Bios

Nicole Sonbert
(Co-Director, Summer Glee)

Nicole Sonbert, mezzo-soprano, holds BM degrees in Musical Theatre Performance and Music Education and MM degrees in Vocal Performance and Music Education from East Carolina University. She has worked as a guest artist, applied voice instructor, church choral director, middle school choral teacher, clinical instructor, and guest clinician. Sonbert has presented, adjudicated, and coordinated various choral clinics and festivals for teachers and students. She is dedicated and involved in the type of student learning that fosters self-awareness and inspiration. She was the recipient of the “My Teacher, My Hero” award in 2006. In addition, she has been recognized for her operatic, orchestral, and oratorio performances throughout North Carolina. Sonbert has also won NATS regional and state vocal auditions in the classical and musical theatre divisions.

Sonbert has performed roles including Suzuki in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, the Mother in Menotti’s The Consul, and Buttercup in Gilbert and Sullivan’s H.M.S. Pinafore. She has appeared as the alto soloist for Mozart’s Requiem with the ECU Chamber Singers and performs regularly throughout the state of NC as an alto soloist in Handel’s Messiah. Sonbert is currently teaching applied voice and classes at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Department of Music.

Sean Grier
(Co-Director, Summer Glee)

Sean Grier is a native of Royal Oak, Michigan. Sean graduated from Michigan State University in May 2009, where he received two bachelor degrees, one in Vocal Performance and one in Music Education.

While at Michigan State, Sean performed in over 15 opera, musical theater, and solo productions. Sean is one of two Directors of Vocal Music at the Durham School of the Arts, in Durham, North Carolina having previously enjoyed an a one-year interim position as Choral Director at Chapel Hill High School.

 

Killian (1)Killian Manning
(Choreographer, Summer Glee)
Killian Manning danced in Boston from 1980-1987, where she was a member of Susan Rose and DanceWorks, served on the dance faculties of Radcliffe, DanceWorks and the Boston Conservatory, and founded her company, No Forwarding Address. She relocated to North Carolina in 1988, and served on the dance faculty at UNC-Chapel Hill and at the Ballet School of Chapel Hill from 1989 to 1995, where she received funding from numerous state and local arts agencies, and was named “Best in The Triangle” in dance for four years. Since returning to Chapel Hill in 2004, she he has been on the faculty at UNC-Greensboro in Communication Studies and at the Ballet School of Chapel Hill. Most recently she has enjoyed creating new dances at Durham Academy and the Carolina Friends School for the past 6 years. She is thrilled to be joining the team for Summer Glee.


Nevels, Mr. Anoviua colorTom Nevels
(Acting Teacher, Summer Glee)

Tom Nevels is the Technical Director and one of three acting teachers at Durham School of the Arts. Tom holds an M.A. in theater education from Emerson College where he directed plays and taught stagecraft classes, and a B.F.A. in theater education from UNC Greensboro, where he was one of the first undergraduates to develop a concentration in wigmastery and makeup design. Tom is a proud North Carolina Teaching Fellow. His theatrical designs have been seen onstage in schools across the state as well as The Greensboro Opera Company and Gallery Players. 

For more than a decade, Tom worked as an instructor and curriculum director for the UNC Greensboro All-Arts, Science & Technology Camp. In addition, he has taught as artist-in-residence providing workshops to teachers and students throughout the country. Tom joined the North Carolina A+ Schools Program as a Fellow in 2012 where he travels to schools training teachers in arts integration strategies. Tom has also worked professionally around the country as a makeup artist for cosmetics lines such as NARS, Laura Mercier, and Lancome.

When he is not providing lights, sound, makeup, props, sets, costumes, publicity, or management for some show or another, Tom enjoys dabbling in the visual arts as a photographer and painter and getting to know all of the cool places to eat, drink, and make merry around Durham.


seamus (1)Seamus F. Kenney
(Director, Summer Recording Workshop and The Chorus Project)

Seamus Kenney brings with him a unique knowledge and understanding the value of both classical and pop music. He is a graduate of the prestigious Eastman School of Music where he studied voice and composition earning him a BM in Music Education (’98). Only to, upon graduation, seek fame and fortune in Hollywood, Ca with his quirky rock band, SNMNMNM. Since relocating to Chapel Hill in 2004, Seamus Kenney has become an active presence in the triangle music scene . Seamus now teaches Middle School Chorus for Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools and is also director of the Saxapahaw Concert and Show Choir. His work as an arranger has led him to collaborations with high profile local songwriters including Chris Stamey (Let’s Active, DB’s), Ari Picker (Lost In The Trees), Gordon Zacharias (Fan Modine) and Mac McCaughan (Superchunk, Portastatic). Seamus is currently working on an orginal sci-fi opera titled “All Hail The Comet.”

