Richard Armandi (Bass, Tuba/Euphonium, Jazz Bass) is one of the most versatile and in-demand musicians and educators on the Chicago scene today. As a jazz bassist he has performed with such luminaries as Marion McPartland, Barry Harris, Bobby Shew, David Baker, Jamey Aebersold, Dick Hyman, Scott Hamilton, Carl Fontana and many others, and has performed with such stars as Rosemary Clooney, Bob Newhart, Martin Short, Phyllis Diller, Rich Little and many others. As a tubist he has performed with the Lyric Opera, American Ballet Theater, Grant Park Orchestra, Chicago Brass Quintet, and as featured soloist with the New Philharmonic, Ethos Chamber Orchestra, Concordia University Wind Ensemble, and at the 1992 International Tuba-Euphonium Conference. He has been recorded on many album projects including three with the Maxwell Street Klezmer Band, and on many commercial jingles. He is in constant demand as a bassist and tubist in almost every conceivable musical genre. As an educator he has served on the faculties of College of DuPage (Glen Ellyn, IL), Triton College (River Grove, IL), and Trinity Christian College (Palos Park, IL) teaching bass, low brass, jazz combo and improvisation. He has also served on the faculty of the Jamey Aebersold Summer Jazz Workshops since 1990.
Dr. Jennifer Barnickel-Fitch (Voice), Soprano, received her Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Vocal Performance from the University of Michigan under the guidance of Lorna Haywood. She has won awards from the Metropolitan Opera National Counsel as well as Milwaukee Bel Canto Chorus and the Ann Arbor Musical Society. She is a member of The National Association of Teachers of Singing and has been part of the faculty at College of DuPage since the fall of 2003.
She is a frequent recitalist and her oratorio works include, Handela’s Messiah, Mozart’s Requiem and Mass in C, Schubert’s Mass in G, Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis and Mass in C, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Rutter’s Magnificat, and most recently, Verdi’s Requiem. She has been a member of Chicago Symphony Chorus and Lyric Opera Chorus and has covered the title role of Verdi’s Aida and Leonora in Il trovatore for da Corneto Opera, as well as being broadcast on WFMT in Chicago.
Dr. Barnickel-Fitch believes that everyone can learn to be a better singer. Her strengths lie not only in her ability to diagnose what is happening with the voice, but also to understand and teach the person as a whole. She believes in teaching the individual and finding the natural and distinctive voice within. Through a positive approach and solid technique, which focuses on support, diction and connection of mind and body, she can help instill proper control and confidence in the individual, and prepare the student for the professional world. Dr. Barnickel-Fitch has extensive experience in teaching many styles of music and has students with successful careers in opera, on Broadway, and in the pop/country/jazz world as performers, singer songwriters, arrangers, and teachers. She works with people of all ages and levels of ability.
Daniela Folker (Violin), Master of Music Performance, Roosevelt University, Chicago, IL, is the Principal Second Violinist for the Elgin Symphony Orchestra. Additionally, she is violinist with the Chicago Philharmonic, Chicago Sinfonietta, Ravinia Festival Orchestra and Chicago Opera Theater. Daniela has performed with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and the Lyric Opera of Chicago as well as performed for numerous televised programs including Oprah, Late Night with David Letterman, Soundstage, and with Celine Dion for an NBC Special. She has performed with such artists as Luciano Pavarotti, Andrea Bocelli, Josh Groban, Seal, Natalie Cole, and many others.
David Govertsen (Voice) recently stepped in on short notice at Lyric Opera of Chicago where he “handsomely replaced the ill Peter Rose as the producer La Roche” opposite Rene Fleming and Anne Sophie von Otter in Capriccio. Mr. Govertsen also appeared on short notice as Arkel in Pellas et Melisande with the Chicago Symphony under Esa-Pekka Salonen and as a soloist in James MacMillan’s Quickening with the Grant Park Orchestra.A former member of the Ryan Center at Lyric, his other mainstage assignments have included roles in Die ZauberflA?te, Boris Godunov, Werther, Die Meistersinger von NA?rnberg, Madama Butterfly, and Rom et Juliette. He returns to Lyric this season as the Sprecher in Die ZauberflA?te and Priam in Les Troyens.
