Berkshire Choral International

Professionals you can learn from

The faculty who teach our workshops and classes are career singers and musicians with advanced training and performance experience. If it’s possible to come away from BCI without learning something new, no one has done it yet.

The following represents our 2016 faculty. The 2017 faculty and the venues in which they will attend will be posted in the spring of 2017.

Julia Foster Rottmayer


Julia Foster Rottmayer is active and acclaimed in the stage, concert, and teaching arenas. Her concert engagements have included Brahms’Requiem, Mozart’s Great Mass in C minor, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Orff’s Carmina Burana, Handel’s Messiah, Poulenc’s Gloria, and Bach’s Mass in B minor. On the operatic stage, Julia has recently portrayed Thérèse in Poulenc’s Les Mamelles de Tirésias, Everly Shrills (Madame Herz) in Mozart’s Impresario, Beth in Adamo’s Little Women, Vitige in Handel’s Flavio, and Pamina in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte. Other favorites performances include Blanche in Dialogues of the Carmelites, Rose Maurrant in Kurt Weill’s Street Scene, Mabel in The Pirates of Penzance, and Adele in Die Fledermaus. She has sung with a variety of orchestras and companies, including the Orlando Philharmonic, Opera Orlando, Amadeus Opernensemble Salzburg, Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, Ars Lyrica Houston, Bach Festival Society of Winter Park, Stoughton Opera, and Madison Savoyards.

Julia is an advocate for the performance of Art Song and is a frequent recitalist, having toured throughout the United States. Alongside standard French, German, Italian, and American repertoire, her recitals have incorporated less traditional works, such as George Crumb’s Apparition for soprano and prepared piano. She has premiered works by Scott Gendel and Daniel Crozier, and her early repertoire ranges from Armonia in La Pellegrina to Bach’s celebrated cantata, Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen.

In service to the singing community, Julia serves as President of the Central Florida Chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing.  She has served as the head of the voice area at Rollins College, as a member of the voice faculties at Kingwood College, Berkshire Choral International, and Madison Early Music Festival, and as Graduate Instructor of voice at the Eastman School of Music (MM) and the University of Houston (DMA). Julia also maintains a thriving private voice studio in Orlando, FL and is highly sought after as a master class clinician and adjudicator for competitions both regionally and nationally. She joins BCI for her third season on the Sonoma faculty

Kate Maroney


Recognized for vibrant performances in repertoire spanning the Renaissance to works by contemporary composers, Kate Maroney was featured worldwide in more than 75 performances of Einstein on the Beach and made her Lincoln Center soloist debut with the American Classical Orchestra in Bach’s Mass in B-minor.

In recent seasons Kate has appeared as a soloist at Carnegie Hall, LA Opera, Oregon Bach Festival, Musica Sacra, New York City Ballet, with Anonymous 4, The Bangor Symphony, Clarion, Bach Collegium San Diego, American Symphony Orchestra at Bard SummerScape, Princeton Pro Musica, Yale Choral Artists, Sacred Music Sacred Space, Bach Vespers Holy Trinity, Lincoln Center Festival, Ensemble Signal, Ekmeles, Mark Morris Dance Group, Vox Vocal Ensemble, American Opera Projects, Berkshire Bach Society, Brooklyn Art Song Society, and the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. Kate will appear as a soloist this summer at the Carmel Bach Festival as a Virginia Best Adams Fellow. She holds degrees from Eastman, Yale and SUNY Purchase and is on faculty at Mannes (The New School), where she teaches courses in vocal pedagogy and private voice students. She resides in Brooklyn with jazz-musician husband Red Wierenga.

This is her first season on BCI’s faculty, and she will be in Sonoma and Sheffield’s Week 3.

Sean Stephenson


Sean Stephenson holds the M.M. in Vocal Performance from The University of Missouri at Kansas City. During his time at Millikin University in Decatur, IL he performed for three years with the internationally renowned University Choir, touring across the United States and throughout east Asia. Sean also performed with the early music ensemble Tudor Voices and was involved in numerous opera productions until he ultimately received his B.M. in Vocal Performance, graduating Summa Cum Laude.

