Chorus, The Barber of Seville

Jared Anderson is Associate Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities at Michigan Tech where he conducts the Michigan Tech Concert Choir, teaches courses in music theory, group voice, and basic musicianship, and coaches singers in Tech theater productions.

Originally from Orem, Utah, Dr. Anderson has conducted ensembles in Utah, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan.  He has worked with and conducted ensembles of all sizes and voicing, with singers of many different ages and backgrounds, including the Michigan Tech Concert Choir, Northland Singers, the Northland College Chamber Choir, the Lumberjack Chorus, the Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra Chorus, the University of Minnesota Men's Chorus, the University of Minnesota Concert Choir, Brigham Young University Singers, the Brigham Young University Women's Chorus, and an inmate choir at the Utah State Prison.  

Dr. Anderson has been an active choral singer all his life performing in venues and festivals worldwide including in representative choirs at both the 4th World Symposium on Choral Music (Sydney, Australia), the 6th World Symposium on Choral Music (Minneapolis), and the Ravinia Festival.  He has performed in choruses with the Israel Chamber Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Minnesota Orchestra, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.  While living in Minneapolis he served as tenor section leader in the Dale Warland Singers.  He is an active member of the American Choral Director's Association and the National Association of Teachers of Singing.  Dr. Anderson is an advocate for ensemble singing and the transformative power of singing in building caring communities. He is married to Jane Anderson; they are the proud parents of three children.


Violin, PMMF Symphony

Born in Paraguay, Maria Arrua began her musical training at the age 10 at the National Conservatory of Music of Paraguay. During her studies at the Conservatory, Ms. Arrua served as Assistant Concertmaster of the National Symphony Orchestra since its foundation in 2004 until 2007. She studied additionally with renowned musicians Gotz Bernau, Alberto Varady, Pedro Delarole, and Emmanuele Baldini.

Ms. Arrua came to the U.S. in the year 2007. In 2011 she graduated Summa Cum Laude in Bachelor in Music Performance - Violin from the Louisiana State University, studying under Dr. Lin He. In May 2013 she earned a Master of Music at the Pennsylvania State University studying under Prof. James Lyon.

Her professional orchestral experience includes playing with the Champaign Urbana Symphony Orchestra, Sinfonia da Camera, Pennsylvania Centre Orchestra, Acadiana Symphony Orchestra, Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra, Louisiana Sinfonietta, Mississippi Symphony Orchestra, and the National Symphony Orchestra of Paraguay. She has also appeared as soloist with the National Symphony Orchestra of Paraguay, the Symphony Orchestra of the City of Asuncion, the Chamber Orchestra of the Municipality of Asuncion, the State College Summer Orchestra, and the Penn State Philharmonic Orchestra.


Bass clarinet, PMMF Symphony

A native of Alexandria, Virginia, Linda Baker moved west, first to attend Indiana University, then to Chicago where she joined the orchestra of the Lyric Opera of Chicago as its bass clarinetist in 1978.  She has at various times also performed with the American Ballet Theater, Joffrey Ballet, Baltimore Symphony, the Milwaukee Symphony, the Indianapolis Symphony, the Cincinnati Symphony, and is currently Principal Clarinetist of the Chicago Philharmonic.  Otherwise, she enjoys bicycling, tennis, and looking after her husband Eric Wicks and their two cats.


Violin, PMMF Symphony

Dr. Emily Barkakati is an Ann Arbor-based violinist, educator, and teaching artist. She is a section violinist with the Michigan Opera Theatre and the Ann Arbor Symphony.  As a UMS Teaching Artist, she runs the Reading Culture Book Club Series. A first generation Vietnamese-Assamese-American artist, Dr. Barkakati is passionate about the complexities of Asian-American identity as it relates to classical music. Dr. Barkakati received her DMA in violin performance at the University of Michigan, where she studied with Aaron Berofsky. Her dissertation recital project, entitled “Indie Loves Classical,” explored cross-genre programming and non-traditional concert formats. As part of her goal to improve arts access to underserved communities, she has worked through programs such as America Reads, Telling It Kids, and the Ann Arbor Public Schools COMP teaching program. Other influential teachers include Stephen Rose, Gerald Fischbach, and Joseph Gatwood.


Violin, Bergonzi String Quartet

Glenn Basham is concertmaster of the Naples Philharmonic Orchestra and Associate Professor at the University of Miami (FL) where he teaches not only violin, but also one of the few courses in the country in improvisation for string players. He has performed as a soloist with the Keweenaw Symphony Orchestra, the Miami City Ballet, and Naples Philharmonic, among others, and has served as concertmaster of the Fort Wayne Philharmonic and performed with the Chester String Quartet. As a jazz player, Glenn has performed with Ira Sullivan, Simon Salz and John Blake, and is featured on the Miami Saxophone Quartet's recording "Four More Giant Steps." Educated at the North Carolina School of the Arts and Indiana University, he received First Prize in the Renaud National Honors Competition and was the only American violinist invited to compete in the 1988 International Bach competition in Leipzig, Germany. His compact disc "Aria" was released in 2006. Glenn plays a G.B. Ceruti violin made in Cremona, Italy, in 1810.


Chorus, The Barber of Seville

Originally from Monroe, Michigan, Matthew Berry is pursuing undergraduate degrees at Michigan Technological University in Business Management and Psychology in addition to a Music Performance minor. Surrounded by musical family members from a young age, including accomplished organist grandparents and parents that serve as directors of church bell and vocal choirs, Matthew developed a passion for music. He spent his senior year of high school devoted to tuba as he studied under Phillip Bloomer, DMA, at the University of Michigan. Matthew also was offered a lucrative position in the Tuba Performance Program led by Fritz Kaenzig, Professor of Tuba at the University of Michigan.

