Nathaniel G. Lew, Artistic Director, Burlington, VT
Raised in Larchmont, New York, Nathaniel G. Lew has been singing seriously since the age of twelve, when he sang the treble solos in Leonard Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms and Benjamin Britten’s Ceremony of Carols with the Juilliard Pre-College Chorus. His voice then changed, but, undaunted, he went on to sing tenor with the Yale University Glee Club, the Choir of Gonville and Caius College, University of Cambridge, and the Chamber Chorus of the University of California, Berkeley, incidentally picking up degrees from the same institutions. This inordinately long education culminated with a Ph.D. in Historical Musicology from UC Berkeley, after which he had to seek gainful employment. In the decade he spent in the San Francisco Bay Area, Nathaniel sang with the Philharmonia Chorale and Volti. He also served as director of Ars Subtilior Medieval Vocal Ensemble, Vox Populi Renaissance Vocal Ensemble, the UC Berkeley Chorus, the Chorus of Festival Opera of Walnut Creek, and the Choir of Montclair Presbyterian Church in Oakland. Nathaniel is currently Chair of the Department of Fine Arts at St. Michael’s College in Colchester, Vermont, where he teaches music history, music theory and humanities. His academic research focuses on twentieth-century British music, and in 2016 he published the book Tonic to the Nation: Making English Music in the Festival of Britain.
Robert De Cormier, Founder (1922-2017)
A graduate of the Juilliard School of Music, Mr. De Cormier’s conducting engagements took him from Broadway and opera to the Berkshire Choral Institute, the Zimriya World Assembly of Choirs in Israel and numerous concert tours nationally and internationally with his own professional group, the Robert De Cormier Singers. He was the acclaimed music director of the New York Choral Society for 17 years, wrote several works ranging from choral to ballet to Broadway scores and has arranged extensively, from African-American spirituals to American and international folk songs. He guest conducted a performance of the Verdi Requiem in 1990, the Berlioz Requiem at St. Paul’s Cathedral, New York City in 1992 and the premiere of a commissioned work, ‘Missa Iona’ in 1993 at St. Bartholomew’s in New York City. During the 1995-96 season he conducted ‘Brundibar’ and ‘The Emperor of Atlantis’ in Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and at Merkin Concert Hall in New York. He spent several years as conductor and arranger for Harry Belafonte and was music director for the popular folk trio, “Peter, Paul and Mary” for the over 27 years. He also appeared in productions with Jessye Norman, Kathleen Battle, Frederica Von Stade, Andrew Previn, and James Levine. Robert was the conductor of the Vermont Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, which he founded in 1993. Robert founded Counterpoint in 2000 and the professional vocal ensemble, now in its 18th year, has performed concerts throughout Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut and New York. They made their first national tour through the midwest in 2008-09. Mr. De Cormier served on the New York State Council for the Arts and was a member of the Choral Panel of the National Endowment for the Arts. His awards include the Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts, Lifetime Achievement Awards from Choral Arts New England and the New York Choral Society, and in 2007 an Honorary Doctor of Arts degree from Middlebury College. Mr. De Cormier passed away in November of 2017, leaving behind a beautiful musical legacy.
Miranda Bergmeier, Hanover, NH
Colleen Flynn Campbell, Williston, VT
Colleen Flynn Campbell discovered her voice at the University of Vermont, where she studied singing with David Neiweem and Beth Thompson while earning her degree in Clinical Laboratory Science. While at UVM she performed with the Concert Choir, Catamount Singers and Opera Workshop. Her roles have included Papagena in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, Gretel in Humperdinck’s Hänsel und Gretel, and Geraldine in Samuel Barber’s A Hand of Bridge. Colleen was one of the founding members of Counterpoint. She currently also sings with the Bella Voce Women’s Chorus of Vermont and Cantiamo, and is a Section Leader for the choir of the First Unitarian Universalist Society in Burlington. She has performed as a soloist with the VSO Chorus, the Burlington Choral Society, the Oriana Singers, Bella Voce, Solaris Vocal Ensemble, and the Vermont Mozart Festival, and has appeared in recital both at UVM and at the Pitten Classics International Music Festival in Austria. Colleen lives in Williston with her three children and one giant, slobbery Saint Bernard.