In demand as a chorister, Sean has populated ensembles across the Midwest and northern Colorado. Notable appearances include Résonance, Colorado Bach Ensemble, Ars Cantus, Seicento Baroque Ensemble, The Ursa Consort, Colorado Masterworks Chorus, Opera Fort Collins and Opera Omaha. Recent solo performances include the title role of Jephte with Collegium Vocale of UMKC, Number 4 in Transformations with Kansas City Civic Opera, Prince Hal in At the Boar’s Head with UNC Opera Theatre, Tony in an English translation of Daughter of the Regiment with Opera Fort Collins and Phoebus in The Fairy Queen with UNC Opera Theatre.

Upcoming performances include chorus and the cover for Cassio in Verdi’s Otello, and chorus and the cover for Ramiro in Rossini’s Cenerentola, both with Opera Fort Collins. Sean is currently pursuing a Doctor of Arts in Voice Performance at the University of Northern Colorado, serving as Teaching Assistant in the voice area.

He joins BCI for the first time on the Sonoma faculty.

Frank Nemhauser


Berkshire Choral International Music Director Frank Nemhauser will serve as bass faculty in Sonoma and Newport.

Paul Conrad


New Jersey-based Paul Conrad received a Bachelor of Music in piano performance from Mason Gross School of the Arts under the instruction of Paul Hoffmann. He is in high demand as an accompanist for both soloists and ensembles as a staff pianist at MGSA. Paul was selected twice as accompanying apprentice at Berkshire Choral International, where he played masterclasses with prominent singers and conductors, including Tim LeFebvre, Jerry Blackstone, David Hayes, and Craig Hella Johnson.

Paul is the recipient of many honorable collegiate awards, including the RUGC Aspinall Award, Presser Foundation Award, Arthur G. Humphrey Memorial Prize, and the NJ State Governor’s Scholarship. Under the direction of MGSA professor Min Kwon, he performed at Weill Recital Hall as part of a Franz Liszt 200th Anniversary Recital. Paul sang with and now accompanies the Rutgers University Glee Club, the school's internationally acclaimed male vocal ensemble, conducted by Dr. Patrick Gardner.

Paul is currently pursuing a Master of Music in collaborative piano at MGSA with Barbara Gonzalez-Palmer and has had additional coaching with Allison Brewster-Franzetti in the areas of both vocal and instrumental accompanying. He has worked extensively as pianist and musical director in collaboration with soprano Lori Mirabel for the Maplewood/South Orange Coalition on Race’s child-friendly operatic productions, including Robert Kapilow’s adaptations of Dr. Seuss’s “Green Eggs and Ham” and “Gertrude McFuzz” as well as Verdi’s Aida and Dvořák’s Rusalka.

Paul is an avid ballet pianist, playing regularly for the Rutgers University Dance Department, Lustig Dance Theatre (New Brunswick, NJ), and annually at the Cecchetti International Summer School at Hope College, MI. Paul is also the accompanist for the Highland Park Community Chorus under the direction of Benjamin Berman and serves as organist and pianist at Middlebush Reformed Church in Franklin, NJ. 

Originally a Berkshire Scholar at BCI, Paul returns for his fourth season as accompanist in Sonoma.

Kristina Bachrach


Kristina Bachrach is making a name for herself in New York City and around the country. In the 2015/2016 season she was the Grand Prize winner of James Conlon’s inaugural Ziering Conlon Recovered Voices Young Artist Competition held in Los Angeles, CA. She also made her operatic role debut as the Princess in Bare Opera NYC’s inaugural production of Ravel’s L’enfant et les sortileges. That same season she appeared in recital in the Masterworks Series at BargeMusic, at the Roeliff Jansen Library, and at Notre Dame University, as well as with Cantata Profana Ensemble, performing Schoenberg’s Second String Quartet in New Haven and New York City to a rave review in The New York Times. Further, she starred in the world premieres of Cephalophore by Chris Kincaid and The Man Who Woke Up by Robin Haigh with the Thompson Street Opera Company in Louisville, KY. She completed her third collaboration with Gotham Chamber Opera in its presentation of two operas by Bohuslav Martinu and recorded songs of John Harbison as part of a CD for the twentieth anniversary of SongFest. This past summer found her in residence at the Marcella Sembrich Opera Museum and with the Lake George Music Festival, where she was featured singing Samuel Barber’s “Knoxville: Summer of 1915.”