Matt’s love for all things music-related did not cease upon attending Michigan Tech. He enjoys performing as the Principal Tubist for Michigan Tech’s Superior Wind Symphony, directed by Michael Christianson, DMA. Matt’s enthusiasm for singing lay dormant until he enrolled in a group voice class his 1st year. Drafted by his vocal professor, Jared Anderson, DMA, Matt joined the bass section in the “conScience” Chamber Choir and has developed a love of choral singing. Now a 3rd year student, Matt continues to enjoy singing a variety of genres of music with fellow students in the Chamber Choir, as well as performing tuba works by Hindemith, Haddad, and other respected composers for tuba.  When not playing heavy metal (tuba), he has other heavy metal dreams – 4WD pickup trucks, ATVs, and most other off-road-worthy vehicles.


Program Coordinator, UPstarts!

Susan Byykkonen is an independent music teacher in Houghton County.  She is the Associate Director and accompanist for the Michigan Tech University Concert Choir.  Susan has performed in the MTU Visual & Performing Arts Department’s chamber Music Series, and played flute & keyboard instruments for the Keweenaw Symphony Orchestra.   From 2000-2004, she served as choir director and piano instructor at Lakeland Christian School in Florida.  She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Music from Cedarville University, Cedarville, Ohio where she studied Flute Performance and Piano Pedagogy.   Susan resides in Calumet with her husband Eric and children;  April, Mitchell and Olivia.  


Chorus, The Barber of Seville

Baritone Gregory Campbell has sung numerous roles with the PMMF and Studio North Opera, including Marquis Daubigny in "La Traviata," Spineloccio in "Gianni Schicchi" and Captain Dillon in "The Children of the Keweenaw." He has performed Papageno in "The Magic Flute," King Melchior in the KSO’s production of "Amahl and the Night Visitors," and he has been a soloist in productions of "Messiah", Faure's " Requiem" and Haydn's "Paukenmesse."


Chorus Master, Berta, The Barber of Seville

Ann Campbell, soprano, has taught music in the Houghton-Portage Township Schools since 1981.  She teaches vocal/general/choral music in grades K – 12. Ms. Campbell has been employed by the Pine Mountain Music Festival in a number of capacities.  As a performer, she has sung Mrs. Gleaton in Susannah, Berta, in The Barber of Seville, Annina in La Traviata, Polly in The Children of the Keweenaw and Mother in Hansel and Gretel. She has also served as Chorusmaster and Children’s Chorusmaster for many PMMF productions—including the New World Premiere of Rockland.  In addition, Ms. Campbell is the program director and a performer in the PMMF’s school outreach program, “OPERAtion Imagination.” Ms. Campbell maintains a private voice studio and is a voice student of PMMF’s founding opera director, Christine Seitz. Ms. Campbell and her husband, Gregory, live in Hancock.


Director, The Barber of Seville

Debra Dickinson’s directing career encompasses a wide range of projects, from being a stage director and acting teacher at the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University in Houston, Texas for the past 20 years to a guest director/choreographer/acting instructor at various opera companies, including Glimmerglass Opera, Chautauqua Opera, Brevard Music Center, Berkshire Opera, Houston Grand Opera and Connecticut Opera.  She has also directed musicals at Pittsburgh Public Theater and Stages Theater in Houston. She began her directing career as Associate Stage Director at the New York City Opera, with Beverly Sills as producer.  Ms. Dickinson was a professional actress in New York prior to beginning her career as a stage director.   Her numerous credits include performing the role of Guenevere in Camelot opposite both Richard Burton and Richard Harris, and appearing in the Vienna German-language production of Cats.  


Rehearsal Accompanist

Brady Nicholas Dill has been playing the piano since the age of seven. He had eleven years of private practice and two years of music study at Central Michigan University, before pursuing other non-music related professional endeavors. Recently, he was musical director for the Dickinson County Community Theater’s production of “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown”, accompanied area students in District and Sate Solo and Ensemble, and has hosted a series of private concerts showcasing various classical keyboard composers. In his spare time he enjoys the kitchen, crocheting, reading literature, the outdoors, gardening, fitness, and enjoying friends and family. He is very happy to return to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, and most grateful to be a part of the Pine Mountain Music Festival!


Rehearsal accompanist, The Barber of Seville

Leslie Dukes has served as collaborative pianist and coach at University of California Santa Cruz, AIMS in Graz (Austria), Santa Rosa Junior College (CA), Workshopera! California, and Cinnabar Theater (Petaluma).  She directed music for The Fantasticks (Tucson), and Man of La Mancha at 6th Street Playhouse (Santa Rosa). Dr. Dukes holds degrees in piano performance and pedagogy from Brigham Young University, California State University Chico, and University of Arizona.  Leslie currently teaches piano at Michigan Tech, where she also is an accompanist in the choral department.


Violin, Bergonzi String Quartet

Scott Flavin maintains a busy and versatile career, whether conducting Classical symphonies, accompanying the world’s greatest jazz stars, or premiering new works.  He is Resident Conductor for The Henry Mancini Institute and Music Director for the Miami Mozarteum.  He has appeared on the podium with such diverse artists as soprano Denyce Graves, The Beach Boys, Chick Corea, and Dave Grusin, among many others.  He was born and raised in Boston, where he received his early musical training, and then attended the Eastman School of Music. The HMI Chamber Orchestra, under his direction, received the 2013 Downbeat Magazine award for outstanding classical group.  His nationally-broadcast conducting debut, for the PBS television special, “Jazz and the Philharmonic”, aired in January of 2014.

As a violinist, he holds several high-profile positions.  Since 2002 he has been concertmaster of Florida Grand Opera, as well as for the Miami Bach Society. He performs nationally and internationally on violin and viola with Pulse Chamber Music, and is a violinist in the critically-acclaimed Bergonzi String Quartet, which is in residence at the University of Miami.  Previous positions include concertmaster of Miami City Ballet from 1997-2003, and violinist in the Rochester Philharmonic.  He has also been heard on over a dozen Grammy Award-winning albums, has recorded for labels including Naxos, Centaur, and M&W, and has released two solo recordings.  In addition, he is active as a composer and arranger, his works having been heard often on American Public Media’s Performance Today, and in concert across the country.



