- About The Festival
- Concerts & Schedule
- Milton Cross
Young Artist Series
- Symphonic Chorus
The Minuetto Music Festival is dedicated to promoting Opera, Classical Music & Musical Theater with particular emphasis on new and emerging artists, professional mentorship, the involvement of community singers and collaboration with other outstanding organizations.
2016 Festival Dates: June 26
Dinner Concert featuring Sonare!
By Invitation Only
Location: The Grand Summit Hotel
The 2015 Dinner Concert HTTV Feature Video
Click Here for 2015 Dinner Concert Photos
The 2014 Festival Finale Concert Video
The 2014 Young Artist Showcase Video
Click Here for 2014 Young Artist Showcase Photos
Click Here for 2014 Festival Finale Concert Photos
Click Here for 2014 Alex Kariotis Photos
2013 Festival Television Coverage Click Here
Title Sponsor: THE GRAND SUMMIT HOTEL Be sure to click on the Sponsor tab and patronize our generous sponsors!
Dates: June 14, 21, 28
Location: Twin Maples, Summit NJ
Rehearsal Times: 7:30 - 9:30 p.m.
Dress: June 23rd-5:00
Hear what our 2014 Young Artist Winners have to say about the Minuetto Music Festival!
"I am fortunate that I had the privilege and honor of being a recipient of the 2014 Milton Cross Award and singing with the Minuetto Music Festival. The faculty was comprised of professionals and educators who mentored participants, while always remembering that support and encouragement are vital to the psyche of a singer. The musical opportunities and classes prepared the singers and teachers to make their own personal journeys into successful musical lives. Personally, this incredible opportunity gave me the tools to pursue singing professionally while teaching in higher education. I've since been hired as a professor of voice at two thriving universities, and I am certain many of the skills obtained during the festival contributed to my success. I am thankful for this life changing experience."
Lauren Athey-Janka, 2014 Milton Cross Award Winner
“I have been involved with Minuetto's Milton Cross Competition for three years, and in 2014 was awarded the Milton Cross Award. Each year I have gained so much in the way of business knowledge, confidence and contacts. As a Milton Cross Award Winner, I was able to book a fantastic performing opportunity for next year through the networking I was able to do at the Concerts. The week I spent in New Jersey this year was such a fulfilling enriching experience. Dr. Wicke demands excellence. She and the staff offer such a wealth of knowledge and help which is MOST welcomed on my crazy journey through this business.”
Jami Leonard, 2012 & 2013 Rising Star Award Winner
“The Minuetto Music Festival’s Milton Cross Young Artist Program is a wonderful week of learning, bonding and collaborating. It was more than I ever imagined it would be. The classes were wonderful, and the faculty’s willingness to get down to the ‘Nitty Gritty’ was beyond helpful. I walked away smarter and with the knowledge that there are many options on this journey. I am doing all that is in my power to become a full-time performer...I thought! The faculty really challenged me to push harder for what I want, to be unafraid to network and get myself out there. I gained more than a cash prize could offer!”
Olanna Goudeau, 2013 Rising Star Award Winner, America’s Got Talent Contestant
By far the greatest assest of the Minuetto Music Festival were the two masterclasses on the business of music. Most programs only mention in passing this essential aspect of the music world. These masterclasses were the most indepth, hands on and truly informative sessions I've been a part of. Everything from how to network to the importance of a professional image to how to design a business card were discussed. I left those sessions with the tools and knowledge that I need to succeed.
Craig Sanphy, 2012, 2013 & 2014 Rising Star Award Winner
Named for the famous 'voice of the Metropolitan Opera' Milton Cross, the Young Artist Series is designed to expose and promote outstanding young artists from around the world. Click Here for Milton Cross Bio
Congratulations to the 2014 Milton Cross Young Artist Winners!
The 2014 Festival Finale Concert Video
The 2014 Young Artist Showcase Concert!
2013 Young Artist Television Coverage Click Here
Joseph Demarest, tenor, is an alum of Philadelphia's Academy of Vocal Arts, where he has performed the roles of Ernesto in Don Pasquale, Tichon in Káťa Kabanová, and Ferrando in Cosi fan Tutte. Previously, Joseph has attended Boston University’s Opera Institute, a two year professional training program. Prior to his stay in Boston, Joseph was as a resident artist with Connecticut Opera, where he made his professional operatic debut, performing main stage roles, as well as educational outreach, concerts, and various other performances. In recent years, Joseph has been seen performing with New York City Opera, Lyric Opera Studio Weimar, Germany, Dicapo Opera, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Boston Lyric Opera, Intermezzo Young Artist Training Program, and Brevard Music Center. Solo engagements include Ocean City Pops, Hartford Symphony Orchestra, Youngstown Symphony Orchestra and Simsbury Light Opera. Other operatic roles include Lysander in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Fenton in Falstaff, Rinuccio in Gianni Schicchi, Rodolfo in La bohème, Nanki-Poo in The Mikado, Tamino in Die Zauberflöte,Remandado in Carmen, among others. Joseph holds a Bachelor of Music from The Hartt School, University of Hartford in Connecticut.