Marianne Cheng
(Voice Teacher, Summer Recording Workshop)

Holding a Bachelors of Music from UNC, Marianne continues her life as a tar-heel in the School of Education, where she is a candidate for a Masters degree. With vocal stylings ranging from Opera to Pop, Marianne has fostered a passion for music education, vocal health, and academic collaboration. Of her eight total years arranging and performing a cappella music, Marianne directed UNC’s premiere all-female group, the Loreleis, for two years. During her time in the Loreleis, Marianne met Ben Folds when she recorded solo for a track on the CD, “Ben Folds Presents University A Cappella,” and even sang backup vocals for Folds at a concert in Raleigh. Marianne looks forward to a repeat performance with Folds this Spring on March 22nd and 23rd.

Caroline B. Miceli
(Director, Saturday Glee Club)
Caroline, a native of Erie, Pennsylvania, graduated from Otterbein University in 2004 where she received her bachelor degree in Music Education with a concentration in voice. At Otterbein, she was awarded the Thelma Zellner Memorial Choral Award for excellence in choral activities. Caroline has taught choral music, voice, drama, and dance at the middle and high school levels in Ohio and Pennsylvania. She has performed in over 20 musicals and concerts with the Erie Playhouse and has performed as a member of the Columbus Symphony Chorus, Erie Opera Theatre, and as a church musician. After years of performance, Caroline’s favorite role is that of mom to her son Logan!

Virginia Queen Danford
(Acting Teacher & Choreographer, Summer Glee)

Virginia Queen Danford has a BFA in Acting from West Virginia University and an MFA in Acting from The School of Arts at Penn State. She relocated to the Triangle from New York City where she’d been working for eight years as a professional actor, teacher, choreographer and director. She also co-founded NYC’s Broad Horizons Theatre Company and currently serves on the Board of Directors. Virginia is very passionate about her teaching and has worked with all ages for almost 20 years. In addition to teaching drama, movement and dance programs, she is involved in addressing social issues to inspire change through theatre and film. She has recently worked with the ArtsCenter, Durham Public Schools, Jordan Lake School of the Arts, CHCC Schools, Cary Academy, Playmaker’s Repertory Theatre, UNC-CH’s Dept. of Education and Raleigh Little Theatre, among others. Her recent acting credits include a role on the TV show Army Wives, and the voice of Lyrik in the Play station game “Nano.”

Sarah Humphrey
(Voice Teacher, Saturday Glee & Summer Glee)
Sarah Humphrey, soprano, is a native of North Carolina. She recently graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance and Music Education. Sarah currently serves as the Music Teacher at Maureen Joy Charter School in Durham, NC, teaching general music for grades K-4 and a choral elective for grades 5-8.
For four years, Sarah participated in and musically directed an award-winning Barbershop Quartet known as “Fortune.” Sarah has also held numerous musical theatre and operatic roles. She has been seen as Sarah Brown in Guys and Dolls, a Bird Girl in Seussical the Musical, and the Narrator in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. During her time at UNC, Sarah studied voice privately with Timothy Sparks. She was also involved with Carolina Choir and UNC Opera, and has performed the role of Nicklausse in Offenbach’s Les contes d’Hoffmann and the role of Second Lady in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte. Sarah wishes to spread her God-given joy and passion for music with everyone she encounters.

 

Django Haskins
(Guest Teacher Artist, Summer Recording Workshop)
Django Haskins is a songwriter/singer/guitarist living in Durham, NC. He tours internationally with his band, The Old Ceremony, and has released eight albums of his songs, including 2010′s “Tender Age.” He holds an English degree from Yale University.