Chorus, The Barber of Seville

Alexander Frazier grew up in Ohio and studied Music Education at Grove City College in western Pennsylvania.  He moved to the Twin Cities after college, where he taught piano lessons for five years through various studios.  In 2014, he relocated to the Keweenaw Peninsula with his wife, Sylvia.  He now teaches piano and voice lessons at Superior School of Dance, is the Music Director at a local church, substitute teaches in the public schools, sings in the Michigan Tech Choir, and accompanies a variety of choirs, soloists, and ensembles.


Bass trombone, PMMF Symphony

Mark Fry is currently the bass trombonist of the Elgin Symphony Orchestra, Lake Forest Symphony, Chicago Philharmonic and Third Coast Brass. Mr. Fry performs regularly with Joffrey Ballet Chicago and Chicago Opera Theater.

He has performed with numerous orchestras in the United States, including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Houston Symphony Orchestra, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Grant Park Orchestra, Chicago Sinfonietta, Colorado Symphony Orchestra, San Antonio Symphony, Charleston Symphony Orchestra, Britt Festival Orchestra (Oregon), Sarasota Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera and Spoleto Festival – Italy.

Mr. Fry has performed with the Chicago Symphony in Carnegie Hall during the fall of 2001 and the Houston Symphony during their 2010 tour of England and Scotland. Before moving to Chicago, he was the bass trombonist of the Hawaii Symphony Orchestra in Honolulu.

He has long been involved with contemporary music and chamber music, performing with such groups as Fulcrum Point New Music Project and on the Chicago Symphony's Music Now series.  In 2012, Mr. Fry founded the Elgin Chamber Players which is based in Elgin, IL.  He is currently the co-artistic director of Chamber Music on the Fox, also based in Elgin. 

Mr. Fry has recorded with the Houston Symphony Orchestra, Mannheim Steamroller, New Black Music Repertory Ensemble and the Spoleto Festival Orchestra, as well as for radio and television commercials.


Violin, PMMF Symphony

Violinist Nathan Giem has performed as a soloist, chamber musician and concertmaster in halls across Europe, Asia and the United States. As a child, he received musical instruction from Mehli Mehta, father of acclaimed conductor Zubin Mehta. At the age of fourteen, Nathan was accepted as an undergraduate student at Indiana University, where he continued his violin studies with Franco Gulli. Mr. Giem also holds an Artist Diploma from Indiana University, where he taught violin as an Associate Instructor. A Fulbright Fellow to the Netherlands, Nathan studied at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam. Through the years his teachers have included Nelli Shkolnikova, Henryk Kowalski, Federico Agostini, and Alexander Kerr. In addition Nathan has participated in masterclasses and private lessons with Dénes Kovács, Ruggiero Ricci and Pinchas Zukerman. Formerly concertmaster for the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, Nathan was recently featured as violin soloist for a Nimbus Label recording of Augusta Read Thomas’s Astral Canticle, a concerto for flute, violin and orchestra. In addition to his performing career, Nathan has an active interest in conducting. He is Music Director for the Illini Strings Orchestra at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he studies with Donald Schleicher. His hobbies include violin making and the study of languages. Mr. Giem is married to fellow musician and violinist Beatrix Soros and enjoys spending time with their two-year-old daughter, Esther.


Soprano, UPstarts!

Paige Graham was born and raised in Marquette, Michigan. She is now studying vocal performance and music education at the University of Michigan. Her most recent performances have included the role of Mabel in Lake Superior Theater’s production of Pirates of Penzance as well as various performances with the Orpheus Singers, University Choir, and the Legacy Vocal Jazz Ensemble at the University of Michigan. She studies classical voice with Rico Serbo and vocal jazz/arranging with Dennis Wilson. Outside of classes, Paige is active in the music ministry at St. Mary Student Parish, serving as the choir director and accompanist for the past three years. Following graduation, Paige plans to pursue a performance career and open a private studio.  


Saxophone, UPstarts!

Audra Hagan is a saxophonist who grew up in Iron Mountain, MI and graduated from Iron Mountain High School in 2011. During her first two years of college, she studied at the University of Michigan’s College of Literature, Science, and the Arts in Ann Arbor, Michigan. However, she eventually decided to transfer to Northern Michigan University in order to pursue a Music Education Degree from the same university that Craig Recla, her high school band director, attended. She currently studies saxophone with Dr. Jeffery Vickers, and is set to graduate from NMU in the fall of 2016. Audra plays saxophone in many of NMU’s ensembles, as well as clarinet. She is also pursuing a minor in Secondary Mathematics Education, and enjoys spending time with her fiancé, Luke Anderson.


Choir Director, PMMF Symphony

Wayne Hanmer is a graduate of NMU with degrees in vocal performance, conducting and choral development.  His teachers include James McKelvey, William Dehning, Douglas Ammon, Peter Zelmer, June Ackroyd and Robert Engelhart.  He has taught music in the Gwinn Area Community Schools for 33 years, teaching kindergarten through twelfth grade.  During his time with the Gwinn school system he has started the high school choral program, two bell choirs and the district select elementary ensembles. 

Mr. Hanmer is one of Marquette’s most heard soloists with the Marquette Choral Society, and solo appearances throughout the State.  He has appeared numerous times with the Michigan Tech Choirs, which include singing the premiers of the Gundlach Mass at The Calumet Theater and also performances in Europe with the Cabrillo College Choir from Aptos, California.  His repertoire ranges from Bach to Brubeck, singing the world premier with Dave Brubeck and the Brubeck Quartet of Earth is Our Mother.

He is the director and founder of the Marquette County Chamber Chorale, a select adult mixed choir, and conductor of the Marquette Male Chorus.  Mr. Hanmer has performed at Carnegie Hall with Sir Neville Marriner, Andre Previn, Peter Schrier, Charles Dutoit, and Helmuth Rilling.  He enjoys being a part of the Redeemer Lutheran Church Choir where, after 30 years of church conducting, loves to simply sing in the choir.


