The Choral Music Intensive (CMI) program at Drew offers a one-weekend, immersive choral experience in which professional and student vocalists collaborate in the preparation and performance of a rigorous program of choral repertoire. The CMI originally debuted in January 2014 as the “Drew Camerata,” performing a program entitled “Love, Faith, & Whimsy” featuring works by Pärt, Górecki, Josquin, Haydn, Debussy, Britten, Dawson, Stravinsky. The name “Choral Music Intensive” emerged as the purpose and identity of this new initiative continued to evolve. The next installment of the CMI at Drew will take place September 26-28, 2014, with a culminating performance on Sunday, September 28 at 5:00p.m in the Concert Hall at Drew. The program will feature works by Elgar, Messiaen, Poulenc, Hairston, Barber, Larsen, Whitacre, DiOrio and Paranjoti. General admission is $5; students will be admitted free.

The ensemble is under the direction of D. Jason Bishop, Director of Choral & Vocal Studies at Drew University.

CMI Sep 2014 poster

CMI Participants – September 2014


Lindsay BogatyLindsay Bogaty

As a member and alumna of the Young People’s Chorus of New York City, soprano Lindsay Bogaty has performed in major U.S. music venues and in choral concerts and competitions in Spain, Germany, England, Canada, Brazil, Argentina, China and Japan. She has also performed as both a chorus member and featured soloist in over 50 world premieres, including a performance and CD recording of Michael Harrison’s Hijaz at the 92nd Street Y, 2011 Bang on a Can Marathon, and on the radio with WWFM. In addition, she was a soloist in Tarik O’Regan’s Taxi in the first SONiC Extended Play Marathon. Ms. Bogaty made her Metropolitan Opera debut in Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream in 2012 and her Carnegie Hall debut last year as a soloist in “Dôme Épais” from Delibes’ Lakmé. Since 2010 Ms. Bogaty has been an events coordinator, vocal instructor, and mentor with YPC. She holds a BA in Vocal Performance from Emory University, where she sang with the Emory University Concert Choir, Mastersingers and University Chorus and was the president and musical director of The Gathering A Cappella.

Caitlin HenningCaitlinHenning

Caitlin Henning is the newest conducting fellow of the Young People’s Chorus of New York City.  She conducts the Prelude and Amani divisions and is also a member of the administrative staff.  Ms. Henning previously worked with the Young People’s Chorus of Erie, where she was the director of education, and as assistant conductor, she led the training ensemble of beginning and intermediate singers, ranging in age from 7 to 18, as well as YPC Erie’s four satellite choirs.  She holds a BM in music education from Ithaca College and is currently completing an MA in music education at Teachers College, Columbia University.  In Ithaca, Ms. Henning worked with all five divisions of the Ithaca Children’s Choir under the mentorship of Dr. Janet Galván, completed studies for teaching middle school boys with autism, and taught early childhood music as a teacher at the Community School of Music and Arts.  She has held a variety of leadership positions in music organizations, including the Northwest Chair of the Pennsylvania American Choral Directors Association.

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Catherine Hudman’s passion for music started with piano lessons when she was ten years old. Shortly after, she started playing the clarinet; at the age of 12, Catherine first picked up a French horn and found a new love. By the time she entered high school, Catherine sought out many opportunities in music, including regional wind ensembles and orchestras, woodwind quintets at the Settlement School of Music, and Rowan University’s orchestra, and her high school’s wind ensemble and vocal ensemble. With most of Catherine’s experience in music being instrumental, joining a choir opened up a whole new world of music for her. She experienced masterworks such as Carmina Burana and the Mozart Requiem, and performed in great venues such as Lincoln Center. Presently, Catherine is a junior at Drew University majoring in Biology and minoring in Music. She plays the French horn in the Drew University Chamber Orchestra, sings in the Drew University Chorale and Choral Union, and is President of the Chorale.

