Prometheus Bios

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Paul Crabb, Prometheus Artistic Director and Conductor

R. Paul Crabb is Director of Choral Activities and head of graduate choral conducting at the University of Missouri. Ensembles under his leadership have sung at the state, regional, and national conventions. He was the first American Visiting Professor at the Liszt Academy of Music in Hungary, and the first American lecturer in the choral department at University of Vienna’s Universität für Musik und Darstellende Kunst. He currently serves as Guest Faculty in Poland, Austria, and Italy. His regular guest conducting performances (Austria, Italy, Sweden, Estonia, Poland) provide opportunities for Mizzou students and faculty who regularly participate in ensemble tours, seminars, and chamber performances. Mizzou’s University Singers toured Sweden and Estonia in May of 2018, and was recently accepted as one of the university choirs to perform at the national convention of American Choral Directors Association in 2019.


Emily Edgington Andrews, Prometheus Assistant Conductor

Long an advocate for quality musical arts in the community, Emily Edgington Andrews is extremely active in Columbia, working with children and adults at every level of their musical development. In 2013 Emily was appointed Artistic Director for the Columbia Chorale, and under her baton has helped to expand the non-profit organization to include more than 350 singers and eleven choral ensembles (including PROMETHEUS) under its new umbrella title Choral Arts Alliance of Missouri.

Emily joined the music faculty at the University of Missouri in 2015 as an Assistant Choral Director. Her role expanded in 2016 to also include the Director of Community Music Outreach, where she serves as a community liaison for the MU School of Music. She also teaches and conducts at Stephens College as an adjunct faculty member in the Performing Arts program. In addition to her work at the collegiate level, Emily enters her ninth year as one of the vocal music teachers at Columbia Independent School, the city’s only non-sectarian college preparatory campus, conducting two of the six ensembles for students in grades 4-12, and her twelfth year as conductor at the historic Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Columbia, MO, where she maintains a thriving music program, conducting the 45-member Adult Choir of volunteer and paid musicians.


SINGERS


Brandon Browning, baritone

Brandon Browning, baritone, is currently a soloist, choral singer, and educator in the greater Kansas City area. After graduating from the University of Missouri-Columbia with degrees in Music Education and Vocal Performance, he started teaching vocal music at Pioneer Ridge Middle School in Independence, MO. Brandon is in his 4th season with the Grammy® Award-winning Kansas City Chorale and is a section leader with the St. Paul’s Episcopal Church Adult Choir. Recent solo performances include the Brahms Requiem with the Kansas City Chorale and the Faure Requiem with the St. Paul’s Adult Choir. Brandon is excited to be returning for his 7th season with Prometheus! He is looking forward to his upcoming performance of Handel’s Messiah as a soloist with the University of Missouri-Columbia’s Choral Union.   

 

Frank Fleschner, tenor

Tenor Frank Fleschner is an accomplished choral musician, having just finished his thirteenth season with the Grammy® Award-winning Kansas City Chorale. His tenure with the Chorale has afforded him the opportunity to work closely with and debut works by several prominent composers such as Mark Hayes, René Clausen, and Eric Whitacre. As a soloist, Frank has appeared in Handel’s Messiah, Bach’s Johannes-Passion (Evangelist), and Mendelssohn’s Elijah and is the featured tenor soloist on the Kansas City Chorale’s Grammy® Award-winning recording of Rachmaninoff’s All-Night Vigil. Frank graduated from Truman State University. He currently resides in Kansas City with his wife, Lindsey, and sings at Asbury United Methodist Church in Prairie Village, KS.

 

Kaitlin Foley, soprano

Kaitlin Foley, soprano, has “emerged as one of the truly great musicians of this city” (Vocal Arts Chicago). Praised for her “limpid, gorgeous voice” and “agile and pure-toned” singing (Chicago Classical Review), Ms. Foley is a supremely dedicated performer with a passionate ear for early and new music. She has performed as a soloist in works ranging from Bach’s Mass in B Minor to Poulenc’s Gloria to Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire. Her most recent opera role was with Haymarket Opera Company as Satirino in La Calisto. Ms. Foley has worked with renowned conductors Peter Phillips and Rubén Dubrovsky, and she has sung with numerous highly acclaimed choral ensembles, including Grant Park Chorus, Bella Voce, Third Coast Baroque, Schola Antiqua, and Prometheus. She is a founding member of the genre-bending, Chicago-based vocal trio Artemisia.