Anne D’Olivo, Manchester, VT
Born in the UK, Anne D’Olivo received her B.A. in Music from the University of Hull, specializing in Percussion and Vocal Performance, and was employed as an arts administrator in Scotland. She moved to the US in 1991 to marry husband Tom and was General Manager of the Weston Playhouse Theatre Company in Vermont. Annie is now an adjunct faculty staff member in the Music Department at Burr and Burton Academy and has thirty private students. In 2016 she co-founded Northshire Voices in Manchester, VT, her home town. She has performed lead roles for various theatre companies, including Great Lakes Opera, Milwaukee, WI; Oconomowoc Summer Theatre, WI; Main Street Arts, Saxtons River, VT; and Dorset Theatre, VT. Her favorite roles are Cinderella in Into The Woods, Anna in The King and I, Sarah in Guys and Dolls and Yum-Yum in The Mikado. She recently appeared in the Weston Playhouse Theatre Company’s production of The Music Man as Mrs. Squires.
Jessie Pierpont, South Royalton, VT
Jessica Pierpont is the current conductor, artistic director and founder of the Vermont Chamber Artists a select singing ensemble in Sharon, Vermont. She holds a position as a music educator at Thetford Elementary School and the Newton School teaching general and choral music grades k-8. Jessica received her Master of Music degree in choral conducting at the University of Arizona. During Jessica’s second year as a graduate student, she served as the assistant of Dr. Bruce Chamberlain, the head of the choral department at the University of Arizona. She played an administrative position as well as a performer, conductor and teacher. She is originally from Connecticut, where she spent nine years as a member of the United Girls’ Choir and Elm City Girls’ Choir. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in music with a concentration in piano from Castleton University in Vermont. In 2014, Jessica completed an internship with the United Girls’ Choir in New Haven, Connecticut, of which she is an alumna. During this time she served as conductor, teacher and administrator. Jessica has attended and participated in many music workshops, including Oxford University Workshops sponsored by Westminster Choir College, Westminster Choir College summer workshops, Yale University 21C, ACDA regional collegiate workshops, and Beyond the Baton with Diane Wittry and has been selected as a conducting fellow in the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival hosted by the Yale School of Music. Jessica has had a role professionally conducting large works such as conducting the Gabriel Fauré’s Requiem, Johannes Brahms piano concerto no. 1, Misa Criolla composed by Ariel Ramirez. In addition, she conducted and organized the performance of Karl Jenkins Stabat Mater in the spring of 2016 (a benefit concert to support cancer research). Jessica’s primary conducting instructors have been Bruce Chamberlain, Elizabeth Schauer and Sherrill Blodget with additional instruction with James Jordan, Gary Graden and T.J. Harper and orchestral conducting instruction from Hugh Keelan.
Bethany Plissey, Essex Junction, VT
Bethany Plissey is Director of Choral Activities and Chair of the Performing Arts Department at Johnson State College, where she conducts the Johnson State Chorale and the Chamber Singers, teaches courses in conducting, music history, choral literature, choral methods, vocal pedagogy, and voice. Bethany joined the faculty of JSC in August of 2010. She is currently the Collegiate Repertoire and Standards Chair of the Vermont Board of the American Choral Directors Association. She has participated in the Sarteano Chamber Choir Conducting Workshop with Simon Carrington, former King Singer and Professor Emeritus of Yale University. Ms. Plissey has served as a choral clinician and festival organizer in Florida, Georgia, Vermont and Wisconsin. She is currently completing her DMA in choral conducting from the University of Miami where her research focus is on practices of choral conductors in Scandinavia and the Baltic Nations. She earned an MM in choral conducting and BM in vocal performance from Indiana University.