Aedín LarkinDSC_1763.2

The Irish soprano, Aedín Larkin, is a recent Honors Masters graduate from the Cork School of Music, CIT in Ireland where she studied under Paulo Faustini. Aedín also received her Bachelor of Music from the Cork School of Music under Mary MacSweeney and was awarded the Pro Musica Trophy for receiving the highest mark given to a vocal student. Since moving to the United States, Aedín’s opera roles have included Zaïre in Rameau’s Les Indes Galantes and Chinese woman/First lady in Purcell’s The Fairy Queen. Aedín has performed as a soloist with the Greater South Jersey Chorus and with the Baroque Academy at Amherst Early Music Festival. Aedín has also performed locally with the Greater South Jersey Chorus, the Philadelphia Singers, and the Curtis Opera Theater in Philadelphia. Aedín’s solo recitals that have included works such as Villa-Lobos’s Bachianas Brasileiras No.5, Schubert’s Der Hirt auf dem Felsenand Mozart’s Exsultate Jubilate, KV 165 (158a).

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From a very young age, Rachel always had trouble keeping her mouth shut and her voice down. Luckily, this eventually developed into a love for vocal performance. Starting with singing lessons at the age of 13, she entered high school with a thriving passion for music. Her participation in Regional and All-State Choirs only fueled the fire, and she has been pursuing choral music ever since. In college, she studies Music, Business, and Writing. In her free time, she writes songs and plays guitar and ukulele. When she’s not obsessing over music, you can find her painting, eating sushi, or begging strangers to pet their dog.

Renée VolakRV Image

has performed as a featured artist and leading soprano with opera companies and orchestras throughout the country. Her stage credits include Mimi in Puccini’s La Bohème, Gretel in Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel, Hanah Glawari in Franz Lehar’s The Merry Widow, Anne Truelove in Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress, Alice Ford in Verdi’s Falstaff, Rosalinde in Strauss’ Die Fledermaus, Sophia in Edward German’s Tom Jones, and Fiorella in Offenbach’s The Brigands. She has performed leading roles with Birmingham Opera, the Ohio Light Opera, Cleveland Opera and the Indiana University Opera Theatre. In concert, she has been the featured soprano soloist in various orchestral works including Mahler’s 4th Symphony, Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, Honegger’s Le Roi David, and the Schubert Mass in G Major. She has been a featured artist with the Ohio Chamber Orchestra, Kingsport Symphony, and the Bozeman Symphony Orchestra. After graduating from the Baldwin Wallace Conservatory of Music, she attended the Indiana University School of Music where she studied voice with Lynn Luciano and received her Master’s degree in vocal performance. While there, she performed many leading roles with the acclaimed Indiana University Opera Theatre and taught voice as an associate instructor and adjunct faculty member. Renée is University Director of Financial Assistance at Drew University where she is also a member of the Drew Choral Union. She is a resident of Madison, NJ, where she lives with her husband Charles Davidson, and her sons, Nicholas and Jack.


Catherine Doyle09

Catherine Doyle is a sophomore Music Major at Drew University. While participating in the Choral Union and Chorale she also sings in the co-ed A cappella group on campus, All of the Above. In third grade she started singing with her church choir and grew to love the activity of singing in a group. A year later she joined the Handel and Haydn Youth Chorus of Boston where she studied and sang for six years. In High School she started taking voice lessons and pursued her passion for music even further as a soloist. Now Catherine is so excited to be a part of the Choral Music Intensive at Drew University and is thrilled to be working with such an amazing conductor and group of vocalists.

Lauren Dwaneheadsht 8_RET_2

Lauren has loved music all her life.  She began singing competitively in high school. From 2008-2009, she participated in the Paper Mill Playhouse Summer Conservatory as a featured soloist. She held second chair in the All-State New Jersey chorus for two years, and participated in the American Choral Directors Association’s All-Eastern Region and National Choruses. Her senior year of high school, she was awarded the North Jersey School Music Association’s Musician’s Scholarship for voice. The following year, she attended the Hartt School of Music on full vocal scholarship, where she was featured as Prince Orlofsky in Die Fledermaus, and sang as the alto soloist in Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass. Last autumn, she placed first in the National Association for Teachers of Singing collegiate competition at Columbia University. She currently sings with the Goode Time Carolers.

