JULIE LISTON JOHNSON is new to Orpheus this year as a regular. She made her Carnegie Hall debut in March 2004 singing the soprano solos in Fauré’s Requiem and Imant Raminsh’s Messe Brevis. While in New York, she was heard with The Mostly Mozart Festival, Mark Morris Dance Troupe, Vox, Trinity Church-Wall Street, and The Voices of Ascension. Recordings include the Haydn Missa Cellensis with Trinity Church, Wall Street where she sang a live broadcast of Messiah on WQXR (2001). A skillful interpreter of new music, she premiered John Zorn’s La machine de l’être at the Téatro Comunale di Bologna, as well as performing the soprano solo in Mario Davidovsky’s Biblical Songswith Continuum, conducted by Joel Sachs in New York City. She sang the title role in Madama Butterfly at Opera at Florham. Liston Johnson received her Master of Music degree from The Juilliard School where she was also on the Evening Division Faculty.
HEIDI D. KLEIN, soprano, is a six-year veteran of Orpheus, and is particularly dedicated to the interpretation of contemporary music and has premiered numerous compositions, many of which have been written expressly for her. She has been a featured performer at new music festivals throughout the US and has presented lectures on contemporary vocal practices to singers and composers alike. Klein performs regularly with such ensembles as Project Eve, The Orchestra of New Spain, the Dallas Bach Society, the Denton Bach Society and is currently serving as a choral artist in residence with the Dallas Arts District Chorale. She has also performed and recorded with Dallas’ new music ensemble, Voices of Change. Klein has served as adjunct instructor of voice at the University of North Texas. She is featured on three compact disc recordings: CEMEsonics: The Threshold of Sound; Music of SEAMUS, Volume 7; and with Voices of Change, The Chamber Music of David Dzubay.
MEGHAN MAZUR This is Meghan’s second year singing with Orpheus. She obtained her Masters in Music at Southern Methodist University, where she has also taught as Adjunct Faculty. She has Bachelor’s Degrees in Voice and French from Oberlin College, where she studied with Daune Mahy. She has sung a variety of roles in operas, including Il Re Pastore (Tamiri), The Tender Land (Ma), Le Nozze di Figaro (La Contessa), L’incoronazione di Poppea (Ottavia), Little Women (Alma), La Bella Dormente nel Bosco (La Regina), and Les Dialogues des Carmélites. She has also appeared as a soloist with the Las Colinas, Garland, and Arlington Symphony Orchestras. Meghan serves as soprano section leader at the Episcopal Church of the Transfiguration, and teaches French at Harmony Science Academy in Garland.
TERRIE PRESKITT-BROWN has sung as a soloist in recitals, concerts and oratorios around the US, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, England and Italy. She has been involved in Orpheus since the first season and is Soprano Section Leader. She is also a founding member of Project Eve, and was a member of the Texas Baroque Ensemble for 14 years. Terrie is the Associate Director of Music and Arts (and Epworth Handbells Ensemble Director) at Highland Park United Methodist Church and an Assistant Conductor of the Children’s Chorus of Greater Dallas. She is in demand as a clinician for elementary music teachers and children’s choirs. In her career as a voice teacher she has coached more than 40 students to the Texas All State Choir, and many of her former students are now professional musicians. A magna cum laude graduate of Texas Christian University, Terrie holds degrees in Music Education and Voice Performance, and is a Level III certified Orff-Schulwerk instructor.
LAUREN STROH This is Lauren’s first year singing with Orpheus. She recently completed her studies for the Bachelor of Music in Organ Performance degree at the Oberlin (OH) Conservatory of Music.. She is currently Organist at Arapaho United Methodist church in Richardson, Texas and interim organist and cantor at Saint Thomas Aquinas in Dallas, Texas. In addition to her activities as a keyboardist and her commitment to sacred music, Lauren has performed as a vocalist and chorister throughout the Midwest. She is a founding member of the early polyphonic vocal ensemble Voces Jubilantes and was a featured vocalist in Oberlin’s Collegium Musicum.