Mr. Govertsen recently created the roles of David/Bonobo in Matthew Aucoin’s new opera Second Nature for Lyric Opera Unlimited. Other operatic highlights of the past season include a reprise of La Roche at Santa Fe Opera, 2nd Soldier and 5th Jew in Salome with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, and the title character in Cimarosa’s Il Maestro di Capella with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. On the concert stage this season he appeared with the Madison Symphony, Fort Wayne Philharmonic, Bach Week Festival, Battle Creek Symphony, and Champaign-Urbana Symphony Orchestra, among others.
Mr. Govertsen made his Carnegie Hall debut in 2011 as the Herald in Otello with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra conducted by Riccardo Muti. He is an alumnus of both the Santa Fe Opera and Central City Opera apprentice programs and holds degrees from Northwestern University, Northern Illinois University and the College of DuPage. Locally in Chicago he has performed dozens of roles, among them the title roles in Don Giovanni, Le Nozze di Figaro, Don Pasquale, and Gianni Schicchi, the Four Villains/Les Contes da Hoffmann, Sarastro/Die ZauberflA?te, Colline/La BohA?me, Basilio and Bartolo/Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Don Magnifico/La Cenerentola, Zaccaria/Nabucco, Sparafucile/Rigoletto, Padre Guardiano/La Forza del Destino, Nick Shadow/The Rake’s Progress, and Friedrich Bhaer/Little Women.
Ann Hendrickson Griffin (Cello) is a founding member of the Chicago Sinfonietta and in 1992 was appointed to the position of principal cello by Maestro Paul Freeman. As a member of the Sinfonietta, she has performed in many of the great concert halls of Europe, including Frankfurt, Stuttgart, Cologne, Leipzig, Zurich, Basel, Geneva, Bonn, Vienna, and the Canary Islands, also performing on two tours in the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. With the Sinfonietta, she has recorded over fourteen CDs and is a soloist on Epitaph and African Heritage Symphonic Series, Volume III.
As principal of the Chicago Jazz Philharmonic, Mrs. Griffin has performed at the Chicago Jazz Festival, recorded for its Collective Creativity CD and is featured on the Emmy Award-winning soundtrack and DVD for DuSable to Obama: Chicago’s Black Metropolis. She also served as principal cello of Joffrey Ballet Chicago 2003-2012, and has served as principal cello for the touring companies of the San Francisco Ballet, American Ballet Theater, and Ballet West. She has performed with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, Illinois Chamber Symphony, Illinois Philharmonic, Chicago Opera Theater, Chicago Chamber Orchestra, Concertante di Chicago, Orchestra of Illinois, Elgin Symphony and Rockford Symphony. An active freelance musician, she also performs with Trio Caprice.
A native of Freeport Illinois, Mrs. Griffin completed her Bachelor of Music and Masters of Music in Cello Performance at Roosevelt University as a student of Karl Fruh. After winning the Farwell Scholarship of 1982 and at the invitation of Aaron Rosand, she studied at the Academic Internationale in France with Maurice Gendron and earn the Certificate du Stage. Further studies included coaching with Frank Miller, former principal cellist of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
Mrs. Griffin maintains a full teaching studio in Wheaton where she lives with her husband William.
Dr. Steven L. Havens (Piano) earned a Master of Music in piano performance from the University of Texas at Austin, and his PhD from the University of Iowa. Dr. Havens also studied at the Hochschule fA?r Musik [Mozarteum] in Salzburg, Austria as a Rotary International Scholar. Principal areas of academic concentration include piano performance, collaborative piano, and piano pedagogy. Primary instructors include Michael Campbell, Danielle Martin, and Ren Lecuona. Dr. Havens holds membership in Pi Kappa Lambda National Music Honor Society, Phi Kappa Phi National Honor Society, and Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society. Dr. Havens was selected to participate in the International Festival-Institute at Round Top, Texas, as well as the Vienna International Masterclasses in Austria. He has performed in Austria, Germany, France, England, Belgium, and the Netherlands. He has served on the piano faculty of the University of Iowa All-State Music Camp, has been affiliated with Wheaton College Conservatory of Music, and served as a teaching assistant at the Interlochen Summer Arts Camp in Michigan. Dr. Havens is currently a member of the piano faculty at College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn, Illinois, where he was named one of the outstanding faculty members in 2005. For further information, please visit stevehavens.net
“It is my sincere commitment to offer my students all I can to inspire outstanding performance and skill development in a manner that is inviting, accessible, and meaningful. As an instructor of piano, my primary objective lies in helping to foster and cultivate in each of my students his or her highest capacity in confident, expressive, imaginative, and intelligent music making. Success in music study – both in process and outcome – is dependent upon a number of factors, among them: thoughtful planning, effective communication, constructive guidance, creativity, and good humor on the part of both student and instructor.