 

 

Lindsey Hayek
(Voice Coach, Summer Glee 2012)

Lindsey Hayek is a Raleigh native that holds a BM degree in Vocal Performance and MAT in Music Education (K-12), both from UNC-Chapel Hill.  She equally loves performing, teaching, and conducting.  She has taught private lessons and in the public school setting.  Lindsey spent the past year teaching general music and chorus at the elementary level, but is very excited that she will be the choral director at Northern High School in Durham starting in the 2011-2012 school year.  She has sung roles with Longleaf Opera and UNC Opera Workshop, in addition to being a soloist for Women’s Voices Chorus and UNC Chamber Singers.  She was a winner for the UNC Music Department’s Concert Competition in 2009.  In addition to singing and teaching, she is also a pianist and accompanist.  She hopes to teach music to every age level (elementary through collegiate) throughout the span of her career.

Kristen TaylorKristin Taylor
(Choreographer, Summer Glee 2012)

Kristin Taylor, a Durham native, is a BFA graduate of the UNC School of the Arts. She trained at Jacobs Pillow, and on scholarship at the Lou Conte Dance Studios with Hubbard Street II.  In New York, she apprenticed with Urban Bush Women, and worked with choreographers Nathan Trice, Bridget Moore, Christal Brown and Sidra Bell.  Kristin performed with the Mexico City-based Tania Perez-Salas Compania de Danza and created and performed works for Yuxtadanza Compania de Danza of Venezuela.  She has taught in UNCSA’s preparatory program and as a guest of the Tri-Cities Performing Arts School in Atlanta.  Currently, Kristin works with nosiDANCE Theater, Helen Simoneau Danse, Andrea E. Woods, Gaspard & Dancers and Courtney Greer.

Shana Tucker
(Arranger, Conductor, Teacher, Summer Recording 2011)

Transcending genre distinctions, SHANA TUCKER is a “ChamberSoul” cellist and singer-songwriter from New York whose music is a sultry pastiche of acoustic pop and soulful, jazz-influenced contemporary folk. A classically-trained cellist, (Howard University – WDC; Brooklyn College Conservatory of Music – NYC), Shana began singing as a way to get her original songs heard and placed, and subsequently found more work as a “singing cellist” than as a (singer or cellist). As a pop/contemporary folk artist, Shana has opened for several critically-acclaimed recording artists, including Sweet Honey in the Rock, jazz saxophonist Hamiett Bluett, drummer/vocalist Vinx, the Blind Boys of Alabama and the Indigo Girls.

Shana’s debut solo project, “SHiNE” (February 2011), outlines a musical journey that celebrates the major influences of everyday life: relationship, laughter, love…loss, rediscovery, and the never-ending journey towards peace, understanding and self-acceptance. In between performing and promoting her new CD, Shana teaches songwriting workshops, works with Mallarme Chamber Players (Durham),  and tries to keep up with her busy 10-year-old son and budding visual artist, Sebastian. — www.shanatucker.com.

Sarah Dempsey
(Vocal Coach, Fall 2011)

Sarah Dempsey, soprano, is a native of North Carolina. She received her Bachelor of Music from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she studied with Valentin Lanzrein and Rebecca Swingle-Putland. She also completed a Bachelor of Arts in English. During her time at Chapel Hill, she participated in numerous performances, including work with UNC Opera in The Secret Marriage, the UNC Baroque Ensemble, and the Chapel Hill Philharmonic. She was also seen as Lily in The Secret Garden and Johanna in Sweeney Todd. She was awarded first prize at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Competition for the National Association of Teachers of Singing in 2008. Sarah twice participated in the Corso internazionale di musica da camera in Tuscania, Italy. She was also a member of the vocal ensemble for the College Light Opera Company in Falmouth, Massachusetts. She recently completed her Masters Degree at the New England Conservatory of Music where she studied with Carol Haber. While in Boston, she was featured in productions of Menotti’s Help! Help, the Globolinks!, Offenbach’s The Lantern Marriage, Mozart’s The Magic Flute, and Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas. She also participated in scenes programs with NEC Opera, and served as the Opera Department Assistant. Recently returned from her studies, she lives and teaches in Cary.