Cello, Bergonzi String Quartet

Ross Harbaugh is Professor of Cello and Chamber Music at the University of Miami (FL). He studied with Janos Starker, Leonard Rose, Peter Howard in the United States, and Andre Navarra at the Paris Conservatory. Ross won the Naumburg Chamber Music Prize and a Prix du Disque with the New World Quartet and has performed in Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center, and London's Wigmore Hall. He has appeared as soloist with many orchestras, including the Atlanta, Cincinnati, Keweenaw, Grand Rapids, and Canadian Chamber Orchestras. He has recorded for VOX, CRI, Musical Heritage, MCA Classics, Centaur, Fleur de Son, and IMP Masters. Ross was formerly principal cellist of the Grand Rapids and Toledo Symphonies, artist in residence at Harvard University, and has published articles on Ensemble Communication and "Tai Chi for Cellists," which explores balance, natural movement, and momentum in string playing. Ross teaches each summer in Italy at the Orfeo Music Festival. He performs on a Domenico Montagnana cello made in Venice in 1734.


Figaro, The Barber of Seville

With a velvety tone and a stage presence which exudes confidence and charm, baritone Levi Hernandez is gaining momentum as a sought after artist on the operatic stage. Mark Thomson Ketterson of Opera News declared of his principal debut with Lyric Opera of Chicago as Dandini in La cenerentola,“Young baritone Levi Hernandez’s intelligent Dandini displayed a most impressive knack for subtle text-painting within a pristinely negotiated coloratura line…”

Recently, the El Paso native made his Houston Grand Opera debut as Sharpless in Madama Butterfly next to Ana Maria Martinez and Joseph Calleja. He also joined the rosters of San Francisco Opera and the Metropolitan Opera in their productions of Puccini’s Il trittico and Fanciulla del West. His 2014-2015 season includes a return to the Metropolitan opera to cover the title role in The Death of Klinghoffer and Dancaïre inCarmen, his Opera Roanoke debut as Dandini in La cenerentola, the title role in Gianni Schicchi with Intermountain Opera, and Figaro in Il barbiere di Siviglia and Beethoven’sNinth Symphony in his debut with Pine Mountain Music Festival. Future seasons will see his return to Opera Omaha and the Opera Theatre of St. Louis.


Choir Director, PMMF Symphony

Crystal Hogan holds a BA degree in music education and a MA in education. This spring she completed her 36th year as a vocal music instructor (20 years at Florence and 16 years at Kingsford).  Crystal is also active in community music groups. Presently she is the principal director of the Dickinson County Community Chorus.  In the early years of PMMF, Crystal was the stage manager for Gianni Schicchi, sang at many of the Galas and was a spirit in The Magic Flute.

Singer and guitarist, Crystal performs a variety of styles: sacred, classical, jazz, pop and folk standards.  She sings for weddings, social events and churches.  Crystal has been a member of the First Presbyterian Church in Kingsford for 2 years and has been active with the music in that church.  She also plays organ part-time at the First Lutheran Church in Iron Mountain.  Crystal sang and recorded with the group WindSong during the 1990’s and has three recordings to her credit: Prayer, In The Garden and her latest recording, Christmas Is…, released in December of 2010.


Bartolo, The Barber of Seville

Philip Kraus has been on the roster of the Lyric Opera of Chicago since 1990 performing numerous roles including Dulcamara in L'Elsir d'amore, Dr. Bartolo in The Barber of Seville, the Sacristan in Tosca, Elder MacClean in Susannah, Antonio in The Marriage of Figaro, Benoit/Alcindoro in La Boheme, Pish Tush in The Mikado, Baron Duphol in La Traviata, and Ratcliffe in Billy Budd.  Mr. Kraus made his debut  with the Minnesota Opera in 1995 in the title role of Verdi's Rigoletto and made his Cleveland Opera debut in 1994 as the Vicar in Albert Herring.

Mr. Kraus is equally at home in the light opera and Broadway repertoire.  Considered a specialist in Gilbert and Sullivan, Mr. Kraus received high accolades from the press for his performance of Sir Joseph Porter in H.M.S. Pinafore at the Cleveland Opera.  Also adept in the Viennese repertory, Mr. Kraus has portrayed leading roles in The Gypsy Baron, Weiner Blut, The Merry Widow, and One Night in Venice.

A frequent concert artist, Mr. Kraus has appeared as soloist with the Cleveland Orchestra, the Dallas, Milwaukee, Omaha, Colorado, Santa Barbara, Richmond, Roanoke, Grant Park, South Bend, Owensboro, Jacksonville and Madison Symphonies, and the Rochester and Fort Wayne Philharmonics.


Rehearsal Pianist, PMMF Symphony

Lynne Lanczy is a professional affiliate and piano collaborator at Northern Michigan University, assisting with the University Choirs, and the Marquette Choral Society. She also works with the Marquette Male Chorus, and is the Director of Music at St. Louis the King Church. She has assisted with preparing the choirs for the premier performances of Rockland with PMMF and Paul Ayers’ The Harmony of Heaven and Earth with the choral society. She has accompanied many student and faculty recitals at NMU, and been musical director for numerous musical theater productions at the Forrest Roberts Theater, the Vista Theater, and The Power Center.

Lynne earned the BME in piano and percussion, and the MME degree in piano, from NMU; and the MA in piano performance from the University of Michigan, studying with Dickran Atamian, with additional work in performance and chamber music with Judith Jaimes at the University of Wisconsin/Milwaukee. 


Michigan native Benjamin LaPrairie serves as Associate Director of Music at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C., where he can be heard weekly for Sunday, Solemnity, and National liturgies.  His arrangements and compositions for brass and choir have been recorded by the Choir of the Basilica and broadcast internationally on EWTN, Salt & Light, and CatholicTV.  Performing opportunities have taken him throughout the United States, and to France and Italy.

