Meet our performers
Mark Mummert is Artistic Director of Diamonds From The Dust, succeeding Founding Artistic Director Ryan Brown in June 2017. Mark brings the experience of a church musician, professional chorister, composer, organist, and conductor to his position with our ensemble. He is also Cantor at Trinity Lutheran Church, Worcester, where he leads the congregational music at all worship, conducts the Trinity Choir and Trinity Choristers, and is artistic director of the Music at Trinity fine arts series. His conducting of Arvo Pärt's "Passio" in 2017 and the United States premiere of Robert Koolstra's "St. Mark Passion" by J. S. Bach at Trinity Church in 2018 have garnered the attention of music lovers in central Massachusetts and beyond. His musical compositions for Lutheran liturgy are featured in "Evangelical Lutheran Worship" (2006), the commended worship book of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Mark was the 2015 Distinguished Visiting Cantor at the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg, his birthplace. He was Director of Worship at Christ the King Lutheran Church in Houston (2008-2015) and Seminary Musician at the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (1990-2008). He is a professional singer with CONCORA (Connecticut Choral Artists) and St. John's Schola Cantorum in Worcester. He studies voice with Jane Shivick.
Stephanie enjoys singing in the Boston area with her church, Abundant Grace, the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, local theater productions, and her Kindergarten students! Recent theater credits include The Music Man (Marian Paroo), Big the Musical (Diane), and Bye Bye Birdie (Mrs. MacAfee) with the Footlight Club.
Mary DiRoberts is the choral director and music technology teacher at Suffield High School in West Suffield, CT, and the soprano section leader at First Church of Christ UCC in Suffield, CT. She graduated from Westminster Choir College in 2015 with a B.M. in music education and an M.A. in Teaching. Performance credits include VOICES 21C, the Zelda Symphony tour, the music of Tim Burton films with the Hartford Symphony Orchestra, and Wesleyan University's Ad Hoc Bach (soloist). Mary currently studies voice with Joanne Scattergood Reeves.
Elisabeth Gondek has also been a soloist and professional choral singer for groups in and around the Worcester area. She has performed many roles on stage including Amalia Balash (She Loves Me), Casilda (The Gondoliers), Countess Almaviva (Marriage of Figaro) and has been musical director for shows including Cabaret, Oliver!, and Les Miserables. She is a voice teacher for All Saints Church and in her home studio in Holden, as well as being the Lower School Music Teacher and director of choral music for Bancroft School.
Originally from Buffalo, New York, Boston-based soprano Ashley Gryta is a graduate of SUNY Fredonia and the Boston Conservatory. Recent choral engagements include Vox Futura, Diamonds from the Dust, First Parish Unitarian Church choir, and the Tanglewood Festival Chorus. She has been a featured soloist with the Newburyport Choral Society, Lynn Concert Singers, First Parish Choir, and the Farmington Valley Symphony. She also works with Força and SoundTrec Boston, where she combines her love of music and inner game nerd to record and perform video game soundtracks.
Monica Hatch, sings regularly with the Handel and Haydn Society and is a cantor at St. John’s Catholic Church and The Chapel of the Holy Spirit at Assumption College in Worcester. Recent solo performances include J. S. Bach’s St. John Passion and numerous cantatas, Respigghi’s Laud to the Nativity, Will Todd’s Mass in Blue and Vivaldi’s Gloria and Magnificat.
Abby Haynes graduated from Gordon College with a Bachelor of Music in voice performance. While at Gordon she was a member of the Gordon College Choir and Chamber Singers, was student conductor of the College Choir, and studied voice with Elizabeth Printy and Gale Fuller. She also played violin in the Gordon Symphony Orchestra and participated in the chamber music program. She has sung with the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, the Lubbock Chorale, Lyricora, and was a section leader for the Park Street Church choir in Boston as well as occasionally playing in the Park Street orchestra. She was soloist with various recital choirs at Texas Tech University and for the Lubbock Chorale's performance of Handel's Messiah. She is currently a regular singer and cantor with the St. John's Schola Cantorum at St. John's Catholic Church in Worcester, as well as Labyrinth Choir in Southborough. She has completed the long-term Suzuki violin pedagogy program at the Hartt School of Music, and has taught violin and voice privately for nearly fifteen years. She lives in Leominster with her husband and four young daughters.
