Our choir is composed of the area's greatest educators, performers, and artists.
We are fortunate to have both talented and dedicated professionals in our organization.
Meet them here!
Alexa Agourides is a recent graduate of Westminster Choir College ('17, '15) where she received her MM in Voice Performance & Pedagogy and her BM in Voice Performance. She recently performed the role of Suor Genovieffa in Puccini's Suor Angelica at Westminster and was a member of the Philadelphia Symphonic Choir for its debut performance, Carmina Burana. Upcoming performances include Mahler 3 with the Philadelphia Symphonic Choir.
Alice Beals is a music teacher in her hometown of Franklin Township, New Jersey. She teaches choir, piano, guitar, and general music to students in 6th-8th grade. She attended the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University and earned her Bachelor of Music in Music Education in May of 2017. Alice was the Roosevelt University 2017 Student Laureate of the Academy of Illinois and winner of the Abraham Lincoln Civic Engagement Award as well as the 2016 Chicago College of Performing Arts Presser Scholar. She was a featured soloist throughout her time in her college choir and a member of the St. James Episcopal Diocese of Chicago Cathedral Choir. Alice is so thrilled to have returned to New Jersey and been given the opportunity to sing with the Glassbrook Vocal Ensemble.
Holden Bihl is a bass-baritone from Westminster choir college. Singing in ensembles such as Westminster Williamson voices and performing in such spaces as Lincoln center and the temple of dendur he is proud to be the latest addition to the Glassbrook family. His favorite composers are Nikolai Golovanov and Bob Chilcott. In his spare time you can find him rewiring vintage speakers, fiddling around on guitar and piano, and taking photos of great dogs for the Dogspotting Facebook group.
Kyle Blackburn, tenor, is a current fifth year student in the Bachelor in Music Education/Masters of Art in Teaching degree program at Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey. During his time at Westminster, he has performed with both the Westminster Symphonic Choir and Westminster Kantorei, providing opportunities to sing at Carnegie Hall, David Geffen Hall, and Verizon Hall, along with orchestras such as the Berlin Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic, and the Philadelphia Orchestra. Kyle is currently a section leader at St. George’s Episcopal Church in Maplewood, NJ, and is excited to be joining the Glassbrook Vocal Ensemble this season.
Laurel Christensen earned her Bachelors of Music degree in Music Education from Brigham Young University, and will earn her Master of Music from Virginia Commonwealth University this December. Originally from Colorado, Laurel worked as a middle and high school choral director in Virginia for seven years, serving as the director of choirs at Jamestown High School in Williamsburg, VA for five. While in Virginia, Laurel sang with the professional ensemble The Virginia Chorale, as well as Christ and St. Luke’s Church, Cantori Vocal Ensemble, Virginia Symphony Chorus, and local musical theatre productions. New to Philadelphia and following the birth of her son Forrest this August, Laurel is thrilled to be spending this year performing with Glassbrook Vocal Ensemble, serving as a choir member and family service.
Colleen Corte is a graduate of Indiana University’s School of Music, Bloomington, Indiana (’00). She holds a Bachelor of Music Education and a Bachelor of Science in Music with an Outside Field in Psychology. As a student, Colleen was a member of the Singing Hoosiers Chorus and had the opportunity to be a soloist with the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra. After graduation, Colleen spent ten years teaching in a private preschool and spent her off hours teaching Music Together classes. She was the Children’s Choir Director for St. Helen’s church in Westfield, NJ for five years. She was the proud owner of her own studio for three years where she taught Kindermusik classes to children and families. She also gave private piano and voice instruction to students of all ages. For the last seven years, Colleen has been home raising her two young daughters. She is thrilled to once again be making music with such an amazing group of artists.
Peter R. Crooke, tenor, grew up in a large family of farmers and singers. Grandpa on one side was a violinist who sang recitals and cabaret into his 80s; grandma on the other still sings at church in her 90s. Holsteins and hay occupied much of Peter’s youth but so did choir at Doylestown Presbyterian and Central Bucks East. Diverse music then walked with him across the US of A, even beyond: semesters in the Shippensburg University concert choir (highlight: Faure’s Requiem!); freedom and folk songs learned on guitar in Atlanta during two years at Columbia Seminary; a season of singing, strumming, and song-smithing with an Americana-style band while apprenticing in horticulture at the University of California at Santa Cruz; a 2016 trip to Argentina and Paraguay with two brothers and a friend, where singing for fun turned into impromptu performances [ensemble: “quattro d”] in churches, including an Asunción cathedral where the pope had presided a few months prior! The power of music, eh? More recently landing back in central Jersey climes, Peter sang with Voices Chorale of Hopewell for two seasons and is now thrilled to join the serious sound and spirit that is Glassbrook. 2018 saw him become a husband and a dad (oh JOY!), and he farms, teaches, makes music, and builds community on varied ground in and about Trenton and his native Bucks County.
