Choral Programs

The Continuo Arts Foundation

2014 This is our story!  Click Here

The Continuo Arts Foundation is committed to making a difference in the lives of individuals, communities and cultures through music.  Supporting music education and musicians, Continuo Arts offers New Jerseys most comprehensive Intergenerational Choral Program inclusive of children through adult, senior citizens to professionals.  The Continuo Arts Foundation is known for providing all-encompassing and unforgettable local, national and international musical experiences in concerts, classes, workshops and throughout the education spectrum; leading to a life-long love and support of the arts. Working in partnership with corporate and private sponsors, the Continuo Arts Foundation makes possible the education, performance and composition of music in ways which might otherwise be considered too unique or too expensive to be ordinarily under taken; giving precedence to considerations of quality over those of quantity; to artistic rather than to economic values and to opportunity over expediency.  A 501 (c) 3 charitable organization, more information can be found at

Click Here for Complete Organizational Timeline

Continuo Arts is pleased to announce

Lerner Recital Series 

Continuo Arts is pleased to announce the  Lerner Recital Series and the generous donation of an historic Sohmer Grand Piano from Artistic Patron Mr. Norman Lerner.  In the Lerner family for over 4 generations, Continuo is honored to  receive a gift of this stature, described by Steinway as “a piece of American History.” We gratefully accept the helm of care and musical legacy of this beautiful instrument and look forward to the many new  performance  opportunities to come!

2014 - This is our Story!  Click Here   Donate Now! Click Here

On behalf of the Continuo Arts Foundation Board of Directors we would like to express our heartfelt thanks and appreciation for your support throughout the year.  In 2013, the Continuo Foundation saw unprecedented growth; with the team-work of dedicated volunteers and the generosity of patrons, foundations, sponsors & friends together, we are creating a future full of possibility!

Some important 2013 Highlights include:

  1. Intergenerational Choral Programs enrollment increases by 20%
  2. Inaugural performance by Sonaré, the Continuo Arts Professional Vocal Ensemble
  3. Summer Musical Theater Conservatory’s new director Steve Hogel leads the Continuo Arts Players to outstanding performance heights
  4. The Norman Lerner Recital Series is established
  5. Continuo Arts presents Australia’s “Echology” on the Festival Pro Musica E Arte Sacra in Rome, Assisi and Vatican City
  6. The 2nd Minuetto Music Festival successfully expands with artistic participation and significant audience development
  7. Local concert series and Seniors Sing continue to be presented free of charge
  8. Established the Continuo Arts Advisory Board
  9. Over $25,000 in performance scholarships provided

Our Goals:

Together, we will maintain our momentum of progress!  Through your gift, you are partnering with us to make a change; you have chosen to make a difference! What does the future hold for Continuo? Here’s a peek at some exciting events just around the corner:

  1. The historic, first concert by an American organization inside the Sistine Chapel
  2. Performance tour throughout Ireland and Italy
  3. Collaboration in Carnegie Hall with Houghton College presenting the Mozart Requiem and Beethoven Choral Fantasy
  4. Continue developing intergenerational choral programs and educational outreach
  5. Establishing the Continuo Arts Council to develop scholarship and expansion programs

At the Continuo Arts Foundation, we look forward to working with you to assure that indeed, ...."the music lives on". Please contact us directly for a more personalized explanation as to how Continuo Arts can benefit you.



Candace Wicke, DMA 
Founder, President & Executive Director
The Continuo Arts Foundation

The Vision

The Continuo Arts Foundation believes that exposure to the arts is essential to understanding our culture and heritage.  We believe that music is of primary importance to the survival of civilization, to the health of society and to insuring the highest quality of life. The experience of music allows us to participate in the universal creative process, open hearts and minds, awaken feelings and bring delight and joy. We strive to understand and to promote music across the life span to all generations and around the world.

We believe that intergenerational musical experiences provide an important opportunity to become stronger individuals; to become more unified as a community by experiencing different cultures and backgrounds through music and in the process, make the communities we belong to stronger.

We are committed to innovative music education, exposure, enrichment and programming which engages the young and the old, the sophisticated and the first-time performer or listener, as well as those interested in understanding diverse cultures and genres. 