Elise Figaelise figa headshot

Praised as being “the most direct and intimate in her interpretations” (The Boston Musical Intelligencer), Elise Figa has made appearances with the Magnificat Baroque Orchestra in San Francisco, ¡Sacabuche! Ensemble, The Choir of St. Ignatious Loyola, Carnegie Hall Festival Chorus and The Thirteen Chamber Choir. She made her European debut in Germany at the Festival Europäische Kirchenmusik in 2009. Ms. Figa performed in the first ever Baroque Master Class at Carnegie Hall, at the Amherst Early Music Festival Workshop, Vancouver Early Music Baroque Programme, the Lute Society of America, Accademia d’amore in Seattle, and the American Bach Soloists Academy in San Francisco.  Elise Figa has degrees from the Eastman School of Music and Indiana University. She currently serves as Adjunct Assistant Professor of Music at Drew University and has recorded on the Pro Organo label.

Ariana JacksonAriana Jackson

is a junior at Drew University majoring in Anthropology. She is a member of the Drew University Chorale and Choral Union, and performed the role of Witch in Drew University’s spring 2013 production of Henry Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas. At The Pingry School in Basking Ridge, NJ, Ariana was a member of the Women’s Glee Club and president of the select women’s ensemble, the Balladeers. As a student of Manhattan School of Music’s precollege program, Ariana was a member of chorus and studied piano and cello. She is a former member of the Cornell University Chorus and resides in Mendham Township, New Jersey.

Natalie MaroneNatalie Marone

caught the choral singing bug at age 11 when she joined the New Jersey Children’s Choir, and has been singing in one choir or another ever since. She graduated from Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, NJ in 2008. There she earned her B.S. in Applied Mathematics (while devoting her spare time to theater and choir, of course). Natalie currently lives in Springfield and teaches high school mathematics at the Morristown-Beard School. When not singing or mathing, Natalie can probably be found in the clutches of an ultra-geeky board game.


is Associate Professor of Music at Drew University. She is the author of The Musical Legacy of Wartime France (University of California Press, 2013), which was named a Notable Music Book of 2013 by The New Yorker music critic Alex Ross. Her research has been published in The Musical Quarterlyrepercussions, and the Journal of Musicology. Leslie also sings in the Drew University Choral Union.


Ignacio Angulo-PizarroHeadshot

A native of Rockaway, NJ, Ignacio Angulo-Pizarro completed his Bachelor of Music in Music Education from the University of Delaware. During his time there, he collaborated with Dr. Paul Head, Dr. Duane Cottrell, Dr. Blake Smith, and Dr. Charlene Archibeque. While he was a member of the distinguished University of Delaware Chorale and UD-16, these elite ensembles placed in the 42nd annual Tolosa Choral Competition in Tolosa, Spain. As a soloist, Ignacio performed as Tinca in Giocomo Puccini’s Il Tabarro and Lara in David Conte’s America Tropical as part of UD’s Opera Theatre Company. Currently, Ignacio is a professional chorister at Brick Presbyterian Church in New York City, conducted by Keith Tóth, and has sung with the world-renowned Gentleman and Boys of Saint Thomas Church of New York City, conducted by Dr. John Scott. Additionally, he has sung with Voices of Ascension, Trinity Wall Street Church, and at Cathedral of St. John the Divine as a visiting chorister of Christ’s Church Choir of Rye, NY. As a committed researcher of the Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Program, his research on Joby Talbot’s Path of Miracles was published on the official website of the American Choral Directors Association,

Rich Baslerrich dark glasses

is a violist and is a graduate of Mansfield University with a B.M. in Music Performance. He has held permanent positions with the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra, Williamsport Symphony Orchestra and Southern Tier Symphony. He has also performed as a freelance violinist and violist in NY, NJ, PA, and GA. Rich lives in West Orange with his partner (conductor Jason Bishop) and three cats. He is Director of Advancement Services for Bloomfield College in Bloomfield, NJ.

