The Madison area is home to many musicians with a deep love, extensive training, and wide experience in performing the music of J.S. Bach. Just Bach is delighted to feature them on our concert series, giving them an opportunity to share their talents, and Bach’s music, with the community.
Micah Behr received his Doctorate in Viola Performance at UW Madison where he studied viola with Sally Chisholm and collaborative piano with Martha Fischer. His original compositions and transcriptions have been premiered by the Madison Bach Musicians and the Stoughton Chamber Music Players. He also composes music for Geneva Campus Church where he serves as Worship Director and Artist-in-Residence.
Madlen H Breckbill, viola & violin, lived in Berlin (Germany) for the last 4 years, working as an orchestral trainee with Konzerthaus Berlin, as the violist of the TAÏGA String Quartet in Denmark and as a chamber music trainee for Villa-Musica in Rheinland Pfalz. She is a graduate of UW-Madison where she studied with Prof David Perry, and the Glenn Gould School in Toronto, where she studied with Paul Kantor, Barry Shiffman, Erica Raum and Steven Dann. In 2019, Madlen started the Stoughton Chamber Music Festival, bringing in professional musicians for ever-shifting summer chamber music collaborations. Madlen lives in Stoughton WI, establishing herself in the midwest as a collaborator, teacher, and concert organizer.
Cynthia Cameron is principal bassoonist of the Madison Symphony Orchestra. She also plays recorder with Vox Venti and Trio Chiesa, and she plays Celtic folk music on whistle and concertina with The Twa Dogs. She holds a Master of Music degree from the Manhattan School of Music and a Bachelor of Music degree from UW-Madison.
Baritone Ryne Cherry’s notable recent engagements include Dandini in Rossini’s Cenerentola (Boston Midsummer Opera), Matt of the Mint in The Beggar’s Opera (Emmanuel Music), Filch/Ed/Beggar/Police Chief Smith in The Threepenny Opera (Boston Lyric Opera), Altair in Strauss’s Die Ägyptische (Odyssey Opera), and Sam in A Quiet Place (BSO at Tanglewood Music Center). Solo oratorio appearances include Fauré’s Requiem (Nashoba Valley Chorale), Beethoven’s Mass in C and Mendelssohn’s Die erste Walpurgisnacht (Back Bay Chorale), Dvořák’s Te Deum and Orff’s Carmina Burana (Symphony Pro Musica), plus premieres of several new works by living composers. www.rynecherry.com
Violinist Nathan Giglierano has performed across Europe, Central and North America. Nathan graduated with his Bachelor’s in Music from Oberlin Conservatory, where he studied with Marilyn McDonald, and earned his Master’s degree from UW-Madison under the tutelage of David Perry. Nathan is very active in the Madison baroque music scene and is a member of the Madison Bach Musicians and Wisconsin Baroque Ensemble. When not playing concerts or teaching, Nathan enjoys photography, woodworking, and hiking with his wife.
Andrea Gross Hixon is currently the principal oboist of the Madison Symphony Orchestra. She teaches oboe at UW-Oshkosh and St. Norbert College, and in the summers plays in the New Hampshire Music Festival orchestra. Andrea received her Doctor of Musical Arts and Master of Music degrees from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY, and her Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She completed additional studies at the Conservatoire de Paris. She resides in Appleton, Wisconsin with her husband, son, daughter, and chihuahua mix, Rosie. This is her baroque oboe debut.
Kangwon Lee Kim is a versatile violinist with repertoire ranging from baroque to 21st century using both baroque and modern violins. She has given concerts throughout the U.S. and in Korea, Canada, Puerto Rico, Switzerland, Norway and Czech Republic. As a baroque violinist, Ms. Kim has performed with the Smithsonian Chamber Players, Oberlin Baroque Institute Faculty Ensemble, Brandywine Baroque, Wisconsin Baroque Ensemble, Calisto (San Francisco), the Classical Symphony (Philadelphia) and Baroque Band (Chicago). She served as Assistant Professor at Biola University and has also taught at Ripon College, the University of Pennsylvania and Lawrence University Conservatory. Currently, Ms. Kim is Assistant Artistic Director and Concertmaster of Madison Bach Musicians and teaches at Credo Chamber Music Festival during the summer.
Violinist Leanne Kelso League is associate concertmaster of the Madison Symphony Orchestra and assistant concertmaster of the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra. Her performances include chamber music and orchestral performances in Italy, Austria, Amsterdam, Costa Rica, and Slovenia, and cities throughout North America. From 1996-1999, she was a fellow at the New World Symphony in Miami, Florida where she performed as concertmaster and principal second violin. She earned her M.M. in performance from UW-Madison, studying with Vartan Manoogian and holding an assistantship at UW as a violinist in the Strelow String Quartet. Her undergraduate studies were completed at The Florida State University and Eastman School of Music. On the Baroque violin, Leanne has studied with Karen Clarke and has performed with Nicholas McGegan, Max von Egmont, the Tallahassee Bach Parley, the Wisconsin Baroque Ensemble, the Madison Bach Musicians, and Sonata à Quattro.