KATRINA BURGGRAF-KLEDAS is in her twelfth season with Orpheus. Her eclectic career has seen everything from Purcell solos in Westminster Cathedral to Stockhausen’s Stimmung in Deep Ellum to her solo debuts with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, singing Mozart’s Requiem under the baton of Jaap Van Zweden, and the Fort Worth Civic Symphonyperforming Elgar’s Sea Pictures. She also performs with the newly formed Project Eve and the Orchestra of New Spain, with whom she traveledto Bolivia for the Baroque Music Festival in May. Burggraf-Kledas’recorded solo work includes “With Angels and Archangels” and “The RoyalStandard” and “Francisco Courcelle, Masses for Celebration.” As well assinging throughout the US, she has performed in Great Britain’s gorgeouscathedrals, including Lincoln, Westminster Abbey, Southwark, Lichfield,and St. Mary’s Cathedral in Edinburgh, and her singing has also taken her toItaly (the Duomo, Assisi, and the Medici Villa).
DIANNA GRABOWSKI, in her 6th year with Orpheus, and has also been featured with such groups as the Dallas Bach Society, Texas Vocal Arts Ensemble, and Orchestra of New Spain. Her opera roles have included the title role in Offenbach’s La Périchole (with Opéra du Périgord in France), Diane in Rameau’s Zéphyre, and Céphise in Rameau’s Pygmalion (Dallas Bach Society). Dianna recently had the honor of performing excerpts from La Périchole for the French ambassador to the United States and other dignitaries. She is a founding member of the professional ensemble Armonia Celeste, specializing in music of the Italian Renaissance and Baroque. With Armonia Celeste, Dianna was featured in a PBS documentary presented by Early Music Television entitled “Culture Wars of Venice and the Birth of Public Opera.”
BROOKE GRALL has been performing with Orpheus since 2008. She graduated from University of North Texas in 2004 with a Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance. Since then, she has regularly performed with professional choirs, accompanied several areas choirs and soloists on piano, and taught five years in elementary and secondary music. She most recently resigned from Lovejoy High School as the Associate Choir Director to stay at home with her daughter full-time. She is currently teaching voice lessons at Lovejoy High School and accompanying the choirs at Sloan Creek Middle School, also in Lovejoy ISD. She is a member of Texas Music Educators Association and Texas Choral Directors Association.
ELIZABETH JOHNSON KNIGHT mezzo soprano (2nd season), has sung a wide range of solo and choral repertoire, appearing with the Carmel Bach Festival, Bach Festival of Central Florida, North Central Louisiana Masterworks, Paducah Symphony, Valdosta Symphony Orchestra, Indiana University Pro Arte Singers, Meridian Vocal Consort, the newly formed Adler Consort and Project Eve. This season’s highlights include her Carnegie Hall debut as alto soloist in Handel’s Messiah with the Masterwork Chorus. Her opera roles include Mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors, Dorabella inCosì fan tutte, Orlofsky in Die Fledermaus, Proserpina in Monterverdi’s Orfeo, La Ciesca in Gianni Schicchi. Ms. Knight is a graduate of Indiana University (MM) and the University of Mississippi (BM). She has held teaching positions at The University of Louisiana, Monroe and Murray State University, and currently holds a teaching fellowship at the University of North Texas, where she is pursuing doctoral studies in voice and pedagogy.
LAURA WARRINER, Mezzo-Soprano, is a native of Madison, Mississippi. She is an active performer of opera, early music, and oratorio. In the Dallas area, she sings professionally with the Orpheus Chamber Singers, Orchestra of New Spain, the Adler Consort, the Dallas Bach Society and Project Eve. Some of her operatic roles include Octavian in Der Rosenkavalier, Dritte Dame/Dritte Knabe in Die Zauberflöte, Alisa in Lucia di Lammermoor, Zerlina in Don Giovanni, and Despina in Cosi fan Tutte. She has also been heard as a soloist with Atlantic Classical Orchestra, Turtle Creek Chorale, Richardson Symphony, South Dakota Chorale, and the Thüringer Stadt Orchester in Rudodlstadt, Germany. Laura has sung under the batons of many great conductors and composers including Moses Hogan, Sir David Willcocks, Eric Whitacre, Bob Chilcott, and Stewart Robertson. She is currently on the voice faculty of Collin College in Plano, TX and works as a freelance pianist, voice coach and instructor.