Recently captivating audiences in Miami Lyric Opera’s 2013-14 season, in the title role of Bizet’s masterpiece, Carmen, Ms. Papillion-Posey is an impressive singing actress with an emerging national and international resume. On the opera stage or in recital— she is not to be missed. Named a 2012 Minuetto Music Festival, Milton Cross Young Artist, Rising Star, she debuted the role of the witty spinster, Marcellina from Le nozze di Figaro with Siena Opera, July 2012. Her memorable 2010 performance with the Tusica Opera Festival commanded a return invitation for the 2011 season as the 3rd lady in Mozart's Die Zauberflöte and notable performances in Tarquinia, Civita di Bagnoregio, Castilione, Capranica and Ronciglione, Italy of Pergolesi’s sacred beauty, Stabat Mater at the direction of Timothy Léon. Additionally, in 2011 she sang, in a concert version, the title role of Bizet’s Carmen and Annina from Verdi’s La Traviata in Bari, Italy. July, 2010, Ms. Papillion-Posey made her international debut as the Darth Vader of female operatic characters, La zia Principessa from Puccini’s Suor Angelica at the Tuscia Opera Festival, under the baton of maestro Stefano Vignati in Viterbo and Rome, Italy. In March 2010, she premiered the role of Lucretia in Britten’s Rape of Lucretia. In December 2009, Ms. Papillion-Posey was the featured alto soloist in Faith Lutheran’s production of Handel’s Messiah. In April 2008, she secured the title role of the alluring seductress Carmen with the Lamont School of Music at the Newman Center for the Performing Arts, Denver, CO. Ms. Papillion-Posey’s early career roles include: her 2007 debut of Princess Akara, from Cherise Leiter and Leanna Kirchoff’s world premier of The Lady or the Tiger, an adaptation of the beloved short story by Franck Stockton; her 2006 -few fries short of a happy meal- rendering of Madam Flora, “Baba” from Giancarlo Menotti’s The Medium, and Mozart’s man-swapping sister, Dorabella.
Ms. Papillion-Posey holds a Master of Music degree and Performance Certificate in Vocal Performance (both with honors and distinction) from the University of Denver, Lamont School of Music, a Bachelor of Music from the Metropolitan State College of Denver and a Diploma in Business Management from Platt Business and Technical College.
She’s been the recipient of many music awards and grants such as the: International Lyric Academy of Rome e Viterbo Award, AMICI of Denver Scholarship, Dante Alighieri Music Scholarship Competition, Jeff Bradley Music Scholarship Fund, E. Stoddard Young Endowment Scholarship, Stratton Faulhaber Scholarship, Coulter Norbloom Scholarship Grant and Joseph Docksey Career Development Fund Award and the 2005 first and 2006 second place, opera division winner of the Vocal Arts Competition of Colorado, to name a few.
Hope Osborn, Soprano, has graduated with a Masters Degree in Vocal Performance and Vocal Pedagogy from Westminster Choir College of Rider University.
Hope has been seen in roles and scenes such as Mimi in La Boheme, Arabella in Arabella, Marshalin in Der Rosenkavalier, Donna Elvira and Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, Suor Angelica in Suor Angelica, Tessa in The Gondoliers, Josephine in H.M.S. Pinafore and Sister Valentine in Dialogues Des Carmelites. Hope made her professional operatic debut with the Delaware Valley Opera Company singing the role of Donna Anna in Don Giovanni. Upcoming engagements include singing in the Princeton Festival this summer as a chorus member of Wagner's, "The Flying Dutchman"
Hope has participated in the prestigious CoOperative Program for two years and participated in the Florence Voice Seminar in Florence, Italy. Hope has performed over 40 recitals throughout the United States. Some of Hope’s solo concert experience includes Mahler’s 2nd Symphony, Mozart’s Requiem, Vivaldi’s Gloria, The Rutter Requiem, Rachmaninoff’s Vespers, Mozart’s Vesperae solennes de confessore, Faure’s Requiem, Mozart’s Requiem, Ray’s Gospel Mass, and the NJ/DE/ PA premier of the Jenkin’s Stabat Mater. Hope has sung solo at Lincoln Center, New Jersey Performing Arts Center, and New Jersey State Theater. Among many prestigious awards, Hope has twice been awarded the Encouragement Award from the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. Most recently, Hope has been awarded a grant from the Wagner Society of New York. Hope’s discography includes being a featured soloist on Angels and Architechture: The voices of Anam Cara and Teaching Music through Performance in Choir.
