Summer Music Fest Faculty
Our music faculty are experts in the fields of vocal and choral music, conducting, piano, theory, education, and composition. In 2019, our faculty will travel to Streator from across Illinois, Tennessee, Ohio, Virginia, and Kentucky, comprising our senior faculty, junior faculty, and guest lecturers. Students will have the chance to work one-on-one and in small groups, exploring new ideas, fine-tuning skills, and gaining a better acumen for continued education, various careers in the music field, and a life-long relationship with music and the arts.
Read below to learn more about our top-notch faculty.
2019 Senior Faculty
Dr. Carlton Monroe, Head of Choral Conducting, Director of the Festival Choir
Dr. Monroe is Director of Music at St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Terrace Park, Ohio, where, in addition to leading an active music program for children and adults, he established and conducts the Bach Ensemble of St. Thomas, a professional ensemble of instrumentalists and vocalists who perform services, concerts and educational retreats centered on the music of J. S. Bach.
As a conductor and music educator, he has taught at every level from elementary to college, including positions at Ursuline Academy and Walnut Hills High School in Cincinnati, Miami University (OH), and Georgia College & State University. He received his Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. He is Region V Chair of the Association of Anglican Musicians and Membership Chair of the Greater Cincinnati Choral Consortium. He lives in Cincinnati with his wife Jennifer, contrabassoonist with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, and their children Jack and Catherine.
Dr. Shelbie Wahl-Fouts, Director of the Community Choir
Dr. Shelbie L. Wahl-Fouts is associate professor of music and the Director of Choral Activities at Hollins University in Roanoke, Virginia, where she conducts the Concert Choir, Chamber Choir, and Talmadge Singers. She also teaches Sight-Singing and Conducting, and serves as Music Department Chair. Born and raised in Streator, IL, Shelbie is thrilled to be back in the Midwest for this festival!
Wahl-Fouts received her Doctor of Arts in Choral Conducting from Ball State University, with a secondary emphasis in Music Education. She holds a Master of Music in Choral Conducting from Butler University, and a Bachelor of Musical Arts in instrumental music from DePauw University, where she studied trumpet and piano.
Shelbie has written on women’s choral repertoire for the Choral Journal and in the text Conducting Women’s Choirs, and presented for national, regional, and state conferences of American Choral Directors Association, College Music Society, National Association for Music Education, and Sister Singers Network. She adjudicates for All-District, All-State, and Honors Choir auditions and District Choral Assessments, and is a frequent guest conductor for Honor Choir Festivals. She also writes a regular blog on women’s choral repertoire for the American Choral Directors Association.
Wahl-Fouts previously served as musical director and conductor at Indianapolis Civic Theatre, and grew up spending summers at Engle Lane Theatre here in Streator. She now lives in Roanoke Virginia, with her husband Donovan, their son James, their Saint Bernard Gatsby, and their cats Haydn and Carmen.
Nancy Pounds, Piano Coordinator
Nancy Pounds is an Instructor of Piano and Adjunct Faculty Accompanist at Illinois Wesleyan University. She earned the M.M. in Piano Performance at Illinois State University where she studied with Tella Marie DeBose. She performs regularly at the IWU contemporary music programs and the Illinois Chamber Music Festival, teaches Applied and Class Piano at IWU, and is the Coordinator of Piano at Poco a Poco Summer Music Fest. Ms. Pounds collaborates with a wide range of instruments in varying musical styles, with a particularly extensive cello, vocal, and low brass repertoire. Fall/Winter 2018 highlights include a recital with Dr. Nina Gordon, cellist, in Ontario; and a performance of piano duet selections from György Kurtág’s Játékok with IWU Professor of Composition, David Vayo at the IWU New Music Cafe. Spring 2019 performances will include collaborations with Laurel Beard, soprano; Kate Tombaugh, mezzo-soprano; and Dr. David Vayo..
2019 Guest Lecturers
Dr. Steven Weimer, Theory Coordinator
Composer Steven Weimer’s music has been performed by the JACK Quartet, Molly Barth, Fear No Music Quartet, saxophonist Sean Xue, Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival Chamber Players, CCM Wind Ensemble, CCM Chamber Players, Café Momus, and many others.
Performances of his work span from Alaska to Bulgaria, with premieres at festivals such as June in Buffalo, Forum-Festival Computer Music Space, North American Saxophone Alliance, Oregon Bach Festival Composers Symposium, Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival, and the Music Theory and Musicology Society Conference. His recent commissions include works for the Kentucky Music Teachers Association, Vandoren, Inc., the CCM Orchestra Program, and tubist Timothy Northcut. He has received first-place awards from the Eta Omicron chapter’s Phi Mu Alpha Composition Contest, the CCM Concerto/Composition Competition, and placed as a finalist for the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra’s Marilyn Glick Young Composers Competition.