Lucas DeJesus, bass-baritone, is a freelance classical singer based in Philadelphia, PA. He currently performs with the chorus of Opera Philadelphia, most recently appearing in Lucia di Lammermoor, Carmen, Tancredi, Turandot, L'elisir d'amore, Cold Mountain, and Don Carlo. As a core member of the Mendelssohn Club Chorus as well as the Philadelphia Symphonic Choir, Lucas has performed in various concerts at the Kimmel Center with the Philadelphia Orchestra as well as throughout the greater Philadelphia region. Over the past four summers he has performed and recorded with The Same Stream Choir and can be heard on their Inaugural Recordings as well as their newly released album: Songs of the Questioner. Previous engagements include performances with the Philadelphia Singers, who performed Wang Ning's Ode to Humanity at the 69th General Assembly of the United Nations in New York. He has performed with Opus One: Berks Chamber Choir (PA) as the bass soloist for Buxtehude’s Membra Jesu Nostri and Handel’s Lord Nelson Mass. Lucas cantors and serves as bass section leader at Our Mother of Consolation in Chestnut Hill, PA. In 2017, Lucas began teaching voice as a mentor of the new ArtSmart program at the Franklin Learning Center, and now serves as ArtSmart’s Philadelphia regional leader. He holds a Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance from Westminster Choir College where he performed with the Grammy® nominated Westminster Williamson Voices, Westminster Kantorei, and Westminster Symphonic Choir.
India Gupta is a classical and jazz singer from Princeton, NJ. She graduated from Davidson College in North Carolina, where she won the 2014 and 2015 Vail Family Music Scholarship Competition. At Davidson, India sang soprano in the Davidson College Chorale and founded After Hours, the college’s premier co-ed vocal jazz ensemble. Currently, India sings with the All Saints’ Church Choir and performs small combo jazz in and around New York. India is thrilled to join the Glassbook Vocal Ensemble and continue making music with her Princeton community.
Kristin Hill, soprano, comes to you from Dallas, Texas! She graduated in May 2016 from Westminster Choir College with a degree in Music Education. While at Westminster, Kristin was a member of the Westminster Choir. Through that ensemble, she went on three tours around the US and participated in two seasons at the Spoleto Festival in Charleston, South Carolina. Kristin is currently the admissions counselor for the School of Fine and Performing Arts of Westminster College of the Arts. She is very excited to join the Glassbrook Ensemble in their first season
Tsarina Islam is a recent graduate of Westminster Choir College where they received a Bachelor of Arts in Music. They currently teach music and technology full-time at St. Frances Cabrini in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, instructing grades K-8. In their time at Westminster Choir College, they sung in various ensembles including Westminster Choir, Westminster Symphonic Choir, and Jubilee Singers. They have performed at world-renown venues such as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and the Kimmel Center, among many others. They were also a member of the professional choir-in-residence as part of the Spoleto Festival in Charleston, SC for three consecutive years. They have performed with several contemporary groups as well, including Remember Jones based in Asbury Park, NJ. In their spare time, they're a member of the Philadelphia Gay Men's Chorus. They're looking forward to returning to another wonderful season with the Glassbrook Vocal Ensemble!
Catherine Paige Kenley is a mezzo-soprano based in Philadelphia. An alumna of Westminster Choir College, Paige graduated in 2015 with an M.M in Vocal Performance and Pedagogy and has since enjoyed engagements as a chorister with Opera Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Symphonic Choir, and other organizations. Paige is pleased to join Glassbrook Vocal Ensemble for the first time this year and is looking forward to another fantastic choral season.
Jessica Kerler is a recent graduate of Westminster Choir College, where she received her Bachelor's degree in Voice Performance. Most recently, Jessica was a Young Artist for the Ad Astra Music Festival, where she was seen in performances of Handel's Jephtha and as a soloist in Duruflé's Requiem. She is a avid performer, with credits including Falstaff (Dame Quickly), Cendrillon (Armelinde), and The Medium (Madame Flora). During her education, she was a member of the prestigious Westminster Choir. Through this ensemble, she performed at the Spoleto Festival USA for three seasons. Jessica is a member of the Philadelphia Symphonic Choir, and was seen this season in productions of Carmina Burana and Handel's Messiah. She will perform Mahler's 3rd Symphony in May.
