perry in Brunswick, having  previously worked with Kate Lewis and Mary Carr. In addition to her music, Cynnie  volunteers in a few community projects, particularly the Carriage Museum at Skyline Farm. She joined the Portland Rossini Club in 1999.

Jane Hunt, Duo-Piano:

Jane began studying piano at the age of six. Her studies took her to Kneisel Hall, to  Boston, where she studied with Denise Bacon, and New York, where she studied with  Artur and Ruth Balsam. She has enjoyed varied and extensive accompanying  experience, chamber ensemble work, and solo performance. For many years she was  a private piano teacher, and she continues as a church organist. In 2000 Jane joined  the Rossini Club and the Marston-Kotzschmar Club as a duo-pianist and has served  on the Rossini board in different capacities. She currently resides in Fort Fairfield and  Saco.

Mary Johnston, Soprano:

Mary attended Boston Conservatory for both her Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in  Opera. She has received additional education from the “Seagle Music Colony” in  upstate New York and “Flagstaff in Fidenza” in Fidenza, Italy. She studies with Dr.  Rebecca Folsom. Mary has enjoyed membership in the Music Honors Society Pi  Kappa Lambda since her junior year of college. Recently, she has performed in La  Traviata as Violetta, The Mikado as Peep-Bo, Hansel and Gretel as the Sandman, The  Old Maid and the Thief as Mrs. Pinkerton, La Rondine as Magda, and Don Pasquale  as Norina. In addition, Mary served as Soprano section leader for Boston’s historic Old North Church under Libor Dudas’s direction.

Hugh Judge, Violoncello:

Hugh grew up in Naugatuck, CT and has been playing the cello since the age of 8. Hugh studied the cello with John Ruggiero of the Waterbury (CT) Symphony Orchestra, Harry Clark of the Hartford Symphony Orchestra (CT) and with Lorne Munroe of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. He is a 1981 graduate of Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut. Hugh has been a member of the Portland Rossini Club since 1997. When not making music, Hugh works as Vice President and Portfolio Manager for R.M. Davis, Inc. in Portland, and serves on the Board of Directors of the Portland Chamber Music Festival, most recently as Board President. In past years, Hugh has served as Board President of the Portland Conservatory of Music, and on the Annual Fund Committee of the Portland Symphony Orchestra. Hugh lives in Cumberland Foreside with his wife, Lois, and they have 3 grown sons. In his spare time, Hugh enjoys running, hiking, reading history, golf and sailing along the Maine Coast.

Rachel Keller, Soprano:

Rachel Keller first began vocal training as an undergraduate music major in York, England, her native land. There she also sang early music with the Yorkshire Bach Choir and she performed supporting roles with York Opera. Her focus shifted when she pursued Music Therapy graduate studies in Cambridge, England. After this training she immigrated to the Philadelphia, USA where she began to further explore and work in the Music Therapy field. She continued to pursue vocal tuition whilst always enjoying a variety of performance opportunities, including singing with Ancient Voices, an early music ensemble at the University of Pennsylvania. Rachel and her husband moved to Maine in 2002. Since then she has devoted most of her time towards mothering their two children. She recently resumed vocal studies with Kathleen Grammer and she is excited that vocal practice and performance have become an important focus in her life once again. She currently sings with Portland’s Choral Art Society and the St. Mary Schola and she is an active soloist in the greater Portland area. Her other interests include yoga, running, hiking, Nordic skiing, photography, gardening and keeping up with her growing kids.

Christine Wilson Kissack, NCTM:

A native of Maine, Christine maintains an independent piano studio in Falmouth and teaches courses in piano pedagogy at the University of Southern Maine (USM) in Gorham. She holds a bachelors degree in piano performance from Plymouth State College in Plymouth, New Hampshire (now Plymouth State University) and received a masters degree in piano pedagogy from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. A national winner of the D. H. Baldwin Teaching Fellowship Award recognizing excellence in piano teaching, Christine is currently president of the Maine Music Teachers Association. She is a Nationally Certified Teacher of Music by the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) and has served MTNA on the state, division and national levels. She is a regular summer faculty member for the USM’s Southern Maine Piano Institute and PSU’s Piano Monster Festivals. Her professional teaching experience spans 17 years and includes beginner, intermediate and advanced students of all age groups in both group and private settings. She has coached several young pianists to success in local music competitions and is frequently invited to adjudicate piano events in Maine and New Hampshire.

Eleanor Lehmann, Violin, Viola:

Eleanor Lehmann began her musical studies on violin at the San Francisco  Conservatory of Music, in California. Continuing her studies, she received a degree  in music education and performance from San Francisco State University. Upon  graduation, she joined the teaching force in the public school system as music teacher  for a year prior to being offered the opportunity to move to Mexico where she lived  with her husband and children working as a teacher at the Conservatorio National in  Mexico City and performing with many of the professional orchestras of the region.  Upon returning to California in 1986, she accepted positions with the Modesto and  Stockton Symphonies before entering the teaching profession for the Merced City  School District. In 2003, she moved to Maine where she continues to teach both  violin and viola at her private studio and the Portland Conservatory of Music. In  2007, she initiated violin classes at the University of Southern Maine, Portland, for  the Osher- Lifelong Learning Institute. She is an active member of both Portland  Rossini and Marston-Kotzchmar Music Clubs of Maine.