Dr. Weimer has enjoyed recent collaborations with American poets in Cincinnati and California; his setting of Kathleen Winter’s Eve, Seducing the Apple will be published in the tenth anniversary edition of the Cincinnati Review. He is currently Assistant Professor of Music at Murray State University in Kentucky.
Katherine Calcamuggio Donner, mezzo-soprano
Katherine Calcamuggio Donner is an award-winning mezzo-soprano. Calcamuggio has been featured in important role and company debuts across the United States, eliciting kudos for her “soaring, rich voice” (The Miami Herald), her “polished musical and dramatic characterizations” (Kurt Weill Newsletter) and her “fine coloratura technique” (Philadelphia Inquirer). Favorite operatic appearances include leading roles in HMS Pinafore as Buttercup (Union Avenue Opera), Bon Appetit as Julia Child (Opera on the James), Ariadne auf Naxos as Komponist (University of Michigan), Hansel and Gretl as Hansel (Syracuse Opera) and Giulio Cesare as Sesto (Florida Grand Opera).
The past several seasons, Ms. Calcamuggio has been performing as a mezzo-soprano soloist with orchestras in Handel’s Messiah, Verdi’s Requiem, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and as the soprano soloist in John Corigliano’s Mr. Tambourine Man. An active recitalist, she has been traveling across the country with the Piatigorsky Foundation performing recitals.
Ms. Calcamuggio is currently an Assistant Professor of Voice at University of Louisville and received degrees from University of Michigan (DMA), Northwestern University (MM) and Bowling Green State University (BM).
Karina Brazas, soprano
Praised as “sumptuous and soaring” by the Omaha World Herald, soprano Karina Brazas maintains an active career as a performer and teacher. She is currently an artist-faculty member at the Omaha Conservatory of Music. Her teaching experience includes seven years of private studio voice, as well as experience as a guest clinician at private festivals, competitions, and universities. Karina's performance experience includes singing leading roles with orchestras and opera companies across the United States. Some of her recent stage highlights include Belle in Beauty and the Beast, Pamina in Mozart's The Magic Flute, and Maya in Three Way, all with Shreveport Opera, as well as Yum-Yum in The Mikado and Zerlina in Don Giovanni with Union Avenue Opera in Saint Louis. Her professional debut was Kitty Hart in Dead Man Walking with Central City Opera in Colorado, where she also sang as Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro, and joined the cast of The Sound of Music. Her upcoming performances include returns to Union Avenue Opera to sing Alyce in Cipullo's Glory Denied, and as the soprano soloist in Stravinsky's Pulcinella with the Omaha Symphony.
Other performances include engagements with orchestras in Washington state, Minnesota, Iowa, and Nebraska. Karina holds a Bachelor of Music from Washington State University in Vocal Performance, and a Master of Music from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in Vocal Performance. A proud “Army Brat,” her family settled in Washington state when she was ten. When not singing or teaching, she enjoys baking, reading, and hanging out with her husband, daughter, and their demanding shih tzu. More information can be found at www.karinabrazas.com
Kathy Tombaugh, alto, piano, and theory
Contralto Kathy Tombaugh received her BS degree in music education (vocal major/piano minor) from the University of Illinois, achieving Bronze Tablet status. While attending the U of I, she was a 4-year member of the Women's Glee club which was the first all-female group to tour/perform in 9 European countries.
She has since used her training as a music teacher in several area schools, as a private studio instructor for piano and voice students, and as a church choir director for both junior and senior levels.
Over the years, she has enjoyed performing regularly as a vocal soloist and actress in local community theater and concerts, and still loves to sing and play the piano.
Kate Tombaugh, mezzo-soprano
Mezzo-soprano Kate Tombaugh has performed professionally with opera companies and symphonies throughout the U.S. in works that range the gamut of classical and musical theater repertoire.
Kate’s career in opera was initiated when she placed third in the Chicago Regional MONC Auditions, hosted by NYC’s Metropolitan Opera. Since then, additional accolades have included performing as a soloist at Carnegie Hall upon winning the Barry Alexander International Vocal Competition, winning the Harold Haugh Light Opera Vocal Competition, placing second in the Nicholas Z. Loren Vocal Competition, hosted by the Holland Chorale, and being awarded the “Grace Keagy Award” by NYC-based Kurt Weill Foundation in their annual Lotte Lenya Foundation.
She trained as a young artist in the Santa Fe Opera Apprentice Artist program, as a Gerdine Artist with Opera Theatre of St. Louis, and as a Resident Artist with Utah Opera. Additionally, she was a Stern Fellow with the LA-based Songfest, and performed in the Opera Studio at AIMS in Graz, Austria. She holds a masters degree in voice from University of Cincinnati’s College- Conservatory of Music (CCM), and dual undergraduate degrees in english literature and vocal performance from Illinois Wesleyan University.
