We have a wonderful group of Bay Area soloists and instrumentalists joining us for this concert: Nikolas Nackley, baritone, the Ragazzi Boys Chorus, pianists Tim Getz and Duane Soubirous, and percussionists Kent Reed, Henry Reed, Connor Carroll, and Patrick McCaffrey. In addition, this concert will feature several BCG members who also regularly solo, both with us and other groups: Vai Rangarajan (soprano) and Steve Kispersky (tenor) will perform in Carmina while Amy Worden (soprano) and Allie Leeper (contralto) will do the honors in Peter Hallock’s Gloria. Photos and bios follow . . . .
Most recently heard in the title role of West Edge Opera’s critically acclaimed “Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria”, Nikolas Nackley’s other recent credits include the role of Joe Pitt in Peter Eötvös’s “Angels in America” with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Adonis in Blow’s “Venus and Adonis” with Marin Baroque, baritone soloist in Cantata BWV 140 and Handel’s “Ode for the Birth of Queen Anne” with the SF Bach Choir, and West Coast premier of Kaija Saariaho’s “The Tempest Songbook” with Cal Performances. He has worked under such conductors as Gustavo Dudamel, Sir Roger Norrington, Joana Carneiro, Bruno Weil, Craig Smith, Harry Christophers, John Harbison, and Pablo Heras Casado. Upcoming engagements include the world premier of Stacy Garrop’s “Terra Nostra” with the SF Choral Society, Vaughan William’s “Fantasia On Christmas Carols” with the U.C. Davis Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, Bach’s “Weihnachts-Oratorium” with Marin Oratorio, “Carmina Burana” with the Merced Symphony Orchestra, Mozart’s “Requiem” and Jocelyn Hagen’s “Ashes of Roses” with the Santa Clara Chorale. Nikolas is on the faculty of the School of Music at San Francisco State University and Santa Clara University.
Vai Rangarajan has been an avid choral singer and pianist since a young age. During her undergraduate and medical education she enjoyed singing with several groups including the Pomona College Glee Club and the La Jolla Symphony Chorus. She has also studied South Indian classical vocal music. She has been a member of BCG since 2011.
Stephen Kispersky has been singing since before his voice changed. Starting in church choir as an alto and then at university as a low bass, he re-discovered his high notes during the revival of the male alto voice. Since then he has kept on singing as a treasured avocation, in many places and groupings, finally joining BCG some 10 years ago, where he has served as an occasional tenor soloist.
Amy Worden has performed with several local opera companies, including Opera San Jose, West Bay Opera, Lyric Theater of San Jose, Verismo Opera and the San Francisco Festival Chorus. She has soloed with Bay Choral Guild and the Symphony Silicon Valley Chorus, where she is assistant to the Chorale Director. She has nearly completed a Master’s Certificate from Berklee School of Music.
Allie Leeper grew up playing flute and singing in church choirs. In college and graduate school at Stanford, she sang with several student ensembles, including Testimony and the Law School Acappellants, before graduating and joining BCG a year ago. She also sings regularly at Grace Presbyterian Church.
Timothy Getz is a graduate of the University of Minnesota, where he majored in organ performance and choral music education. He also holds the Master of Sacred Music degree from Luther Seminary, Saint Paul, Minnesota, and has studied organ with Dean Billmeyer, Paul Manz, and John Ferguson and conducting with Robert Scholz and Anton Armstrong. Tim serves as rehearsal accompanist for BCG and is currently the Director of Music Ministry at Grace Lutheran Church in Palo Alto. He is Dean of the Palo Alto/Peninsula Chapter of the American Guild of Organists, and a strong supporter of the Guild’s Pipe Organ Encounter program for young organists, participating as an adult leader in 2010 in Orange County and 2013 in Palo Alto.
Duane Soubirous grew up in Redwood City, and began studying piano and organ at an early age. He attended Oberlin Conservatory of Music, where he studied with James David Christie and Marie-Louise Langlais. Currently he is a substitute organist, playing a variety of church services all over the Bay Area, and is studying Journalism at De Anza College.
Kent Reed is a member of the San José Symphony/Symphony Silicon Valley, and has performed with all the major San Francisco Orchestras including the San Francisco Symphony, San Francisco Opera, and Ballet orchestras. As a timpanist, he has also performed, recorded, and toured with many of the San Francisco Bay Area period instrument ensembles including, Philharmonia Baroque and American Bach Soloists. His work in this arena has been nominated for the prestigious GRAMMY Award. He is also an active freelance percussionist whose performing credits include recording for movies, video games and commercials.
Henry Reed, a senior at San Jose State University, is majoring in Music Education with an emphasis on percussion. He has played for almost 14 years, both locally and internationally, in groups ranging from orchestras to jazz combos. At SJSU he plays with the Wind, Percussion and Brass ensembles, as well as the Symphony Orchestra and is a freelance percussionist for various South Bay venues. In 2014 he won first place in solo college timpani at the California Percussive Arts Society Festival, and in 2015, first place in the snare drum category.
Connor Carroll, a student in music education at San Jose State, studies with Galen Lemmon. Connor has toured the US as a member of The Blue Devils Drum and Bugle Corps, playing in venues from Tanglewood (sharing the stage with the Boston Pops), to the Indianapolis Colts Stadium. Currently he is the caption head for both the Foothill and Monte Vista High School percussion ensembles and is director in training for the Young Musician’s Project, a non-profit group based at San Jose State which provides reduced or no fee lessons to at-risk youth in the South Bay.
Patrick McCaffrey is a student in Percussion Performance at San Jose State University, studying with Galen Lemmon. He has performed as principal percussionist for the SJSU Wind, Brass and Saxophone Ensemble as well as the Symphony Orchestra, Symphonic Band, and Opera, He has placed first in multiple college level competitions and has collaborated on works for percussion solo and duet with various instruments.