Allison Devery Steinmetz, Montpelier, VT
Described as, “brilliant, nuanced, and lyrically expressive,” Allison Steinmetz, soprano, spans her vocal artistry in classical, musical theater, and contemporary music. Collaborations and performances of note include creating the role of Nora in the world premiere of Paul Siskind’s The Sailorboy and the Falcon, alongside acclaimed mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe, and breathing fresh life into the roles of The Angel in Erik Nielsen’s A Fleeting Animal and Amaranth in Steven Serpa’s Thyrsis & Amaranth, as well as premiering the role of Aello in Marc Blitzstein’s The Harpies in Canada. She has played leading roles in productions including The Telephone, The Marriage of Figaro, Candide, The Fantasticks, Into the Woods, Guys & Dolls, Once Upon A Mattress, The Mikado, and The King & I. Along with her operatic and musical theater career, Allison is a highly sought after concert soloist, performing soprano solos in masterworks of Beethoven, Brahms, Handel, Finzi, Mozart, Schubert, Lotti, Vitier, Zelenka, and more. Allison has shared the concert stage with The Manhattan Chamber Orchestra, The Lafayette Symphony Orchestra, the Green Mountain Mahler Festival, the Rutland Area Chorus, and the Vermont Collegiate Choral Consortium. Her ensemble experience includes performances with The Opera Company of Middlebury, Counterpoint Chorus, and the Green Mountain Monteverdi Ensemble, and she is a featured soloist on the CD release of Robert De Cormier’s Songs of Hope and Freedom with Bella Voce Women’s Chorus. Allison received her M.M. From the University of Montreal and her B.M. From the Crane School of Music. For more information and a list of upcoming performances, please visit: www.allisondevery.com
Victoria Drew Wacek, Shelburne, VT
Rebecca Bailey, South Strafford, VT
Rebecca Bailey’s love of music was nurtured by her family, childhood church choir director, and the New England Conservatory youth program. Throughout the decades since she has kept music in her life while pursuing careers in journalism and teaching (including music), and in her current job as publicist for Dartmouth’s Hopkins Center for the Arts. Her teachers have included Lillian Loran (Berkeley, Calif.,) and Semyon Tregubov (Claremont, NH). Recent musical involvements include the Thetford Chamber Singers and the Hanover Christmas Revels, for which she was the children’s director from 2006-2012. She and husband Jim Schley have one grown daughter.
Annie Beliveau, Essex Junction, VT
Annie Beliveau is a singer, composer, and pianist from Essex Junction, recently graduated from Middlebury College with a BA in Music and a minor in French. She is an enthusiastic performer of early and contemporary music and has also enjoyed directing vocal ensembles such as the Middlebury College Mountain Ayres. Annie was a frequent soloist with the Middlebury College Choir and the choir of Keble College, Oxford during her college career, and has sung with various other groups around Oxford and New England. Recently, she sang for the Choral Chameleon Summer Institute in New York City, helping to premiere 10 new choral works. Her own compositions have been performed around Vermont and on the Middlebury College Choir’s recent international tour of the Baltics. Her interests include medieval chant, Renaissance motets, and Eastern European folk singing.
Marjorie Drysdale, Randolph, VT
During her 40-year career, Marjorie Drysdale has appeared as soprano soloist with the Vermont Mozart Festival, the New England Bach Festival, the Oriana Singers, the Vermont Symphony, The Montpelier Chamber Orchestra, the Vermont Philharmonic, Opera North, Vermont Opera Theater, and Through the Opera Glass, among others. Her favorite operatic role was Fiordiligi in Mozart’s Cosi Fan Tutte. Her favorite musical theater role was Maria in The Sound of Music. In 1984, Marjorie founded the auditioned chorus, “Sounding Joy!,” which enjoyed a 28-year run under her artistic direction. In 1998, she co-founded the annual Youth Musical tradition at the Chandler Center for the Arts in Randolph and served as music director there for fifteen years. Marjorie just published her first book on Amazon.com, a memoir of her childhood, titled, “Tagalong Kid: A Katonah Idyll.” A graduate of Middlebury College and the University of Michigan, Marjorie lives in Randolph with her husband, M. Dickey Drysdale. There they co-direct the Randolph Singers and otherwise enjoy semi-retirement. They have two grown sons.
Irene Facciolo, East Middlebury, VT
Irene Facciolo has been singing all her life. She started early and learned the Double-Mint gum jingle, graduated to The Mikado in fifth grade, then continued on with choruses and musical theater throughout high school in Briarcliff Manor NY and Oberlin College Choir. She has sung around the world: madrigal choirs in Scotland and England, Sacred and Profane in Berkeley CA for many years, as well as the Christmas Revels, and Gilbert & Sullivan with the Lamplighters in San Francisco. In Vermont, Irene has greatly enjoyed singing in productions at the Hyde Park Opera House, Barre Players, and Unadilla Theater G&S productions. She has been an active member of Simple Gifts, Burlington Choral Society, and Onion River Chorus, to name a few local Vermont choirs. A former arts center director, she is currently an architect in private practice with Thunder Mill Design. Now that her children are “launched,” she lives in central Vermont farm country with her husband, mother-in-law and wonderful domestic and barnyard animals.