Hope has just completed her first year as an adjunct voice professor at Molloy College in NY. Hope also has a private studio and is a teacher of voice and piano at Dancestop Education in NJ.
Baritone, Joshua A. Hemmings, from Amityville, NY recently completed his BM/MAT at Westminster Choir College of Rider University. His most recent stage appearance was as the Sprecher in Die Zauberflöte with Westminster Opera Theater and scenes from Le nozze di Figaro with Westminster Opera Workshop. As a member of the Westminster Choir he performed in the chorus of Die Zauberflöte with Spoleto Festival USA. Joshua is a student Harold Evans.
A native Hoosier, Jami attended Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music, completing her Bachelors and Masters of Music under Patricia Wise. Favorite roles with IU Opera include Clara Johnson in The Light in the Piazza, Maria in West Side Story, and originating the role of Marguerite Gashet in the World Premier of Vincent.
With the IU Theater Department, Jami was seen in Nine and Oklahoma! She originated the role of Juliet in Dr. Don Freund’s Romeo and Juliet: A Musical Drama at the Bloomington Playwrights Project. As a graduate student, she attended the Bay Area Summer Opera Theater Institute in San Francisco where she performed the role of Giunone in La Calisto, along with scene performances as Meg Falstaff, Euridice Orfeo ed Euridice and Manon Manon. While in San Francisco, Jami was honored to participate in a Master Class given by Patricia Racette.
Jami has received awards from the Indianapolis Musicale Compeition and Continuo Arts Foundation’s Minuetto Music Festival Milton Cross Competition. Jami has had the privilege to work for the Center for Contemporary Opera (CCO) in New York City, singing in the Atelier Premiere of Eric Salzman’s Big Jim and the Small Time Investors.
Jami made her international debut in October of 2012 as the voice of Rufus in the award winning European Premier of William Mayer's A Death in the Family with CCO at the Armel Festival in Szeged, Hungary. This June, Jami travels with CCO to France to reprise the role of Rufus in the beautiful Theatre d’Avignon.
Craig Sanphy, tenor, has performed in a variety of opera and solo work. His most recent roles include Nanki-Poo (The Mikado), Don Ottavio (Don Giovanni), Elder Hayes (Susannah), and Don Curzio (Le Nozze di Figaro) and has been seen in scene work such as Prunier (La Rondine), Fenton (Falstaff), Tamino (Die Zauberflote), and Chevalier des Grieux (Manon). His work as a soloist includes the works of Haydn's Seven Last Words of Christ, Schubert's Mass in G Major, and Dubois' Seven Last Words of Christ.
Mr. Sanphy has worked with numerous organizations including the Princeton Festival, Opera MODO, Berkley Light Opera Company, St. Joseph's University Opera Dept., Westminster Choir College Opera Theatre and the Delaware Valley Opera Company. He is the tenor soloist for the Presbyterian Church in Westfield and is Artist-in-Residence with the Continuo Arts Foundation. He was featured as a young artist at the inaugural Minuetto Music Festival in 2012 and just returned from Le Chiavi di Bel Canto Institute in Houston as part of the 2013 Texas Music Festival. Mr. Sanphy is a recent graduate of Westminster Choir College and currently studies with Professor Eric Rieger.
