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 choir, ChoralArt Masterworks Chorus, and the Southern Maine Symphony Orchestra where she plays viola. She is co-chair of the Advisory Council of the Portland Conservatory of Music. Susanna has been a member of the Portland Rossini Club since 2009 and currently serves as Secretary of the Executive Board.
Katherine Berry, cello:
At the age of ten, Katherine began studying with the late Katherine Hatch Graffam, Rossini Club member and principal cellist of the Portland Symphony Orchestra. When she was 16, she played with the Portland Symphony Orchestra under Arthur Lipkin and Paul Vermel. She graduated from The Northern Conservatory of Music in Bangor in 1971. While attending college she played in the Bangor Symphony with Peter Re. She studied cello with Marian Heller of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, who was cellist with the now well known Portland String Quartet. A resident of Portland, she currently plays in the Southern Maine Symphony Orchestra under Robert Lehmann. She enjoys playing cello and playing basketball with her 3 grandchildren.
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 Orchestra, the Maine State Ballet Orchestra and the Centennial Brass Band and substitutes in the Midcoast Symphony Orchestra. Seth is a physician in the Portland area and has been a member of the Portland Rossini Club since 2004.
Steven Blumenthal, piano:
Steven 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. Steve has been a member of the Portland Rossini Club since 2009.
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 eighthand compositions, and chamber music, including works for French horn and piano, trios for piano, French horn, and violin, as well as works for voice and piano. 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 serves on the Board of the Portland Conservatory of Music. In his professional life, he is an internist and geriatrician in solo practice in Scarborough.
Timothy Carter, cello:
A native of California, Tim is an adopted New Yorker and a recent immigrant to Cape Elizabeth. He attended the same conservatory as YoYo Ma (aka Harvard), but alas, as a double bassist, where he played in the HRO and in the first iteration of the WGBH studio orchestra under Joshua Rifkin. In 1976 he co-founded Music at Gretna, part of the Pennsylvania Chautauqua, where he performed chamber music in broadcast concerts with the Audubon Quartet and members of the Baltimore, Pittsburgh and Chicago Symphonies. Formerly principal double bassist of the Harrisburg and Norwalk Symphonies and of the International Chamber Orchestra of NY, he downsized to cello in 2000 after being ambushed by crippling bilateral carpal tunnel syndrome, beginning studies on that instrument with Maxine Neuman and Barbara Stein Mallow, and quickly becoming principal cellist of the Lawyers Orchestra of NY and a founding member of the Abbey String Quartet and the TAHJ piano trio. He currently studies with Patrick Owen, cellist in the PSQ. He has participated as a cellist in the Chamber Music Conference of the East at Bennington College for 17 years. His meager professional cello resume includes section cello in the Hawthorne (NJ) Symphony and the yearly engagements as a soloist performing the Bruch Kol Niedre on Yom Kippur. Currently a member of the Midcoast Symphony Orchestra, he is still playing with the TAHJ piano trio in NY, a clarinet trio in Portland and is in the process of forming a string quartet. In a recent echo of his former life, he has been appointed Emeritus Professor of Cell and Molecular Biology at St. John’s University in N.Y.
Jazmin DeRice, Mezzo Soprano:
Jazmin DeRice attended school for Vocal Performance at USM and Mannes School of Music. Currently, she teaches voice lessons and takes care of creatures as a large animal veterinary assistant.
Scott Eaton, piano:
Scott, who comes from Kennebunk, started studying piano with Kim Karchenese of Cape Neddick, at age 5, and continued through high school, where he accompanied the choruses and musicals. While studying electrical engineering at Northeastern University he became more interested in classical music and started taking lessons with Valentina Lass through New England Conservatory’s Continuing Education program. He now lives in Portland, and is a student of Martin Perry in Brunswick. He joined the Portland Rossini Club in 2016.
Torrey Gimpel, soprano:
Torrey Gimpel, soprano: Torrey grew up in Maine and has a Bachelor’s degree from Carroll University in Vocal Performance and Philosophy of Religion, Master’s degree from Westminster Choir College with an emphasis in Vocal Pedagogy, and a Master’s degree in Music Therapy and Counseling from Drexel University. She has had the privilege, through the Symphonic Choir, to have performed under the direction of Christoph Eschenbach, Franz Welser-Möst, Neeme Järvi. In the Philadelphia area, she worked as a board certified music therapist, maintained a private voice studio, and performed as a guest soloist for various churches and choirs until the fall of 2017 when she moved back to Maine. She currently maintains a small private practice as a board-certified music therapist in the Lewiston/Auburn area and works full time as a Conditionally Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor while pursuing performance opportunities. Torrey has had the opportunity to be a guest soloist throughout central Maine at various churches, has sung as a soloist for the Maine Music Society performance of Judas Maccabeus, and performed with Opera Maine as a member of the chorus for the production of De Vliegende Hollander in summer of 2022 under the direction of Maestro Israel Gursky. She joined Portland Rossini Club in 2018 and currently serves as Secretary of the Executive Board.