Soprano Leslie Leedberg has performed with many groups throughout Massachusetts including Odyssey Opera, Greater Worcester Opera, and the Tanglewood Festival Chorus. She currently teaches private voice lessons in the Metro West area. Leslie lives in Southborough with her husband and two sons.
Maggie O'Neill is a singer, actor, choral conductor, and music educator based in the Seacoast of New Hampshire. She earned a BM and MA from Westminster Choir College, where she performed choral works with the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Berliner Philharmoniker, and the New York Philharmonic. Maggie can be seen regularly on the stage of the Seacoast Repertory Theatre in the Mad Haus series, and is the new director of music at Christ Church in Exeter, NH. She has previously worked as a singer and/or conductor with the Baldwin Festival Chorus, the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra, ChildrenSong of NJ, and the Seacoast Choral Society. Theatre credits include A New Brain, The Producers, The Who's Tommy, The Rocky Horror Show (Seacoast Repertory Theatre), Mary Poppins (Prescott Park Arts Festival), Parade (Cast Aside Productions) and A Christmas Carol (Rochester Opera House, Prescott Park Arts Festival).
Brenda McDonald Salvi
Brenda McDonald Salvi, Director of Development, has appeared as soloist with many musical groups throughout the Northeast, including Arcadia Players Baroque Orchestra, Gregg Smith Singers, Novi Cantori, Hampshire Choral Society, Masterworks Chorale, and Quabbin Valley Pro Musica. She has also collaborated with faculty and ensembles in association with UMass Amherst, Syracuse University, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Smith College, Amherst College, and the Adirondack Festival of American Music. Brenda holds a Bachelor of Music in Voice from Syracuse University and a Master of Science in Arts Administration from Boston University. Brenda currently sings with the Schola Cantorum at St. John’s Church in Worcester and serves as the Director of Music at Pakachoag Church and Bethel Lutheran Church in Auburn
Alesia Tringale has enjoyed an active and versatile solo and ensemble singing career over the years performing with Opera Worcester, the chorus of Worcester Polytech, the Salisbury Singers, Worcester State University, Boston University Choral Society, Nashway Philharmonic, Claflin Hill Symphony Orchestra and Worcester chapter of the AGO and in chamber music with I Soloisti Simpatici and most recently as co-creator, artistic director and soprano soloist of the chamber ensemble Seele Musicale. She has also been Soprano soloist and section leader at the First Unitarian Church of Worcester for over 20 years. A native of Winchester, Massachusetts, Ms. Tringale spends her days as Director of Software engineering at Dell EMC Corporation in Hopkinton.
Claire Campbell is a recent graduate of Westminster Choir College where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Music, concentrating in Voice Studies. During her time in Princeton, New Jersey she was a member of the Westminster Symphonic Choir where she performed with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Princeton Symphony Orchestra and New York Philharmonic. Claire also performed with the Westminster Jubilee Singers, the Princeton Opera Company and appeared in four productions with the Westminster Players. Claire has returned to the New England area as a performing mezzo-soprano, actress, cantor and chorister. She is also an active member of the Boston Alumnae Chapter of Sigma Alpha Iota, the International Women's Music Fraternity.
Nancy Fontneau, alto, is a graduate of Bowdoin college, where she majored in Music and Biology. She is a member of Trinity Choir and St. John's Schola cantorum, both in Worcester. She has appeared as a soloist with these choirs and with the Bowdoin College Chorale, Harvard University Choir, and Chorale Delaware.