Nathan ReiffNathanReiff

Nathan Reiff serves as Conducting Fellow for the Young People’s Chorus of New York City, where he directs the 100-voice Intermezzo chorus and assists with numerous other choruses. A native of Oregon, Nathan holds a B.A. in Music from Yale University, where he served as music director of the Whiffenpoofs, the nation’s oldest all-male a cappella singing group. As a Whiff, Nathan led the group in performances in over 20 countries around the world. Nathan holds an M.M. in Choral Conducting from the University of Michigan, where he served as co-conductor of the Orpheus Singers, assistant conductor of Arts Chorale and the Residential College Singers, and music director of the Ann Arbor Cantata Singers. In addition to his work as a conductor, Nathan taught music at the International School of Trieste in Trieste, Italy and assisted the violinist Midori with the administration of two music education/community outreach non-profit organizations.

Jake SachsJake Sachs

is a singer, instrumentalist, composer, arranger, and audio engineer. He recently graduated from SAE Institute of Technology, where he received his Diploma in Audio Engineering. He is an intern at Engine Room Audio, a recording studio in NYC, and a freelance mixing and mastering engineer. When he was a student at Drew University, Jake was a member of the Drew Chorale, Drew Madrigal Singers, and 36 Madison Avenue, Drew’s all-male a cappella group. He is also the primary arranger for 36 Madison Avenue. In Spring 2013, Jake performed the role of Sailor in Drew’s production of Henry Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas. Jake was a member of the Drew Choral Union from Spring 2013 to Spring 2014. He currently sings tenor (and sometimes alto) as a member of Harmonium Choral Society and the Harmonium Chamber Singers, both of which he joined in September 2013.

Jeffery Thyerthyer-jeffery

is an active choral director, singer, administrator, and concert producer in New York City. He holds a Master of Music degree in Choral Conducting from Ball State University and a church music degree from Indiana Wesleyan University. He is the Director of Program Development for Distinguished Concerts International New York, a concert production company. In that role, he guides the programming team for the concert series and works closely with directors to organize performances of major choral/orchestral works, world premieres, and performances by ensembles of every type in venues like Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher at Lincoln Center, and Disney Hall in LA. Previously, he has been a church choir director, assistant conductor for community choruses, managing director for a large oratorio chorus, and a member of many choirs. He sings with Chameleonic and the New York Festival Singers. He worked previously at the headquarters of the American Choral Directors Association. A native of Indiana, Jeffery now makes his home in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Beyond choral music, Jeffery is a freelance website designer/manager. He enjoys singing, conducting, public radio, classical music, cooking, web design, and water skiing.


Charles DavidsonCD Shot

has performed with critically acclaimed opera companies and orchestras throughout the country. His professional stage credits in leading roles include Tamino in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte (Kentucky Opera), Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni (Minnesota Opera), the title role in Britten’s Albert Herring (Kentucky Opera), Alfredo in Verdi’s La Traviata (Birmingham Opera Theatre), Nanki-Poo in Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Mikado (Kentucky Opera), Herzog Guido von Urbino in Johann Strauss’ Eine Nacht in Venedig and Prinz Niki in Oscar Straus’ Ein Waltzertraum (Ohio Light Opera). In concert, he has performed as guest soloist in a variety of traditional works ranging from Mozart’s Missa Solemnis (Richmond Symphony) to Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 (Arkansas Symphony Orchestra) to world premier works by microtonal composer John Eaton, including the title role in El Divino Narciso (Chicago Chamber Orchestra). Charles is a graduate of the Indiana University School of Music where he also served as an Associate Instructor of Voice. While there, highlights include performances in leading roles in several Indiana University Opera Theatre productions, selection as a featured artist in a cultural exchange program with the Moscow Conservatory of Music, and being awarded the Indiana University School of Music Adler prize for Continuing Vocal Studies. Beyond the music world, he serves as Vice President with TRAUB Consumer Food and Beverage, a global business development and strategy consulting firm based in London and New York. Charles is a resident of Madison, NJ, where he lives with his wife (the soprano Renée Volak), and his sons, Nicholas and Jack.