In the 2013-2014 season she made role debuts as Lucy in The Telephone and Mrs. Gobineau in The Medium with Opera Naples, Emily Dickinson in Emily at Thompson Street Opera Company in Louisville, KY, and Musetta in La Boheme with the Lyric Opera of Virginia. Throughout the year she performed with the Brooklyn Art Song Society in many concerts of the lieder of Johannes Brahms in New York City, Philadelphia, Newton, MA, and South Bend, IN. In December 2013 she returned as a soloist with the Westchester Choral Society in its annual Christmas concert and appeared for the first time with the String Orchestra of Brooklyn singing the soprano solos in Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater. In January Kristina was an Artist Resident at the Banff Music Centre, where she focused on the music of Elliott Carter and Judith Weir, and at the end of April Kristina made her Carnegie Hall Debut as the soprano soloist in Anton Bruckner’s Te Deum with the Cecilia Chorus and Orchestra of NY. She also presented solo recitals under the auspices of the Moravian Music Foundation and the Joy in Singing Foundation.

She has completed residencies with Nashville Opera, where she appeared as Clorinda in La Cenerentola and Papagena in The Magic Flute, and at the Tanglewood Music Center where she performed Schoenberg’s Pierrot lunaire and was a featured soloist in Mark Morris Dance Group’s production of Dido and Aeneas. She was thrice a Marc and Eva Stern Fellow at SongFest at Colburn and will return this summer as the Ziering Conlon Fellow. She looks forward to an upcoming residence with YellowBarn Music Festival in Putney, VT.

Kristina holds degrees from Mannes College, the New School for Music and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, summa cum laude. While in Illinois she earned the Sara de Mundo Lo award for Outstanding Opera Performance for her portrayal of Sally Goodkin in Joseph Turrin’s The Scarecrow and as a soprano soloist in Leonard Bernstein’s Mass. She is an award winner with the American Prize Competition, the Philharmonic Society of Arlington’s Yong Artist Competition, and the Metrowest Opera Competition, and a Grant Award Recipient from the Schuyler Foundation for Career Bridges.

She returns to BCI faculty for the second time in Newport, where she will also be the featured soloist.

Helen Karloski


Helen Karloski, a Pittsburgh native, is based in New York City. A versatile artist, she is at home in a variety of musical styles including oratorio, opera, and chamber music. She was the recipient of the Ellen Lopin Blair Award for First Place in the 2015 Lyndon Woodside Oratorio Solo Competition. In November 2016, she will make her Carnegie Hall debut singing Mozart's Mass in C minor and Bruckner's Te Deum with the Oratorio Society of New York and Kent Tritle. Helen’s 2015-16 season includes performances of Dvořák’s Stabat Mater with the Omaha Symphony, Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater under the baton of Harry Bicket with the Santa Fe Desert Chorale, Mozart’s Solemn Vespers and the premiere of Deborah, a newly commissioned work by American composer Evan Fein with Musica Sacra, Copland’s In the Beginning with Sacred Music in a Sacred Space, Mendelssohn's A Midsummer Night's Dream with New York City Ballet, Bach’s St. John Passion with the St. Andrew Chorale and Orchestra, and Mendelssohn’s Elijah with the Choral Society at Grace Church in New York City.