Olanna Goudeau, soprano, continues to captivate audiences with her dazzling coloratura, rich lyricism, and crystalline upper rang. The Port Arthur, TX native has most recently been seen in Empire Opera’s production of Sweet Dreams singing the role of Sparkle. Her performance credits include: Bess in Porgy & Bess; Donna Anna in Don Giovanni; Queen of the Night in Die Zauberflöte; Adele in Die Fledermaus; Lakmé in Lakmé; Rosina in Il Barbiere di Siviglia; Rose Maybud in Ruddigore; Papagena in Die Zauberflöte; Lauretta in Le Docteur Miracle; Gretel in Hansel & Gretel; Snow White in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs; Rudi in A Gift of Song; Little Red Riding Hood in Little Red Riding Hood. Olanna received her BA-Voice from Dillard where she studied with Dr. Valerie Jones and her MM-Voice from the University of Oklahoma where she studied with Professor Donna Cox. She was a Studio Artist for Opera New Jersey (2010), Taos Opera Institute (2008), and Cimarron Circuit Opera Company (2004). While a Studio Artist with Opera New Jersey, Olanna was chosen to sing the role of “Hermia” in Michale Ching’s new opera “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”. Ms. Goudeau has been a featured recitalist by Black Liberated Arts Center, Inc. at the Oklahoma City Civic Center (2006) and by the Teatro da Paz in Belem, Brazil (2007). She was a 2nd place winner of the Benton-Schmidt Opera Competition (2007-2008) and the First Place winner of the State of Oklahoma’s National Association of Teachers of Singing Competition (2006), and advanced to the Regional Level of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions (2010). She has also been awarded the Carol Brice Carey Vocal Award and the Mary Clark Miley Fine Arts Award.
Jenne Carey, a 2012 Minuetto Music Festival Rising Star Award winner, recently completed a Master of Music degree at Westminster Choir College in Voice Performance and Pedagogy. She has performed the leading roles of The Queen of the Night in The Magic Flute, The Dew Fairy in Hansel & Gretel, Oberto in Alcina, Yum-Yum in The Mikado and Serpina in La Serva Padrona. She had the opportunity to learn the roles of both Mimi and Musetta in La Bohème with the Bronx Opera Company. As a Resident Artist with Underworld Productions Opera, she performed in the NY staged premiere of Clarence and Anita. Jenne has been featured as a soloist with Opera New Jersey, Westminster Opera Theater, Westminster Kantorei and Kinnara Ensemble and has performed throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, Japan and Israel.
Soprano, Cassandra Marie Lambros, holds a BM in violin performance, with highest honors, from Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University. Cassandra placed second in the Friday-Woodmere Music Club Young Artist Competition, was a Semi-Finalist in the New York Lyric Opera Theatre Competition and won the Hellenic Music Foundation Scholarship and Irving Ludwig Young Artist Auditions. She has sung with Pacific Opera, The Opera Project, the Opera for Humanity, New Jersey State Repertory Opera, Bleecker Street Opera, and, in 2012, sang in New Jersey Baroque Orchestra’s Summer Festival covering Pamina in The Magic Flute and covered Adina in Opera at Florham’s L’elisir d’amore, under the baton of Dr. Robert Butts. She has been soprano soloist in the Gounod St. Cecilia Mass, Mozart’s Exsultate Jubilate, the Brahms German Requiem, Fauré Requiem, the Dubois Seven Last Words of Christ and Schubert’s Messe E-flat Cassandra, soloist with the Westfield Presbyterian Church, studies voice with Amy Shoremount-Obra and performs in recitals and orchestras as both soprano and violinist, in addition to teaching violin, piano and voice.
Candace A. Allen is currently a Music Therapy major at Molloy College. The Brooklyn native has had the privilege of performing both as a soloist and ensemble member at Molloy College as well as the Florence Voice Seminar in Florence, Italy. She began her studies at Westminster Choir College after graduating as a Voice Major from LaGuardia High School. She is also a section leader and youth assistant at Abyssinian Baptist Church. During her time at Westminster, Candace was fortunate to perform at Carnegie Hall and the Rosewood Gardens in New Jersey. While in Florence, she worked with Julian Rodescu, Sally Wolf and Amy Zorn. Candace aspires to challenge herself both mentally and spiritually while truly and positively affecting the world.
Laura Biagiotti, soprano, is currently attending Molloy college for a BS in Music Therapy, with voice as her primary. Laura is a student of Hope Osborn. She is very excited to be continuing her career in music. She has progressed tremendously within these last few years in voice, piano, and violin. She has also just begun studying guitar within her program. Laura has participated in the musical theatre shows, such as Aladdin, The Music Man, The Wizard of Oz, Grease, Beauty and the Beast, Bye Bye Birdie, Godspell, and High School Musical. She has also participated in many student recitals at The Singers Forum as well as CMEA Western Region Chorus. Laura has also received high scores and many awards at the Schubert Club’s Young Musician Festival. Laura also received a Liberal Arts Grant at Molloy College. Music is Laura’s passion, in which she is beyond excited to accomplish more in the near future, especially focusing on opera and its classical form.
