Daniel Barta is Chair of the Department of Music and Performing Arts and Professor of Music Theory and Composition at Roberts Wesleyan College in Rochester, New York. He holds the B.Mus., M.Mus., and D.M.A. from Temple University, where he studied with Clifford Taylor, Maurice Wright, and Matthew Greenbaum. His portfolio includes compositions in all genres, including solo, chamber, choral, and orchestral works. In spring 2013, two commissioned choral works were premiered, including God Is Our Refuge and Strength for the International Schools of China Choral Festival in Tianjin, China. He composed incidental music for a set of Hans Christian Andersen stories for storyteller and chamber ensemble, which has been recorded on The Pen and the Inkwell. In addition, he has written for Sharon Sweet (soprano), David Kim (Philadelphia Orchestra concertmaster), and Ann Martindale-Williams (Pittsburgh Symphony principal cellist). Two of his works for keyboard, Suite for Piano and Toccata Joyeuse for organ, have been recorded and released on the DTR label. He is published by Concordia and Choristers Guild.
Originally from British Columbia, Canada, Olivia Cresswell has enjoyed an array of musical influences and experiences and is a musician of diverse interests and pursuits. Her studies began at the Royal Conservatory of Music and culminated with a master’s degree in piano performance. She is a joyful pianist, teacher, adjudicator, composer, pastor’s wife, and mother. As a pianist, she has performed as soloist and accompanist throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe. Her repertoire spans early music to modern, classical to Broadway. For over twenty-five years, she has maintained an active music studio, and she is a founding teacher of the Royal Conservatory of Music’s American arm (the National Conservatory), preparing students for exams in piano, theory, history, and composition. She also regularly adjudicates regional and statewide piano competitions. She resides in Charleston, South Carolina, with her husband, Jonathan, and their five children.
Karrin Ford is Associate Professor of Music and Director of Keyboard Studies at Sul Ross State University in Texas, her home state, having taught previously at Baylor University, the University of Connecticut, Belmont University, and the University of the South. She holds a D.M.A. in Organ Performance from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and a Ph.D. in Music Theory and History from the University of Connecticut where her dissertation focused on criticism of American women composers at the turn of the nineteenth century. Her reviews and articles are published in American Music Teacher, The American Organist, and The Piano Quarterly. She has read academic papers at chapter meetings of the American Musicological Society, the College Music Society, and Music Teachers National Association. A longtime church organist, Karrin also holds AAGO certification from the American Guild of Organists, and her organ music is published by Brentwood Music, Broadman Press, Genevox, and Harold Flammer.
Peter Hilliard holds degrees from the San Francisco Conservatory and NYU, and he is Music Director of Villanova University’s Graduate Theatre Program. With Matt Boresi, he has written award-winning operas and theatre works, and his choral music has been performed across the country. His works have received awards and nominations from the National Association of Teachers of Singing, the Turner Classic Movies Young Film Composers Competition, Vocal Essence, The Young New Yorkers’ Chorus, and the Ned Rorem Award. He has been Minister of Music at Berachah Church in Cheltenham, Pennsylvania since 2002. He is also music director of Philadelphia’s Savoy Company, the oldest company in the world dedicated to performing Gilbert and Sullivan. He has conducted The Pirates of Penzance and Iolanthe at the International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival in Harrogate, UK. With Glen Clugston, Peter restored a new edition of Victor Herbert’s lost 1911 Masterpiece Natoma for a New York reading in 2014. OperaNews wrote that Natoma “turns out to be a real piece of buried treasure. Herbert’s score is gorgeous.”
Ryan Kelly is Associate Director of choral activities at West Chester University of Pennsylvania. His D.M.A. in choral conducting is from Michigan State University. He is an active lecturer and clinician with numerous appearances at national, regional, and state conferences of the National Association for Music Education, the American Choral Directors Association, and the American Guild of Organists. His publications include performance editions and compositions with Carus-Verlag, Boosey & Hawkes, G. Schirmer, Augsburg Fortress, and MusicSpoke; articles in Choral Journal; and the book Handel’s Messiah: Warm-Ups for Successful Performance, published by Hal Leonard. Also an experienced church musician, he is Director of Music and Organist at Proclamation Presbyterian Church in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania.
A recent graduate of Concordia University-Chicago, Jeremy Zimmer earned the Bachelor of Arts degree in Music, with a focus on composition and saxophone performance. Studying composition with Jonathan Stahlke at Concordia, Jeremy’s music was performed by numerous campus ensembles, including the Chamber Orchestra and Laudate, the women’s choir. Currently, Jeremy is completing the Master of Music degree in Composition at DePaul University, studying with Christopher Wendell Jones and Seung-Won Oh. Jeremy began playing organ professionally in 2011 at Hope Lutheran Church in Hillside, Illinois, and he is currently the organist and choral accompanist at Grace Lutheran Church in Mount Prospect, Illinois. He presently resides in Lakeview, just north of downtown Chicago.