Kate is a farm girl originally from Streator, Illinois. She is the founder and Executive Director of Poco a Poco and has tremendous enthusiasm for outreach, education, and mentorship within the arts, regularly visiting performing arts high schools and colleges as a guest performer and master class technician.
Jenilyn Roether, soprano
Mrs. Jenilyn Roether is the voice instructor & director of choral activities at Illinois Valley Community College. She holds a Bachelor of Music Education, specializing in voice, from Illinois Wesleyan University where she studied under Bridget Rose. After seven years of teaching music to students from preK to high school, she made the decision to return to college and pursue a Master of Music from Northern Illinois University, specializing in music education and voice. While there, she studied voice with Myron Myers and conducting with Dr. Eric Johnson.
Mrs. Roether currently sings with Cor Cantiamo, a professional choir directed by Dr. Eric Johnson based in DeKalb, IL. While singing with Cor Cantiamo, she has been fortunate to record four CDs as well as collaborate with many contemporary choral composers. She has sung with Canterbury Singers, a professional choir based in Dixon, IL. She is the director of the Illinois Valley Youth Choir, a community choir for students in grades 3-8. In addition to the choirs, she has an active private voice studio in Peru, IL. The past fall, she made her debut as soprano soloist for the Illinois Valley Symphony Orchestra.
When not making music, she enjoys spending time with her husband, Brian, and her two children, Reuben and Cora.
2019 Junior Faculty
Mary Bond, 3rd year mezzo-soprano
Mary Bond is a music educator based in Nashville, TN. She is the Director of Choir and Theatre at Antioch High School and a member of the West End United Methodist Chancel Choir. She received her undergraduate degree in Music Education from Xavier University in Cincinnati, OH, and has worked with many Cincinnati-area ensembles including the Cincinnati Boychoir, the Cincinnati Children's Choir, and Collegium Cincinnati.
Kevin Mangan, 3rd year tenor
Kevin Mangan is Director of Choirs at Reed-Custer High School in Braidwood, IL. He is responsible for curricular choirs, the madrigal singers, and the musical theatre program. Kevin taught choir and general music in the Woodland School District of Streator from 2014-2017. Prior to that, he worked in the Flanagan-Cornell school district choral program as a student teacher.
Kevin gradated summa cum laude from Illinois Wesleyan University with a bachelor's degree in music education. He studied voice with Dr. Linda Farquharson and conducting with Dr. J. Scott Ferguson. While there he performed the Collegiate Choir, the university's premier vocal ensemble, as well as the Chamber Singers and Madrigals, while also maintaining an extensive solo repertoire. Kevin also held a position as tenor section leader for the Second Presbyterian Church of Bloomington. He is originally from Schaumburg, Illinois, and currently resides in Morris.Bloomington.
Nathan Brown, 2nd year tenor
Nathan Brown is an emerging young tenor that takes pride in his versatility as both a musician and an artist. Nathan graduated Summa Cum Laude from Murray State University in December of 2017 with a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Music Education. He now teaches at Belleville West High School in Illinois as a part-time choral director. Recently moved to St. Louis, MO, Nathan has also become the youngest member to be accepted full-time into the auditioned St. Louis Chamber Chorus as part of the tenor section.
As a solo performer, Nathan has had many roles in operas, plays, and musicals at Murray State University and competed regularly while still dedicating time to his pursuits as an educator. He has also garnered an extra level of performance experience by twice attending the Bay View SOARS Program in Bay View, Michigan, studying several roles during the two-week intensive. Nathan has also been a featured tenor soloist for Handel’s Messiah as well as for Bach Cantata 4. In addition to his singing career, Nathan is an award-winning a Capella arranger and has composed many original pieces and song cycles for voice and piano
Spencer Rockford, 2nd year baritone
Director of Choirs and Vocal Jazz at Ottawa Township High School. Taught choirs and general music at Mount Carmel Middle School from 2013-2015. Graduated in 2012 from Millikin University with a BM in Music Education. Has performed in venues including Carnegie Hall, Jazz Showcase, Auditorium Theater, and Symphony Hall in the United States as well as overseas in Scotland, Ireland, England, the Dominican Republic, and Chile. Teaching background includes various K-12 practicums, student teaching at Lake Zurich High School, two years in Mount Carmel, and the past 4 years at Ottawa.
Rachel Kay Miller, 1st year mezzo-soprano
Rachel Kay Miller, a Streator native, received her Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from the University of North Alabama in 2016, and is currently pursuing a Master of Music from Illinois State University. Her repertoire encompasses a variety of musical styles, including art song, musical theatre, oratorio, and operatic works. Miller's recent opera roles include Terentia in Dan Shore’s The Beautiful Bridegroom, understudy for Dorabella in Mozart’s Così fan tutte, and Dido in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas. She has gained a considerable interest in American opera through her performances of American chamber operas by Menotti and Bernstein and her independent graduate research.
