Christopher Baum holds degrees in classical guitar (from San Jose State University) and orchestral conducting (from the University of Denver). From 2009-2014 he served as Music Director of the Manhattan Wind Ensemble, a community symphonic band in New York City. Before assuming the directorship of MWE, he served for five seasons as one of the principal conductors of C4: The Choral Composer/Conductor Collective, a chamber chorus devoted exclusively to music written in the last 25 years. Chris has also conducted for the Village Light Opera Group and served for several seasons as an Associate Conductor for Columbia Summer Winds. He is currently a member of the New York Continuo Collective, under the direction of Grant Herreid and Charles Weaver, and is active as a freelance lutenist, vihuelist and continuo player. Chris lives in Kew Gardens, New York.
British-American Soprano Catherine Hancock has established herself as a versatile artist, equally comfortable in multiple genres and styles ranging from Renaissance music to opera and performance art. She recently gained attention for her debut with Toledo Opera as Cherubino (Le Nozze di Figaro), where the Toledo Blade stated “The highlight of the evening was the cocky pants role Cherubino (Catherine Hancock). Not only was the suave swain an excellent comic relief, but her second act Voi Che Sapete was simply exquisite.” Catherine resides in New York City where she performs regularly and is sought after particularly for her interpretations of early and contemporary repertoire. Recent career highlights include performances at BAM, MoMA, Alice Tully Hall, and with The Mark Morris Dance Group, The Metropolis Ensemble/ Manhattan Camerata, The New York Festival of Song, Glimmerglass Opera and the rock band 30 Seconds to Mars. She recently made her European debut under the baton of Richard Egarr singing Valletto (L’inoronazione di Poppea) at the Snape Malting Proms as a Britten-Pears young artist.
Catherine is is dedicated to working with composers and has premiered dozens of new works. She is a founding member of The Moirae Ensemble, a chamber music group that connects classical music and social responsibility through commissioning young composers.Catherine holds both a Bachelor and Master of Music from The Juilliard School and a Professional Studies Degree from Mannes, The New School for Music.
Our resident scholar, Thomas Ward is an assistant professor of English at the United States Naval Academy, where he teaches literature of the English Renaissance. His research focuses on how writers of the period attempted to represent voice and vocal sound in their texts, paying particular attention to exchanges and collaborations between poets and musicians.
Actor and Singer Heather Boaz was born and raised in small-town Indiana. At 18, she moved to New York City to puruse her dreams of opera. She arrived at Manhattan School of Musi under the tutelage of Cynthia Hoffmann, receiving her Bachelors and Masters degrees where her dramatic capability was quickly recognized in a variety of main stage productions. When a debilitating thyroid condition hindered Heather's career as a singer, a theatrical path emerged as an obvious transition for her.
After completing her Masters degree She pursued acting with Alexandra Neil (Michael Howard Studio/ independent), Linklater classes under Craig Bacon (The Linklater Center), intensive Shakespeare and Chekhov summer courses at the Stella Adler Studio, and weekly scene study under Scott Freeman in his TriBeCa studio. She has engaged in acting Masterclasses with the renowned Rob Clare, as well as extended Masterclasses with New York Theatre Workshop's Jack Doulin and actress Marin Ireland.
Within a year of pursuing acting, she starred as the lead in an independent comedy feature film, earned her Equity card, and joined an independent Shakespeare company--New Place Payers, specializing in designing immersive plays in "found spaces", combined with five course meals for five act Shakespeare plays. Here she has played Olivia in Twelfth Night and Hermia in A Midsummer Night's Dream-- hailed by TimeOut New York as "this weekend's #1 thing to do!"
Actor and writer Matthew Cohn has established himself as dynamic artist who is equally comfortable in classical and contemporary theater. His New York credits include Twelfth Night and A Midsummer Night's Dream (New Place Players), The Country Wife (Odyssey Productions), Henry V (Kill Mike, Use...), The Reluctant Lesbian (Vox Theater/NYC Fringe) and The Next War (Vox Theater). Regional credits include The Importance of Being Earnest (Northern Stage) and Measure for Measure (Elm Shakespeare). He's the Co-Founder and Managing Director of Vox Theater. He has written several original works and collaborated in writing the Seen by Everyone which premiered at HERE arts last June and will be touring next year. Matthew graduated from Dartmouth college in 2008 with degrees in philosophy and theater.
Baritone, Michael Conwill, a native of Tupelo, Mississippi, received his Bachelors of Music in vocal performance at the University of Memphis, and has studied with Martin Katz, John Wustman, Beverly Wolff, and Boris Goldovsky.