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 ChoralArt Masterworks 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 tennis and biking. Barbara joined the Portland Rossini Club in 2006.
Elizabeth Harmon, soprano:
A Maine native, Beth is a graduate of Westminster Choir College where she sang under such inspiring conductors as Leonard Bernstein, Leopold Stokowski, William Steinberg, and Sir Malcolm Sargent. She recently retired after being Director of the Chancel Choir at Cumberland Congregational Church for thirty-six years. Beth is also a longtime member of ChoralArt Masterworks, and a former member of ChoralArt Singers and Camerata. A member of the Portland Rossini Club since 1980, she has served on the Board in a number of capacities, including Secretary, Program Chair, and President. Currently, she is Scholarship Chair.
Malinda Haslett, soprano:
Malinda is a worldwide performer with more than 30 leading roles to her name. A scholar who earned her Doctor of Music in Arts degree from Stony Brook University, she is currently the Director of Vocal studies at the University of Southern Maine. Selected international solo performances include those at the Royal Opera House (London, UK), solo recitals in Beirut (Lebanon) and Danang (Vietnam). Her Berlin debut took place at the famed Konzerthaus in the German premiere of Ethel Smyth’s Prison. She has sung Nannetta in Falstaff, both with the Le Grand Théâtre de Limoges and the Le Grand Théâtre d Reims. She has sung Pamina in Die Zauberflöte and Micaëla in Carmen with the Festival Lyrique-en-mer and in Italy. Earlier this fall, she presented a lecture recital in Wales (with pianist Scott Wheatley), championing the music of Claude Arrieu, female composer and member of the French Resistance. In addition to singing recitals at University of Southern Maine and Tulane University, her upcoming orchestral performances include Mozart’s Exsultate Jubilate at Merrill Hall in Portland, Maine, followed by John Mackey’s Places We No Longer Go with Casco Bay Wind Symphony. In the spring, she will sing Vive la revolution! Songs that created change in celebration of the 19th Amendment ratifying the women’s right to vote, followed by performances in Boston at the Eustis Estate and St. Bardolph’s Club.
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 also sang with the Smith College Chamber Singers. She pursued further piano 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.
Betsy Hooper, violin:
Music has always been an essential avocation for Betsy. As a young child, Betsy began violin lessons with her mother. Her first orchestral experience was with the Vermont Youth Orchestra under Peter Brown. Later she attended Interlochen Arts Academy where she studied with Rosemary Malocsay. As an Engineering student at Duke University, she studied violin under Giorgio Ciompi, and followed up as a grad student at UC Berkeley studying under Felix Khuner. Following a several decade digression into traditional fiddle music – Scottish, Irish, and Swedish – she returned to her classical roots, playing with the Manassas Symphony Orchestra in Virginia under James Villani. Recently come to Maine and living in Gorham, she currently plays with the Southern Maine Symphony Orchestra under Robert Lehmann with whom she also takes the occasional violin lesson.
Mary Johnston (Letellier), soprano:
Mary attended Boston Conservatory for both her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees 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. Mary joined the Portland Rossini Club in 2012.
Hugh Judge, cello:
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 1996. When not making music, Hugh works as Vice President and Portfolio Manager for R.M. Davis, Inc. in Portland, and currently serves on the Board of the Mid Coast Hunger Prevention Program in Brunswick and as a member of the Town of Cumberland Coastal Waters Commission. In the past, Hugh has served as President of the Board of Directors of the Portland Chamber Music Festival, 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 was raised in a musical family in Yorkshire, England. She began soprano vocal studies as an undergraduate music major in York, England, where she was also a member of the Yorkshire Bach Choir as well as performing supporting roles with York Opera. Her graduate studies shifted her focus to Music Therapy. Subsequently she immigrated to Philadelphia in the USA to be with her husband. There she explored the Music Therapy profession while continuing vocal practice which included singing with Ancient Voices, an early music ensemble at the University of Pennsylvania. Moving to Maine in 2002, Rachel devoted herself towards raising a family and then to resuming vocal studies and practice. In Portland she has studied voice with Kathleen Grammer and Ellen Chickering and she was previously a member of Renaissance Voices and ChoralArt. She currently performs with the St. Mary Schola, and she is an active soprano soloist in the Greater Portland area. Other interests include yoga, running, gardening, hiking, kayaking, Nordic skiing and keeping up with her growing kids.