James Mauk, tenor, has performed as a singer and conductor throughout the United States and internationally. He holds a Master’s degree in Choral Conducting from Missouri State University, and a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education and post-graduate studies in Vocal Pedagogy from East Carolina University. James is founder and artistic director of Carolina Choral Artists, and has performed with Madison Choral Project, Just Bach, Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, Kantorei KC, Norfolk Festival Chamber Choir, Te Deum Antiqua (KC), KC VITAs, and Missouri Choral Artists.
Jason J. Moy holds degrees in harpsichord and Early Music performance from McGill University in Montreal. Jason is a native of Chicago, and a faculty member at the DePaul University School of Music, where he is Director of the Baroque Ensemble, Coordinator of Mixed Chamber Music, and an adjunct harpsichord instructor. He has performed as a soloist and with ensembles across the United States, Canada and Europe, with notable appearances at the Boston Early Music Festival, York Early Music Festival (UK), and the Sweetwater Music Festival in Ontario, Canada. Jason is a founding member of the award-winning period instrument ensemble Trio Speranza, and Artistic Director of Ars Musica Chicago. He frequently appears with such noted ensembles as the Bach Week Festival Orchestra, Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, Illinois Symphony Orchestra, Music of the Baroque, Newberry Consort, Grant Park Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, and Chicago Chamber Musicians. For more information, please visit www.jjmoy.com.
Growing up in Germany, Sigrun Paust began studying the recorder in first grade. During her high school years she had the privilege to study with former students of Frans Brüggen and Michala Petri, study music theory through Mannheim University, and play with a recorder quartet, which placed at the state level of “Jugend Musiziert” youth music competition in Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany. Ms. Paust played harpsichord in a school opera production as well as a local early music group. Once in the U.S., Ms. Paust played with the Early Music Ensemble under Jeanne Swack at UW Madison, and also presented several recitals with Bruce Bengtson at Luther Memorial. Ms. Paust joined the Wisconsin Baroque Ensemble in late 2016, and is pleased to be making her debut with Just Bach in 2021.
An oboist from Amarillo, Texas, Keslie Pharis currently holds a Paul J. Collins Distinguished Graduate Fellowship at UW-Madison, where she performs with the UW Symphony Orchestra, UW Wind Ensemble, Driftless Reed Quintet, and other local ensembles. She has also recently performed with the Miami Music Festival Opera and Conductor’s Orchestra, New Voices Opera, and the IU New Music Ensemble. Her playing is strongly influenced by her extensive background with ballet, and she enjoys teaching in her private oboe studio and through local high school programs. Keslie holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Indiana University, and her principal teachers are Lindsay Flowers, Linda Strommen, Margaret Owens, Roger Roe, and Robert Krause.
Mezzo soprano Dr. Jessica Schwefel has performed in over 30 operatic productions with Madison Opera, the Florentine Opera, Opera for the Young, Fresco Opera Theatre. Dr. Schwefel has appeared as a soloist with the Madison Choral Project, Present Music, Madison Bach Musicians, UW Summer Choir, Oshkosh Chamber Singers, South Shore Chorale, UW-Symphony Orchestra, amongst other professional engagements. Dr. Schwefel’s involvement with the Florentine Opera’s production and recording of Prince of Players in 2018 culminated in two Grammy award nominations in 2021. She also participated in the Florentine’s recordings of “Elmer Gantry” and “Rio de Sangre”, which collectively earned three Grammy Awards in 2012 and 2013. She is currently the Director of Choirs at Madison College and has previously taught Studio Voice at UW-Whitewater, UW-Oshkosh, and UW-Madison.
Caroline Senn is Church Music Director, Organist and Choir Director at St Paul’s Watertown. She has a Bachelors degree in Music from the Canberra School of Music at the Australian National University where she studied piano and composition. After her formal musical studies, Caroline pursued a business career becoming a Certified Practicing Accountant and held many senior finance roles in both public and private companies in the Asia Pacific region. Since emigrating to Wisconsin Caroline balances her focus between her Church music responsibilities, the Recorder Duo Vox Venti, financial work for the Episcopal Diocese of Milwaukee and various volunteer roles.
