Board of Directors

    Following is a list of Early Music America's Board of Directors for 2012-2013.

    President: Robert Johnson

    Robert Johnson
    Robert Johnson is a partner in the Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney law firm, where he has practiced from the firm's Pittsburgh, PA office since graduating from the Harvard Law School in 1969. His law practice is tax-law focused on tax-exempt nonprofit organization law, and employee benefits and executive compensation law. He has been elected a Fellow of the American College of Tax Counsel, the American College of Employee Benefits Counsel, and the American Bar Foundation. Outside of work and family (wife Selina and two grown children), he loves watching NHL ice hockey and reading political opinion journals. However, his consuming love since a boy has been music, especially early music. He has been President of, and currently serves on the Boards of, both Chatham Baroque and Renaissance & Baroque in Pittsburgh, as well as on the Boards of the River City Brass Band Charitable Endowment and Friends of the Music Library (Treasurer), which supports the music collection at Pittsburgh's Carnegie Library.


    Vice-President: Thomas Forrest Kelly

    Thomas Forrest Kelly

    Thomas Forrest Kelly is a professor in the Music Department at Harvard University. He is a scholar of medieval music, and has been involved in early music as Director of the Historical Performance Program at the Oberlin Conservatory, as director of the Five College Early Music Program in Massachusetts, and as music director of the Castle Hill Festival. He is the author of First Nights: Five Music Premieres, and of First Nights at the Opera (Yale University Press.)


    Vice-President: Angela Mariani

    Angela Mariani

     

    Angela Mariani is host of Harmonia, WFIU's nationally-syndicated weekly early music radio program. She is also a member of the medieval ensemble Altramar, which has toured throughout the United States and Europe and has seven CDs on the Dorian label. A native of Massachusetts, Angela spent the 70s and most of the 80s as a freelance rock and folk musician; however, a growing passion for early music led her to Bloomington, Indiana in 1987 to study with Thomas Binkley. She completed a Master's degree from the Early Music Institute at Indiana University in 1990, and pursued postgraduate studies there for several years. She is now Visiting Professor of Music History and Literature at Texas Tech University, where she teaches various early music history courses, directs the Collegium, and teaches History of Rock and Roll (!). Angela is also actively involved with a range of traditional musics, as well as literature, yoga, and meditation. She lives in Lubbock, Texas with her husband, guitarist and musicologist Chris Smith.


    Secretary: Charlotte Newman

    Charlotte Newman

     

    Charlotte Newman is serving her second stint on the EMA board.  She has served as board secretary as well as the board president from July 2004 to June 2007.  Charlotte holds an M.A. in music history and non-profit management from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, and for ten years was administrator of the university's "Chapel, Court & Countryside" early music concert series. She is a member of the Case Early Music Singers, the vocal ensemble Nightingale, and the Cleveland band Uzizi, which combines rock with the Celtic and shape-note traditions.


    Assistant Secretary: Kathleen Moretto Spencer

    Born, reared and educated in Philadelphia, Kathleen Moretto Spencer combined studies in music history (A.B. and M.A. from the University of Pennsylvania) with a library degree (M.L.S. from Drexel University) to become a music librarian. Her first job took her to the University of Buffalo where she worked as a cataloger. After more graduate training and a year off to work in Rome as the librarian at Notre Dame International School, Kathy became Assistant Head of the Music Library at Yale University. During her time at Yale (1975- 1982), she had two leaves: three-months at the American Academy in Rome to catalog the Oliver Strunk Collection and one academic year at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as a Council on Library Resources Management Intern where she worked in the office of the University Librarian. Kathy moved to Lancaster, PA in 1982 to become College Librarian at Franklin & Marshall College. At F&M, she also taught courses in the history of the City of Rome which along with the viola da gamba is a life-long passion. She is retired from F&M as College Librarian Emerita. Kathy has just completed a four-year stint as editor of the Viola da Gamba Society of America News. "Mary Anne Ballard shoved a viol into my hands when we were both at Penn in grad school; I have studied with Grace Feldman and Donna Fournier, and I currently study with Sarah Cunningham. Every summer I also inflict myself upon Catharina Meints at Oberlin’s Baroque Performance Institute. My goal is to be able to say without hesitation that I play the viola da gamba."