Louise ToppinLouise Toppin
(Advisor, Guest Teacher)

Louise Toppin, finalist in the Munich International Competition and winner of the Metropolitan Opera regional auditions, has received critical acclaim for her operatic, orchestral, and oratorio performances in the United States, Czech Republic, Scotland, Japan, China, Uruguay, Sweden, the Caribbean, Bermuda, New Zealand, England, and Spain. She has appeared in recital on concert series including Carnegie Hall (Weill Recital Hall), Lincoln Center, Merkin Hall, Licieu Theatre in Barcelona, Spain and the International Albeniz Festival in Camprodon, Spain.

She is a graduate of The University of Michigan (DMA voice), Peabody Conservatory (MM voice, MM piano) and The University of North Carolina (BM piano).  Her teachers and coaches include: George Shirley, Reri Grist, Charlotte Holloman, Sylvia Olden Lee, and Mattiwilda Dobbs.  In the summers of 1995 & 1996 she worked with Joan Sutherland, Richard Bonynge and Elly Ameling respectively at the Britten Pears School in England. She was formerly on the faculties of East Carolina University, Bowling Green State University and Eastern Michigan University and is currently Professor of Voice at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. (www.louisetoppin.com).

Susan Klebanow
(Guest Teaching Artist)

Susan Klebanow is Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she conducts the Carolina Choir and Chamber Singers and teaches courses in conducting. She is a recipient of UNC’s Tanner Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching and a Chapman Family Teaching Award from UNC’s Institute of the Arts and Humanities.

Prof. Klebanow is in high demand as a clinician and has led choral festivals and workshops throughout the U.S. and in Mexico, China and Italy. She has guest conducted numerous vocal and instrumental ensembles, including the North Carolina Symphony, the Emmanuel Church of Boston Bach Cantata Series, the Mallarme Chamber Players, Boston University’s Opera Theatre, and the University of Veracruz Baroque Festival Chorus in Xalapa, Mexico.

An accomplished soprano, Susan Klebanow has recorded and performed extensively with contemporary music and early music groups based in Boston, North Carolina, and Mexico. She currently sings with the North Carolina Symphony Chamber Choir, for which she also serves as Chorusmaster.
Before joining the faculty at UNC, Klebanow taught choral music and musical theatre at the elementary, middle and high school levels. She holds degrees from Brandeis University and the New England Conservatory of Music.

Daniel Huff
(Guest Teaching Artist)

Daniel M. Huff is a Clinical Associate Professor in the School of Education and the Music Department and holds Masters and PhD degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he studied choral conducting with Robert Fountain and music education with Eunice Boardman Meske and Anthony Barresi.  He coordinates and teaches courses in the Music Education Area at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and conducts the UNC Men’s Glee Club, a group which tours regularly in the Mid-West, East and Southeast.  Besides his performances with the UNC Men’s Glee Club, over the past 20 years, he has conducted or adjudicated over 135 state and regional festivals and workshops involving public school students in settings from the Mid-West to Southeast, presented 85 choral clinics and presented local, state or national in-service sessions for public school teachers and teacher candidates on twenty four occasions.  In addition, he is Director of UNC’s HS Music Camp, as well as founder and conductor of the All-Carolina Invitational Male Choral Festival.

Erin Dangler
(Choreographer, Summer Glee 2011)

Erin Dangler graduated from Denison University with a B.A. in Theatre where she received the David Rounds Theatre prize for the most promising graduating theatre major. Erin toured nationally with the Cleveland Signstage Theatre in the acclaimed Children of a Lesser God as both an actress and an American Sign Language Interpreter. After touring the country, she continued her work with Deaf and hearing actors in Signstage’s Education/Outreach department as an actress in the children’s touring production Ten Handfuls of Myths as well as designed and directed several elementary and middle school bi-lingual/bi-cultural residency programs.

Over the last 15 years, Erin has owned and operated performing arts businesses in three different parts of the country, teaching young performers the art of musical theatre. She has also directed and choreographed dozens of musicals, summer camps and original musical revues with children from kindergarten through high school. Throughout her 20 years of working in educational theatre, Erin has been acting both onstage and in front of the camera in commercials, industrials and film.