She achieved her M.M. in Voice Performance from DePaul University, where she studied with Julia Bentley, and completed her undergraduate work in music education at the University of Missouri under the tutelage of Ann Harrell and the baton of Paul Crabb. Ms. Foley is a Vocal Artist in Residence at Rockefeller Memorial Chapel under the direction of James Kallembach, where she is a regularly featured soloist. She is also the director and founder of the Rockefeller Children’s Choir. Ms. Foley teaches choir, voice lessons, and music theory at The People’s Music School, and she conducts female vocal groups Women of Note in Wilmette, IL and High Fidelity at Niles West High School.

 

Lindsey Lang, soprano

Soprano Lindsey Lang is noted for her bold interpretations of early music, having performed frequently with modern and period orchestras nationwide. She has appeared in mainstage early music events in Bloomington, Berkeley, New York, New Brunswick, and Quito, Ecuador. Lindsey also frequents the Midwestern choral music scene, singing with the Kansas City Chorale, Prometheus, and Spire. Lindsey has appeared on two Grammy®-winning albums with the KC Chorale, and is a featured soloist on the 2013 winner Life and Breath. Lindsey earned her Master’s degree in Choral Conducting from the University of Missouri in 2008 and then studied for two years at the Early Music Institute at Indiana University. Lindsey currently resides in Kansas City, Missouri with her fellow singer husband, Frank, where she serves as the music director at Asbury United Methodist Church and maintains an active performing career.

 

Arwen Myers, soprano

Praised for her “crystalline tone and delicate passagework” (San Francisco Chronicle), soprano Arwen Myers is quickly gaining a reputation as a captivating & sensitive interpreter of repertoire spanning from early to new music. A versatile artist equally comfortable in oratorio, chamber music, and on stage, she has performed major works with Portland Baroque Orchestra, Early Music Vancouver, Pacific Musicworks, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, and Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra, among others. Recent & upcoming season highlights include Handel with Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and Oregon Bach Festival; Bach oratorios and Purcell & Dowland songs with Portland Baroque Orchestra; Vivaldi, Monteverdi, and Gabrieli with Early Music Vancouver; world premiere performances & recordings by Robert Kyr, Zachary Wadsworth, J.J. Wright, and Michel Petrossian; and Handel Semele (title role) with American Bach Soloists Academy. An enthusiastic collaborator, she has appeared with some of the nation’s premiere chamber ensembles, including featured solo appearances with Seraphic Fire, Bach Akademie Charlotte, and Cappella Romana, and she is a founding member of Prometheus. A native of Augusta, GA, Arwen holds degrees from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, and currently serves as Director of Communications & Marketing at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral and co-manager of the Royal School of Church Music Pacific Northwest in Portland, OR. Arwen is an active freelance artist across the United States & beyond. Learn more at arwenmyerssoprano.com.

 

Christine Jarquio Nichols, mezzo-soprano

Christine Jarquio Nichols is an active music educator, singer, conductor, and pianist in Columbia. She is in her sixth year of teaching middle school vocal music, with which she is completely in love. Christine is the Artistic Director of the Columbia Public Schools 5th Grade Honors Choir; directs Bella Voce of the Columbia Youth Choirs; music directs shows with the University of Missouri’s Theatre Department and Summer Repertory Theatre; and maintains a small private voice studio. She is a professional choral singer and a frequent vocal concert soloist in the mid-Missouri area. One of her favorite performing experiences was singing the role of Hänsel in Humperdinck’s Hänsel and Gretel with her own middle school students as the children’s chorus! Christine enjoys singing in choral ensembles Prometheus, Vox Nova (voxnovacomo.org), and Pro-Arte of St. Louis (proartestl.org). She holds a dual Master of Music in Voice Performance and Choral Conducting and a Bachelor of Science in Vocal Music Education, both from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

 

Kyle Stegall, tenor

Internationally acclaimed tenor Kyle Stegall is a graduate of the Universities of Missouri, Michigan, and Yale.  While a student at MU, he was a pupil of Ann Harrell, and shortly after graduation he founded Prometheus: An American Vocal Consort.