    Treasurer: Christopher Bone

    Christopher Bone
    Christopher Bone is a semi-retired actuary and consultant specializing in employee benefits and retirement programs. Previously he was US Retirement Practice Leader for a large employee benefits consulting firm. A Fellow of the Society of Actuaries, he has served on the Society of Actuaries’ Board of Governors, the Board of the Employee Benefit Research Institute and other trade association and research organization boards. For the past 30 years he has been an amateur of early music and dance, focused most recently on shawms and other winds.

    Assistant Treasurer: Marie-Hélène Bernard

    Marie-Hélène Bernard A native of Quebec, Marie-Hélène Bernard obtained her bachelor's degree in law (LL.B) from the University of Montréal and master's in arts administration from Concordia University (Montreal). She practiced corporate, tax, and intellectual property laws for six years in Canada and remains a member of the Quebec Bar. After completing orchestra management residencies with the New York Philharmonic, The Minnesota Orchestra and the Syracuse Symphony, Ms. Bernard served as Project Manager and Orchestra Manager of the Philadelphia Orchestra, as Orchestra Manager for the Cleveland Orchestra, and as President & CEO of the Canton (OH) Symphony Orchestra before joining the Handel and Haydn Society as Executive Director/CEO in 2007. Ms. Bernard plays the viola da gamba.

     

    Members


     

    Lewis R. Baratz studied harpsichord with David Fuller, Larry Palmer, and Gwendolyn Toth, and recorder with David Hart and Rachel Begley, participating in master classes with Peter Sykes and Marion Verbruggen. Lewis has a Ph.D. in musicology from Case Western Reserve University and over 20 publications on a wide range of topics, including performance of 15th-century dance music, 17th-century Roman keyboard music, biographical studies, and the choirboys of the Brussels Collegiate Church of SS Michael and Gudula, c. 1550 to 1793. He was a Fulbright Scholar and Fellow of the Belgian American Educational Foundation. Lewis has performed recently with the New Brunswick Chamber Orchestra, Biber Baroque, Le triomphe de l'amour, Ensemble Impromptu, Virtuosi de seicento, and VOICES. He is artistic director of the period instrument ensemble La Fiocco (www.lafiocco.org). Lewis has had equal success in the business world. He has been a statistical analyst at Moody's investor's Service, and for the past 15 years has been a business analyst and project manager at an IT consulting firm in NY, where he was key to expanding the government practice. He is a Project Management Institute Certified Project Manager (PMP).

     Thomas Cirillo Originally from upstate New York, Thomas Cirillo moved to Oregon in 2004 to assume the position of Executive Director at Portland Baroque Orchestra. Cirillo planned and executed PBO’s historic 25th Anniversary Season (2009-10) which included the group’s debut performances for Helmuth Rilling’s Oregon Bach Festival and its premiere performances with Portland Opera for a new production of Cavalli’s La Calisto, as well as performances across the state of Oregon. In 2003-2004, Tom was a Fellow of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, where he studied under Michael Kaiser. Tom began his professional career in arts administration in 1994 as assistant to founding General Director of the Santa Fe Opera, John O. Crosby. Subsequently he worked for ten years in the field of opera production for international festivals and repertory companies. Tom is an accomplished classical musician (piano and voice) and a graduate of Amherst College in economics and German literature. Following his liberal arts studies in Massachusetts, Tom was a graduate student of music history at Berlin’s Free University, living in Germany in the years immediately following reunification. Tom is dedicated to removing barriers between the period and modern worlds of classical music performance and organized a panel discussion on collaborations between period orchestras and modern opera companies for the production of Baroque operas, co-sponsored by EMA and Opera America for the 2008 National Performing Arts Convention in Denver.