CHRISTA ZIMMER-FONTENOT has sung with Orpheus since 2002, as well as the Dallas Bach Society and the Orchestra of New Spain in Texas, and in Europe with the Internationale Bachakademie of Stuttgart Festival Choir in Germany, and at the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria. She continues to be in demand as recitalist and oratorio soloist, frequently appearing as a guest artist in major churches and with professional and community choral organizations throughout the southwest. As a recitalist, Zimmer has explored some of the far corners of song literature, and has been hailed for her creative programming, acute sensitivity to poetry in song, and her wide and diverse range of dramatic expression. She studied at TCU, receiving her degree in vocal performance in 2003, and currently serves in Ministry Support at Arborlawn United Methodist Church of Fort Worth.
JASPREET BAINS — This is Jaspreet’s first season with Orpheus. He was part of the LSU choir and an octet group in his college days, as well as Cantus Voce. Music is not his professional career, but it is his passion! He works as an engineer at an aeronautics company.
AUSTIN ENGEL — This is Austin’s first season with Orpheus. He graduated in 2008 from UNT, and spent a year singing a production of “Pinklestadt” in Munich, Germany before returning to the US. He has sung at Christ the King Catholic Church, with the Dallas Bach Society, and now Orpheus. He maintains a private voice studio at Lake Highlands High School in Dallas, and is a member of TMEA, TCDA, and other professional choral organizations.
NICHOLAS GARZA is a second year Vocal Performance major at the University of Texas at Arlington, studying with Jing Ling Tam. Originally from Harlingen, Texas, Nicholas was a winner in Classical Voice/Tenor at the 2010 NFAA YoungARTS, a four-year Texas All-State Mixed Choir member, and an Outstanding soloist for Texas State Solo Ensemble Competition. He has also worked with noted singer/conductor Simon Carrington at the 2011 Norfolk Chamber Music Festival at Yale University. In addition to singing with Orpheus, he also sings with the Dallas Bach Society, the Fort Worth Opera Chorus and Christ the King Catholic Church. He plans to attend Yale University for graduate school and specialize in Early Music.
DEL HOWARD is a Dallas native and can’t remember a time when singing was not a part of his life. Though music is not his full-time career, it truly is his passion. Del has sung with many organizations in Dallas including the Dallas Bach Society, the Forth Worth Baroque Society, Pro Musica, the Irving Chorale, Aria Chamber Chorus, as well as many church choirs in need of a ‘last minute tenor’. When not singing, Del loves to travel and spend time wth close friends over a glass of red wine.
JASON AWBREY, baritone, has performed as a guest soloist with the Dallas Symphony, Dallas Bach Society, Orchestra of New Spain, Texas Camerata, Greater Dallas Youth Orchestra and Chorus, San Antonio Symphony, and has also performed with a number of professional choirs, including the Santa Fe Desert Chorale and Vox Humana. Scott Cantrell of the Dallas Morning News said Jason sang “with heartrending beauty and sensitivity” and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram proclaimed Mr. Awbrey to be a “resonant and commanding soloist.” Jason has appeared on a number of recordings with the Orpheus Chamber Singers and the Church of the Incarnation choirs which include a recording of Duruflé’s Requiem where he was the featured baritone soloist. This year marks Jason’s 14th season with Orpheus.
ANDREW DITTMAN, baritone, is excited to be in his first season with Orpheus. He holds a Master’s degree in choral conducting from the University of North Texas under Dr. Jerry McCoy, studying voice under Dr. Stephen Morscheck. Andrew has performed as a soloist and chorister with the Denton Bach Choir, the Orchestra of New Spain, and UNT A Cappella, Chamber Choir, and Collegium Singers. He is currently serving as Minister of Music at First Presbyterian Church of Duncanville. Andrew frequently composes and arranges, and many of his pieces have been performed by various choral and instrumental ensembles. Andrew enjoys spending time with his wife, Ashley, and baby John, who just arrived this past September!