The New York Times wrote of her performance in Georg Philip Telemann's rarely performed oratorio Der Tag des Gerichts, "Helen Karloski commanded attention as Reason." Helen made her Lincoln Center debut in Mozart’s Solemn Vespers with the Mostly Mozart Festival under the baton of Iván Fischer. Her other solo engagements include Vivaldi’s Gloria with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Haydn’s Theresienmesse with Voices of Ascension, Bach’s Magnificat with the Victoria Bach Festival, Bach’s St. Matthew Passion and Brahms’ Alto Rhapsody with St. Andrew’s Music Society, Handel’s Dixit Dominus with the Tucson Chamber Artists, and Duruflé’s Requiem with Ars Musica and the Delaware Valley Chorale. Favorite performances include The Cunning Little Vixen (Hen), Le Grande Macabre, and My Fair Lady starring Kelsey Grammar and Kelli O’Hara with the New York Philharmonic, Les Huguenots and Oresteia at Bard SummerScape, and the New York City premier of Elliot Goldenthal’s Grendel, directed by Academy Award-nominated Julie Taymor. An accomplished ensemble singer, Helen performs regularly with Conspirare, where she was featured on the Grammy-winning recording The Sacred Spirit of Russia, Voices of Ascension, Musica Sacra, Santa Fe Desert Choral, and Handel and Haydn Society.

Helen joins BCI faculty for the first time in Newport.

George Case


George Case is the Director of Choral Activities at The Boston Conservatory, where he directs the chorale ensembles, teaches Choral Literature, and directs the graduate choral conducting program. George is also the music director of the Newburyport Choral Society, an 80-year old choral society on the North Shore. With a multi-faceted background as a conductor, educator, and professional singer, George brings a wide-ranging body of musical experience and a passionate artistic voice to his work. He holds Doctoral and Master’s degrees in conducting from the University of Michigan and a Bachelor’s degree in vocal performance from Boston University.

While pursuing graduate degrees in Michigan, George served as artistic director of the Arts Chorale, assistant conductor of the Grammy Award-winning University Musical Society Choral Union, graduate conductor of the Orpheus Singers, and co-teacher of Choral and Vocal Methods classes. Additionally, he was opera chorus director for Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress and assistant conductor and accompanist for the university’s renowned Men’s and Women’s Glee Clubs.

George is an award-winning educator of young musicians who frequently leads clinics and workshops for high school and college singers as well as professional development sessions for teachers around the country. During his tenure as Director of Choral and Vocal Programs at the Cobb County Center for Excellence in the Performing Arts in his native Atlanta, Georgia, between 2007 and 2010, George’s choirs were selected to participate in the Honor! Festival curated by Jessye Norman and Carnegie Hall with Craig Jessop and the Orchestra of St. Luke’s. George has been recognized as a 2010 Presidential Teacher Honoree and 2009 Star Teacher for Pebblebrook High School, and he served on the faculty of the Boston University Tanglewood Institute from 2005 to 2012.

As a soloist and professional chorister, George has performed with major ensembles across North America and Europe. He is a regular member of and soloist with the Santa Fe Desert Chorale, Atlanta Singers, Meridian Chorale, Skylark Vocal Ensemble, Marsh Chapel Choir, Spire Chamber Ensemble, and the Carnegie Festival Chorus, and he has appeared as soloist in Stravinsky’s Mass at the Great Lakes Music Festival and in Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra under Leonard Slatkin. He was a featured soloist in a gala performance of music by prominent American composer Susan Botti during the closing celebrations of the 2006 Prix de Rome Competition in Rome, Italy.

George has prepared choruses for leading conductors including Michael Tilson Thomas, Craig Jessop, Leonard Slatkin, and Helmuth Rilling. His primary conducting teachers include Ann Howard Jones, Jerry Blackstone, Joshua Habermann, Paul Rardin, and Kenneth Kiesler, and he has received additional mentorship from David Hayes, Don McCullough, Tom Hall, Robert Page, Helmuth Rilling, Kathy Saltzman Romey, and Anton Armstrong.

He returns to BCI for the second time on the Newport faculty.

Stephan Griffin


A native of Monkton, Maryland, Stephan Griffin is the director of music at historic Trinity Episcopal Church in Newport, Rhode Island and the artistic director of the Newport Community Youth Choir. He began his musical training studying piano with Virginia Reinecke and holds a Master's degree in Organ Performance from The University of Texas at Austin where his principal teachers were Drs. Gerre and Judith Hancock. An active organist and accompanist, Stephan has performed in recital throughout the US and worked with a variety of ensembles including the Dallas Wind Symphony, The University of Texas Men's Chorus, the Roger Williams University Chorus, and the Maryland State Boychoir, with appearances at the Kennedy Center, Strathmore Hall, and American Choral Directors Association conferences.