    Robert Cole
    Robert Cole received his MA in music from the University of Southern California School of Music where he studied conducting with Ingolf Dahl. He continued his studies with Richard Lert and Fritz Sweig in California, Leonard Bernstein and Leon Barzin at the Tanglewood Music Center, and Hans Swarowsky in Europe. He served as associate conductor of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and has appeared as guest conductor with the Florida Philharmonic, the Sacramento Symphony, the Pasadena Symphony, the Hartford Ballet,and the Chatauqua Symphony. Cole was the executive director and music director of the Ballet Society of Los Angeles, and has conducted and produced both opera and musical theater in California and New York. In recent years Cole has appeared as guest conductor with the State Ballet of Georgia and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra at the 2008 Edinburgh Festival and the Orchestra of the Mariinsky Theatre with the Perm Ballet at the White Nights Festival in St. Petersburg. Cole has conducted Mark Morris’s The Hard Nut at Sadler’s Wells in London, the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York and at Cal Performances in Berkeley. From 1986 to 2009, Cole was director of Cal Performances on the campus of the University of California, Berkeley. He was also general director of the Berkeley Festival and Exhibition, an international festival of early music he founded in June 1990. In 1995, Cole was made a Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters by the Government of France. In 2008, he was honored by Early Music America with the Howard Mayer Brown Award for lifetime achievement in Early Music.

    Dr. JoLynn Edwards is a founding faculty member of University of Washington Bothell and Professor of Art History. Recipient of the Distinguished Teaching Award, she teaches across a broad range of topics in cultural history, comparative arts, and interdisciplinary studies of the ancient and modern periods, both West and East. Of present teaching interest is production and consumption of the arts to create a vibrant urban culture. Recent publications focus on the French 18th-century art market, the drawings of Antoine Watteau, and the collections of the prince de Conti and John Law. She currently is researching Mme de Boufflers as correspondent with famous men of the Enlightenment. Previously, she served six years as Director, Interdisciplinary Arts And Sciences, UW Bothell. Before academia, she trained and performed as a classical ballet dancer. Professor Edwards and her husband, Hal Opperman, attend and/or subscribe to host of performing arts events each year: the Seattle Symphony Orchestra, Seattle Opera, Early Music Guild, Seattle Baroque Orchestra, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Intiman Theatre, A Contemporary Theatre, Seattle, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Meany Dance Series, UW Seattle, Seattle Chamber Music Society, and Oregon Shakespeare Festival. In 2011, they attended the York Early Music Festival. She is member of the Board of Directors and Vice President of The Early Music Guild, Seattle.

    Ray Erickson

    Dr. Raymond Erickson is the Founding Director of the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College (City University of New York), where he has also served as Dean of Arts and Humanities; he is also a member of the Ph.D. and D.M.A. faculty of CUNY Graduate School. His teaching concentrations are performance (harpsichord) and historical performance practice, medieval and baroque music, improvisation, and interdisciplinary studies. He has directed thirteen NEH-funded summer institutes for US college teachers, and concertizes as a harpsichordist and pianist in the US and abroad. He is well-connected, with excellent fundraising skills.

    Valerie Horst
    Valerie Horst received an M.F.A. in Historical Performance from Sarah Lawrence College (studies in musicology with Richard Taruskin). She served for 25 years as Director of Amherst Early Music, Inc., producers of the largest teaching festival of early music in the Western Hemisphere. She was a founding board member of Early Music America, and served as president. She was a longtime board member and vice president of the American Recorder Society, and recently celebrated her 20th anniversary as Music Director of its Miami chapter. She has been a member of the Historical Performance faculty at the Mannes College of Music since 1982. She is a former member of the Renaissance choir Cappella Nova, and toured as a recorder player with the New York Chamber Soloists. She is the recipient of the American Recorder Society's 2002 Distinguished Achievement Award, in recognition of her long career of service to early music.