Kyle is active throughout each year as a recitalist, chamber musician, and concert soloist.  Engagements this season have included performances with Antiqva Panama, The Boulder Philharmonic, Seraphic Fire, the Bach Society of St. Louis, and many more. Known for his attention to style and detail, Kyle is especially in demand in music of the French and German baroque.  His New York performance of Charpentier’s Actéon with William Christie was called “intense and convincing” by Seen and Heard International, and he was praised by the NY Times for his “lovely tone and ardent expression” when he made his Lincoln Center debut as the evangelist in Bach’s Johannes Passion under the direction of Masaaki Suzuki.

This season the American Bach Soloists release their Blu-Ray DVD of Handel’s Messiah from Grace Cathedral, in which Kyle is featured as tenor soloist. Upcoming engagements include recital appearances at the Melbourne Recital Center, The Center for British Art in New Haven, and a tour of China as Tamino in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte.  When not performing, Kyle maintains a private voice studio in San Francisco.  

 

Nickolas Stoppel, bass-baritone

Nick Stoppel

GRAMMY® Award-winning and International Recording Artist, Nick Stoppel, is a multi-talented musician excelling in a variety of arenas from classical choral music to video game soundtracks. As a native of Kansas City, he continues to contribute across America and around the world both as a soloist and group member. Nick has been privileged to be a featured soloist on illustrious stages around the world including the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing, Kings Place in London, the Maihama Amphitheater at Disney Tokyo and the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in Kansas City, Missouri. In December of 2018 he released his first Christmas album The Season of Light, which charted on the Official iTunes Top 100 Christmas Albums as well as the Top 15 New Christmas Albums of 2018 on iTunes. For six seasons, Nick was been a member of the Kansas City Chorale performing across the United States and Canada. Nick was privileged to be a part of the Chorale’s recording, Rachmaninoff’s All-Night Vigil, which won the 2015 GRAMMY® Award for Best Choral Performance. While based in Kansas City he also records and tours internationally with the Irish chorus, Anúna. As a member of Anúna his voice can be heard on the album, Revelation. He has appeared on tours throughout the United Kingdom, Ireland, Belgium, Iceland, Japan and China as well as performing on national television and radio in the Netherlands. Nick is excited to return to Europe in 2019 touring with the all-male ensemble, M’ANAM.

 

Timothy Whipple, baritone

Timothy Whipple, baritone, holds the Master of Music degree in Vocal Pedagogy from the New England Conservatory of Music and the Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance from the University of Missouri. Last year, he performed as the baritone soloist for the Choral Arts Alliance of Missouri’s performance of the Duruflé Requiem. He has appeared with the Boston Metro Opera, Boston Opera Collaborative, Carr Collegium, Copley Singers, Meravelha Singers, New England Conservatory Opera Theatre, and Zefiro Singers. He served as the Director of Vocal Studies for the Boston City Singers for over eight years—providing vocal instruction to over fifty middle school and high school-aged students in the Boston area—before ditching the cold and moving to southern California, where he has yet to pick up the art of the surfboard.

 

Tâmila Freitas

Tâmila Freitas, mezzo soprano, is from Manaus, Amazon, Brazil. She is completing her double Master’s degree in flute and voice performance at the University of Missouri, with Professors Alice Dade and Christine Seitz. As a singer, she sings in the University Singers directed by Dr. R Paul Crabb. She sang in many choirs in Brazil: Madrigal Amazonas at State University of Amazon, EMMSP Adult Choir in São Paulo, Madrigal Le Nuove Musique and Coral Lirico Paulistano at Municipal Theater of São Paulo with the conductors Maíra Ferreira (Brazil) and Naomi Munakata (Japan). She worked at São Paulo Academic Choir (OSESP) with the conductors Maestro Marcos Thadeu, Valentina Peleggi and Marin Alsop. She studied voice at Tatuí Music Conservatory with Rosemeire Moreira (Brazil) and Cristine Bello Guse (Brazil), and after at Escola Municipal do Estado de São Paulo with Maria Lucia Waldow (Brazil). She graduated the course Opera Performer in Sorocaba-São Paulo in 2013. Freitas was invited to attend the 1st Winter Choir Festival at Campos do Jordão in 2014. She was member of the 3rd Vocal Academy in Trancoso/Bahia in 2017 and 2018 (Chorakademie Lübek) performing the Opera Porgy and Bass, Carmina Burana and significant choir pieces with the conductors Wolfgang Roese and Rolf Lännerberg, where she studied with Marcel Boone (Switzerland). She worked in the Choir in the Londrina Music Festival in 2017, and in the same year she performed a solo with Hesperides Vocal Ensemble. As a soloist, she has performed Erik Esenvalds on December 2017 at the São Paulo Theater, and the Miserere by Gregorio Allegri at São Paulo Concert Hall in 2018. This year, she also performed the alto solo in the Bach cantata N. 182 with the Bach Collegium Choir on the Odyssey Music Series, and she will sing the alto solos in the Mozart Requiem with the Choral Union, both performances under the direction of R. Paul Crabb.