Christine Wilson Kissack, piano:
A native of Maine, Christine maintains an independent piano studio, Piano Learning Center, in Falmouth and teaches courses in piano pedagogy at the University of Southern Maine in Gorham. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in piano performance from Plymouth State College, in Plymouth, NH (now Plymouth State University) and received a Master of Music 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 an active member of the Maine Music Teachers Association having served in a variety of positions on the MMTA Executive Board for fifteen years. She is a Nationally Certified Teacher of Music by the Music Teachers National Association and most recently served as MTNA Certification Commissioner for Eastern Division. A frequent adjudicator at piano events in New England, she has also presented topics in piano pedagogy to piano teachers in Maine, New Hampshire and Florida. She lives in Cumberland with her supportive husband, Alan, and entertaining cat, Jack.
Eleanor Lehmann, violin (viola):
Eleanor began her musical studies a age 5 on violin at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. She received a degree in music education and performance from San Francisco State University in 1963 and joined the teaching force in the public school system of San Francisco as a music teacher for the year prior to being offered the opportunity to move to Mexico where she lived with her husband and children working as a violin, viola teacher at the Conservatorio National de Mexico and performing in many of the professional orchestras of the region in and around Mexico City. In 1973, she spent a year living in Holland and was active in the musical community of Nijmegen as violist. In 1986, she returned to California where she took music education classes at the University of the Pacific in Stockton and played viola with the San Rafael, Merced, Modesto and Stockton symphonies before entering the teaching force for the Merced City School District. In 2003, she moved to Maine where she continues to teach both violin and viola in her studio and at the Portland Conservatory of Music. In 2007, she initiated violin classes at USM, Portland, for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. She is an active member of both the Portland Rossini Club and Marston-Kotzschmar music club of Portland, Maine and served as President of the Board for both music clubs.
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 was a student of the late Richard Roberts. She and her husband have lived in Portland since 1988, and have one son, Peter. She joined the Portland Rossini Club in 2011.
Leah Neuchiller, piano:
Leah studied piano from the age of 9 and began college as a music major at Brandeis University, where she studied with the French pianist Evelyne Crochet. She later earned a Master’s in Social Work degree at the University of Michigan, 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 recently earned her Masters of Music degree 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. She joined the Portland Rossini Club in 2012.
Sydney Patten, piano:
Sydney began studying piano at the age of 6 to please her mother. She very quickly fell in love with the instrument and with classical music…At Skidmore College, she minored in music with a concentration in piano performance. She began to compose music secretly never sharing any of her compositions until she had graduated from college. While living on the North Shore of Massachusetts, she began composing music inspired by birds at Crane’s Beach. During that time, she served as the Vice President of the American Women Composers. Her greatest inspirations for composition continue to be wildlife and sea creatures in Maine and especially on Mount Desert Island. Some of her favorite subjects have been piping plovers, eagles, seaweed, jellyfish and great white sharks. She continues to study classical piano music which also influences her work. Sydney lives with her husband, Bill Patten and their dog, Patapouf in Falmouth Foreside, Maine. Other interests include skiing, gardening, anything to do with France (from whence she recently moved). She has been associated with the Royaumont Abbey for many years where she now organizes master classes in a variety of disciplines. She is currently the president of the Portland Rossini Club.
Eric Peppe, piano:
Eric Peppe has Master’s degrees in piano performance and piano pedagogy from the University of Southern Maine, where he studied with Laura Kargul. He has performed solo piano throughout Maine, at Jordan Hall in Boston, and at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC. He studied privately with Jeffrey Kahane, Robert Glover, and Boaz Sharon. He has been music director for productions at Portland Players, Lyric Music Theater, City Theater, Waynflete School, Scarborough High School, and elsewhere. A recording engineer, he has recorded CDs for The Portland String Quartet, The Gorham Community Chorus, Musica de Filia, The Boy Singers of Maine, and more. He produces and often accompanies student audition recordings. He lives in Buxton with his family and works as a piano tuner-technician.