    David Klausner
    David Klausner has been involved with early music since David Munrow first put a shawm in his hands in 1965.  He was a founding member of The Toronto Consort, and has taught workshops in Canada, the United States, England, and Austria.  Since retiring from the Consort in 1992, he has continued to play baroque and classical bassoon in the Toronto area.  A member of the Department of English and the Centre for Medieval Studies at the University of Toronto since 1967, he co-edited Singing Early Music (1996) and has acted as pronunciation consultant for many early music groups.  He is presently researching the North Riding of Yorkshire for the series Records of Early English Drama, and is writing a history of civic music in England to the middle of the seventeenth century.  He has been member of the editorial advisory board for Early Music America since its beginning.

    Hank Knox studied harpsichord with John Grew at McGill University in Montreal and with Kenneth Gilbert in Paris. He has given numerous harpsichord recitals, and is a founding member of the Arion Orchestra Baroque, with whom he has toured widely. He has performed, recorded and toured with the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and le Studio de musique ancienne de Montréal; he plays regularly with the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal. He has released two recordings of Frescobaldi’s keyboard works, a recording of works by D’Anglebert, a recording of Handel opera arias and overtures in transcriptions for harpsichord, and a recording of harpsichord transcriptions of works by Francesco Geminiani. Hank Knox directs the Early Music program at McGill University, where he teaches harpsichord and figured bass accompaniment, coaches chamber music ensembles, and conducts the McGill Baroque Orchestra. He has been a William Dawson Scholar in recognition of his work in Early Music since 2003, and was awarded the Thomas Binkley prize for an outstanding university collegium director by Early Music America in 2008. In collaboration with Opera McGill, he has directed productions numerous Baroque operas.

    Alexandra MacCracken
    Alexandra MacCracken is the founder and director of Ensemble Gaudior, which is based in the Washington DC area and presents concerts of chamber music from the Baroque and Classical eras, using instruments from those periods or careful modern copies. She has performed as a baroque violinist with the Washington Bach Consort, Opera Lafayette, and Modern Musick, as well as with other period-instrument ensembles in Richmond, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and New York. After earning both bachelor's and master's degrees in music from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, Ms. MacCracken taught for several years at the University of Virginia, where she also played in the Piedmont Chamber Players, a faculty ensemble. Other highlights of her extensive experience as a chamber musician include membership in the Squareknot Quartet, whose repertoire ranged from the classics to innovative arrangements in popular, folk, and jazz styles; and more recently in the Virginia-based baroque groups La Stravaganza and Harmonia Nova. Ms. MacCracken currently freelances on modern as well as baroque violin and in addition occasionally finds time to play Renaissance consort music on the treble viol.

      Elizabeth Macdonald is Director of Strings at Washington University, conductor of the Washington University Chamber Orchestra, director of chamber ensembles and instructor of cello. As a cellist, she has held positions with the Chicago Lyric Opera, the Houston Symphony Orchestra, and the Royal Scottish Academy of Music in Glasgow, and performed with the St. Louis Symphony, the BBC Scottish Symphony, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, the Scottish Opera, and the Polish Chamber Orchestra. She also plays the viola da gamba and has toured in solo recitals in Holland, Germany, and England. Her Midwest-based group, Ensemble Voltaire, recently released a new CD of chamber works by Telemann for Catalpa Classics. In July 2005, she was on the faculty of the American Viola da Gamba Society Conclave at Worcester, Massachusetts. Elizabeth was educated at Northwestern University and Indiana University, Bloomington. She has studied with, among others, Catharina Meints at Oberlin, Christine Plubeau (Evian, France) and Marianne Mueller (Paris).