A graduate of the Longy School of Music’s Master’s in Early Music Program, Teri Kowiak specializes in the historically-inspired performance of medieval, renaissance, and baroque music while also performing a wide range of styles including classical, jazz, traditional Irish/Celtic, and premiering new compositions. Her repertoire spans from the chants of Hildegard von Bingen to Samuel Barber to James Bond Movie themes to newly-composed choral works. She greatly enjoys vocal improvisation in many styles and collaborative composition via improvisation. She is a featured vocalist on the premier solo album “Redline” by bagpiper Michael McNutt (of Cu Dubh) and has performed with Cappella Clausura, the Seraphim Singers, Augmented Ensemble, Ensemble 44, Lorelei, El Fuego, the Harvard Early Music Society, Night’s Blackbird, and the choir of the Church of Our Saviour in Brookline, MA. In 2012 she founded medieval ensemble Meravelha, which she has directed ever since. The ensemble was featured at the SoHIP summer concert series in 2014 and 2016. Outside of performing, Teri loves to help others make music. She runs a thriving private voice studio, gives workshops on performance practice, and provides choral coaching to local ensembles. She is also a writer of speculative fiction and is currently working on her first novel.
Sarah Labrie is a conductor and music educator based in the Boston area. She has been teaching in Stoughton since the 2014-2015 school year, and is currently one of the Choral Directors at Stoughton High School. Additionally, she teaches piano, TLC music for students with special needs, and serves as the Director of Theatre for Stoughton High School. Sarah received her bachelor's degree in Music Education from Westminster Choir College, where she had the opportunity to learn from top tier professors in choral education, while also performing major works with world-renowned orchestras and conductors. She has sung professionally in choirs with the New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Boston Pops, Vienna Philharmonic, Vienna Chamber Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, New Jersey Symphony Orchestra and has been a soloist with the Farmington Valley Symphony and the Pioneer Valley Symphony. Sarah has studied conducting with Simon Carrington, Amanda Quist, Joe Miller, and Tom Shelton. This summer, Sarah conducted and was the soprano soloist with the Sarteano Festival Choir in Sarteano, Italy. Along with singing and being the Director of Education Outreach for Diamonds from the Dust, she also sings with the Tanglewood Festival Chorus. Sarah is an active member of the American Choral Directors Association, MICCA, MAJE, and the National Association for Music Education. This year, Sarah is manager for the SEMMEA Junior Mixed Chorus.
Allegra Martin is the Director of College Choirs at Holy Cross. Previous positions have included Director of Music at First Parish Cohasset, Artistic Director of the Cantilena Women’s Chorale, and Chorus Director at Lasell College and Lasell Village. Ms. Martin holds degrees from Williams College and Westminer Choir College. At the University of Illinois, she founded and conducted the University Mixed Chorus. She is currently finishing her dissertation at UIUC on the choral cantatas of Margaret Bonds and Langston Hughes.
Ms. Martin is also an active professional singer, and was one of the founders of Anthology, a women’s vocal quartet that performed in the greater Boston area for six years and commissioned 22 works of new music in that time. In addition to Diamonds from the Dust, she currently sings with the Schola Cantorum of Boston, and in the past has sung with such ensembles as Cappella Clausura, the King's Chapel Choir, and the Video Game Orchestra. While at the University of Illinois, she performed Julia Wolfe’s award-winning Anthracite Fields with Bang on a Can and Vivaldi’s Juditha Triumphans with the Venice Baroque Orchestra. While at Westminster, she sang with such ensembles as the New York Philharmonic, the Philadelphia Orchestra, and the Dresden Philharmonic, as well as in opera productions at the U.S. Spoleto Festival. In the summer of 2016 she performed in Britten’s War Requiem with Kent Nagano and the Montreal Symphony Orchestra.
Katherine Engel Meifert, mezzo soprano, is a music teacher, concert soloist, church musician, actress and show director in Central Massachusetts. She holds an MM in Music Education from the Boston University College of Fine Arts, and a BM in Music Studies and Music Education from the Crane School of Music. She currently sings regularly with the Schola Cantorum of St. John's of Worcester, and teaches band and chorus at Clinton High School.