Soprano Jessica Walch is a versatile emerging young artist. She is a recent graduate from Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA with a double major in Vocal Performance and Communications. She was recently seen onstage as Josephine in HMS Pinafore, Lady Saphir in Patience, Nursing Sister & Alms Sister in Suor Angelica, Edith in Pirates of Penzance, and Violet Hilton in Side Show. In 2010 she participated in the Manhattan School of Music Summer Voice Festival where she had the privilege of studying and singing with many talented teachers and peers. She hopes to pursue a master’s degree in music in the near future.
Emma Peterson has sung in Carnegie Hall with the Continuo Arts Symphonic Chorus and at the Rose Theater in Lincoln Center with the Hand in Hand concert in support of victims of the 2010 earthquake that struck Japan. She is preparing for her senior recital as a music education major (voice concentration) at The College of New Jersey. She has appeared in numerous stage roles including Orpheo et Euridice and Pirates of Penzance at TCNJ, H.M.S. Pinafore with Light Opera of New Jersey, and Beauty and the Beast at the Summit Playhouse.
Sharon Byrne has been the mezzo-soprano soloist and alto section leader at Calvary Episcopal Church in Summit, NJ for sixteen seasons. She has actively participated in Calvary’s concert series over the years. Her many oratorio performances as a soloist with Calvary and with several local concert series include Brahms' Alto Rhapsody, as well as Handel's Messiah, Bach's Magnificat, Bach's Mass in B-Minor, Bach's St. John Passion, Mendelssohn's Elijah, Mozart's Requiem, and Verdi's Requiem.
Sharon has completed her graduate studies at Shenandoah Conservatory where she earned her Master of Music Education degree. While studying for her undergraduate degree at Westminster Choir College, she sang with the Westminster Symphonic Choir in performance of Britten's War Requiem, Honegger's Jeanne d'Arc au Boucher and Brahms' Ein deutsches Requiem (recorded with the New York Philharmonic under the direction of Kurt Masur). Sharon can be heard on two other recordings (Singing for Pleasure and Westminster Choir at Spoleto Festival, U.S.A.) and she toured Europe and the Far East with the critically acclaimed Westminster Choir and under the direction of Dr. Joseph Flummerfelt.
She has performed in the opera choruses of Strauss' Der Rosenkavalier, Verdi's Falstaff and Janáček's The Excursions of Brouček to the Moon and to the Fifteenth Century at the Spoleto Festival, U.S.A. Her solo musical theatre roles include Katisha in Gilbert and Sullivan’s operetta Mikado and Mrs. Ott in Floyd’s opera Susannah. Sharon also enjoyed her seven years singing with the award winning young professional group The Antioch Choral Ensemble and can be heard on their first album Winter Songs.
Sharon is currently studying voice with Dr. Christopher Arneson of Westminster Choir College and coaches with Ms. Pamela Gilmore of Rutgers University.
Judy Marchman’s voice is a delicate blend of rich and ethereal beauty, “…her high soprano soaring with ease above vocalists and instruments alike.” [South Florida Classical Review] Roles she has performed include the starchy schoolteacher, Miss Wordsworth in Britten’s Albert Herring, the dark and comedic Foreign Woman in Menotti’s The Consul and the fateful Eurydice in Milhaud’s Les Malheurs d’Orfée. Her voice often referred to as “bell-like”, Ms. Marchman also sings Nanetta and Alice Ford in Verdi’s Falstaff and is slated to conquer the Queen of the Night in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte in Spring 2013. Currently studying for her DMA at the University of Miami, she teaches applied voice, opera theater and diction. Ms. Marchman continues to appear within the United States, scheduled to perform Rutter’s Magnificat and Gorecki’s Symphony No. 3, Sorrowful Songs in Colorado, Mozart’s Requiem in Florida and various recitals in Michigan, Washington, D.C. and Tennessee. BM, Palm Beach Atlantic University and MM, Florida State University
“....Purely exciting and rich! ....great delivery of text....” ~Arte & Musica Magazine
“....Gorgeous, powerful voice!....” ~Dr. Juliana Bishop-Hoch, Loveland Opera Theatre
March 2012, mezzo soprano, Erica Papillion-Posey launched the first program in a three recital series entitled: An Evening of Classical Treasures. “….incredibly beautiful, engaging and warm….” were but some of the terms used by ~Dr. Arthur Jones, Founder & Chair Emeritus of The Spirituals Project, to describe her preparation and interpretation of the text.