Benjamin is a graduate of the University of Michigan where he studied organ with Robert Glasgow.  Additional studies included conducting with Steven Davis and Jerry Blackstone, harpsichord with Edward Parmentier, and composition with Steven Strunk.  He will begin studies with John Walker at the Peabody Conservatory of Music this fall.


Double Bass, PMMF Symphony

Born in Ann Arbor, MI, Nathan Lutz is currently the Assistant Personnel Manager of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. Prior to moving to Cincinnati, Lutz was a double bass fellow at the New World Symphony in Miami Beach, FL. There Lutz worked with Michael Tilson Thomas and other world renowned conductors. Lutz has a Master’s Degree from Carnegie Mellon University and was awarded a Jacobs Fellowship at Indiana University. He has participated in the National Orchestral Institute, Music Academy of the West, and the Aspen Music Festival. Lutz has performed with the Buffalo Philharmonic and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. Aside from his music career, he enjoys cycling and photography.


Violin, UPstarts!

Alexis Mahler graduated from Lawrence University in 2014, where she received a bachelor’s degree in Music Education and Violin Performance. In addition to teaching private violin and cello lessons in her hometown of Marquette, Alexis is currently co-director of the Upper Peninsula Youth Orchestra and teaches an after school strings club for fifth graders. She performs with the Marquette Symphony Orchestra and the Keweenaw Symphony Orchestra. She also plays cello with many local artists and bands including Eclettico, a rock orchestra founded by Alexis and fellow UPStarts! soloist Lauren Perala.


Chorus, The Barber of Seville

Harkin Massopust is the son of Donald and Dawn Massopust of Laurium.  He is a student at Houghton High School and will begin his junior year in the fall.  He sings tenor in his school's choir and plays the French Horn in the Houghton High School Band and in the Community Band.  He is a member of the Houghton High School Quiz Bowl Team.  He also enjoys being on stage.  He has performed in 'Cinderella' and 'Anne of the Green Gables' with the Calumet Players, and in 'Bone Chiller' and 'Anne of Avonlea' with the Houghton High School Drama Club.

He has attended MTU Summer Youth Programs the last three summers, where he studied medical physiology, forensics, and chemistry.

Harkin enjoys singing, playing his French Horn, studying languages, reading, and Alpine skiing.  He is reasonably proficient in Spanish and is currently learning Hindi.  Languages and music are his passions, and he plans to study linguistics and music after high school.


Viola, Bergonzi String Quartet

Pamela McConnell is recognized as a concert violist, an adjudicator and master teacher. She has gained notoriety as a result of her arrangements for String quartet of Saint Seans' Carnival of the Animals, Babar, the Little Elephant, by Poulenc, and The Legend of the Loon with music by Sibelius, and Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf. She has performed as soloist and chamber musician in prestigious venues throughout North and South America, Europe, South Africa, Australia, Japan, and Korea, and in the United States. She received a Bachelor of Music degree from Northwestern University and an M.M. degree from the University of Texas at Austin, studying under such luminaries as Walter Trampler, Leonard Shure, George Neikrug, and Andor Toth. Ms. McConnell and her arrangements can be heard on the Orion, Bergonzi, Fleur de son, Naxos, Living Artist, Audiofon, and Centaur labels.


Vocal Coach, Rehearsal Pianist, The Barber of Seville

Pianist Russell Miller has performed as soloist and chamber musician throughout the United States and on concert tours to Korea, Hong Kong, Alaska and the former Soviet Union. He has performed in recital with Marilyn Horne, Jan Opalach, Julia Broxholm, Robert Swensen, Susan Shafer and Todd Graber. He was the musical director for the vocal quartet “SATB” and served as pianist and harpsichordist for the Florentine Opera of Milwaukee for Rossini’s La cenerentola and Verdi’s Aïda. In recent years, he has taken part in several prestigious workshops in orchestral conducting in Chicago and the Czech Republic led by master teachers Donald Schleicher and Larry Rachleff.

A native of Los Angeles, Dr. Miller studied at the University of Southern California, the Manhattan School of Music, The Juilliard School, and the University of Michigan. Currently Professor of Vocal Coaching and Repertoire at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York since 1995 and Chair of the Voice & Opera Department, he has also held faculty positions at The Cleveland Institute of Music and recently as a visiting teacher at the University of Kansas. In the summers, besides his work at the PMMF, he was a staff pianist and faculty member at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, as well as the “Oberlin in Italy” program and at the Vancouver International Song Institute.


Violin/viola, PMMF Symphony

Maureen Murchie performs on both modern and baroque violin and viola across the US as well as in China, Japan, and recently Europe where she toured with baroque ensemble El Mundo. She has held faculty positions in Texas and Illinois, and she holds a doctorate from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she wrote a dissertation on the history of the Sendai Philharmonic Orchestra. Having grown up in Japan and attended Japanese schools, Maureen is fluent in Japanese and currently lives in New York City where she works as a freelance violinist, violist, and Japanese translator/interpreter. 2015 engagements include Trinity Baroque Orchestra, Juilliard415, NOVUS, El Mundo at the Yale Instrument Collection, the International Double Reed Society conference in Tokyo, Handel's Acis & Galatea with Nicolas McGegan and Mark Morris Dance Company, and the viola d'amore solo for Bach's St. John Passion at the All Saints Cathedral in Albany, NY. 


Count Almaviva, The Barber of Seville

Praised for his impressive musicality and being unafraid to act up a storm, Opera News wrote of Miles Mykkanen's performance in Eugene Onegin, "Mykkanen was a knockout as Lensky.  The lyric intensity of his singing made each moment count, and the duel-scene aria was a stretch of sheer vocal gold."

Mr. Mykkanen's opera credits include the world-premiere of Crossing, Le nozze di Figaro, Eugene Onegin, La Traviata, La finta giardiniera, and A Hand of Bridge.  He has sung with Wolf Trap Opera Company, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, and American Repertory Theater.

