Alistair Reid

alistair.jpg

Alistair Reid, MA FRCO, enjoys a distinguished career as an international concert organist and choral conductor. He currently serves as Organist and Director of Music at St. Joseph’s Church Yorkville on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. He is also an Assisting Organist at Trinity Church Wall Street and The Brick Church. Alistair began his musical career as a boy chorister at his local church in London and began playing the piano at the age of eight. He studied music at the University of Oxford and, during this time, was Organ Scholar at Hertford College, Assistant Organist of the University Church, and Conductor of The Oxford Chamber Choir.  After graduating, Alistair crossed the Atlantic to serve as Organ Scholar of Christ Church, Greenwich, Connecticut, while continuing his studies with Gerre Hancock at St. Thomas Church, Fifth Avenue. Alistair was then appointed Assistant Director of Music at Christ Church Cathedral, Indianapolis. During his five-year tenure, he played for weekly broadcasts,  accompanied five European choir tours, and featured on the choir’s acclaimed CD, ‘My Spirit Rejoices’ on the Gothic label.

From 2004 to 2011, Alistair was Associate Director of Music and subsequently Director of Music of Coventry Cathedral in England. During this time, he directed the cathedral's five choirs, trained the boy and girl choristers, and played for a number of high- profile services, concerts, broadcasts, and international tours. He is featured on several CDs including ‘Choral Music from Coventry Cathedral’ on the Herald label and ‘The Best Christmas Carols Album in the W… Ever!’ on the Kingsway label Alistair was also Associate Conductor of the cathedral’s choral society, The Coventry Cathedral Chorus, and in 2010 helped to prepare Britten’s War Requiem for a performance marking the 70th anniversary of the bombing of the cathedral.

Ralph Braun

Ralph Braun, a Milwaukee native, had a long career in musical theatre, including Broadway appearances with Jane Powell in Irene and with Dick Van Dyke and a very young Christian Slater in The Music Man, as well as appearances in numerous touring, stock and dinner theatre productions around the country. In addition, Ralph has sung with many choral groups and church choirs in the tri-state region. He is currently the Bass Section Leader and Assistant Conductor of Canterbury Choral Society, and in recent Canterbury seasons has been featured in roles such as Manoah in the Handel oratorio Samson and as the Baritone Soloist in Arthur Honegger’s Une cantata de Noel and Maurice Durufle’s Requiem. Ralph and his wife currently live in Redding, CT.

Ethan Fran

 

Ethan Fran performs opera, oratorio, sacred music, and recitals frequently in the New York area and beyond. He has recently sung with New York Virtuoso Singers, Bard Festival Chorale, and MasterVoices (formerly The Collegiate Chorale). As soloist, recent highlights include Puccini's La Fanciulla del West with Apotheosis Opera, Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro with The Downtown Symphony, Schubert's Mass in E-flat with Sound Shore Chorale, and Bach's Mass in B Minor with Canterbury Choral Society.

Ethan is currently the Tenor Section Leader of Canterbury Choral Society.

Laura Jobin-Acosta

Praised for her “dulcet tones” and “musicality” (NEC Blog) soprano Laura Jobin-Acosta is on the rise as one of New York City’s fine young classical singers. Her concert soloist experience includes Coronation Mass in C by Mozart, Samson by Handel, B Minor Mass by Bach, Die Zieben Worte and Paukenmesse by Haydn, Solokantaten by Buxtehude, Magnificat by Vaughan Williams, and Missa Brevis by Kodály. Operatic experience includes Pamina in Die Zauberflöte by Mozart, Romilda in Xerxes by Handel, and Lucy in The Rivals by Kirke Mechem. Upcoming engagements include the soprano solos in B Minor Mass by Bach in as part of an international peace concert tour. Ms. Jobin-Acosta has also participated as a soloist with the Colorado Youth Symphony Orchestra, Cathedral of St. John the Divine, Calvary-St. George Church, and CUMC Symphony Orchestra. She is a Soprano Section Leader at Canterbury Choral Society. She has a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Denver and continues to study voice. Laura is a also composer with a wide-ranging, innovative style.