Equally at home as a singer, he earned a BMus in Vocal Performance from Boston University, where he studied voice with Susan Ormont and has done additional studies at the Royal College of Music in London with Stephen Roberts, John Blakely, and Stephen Varcoe. Stephan has been privileged to sing with ensembles including Texas Early Music Project, The Austin Baroque Orchestra (chorus master & baritone soloist), the Marsh Chapel Choir, and the Compline Choir of St. David's Church (Austin, TX). He is currently a member of Schola Cantorum of Boston and pursuing a DMA in Organ Performance at Boston University under Peter Sykes.

Stephan will be the featured organist in the Newport performance as well as rehearsal accompanist.

Flora Königsberger


Flora Königsberger studied at the Conservatory for Church Music St. Pölten, Lower Austria (Art Song, Mass and Oratorio) as well as Musicology and Classical Vocal Pedagogy in Vienna. Besides her studies at the Music University Vienna, she gained professional experience in the musicological work field and in cultural exchange and museum educational service. As her pedagogical and freelance artistic activity gradually increased, her focus has changed to working as a singing teacher and choir leader.

Flora has regular concert activity as a member of numerous ensembles and choirs, as for example with Klosterneuburg Summer Opera, Wiener Kammerchor, the Vocal Ensemble of Saint Stephen's Cathedral Vienna and Neue Oper Wien. As a soloist and as a member of small ensembles she is especially devoted to sacred music, baroque style and music of the 20th and 21st centuries.

Flora has especially dedicated herself to the training of aging voices for many years ("Chor 50+"), as well as to the vocal technique of various choirs and their singers of all ages and experience levels (i.e. vocal coaching for "Neue Wiener Stimmen") and integrative bodywork connected to phonation and music. In choir leading she is specialised in work with non-professionals and "unconventional" concepts for choirs, for example singing without music reading skills, non-classical literature and improvisation and experimentation for groups ("Chor 50+", "Ein Weltchor. A wöd Chor. A world chorus." at Festspielhaus St.Pölten, Lower Austria). Lately she works as Choir Director for the Landestheater Niederösterreich ("Minna von Barnhelm", 2014/15) and the Tonkuenstler Orchestra under Chief Director Yutaka Sado (Beethoven's Ninth Symphony/Ode to Joy, which will take place in November 2016 with 500 choral singers from Lower Austria and Vienna).

Anne Alt


Anne Alt holds master’s degrees in classical singing and in choir conducting, the former earned at the Academy of Music in Gdansk, Poland, and the latter at the Estonian Academy of Music. Her professional experience covers many classic roles, including Dorabella in Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte, as a soloist in both the Mozart and Verdi Requiems, Donna Elvira in Mozart’s Don Giovanni, and Ernestina in Rossini’s L’occasione fa il ladro. She has been involved with the Wiener Volksoper Zusatzhor and the Wiener Staatsoper Zusatzhchor and has lectured in choir conducting at the Estonian Academy of Music.  

Matthias Binder


Matthias Binder was born in Kirchdorf/Krems in Upper Austria. He studied piano at the Anton Bruckner Universitat Linz and musical education for high schools at the University of Music Graz. He is chorus master of Allegro Vivace and Musikfreunde Perchtoldsdorf in Vienna and sings at Volksoper Wien, Philharmonia Choir Vienna (Festival Baden Baden with Sir Simon Rattle/Opera Festival St,Margarethen), Augustiner Church in Vienna, and St. Stephen's Cathedral Vienna

Thomas Böttcher


Thomas Böttcher has been associated with Berkshire Choral International since the beginning of the Mondsee/Salzburg days, playing a variety of roles from section leader to conductor to lecturer. He holds a Master of Arts in Music Education and studied composition and conducting in Vienna for several years.

He has served as choral conductor of the Youth Vocal Festival in Lower Austria and conductor of the Symphony Orchestra of Amstetten. He has accompanied the vocal classes of Vienna’s Academy of Music and Performing Arts as well as the New Opera Vienna and the Vienna Summer Opera. Recent conducting engagements for this institution included performances of the operas L´Italiana in Algeri, The Bartered Bride, The Magic Flute, Les contes d´Hoffmann and others.