Mauri Tetreault has sung a wide range of opera, musical theater and concert series throughout New England. Since receiving her Masters Degree from The Boston Conservatory, she has portrayed such roles as Dido in Dido and Aeneas, Hansel in Hansel and Gretel, Prince Orlofsky in Die Fledermaus, Amneris in Aida, the Mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors, Zita in Gianni Schicchi, a comical Rabbit in the new opera The Rough Faced Girl Carmen in Carmen, and Giannetta in The Elixir of Love. Mauri has soloed with Opera Un-Met, Spectrum Singers, and the Heritage Chorale, and has performed in concert series with the Bel Canto Vocal Academy, New England Light Opera, Longwood Opera, the Paul Madore Chorale and the St. Andrews Performing Art Series. She has sung with Opera Boston, Boston Lyric Opera, Boston Modern Orchestra Project and Tanglewood Festival Chorus, is a regular member of the Odyssey Opera ensemble and sings with Holy Cross under the direction of James Christie. When not performing, Mauri is teaching private voice lessons and is a current student of Dana Varga In her down time, Mauri enjoys spending time with friends and family, and working in her garden.
Tenor Eric Balboni, Director of Outreach, is a graduate of New York University’s Steinhardt School, having earned his Master’s Degree in Vocal Performance (Opera) as well as an Advanced Certificate in Vocal Pedagogy with a focus in Vocology. Recent roles include Kaspar (Amahl and the Night Visitors), Don Basilio and Don Curzio (Nozze di Figaro) with Prague Summer Nights Young Artist Festival, Monostatos (Die Zauberflöte), Don Ottavio (Don Giovanni) with New York Lyric Opera, Alexis (The Sorcerer), and Colonel Fairfax (Yeomen of the Guard). Eric is a professor of voice at Anna Maria College, where he has also served as music director for opera scenes and cabaret performances. Eric enjoys performing with ensembles of all varieties.
Tenor Kirk Bobkowski graduated from Keene State College with a Bachelor of Music in Performance and Education and did his Masters work at the University of Massachusetts Amherst in Vocal Performance. His recent opera roles include Tamino
The Magic Flute), Nemorino (L’elisir d’amore), Ferrando (Così fan tutte), and Frederic (The Pirates of Penzance). In addition, Kirk cantors for various parishes in the Worcester diocese, and is on roster with CONCORA, Novi Cantori, and the Odyssey Opera Chorus. He is the current choir director at Chocksett Middle School and runs a private voice studio at Wachusett High School.
Joe Burke is a student from Walpole, Massachusetts. Currently a senior at Clark University in Worcester, he is pursuing a double major in Spanish literature and music, with a concentration in vocal performance. In addition to his studies, he has performed alongside a number of choral groups, including Clark’s own Concert Choir and Chamber Chorus, as well as Harvard University’s Summer Chorus program. He is also the former musical director and current member of the Clark Keys co-ed a cappella group.
Jay Maenhout is an active singer, composer, conductor, and music educator. He holds a Master’s degree in Musicology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (where he also taught courses in music theory and music history) and a Bachelor’s degree in Music Theory/Composition and Voice from Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ. During his time at Westminster, Jay sang in the choruses for the Philadelphia Orchestra, Vienna Philharmonic, Berlin Philharmoniker, and New Jersey Symphony Orchestra. A lover of early music, he went on to sing with the Duke University Chapel Bach Choir in Durham, NC during his graduate studies. In December of 2016, Jay co-founded the Summer Performing Arts Collaborative (SPArC), an organization that produces an annual 5-week musical theater program for students entering grades 1-12. He is also the Choir Director at St. Bernadette Parish in Northborough, MA. He currently teaches voice and piano lessons through Note-worthy Experiences in Sudbury, MA.