Erin Grainger, Enosburg Falls, VT
Mezzo-soprano Erin Grainger moves from opera to concert as a soloist and ensemble musician. Erin loves theatrical repertoire, savoring character mezzo roles and ensemble chamber music. As soloist she has performed with the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra, Burlington Chamber Orchestra, Middlebury Bach festival, L’orchestre symphonique de Longueuil, Ensemble Telemann, Summer Opera Lyric Theatre, Orpheus Choir of Toronto, Middlebury Community Chorus, the Opera Company of Middlebury, and as an ensemble musician with Counterpoint and the Chœur de l’Opéra de Montréal. Erin teaches at Johnson State and Saint Michael’s colleges in Vermont. She holds a Master of Music from McGill University, and undergraduate degrees in music and education from the University of Western Ontario and University of Toronto. She originally hails from the Ottawa Valley and now calls northwestern Vermont home, where she lives with her husband and children. For more information: www.eringrainger.com
Maria Weber Lamson, South Royalton, VT
Maria Weber Lamson developed a love of choral music in high school (Alden, New York), and college choir (SUNY Geneseo Chamber Singers). Before moving to the Upper Valley in 1977, she sang with the Norfolk Camerata in Virginia and the Tanglewood Festival Chorus. She performs as a soloist and chorister with numerous groups around Vermont, most recently Counterpoint, Blanche Moyse Chorale, Randolph Singers, Sounding Joy!, North Country Chorus, Thetford Chamber Singers, and Opera North. Maria also enjoys vocal coaching for musical productions in the South Royalton School, and travels to Europe annually with high school students. She is a cantor at St. Denis Church in Hanover, NH. A retired librarian and mother of four, Maria lives in South Royalton with her husband Frank. She can often be found hiking and swimming, plus loving four beautiful grandchildren.
Linda Radtke, Middlesex, VT
Linda Radtke, alto, has appeared as a soloist with the Vermont Philharmonic, the Vermont Symphony, Oriana Singers, the Burlington Choral Society and the Vermont Mozart Festival, and has performed most of the alto leads in Gilbert and Sullivan operas. Favorite theatrical credits are The Sound of Music (Mother Abbess, Maria), Man of La Mancha (Dulcinea/Aldonza), Camelot (Guinevere) Barber of Seville (Berta) and, with the Hanover Opera Workshop, the title role in Carmen. She has sung in of all of Robert De Cormier’s recording projects in Vermont, beginning with The Jolly Beggars in 1998 and seven CDs with Counterpoint, of which she is a founding member. The Vermont Humanities Council sponsors her programs, Vermont History through Song, and the Vermont Civil War Songbook, which have taken her to much of the state as part of the Speakers’ Bureau. A recording, Vermont History through Popular Song, released in 2009.
Charlie Briggs, Moretown, VT
A native New Yorker, Charlie Briggs has been singing with Counterpoint since 2012. For his day job he teaches medieval and early modern European history at UVM.
Neil Cerutti, Northfield, VT
Neil Cerutti was born and raised in Berlin, Vermont. He has performed in many community theater productions, most often with The Barre Players and at The Unadilla Theater in Calais. Neil sang for 9 years in an award-winning Barbershop Quartet called CVQ, and hopes to win awards with his new quartet, Vital Signs. Neil is in his 18th year as a financial aid administrator at Norwich University. He lives in Northfield with pianist Alison Bruce Cerutti, and their two daughters, Emma and Anna.
Brian Clancy, Lebanon, NH
Adam Hall, Burlington, VT
Andy Ross, Montpelier, VT
Andy Ross is a singer from Boulder, Colorado who holds a B.A. in Music from Emory University with a focus in Vocal Performance. He currently sings with Counterpoint Chorus and the Vermont Chamber Artists, and works as a software developer in Montpelier, VT.
Cameron Steinmetz, Montpelier, VT
Cameron Steinmetz, a tenor and keyboardist, is a native of Norwood, Massachussets and an alumnus of Green Mountain College with a BA in Music & Theatre. An avid singer and actor, his past roles include Young Collector in Streetcar Named Desire, Luiz in The Gondoliers, Steward in Into the Woods, Matt in The Fantasticks, Galahad in Spamalot!, Seymour in Little Shop of Horrors, Jamie in The Last 5 Years and Ralph Rackstraw in H.M.S. Pinafore. He has also performed supporting roles in Opera Theatre of Weston’s The Magic Flute by Mozart, and chorus in several productions with the Opera Company of Middlebury, starting with Massenet’s Thaïs ending with Donizetti’s L’Elisir d’Amore. Steinmetz is a member of the Vermont Symphony Orchestra’s Ah! Cappella educational vocal quartet, and performs as an oratorio soloist and chorister throughout the state. Cameron has worked as stage manager for the Opera Theatre of Weston VT, composer & musical director of the NCCA Papermill Children’s Theatre in Lincoln NH, box office manager of Dorset Theatre Festival in Dorset VT, and as organist for Our Lady of Seven Dolors Parish in Fair Haven, VT. Cameron lives in Montpelier with his wife Allison, where he currently works as the Director of the Monteverdi Music School on Barre Street.