    Michael McCraw
    Michael McCraw is cited in the newest edition of "Grove's Dictionary of Music and Musicians" as one of the most important early bassoon players and pedagogues of our time. A pioneer in the field of baroque performance with original instruments, he began his career in New York City as a member of the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra . Mr. McCraw has played with such ensembles as Musica Antiqua Koeln, Concentus Musicus Wien, London Baroque, Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra, and Camerata Koeln. From 1991 through 2002, he was principal bassoonist of the Tafelmusik Orchestra. Mr. McCraw has taught at festivals and workshops all over the world and was a faculty member of the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. His recordings number more than 140 and include a highly acclaimed CD of Vivaldi bassoon concerti with the Seattle Baroque Orchestra. Mr. McCraw serves as musical director of the baroque double reed workshop in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He currently is the director of the Early Music Institute at Indiana University.

    Sarah Mead
    Sarah Mead lives and works in the Boston area and holds degrees in music and historical performance from Yale and Stanford Universities. The 2007 winner of Early Music America's Thomas Binkley Award for Outstanding Achievement by a Collegium Director, she is Associate Professor of the Practice at Brandeis University, where she directs the Early Music Ensemble and is a frequent guest choral conductor. She is the author of the Renaissance Theory chapter in A Performer's Guide to the Renaissance, recently re-issued by Indiana University Press. She has taught early music ensembles at Tufts and Northeastern Universities as well as at Trinity College of Music in London, and is regular guest lecturer at Longy School of Music in Cambridge. She was Program Director at Pinewoods Early Music Week from 1995-97, returning to that position in 2006.

    Robert Mealy  A renowned Baroque violinist, Robert Mealy is Professor (Adjunct) of Violin & Early Music at the Yale School of Music and a member of the faculty in the Early Music Program at Juilliard. Robert has performed on more than fifty recordings on most major labels, in works ranging from Hildegard of Bingen with Sequentia and Renaissance consorts with the Boston Camerata to Rameau operas with Les Arts Florissants. In New York he is a frequent leader and soloist with the New York Collegium, ARTEK, Early Music New York, and the Clarion Society. He also leads the distinguished Boston Early Music Festival Orchestra and has appeared as guest concertmaster and director with the Phoenix Symphony. A devoted chamber musician, he is a member of the medieval ensemble Fortune’s Wheel, the Renaissance violin band The King’s Noyse, and the seventeenth-century ensemble Spiritus Collective. Since 2002 he has performed frequently at Yale as director of the Yale Collegium Musicum players, and he received Early Music America’s Binkley Award for outstanding teaching at Yale and Harvard in 2004.

     

    Charles Metz studied piano at Penn State University, beginning his harpsichord studies through private lessons with Igor Kipnis. In the process of earning a Ph.D. in Historical Performance Practice at Washington University in Saint Louis, he studied with Trevor Pinnock. More recently, Charles has worked with Webb Wiggins and Lisa Crawford at the Oberlin Conservatory. He plays regularly in Saint Louis with ensembles including The Bach Society of Saint Louis, Collegium Vocale and the Saint Louis Baroque. In April 2010, he performed a solo recital at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C. and in October 2011 performed a solo recital and Masterclass on Elizabethan Virginal Music at Oberlin Conservatory. He also recorded the “Tisdale Virginal Book”, music of the Elizabethan period, on his 400 year old Italian Virginal which will be released as a CD in 2012. In addition to his musical career, Dr. Metz graduated from University of Missouri School of Optometry. He established his own solo practice Metz Eyecare in O’Fallon Missouri. In 2002 he sold his offices to Clarkson Eyecare and joined the Board of Clarkson Eyecare. Now retired from seeing patients on a regular basis, Dr. Metz continues to do charitable work seeing patients through the Clarkson Eyecare Foundation in community outreach programs.