Reared in Lake Charles, Louisiana, Ms. Papillion-Posey is an impressive singing actress with an emerging national and international resume. On the opera stage or in recital— she is not to be missed. Her memorable 2010 performance with the Tusica Opera Festival inspired a return invitation for the 2011 season as the 3rd lady in Mozart's Die Zauberflöte and praised performances in Tarquinia, Civita di Bagnoregio, Castilione, Capranica and Ronciglione, Italy of the Pergolesi sacred beauty, Stabat Mater at the direction of Timothy Leon. Additionally, in 2011, she sang the role of Bizet’s Carmen and Annina from Verdi’s La Traviata in Bari, Italy. July, 2010, Ms. Papillion-Posey made her international debut as the Darth Vader of female operatic characters, La zia Principessa from Puccini’s Suor Angelica at the Tuscia Opera Festival, under the baton of maestro Stefano Vignati in Viterbo and Rome, Italy. In March 2010, she premiered the role of Lucretia in Britten’s Rape of Lucretia. In December 2009, Ms. Papillion-Posey was the featured alto soloist in Faith Lutheran’s production of Handel’s Messiah. In April 2008, she secured the title role of the alluring seductress Carmen with the Lamont School of Music at the Newman Center for the Performing Arts, Denver, CO. Ms. Papillion-Posey’s early career roles include: her 2007 debut of Princess Akara, from Cherise Leiter and Leanna Kirchoff’s world premier of The Lady or the Tiger, an adaptation of the beloved short story by Franck Stockton; her 2006 -few fries short of a happy meal- rendering of Madam Flora, “Baba” from Giancarlo Menotti’s The Medium, and Mozart’s man-swapping sister, Dorabella.
Ms. Papillion-Posey is most at home in 19th century, Romantic literature with celebrated composers Giuseppe Verdi, Georges Bizet, Camille Saint-Saens and Gaetano Donizetti. Her operatic specialty roles include: Carmen (Carmen), Dalila (Samson et Dalila), Amneris (Aida), Azucena (Il Trovatore), Suzuki (Madam Butterfly) Charlotte (Werther) and Adalgisa (Norma) and Dorabella (Così fan tutte) with concert repertoire including: Messiah, Verdi Requiem, Alto Rhapsody, Mahler Symphony No. 2 & No. 8, Cinco Canciones Negras, Beethoven's Symphony No.9 and Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater.
Ms. Papillion-Posey has been selected for masterclass appointments and coaching sessions with: distinguished opera and art song bass-baritone Simon Estes of the University of Iowa; character mezzo, Judith Christin; accomplished tenor, Donald Kaasch and Michael Capasso, founder and general director of DiCapo Opera. Summer 2012 she will be working and coaching with renowned mezzo soprano, Grace Bumbry at the Bumbry Vocal and Opera Academy, Universität der Künste Berlin, Germany.
Among her scholarly pursuits, Ms. Papillion-Posey holds a Master of Music degree and Advanced Certificate in vocal performance (both with honors and distinction) from the University of Denver, Lamont School of Music, a Bachelor of Music in voice from Metropolitan State College of Denver and a Diploma in Business Management from Platt Business and Technical College. She has been the recipient of many music awards and grants such as the: International Lyric Academy of Rome e Viterbo Award, AMICI of Denver Scholarship, Dante Alighieri Music Scholarship Competition, Jeff Bradley Music Scholarship Fund, E. Stoddard Young Endowment Scholarship, Stratton Faulhaber Scholarship, Coulter Norbloom Scholarship Grant and Joseph Docksey Career Development Fund Award and the 2005 first and 2006 second place, opera division winner of the Vocal Arts Competition of Colorado, to name a few. In 2010, Ms. Papillion-Posey, along with friends and fellow vocalist, Christie Connolley and Melissa Wimbish founded, directed and wrote extensively for www.Operagasm.com, a substantive, cutting-edge e-magazine focusing on current events, news, reviews, interviews, fashion and editorial contributions regarding opera and classical music.
Ms. Papillion-Posey currently serves as Director of Artistic Programs and liaison to Boettcher Boys and Girls Club of Aurora for Grand Design Inc., a cultural and performing arts group. She is also a member of the Italian Institute of Denver, L’Alliance Française de Denver, The Lamont Society and Friends of Music at Metro.
Craig Sanphy, a native of Concord, NH, is immensely enjoying a gap year before he begins his auditions for grad schools in the fall. In the past year alone he 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.