Marques Jerrell Ruff

American bass-baritone Marques Jerrell Ruff has performed across the globe, gracing the stages of the Walt Disney Hall in Los Angeles, Wiener Musikverein in Vienna, the Rudolfinum in Prague, and the Mariinksy Theater in St. Petersburg, Russia. A former member of the Grammy® award-winning ensemble Chanticleer, Mr. Ruff has traveled to more than 25 countries, performing well over 500 concerts with numerous masterclasses. Mr. Ruff has been the featured soloist on several recordings, including a world premiere by the talented young American contemporary classical composer Nico Muhly, entitled “Three Moon Songs.” The Hartford Courant marveled, “Ruff has a voice that has power, clarity and brilliant shades of color,” while GoldenPlec Music Magazine wrote, “…his voice [is] powerful, acrobatic, and full of soul.” In addition to a recording of a newly composed song cycle composed by Staff Sergeant Daniel J. Campolieta entitled Guided Imagery, Mr. Ruff also appears on “Sure on this Shining Night” with famed American composer Morten Lauridsen (both recordings available on all digital music platforms). A graduate of Central Connecticut State University, Mr. Ruff was the University Singers Scholarship recipient under the direction of Dr. Pamela J. Perry, and is currently pursuing two Masters of Music Degrees in Choral Conducting (Dr. R. Paul Crabb) and Vocal Performance (Prof. Christine Seitz) in Columbia, MO. He can be found on all social media platforms @MarquesJerrellRuff.

PAST SINGERS


Robert E. Battle, Jr., Countertenor

Joining Prometheus for his first season, Robert Battle is no stranger to a diversity of genres. Originally from St. Louis, MO, Robert holds a Master of Public Affairs degree from the University of Missouri in Columbia and a Bachelor of Music Education degree from the Conservatory of Music & Dance at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Robert sang for many seasons with the Kantorei of Kansas City ensemble, the Kansas City Symphony Chorus under Charles Bruffy, and currently sings with the Vox Nova of Columbia ensemble. Employed by Columbia Public Schools, Robert teaches vocal music at John B. Lange Middle School and is the co-artistic director of the Columbia Public Schools 5th Grade Honors Choir, a 130-member ensemble of young singers. When not singing, Robert is song writing, playing organ, cooking, gardening, serving on nonprofit boards, reading short stories by David Sedaris, or hanging with his partner Ted and their miniature schnauzer, Oscar.

 

Gabe Lewis-O’Connor, bass

Gabe Lewis-O’Connor, bass, recently received a master’s degree in choral conducting from the University of Missouri-Kansas City, after singing for four years with the vocal ensemble Chanticleer. Raised in Lawrence, Kansas, Gabe received a bachelor’s degree in vocal performance from Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin. Gabe is now the Director of Marketing and Public Relations for the choral music learning resource Choral Tracks, and lives in the Northeast with his wife Lauren and two feisty children.

 

Eric Dalbey, countertenor

Eric Dalbey is a voice instructor at Webster University and Missouri Baptist University in St. Louis, Missouri.  He is a prominent vocalist in the St. Louis area and currently sings in Vocal Spectrum, the 2006 International Men’s Quartet Champions, as well as several other vocal groups such as Prometheus, the Ambassadors of Harmony and Pro-Arte St. Louis.  Singing in these groups have given him many opportunities to teach and perform in places like China, Japan, New Zealand, Russia, Sweden, Germany, Spain and Israel.  He has also had the privilege of sharing the stage with the Beijing Symphony Orchestra as well as Dick Van Dyke, Take 6 and David Phelps. Eric has also had the privilege of making the final callbacks as countertenor for the Grammy Award-winning group Chanticleer. Eric holds a Master of Arts degree in Music and Worship from Covenant Theological Seminary, a Bachelor of Arts degree in Vocal Performance and a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Lindenwood University.  In his spare time, Eric enjoys traveling to new places and experiencing their food, drink, music and people. Eric and his wife, Elizabeth, are excited to welcome their second child this December!