The Mission

The Continuo Arts Foundation mission is to further musical education, performance, composition, exposure and appreciation from generation to generation.

Timeline of our History


Continuo Arts Foundation History

The Continuo Arts Foundation was founded in 2007 and since this time, our commitment to procreate the arts through education, opportunity, performance, composition, and appreciation has grown to a global level.

2013 The Year at Continuo Arts!  Click Here

Click Here for Complete Organizational Timeline

In 2008, the Continuo Arts Inaugural Concert was presented in collaboration with the Fondazione Pro Musica e Arte Sacra in Vatican City as part of the prestigious Festival di Arte e Sacra Concert Series; sharing the program with the likes of the Vienna Philharmonic, Christoph Eschenbach, Helmuth Rilling and Leo Kramer. Televised by Vatican TV and broadcast around the world, singers as young as 6 and up to age 60 presented the European premiere of Stephen James Edward's "Requiem for My Mother".  Filmed for the documentary of the same name and recording in the famous Moriconne studio in Rome, individuals from across the country experienced a true 'once-in-a-lifetime' artistic, educational and cultural experience.

Continuo Arts launched it's Intergenerational Choral program in 2009. Growing to over 150 singers in less than a year, the music programs features six  ensembles which include:

  • Children's Chorus
  • Chanticleers
  • The Continuos! 
  • The Singers 
  • Civic Chorale 
  • Seniors Sing!

These important programs provide musical enrichment & education throughout the life span, offering opportunities for performance, community service projects, and outreach. Committed to bringing music to the masses, these choruses present major concerts free of charge to the public throughout the year in addition to many community service performances.

Weekly rehearsals, music study and master classes prepared singers and ensembles both local and from across the country to engage in historic and life-altering performances in historic Carnegie Hall: 

The 2009 "Christmas Time in the City" concert featured the World Premiere of Stephen James Edwards "A Carol Fantasy" and provided Carnegie Hall debuts for young artists including:

  • Diva Musica
  • The Spencer Brothers
  • The Yale Spizzwinks
  • Judy Kang
  • Embellishment
  • The Shoreline Ringers
  • Matt Herskowitz
  • Rebecca Sjowall
  • Walker Joyce
  • Avery Sommers

The 2010 Lee Kjelson Memorial "Sounds of Music" Series celebrated the power & passion of music transforming the world. Named for and in honor of the famed music educator Lee Kjelson, the concert featured the world premiere of Gary Fry's "Sing a Song with Me" and the New York Premiere of "Hope". Young singers from Chicago's Midwest Young Artist program joined the youth choruses from Continuo Arts, Newark Academy and Kent Place School and were afforded the incrediable opportunity to perform at a young age on the famed Carnegie Hall Stage.  This concert included the Carnegie Hall conducting and artist debuts of:

  • Gary Fry
  • Destino

The Continuo Arts Summer Musical Theater Conservatory, a three-week intensive musical theater immersion experience was founded in 2010.  Open to youth from all socio-economic backgrounds, the summer program encourages artistry and self-expression while giving young people a positive and healthy outlet for instruction and creativity.

With the reputation for excellence, the Continuo Arts Children's Chorus received an invitation to perform with International superstar Andre Rieu and the Johann Strauss Orchestra in 2010 at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.  Performing a tribute to Michael Jackson, the singers were joined by soloist Carmen Monarcha in a rousing presentation to over 16,000 concert goers.

In 2011, Seniors Sing! a free program for the 'young-at-heart' was launched as the final piece of our Intergenerational Choral Program and in collaboration with the Summit Community Programs.  Seniors from many communities throughout New Jersey meet each week to sing, laugh, revive and socialize with music as the central component. Averaging 50 singers a week, an enrollment of over 70 developed within months. This positive response solidified the timely relevance and obvious need of this important program.  
Performing in many community service appearances, Seniors Sing! members comment that:

  • "This is the hour of the week I live for!"
  • "I don't know what I'd do without Seniors Sing"
  • "I feel like a new person after Seniors Sing!"
  • "For one hour a week, I forget about my health problems"
  • "Seniors Sing keeps me going"

The first International Festival di Arte per Giovani Musicisti began in 2011. Collaborating again with the Fondazione Pro Musica E Arte Sacra, this concert festival is designed to provide 1st tier performance opportunities for the artists of tomorrow. Represented by singers from Continuo Arts and the Oak Knoll School, these outstanding young artists from the United States were joined by Italy's Coro Dell'a Ventino and experienced a transformative cultural exchange.