Jonathan Pekdey Prak, piano:
Jonathan Prak is a Saco native currently living in Portland. He’s been playing the piano since he was 6 years old and studied with the late Colette Kelly of Québec, Canada. Jonathan studies with Dr. Laura Kargul at the Osher School of Music at USM. He was a featured soloist for the USM Annual Scholarship Gala in 2014 and 2021 and was selected to perform for the USM Honors Recital in 2014 and 2015. He has won numerous competitions and scholarships such as the Bob Crewe Foundation Scholarship, Federal Pell Grant, Chester Cook Scholarship, Newell A. Augur Scholarship, Anne Gannett Piano Scholarship in 2015, Lucia Wright Piano Scholarship 2015 and 2016, Brian McGorrill Memorial Scholarship in 2018, and Hanna Powell Scholarship in 2022. Jonathan participated in masterclasses with instructors Steve Pane and Lily Funahashi on works for two pianos, along with participating in a chamber group for a composition masterclass with Grammy-nominated cellist Matt Haimovitz. He has appeared as a repeated guest soloist for the Portland Rossini Club before becoming a member. He loves playing works by Mozart, Chopin, Liszt, Ravel and Prokofiev, just to name a few. Jonathan is proudly the current President of the Portland Rossini Club. Outside the world of music, Jonathan has a knack for learning languages, enjoys adventures and traveling, and running.
John Ross, flute:
Flutist John Ross is an accomplished soloist, educator, chamber musician, and orchestral performer. He is on the faculty and administration of the Portland Conservatory of Music in Maine. He also teaches and performs in the summers for Sparrow Music Camp in High Springs, FL and the Taneycomo Festival Orchestra in Branson, MO. He has also taught on the faculty of the FSU Summer Music Camps and Music for the Sake of Music (MFSOM) in Green Bay, WI. Dr. Ross has been principal flute of the orchestra for MFSOM, the Italian-American Opera Festival Orchestra (CA), the Charleston Chamber Orchestra (WV), and has also performed with the Topeka Symphony, the Muncie Symphony, Tallahassee Symphony, and the Charleston Light Opera Guild. He has appeared as soloist with the WVSU Wind Ensemble, the FSU Symphonic Band, and the orchestra of MFSOM. He has been a featured soloist with the WVSU and Cottey College Wind Ensembles, the Florida State University Symphonic Band, the orchestra of Music for the Sake of Music, and the Butler Philharmonic Orchestra in Hamilton, OH. His flute ensemble Silver Lining Flutes toured around Costa Rica in Spring 2017, performing and giving masterclasses as part of the Promising Artists of the 21st Century series. His folk trios, Cuttin’ Bracken and Rakish Ramblers, have performed throughout northern Florida, including multiple performances at the Florida Folk Festival in White Springs, FL. Dr. Ross attended West Virginia University, Ball State University, and Florida State University, studying with Joyce Catalfano, Thomas Godfrey, Francesca Arnone, Mihoko Watanabe, and Eva Amsler. He is also pursuing a Rossini Club additions for member bios certification in body mapping through the Association for Body Mapping Education, studying with Amy Likar.
Luette Saul, soprano:
Luette holds degrees from the San Francisco Conservatory and University of Southern Maine. She joined the Portland Rossini Club in 2013 and recently served on the Portland Rossini Club Executive Board as Program Chair. She teaches voice at Bates College and at her studio in Portland.
Stephen Schiffman, clarinet:
Prior to moving to Portland, Stephen Schiffman, emeritus faculty member at Babson College and the F.W. Olin College of Engineering, lived in Boston for 30 years and played with various ensembles and chamber music groups there. He has been playing the clarinet for over 55 years and his teachers have included Sherman Friedland, Julie Vaverka and Thomas Hill. Also a member of the MarstonKotzschmar Club, he joined the Portland Rossini Club in 2015.
Ryan Slocum, piano:
Ryan began studying piano with Ashley Tardif when he was 12, and soon began playing at his home church. He began playing regularly for church services when he was 14 at the Poland Community Church. When he was a senior at Pine Tree Academy in Freeport, he began studying organ with Doris Krueger. Ryan is a senior in the fall at the University of Southern Maine, where he is working toward a Bachelors in Organ Performance, studying organ with Justin Murphy-Mancini. Ryan participated in the 2021 Kotzschmar Memorial Trust Scholarship competition, where he was one of the recipients of the scholarship. During the summer of 2021, he performed multiple times with Mark Thallander, former organist of Crystal Cathedral, for concerts and church services. He was one of six organists featured on the organ program Pipedreams Live. He is currently the organist at several area churches. In his free time, Ryan likes to arrange / compose music, play chess, and learn how to do new things.