Mark Brampton Smith holds degrees in Organ Performance from the Eastman School of Music and the University of Michigan. Currently the organist at Grace Episcopal Church, on Capitol Square in Madison, Mark has served on the music staff of churches in seven states. A prize winner in several national organ competitions, he has given solo concerts in numerous churches and auditoriums, including Overture Hall. As a collaborative pianist, Mark has worked with singers, instrumentalists, and choral ensembles, including the University of Michigan choirs, Ann Arbor Cantata Singers, Colgate University Chorus, and, since 2012, the Wisconsin Chamber Choir.
Flutist, keyboardist, vocalist, director, composer, arranger, and educator Monica Steger has performed in chamber ensembles specializing in Baroque repertoire since 1998. Her studies at the Cleveland Institute of Music, Indiana University, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison covered the theoretical, historical, and performing aspects of music. Her research interests include 18th-century secular cantatas, Baroque dance, and rhetoric and aesthetics of the Baroque and Classical eras. She also enjoys performing newly-composed music for traverso and harpsichord. She teaches private lessons in the Milwaukee area and is a production assistant at a local music education publishing company.
T. Jared Stellmacher is Director of Worship and Music at Good Shepherd Lutheran (ELCA) in Madison/Verona, WI, where he oversees a large and diverse music program across two campuses. Jared is also organist with the Chicago Gargoyle Brass and Organ Ensemble. Previous positions include Immanuel Lutheran (ELCA), Watertown, WI; Redeemer Lutheran (ELCA), Hinsdale, IL, and the historic Riverside Church, New York City. Jared has received many awards for his performance excellence, most notably first place in the American Guild of Organists Region VI Competition for Young Organists. He received his MM from the Yale Institute of Sacred Music and Yale School of Music and BMus from the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Music.
Trevor Stephenson–harpsichordist, fortepianist, and pianist–is the artistic director and founder of the Madison Bach Musicians. He received a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Historical Performance of 18th-Century Music from Cornell University, where he studied fortepiano with Malcolm Bilson. With his colleague, Norman Sheppard, he has made and refurbished a series of historical keyboard instruments ranging from Italian Renaissance harpsichords to Victorian pianos. He has released sixteen recordings on the Light & Shadow label and tours throughout the United States as performer and lecturer. Information and tour schedule at trevorstephenson.com.
James Waldo, a specialist on baroque cello and viola da gamba, has collaborated with violinist Monica Huggett and lutenist Ronn MacFarlane, and performs regularly with the Madison Bach Musicians. Waldo is a co-founder of Listen Closely, (listenclose.ly) an uptown Manhattan chamber music collective now in its sixth season. A regular grant-recipient from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, the organization has presented over fifty community concerts in uptown Manhattan. Waldo serves as principal cellist of the award-winning Cecilia Chorus of New York, performing in Carnegie Hall each winter and spring. Having relocated with his wife and daughter to Madison, WI in fall of 2017, Waldo is currently pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts Degree under the tutelage of Uri Vardi at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Mead Witter School of Music. He received his Master of Music and Artist Diploma with Timothy Eddy at Mannes College, where he was recipient of the Gregory Award for Excellence in Performance.
Cameron Welke spends most of his time explaining to well-meaning strangers that the lute is, in fact, quite a different instrument from the flute. He brings a passionate curiosity and a deep creative drive to all manner of historical plucked instruments, which he plays with “expert technical dexterity, consummate phrasing and endearing expressivity” (Chestnut Hill Local). Past and current engagements include performances with the Washington Bach Consort, Tempesta di Mare, the Aston Magna Festival, and others. He explores repertoire for two baroque lutes in Duo Silvio with duo partner Richard Stone. He holds a B.M. in classical guitar performance from Belmont University and a M.M. in historical performance on lute and theorbo from the Peabody Conservatory. He currently lives and teaches in Iowa City, IA.
Acclaimed for his “deeply hued countertenor” (The New York Times), Geoffrey Williams is in demand as a singer, conductor, teacher, and early music specialist throughout the United States and abroad primarily as founder and artistic director of the GRAMMY-nominated male classical vocal quartet New York Polyphony. Dr. Williams hails from the Midwest and began his musical life as a treble in the American Boychoir. A devoted church musician, he has served the parishes of Emmanuel Memorial Episcopal Church in Champaign, Illinois; St. Mary the Virgin, Times Square; Trinity Church in Princeton; Washington National Cathedral; and was for a decade a Gentleman of the Choir of Men and Boys at Saint Thomas Church, Fifth Avenue, in New York City. In 2019, he joined the faculty of Nashotah House Theological Seminary as Assistant Professor of Church Music.
Featured Image (Kangwon Kim and John Chappell Stowe) photo credit: Dave Parminter
League photo credit: Barry Lewis
Giglierano photo credit: Jillian Giglierano
Smith photo credit: Tom Stone
Stephenson photo credit: Mary Gordon