Equally comfortable on the concert stage, Mr. Mykkanen has performed with the New World Symphony, Caramoor Music Center, New York Festival of Song and The Kennedy Center.  He participated in Renée Fleming's American Voices festival which was telecast on PBS Great Performances this past winter.  In January 2016, Miles will make his recital debut at Carnegie Hall with pianist Ken Noda.

Mr. Mykkanen is a graduate of The Juilliard School where he will enter the school's Artist Diploma of Opera Studies this fall. Miles studies under the tutelage of Cynthia Hoffmann. 


Mezzo-soprano, Beethoven Symphony No. 9

Lara Neves received her BM in Vocal Performance from Brigham Young University where she studied with Clayne Robison and Shirley Westwood.  While at BYU she performed as the First Lady in Magic Flute, Rosalinde in Der Fledermaus, and had roles in Tales of Hoffmann and Marriage of Figaro.   

Since living in the Keweenaw she has soloed with the Keweenaw Symphony Orchestra in Handel’s Messiah, Vaughan Williams’ Dona Nobis Pacem, and KSO’s “Night at the Opera” performance, where she sang excerpts from Carmen and Otello.   Most recently, she played Amahl’s mother in Michigan Tech’s Amahl and the Night Visitors.

Lara has performed with Pine Mountain Music Festival’s operatic productions of La traviata, Rockland, Cosi fan tutte, and A Little Night Music and was a 2013 guest artist for PMMF’s  Viva Verdi! and Broadway Revue productions.  Lara’s very favorite part of working with the festival has been OPERAtion Imagination, which introduces opera to local schools in the Keweenaw.


Fiorello, The Barber of Seville

Mark Oliver is no stranger To the Rozsa Center.  He sings with the MTU Concert choir and has performed in several musicals and operas in the past including Ahmal and the Night Visitors and in MTU's production of South Pacific.  Mark has a long history with the PMMF and looks forward to working with Don Schleicher again after performing in Madame Butterfly and Susannah in the 90's. 

Mark is a retired U.S. Navy Seabee has two grown children and two teenage grandchildren. His Hobbies include working on his home in Chassell, giving pool lessons at The Dog and entertaining his friends.


Principal Horn, PMMF Symphony

John Peiffer, Principal Horn with the festival since 2001, has been Assistant Principal Horn of the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra since 1999.  In addition to his classical pursuits, he has enjoyed a colorful musical career involving work as an arranger, singer, and multi-instrumentalist in jazz, western swing, and popular styles of music.  This has included appearances as a soloist with the Delaware and Fairfax Symphony orchestras, performing one of his charts for jazz horn and orchestra.  John has performed and recorded with the National Symphony and the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestras.  Here in the U.P., you can often catch him sitting in with Steve Jones and the Garden City Hot Club, or leading the eclectic ensemble he calls “Peiffer’s Corner.”  He resides in Maryland and has a vacation home near Houghton. 


Violin/Viola, UPstarts!

Originally from Marquette, Michigan, Lauren Perala is currently pursuing a Master of Music Degree in Viola Performance from The Hartt School where she studies with Rita Porfiris. She received her Bachelor of Music Degree in Viola Performance from Butler University’s Jordan College of the Arts where she studied with Richard Auldon Clark and Davis Brooks. Lauren performs regularly as a solo, chamber, and ensemble musician. In Marquette you can find her performing classical, pop, and rock music with the string chamber ensemble Eclettico. She has also performed with the Marquette Symphony Orchestra, Delos String Quartet, Butler Symphony Orchestra, and Butler Ballet Orchestra. In addition to performing, Lauren teaches violin and viola lessons and was a teaching fellow at the Butler Community Arts School in Indianapolis. During the summer she teaches at the Superior String Alliance Summer Music Camp in Michigamme, Michigan.


Cello, PMMF Symphony

Christopher Pettit is a native of the Chicago suburbs, where he grew up in a very musically active family.  Around the age of fourteen, Christopher decided that music would be a huge part of his life.  He is currently finishing his degrees in Music Performance and Music Education from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where his passion for music has continued to develop while studying with Dmitry Kouzov.  While at the university, Christopher has received string division and performance awards, an orchestral award, and teaching awards.  Christopher has also enjoyed watching the growth of other students at the University while fulfilling his role as a resident advisor.  He plans to teach, continue his studies, and perform in Chicago when he finishes his degrees in December 2015.


Horn, PMMF Symphony

Kyle Pompei is an undergraduate senior studying instrumental Music Education at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Kyle is a Stamps Scholar and also holds a position as a Stamps Scholar Student Board member. As a board member, he acts as a representative for Stamps Scholars at the UW-Madison campus. He was also the recent recipient of two Craig Jacobsen Memorial Scholarships, the James R. Smith Orchestra Award, the Mabel Wiley Scholarship for Music Performance, the Pi Eta Chapter of Phi Beta Fraternity award, and the John Barrows Memorial Scholarship. Kyle held principal chair for horn in the University’s Wind Ensemble for two years as well as principal chair in the University’s Symphony Orchestra for three years. He is also highly involved in various chamber ensembles and performances, including the Mad City Brass Quintet and the “Pompei Hively Show”, a collaborative musical comedy performance series. Prior to his college career, Kyle was involved in the Peabody Preparatory Program. For horn, he has studied under Dan Grabois and Larry Williams.


Artistic Director and Conductor

Donald Schleicher has served as Professor of Conducting and Director of Orchestral Studies at the University of Illinois since 1995.  He was also on the faculty of the University of Michigan for nine years. Professional positions include eight years as Music Director and Conductor of the Quad City Symphony Orchestra and for nine summers, he was Music Director and Principal Opera Conductor for the Pine Mountain Music Festival.  In the fall of 2014, he returned to the Pine Mountain Music Festival, this time as its Artistic Director.  Schleicher began his career as a high school band director in Williamsville, NY. 