    Debra Nagy
    Debra Nagy has been called a "musical polymath" (San Francisco Classical Voice) for her accomplished performances on early double reeds, recorders, and as a singer. One of the country's top baroque oboists, Debra frequently performs with baroque ensembles on both coasts, is the founder and director of Cleveland-based chamber ensemble Les Délices, and is a member of Ciaramella. She has also appeared as a guest multi-instrumentalist and singer with such groups as the Newberry Consort, Piffaro, Baroque Northwest, and Blue Heron Renaissance Choir. Debra has recorded for the Capstone, Bright Angel, Naxos, Hassler, Chandos, and ATMA labels and her live performances have been featured on CBC Radio Canada, Klara (Belgium), NPRs Performance Today, WQXR (New York City), WKSU Akron, WCLV Cleveland, and WGBH Boston. Debra currently teaches in the Early Music Department at Case Western Reserve University, where she directs the Collegium Musicum.

    Rachel Barton Pine
    Rachel Barton Pine is a violinist from Chicago. Considered a child prodigy at the violin, she started playing at the age of 3 and a half and performed at many renowned venues through her child and teen years. Currently she plays regularly with the Chicago Symphony and on her own, tours worldwide, and has an active recording career. Her musical interests extend well beyond classical to Baroque, folk, Celtic, rock and jazz. She plays with David Schrader and John Mark Rozendaal, and recently debuted on rebec and vielle in a performance with The Newberry Consort. Barton Pine started a foundation in 2001 to promote the study and appreciation of classical music, including string music by black composers. It prepares music curricula, loans high-quality instruments to deserving young musicians, and provides grants to cover incidental expenses of student and young professional musicians. Another program, Global HeartStrings, is dedicated to supporting aspiring classical musicians from developing countries. In 2006, after being nominated by Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, Barton Pine received the Studs Terkel Humanities Service Award for her work through the foundation.


    Daniel Shoskes is Professor of Urology at the Glickman Urological and Kidney Institute of the Cleveland Clinic and director of the Novick Center for Clinical and Translational Research. He trained in Canada, England and the US and is a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. He is a lutenist and has performed with the Cleveland groups Buckeye Baroque, Cantores Cleveland and Apollo's Fire, The Cleveland Baroque Orchestra. He also serves on the Boards of the Lute Society of America and Apollo's Fire.

    Melissa Smey
    Melissa Smey is the director of the Miller Theatre at Columbia University, a position she began in 2009 after serving as general manager (in 2001-2007) and acting director (in 2008). She previously held positions at the New York Public Library and the Metropolitan Opera. The Miller Theatre presents a diverse repertoire of music and newly commissioned works, including an Early Music Series. Under her leadership, the Miller Theatre has become known for innovation and for outreach to younger audiences. Smey earned her Bachelor’s degree in Music Theory at the University of Connecticut, and is an amateur recorder player.

     

    Nell Snaidas has been praised by the New York Times for her “beautiful soprano voice, melting passion” and “vocally ravishing” performances. Of Uruguayan-American descent, Nell began her career singing leading roles in zarzuelas at New York City's Repertorio Español. Specialization in Latin American and Spanish Baroque music has taken her all over Europe, North and Latin America. Favorite projects include singing Valletto/Amore in the Boston Early Music Festival’s production of L’Incoronazione di Poppea, touring as a soloist with Tragicomedia in “The 3 Singing Ladies of Rome”, concertizing throughout Italy with Ex Umbris, and singing John Adams’ Grand Pianola Music with the L.A. Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl. She has been invited to join many leading Early Music ensembles in the capacity of soloist and Iberian/New World language and repertoire consultant. These groups include Apollo’s Fire, Seattle Baroque Orchestra, Ex Umbris, Ensemble Viscera, El Mundo, and Chatham Baroque. She has recorded for Sony Classical, Koch, Naxos and Dorian. Her latest recording on Sono Luminus “The Kingdoms of Castille” with El Mundo was nominated for a Grammy in the category of Best Classical Small Ensemble in 2012. In 2012-2013 she begins her post as Artistic Director of a new concert series in New York City devoted to the Early Music of the Americas, co-sponsored by The Americas Society and The Gotham Early Music Scene. More can be found at www.nellsnaidas.com