Jeffrey Howe, Tenor

Jeffrey Howe has been featured extensively as both chorister and soloist with several ensembles throughout the country.  Jeffrey attended William Jewell College in Liberty, Missouri and studied voice with Jay Carter and conducting with Anthony Maglione. During his studies in the Kansas City area Jeffrey sang with several professional ensembles, including Kantorei of Kansas City, Te Deum, and the Kansas City Chorale, where he appeared as a vocalist on their 2016 Grammy-winning album, Rachmaninov All-Night Vigil. Jeffrey currently lives in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

Sarah Tannehill Anderson

After years of travel and hard work as an opera singer, Sarah Tannehill Anderson is proud to make her home in Kansas City, singing the music she loves the most with the people she loves the most.  

Current collaborations include the Bach Aria Soloists, Lyric Arts Trio, Trio Allegresse, Kansas City Chamber Orchestra, and the Grammy® Award-winning Kansas City Chorale.  
2018 marks the first year of her new underground concert series, The Society of Song ~ visit thesocietyofsong.com.  

Sarah is also the creator of RAISE YOUR VOICE, KC ~ a program that provides instructional tools and inspirational support for singers. You can find her workshops, videos, and warm-up CDs at raiseyourvoicekc.com.

Nathan Ward

Missourian tenor Nathan Ward comes from an eclectic musical background, drawing on his study of piano, cello, and composition to inform his singing.  A 2017-18 Young Artist with Opera Colorado, he received his master’s degree in 2016 at the Northwestern University Bienen School of Music while studying under Karen Brunssen. There he played Sam Polk in Carlisle Floyd’s Susannah, Basilio in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro, Howard Boucher in Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking, and Richard Dauntless in Gilbert and Sullivan’s Ruddigore. He also collaborated as a soloist in Mozart’s Requiem, Kile Smith’s Vespers with the Bienen Contemporary/Early Vocal Ensemble, and Britten’s Serenade for Tenor, Horn, and Strings. In the summer of 2016, he sang Sheldon in Later the Same Evening as a Bonfils-Stanton studio artist. This summer he returned to Central City Opera as an apprentice, singing Remendado in Carmen and Tom in Amy Beach’s only opera, Cabildo. Upcoming performances include Fenton and Bardolfo in Verdi’s Falstaff and Rudi Acohen in Gerald Cohen’s world premiere, Steal a Pencil for Me.

Edward Straub  

Edward Straub, baritone, grew up in Kansas City, Missouri and sang under the direction of Dr. Harrison “Bud” Boughton during his studies at the University of Missouri-Columbia. He sang with the acclaimed Simon Carrington Chamber Singers for four seasons and was also a member of the Kansas City Collegium Vocale and Cerulean chamber ensembles, both under the direction of Dr. Ryan Board. He now sings regularly with Prometheus, and for the past two summers he has been honored to sing as a Fellow of the Yale University Norfolk Chamber Music Festival in upstate Connecticut. As a soloist, he has lent his voice to many Kansas City area productions, such as the role of Jesus in the Matthäus-Passion of Heinrich Schütz, conducted by Joshua Maize, and for three years as the bass soloist in Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral’s annual presentation of Handel’s Messiah (complete). A Summa Cum Laude graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia, Straub received his Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering. He is employed as a Technical Lead Design Engineer in the Aviation division of Garmin International in Olathe, Kansas. He currently lives part-time in the Kansas City area, as well as in Santa Barbara, California, where he is assisting Garmin in a new technology development role.

Christina Casey

Promising lyric mezzo soprano Christina Casey Ray is “home” in Kansas City, MO where she is currently pursuing an Artist Diploma at the University of Missouri-Kansas City with Dr. Aidan Soder. Ms. Casey has been recently seen in the roles of Rosina in Rossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia with Opera in the Ozarks, and Hänsel from Humperdinck’s Hänsel und Gretel with UMKC Opera. This fall, Ms. Casey will portray the role of Ramiro in Mozart’s La finta giardiniera, as well as make her professional debut in the chorus of the Lyric Opera of Kansas City’s Madama Butterfly. Ms. Casey has sung with professional choirs all around the United States, including American Prize Award-winning ensemble Vox Nova. Ms. Casey also maintains a highly sought out voice studio at Music/Arts Institute in Independence, MO. She is also the co-founder of Kansas City’s newest opera company, Landlocked Opera. To learn more about upcoming performances, visit christinacaseymezzo.com.