Thomas has been conductor and pianist for the Vienna Boys Choir since 1991 in more than 500 performances worldwide. Since 1997 he has taught in the voice department of the University of Music in Vienna.  He has been invited several times to teach choral singing and choral conducting in Australia (Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide) and in the United States (Boston).

In 1999 Thomas started working as a Chorus Master and conductor of the stage orchestra in the Vienna Volksoper. In February 2012 he was appointed to be the First Chorus Director of this opera house.

Florian Reithner


Florian Reithner has worked as a composer, producer and silent film musician with the Austrian Film Archive since 2006. He studied composition with Ivan Eröd, David Babcock and others at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna. He also completed church music studies with Franz Danksagmueller and Michael Stephanides.

In 2008, Florian was appointed composer-in-residence for the Ensemble Filmharmonie. Since 2011, he also holds the position of chief conductor of this orchestra. He gained several prizes at international music competitions, such as the International Lions Club Composers Competition 2005 and the MM Jazzfestival Young Jazz Artist of the Year 2007. Florian also keeps busy as a freelance composer and keyboard performer and works as organist and choir master in several church congregations in Vienna.

Sun Young Chang


Sun Young Chang has worked extensively both teaching voice and performing for over a decade. She received her Master of Music and Professional Studies Diploma from Mannes College of Music, The New School for Music.

She was named a Finalist in the Connecticut Opera Guild Competition and the Violetta Du Pont Vocal Competition, and a Semi-Finalist in Rochester Oratorio Vocal Competition and Joy In Singing Competition. She has featured as a frequent soloist in Hoch Chamber Music Series, Afternoon Music Series in Summit, Hot Springs Music Festival, Rangeley Friends of the Art Summer Concert Series and other numerous concert series. She has performed opera roles such as Mimi, Lauretta, Giulietta, Micaela, Donna Elvira, Pamina, Nella, Gilda, Anne Truelove, and Zerlina, with Empire Opera, the Delaware Valley Symphony Orchestra, Kaye Playhouse, and the Actors Studio.

As an active educator, Sun Young has been on the faculty at Concordia Conservatory at Concordia College, Kean University, and Westerhoff School of Music and Art after she completed the internship program with Metropolitan Opera Guild Education Department. She has also been on the roster of Associated Solo Artists, where she has worked as a teaching artist.

As a dedicated educator in the creative aging program, Sun Young has been a Choral Director at Wartburg Adult Community center. Her new project "One heart, One voice" chorus for Alzheimer patients and their caregivers will launch in September under partnership with the National Alzheimer’s Association and the Wartburg Community center with a grant from the New York State of Department of Health.

She joins BCI for her fourth season on faculty in Sheffield.

Melissa Attebury


Praised by the New York Times as a “rich-toned alto who brought a measure of depth to her performance,” Melissa Attebury appears regularly as soloist in concert and oratorio. She is in particular demand for her skill in music of the Baroque; recent appearances include Messiah, Christmas Oratorio, St. Matthew and St. John Passions, and as a regular soloist in the Bach at One series of complete cantatas with Julian Wachner and the Choir of Trinity Wall Street. She played the role of the Witch in Trinity’s staged production of Händel’s Saul. Other recent performances include the Rachmaninoff Vespers and Rosalia (West Side Story Concert Suites) with Alan Gilbert and the New York Philharmonic at Carnegie Hall; Elijah at Berkshire Choral International, Israel in Egypt  with The Washington Chorus, Beethoven 9th Symphony at Trinity Wall Street, and Messiah at Carnegie Hall with the New Jersey Masterworks Chorus.  

Operatic rôles include Carmen, Dorabella (Cosi fan tutte), Lelia (Iolanthe), Blanche (Dialogues of the Carmelites), Cherubino (Le nozze di Figaro), Phoebe (Yeomen of the Guard), Lisa (The Grand Duke), Melissa (Princess Ida), Pitti-Sing (Mikado). Kate (Pirates of Penzance), Stephano (Romeo et Juliette), Orlovsky (Die Fledermaus), Giovanna (Rigoletto) and Nellie (South Pacific).  A specialist in the operettas of Gilbert and Sullivan, she has been hailed as “appealing both vocally and comedically” (Kansas City Star) for her work in this genre. Critics have called her mezzo-soprano voice “lustrous, sumptuous” (Theater Scene); her rendition of the role of Lisa in The Grand Duke was “exquisitely sung, garnering one of the biggest hands of the evening” (Forbes).