Michael appeared in Meredith Monk's Songs of Ascension at the Guggenheim, Mark Morris's L'Allegro, Il Pensieroso ed Il Moderato at BAM, and The Fairy Queen produced by Big Apple Baroque at The Kaye Playhouse. With the Little Orchestra Society of New York he portrayed Silas Barnaby, the meanest man in Toyland, in Babes in Toyland at David Geffen Hall.
Michael has appeared with the New York Choral Artists and the Concert Chorale of New York, and is a member of The Stonewall Chorale, the nation's oldest LGBTQ chorus, where he currently serves as board president.
As an actor Michael is a recipient of an OOBR Award for his performance in Tom Dillehay's drama Southern Gentlemen and Other Myths. He is a chorister at St. John's in the Village, where he had the great good fortune of meeting the founders of Anglica Antiqua, not to mention continuing to sing with them weekly for most of the year.
A curiosity in the cultural background behind the music she plays led Sarah Stone to baroque cello and viola da gamba. She performs with ensembles including Trinity Baroque Orchestra, Mercury, the Sebastians, Early Music New York, NYBI, and Grand Harmonie. This season includes tours to Montreal and California with Trinity, Rameau's Les Indes Galantes with Mercury as their guest principal cellist, and performances of Handel's Aci, Galatea e Polifemo at National Sawdust. Past highlights include travel abroad: she took part in Dans les Jardins de William Christie with Les Arts Florissants in Thiré, France, and toured with Juilliard415, performing in the London, Paris, Leipzig, Boston, and New York with Rachel Podger and Masaaki Suzuki.
Sarah is passionate about performing and teaching chamber music. She is a founding member of the period string quartet, Quartet Resound, cellist of Broadwood Junction, a square piano trio exploring music from the 19th century, and cellist for Mount Sinai Concerts. This June, Quartet Resound is returning for the second year to coach chamber music and performed as quartet-in-residence at The Woodlands ChamberFest near Houston, TX. The quartet is also planning a week of chamber music outreach in Hamilton, MT in collaboration with Bitterroot Baroque for October, 2017. Broadwood Junction will be returning to Gotham Early Music Scene's Midtown Concerts Series and performing concerts at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts with programs 'Rule! Britannia' and 'Music in Jane Austen's Home.' Sarah was one of the first musicians to join Mt. Siani Concerts, whose mission is to bring music and healing to New York's Mount Sinai Hospital through monthly baroque and classical concerts.
Sarah holds a Masters in Historical Performance from the Juilliard School, a Masters from San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and a Bachelors of Music from Rice University. She currently lives in Long Island City, New York and enjoys making pasta from scratch, playing badminton, and creating temporary tattoo sleeves.
Elissa Edwards, soprano, specializes in music primarily of the 17th and 18th centuries and her performances bring to light underperformed, yet stunning works from these periods. She began her training at Houston Grand Opera and obtained her performances degrees from University of York, England (MA) and at Boston University (BA), where she studied under Martin Pearlman of Boston Baroque and Peter Seymour of Yorkshire Baroque Soloists.
Ms. Edwards is the creative director of the Élan Ensemble, which serves as the Historical Music Society in Annapolis, MD and is the ensemble in residence at the Hammond-Harwood House Museum. She performs themed concerts in historic locations, which bring the audience into the spirit of the musical and social world of past ears though programs that form a harmonious whole. Her use of facsimile editions, studies of historic singing treatises, ornamentation practices and use of baroque gesture allow her to channel the spirit of singers from past eras and enlivens the music.
In addition to chamber music performances, she is a sacred music specialist and has been the featured soloist in many oratorio and cantata performances in the US and UK. She appears on several sacred choral recordings with Yorkshire Baroque Soloists and the Aquinas Ensemble in Houston. Jane Austen’s Songbook is her debut solo album for commercial release this spring, followed by An English Christmas later this year.
Ms. Edwards was born in Houston, TX and now resides in Annapolis, MD. She currently studies with Dr. Julianne Baird, soprano.
Anna Willson ,mezzo soprano, hails from Yakima Washington, and has recently moved to Harlem, NY, from Boston. She earned a B.A. in music from Whitworth University inSpokane, WA, and earned an M.A. in Vocal Performance from The BostonConservatory this spring. Anna’s passion for early music was realized this summer,when she attended Early Music Vancouver’s vocal arts programme under thedirection of Ellen Hargis.
When Anna is not performing, some of her favorite activities include cooking,practicing Yoga, and teaching music to kids in Brooklyn. Anna is also involved in theEmber ensemble, (formerly Schola Cantorum at Hudson), and is working with a professional Christmas caroling company for this holiday season.
