Musicians – Vocalist

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Linda Banister
vocalist (mezzo-soprano)

Linda Banister - voice (mezzo soprano)

A frequent solo recitalist and guest artist, Linda has performed on concert stages throughout the central and southeastern United States, Hong Kong, and central Italy. She is popular at conferences, clinics, workshops and symposiums around the country with a variety of choral and vocal music genres and subjects, and has served as a vocal adjudicator throughout the United States, and over the oceans to Europe and East Asia.

Linda has sung a wide range of operatic roles and has shared her talent and experience with several regional arts organizations, including the Augusta Opera, Augusta Choral Society and the Aiken Choral Society. Her devotion to the arts in Augusta, Georgia, also extends to artistic leadership with several groups, including the Harry Jacobs Chamber Music Society, the Augusta Opera, the Morris Museum, and the Jessye Norman School of the Arts. Linda also serves as a member of the governor’s cabinet for the Southeast Region of the National Association of Teachers of Singing.

A native North Dakotan, Linda holds a Master of Music degree in vocal performance from the University of Missouri in Columbia and earned a Doctor of Music degree in voice performance from The Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida. She teaches studio voice and opera workshop at Augusta State University in Augusta, Georgia.

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Keith Gregory
vocalist, guitar, songwriter

Keith Gregory, vocalist, guitar, songwriter

Born and raised in Little Rock, AR, Keith “has spent most of my adult my life eating, drinking, and dreaming music.” He is based in Augusta, GA, and like all regional sought-after musicians, drives to cities in the SouthEast to perform for all occasions. A glance at his busy schedule is a glimpse into his versatility as a musician. In one day he can be heard providing comfortable background music during brunch at an elegant restaurant in Augusta, serenading a wedding party in the afternoon in Aiken, and then in the evening adding just the right styles and character to enhance a private social gathering.

When people ask Keith, "how would you describe your music?" his reply is “My music is fast, slow, stop and go; it’s happy, sad, good and bad. It’s new school, old school, alternative, pop, and sometimes it rolls, but mostly it rocks.”

Keith’s performance schedule, song lists, videos, audio clips and links to albums can be found on his website.

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Diane Haslam
vocalist (mezzo-soprano)

Diane Haslam - voice (mezzo-soprano)

Diane was born in Mansfield, England, and graduated in Vocal Performance from the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester. As a soloist she has performed in operas and orchestral concerts in England, Europe, and the United States, singing with orchestras, including the English Sinfonia, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, English Chamber Orchestra, Netherlands Philharmonic, and the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra.

She sang for seven years on a full-time contract with the Netherlands Opera in Amsterdam. Her operatic roles have included Dorabella (Cosi fan Tutte), Cherubino (Le Nozze di Figaro), Siebel (Faust), and Isabella (Italiana in Algeri). Diane has appeared in numerous Arts Festivals and concert series, specializing in presenting themed concerts combining song and poetry. American composer Rick Sowash has written extensively for her voice, dedicating 28 songs and song cycles to her.

She has been a respected teacher for more than 25 years and her private voice studio, Vocal Dimensions, is in Aiken, SC. For three years she taught as Adjunct Professor of Voice at Newberry College, South Carolina, where she created courses in Vocal Literature and Vocal Diction, coaching students in six languages. She is currently on the faculty of USC Aiken as Lecturer in Voice.

Diane has given Master Classes in vocal performance and led workshops
in holistic singing in England and the United States. She is the founder and music director of the Aiken Singers. Her book, “The Heart of Singing: Steps on the Path to Becoming the Singer You Want to Be,” is now available through Amazon.com or Diane’s own website and as an eBook on Kindle. Diane writes about singing in a monthly blog.

Washington Isaac Holmes
vocalist (baritone)

Washington Isaac Holmes - voice (baritone)

Equally at home on both the concert and theatrical stage, Isaac has performed as a vocal soloist, dancer, instrumentalist, and chorister all over the world, including performance tours in the Netherlands, Central and Eastern Europe, Great Britain and East Asia. The Augusta, GA region has benefited from his versatile talents in roles ranging from musical theatre and opera to Shakespeare and narration for symphonic works. The Augusta Opera, Augusta Players, USC Philharmonic, Augusta Symphony, Paine College, the Morris Museum, and Aiken Community Theatre are among the organizations who have featured Isaac as a vocal artist and actor.

Isaac is an assistant professor of music and Concert Choir Director at Paine College in Augusta, Georgia, and served for many years as artistic director and conductor of the Columbia County Choral Society

An Augusta, GA native, Isaac received a B.M.A. from the University of South Carolina and a Master of Music degree from the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor), where he majored in vocal performance, studying with George Shirley, and Leslie Guinn.

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Jeanie Joesbury
vocalist, conductor

Jeanie Joesbury, vocal artist, conductor

Jeanie has served as Director of Music at Thomson First United Methodist Church since August 2010, after having served as Organist and Director of the Canterbury Choir since 2006 and participating in the music program at TFUMC since 1975. She studied Music Performance and Music Education at the University of Texas and graduated from Augusta State University with a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance and Music Education.

