Music and the other arts are the most potent demonstration that, in the heart, we are all one community.
~ Jan Swafford
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Chris hammers out the stylish sounds of summer in Jimmy Buffett, Bob Marley, Santana and Calypso classics on his hand crafted 55-gallon oil drum. With his custom computerized midi backing tracks, Chris is a one-man band, with an enthusiastic following (especially those in the conga lines!) with his versions of Calypso, Reggae, and island favorites.
Chris received his Bachelors in Music degree from the University of Maryland and Masters in Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees in Percussion Performance from the University of South Carolina. He began playing steel drums in 1990 as a graduate student at USC and his love for the instrument has taken him to Trinidad and Tobago (the “birthplace” of steel drums).
theorbo, baroque guitar
Michael holds both an undergraduate degree in music and a master’s degree in historical plucked instruments from American Universities as well a degree in lute and theorbo from L’Istituto di
Musica Antica of the Accademia Internazionale della Musica in Milan, Italy. Originally from Northern California and after living in Milan, Italy for 16 years and Canada for 5 years, he now resides in
the United States.
Michael has performed both as a soloist and as an accompanist throughout Europe, Australia, Japan, South America,Mexico, Canada and the United States. He has played with a number of leading Italian early music groups, including Concerto Italiano, La Risonanza, La Venexiana and La Pietà de’ Turchini and several American period-instrument ensembles.
Michael has also collaborated with several orchestras and opera companies, including Orchestra Verdi di Milano, Opera Australia, San Francisco Opera, Barcelona Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Washington National Opera,Glimmerglass Opera, Chicago Opera Theater, Gulbenkian Mùsica, Houston Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, Nashville Symphony,Cincinnati Opera and Portland Opera.
Michael can be heard in recordings on the Stradivarius, Glossa, Naïve, Linn,
Avie, Centaur and Naxos labels.
- Michael Leopold was a standout on theorbo, providing some of the most sensitive and heartfelt musical moments of the evening (Kathryn Bacasmot, Chicago Classical Music 1 May 2012.Teseo, Chicago Opera Theater)
- High marks especially to the marvelous theorbo, lute and baroque guitar specialist, Michael Leopold, whose recitatives added dazzling color. (Harvey Steiman, Seen and Heard Internation 7 November 2011. Xerxes, San Francisco Opera).
Michael is a second year Glimmerglass Young Artist Pianist this summer and will be returning to the Marion Roose Pullin Studio Artist as Studio Pianist for the 2018-2019 season. Prior to joining Arizona Opera, he attended Arizona State University in Tempe, AZ where he studied with Russel Ryan and received his Master’s degree in Collaborative Piano. Before his time in Arizona, Michael was the Assistant Music Director and Chorus Master at Tri-Cities Opera of Binghamton, NY where he served as principal coach and head pianist for two seasons between 2013 and 2015. While holding this position, he also was on staff as Adjunct Lecturer at Binghamton University. As a vocal coach, Michael has worked with The Glimmerglass Festival, Aspen Summer Music Festival, Arizona State University (Tempe), University of Arizona (Tucson), International Vocal Arts Institute, Mill City Summer Opera, CoOPERAtive Program, and Ithaca College School of Music. During his undergraduate studies in vocal performance at Ithaca College, Michael assisted in the creation of the first student-run opera company at the college in which he served as Assistant Music Director and vocal coach. Along with performing, Michael is also a composer whose works have been performed throughout the United States and Australia
Sara Neal Lokey
Sara Neal Lokey is a talented and experienced professional double bassist who brings energy and passion to many different styles of music. A virtual double bass "chameleon," Sara enjoys performing in various classical, jazz and bluegrass settings throughout the Central Savannah River Area and the state of Georgia. From churches to front porches, symphony hall stages to late night dives, she is versatile and comfortable in all musical settings.
In 2007, Sara’s passion for sharing music led her into the classroom, where she has taught both elementary general music and string orchestra classes. She currently resides in Augusta, Georgia, and is an instructor for the Richmond County School System Orchestra Program.
Sara trained classically with Dr. Barry Garman at Augusta State University, where she received a Bachelor of Music Degree in Double Bass Performance. She was a 2003 ASU Concerto Competition winner and recipient of the Powers Baldwin Outstanding musician award. Her jazz skills were honed under the direction of Dr. Rob Foster and have afforded her the opportunity to perform with the great jazz trombonist and vocalist, Wycliffe Gordon.
Sara began expanding her horizons and exploring bluegrass music after hearing the album "Uncommon Ritual" by one of her idols, bassist Edgar Meyer. She began "pickin" with Carl Purdy soon thereafter, and has been performing with him for nearly a decade. Sara is a founding member of the groups Event Horizons and Lyra Vivace Chamber Orchestra.
Joseph joined the violin section of the Glimmerglass Orchestra in 2019. He previously performed in other summer festivals such as Aspen Music Festival, Britt Festival, Pacific Music Festival, and Sarasota Music Festival. He has served as concertmaster of several orchestras including the USC Thornton Symphony, Seattle Youth Symphony, Marrowstone Festival Orchestra, Santa Monica Symphony, and Vancouver Symphony Orchestral Institute, and as Principal Second Violin in the inaugural season of Carnegie Hall’s National Youth Orchestra of the USA. He received his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern California where he studied with Martin Chalifour, and is currently pursuing his Master’s degree at the New England Conservatory with Ayano Ninomiya. He previously studied in the Coleman violin studio in Seattle with Simon James, Jan Coleman, and pianist Hiro David. As a conductor, he has participated in Atlantic Music Festival’s conducting program and served as Music Director of the Concerto Chamber Orchestra at USC. As a violist, he has performed chamber works such as the Kodaly Serenade for Two Violins and Viola, and the Franck Piano Quintet.
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