Mezzo-Soprano, Carla Jablonski, has been hailed a “seasoned and multi-dimensional” young performer. She has been building a name for herself as an exciting and promising young actress on both the concert and operatic stage with her “appealingly burnished tone” as described by The New York Times. She received her Masters Degree from The Juilliard School and has sung with Wolf Trap Opera Company, Chautauqua Opera and Central City Opera. Awards include a Drama Desk in theatre, ASCAP, Bori Grant, and Novick Career Advancement Award. She recently performed in a co-production between the Metropolitan Opera and The Juilliard School conducted by James Levine and directed by Stephen Wadsworth. She sang the role of La Ciesca in Gianni Schicchi and reprised the role with Central City Opera Company. Other highlights include Mère Jeanne in Dialogues des Carmélites, Mrs. Jones in Kurt Weill’s Street Scene and Thelma Yablonski in John Musto’s Later the Same Evening. This season at FGO she will perform the roles of Lady #3 in Die Zauberflöte and Annina in La traviata. The Pittsburgh native made her Lincoln Center debut at Alice Tully Hall singing Five Songs by Charles Ives arranged for orchestra by John Adams. She returned to the Tully stage to sing the role of Fileno in Handel’s Clori, Tirsi, e Fileno under the baton of Maestro Nicholas Mcgegan. This past December Ms. Jablonski made her Carnegie Hall debut as the alto soloist in Handel’s Messiah and recently sang Bernstein’s Jeremiah with NYYS and El amor Brujo with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra.
Benjamin D. VanWagoner is a doctoral candidate with research that focuses on early modern English drama, maritime culture, and economics. His dissertation, sponsored by Jean E. Howard and titled 'Doubtful Gains': Articulating Maritime Risk in English Drama, 1601–1642, examines commercial theatre's growing awareness of risk as a discrete economic concept alongside the English expansion into global trade in the early part of the 17th century. The project attends to little-studied popular drama of the sea by Thomas Heywood, Phillip Massinger, and Robert Daborne, in addition to the works of William Shakespeare, to re-imagine the dramatic and cultural effect of shipwrecks, piracy, insurance, and maritime political theory. Other research has ranged widely: his Master's thesis on social organization and polyphony in T.S. Eliot's poem Coriolan and in Coriolanus won Columbia's Rachel-Wetzsteon Prize. He is also the recipient of a 2015/6 Fellowship in Academic Administration at Columbia's Office of Academic Diversity, and is serving as an MLA Connected Academics Fellow for 2015/6. Read more about his work at vanwagoner.nyc.
Arnie Tanimoto is equally at home playing various members of the viola da gamba family, as well as both modern and baroque cello. He was the first-ever viola da gamba major at The Juilliard School, where he soloed on both viola da gamba and baroque cello. Described by The New York Times as a “fine instrumental soloist” Arnie has performed with some of the country's leading period ensembles, including the Boston Early Music Festival Ensemble, Trinity Baroque Orchestra, and the Smithsonian Consort of Viols. He has participated in classes and coachings with such notable artists as William Christie, Anner Bylsma, Paolo Pandolfo, and Christophe Coin.
Arnie is an advocate for the viola da gamba, and can be found giving lecture demonstrations and premieres of new works for the instrument around the country. He holds degrees from Oberlin Conservatory (B.M.), the Eastman School of Music (M.M), and The Juilliard School (M.M.). He currently resides in New York City.
Outside the realm of historical performance, Arnie has collaborated with artists ranging from Stevie Wonder to Joyce DiDonato, with whom he has recorded an NPR Music Field Recording.
Dan McCarthy's playing has been described simply as “virtuosic” by Seen and Heard International. He was part of the first class of baroque violists ever to be accepted into the historical performance program at The Juilliard School, where he was often featured performing on violin, viola d'amore, and viola da gamba. As a modern violist, Dan holds a doctorate in viola performance from the University of Maryland, where he was an active performer in the Washington D.C area. There, he gave concerts and lectures at George Washington University, American University, the Library of Congress, and the National Portrait Gallery. He holds other degrees from the University of Michigan, and the Interlochen Arts Academy. Dan has served as section violist with the Trinity Baroque Orchestra, concertmaster of the Austin Baroque Orchestra, and tenor gambist with Parthenia. He has also performed and toured extensively throughout North America, East Asia, and Europe with Jordi Savall, Masaaki Suzuki, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, and the American Bach Soloists. Here on the east coast he has played with Brooklyn Baroque, the New York String Quartet, Big Apple Baroque, Yale Schola Cantorum, Dorian Baroque Ensemble, and New Vintage Baroque. Dan is currently engaged with La Fiocco, Bach Vespers at Holy Trinity, the Queens Consort, and the Curiosity Cabinet.