    Murray Forbes Somerville, who was born in England and raised in Rhodesia, is noted as choral and orchestral conductor, organ recitalist on three continents, workshop leader and scholar. In 1987, Murray Forbes Somerville was honoured for his work as church and Cathedral musician by being named an Associate of Britain's Royal School of Church Music; he has led RSCM courses and workshops throughout the USA; he has served as Music Director of the Bach Festival at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida. From 1990-2003, he served as the Harvard University Organist and Choirmaster (and former board president of the Boston Camerata). In 2003, Mr. Somerville relocated to Nashville, where he is Organist at St. George’s Episcopal Church. He is the founder, in Nashville, of Music City Baroque Orchestra, and a generous contributor to local non-profits, including Vanderbilt University.

    Jeffrey Thomas
    Jeffrey Thomas is Artistic and Music Director of the American Bach Soloists, with whom he has directed and conducted recordings of more than 25 cantatas, the Mass in B Minor, Musical Offering, motets, chamber music, and works by Schütz, Pergolesi, Vivaldi, Haydn, and Beethoven. Before devoting all of his time to conducting, he was one of the first recipients of the San Francisco Opera Company's prestigious Adler Fellowships, and was cited by The Wall Street Journal as "a superstar among oratorio tenors," with an extensive discography of vocal music. Mr. Thomas is an avid exponent of contemporary music, as well as early music. He has been on the faculty of numerous early music workshops, and has taught master classes at many universities. He is also active as a scholar: the Rockefeller Foundation awarded him a prestigious Residency at the Bellagio Study and Conference Center at Villa Serbelloni for April 2007, to work on his manuscript, "Handel's Messiah: A Life of Its Own." Mr. Thomas holds the Barbara K. Jackson Professorship of Choral Conducting at the University of California, Davis.

    Ruben Valenzuela
    Ruben Valenzuela is the Founder and Music Director of the Bach Collegium San Diego. Under his direction, the ensemble has earned an impressive reputation, captivating diverse audiences by their highly expressive and provocative approach to the Renaissance and Baroque repertoire.  The ensemble has brought many historically informed performances to San Diego for the first time: Handel’s Theodora and Messiah, Monteverdi’s 1610 Vespers, Bach’s St. John Passion and B minor Mass, and most recently staged performances of Purcell's Dido & Aeneas.  The ensemble is fast establishing itself as one of the most exciting early music ensembles to watch.  Mr Valenzuela regularly works with this country’s leading early music specialists, including collaborating with Richard Egarr and Rodolfo Richter of the Academy of Ancient Music.  In 2008 and 2009 he led members of the Bach Collegium San Diego on international tours to the Festival Internacional del Órgano Barroco (Mexico City) which included performances in Mexico City Cathedral and other historic churches.  Currently, he is completing a Ph.D in Musicology at Claremont Graduate University where he is researching basso continuo practices of the New World.  In addition to his duties with the Bach Collegium San Diego, he is also the Director of the Music and Organist of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, Del Mar CA.  He is in demand as a conductor, continuo player, musicologist and is highly regarded for performances that combine scholarship and an inspired musicianship.


    Birgitt van Wijk was born in Wilhelmshaven, Germany and attended hotel school and apprenticed at Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten in Hamburg. She received her chef’s training and received a in BA in Hotel Management and Event Planning. She later moved to the Netherlands and subsequently moved in 1990 to Houston, aiding her husband’s career in the petrochemical field. She helped to establish three major businesses. In 1991 she enrolled at Glassell School of Art obtaining a BA in Anatomic Figure Sculpture. She served four years on the board of Houston Early Music and has been a Board Director of Ars Lyrica Houston since 2008. She is a Trustee for the Houston Grand Opera. In 2010 she incorporated Heritage Helicopter services, LLC. and subsequently purchased a helicopter flight school called Neches Helicopter Training, LLC, in 2012. She is student pilot.

    Additional Board Member photos from 2007-2009

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