Giovani Musicisti 2011 also presented the International Young Artist Debut of:
  • Samantha Donohue

In 2011, Continuo Arts launched a Conducting Fellows program; designed to offer a platform for continuing education, conducting opportunities and performance experience to up & coming young conductors.
The 2012 Season presented the first Minuetto Music Festival.  This week long festival features three concerts:
  • The Milton Cross Young Artist Showcase
  • An International Emerging Artist Concert
  • The Festival Finale Concert featuring the Minuetto Symphonic Chorus, Orchestra and the Young Artist Winners

In 2013 Continuo Arts, in collaboration with the American Choral Directors Association presented the first FILM FESTIVAL at the national ACDA convention in Dallas, TX.  The festival featured:

  • The Singing Revolution
  • Requiem For My Mother
  • Shining Night; A Portrait of Composer Morten Lauridsen

Our Staff

Candace Wicke
President, Executive Director & Principle Conductor

As a champion of new music, Candace Wicke has premiered new works in many of her Carnegie Hall appearances including the World Premiere of Stephen Edward’s Requiem for my  Mother, Revelation and the New York  Premiere of the Ave Maria Mass. Sharing the stage in 2008 with the likes of the Vienna Philharmonic, Christoph Eschenbach, and Helmuth Rilling, Wicke conducted the  European premiere and world-wide television broadcast of the Edwards Requiem for my Mother with the Continuo Arts Symphonic Chorus, Orchestra and the City of Prague  Philharmonic at the prestigious Festival Internazionale pro Musica e Arte Sacre Series in Roma, Italy. In 2009, Wicke conducted the World Premiere of A Carol Fantasy by Stephen  Edwards in Carnegie Hall on the “Christmas Time in the City” concert series.

Returning to Carnegie Hall in 2010 for the Lee Kjelson Memorial “Sounds of Music Series”, Wicke conducted the RaminshMissa Brevis in addition to a World Premiere by composer Gary Fry. In 2011, Wicke conducted the first Festival Internazionale Di Arte Per Giovani Musicisti in Rome, Italy. She also served as one of two Artistic Directors for the 2012 and 2013 Minuetto Music Festival and returned for the second annual Giovani Musicisti Festival to conduct the world premiere of Stephen Edwards Missa Brevis in Rome, Vatican City, Assisi and Prague.

In 2014 Wicke will conduct the first concert performance by an United States ensemble inside the Sistine Chapel, marking an unprecedented and historic artistic first.

Ensembles under her baton have received national and International acclaim, performing for the Global International Women’s Summit, Musica Mundi International, Legatus International, and the Miami Civic Associations Young Artist Debut. A popular clinician and judge, she has appeared as conductor in Rome, Assisi, City Vaticano, Notre Dame Cathedral, Sacre Coeur, Massabielle and the Theatre Fountaine in France. Dr. Wicke’s international experience also includes conducting the United States representative Wind Ensemble at the Taipei Presidential Inauguration, the Continuo Arts Symphonic Chorus at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, and the City of Prague Philharmonic, in Prague.

Wicke is the Founder, President and Executive Director for the Continuo Arts Foundation and conducts the Continuo Arts ensembles including; the Children’s Chorus, Chanticleers, Singers!, Continuos!, Civic Chorale and Seniors Sing!  These ensembles are featured in a variety of concert series and community outreach performances throughout the year. In these roles, she is committed to procreating the arts through performance, composition, education, and to fostering patronage for musical advancement and exposure. She is a graduate of the University of Miami and Evangel University, majoring in vocal and instrumental performance, music education, and conducting.