Originally from Georgia, Christopher Nickelson-Mann has been an active choral musician in the Boston area for the past decade. Currently, he is one of two choral directors at Stoughton High School where he conducts several choral ensembles, teaches music theory and class piano. Additionally, he has been serving as the music director at the First Congregational Church of Stoughton since 2010. Christopher enjoys performing a wide range of music but is particularly fond of new choral music, having premiered compositions by composers such as Dominick DiOrio, Forest Pierce, Eric Banks, Dana Wilson, Stephen Bouma, Vahram Sargsyan, Samuel Carl Adams, and Timothy Takach. Christopher is a graduate of Ithaca College (BM - Music Education) and Michigan State University (MM - Choral Conducting).
A proud native of Worcester County, Adam Ouellet graduated from the College of the Holy Cross in 2016 where he received a B.A. in music and history. During his time at Holy Cross, Adam studied under Bill Cotten and was awarded the John E. Brooks Scholarship for Music. Adam currently sings with the St. John’s Schola Cantorum in Worcester, the Holy Cross Schola Cantorum, Labyrinth Choir and the Tanglewood Festival Chorus.
Reagan Paras, Executive Director, is the Director of Music Education for Anna Maria College in Paxton, Massachusetts, where he directs the institution's vocal ensembles. In addition to his conducting responsibilities, he oversees the music education department and theatrical productions. He travels the country as a guest clinician, conductor and adjudicator and his written works have been published in music educator journals.
Stephan P. Barnicle, a Worcester native, taught choruses, orchestra and music technology in Connecticut High Schools from 1970 – 2004 when he retired and moved to Fayetteville, NC where he served as Director of Music Ministry at St. Patrick Catholic Church and the Artistic Director of the CANTATE Chamber Choir and the St. Patrick Music for Charity concert series for nine years, and is now Director of Music at First Congregational Church of Paxton. Mr. Barnicle has appeared as guest soloist and conductor throughout the U.S., and he is a published author, poet, arranger and award winning composer whose works are published by Walton, Plymouth and Alliance publications, and he has served as choral consultant for Glencoe/Macmiilan/McGraw-Hill Educational Publishing. He was named Connecticut Music Educator of the Year for 1995; he was awarded the University of Connecticut’s “Excellence in High School Teaching” award; and was honored on national television on the “Disney Channel and McDonald’s presents the American Teacher Awards,” and he is listed in Who’s Who in American Education, Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who in the World.
Thaddeus Bell is an emerging artist with a rich warm baritone tone and a commanding stage presence. He quite often amuses audiences with his comedic sensibilities and moves them emotionally with his sensitivity as a musician and a performer. Thaddeus Bell attended Clark University and the New England Conservatory of Music with degrees in vocal performance. He has made operatic appearances in A Hand of Bridge, Carmen and Hansel and Gretel to name a few. He has also sang with the The Tanglewood Festival Chorus the Labryinth Chorus,the Chancel Choir (Tremont Baptist Temple, Boston).
John Delorey started his professional singing career at the historic Choir of Men and Boys at All Saints Church in Worcester. As a countertenor and baritone, he has sung and recorded with Schola Cantorum of Boston, Boston Camerata, and Schola Discantus of San Francisco. Delorey has also sung at Trinity Church, Copley Square, Church of the Advent, St. Paul’s Cathedral Worcester and Providence) and St. John’s Temple Street. He is currently the section leader and assistant conductor of the Schola Cantorum at The College of the Holy Cross.
Raised in a family of professional musicians, Paul has exercised his love of choral singing since Cherub Choir days in the last millennium. He has always been active in community and church choirs and has sung under the batons of Seiji Ozawa, Michel Tilson Thomas, Helmut Rilling, Robert Page and other world-class conductors. Paul regularly tours with the Bel Canto Chorus of Milwaukee and this marks his 14th season singing with Worcester Chorus. He is a retired Technical Recruiter and when not singing, he is an avid model railroader.