Hannah Spierman

Hannah_Speirman.jpg

Soprano Hannah Spierman has garnered consistent praise, both for her vocal beauty -- her voice has been described as “a sweet, true soprano of an English-horn-like quality that [falls] most gratefully on the ear" -- as well as for her compelling stage presence. As Tormentilla in Ralph Vaughan Williams’s rarely-performed 20th-century opera The Poisoned Kiss with the Bronx Opera, she was lauded for offering “a bright characterization and some delightfully quirky line readings," and for her “conviction and comedy, " and for portraying “a three-dimensional human being." 

A frequent performer with the Bronx Opera, Hannah has also appeared with the company as Countess Almaviva in The Marriage of Figaro, Musetta in La bohème, Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni, the Sandman in Hansel and Gretel, and Inez in the New York premiere of Die drei Pintos, a work begun by Carl Maria von Weber and completed by Gustav Mahler. 

Other New York-area appearances include the title role in Gilbert & Sullivan's Princess Ida, Alice Ford in Falstaff, and Echo in Ariadne auf Naxos with Utopia Opera; Giorgetta in Il tabarroNella in Gianni Schicchi, and Mimì in La bohème with Long Island's North Shore Music Festival; First Lady in The Magic Flute and Gertrude in Hansel and Gretel with Amore Opera; La Ciesca in Gianni Schicchi and Javotte in Manon with the dell’Arte Opera Ensemble; and concert performances as Donna Elvira with Opera Company of Brooklyn, Micaëla in Carmen with Sing Through Central, and the Second Spirit in Dido and Aeneas with the New Jersey Oratorio Society. Hannah has also performed regionally throughout the United States, most recently as Praskowia in The Merry Widow with the Northern Lights Music Festival in Minnesota's Iron Range; as Countess Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro with Opera Breve in Wichita Falls, Texas; and as Giorgetta in Il tabarro with Buck Hill-Skytop Music Festival in the Poconos.

On the concert stage, she has recently performed as the soprano soloist in Handel's Messiah with the Garden State Philharmonic; Messiah and Bach's Magnificat with the Central Presbyterian Chorale; Brahms’s Ein Deutsches Requiem with Music at Christ Church, Oyster Bay; Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy with the Orchestra of the Bronx; and Schumann’s Requiem für Mignon with Collegium Westchester. Hannah was honored with a BRIO (Bronx Recognizes Its Own) Award. 

A graduate of New England Conservatory, Hannah has been in demand as a soloist in both traditional and modern classical music. In Boston, she sang the American premiere of Israeli composer Osnat Netzer's acclaimed song cycle “Light Night Songs" and was featured as The Tourist in Robert Zimmerman's concert opera 9/11 Soliloquies; in New York, she sang excerpts from the title role in Elliot Encarnación’s new opera Lilith in concert at the Manhattan School of Music. 

Hannah currently resides in The Bronx with her husband and frequent artistic collaborator, stage director Benjamin Spierman. She is currently a Soprano Section Leader of Canterbury Choral Society.

Valerie Vollmer

Valerie Vollmer, Contralto, is a native of Erie, PA. She received a Bachelor of Music in Applied Voice from SUNY Fredonia, and a Master of Music from The Hartt School of Music (Hartford, CT). While finishing graduate studies, Valerie was invited to join the three-time Grammy winning choral group, The Gregg Smith Singers. With GSS she was honored to work with contemporary composers and conductors including Lucos Foss, RobertCraft, and Dave Brubeck.

Valerie resides in New York City and is a longtime soloist and assistant conductor of the Grace Church Choir in Brooklyn Heights, NY.  She is currently a, Alto Section Leader of Canterbury Choral Society.