Ruth Matt, Piano:

Ruth studied piano for 13 years between the ages of five and eighteen. As a teenager she accompanied choirs, instrumentalists, musicals, and the local ballet society in Princeton NJ. At Cornell University she accompanied private voice lessons and musicals. While her major was in Spanish Literature and her career is now in investments and financial planning, music has always been a passion and inspiration. She enjoys collaborating with other musicians on any instrument with a current focus on piano duets. Ruth is currently studying with Richard Roberts. She and her husband have lived in Portland since 1988, and have one son, Peter, an enlisted U.S. Marine.

Leah Neuchiller, Piano:

Leah Neuchiller studied piano from the age of 9 and began college as a music major at Brandeis University, where she studied with the French pianist EvelynCrochet. She later earned a Master’s in Social Work degree at the University ofMichigan, and went on to have a career as a clinical social worker and psychotherapist. Music continued to be a passionate avocation, however, and after she moved to Maine in 2006, music once again became central to her life. Since that time, Leah has studied piano with Laura Kargul, and will soon complete the Masters degree program in Piano Pedagogy at USM. Leah teaches piano at L’Ecole Franc̡aise in South Freeport and in her home studio in Cumberland Foreside. She is a member of the Maine Music Teachers’ Association, the Marston-Kotzschmar Club, and plays in various chamber groups.

Eric Peppe, Piano:

Eric Peppe has a Master’s degree in piano performance and a Master’s degree in piano  pedagogy from the University of Southern Maine, where he studied with Laura  Kargul. He has performed solo piano in Maine, Jordan Hall in Boston, and the  Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.. He has taken private lessons from Jeffrey  Kahane, Robert Glover, and Boaz Sharon, and played in masterclasses with Veronica  Jochum, Jerome Rose, Igor Kipnis, Frank Glazer, Christopher O’Riley, and many  others. He has been music director for musical productions in Portland Players,  Portland Lyric Theater, City Theater, Waynflete School, and Scarborough High  School. The regular pianist for three choirs of Musica de Filia, he also accompanies at  NATS competitions twice a year and plays for several instrumental studio recitals  yearly. A recording engineer, he has recorded CDs for The Gorham Community  Chorus, Musica de Filia, The Boy Singers of Maine, the Portland String Quartet, and  more. He produces and often accompanies student audition recordings. He lives in  Westbrook with his family and works as a piano tuner-technician.

Richard Roberts, Piano:

Richard Roberts is professor of music emeritus at the University of New England, where he taught at its constituent, Westbrook College for forty-one years. He holds baccalaureate and master’s degrees from the Juilliard School. He has given solo recitals throughout New England, including at Bates and Bowdoin Colleges, at the University of Southern Maine, at Saint Joseph’s College and at Boston’s Gardner Museum. A former member of the keyboard section of the Portland Symphony Orchestra, he has appeared as soloist with that group in works of Bach, Beethoven, Poulenc and Rachmaninoff. He joined the Club in 2002 and serves on the Board as Program Chair.

Mark Rossnagel, Piano
Mark holds a Bachelor of Music in organ performance from SUNY Binghamton and is finishing his Master’s in piano performance at the University of Southern Maine, where he studies with Laura Kargul. In 2014 he joined the faculty at USM to teach two courses of class piano, and began his tenure as music director at First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church in Portland. He is active in the Greater Portland musical community as both soloist and collaborator and enjoys teaching piano to students of all ages and levels.

Luette Saul, Soprano:

Luette Saul received her Bachelor of Music from the San Francisco Conservatory, and a master’s degree in vocal performance from the University of Southern Maine. Since moving to Maine she has performed as a soloist with the Southern Maine Symphony Orchestra, the Bagaduce Chorale, the Tri-City Community Chorus and others. She premiered new works by Maine composers at the Portland Back Cove festival in 2012, and sang the roles of the Mother and Witch in Paper Bull Puppet’s production of Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel in December. Luette teaches voice at Bates College, and at her studio in Portland. She joined Rossini Club in 2013.

Natalia Shevchuk, Piano:

Our newest member, Natalia graduated in 1994 with a Masters Degree in Piano Playing, Accompanying , and Teaching from the Kiev (Ukraine) State Conservatory (now known as the National Academy of Music). She was a winner of the Rachmaninoff Piano Competition in Kiev in 1993. Her conservatory teachers included Natalia Vitte, Igor Ryabov, and Ada Krivosheina. While still a student, she served as accompanist for the National Ukrainian Academic Drama Theater. Following graduation, until 2001 she worked as pianist and composer in the Kiev Theater of Historical Portrait. In the following decade, she stopped musical practice in favor of literary work and historic research. In 2010, after moving to Conway and marrying Chris Young, she resumed her activity as a pianist. Over the past two years, she has played eight recitals in New Hampshire. Currently, she is Director of Music at the Lutheran Nativity Church in North Conway. She has recently performed piano works by Bach, Beethoven, Schubert, Chopin, Schumann, Rachmaninoff, Prokofiev, and Ravel, as well as two-piano works by Schubert, Mozart, Saint-Saens, and Poulenc.