Michael Gondek, bass-baritone, has performed a wide range of repertoire, ranging from opera to jazz to hip-hop. He is an original member of Diamonds. He performed under Maestro Mark Mummert and the Music at Trinity Series, singing the bass role in the Part Passio in 2017 and the roles of Pontifex and Centurion in the St. Mark Passion in 2018. In 2016, Michael performed a recital which featured the world premiere of an arrangement for voice and double-bass of the Ralph Vaughn Williams song cycle, Songs of Travel. He has performed theatrical roles such as Don Alfonso (Cosi Fan Tutti) Javert (Les Miserables), Howie (Rabbit Hole), Marco (Gianni Schicchi), Foreman of the Jury (Trial by Jury), Pirate King (Pirates of Penzance), Czolgosz (Assassins), The King (The King and I), and Father (Children of Eden). He has performed in several music series events in Worcester including the Cathedral Music Series at St. Paul’s, and the Elm Park Music Series. He has helped organize and has performed in the concert to benefit the Carriage House at Children’s Friend for the past ten years, and has performed in a featured quartet with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Tanglewood Festival Chorus. He has performed several times at Nick’s Bar including headlining multiple shows. He regularly sings Bass with the Choir of All Saints Church (Worcester, MA)
Baritone Matthew Haynes is a Massachusetts native and has earned degrees in vocal performance and conducting. His career interests have taken him from directing high school choirs to developing hybrid and online courses, and currently he coaches elementary faculty in technology-supported instruction. Recalling his past performances across the U.S. and Europe, he thinks fondly of the inspiring surroundings of Sheldonian Theatre, Oxford, where he had the pleasure to sing Ralph Vaughan Williams's Five Mystical Songs in concert.
Celebrated for his “brilliant” and “booming” baritone, Devon Russo performs frequently as a soloist and ensemble member in Opera, Contemporary Music, and Early Music throughout the United States. He has performed with the Boston Lyric Opera, Odyssey Opera, The Oratorio Society of New York, Quicksilver Baroque, the Star Island Chamber Music Festival Opera in Williamsburg, Opera Providence, and Salt Marsh Opera. He has taken part in the Boston Early Music Festival Young Artist Program, the Seraphic Fire Professional Choral Institute at the Aspen Music Festival and School, the Manhattan Opera Studio Summer Festival, the Amherst Early Music Festival Opera Project and Winter Workshop, the Baroque Opera Workshop at Queen’s College and Connecticut Lyric Opera's Young Artist Program. Devon is currently working towards a Doctorate of Musical Arts in Vocal Performance at Boston University. Devon earned his Master’s in Vocal Performance from the Manhattan School of Music and Bachelors in Vocal Performance and Music Education from the University of Rhode Island.
Scott Taylor has performed with many groups in Central and Eastern Massachusetts over the past 25 years. His involvement ranges from area churches, to small local professional-level groups, to larger choruses like the Salisbury Singers. Scott has also performed with the ACDA National Men's Chorus, plays trombone in the 21-piece Compaq Big Band, and with his wife Christine owns Stageloft Repertory Theater in Sturbridge.
A recent graduate from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Xander Teplansky is working as a freelance performer and has been featured with groups such as The Tanglewood Festival Chorus, The Berkshire Opera, and the Illuminati Performing Arts. Be sides classical, you can find him and his a capella group featured on PopTVs reality show "Sing it On" as the compete in the worlds largest a capella competition. He is looking to apply for his Masters degree this year and continue his education in Opera Performance.
Dalton Weaner is a local to the Worcester area growing up in Northbridge. Through his studies at Gordon College and the University of Auckland, Dalton earned a B.A. in Music and B.S. in Computer Science. He is honored to regularly perform with the chamber choirs Diamonds from the Dust and VOICES21C. When Dalton is not singing, he can either be found working as a software developer or pursuing hobbies such as designing board games and playing the pan flute.