Melissa  is a featured soloist on the Grammy-nominated Israel in Egypt with the Choir of Trinity Wall Street, Ralf Yusuf Gawlick's Missa Gentis Humanae for 8 voices, Julian Wachner’s Symphony No. 1, and a new release of the choral works of Trevor Weston. A skilled ensemble musician, she appears on Julia Wolfe’s 2015 Pulitzer Prize-winning work Anthracite Fields, recorded with Bang on a Can All-Stars as well as Trinity’s Bach Motets.

Melissa is the Associate Director of Music at Trinity Wall Street and on the faculty of Berkshire Choral  International. She manages Trinity’s music outreach program in the public schools, serving over 250 school-age children. Also at Trinity, she created and directs the chorister program; her choristers make their recorded debut on The Snow Lay on the Ground, carol settings of Julian Wachner, and on the Trevor Weston works. She has conducted performances of the choristers with Josh Groban, in the film "Love is Strange" and many events at Trinity Wall Street. She will be the alto faculty Sheffield for Weeks 1 and 2.

Kate Maroney

Kate's bio can be seen above; click here: Kate Maroney

Matthew Swanson


A native of southeast Iowa, Matthew Swanson was appointed May Festival Conducting Fellow in September 2015. In this capacity, he assists Robert Porco in the direction of the May Festival Chorus and James Bagwell in the direction of the May Festival Youth Chorus. In addition, he leads community outreach and engagement activities on behalf of the May Festival throughout the year.

Recent conducting engagements include concerts at the Cincinnati Early Music Festival, performances with Cincinnati’s Musica Sacra, the Cambridge University Baroque Ensemble, the King’s College Music Society, and frequent appearances with ensembles at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM).

Matthew serves on the musical staff of the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain where he works with the Training Choirs of NYCGB. Prior to his appointment as conducting fellow, Matthew sang in the May Festival Chorus for three seasons, and currently performs with Cincinnati's Vocal Arts Ensemble. As a speaker and presenter, he has given pre-concert talks for the Bravo! Vail Music Festival and Live at CCM, and he continues to collaborate with the Cincinnati Public Library in their ongoing series, “Listen to This.”

Matthew is Assistant Choirmaster at the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer, Cincinnati. Previously, he was Master of the Schola at the Chapel of St. John Fisher, Cambridge, UK. He holds an undergraduate degree in trumpet performance and American Studies from the University of Notre Dame and earned graduate degrees in conducting and choral studies from CCM and King’s College, Cambridge.

Sean Taylor


Sean, originally from Brookville, Pennsylvania, is Assistant Professor of Voice and Director of Choral Studies at the University of Texas, Rio Grande Valley, where he conducts the UTB Master Chorale and Chamber Singers and teaches applied voice, conducting and choral methods. Previously he was on the faculties of Washington & Jefferson College in Pennsylvania and Central State University in Ohio. Sean holds a Doctor of Musical Arts in Choral Conducting from the University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music. His primary area of research is Latin diction; he is a diction specialist with SingersBabel (, for which he authors phonetic guides and recordings of Latin texts.

While a student at CCM, Sean served as assistant conductor of the CCM Chorale and Chamber Choir under Earl Rivers and as music director of the UC Cabaret Singers. An experienced church musician, he has served on the music staffs of Knox Presbyterian Church in Cincinnati and Third Presbyterian Church in Pittsburgh. In addition to extensive freelance solo work, Sean has performed with the Cincinnati Opera Chorus, May Festival Chorus, Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh and Pittsburgh Opera Chorus. While a graduate student at Carnegie Mellon University, he served as assistant conductor to Grammy-winning conductor Robert Page. Sean has sung with the Vocal Arts Ensemble, Cincinnati’s professional chamber choir, for six years. The ensemble is now directed by Craig Hella Johnson.