Christopher Staknys, Piano:
Pianist and composer Christopher Staknys is a graduate of The Juilliard School (2018) with a degree in solo piano performance. Allan Kozinn, former music critic for the New York Times, praised his playing for its “dexterity and dramatic phrase shaping”. He has appeared as both performer and composer in cities such as New York, Boston, Los Angeles, Paris and Salzburg. He has participated in several contemporary ensembles including AXIOM and the New Juilliard Ensemble, performing at venues such as Carnegie Hall and Alice Tully Hall. Christopher has won numerous competitions, including first prize at the Steinway Society of Massachusetts Piano Competition and the Rivers School Concerto Competition. Artists he has studied with include; Sergei Babayan, Robert Levin and Peter Serkin. He has also appeared on NPR’s From The Top radio show. In 2021 he was selected as a Marcus Institute Fellow pianist for the Vocal Arts department at Juilliard. He has also been vocal coach and pianist for Opera Maine and the Chautauqua Opera Conservatory. Christopher has played for numerous operas and musicals including Don Giovanni, Cosi Fan Tutte, The Merry Wives of Windsor, The Fall of the House of Usher, The Pirates of Penzance and Into the Woods.
Danielle Vayenas, soprano:
Danielle recently appeared in Sound of Music at Maine State Music Theater as understudy for “Mother Abbess”/ensemble, and has also performed with organizations such as Opera Maine, Longwood Opera, Heartwood Theater, Biddeford City Theater, Portland Players and more. Some of her roles have included the title role in Carlisle Floyd’s opera, Susannah, “Micaela” in Carmen, “Mimi” in La Boheme, “Mother” in Amahl and the Night Visitors, “Jenny” in Company, “Mrs. Nordstrom” in A Little Night Music, “Lady Thiang” in “The King and I”, and “Widow” in Zorba. Danielle has performed as concert soloist in Maine with groups such as the Oratorio Chorale, Midcoast Symphony Orchestra, Maine Music Society, Bowdoin Chorale, ChoralArt and Lincoln Festival Chorale; and in the greater Boston area with the Salem Philharmonic, the Masterworks Chorale, and the Paul Madore Chorale. She has performed many oratorio works, from the Requiems of Mozart, Brahms, Dvorak and Verdi, to Mozart’s Mass in c minor; Haydn’s Creation, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, and other concert works. She has studied voice with David Goulet, leading to NATS awards in Maine and Boston, and with Malinda Haslett, and has coached with Kathleen Scott. Danielle joined the Rossini Club in 2015 for the opportunity to collaborate with musicians in the Portland area.
Margaret Vishneau, soprano:
Maggie 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. Maggie joined the Portland Rossini Club in 2006.
Diane Walsh, piano:
The award-winning Steinway Artist Diane Walsh has given solo and chamber music concerts in major venues in the United States, Canada, South America, Europe, Russia, China and New Zealand. Diane has appeared with the San Francisco, Indianapolis, Austin, Rochester, American, Delaware, Springfield and New Bedford symphonies, Orpheus and St. Luke’s chamber orchestras, and the Munich, Frankfurt, Stuttgart and Berlin radio symphonies. She was soloist with the Portland Symphony in 2017 and 2019, and was a guest artist at the Portland Chamber Music Festival in 2017 and 2018. She led the Skaneateles (N.Y.) Festival as Artistic Director from 1999 to 2004. Ms. Walsh has performed Beethoven’s Variations on a Waltz of Diabelli well over 200 times in the Broadway production of 33 Variations, a play by Moisés Kaufman starring Jane Fonda, and in three other productions in Washington, La Jolla and Los Angeles. A frequent chamber music partner, she is a member of the La Fenice quintet and the Walsh-Drucker-Cooper Trio, and has appeared at many summer festivals, including Bard, Marlboro, Chesapeake and Santa Fe. She has released eighteen recordings of repertoire ranging from Bach to Corigliano. Ms. Walsh was an Associate Professor at Mannes College of Music in New York City for 32 years, and in 2015 was a Visiting Artist at Colby College. She lives in Scarborough with her husband, the writer Richard Pollak.
Scott Wheatley, piano:
A native of Kansas, Scott holds degrees from the University of Missouri/Kansas City Conservatory of Music and the University of South Florida. Formerly residing in New York City, he relocated to Portland and is pleased to be on the faculty of the University of Southern Maine and the Portland Conservatory of Music. He serves as the rehearsal accompanist for the Oratorio Chorale and is the Music Director at the First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church in Portland. In addition to a busy teaching and singing schedule (he’s a baritone who has performed in operas and concerts both nationally and worldwide), Scott enjoys an active career as a coach/accompanist collaborating with both singers and instrumentalists.