Shannon Elizabeth Hunt has performed many operas and musical theater roles including “Barbarina”(Le nozze di Figaro), “Belinda” (Dido and Aeneas), “Suor Genovieffa” (Suor Angelica), “Despina” (Così fan tutte), “Liza Dulin” (A.F.R.A.I.D.), “Célie” (Signor Deluso), “Alexandria” (Regina) and “Sharon Graham” (Master Class). She has performed as a soloist in oratorios and cantatas including Haydn’s Missa Brevis No.7, Fauré’s Requiem, Schubert’s Mass in G, Resphigi’s Lauda per la Natività, Poulenc’s Gloria, Duboise’s Seven Last Words of Christ, Mozart’s Exsultate, Jubilate, Hoiby’s Hymn of the Nativity, Handel’s Messiah and Bach Cantatas 58, 147, 150 and 197.
In addition to singing, Ms. Hunt enjoys playing the piano, violin and composing. She has won many awards and scholarships for vocal performance and composition from such institutions and organizations as Westminster Choir College, Classical Productions, Music Teachers National Association, Mobile Opera Guild, National Association of Teachers of Singing and Birmingham-Southern College.
Ms. Hunt has performed with Brooklyn Repertory Opera, The Herbert Mark Newman Theater, M4JP and Birmingham Opera Works. She currently performs with Opera Oggi NY and Follow the Drinking Gourd and is a section leader at Westfield Presbyterian Church in NJ.
Most of today’s outstanding artists started young; Stanley Wilson is no exception. His first solo performance was at age six, singing “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” at a Christmas party, which kindled his interest in music leading him to pursue a life long study of singing and performance. He received his Master of Music from the Longy School of Music in Cambridge, Massachusetts in Opera Performance and continues to learn by keeping up his studies in New York City with Anthony Laciura as well as William Hicks of the Metropolitan Opera. Mr. Wilson has amassed an extensive list of oratorio and opera credits which include presentations of Handel’s Messiah, Mozart’s Requiem, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, and Schubert Mass in B-flat as well as Monostatos in Die Zauberflöte, Basilio and Don Curzio in The Marriage of Figaro, Kaspar in Amahl and the Night Visitors, and Bardolfo in Falstaff and Gastone in La Traviata and Lorenzo in I Capuleti e I Montecchi. As a recital soloist, Mr. Wilson has performed with pianist Malcolm Halliday the works of Elgar, Bridge, Quilter, Vaughan Williams, Schumann and many others. Mr. Wilson teaches voice privately from his home in Worcester, Massachusetts. His philosophy of singing is: “Whether one is singing classical, musical theatre, jazz, pop or rock, a sound technique must come first. From there, a singer can begin to develop the ability to communicate with the listener and to explore what music is truly about.”
Michelle Repella is an active choral and opera singer in the greater Tri-State area. Her love for these two genres in particular are what propelled her to attend Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ for voice and music education studies. While at Westminster, she studied under Faith Esham privately, and while a member of the prestigious Symphonic choir, sang under the batons of Maestros Joseph Flummerfelt, Neeme Jarvi, and Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos. Ms. Repella also sang on the national tour of A Royal Christmas, starring Andrea Bocelli and Denyce Graves. Ms. Repella also held post in the professional choir of St. Bartholomew's Church, NYC, and was fortunate enough to do several recordings and many concerts while there. She also is a member of Anam Cara, based out of Philadelphia, PA, which has recorded three albums under the GIA label, focused in premiering new choral works. Ms. Repella continues to study and sing operatically, most recently having sung La Zia Principessa in Puccini's Suor Angelica with Trinity Opera, NYC. In 2009, Ms. Repella was accepted into the Intermezzo's Elardo Young Artist Program, which was held in Bruges, Belgium. For a month, she studied with Marishka Wierzbicki and Patricia McCaffrey, and coached under J. David Jackson, Andrew Wise, and John Lidal. She sang in the European Premiere of Marc Adamo's opera "Little Women" as Cecelia March. The premiere was held in Bruges' Stadsschouwburg theater in the heart of the city. Ms. Repella has also sung chorus for the Princeton festival for several seasons, as well as New Jersey Opera Theater and Regina Opera. Ms. Repella continues to study and love the field, and works hard to maintain a good balance between her love of choirs and solo work.
A native Hoosier, Jami was honored to attend Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music, completing her Bachelor of Music in 2009 and Master of Music in 2011 as a student of Patricia Wise. Favorite roles with IU Opera include originating the role of Marguerite Gashet in Bernard Rands’ World Premiere of “Vincent”, Maria (West Side Story) and Clara Johnson (The Light in the Piazza). Workshop Performances under the tutelage of Silvia McNair include Susanna (Le Nozze di Figaro)and Pamina (Die Zauberflöte); under Carol Vaness, Blanche (Diologues des Carmelites) and Manon (Manon).