Ashley Shiffman
Amanda Blunter
Executive Assistant

Mezzo-Soprano, Jocelyn McGillian, is executive assistant for the Continuo Arts Foundation, and a graduate of Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ, where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Vocal Performance as a student of Sharon Sweet. While at Westminster, she sang roles such as Connie Sue in the musical Smile, an Soeur Antoine in Poulenc’s Dialogues des Carmelites, in addition to performing in scenes from Mozart’s Die Zauberflote. In 2008, Ms. McGillian was selected to attend the Crittenden Opera Studio, where she performed in scenes from Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier, Delibes’ Lakme, and Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro. Ms. McGillian’s solo professional debut was in May 2009 in the Spoleto Music Festival’s production of Charpentier’s Louise.
At Westminster, Ms. McGillin appeared as a soloist with the Westminster Chapel Choir, Schola Cantorum, Williamson Voices, and the world-renowned Westminster Choir. Ms. McGillian is currently a member of the All Saints’ Choir in Princeton, NJ, where she recently performed as a mezzo soloist in Mozart’s Requiem. Additionally, she has made appearances with Princeton Society of Musical Amateurs as the mezzo soloist for the Bach Christmas Oratorio, and as Pitti-Sing in Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Mikado. In 2010, Ms. McGillian was a soloist with Princeton Pro Musica in the Schnittke Requiem.


Julia Craig
Associate Conductor

Tom Colao, Continuo Arts Assistant Conductor, is currently Director of Music and Organist at All Saints’ Church, Princeton, New Jersey. Born and raised in the northern suburbs of Chicago, Mr. Colao attended the Mannes College of Music in Manhattan, studying voice and choral conducting, before transferring to Westminster Choir College to pursue studies in organ and sacred music. While at Westminster, he sang as a member of Westminster Choir, under the direction of Dr. Joe Miller, in addition to performances with the Choir as both a tenor and organ  soloist. He also made frequent appearances conducting various student ensembles. Mr. Colao maintains an active schedule as an accompanist, vocal coach, freelance conductor and recitalist. In addition, he is the composer of several works for both choral and instrumental ensembles.

John Conte

John Conte, pianist, composer, producer, orchestrator, educator, is the staff accompanist for the Continuo Arts Foundation and holds a B.M. and M.M. in piano performance from the Peabody Conservatory of Music in Baltimore, MD. His subsequent education includes studies in Jazz Performance and Music Theory at the Manhattan School of Music, Chamber Music at The Banff Centre in Alberta, Canada, and Composition at Westminster Choir College. His teachers have included Robert Weirich, Ann Schein, Leon Fleisher and Karl Ulrich Schnabel.  He's written and recorded the scores for the award-winning independent features "Black-Eyed Susan" and "Mass of Angels."  He was the Assistant Conductor of the Lyric Theatre Orchestra of NYC and is an accompanist for The Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn, NJ.  He is currently the pianist and Musical Director for Alexander Kariotis and the Rock Opera Orchestra.

Beverly Coulter

Beverly Coulter

Artistic Director
Minuetto Music Festival

A native of Dallas, Texas, Beverly Coulter holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Miami. Her recent operatic performances include the role of Elvira in Bellini’s I Puritani, the title role in Arrieta’s opera Marina, Norina in Don Pasquale, Gilda in Rigoletto, Lucia in Lucia di Lammermoor, Musetta in La Bohème, Violetta in La Traviata, Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro, Pamina in The Magic Flute, and Lia in Debussy’s L’Enfant Prodigue. Dr. Coulter has appeared in concert in Italy, Canada, South America, England, Poland, Mexico, Greece, and the Czech Republic. She performed in Carnegie Hall as soprano soloist with MidAmerica Productions.  Her South Florida appearances have included performances with the New World Symphony, Treasure Coast Opera Society, Miami Lyric Opera, Riuniti Opera, Coral Gables Symphony and Opera, Círculo Lírico de la Opera, and the Civic Chorale of Greater Miami.

In addition to maintaining an active schedule as a singer, professor, conductor, director, published author, and clinician in the area of vocal music and opera, Dr. Coulter is a winner of numerous awards and competitions in the area of solo piano. She has recently conducted Don Pasquale, L’Elisir D’Amore, La Rondine, La Traviata, Lucia di Lammermoor, and The Barber of Seville. Her directing credits encompass a history of numerous opera, operetta, and musical theatre productions. She is the Artistic Director and founder of the Riuniti Opera, which was officially inaugurated in 2000 as an organization designed to help young singers bridge the gap between student and professional by being afforded performance opportunities in which they work alongside established professionals in the opera field. She launched the Riuniti Summer Educational Opera Series with the Alhambra Orchestra, and has presented The Magic Flute, Die Fledermaus, The Marriage of Figaro, and The Impresario during recent seasons.