In addition to her operatic performances, Miller appeared as an alto soloist in J.S. Bach’s Magnificat, was a featured performer at the 2015 Sigma Alpha Iota National Convention, and performed with the Shoals Symphony at the University of North Alabama as the winner of the 2013 Collegiate Artist Solo Competition. She often performs solo works in conjunction with St.Paul’s Episcopal Church in Peoria, Illinois, where she is a Choral Scholar. She currently teaches private voice lessons in the Bloomington-Normal area and sings with the ISU Civic Chorale. Miller looks forward to returning to Streator for the Poco a Poco Summer Music Fest to share her own love of singing with the community that inspired her passion for music.
Emily Honzel, 1st year administrator and soprano
Soprano Emily Honzel is a recent graduate of the University of Maryland, where she was a member of the Maryland Opera Studio (MOS). As a student of Martha Randall, she was seen on the main stage as Blanche in Dialogues des Carmélites and Servilia in La clemenza di Tito. Also at MOS, she premiered the title role in the New Work Reading of The Young King and was seen in scenes as Giulietta in I Capuleti e i Montecchi and Miss Jessel in The Turn of the Screw. She received her undergraduate degree in voice & opera from Northwestern University. As a student of Pamela Hinchman, she was seen as Rose Maybud in Ruddigore, premiered a new opera entitled The Loop, and performed the role of Lauretta in a student-run performance of Gianni Schicchi, which she also produced. Honzel has also appeared in Alexandria, VA as Sophie de Palma (First Soprano) in Metrostage’s production of Master Class in 2017. Also in 2017, she directed The Most Happy Fella with Prairie Fire Theater in Bloomington, IL. Outside of the opera world, Honzel is currently affiliated with the Songs by Heart Foundation, a program that facilitates musical activities with memory care communities. Also comfortable in the academic world, she has published research regarding the use of music and virtual technologies to modulate pain experiences and maintains an interest in vocal health and pedagogy.
Ascher Taylor Schroeder, 1st year tech and guitarist
Ascher Taylor-Schroeder is a senior Music Education student at Murray State University. There he specializes in guitar studying with professor Brent Webster and playing in top guitar ensembles as well top Murray State Jazz ensembles. Ascher also studies composition and has studied with both Dr. Michael D’Ambrosio and Dr. Steven Weimer. As a solo player Ascher curates an expansive repertoire choosing selections from Dowland and Bach to Brouwer and Dyens, as well as incorporating jazz and folk works. Ascher has also spent the last year and a half as the contemporary worship director for First Presbyterian Church of Murray, KY.
Robert Mangialardi, Baritone
Robert R. Mangialardi is currently Visiting Professor of music and Director of the Opera Theatre program at Illinois Wesleyan University. Mr. Mangialardi's recent opera theater productions have included “Don Giovanni”, “Ballymore”, “The Elixir of Love”, “and “The Medium.” Prior to beginning his career at IWU, Mr. Mangialardi directed and taught voice for 14 years at Millikin University in Decatur, IL.
Mr. Mangialardi has performed throughout the Midwest with companies such as the Illinois Shakespeare Festival, Illinois Opera Theater, Sunshine Theater, Fireside Theater, Illinois Voices Theater and The Barn Theater. Robert has also done many television commercials for companies such as Amtrak and Black’s Hardware Company.
Mr. Mangialardi is the founder and executive director of Prairie Fire Theatre, a professional light opera company based in Bloomington-Normal. Each year, Prairie Fire Theatre produces one touring children’s opera, an operetta and two musicals. Productions are cast primarily with area professionals and University students. The 2009 production of “Pinocchio” toured 28 schools and performed for over 7000 elementary students and teachers. Prairie Fire Theatre specializes in the works of Gilbert and Sullivan and usually produces one G&S operetta a year. Many of Prairie Fire Theatre’s productions are performed on the campus of Illinois Wesleyan University.
Born in Chicago, Illinois, Mr. Mangialardi received his Bachelor of Music Education degree and Master of Music in vocal performance from Illinois State University and has done doctoral work at the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana. His wife, Melinda, was an administrator at Illinois State University for over 28 years. They have three children, Nicholas, Samuel and Gabriella.
Vermillion Valley Show Chorus
Vermillion Valley Show Chorus - Two time Regional Small Chorus champions singing four part a cappela harmony in the barbershop style. The chorus performs all types of music from Gospel to Pop - you name it. A regional branch of the nationally-recognized “Sweet Adelines,” they are based in Pontiac, IL with members traveling from afar to sing in the ensemble.