Over several years of teaching, my students have taken part in a number of solo and concerto competitions. In addition to local and regional contests and events, these include: the Tuesday Morning Music Club Competition, the World Youth Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Youth Concerto Competition. My students have also attended programs such as the Credo Chamber Music Program at Oberlin College, the National Music Camp at Interlochen, and the University of Texas at Austin Summer Workshop for High School Pianists. Students have gone on to distinguished educational institutions such as Northwestern University, Roosevelt University, Elmhurst College, Wheaton College, Michigan State University, and Indiana University, among others.”
Nathan LeMahieu (Organ) currently serves as Organist and Co-Music Director at St. John Lutheran Church in Wheaton, Illinois. He is a Ph.D. candidate in New Testament at Wheaton College and teaches at Wheaton’s School of Biblical and Theological Studies. Prior to moving to Wheaton, Nathan was the Campus Pastor of Christ Church Highland Park, Illinois, a multi-site congregation that he helped to launch in 2011. He has also previously served as the Minister of Music at the First Baptist Church of Oak Park and as an Organ Scholar at the University of Notre Dame’s Basilica of the Sacred Heart. Nathan holds the Master of Divinity degree from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and the Master of Sacred Music degree from Notre Dame. He is also a graduate of Northwestern University with degrees in both organ performance and political science. While in Evanston, he served as Organist at the Alice Millar Chapel and was the Music Director of Canterbury Northwestern. He has studied with American organists Craig Cramer, Margaret Kemper, and Douglas Cleveland and also with Michael Radulescu and Ullrich Böhme at the Hochschule für Musik und Theatre Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy in Leipzig, Germany. Nathan has performed in recitals and master classes throughout several states as well as in Germany and the Netherlands and has been the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships.
Carolyn May (Flute) received her bachelors’ degree in Music Education from the University of Illinios-Urbana and her Master of Music from Northwestern University. Ms. May has been principal flutist of New Philharmonic at the College of DuPage since its inception in 1977 and has been a soloist on numerous concerts. She has taught flute lessons at the College of DuPage since 1980 to students from age 7 to age 70! Also an accomplished pianist and accompanist, Mrs. May is a retired band director in School District 102, LaGrange. She also teaches privately at her home in LaGrange, and freelances in the Chicago area.
Marlene Meyer (Voice) earned a Master of Music in vocal performance from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. She is a past winner of the Rose Fae Thomas Competition, the American Opera Society of Chicago Competition, the Union League Emma Roe Competition, and both District and Regional Metropolitan Opera Auditions. She has been a soloist with the Chicago Symphony, the Grant Park Orchestra and Chorus, and the Cleveland Orchestra at the Blossom Festival.
“I believe there should be no barriers to studying voice. I particularly enjoy working with young students just discovering their voice, helping them develop their core skills and helping them prepare auditions to further their studies. I also enjoy working with older students wishing to maintain their skills as they age, or those who are beginners to the joy of singing and wish to supplement their enjoyment of participation in community or church choirs.”
Wesley Morgan (Bass) is a professional bassist and music educator in the Chicago area. Equally adept on both the string bass and the electric bass, Mr. Morgan is an in-demand performer in a variety of musical styles ranging from jazz and classical to pop, rock, and other modern genres. His educational background includes a B.M. in recording technology from the University of Memphis and a M.M. in jazz studies from Northern Illinois University. In addition to his work at the College of DuPage, he also instructs courses related to music technology and music appreciation at Lewis University. Mr. Morgan has taught and performed at various music camps around the country as well, including Encore/Coda, Birch Creek, and the summer jazz camp at Northern Illinois University. For more information and examples of recorded works, please visit www.wesleymorganmusic.com.