Jeanie has appeared as a soloist with the Augusta Opera and the Augusta Symphony and served as music teacher at Briarwood Academy for over 20 years. While at Briarwood, Jeanie produced 10 Broadway musicals and also directed musicals at the Washington Little Theatre in Washington, GA. During her teaching career, she was a two-time recipient of the State of Georgia Star Teacher award. In Praise of Music ensembles are often engaged to perform under Jeanie’s direction, as well as in recital performance at Thomson First United Methodist.

Natalie Johnson
banjo, guitar, vocalist

Natalie Johnson, banjo, guitar, vocalist

Natalie has performed with numerous bluegrass luminaries including Sam Bush and Bela Fleck. She has performed at the prestigious MerleFest in North Carolina, and has performed with Custer’s Last Band as a founding member since 1990. Along with her fellow Custer’s Last Band members, Natalie is annually featured on the Southeastern Natural Science Academy Phinizy Swamp Soiree on the banks of the Savannah River, and is a regular performer on Appleby Library concert series in Augusta, Georgia. She gave the world premiere of Benji the Banjo with Carl Purdy and the Augusta Symphony Orchestra at the Maxwell Performing Arts Theatre in 2003.

In addition to being an extraordinary banjoist and guitarist Natalie is a composer; among her compositions is Powerful which showcases her virtuosity on the banjo. Natalie lives in Augusta, GA with her husband Wayne and is Administrative Nursing Supervisor of the ICU at University Hospital.

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Jennifer Parker
violin, vocalist, viola, mandolin, guitar

Jennifer Parker - violin, voice, viola, mandolin and guitar

Jennifer Parker, an Augusta native, started her musical journey at the age of 10 when starting violin through the Richmond County Orchestra program. At the age of 12, Jennifer picked up the guitar and began writing songs, and has been a singer-songwriter ever since. Throughout her teens, Jennifer also picked up the bass, piano, ukuleles, viola, and more. An avid bluegrass and folk music lover, Jennifer has played with bands such as the Tom Miller Project and Mamie Foreman and The Rosebuds, and has also recorded with local Augusta bands, the Radar Cinema, Jokers & Thieves, and Mann Ray.

Jennifer is often a featured performer with Event Horizons. She is also a part of the Sand Hills String Band, the Augusta State University (ASU) Orchestra, and is a student assistant for the Greater Augusta Youth Orchestras. Jennifer is also a strings teacher at East Aiken School for the Arts, a secretary and violin teacher at the Carolina Academy of Music, and teaches private lessons in the Augusta area for violin, guitar, and mandolin.

Jennifer received a degree from ASU as a Music Education major, and studied with Laura Tomlin and Carl Purdy. She is currently Assistant Orchestra Director at Durham Middle School in Acworth, GA.

Stan Pylant
viola, violin, conductor, vocalist

Stan Pylant - Viola, Violin, Conductor, Vocalist

Since 1994, Stan Pylant has performed as a violist with the Augusta Symphony (Symphony Orchestra Augusta), and with the Lyra Vivace Chamber Orchestra since 2000. He frequently supports the CSRA professional music culture by performing with local accompanying orchestras for professional and community productions, including the Augusta Opera and the Augusta Choral Society.

Stan is a minister at First Baptist Church of Augusta, GA, where he was called to serve in 1993. Before moving to Augusta, Stan served as church minister in Louisiana, Texas, and Oklahoma; everywhere Stan has served, the regional professional orchestras have been grateful for his availability to perform on both viola and violin.

Stan is also a gifted vocalist (tenor), and travels throughout the USA and internationally to perform with and lead several distinguished choruses, including the CenturyMen and Sons of Jubal.

Stan received a Bachelor of Music degree from University of Louisiana at Lafayette, a Master of Music degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, and a Doctorate in Worship Studies from the Institute of Worship Studies in Jacksonville, Florida. He is also a licensed multi-instrument private pilot!

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Erin Russ
Guitar, Vocals

Erin Russ - guitar, vocals

Erin Russ is an Augusta native who has been singing and playing music since elementary school. She started her music career with piano lessons when she was young and picked up the guitar at the age of 11. She has studied under the tutelage of Carl Purdy at Augusta State University. She loves performing and listening to a wide range of genres from bluegrass to musical show tunes. She is a member of the Sand Hills String Band, and has recorded and performed internationally through Augusta State University, including two successful trips to Ireland.

She currently studies at the University of Georgia completing her degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders with a certificate in Disability Studies.

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Jamison Walker
vocalist (tenor)

Jamison Walker - vocalist

Jamison Walker received his Bachelors of Music, Cum Laude, from Stetson University, and his Masters of Music from Florida State University. Jamison has been heard recently with the Augusta Choral Society, and the Augusta Opera. He has performed leading roles with the Florida State University Opera Theater, The Stetson University Opera Theater, the Augusta Opera, First Coast Opera and Central Florida Lyric Opera. His roles include Rodolfo in Puccini’s La Boheme, Tito in Mozart’s La Clemenza di Tito, Tamino in Mozart’s Die Zauberflote, Ottavio in Mozart’s Don Giovanni, as well as leading roles in the operas of Rossini, Flotow, Donizetti, Bellini and Handel.

Jamison served in the Army as the soloist with the Signal Corps Band and Signal Center of Excellence. He is currently enrolled in the Florida State University’s Doctoral Program.


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