As a staunch advocate of new music, Dr. Coulter has performed in premieres of many new works in the United States and abroad. These include works of Stephen James Edwards, Philip Glass, her husband Fred Coulter, and Canadian composer Imant Raminsch.  She recently she appeared as soprano soloist in the world premiere of Edwards’s Requiem For My Mother, presented by the Continuo Arts Foundation as part of the Festival Internazionale di Musica e Arte Sacra in Rome, Italy. She performed the role of Mica in the South Florida premiere of Carly Simon’s opera Romulus Hunt.  Dr. Coulter is Director of Music Ministry at Central Presbyterian Church in Miami, Florida. She is Auditions Chairperson of the South Florida Chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing and is an active collaborator with the Miami Lyric Opera and the Alhambra Orchestra.  Dr. Coulter is Director of Opera and Professor of Music at Barry University in Miami Shores, Florida.

Samantha Holgate

Steve Hogle

Artistic Director
Summer Musical Theater Conservatory 

Steve Hogle joins the Continuo Arts staff as director of the 2013 Summer Musical Theater Conservatory. After living and performing on both coasts he now makes his home in New Jersey with his beautiful wife and two   children. A graduate of Florida State University, he has performed all over the country in regional theaters such as Paper Mill Playhouse, North Shore Music Theater, and Pittsburgh CLO as well as the national tours of Evita and South Pacific, staring the late Robert Goulet. Some of his favorite performing experiences include: Children of Eden at Paper Mill where he is featured on the original cast recording, South Pacific at Carnegie Hall Staring Reba McEntire, Brian Stokes Mitchell, and Alec Baldwin, and the broadway workshop of Harmony, a new musical by Barry Manilow. Recently he has started teaching young performers in LA and most recently at Paper Mill Playhouse’s theater school and is thrilled to be using his training and professional stage experience to bring theatre arts to the young  people of our society.


Conducting Fellow

Stephanie Harris is the Continuo Arts Conducting Fellow for two seasons and received her B.A. in Church Music with a Classical Guitar concentration and Theology minor from Eastern University in Pennsylvania, and is currently pursuing the Master of Church Music in Choral Conducting degree from  Concordia University. Stephanie directs two Handbell Choirs at Middlebush Reformed Church and takes   private organ lessons at Nassau Presbyterian Church in Princeton.


Mike Marrocco
Graphics & Web Development

Saxophonist, producer and song writer Mike Marrocco has made a name for himself by creating music that connects with his audience. Whether he is found sharing the stage with artists' from Rafael en Concierto to Wynton Marsalis, or playing jazz clubs promoting his recent CD release "Walk Away;" Mike aims to create artistic music.

Mike is a Miami Native, who has grown up in the culturally rich South Florida scene.  As a young player Mike was a student at the prestigious New World School of the Arts, were he was given instruction by some of South Florida’s Premier musicians.  He continued his studies at the University of Miami as a student in the Studio Music and Jazz program.  With the formation of his production company MJM Productions Inc. Mike has branched out his talents to include the production of albums and original compositions. His original music can be heard on a wide variety of projects from theatre productions, TV commercial placement, Nationally Syndicated Magazine spotlights, product informercials, commerical advertising campaigns, albums and independent film projects.

As a musician, Mike has worked with artists ranging in diversity from Arturo Sandoval, Wynton Marsalis, Rafael en Concierto to  Barbara Cook.


Sara Noble, artist-in-residence for the Continuo Arts Foundation , is a recent graduate of Westminster Choir College. Her opera   credits include Le Nozze di Figaro (Susanna) with the  Austrian American Mozart Academy, L’Enfant et les Sortilèges (La Chauve-Souris) and The Turn of the Screw (Miles) with Westminster Choir College, and Madame Butterfly (Cousin) with Opera New Jersey. As a soloist, Sara’s repertoire has included Christ lag in Todesbanden (BWV 4) and Magnificat (BWV 243) by J.S. Bach, Antonio Vivaldi’s Gloria, and Handel’s Messiah. Sara has been a participant of New Music on the Point, OperaWorks, and Bel Canto Institute, where she received the Bel Canto Institute Performance Award in 2009. Sara is a passionate supporter of new American classical music and is pursuing a career in arts administration.