Tom Kuchler, baritone, is a high school music teacher in the Bucks County, PA area. Tom grew up in Cheltenham, PA, and attended the University of Delaware where he studied voice with Melanie DeMent and choral conducting with Paul Head. He graduated from UD in 2016 with a Bachelor of Music in Music Education, and is currently serving as Director of Performing Arts at Conwell-Egan Catholic High School. There, he directs the school's choirs, band, and theatre program. Tom has also worked with the Delaware Choral Academy's Symposium in Aix-en-Provence, France, working as both a conducting scholar and on the program's staff. Tom is extremely excited to be joining Glassbrook this season!
Rob Long sang baritone with the Cornell University Glee Club under Dr. Thomas Sokol including performances of ‘Apotheosis of this Earth ‘ with the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra and Mozart’s Mass in C minor at Wellesley College. Most recently, Rob sang bass with Voices Chorale in Hopewell NJ under Dr. Lyn Ransom, including their chamber group Sotto Voce. A favorite performance with them was the Duruflé Requiem at Trinity Cathedral in Trenton, where the work was once performed by the composer himself. “I’m very excited to sing with Glassbrook Ensemble as I continue on a musical journey that I plan to make last a lifetime.”
Cortlandt is currently a composer, conductor, and choral musician based in Philadelphia, PA. His music has been performed by The Crossing at the Big Sky Choral Initiative, The Same Stream on The Same Stream: The Inaugural Recordings, and the Glassbrook Vocal Ensemble, in addition to collegiate, community, and church choirs in the US, UK, and New Zealand. He holds an M.A. in Classical Composition from the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College. He studied composition with Jeff Nichols and Bruce Saylor, and sat on the executive board of the Queens College New Music Ensemble. He also earned a B.M. in Sacred Music at Westminster Choir College, studying voice with Thomas Faracco, conducting with Steven Pilkington, and composition with Christian Carey. In addition to writing, singing, and other sundry musicking, Cortlandt enjoys long walks on the beach (often unironically), contemporary American sequential art, and writing in the third person.
Nicole Michel, soprano, is a graduate of Westminster Choir College, class of 2017, holding a Bachelor’s of Arts in Music. This is her third season with Glassbrook Vocal Ensemble. An accomplished choral performer, Michel has sung under the esteemed direction of conductors such as Yannick Nezet-Seguin, Alan Gilbert, Dr. James Jordan, and Dr. Joe Miller. She is an alumna of ensembles such as the Westminster Symphonic Choir and Williamson Voices, the latter of which has served as the choir-in-residence at the Choral Institute of Oxford since 2013. Recorded during her four-year tenure with Williamson Voices, Michel can be heard on Hole in the Sky (2016), the GRAMMY-nominated Whitbourn: Carolae – Music for Christmas (2016), and Between Silence and Light (2017). In addition to music, Michel has ambitions to become a CRNA. Originally from Ridgewood, New Jersey, Michel currently resides in Philadelphia.
Tenor Daniel Myers is a recent masters of engineering graduate from Rutgers University who is excited to continue exploring his passion for music by joining the Glassbrook vocal ensemble this season! He is a current member of Princeton Pro Musica and sang with the Kirkpatrick Choir at Rutgers University for 6 years (highlights include the 2017 Lou Harrison Centennial Celebration at Trinity Wall Street and the 2016 ACDA Eastern Division Conference). He toured both Europe and South America during his undergrad with the Rooke Chapel Choir of Bucknell University.
Christopher Nappa graduated from Westminster Choir College where he acquired both his Bachelor of Music and Master in Arts of Teaching. He is excited to be working with the Glassbrook Choir again. During his college years, he frequently toured both America and Europe as a member of Westminster Kantorei and Westminster Williamson Voices. He can also be heard on several recordings including: Hole in the Sky, Carolae, Lumina, and most recently as a soloist in Silence into Light. Other choral solo opportunities that Chris has performed are Hohepriester 1 in Bach’s St. Matthew Passion under the direction of Yannick Nézet-Séguin at the Kimmel Center, and the tenor soloist in Rachmaninoff’s Vespers. He has performed with the Princeton Festival, most recently in their baroque chorus and production of Madama Butterfly. Chris is the music teacher at Pompton Lakes High School.