Locally, she has worked with Playmakers Repertory Theatre, The Arts Center, the Youth Performing Arts Conservatory and the Chatham Arts Council. She is thrilled to be a recent transplant to Chapel Hill and hopes to be teaching theatre for years to come.

John Feltch
(Voice and Acting Teacher, Summer Glee 2011)

Since attending Williams College and UNC Chapel Hill, John Feltch has acted and directed in the professional theatre for over twenty years, on Broadway and off, at many of the best regional theatres around the nation, and abroad.

He has taught for numerous conservatories and universities, including Berkeley Shakespeare Conservatory, Rice University, University of Houston and UNC Chapel Hill. He was a member of the Alley Theatre’s Tony Award-winning acting company (and teaching studio)for eleven seasons, where he worked with Vanessa Redgrave, Jose Quintero, Tony Kushner and Edward Albee, among many remarkable artists. He has also done a great deal of work in voiceovers and in front of the camera.

John studied with world-renowned Voice and Speech teacher Cicely Berry of the Royal Shakespeare Company for five years while at UNCCH. He combines her approach to Voice and Text exploration with other voice training in the Linklater technique and his own long experience of performing innumerable classical and contemporary texts. The focus is always on finding your own true voice and employing its range and nuance to more fully express the given words.

YahZarah
(Guest Teaching Artist, Summer Glee 2011)

YahZarah, DC native, alumni of the famed Duke Ellington School of The Arts, former background singer and arranger for Erykah Badu,frequent collaborator with Grammy Nominated The Foreign Exchange. And Jet Magazines’s “Break out Artist of 2011”YahZarah has released three musical ventures to date,“Hear Me”, “Black Star”,“The Ballad of Purple St. James” as well as an EP “The Prelude”. Her albums have risen as high as number 37 on the Billboard Top Independent Albums charts and 44 on the Top R&B Album charts.

She has shared the stage with Chaka Khan, The Roots, Earth Wind and Fire, India Arie, Musiq Soul Child, and others. She has an international following that seems to get bigger as she progresses as an artist, while maintaining her North American fan base.She is a often referred to as a dynamo of vocal power. (www.WhoIsYahZarah.com).

Lauren Bromley Hodge
(Director, Community Chorus Project)

Lauren Bromley Hodge holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honors) degree in Drama and English from the University of London, Goldsmith’s College. Most recently she created the Youth Performing Arts Conservatory at the ArtsCenter in Carrboro, North Carolina; an acting program that served 120 young people offering participants a professional theatre education and summer performance experience with PlayMakers Repertory Company. Lauren was also the Director of Development at the ArtsCenter, Carrboro after having spent many years in London and New York City at an executive level in the entertainment industry. Her commitment is to making access to the performing arts possible for all children, regardless of race or economic background. She is currently the Director of Community Chorus Project, dedicated to creating community one chorus at a time.

Rhodes_Terry_NEWTerry Rhodes
(Co-Founder, Community Chorus Project)

UNC-Chapel Hill Professor of Music and Senior Associate Dean for Fine Arts and Humanities in the College of Arts and Sciences, soprano TERRY RHODES has performed throughout the U.S., Latin America and Europe, having appeared in over twenty foreign nations with repertoire spanning opera, oratorio, art song and musical theater. A native of Raleigh, NC, she has been the recipient of numerous grants and awards, including a Fulbright Artist-in-Residence/Lecturer position at the Conservatory of Music in Skopje, Macedonia in 1993, an IAH Chapman Fellowship, an IAH Academic Leadership Fellowship, and a Lilly grant. The soprano is especially known for her work in the contemporary music arena, having presented numerous premieres written specifically for her, and has recorded two warmly received CD’s on the Albany label. Dr. Rhodes teaches and performs in Italy during the summer as a faculty member of Spoleto Study Abroad.

As UNC Opera Director, Dr. Rhodes also has furthered the cause of new music, having produced and directed a number of regional and world premieres. Under her tutelage, the group has performed over 30 complete operas and 16 scenes programs, with music ranging from the baroque to the contemporary. UNC Opera also performs in community and regional venues on a regular basis. Dr. Rhodes holds the DMA and MM from the Eastman School of Music and the BM from UNC-Chapel Hill.