Craig Sanphy
Craig Sanphy

Craig Sanphy, artist-in-residence for the Continuo Arts Foundation, a native of Concord, NH, and  has appeared with multiple companies, including the Delaware Valley Opera Company (Don Ottavio understudy in Don Giovanni), Princeton Music Festival (Chorus in Francesca di Ramini), Opera MODO (Elder Hayes in Susannah) and the Westminster Opera Theatre (Chorus in Cosi Fan Tutte).  He currently resides in Princeton where he studies voice with Dr. Sharon Sweet.

Jamie Klenetsky


Jamie Klenetsky, artist-in-residence for the Continuo Arts Foundation, 


Board of Directors

Dr. Candace Wicke
President and Executive Director
Dr. Jesse Peterson
President, Tempo Music
Joe Ciresi
Advertising & Promotions Director, Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts
Heidi Evenson
President, Cactus River, INC.
William Hildebrandt
Assurant, Inc., Organist, Composer

Advisory Board

Lyle Brehm, President


Board of Directors

Heidi Evenson

Minuetto Music Festival

Janet Whitman
Betse Gump

Choral Programs

Children’s Chorus – Pat Acevedo
Chanticleers – Ewa Misiewicz
Continuos –  Dan Apruzzese
Singers – Noni MacPherson
Civic Chorale – Sue Taylor, Millie Cooper & Bill Hammond
Seniors Sing – Terry Virgonia, Dee Robertson, Angela Schneller


Margaret Kovera


Jean Marie Apruzzese
Jack Cooper

CAF Opportunities

Volunteer & Get Involved!:

Continuo Arts needs your help & expertise to continue our mission!  

How can you help? 

  • Assist in our offices
  • Introduce your community to Continuo Arts, ask us how!
  • Bring new young people, adults & seniors to experience the joy of music with us
  • Let us know how we can assist in your school or educational program


Continuo Arts is accepting applications for Spring and Summer Internships. Responsibilities are not limited to but will include:


  • Music Library
  • Organization
  • Graphics
  • Marketing
  • Phones

Summer Musical Theater Conservatory:

  • Assist students and staff
  • Music, script, set & costume preparation
  • Schedule & supervise
  • Backstage & technical management

Applicants with experience in choral/instrumental music and/or music theater with an interest in music education are encouraged to apply. This is an unpaid internship that will provide excellent hands-on experience and practicum in addition to a stellar reference. Email resume and cover letter to:


Conducting Fellow:

Continuo Arts is accepting Conducting Fellow applications for the 2014-2015 concert season. Conducting Fellows assist in seven Intergenerational Choral Programs as well as organizational activities, programs and appearances for The Continuo Arts Foundation.  Applicants should have extensive experience in choral music, voice performance and preferably be working on an advanced degree in Choral Conducting.  Responsibilities include but are not limited to:

Assist in conducting, sectionals & all organizational aspects for:

Tuesday Ensembles:

  • Children's Chorus
  • Chanticleers
  • Singers
  • Civic Chorale
  • Sonare-Professional Ensemble

Wednesday Ensemble:

  • Seniors Sing!

Serve as section leader for the Civic Chorale and member of Sonare.

Conduct and/or sing as well as assist in organizational details for:

  • All Annual Concert Series
  • Annual Gala
  • Community Service Appearances
  • Other events to be announced

Conducting Fellows will gain extraordinary experience & continuing education in:

  • Hands-on teaching, rehearsing, conducting and managing ensembles of all age groups and catagories
  • Infra-structure and administration of non-profit organization
  • Networking
  • Repertoire exposure
  • Solo opportunities
  • Conducting experience & instruction
  • Podium Time

This is an unpaid Fellowship providing immeasurable opportunity, enrichment & exposure as well as a stellar reference.  Interested applicants should email resume and cover letter to:


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