Schleicher has conducted the National Philharmonic of the Ukraine, the Guiyang (China) Symphony Orchestra, the Inchon (South Korea) Philharmonic, the  Daegu (South Korea) Symphony Orchestra, the Orquesta Filarmonica de la UNAM of Mexico City, the South Dakota Symphony, and the orchestras of Bridgeport, Tallahassee, and Lansing.  In March of 2015, he will guest conduct the Gwangju (South Korea) Symphony Orchestra and in the summer of 2015, he will lead the Pine Mountain Music Festival's 25th Anniversary season by conducting their production of "The Barber of Seville" as well as leading the PMMF Symphony Orchestra in Beethoven's monumental "Symphony No. 9."  


Orchestra Manager and Assistant Conductor, PMMF Symphony

A native of Pennsylvania, Matthew Sheppard now resides in Illinois where he works as a conductor and teacher in the Champaign-Urbana and greater Chicago area while pursuing a doctorate in orchestral conducting at the University of Illinois under Donald Schleicher. Current appointments include Music Director of both the Chamber Orchestra at the University of Chicago and the Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Company of Chicago, and Assistant Conductor of the Champaign Urbana Symphony Orchestra.

From 2011-13, Sheppard studied conducting at Penn State University with Gerardo Edelstein. During that time, he held appointments as Orchestra Director at Juniata College, Founding Music Director of the State College Summer Orchestra, and Assistant Conductor of the Central Pennsylvania Youth Orchestra. In 2010, he founded the State College Summer Orchestra, a community orchestra offering summer benefit concerts. His strong advocacy for education and contemporary composition keeps him in high demand as a conductor, lecturer, and teacher.


Oboe, PMMF Symphony

A seasoned and sensitive musician, Katelyn Simon brings intelligent artistry to every performance.  Katelyn earned her Master of Music degree in oboe performance from Northwestern University and her Bachelor of Music from Baldwin-Wallace College.  She performs frequently with the South Bend Symphony (IN), and served as Acting Associate Principal Oboe & English horn there for the 2012-13 season.  She has also held positions with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago and the Northbrook and Skokie Valley symphonies, and has performed with the West Michigan, Southwest Michigan, Rockford, Oistrach, Southern Illinois, Akron, and Elmhurst symphonies.  Katelyn is frequently engaged as a freelance musician throughout the Chicago and Michiana areas, and has significant experience performing with woodwind and other chamber ensembles, including the Orion Trio and the Chicago Civic Wind Quintet.  Katelyn currently serves as Instructor of Oboe at the University of Notre Dame.  Her principal teachers include Elizabeth Camus, Michael Henoch, Lawrence McDonald, and Grover Schiltz.


Basilio, The Barber of Seville

With a voice of "rich presence and power", American bass Bradley Smoak has rapidly emerged as one of opera’s most exciting and sought-after young talents. A first-year member of the Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center, Mr. Smoak will make his Lyric Opera of Chicago debut under the baton of Sir Andrew Davis in Strauss' Capriccio, sharing the stage with world-renowned soprano Renée Fleming. He will also appear in Tosca as Sciarrone (Angelotti cover) and as 1st SS Officer in Weinberg's The Passenger with Lyric Opera during their 2014/15 Diamond Anniversary Season. Upcoming engagements also include a 2014 return to Phoenicia Int’l Festival of the Voice as Don Basilio in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, and a return to Opera Omaha as Don Fernando in Beethoven's Fidelio in 2015.



Percussion, PMMF Symphony

Considered a worldwide authority on percussion, James A. Strain began his professional performing career as a member of the Amarillo Symphony Orchestra while still a student in high school. He holds degrees from Arkansas State University and the University of Cincinnati, and earned a Doctorate in Percussion Performance from the Eastman School of Music.

Strain teaches Percussion at Northern Michigan University and is Timpanist and Principal Percussionist of the Marquette Symphony Orchestra. Previously he has taught at Indiana University-Bloomington and Kansas State University and served as Percussionist for the Memphis Symphony, Memphis Opera Orchestra, and the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra.

As an author, he has written over 50 articles on the history, performance, and critique of percussion music and instruments for Percussive Notes magazine, the Encyclopedia of Percussion, the Encyclopedia of Popular Music of the World, the Encyclopedia of New England Culture and Grove Dictionary of American Music, 2nd Ed.


Flute, PMMF Symphony

Originally from Ann Arbor, Bryan Suits, the son of avid amateur musicians, began piano lessons at age 5, transitioned to flute at age 9, and briefly added viola at age 10.  Once in junior high, he concentrated primarily on the flute.  His flute teachers included well-known flute educators Judith Thomas, Penny Fischer, and Glennis Stout.  As a dedicated amateur musician, he regularly plays flute with the Keweenaw Symphony Orchestra, saxophone with the Copper Country Community Band, and occasionally can be seen performing with other groups in the Keweenaw area.  As a long-time professor of physics at Michigan Tech, he melds his interests in music and science in a course of his own design, “The Physics Behind Music,” currently offered both live and online. 


Bass, PMMF Symphony

Austin Vawter is a junior at the University of Iowa as a music performance major studying with Volkan Orhon. He started playing the bass in 6th grade and bought his own bass in 9th grade when he started taking lessons with John Hall. Austin has participated in many honor orchestras in high school. These include the Iowa All-State orchestra where he earned principal bass during his sophomore and senior years, NIESTA for four years; three as principal bass, Metropolitan Honor Orchestra for four years; two years principal bass; and ISTA for three years as principal bass. In addition to orchestras Austin has received a Division I rating each year for both city and state solo contests and won the Best-in-Center award three times. After his junior year, Austin went to Interlochen Arts camp where he studied with Larry Hurst and Jack Budrow for six weeks. He then won a section bass position with the Waterloo/Cedar Falls Symphony in the beginning of his senior year. Now that Austin is in college he has been subbing with many symphonies hopes to continue playing with orchestras and keep working at his goal to eventually be a member of an ICSOM orchestra.