As an undergraduate, Jami won the Indianapolis Matinee Musicale competition (2008). She originated the role of Juliet in Dr. Don Freund’s (IU Composition Dept. Head) “Romeo and Juliet: A Musical Drama” at the Bloomington Playwrights Project. Subsequently, she sang the role of Jenny in Kurt Weil’s “Down in the Valley” at the Waldron Arts Center.
Jami continued on to complete her masters degree as a Merit Scholarship winner. During her graduate work, she attended the Bay Area Summer Opera Theater Institute in San Francisco where she performed the role of Giunone in “La Calisto”, along with scene performances as Meg (Falstaff), Euridice (Orfeo ed Euridice) and Manon (Manon). While in San Francisco, Jami was honored to participate in a Master Class given by Patricia Racette.
This Spring, Jami has had the privilege to work for the Center for Contemporary Opera(CCO) in New York City, singing in the Atelier Premiere of Eric Salzman’s “Big Jim and the Small Time Investors”. She also traveled with the company to Avignon Opera Theater as the company’s manager for their production of “The Secret Agent”. This Fall, Jami looks forward continuing her work as Company Manager for CCO’s production of “A Death in the Family” to be performed in NYC and Szegad, Hungary.
Laura Ann Heckmann debuted with the Northern Westchester Symphony in 2009. With degrees in both music and business, she has worked as the soprano soloist and section leader for the Presbyterian Church of New Rochelle. Her performing credits include Olympia in Les Contes d’Hoffmann and Siebel in Faust with rave reviews for the Hudson Lyric Opera. She also has appeared as Lady Ella in Patience with Einstein Symphony Orchestra and a young artist with Connecticut Lyric Opera. Summer performing engagements include the Plaintiff in Trial By Jury with Connecticut Gilbert and Sullivan Society and Cinderella in Into the Woods with Theater West.
Stay tuned for future opportunities to be part of The Minuetto Music Festival Symphonic Chorus! Until then, call 908-264-5324 for more information regarding our year-long programs!
The Continuo Arts Foundation would like to thank the following sponsors for their support of the Minuetto Music Festival. Please patronize our sponsors and be sure to thank them for their support!
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Vice President - Branch Manager
Conductor Candace Wicke made her Carnegie Hall debut in 2002. As a champion of new music, Dr. Wicke has premiered new works in many of her Carnegie Hall appearances including the World Premiere of Imant Raminsh’s Symphony of Psalms, Gary Fry’s Sing A Song With Me, and Stephen Edward’s A Carol Fantasy, 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.
Wicke conducted and produced the Carnegie Hall “Christmas Time in the City” concert series in 2009 and the Lee Kjelson Memorial “Sounds of Music Series” in 2010. In 2011, Dr. Wicke conducted the first Festival Internazionale Di Arte Per Giovani Musicisti in Rome, Italy. She also served as the principal conductor for the 2012 Inaugural season of the 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 2012. In February of 2014 she conducted the first concert in history inside the Sistine Chapel by an American organization and conductor in addition to concert performances in Ireland. The 2015 season included serving as Chorus Master for the world premiere of Disney’s “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” at the Paper Mill Playhouse. In 2016 she returns to conduct on the Festival Pro Musica E Arte Sacra in Rome and Vatican City with the likes of the Vienna Philharmonic, Zubin Metha and other international artists of note.
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, the City of Prague Philharmonic, in Prague and the Waratah Girls Choir in Australia. Ensembles under her baton have received National and International acclaim performing with Andre Rieu and the Johan Strauss Orchestra, the Turksoy Orchestra in Lincoln Center and the Music Center at Strathmore, the Global International Women’s Summit, Musica Mundi International, Legatus International, and the Miami Civic Associations Young Artist Debut. She is a popular guest conductor, adjudicator and master class clinician across the United States.
Wicke is the founder, president, and executive director for the Continuo Arts Foundation and conducts the Continuo Arts Intergenerational Choral Ensembles including; Children’s Chorus, Chanticleers, Singers, Continuos!, Civic Chorale, Seniors Sing and Sonaré! 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. Wicke resides in Westfield, NJ and is a graduate of the University of Miami and Evangel University, majoring in vocal and instrumental performance, music education, and conducting. She is the recipient of the 2014 Distinguished Alumni of the Year for Evangel University, New Jersey’s 2016 Women of Excellence in Arts & Humanities Award Winner for Union County, and has received a Congressional recognition for dedication and excellence in Arts & Humanities.
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.