Bess Anne Ploener is a music teacher in the Lawrence Township Public School system in Lawrenceville, NJ. She teaches strings, general music and chorus to fourth through sixth graders. She is also a teaching artist with the McCarter theatre in Princeton, NJ. There she creates and implements curriculum in storytelling, musical theater and playmaking for students ranging from first grade to high school. She has performed with the Westminster Symphonic Choir at the Kimmel Center and Carnegie Hall, as well as with the Westminster Williamson Voices at the Alice Tully Hall in New York City and in Oxford, England. Ms. Ploener still actively sings with her church choir in Bedminster, NJ as well as additional choirs in the area. She is thrilled to be joining the Glassbrook Vocal Ensemble in their inaugural season.
Kelsey Rose is a conductor, composer, and educator based in Washington D.C. She holds Masters degrees in Teaching with an emphasis in Sacred Music and Christian Education and Formation. She also holds baccalaureate degrees with honors in both Music Education and Music Theory and Composition from Westminster Choir College. While studying at Westminster, Kelsey performed with the Westminster Symphonic Choir, making regular appearances at some of the nation’s top performing venues under the batons of several internationally acclaimed conductors and served as the director and founder of the college’s new music ensemble. She has served as an alto section leader for Trinity Episcopal Church since 2011, a Choral Scholar, Section Leader and Compline Choir Director for the Episcopal Church at Princeton, director of the boychoir at St. Paul’s Catholic Church, and an accompanist and cantor for churches in the Princeton area. Outside of her musical adventures, Kelsey works as a Realtor for Long and Foster, a Youth Ministry Coordinator, and leads community service projects.
Kristin A. Schenk is a current Elementary General Music Teacher within the West Windsor-Plainsboro Regional School District. A graduate from Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey, she obtained a Bachelors of Music in Music Education and a Masters of Arts in Teaching degree. Throughout her career, she has performed on stages such as the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia, the White House, and Carnegie Hall. Kristin was a member Westminster Williamson Voices and Jubilee Singers during her time at Westminster Choir College. She has worked with organizations such as the American Boychoir School, the Conducting Institute at Oxford, and the Jamaica Field Service Project. She currently also teaches with the Trenton Children's Chorus as the director of the Preparatory Choir (K-1) and is the Children’s Choir Director at Lenape Valley Presbyterian Church in New Britain, PA.
Jessica Rose is a NJ/NY based performer. She has starred in two national children’s theatre tours (Baby Bird in Are You My Mother? and Little Girl in Biscuit) and two international tours (including Snow White in Snow White). Jess received her Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance from Westminster Choir College, and while there performed with Williamson Voices, Symphonic Choir, and orchestras such as the Philadelphia Orchestra with Yannick Nézet-Seéguin, Berliner Philharmoniker with Sir Simon Rattle, and Vienna Philharmoniker with Daniele Gatti, and in locations such as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and the Kimmel Center. Jess has performed internationally as a soloist in operatic, musical theatre, and choral repertoire including locations in the United States, China, England, and Italy. Jess musical directs children’s theatre performances, teaches voice lessons, cantors and sings as the Soprano Intern at St. Francis of Assisi Cathedral in Metuchen, and works as a princess at Bella Princess LLC. In addition to singing with Glassbrook, Jess also sings with two other professional choirs: The Same Stream Choir and Voce Nova. She can be heard on the GRAMMY®-Nominated Williamson Voice’s recordings Hole in the Sky and Carolae (soloist), in addition to The Same Stream’s recording Songs of the Questioner. www.jessrose.net @jessrosebella
Emily Vite holds a Bachelor of Music in Theory and Composition from St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota. During her time at St. Olaf, she served as the alto section leader for the St. Olaf Choir, participating in two domestic tours as well as an international tour to Norway in celebration of the 100th year of the founding of the ensemble. As a teacher and conductor, Emily has served as Assistant Conductor for VOICES Chorale and as Concert Manager and Readiness Choir Director for the Trenton Children’s Chorus. She is currently the director of the "Joyful Noise" choir at Nassau Presbyterian Church, Music Teacher at Princeton Friends School, Music Theory instructor for the Honors Music Program at Westminster Conservatory, and is a collaborative pianist and private piano instructor at the Chapin School.