Virginia Stelk, Cello:

Virginia Stelk began to study ‘cello in the fifth grade of the public school system in Salina, Kansas. She began private study with professors at Bethany College, Lindsborg, Kansas, during high school and continued throughout her BA program, earning her degree in Spanish and music. She was initiated into Sigma Alpha Iota in 1958 and continues her membership with the Boston Alumnae Chapter. While living in Washington, D.C., Massachusetts, Ohio, and New York, Virginia performed with string ensembles and community orchestras, and studied privately at Ohio Wesleyan and Kenyon College. At present in Maine, she is playing with the Midcoast Symphony Orchestra and several string ensembles.

Nicole Trifaro, Piano:

Nicole studied piano for four years in Paris, starting at the age of sixteen. Recently, she studied at the Portland Conservatory of Music. Nicole has performed at the Kennebunkport Community House, the Colony Hotel, and the Wells Library. She lives in Wells with her husband Joseph and her lovely Siamese cat.

Danielle Vayenas, Soprano:

A Portland resident, Danielle has performed as a featured concert soloist in Maine with groups including the Oratorio Chorale, Midcoast Symphony Orchestra, the Maine Music Society, Bowdoin Chorale, and the Choral Art Society, having recently sung the Brahms Requiem with them. She has also sung in the greater Boston area, including with the Salem Philharmonic, the Longwood Opera, the Masterworks Chorale, and the Paul Madore Chorale. Works she has sung include Haydn’s Creation, Mozart’s Requiem and Mass in C minor, Brahms and Verdi’s Requiems and many other oratorio works, as well as selections from opera and Broadway. She started her musical career playing flute and piccolo in high school and college, and began choral singing after graduation. She joined the Choral Art Society after moving to Maine, and subsequently began taking voice lessons with David Goulet, leading to NATS awards in Maine and Boston, and her many performances as a soloist. During her spare time, Danielle is a Director of Communications at the University of Southern Maine.

Maggie Vishneau, Soprano:

Maggie Vishneau grew up in the Midwest, has lived at various times in Orlando, Boston, and Atlanta, but has happily called Maine home for 22 years. She has been singing all her life, performing at various times in church choirs, community choruses, and musical theatre productions. Maggie sang for several years in an Irish band in Boston and has often performed as a soloist for weddings and funerals. In 1982 she began studying vocal repertoire with Donna Rolle in Boston. Successive teachers have included Pamela Stewart of Cape Elizabeth, Maine and Melissa Fontaine of Atlanta, Georgia. Maggie is now studying with Margaret Yauger of Cape Elizabeth, Maine. She retired from Delta Air Lines and is currently employed by the University of Southern Maine.

Nina K. Oatley Walsh, Clarinet:

Nina Oatley Walsh returned to music as a profession and vocation in 1995 when she became a student at the USM School of Music to complete her degree work in music education and  performance, following a nearly 20 year hiatus. Graduating in 2000 with a double major in music education and clarinet performance she has been working and performing in Southern Maine ever since. She has a studio where she provides private instruction on clarinet and saxophone; since 1997 she has been the Music Director for the Italian Heritage Center Concert Band; and she has performed with the Maine State Ballet Orchestra, Maine State Music Theatre, Lyric Theatre, and performed many solo and chamber works for clarinet. She has studied clarinet with Dr.Thomas Parchman, Dr. William Wreszien, Jonathan Cohler and Robert Carabia. She lives in North Yarmouth with her husband Andy Walsh. She is the proud grandmother of three – one girl, and two little boys, and her two adult sons live in Alaska.

Dorothy Anne Whiteside, piano:

Dorothy Anne Whiteside is a native of Queens, New York. She attended the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music, and studied with Zaven Khachaturian. She is also a landscape artist specializing in oils. Anne Lives in North Yarmouth with her husband, Norm, and her daughter Regina. Her son Ted resides in Boston. She has studied locally with Mary Carr and Carol Elowe. She has shared her musical abilities with Norm as his accompanist since his graduate recital at the University of Florida.

Norman Whiteside, Tenor:

Norm lives in North Yarmouth with his wife Anne and his daughter Regina. His son, Ted, resides in Boston. He has performed with the Civic Opera of the Palm Beaches, the Miami Beach Symphony, the Florida Family Opera, and the Greater Miami Opera Association. In addition, locally he has performed with the Lyric Theater, the Freeport Community Players, and the Portland Players. Norm has a BME from the University of Florida and a MM from Indiana University where he performed with the Indiana University Opera Theater and the University of Florida Opera Theater.