Sean received a Bachelor of Music in Music Education with an emphasis in voice from Westminster College in New Wilmington, PA, and taught music in the Beaver Local School District in Lisbon, OH, before returning to graduate school. Recently, he led performances of Honegger’s King David, Handel’s Messiah, and Fauré’s Requiem. This is Sean’s10th season with BCI, where he is serving as bass faculty in Sheffield.

Mitchell Vines


Mitchell Vines’ active performing career has taken him to Europe, South America, Asia and throughout the United States. The German newspaper Hessische Niedersächsische Allgemeine wrote “The sensitive playing of American pianist Mitchell Vines captivated the audience. He performed with virtuosity and bravura.”

Mitchell’s professional associations include Berkshire Choral International, New York Summer Opera Scenes, Trinity Church Wall Street, CantaLyrica Chamber Choir, and the Vermont Music and Arts Center. He was twice soloist with the New York Repertory Orchestra, performing Bartok’s 3rd piano concerto and Milhaud’s Le Carnaval d’Aix. Mitchell has performed with numerous singers and instrumentalists, and is in high demand as a collaborative pianist.  

His teaching experience includes positions with the Aspen Music Festival, Mannes School of Music, Brooklyn College Conservatory of Music and the Harlem School of the Arts, and he is a music director for theater, opera and cabaret. Mitchell is the artistic director of Afternoon Music, a concert series in Summit, NJ.

Mitchell can be heard on the CD "American Music for Trumpet and Piano" on Capstone Records, and he is featured on a CD of vocal chamber music by North German composers on the Syrinx label. Recent recordings include a CD of compositions by Paul Zeigler, a recital with Japanese soprano Selena Miyazaki, and a collaboration with flutist Tia Roper on Albany Records.

A native of Portland, Oregon, Mitchell holds a Bachelor of Arts from Portland State University and a Master of Music from the Eastman School of Music. While at Eastman, he held a Fellowship in accompanying and was awarded the Performer's Certificate, the conservatory’s highest honor. Previously music director of Bay Ridge United Methodist Church, Mitchell is currently music and choir director of the Unitarian Church in Summit, New Jersey, and Temple Israel of New York City. This will be his sixth year accompanying BCI choristers in Sheffield.

Kirk Averitt


Kirk Averitt is the Director of Choral Music at Beaver Country Day School in Chestnut Hill, MA, where he teaches choral ensembles from grades 6 through 12. He holds a Master of Music in Choral Conducting from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. At UMass he conducted the University Women's and Recital Choirs and taught an undergraduate course in Arts Appreciation. 

Kirk is originally from Decatur, AL. He received his Bachelor of Music Education from Lipscomb University in Nashville, TN. While in Nashville, Kirk held positions as the interim choral director at Brentwood High School and baritone section leader at West End United Methodist Church. He also performed with a number of choral groups including Music City Baroque and the Nashville Chamber Singers. This is his third summer at BCI, where he started as an apprentice. He is a staff conductor in Sheffield this season.

Daniel Mahoney


Daniel Mahoney is an engaging, emerging conductor and tenor in the Boston area.  He recently completed his Master of Music in choral conducting from The Boston Conservatory, where he served as conductor of the sixteen-voice Conductors’ Choir and assistant conductor to the Chorale and Women’s Chorus.  He was also assistant conductor and chorus master for multiple productions with the Conservatory’s opera program. 

In addition to his work at the Conservatory, Daniel was assistant conductor of the Newburyport Choral Society on Boston’s North Shore from 2014 to 2016. Earlier this year, he conducted the debut performances of The Janvs Project, a project-based ensemble dedicated to commissioning new music that is directly inspired by previously existing repertoire.  Daniel was awarded The Boston Conservatory’s Entrepreneurial Grant to fund The Janvs Project’s initial concerts in a series commissioning companion pieces to Benjamin Britten’s works for solo voice and chamber orchestra.

Daniel is currently the choir director at the Congregational Church of Weston. Initially coming to BCI as a Berkshire Scholar, he was an apprentice in 2014 and 2015 and joins the in Sheffield as a staff conductor this year.