The first Van Cliburn International Competition gold medalist, Ralph Votapek is a familiar favorite of Festival audiences whose playing “embodies all that is best in 20th century piano traditions, combining the fire, poetry and tonal warmth of the grand-manner prewar era with the modern-day virtues of fastidious clarity and electrifying rhythmic flair.”  Repertoire includes Beethoven, Debussy, Chopin and Gershwin.

(Photo: Sergei Kvitko)


Violin/Viola, PMMF Symphony

Lindy Wagner moved to Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula in January 2014 to teach violin and viola for both Michigan Tech and the Copper Country Suzuki Association. Lindy currently plays with the Keweenaw Symphony Orchestra with which she has served as concertmaster. She began taking violin lessons shortly before her fifth birthday and received both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in violin performance from Eastern Michigan University. At EMU, Lindy gained experience as a solo performer and as a member in various ensembles including the university orchestra where she served as concertmaster for several semesters. She also has experience playing in community orchestras and recitals, chamber groups, churches, and weddings. Lindy has maintained a private teaching studio for over five years and has completed teacher-training courses through Book 5 of the Suzuki Method of violin pedagogy. 


Chorus, The Barber of Seville

Dave Waisanen was born and raised in Hancock, MI and has lived there most of his life. His interest in singing began in elementary school and continues to the present day. He studied voice under Arthur Hill at Suomi College, now known as Finlandia University. Over the years he has sung in choirs from Junior High to community groups in Adrian, MI and the Houghton-Hancock area. He continues to sing in the Hancock First United Methodist Church Choir. Some of his experiences include performing in Gilbert & Sullivan operettas and Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi. Dave taught in the Hancock Public Schools for 40 years and is married to Carol Waisanen who directs the Copper Country Chorale. They have 4 children and 3 granddaughters. 


Stage Manager, The Barber of Seville

Spencer Whale is a 2014 graduate of Cornell University, where he studied Directing. Recent Pittsburgh credits include acting as Assistant Director on Devious Maid’s devised work Eldritch’s Asylum..., Assistant Stage Manager on Quantum Theatre’s immersive Tamara and the Pittsburgh Public Theater's The Glass Menagerie, as well as coaching and judging for their Shakespeare Monologue & Scene Contest. Some favorite directing credits include Titus Andronicus for Cornell’s Main Stage Season, and subculture for Risley Theatre. As President of the Cornell Shakespeare Troupe, he mounted Macbeth and The Tempest, as well as Melancholy Play for the Schwartz Center, bare: A Pop Opera for the Melodramatics, and his original adaptation of Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog for Risley Theatre. He won Second Prize for Stage Plays of the 2014 Heermans-McCalmon Dramatic Writing Competition and was a member of the 2012 Hangar Theatre Lab Company in Ithaca, NY.


Rosina, The Barber of Seville

Chrystal E. Williams recently made her Opera Philadelphia debut this June as Rebecca in Charlie Parker’s YARDBIRD and debuted with Birmingham Opera Company, UK singing Hannah in The Ice Break. She has sung with Sarasota Opera as Rosina in Il Barbiere di Siviglia where critics cited, “…the young mezzo-soprano possesses a creamy instrument with fine flexibility.” She debuts with Knoxville Opera as Hänsel in Hänsel and Gretel and reprises her role in Charlie Parker's YARDBIRD with Gotham Chamber Opera.


Ms. Williams was the recent winner of the Wilhelm Stenhammer International Music Competition winning both First Place and Audience Choice awards in Sweden. She was a finalist in the International Belvedere Singing Competition, the Giulio Gari International Music Competition, the Mario Lanza Competition, and received the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions Encouragement Award. Ms. Williams holds degrees in performance from Yale University, Carnegie Mellon University and The Academy of Vocal Arts.


Trombone, PMMF Symphony

Steven Wolf is a Junior Undergraduate Trombonist at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign where he is majoring in classical performance under the instruction of Elliot Chasanov. Prior to attending UIUC, Steven studied trombone in his home town of Clarksville, MD with Michael Parker, a Northwestern Alumnus and member of Monumental Brass Quintet. In the last year, Steven has filled mentorship roles at Atholton High School and Folly Quarter Middle School, teaching brass students in both one-on-one and master class settings as well as by providing advice for student music leaders. He is extremely excited to participate as a tenor and alto trombonist in the 2015 Pine Mountain Music Festival while also acting as a peer mentor for the students at PMMF!


Soprano, Beethoven Symphony No. 9

Tory Wood was born and raised in Escanaba, MI where she was active in music and theater at Escanaba High School and is the daughter of Escanaba residents Brian and Ann Wood.  Last Spring, Tory graduated from Lawrence University in Appleton, WI where she earned her Bachelor of Music degree and has recently completed her first year of coursework for a Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor studying under Stanford Olsen.  Recent performances have included the roles of Ms. Wordsworth in Benjamin Britten’s Albert Herring, at Lawrence, 1st Spirit in Mozart’s The Magic Flute at U of M, and she looks forward to playing Kitty in their Fall 2014 production of Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking.  This summer, Tory will be splitting her time between the U.P., New Zealand and Australia on a concert tour with the Chamber Choir from U of M under the direction of Jerry Blackstone.


Clarinet, PMMF Symphony

Debra Zei teaches mathematics at The Houghton Portage Township School District and is an adjunct instructor at MTU.  She has been the principal clarinetist in the Keweenaw Symphony Orchestra for many years.  Debra also performs with other local musical ensembles such as the Copper Country Community Band, The KSO Wind Quintet and the Keweenaw Swing Band.  She has been a member of the pit orchestra in over thirty musical productions both at Michigan Technological University as well as with the Calumet Players.  Additionally, Debra is an accompanist at the Church of the Resurrection, Saint Albert the Great, and Trinity Church.