Stephen Falbel, Montpelier, VT
Stephen Falbel has been active as a singer since high school and has performed with a wide range of choruses, from the 120-voice Tanglewood Festival Chorus to the Alba Quintet. He studied voice for many years in the Boston area and performed and recorded with professional ensembles such as the Boston Camerata and the Handel & Haydn Society. His solo work includes opera and oratorio, with recent performances in the Middlebury Bach Festival, Bach’s St. John Passion with the Oriana Singers, numerous roles in Gilbert and Sullivan operettas, and the roles of Sarastro in The Magic Flute and Count Almaviva in The Marriage of Figaro with Echo Valley Community Arts. He also leads the Green Mountain Monteverdi Ensemble of Vermont, an early music group. Stephen has been a member of Counterpoint since moving to Vermont in 2005.
Zebulun McLellan, Burlington, VT
Karl Naden, Waitsfield, VT
Karl Naden’s earliest memory of being washed away by the joy and beauty of choral music was formed when he sang his first requiem (Fauré’s) in high school. Since then he has performed 5 more requiems (by Mozart, Verdi, Brahms, du Caurroy, and Victoria). If only a film had been made out of his performance of Mozart’s Requiem with the Pittsburgh Symphony, which included John Lithgow reading letters written by Mozart, Karl would have left computer science graduate school at Carnegie Mellon University with an Erdős/Bacon number. Beyond requiems, Karl has sung a wide range of accompanied and a cappella works with choirs across the country including the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh, Musica Sacra of Cambridge, MA where he served as bass section leader, and Vermont Chamber Artists. By day, Karl works as a Healthcare IT consultant from his home in Vermont’s Mad River Valley.
Kevin Quigley, Hartford, VT
Kevin Quigley has been working in the arts for most of his life. After earning his BFA in Classical Vocal Performance with a concentration in 20th Century idioms and Jazz from Carnegie Mellon University, he pursued artistic paths in Pittsburgh, New York City, and the Upper Valley of Vermont and New Hampshire; producing, composing, and directing contemporary musical theater, dance, and cross-media performances. Kevin is currently the Director of the Thetford Chamber Singers. He also teaches a wide variety of subjects including: classical/jazz/contemporary vocal technique, musical and theatrical improvisation, group singing and chorus, movement, graphic design, art, and archery. Kevin is a licensed Spacial Dynamics® and Bothmer® Gymnastics instructor, a graphic designer, as well as a counselor using Tarot and Feng Shui. He has worked with Revels North as a performer, arranger, and Music Director as well as the Director of the Summer Solstice performance. His passion with group singing stems from his experience that no other art form better bridges the hearts and minds of people towards each other.
Neil Wacek, Shelburne, VT
Neil Wacek was raised in Burlington, VT where he developed a passion for music and has since honed his craft. Neil’s talents as a singer have landed him roles as a soloist for numerous ensembles including Burlington Choral Society presentations of Handel’s Messiah, Duruflé’s Requiem and Britten’s Rejoice in the Lamb. He first met Counterpoint’s Artistic Director Nathaniel Lew performing under his baton as the bass soloist for a Green Mountain Mahler Festival charity concert of the Brahms Deutsches Requiem. Neil enjoys the occasional foray onto the operatic stage as well: singing in the chorus for the Green Mountain Opera Festival production in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro, Longy School of Music presentation of Mascagni’s Cavaleria Rusticana and several seasons with the Opera Company of Middlebury in the chorus and ensemble for Puccini’s La Bohème, Massenet’s Thaïs and Rosinni’s L’italiana in Algeri. Also an accomplished trumpet player, Neil performs regularly with The Green Mountain Brass Band, Inseldudler German band, UVM Brass Ensemble and various other instrumental groups. He is recognizable to many as Director for the University of Vermont Pep Band; he is now entering his 20th season performing with them (his seventh at the helm).
Personnel through Summer 2018