Steve KassSKbwphoto

teaches Mathematics and Computer Science at Drew and is a member of the Drew Chorale. A Pomona College graduate, he earned his Ph.D. in Mathematics at the University of Wisconsin—Madison, where he sang in the UW Choral Union under Robert Fountain. Before joining the Drew faculty in 1988, he held a research appointment at the University of Montréal, and he sang in the Montreal Symphony Orchestra chorus. Since 1996, Steve has been a member of New York City’s Dessoff Choirs. In addition to its own concerts, Dessoff’s recent guest appearances include Lorin Maazel’s final concerts with the New York Philharmonic; Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, live-to-projection at Radio City Music Hall; an East Coast tour with rock legend Ray Davies; concerts under conductors Iván Fischer, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, and Patrick Dupré Quigley; and a concert of music performed at the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, given for her 2013 Jubilee year, at London’s Royal Festival Hall.

John MuccigrossoJohn Muccigrosso

is associate dean of the College of Liberal Arts, and half of the Classics Department at Drew. He is a native of Brooklyn, NY, currently living in Maplewood, New Jersey with his wife and two teen-aged children. John studied voice and sang with the Amherst College Glee Club in earlier days. After a long hiatus from organized singing, he joined the Drew Choral Union last year and despite the presence of his more professional colleagues, is looking forward to the small-group experience of the Camerata.

Nick Murphyhs

Nick Murphy is a sophomore at Drew University, expected to graduate in 2017 with a double major in Music and Computer Science. Nick currently participates in the Drew Chorale, Choral Union, and the local Methodist Church choir. He is also a previous member of the Madrigal Singers and Drew’s co-ed a cappella group, AOTA. As a member of the Oakcrest High School Center Stage Follies, Nick participated in no fewer than seven musical theatre productions, playing leading roles in AnnieCurtains!, and Brigadoon. He is a five-year member of the South Jersey Regional Chorus as well as a one-year member of the New Jersey State Chorus. He also enjoys reading, video games, and attempting to play the piano. When he’s not spending time on campus, Nick resides in Mays Landing with his mother Kim, his brother Chris, and their pets Charlie and Coco.

Christopher TalbotTalbot_Headshot

Christopher Talbot began singing at age 8 as a boy soprano with the All Saints Choir of Men and Boys, Worcester, MA, and has sung continuously ever since. He is a 2013 graduate of Drew University, where he majored in Music and Spanish, studying voice under Garyth and Angelika Nair. At Drew he was a committed member of the Chorale, Choral Union, Madrigal Singers, and Music Society. His studies in Spanish took him abroad to Argentina, where he studied opera and electronic music at IUNA, a national conservatory in Buenos Aires. He was a founding member of the Drew Laptop Orchestra, and is heavily involved in electronic and experimental music making, music technology, and sound design. He currently lives in Somerville, MA.

Bruce Van Hovenvanhoven

is the choral director at the Morristown-Beard School, where he has been teaching for the past seven years. Before that he worked in public schools, teaching music from grades K-12. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Rider University and a master’s from Montclair State University, where he studied voice with Jeffrey Gall, and is currently pursuing a Doctor of Letters in Irish Studies at Drew. In addition to directing the Middle and Upper School choruses at Morristown-Beard, he also runs an extra-curricular a cappella group, Crimsingers. His students have been accepted into honor choirs at the county, region, and all-state level as well as a summer touring a cappella group, The Rock N Roll Chorus. Bruce lives in Boonton, NJ with his wonderful and supportive wife Anne Marie and their five children.