JONATHAN GREER, baritone (fourth season, and newly-appointed writer of concert program notes for Orpheus), enjoys an eclectic taste in music. Besides singing in several classical choral ensembles, he has also appeared in local productions of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, She Loves Me, The Mikado, Pirates of Penzance, and Cabaret, and can frequently be seen at local concert venues checking out buzz bands and artists with major indie cred. Jonathan attended Baylor University where he received an Bachelor’s Degree in Church Music and a Masters Degree in Music History. Jonathan’s day job is Senior Catering and Conference Services Manager at an upscale Dallas hotel.
AARON HARP is in his first year singing with Orpheus. He is frequently featured as a soloist with Denton Bach Society and Orchestra of New Spain. He has performed at various festivals including Boston Early Music Festival, Berkeley Early Music Festival, and American Bach Soloists Festival. He holds a Master of Music degree from the University of North Texas and a Bachelor of Music degree from Ouachita Baptist University, both in vocal performance. Aaron is the Fine Arts Director at Ovilla Christian School where he directs the choirs and teaches private voice lessons.
TIM JOHNSON has sung with Orpheus since 1995, the second season of its existence. From 2008-2010, Tim served as Board President for Orpheus and continues to assist in grant writing for the chorus. Tim has appeared with numerous other local groups such as Dallas Bach Society, Orchestra of New Spain, Arts District Chorale and the Irving Chorale. In October of 2008, Tim appeared in a concert sponsored by Voices of Change singing in the rarely performed work, Stimmung by Karlheinz Stockhausen. Growing up in a musical family, Tim was fortunate to learn chorale singing through strong church and school choirs. While at SMU, he sang under the baton of the late Dr. Lloyd Pfautsch. Tim is a section leader and featured soloist at his home church, First United Methodist Church of Dallas. Numerous solo works include Brahms Eine Deutsches Requiem, Haydn’s Creation, Faure’s Requiem and Handel’s Messiah. During the day, Tim is an Operations Manager for a sales and marketing company. While not singing or working, Tim enjoys spending time with his wife, Merri Leigh, and their two sons, Jack and Charlie.
RONNIE MAYFIELD, a long time music educator, has recently retired after a successful 32 year career as a high school band director. He holds a Bachelor of Music Education from Abilene Christian University and a Master of Music with an emphasis in band and choral conducting from Northwestern State University. He has also played trombone professionally in Nashville at Opryland USA, Abilene Philharmonic Orchestra and the Shreveport Symphony. Ronnie’s real passion is choral music. He is currently a member of Orpheus Chambers and the choir at Christ the King. He has appeared as bass soloist with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and Abilene Philharmonic Orchestra, and he has sung with the Cox Chapel Singers at Highland Park United Methodist Church and the Dallas Symphony Chorus. He also served as Special Performance Director with the Dallas Symphony Chorus under David Davidson and Praise Team director at Richland Hills Church of Christ. Ronnie is a member of Texas Music Educators Association, Texas Music Adjudicators Association and Texas Bandmasters Association.
JOHN PROFT has performed professionally as a chorister and chamber musician across the country. Based for four years in Boston, he regularly performed with Harry Christophers in the Handel & Haydn Society, and also appeared with the Boston Early Music Festival, Blue Heron Renaissance Choir, Exsultemus, and Philovox. He travels to sing with Austin’s Conspirare, Miami’s Seraphic Fire, and the Santa Fe Desert Chorale. As a soloist, he has twice appeared with the Harvard-Radcliffe Collegium Musicum singing Monteverdi and Schütz, and has twice been accepted to sing under Ton Koopman in Carnegie Hall’s Professional Training Workshops, specializing in Bach and Handel choral works. With Conspirare, John appeared in the “Company of Voices” PBS special and the subsequent Grammy-nominated recording on Harmonia Mundi. He is currently pursuing a masters in Choral Conducting at Southern Methodist University.