Daniel Barta is the former Chair of the Department of Music and Performing Arts and Professor of Music Theory and Composition at Roberts Wesleyan College in Rochester, New York, where he now teaches courses in music theory. 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 has written for Sharon Sweet (soprano), David Kim (Philadelphia Orchestra concertmaster), and Ann Martindale-Williams (Pittsburgh Symphony principal cellist). In addition, 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. 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.
Holding a bachelor’s degree in piano performance, Mark Hahn has served churches in the greater Philadelphia area since 1986, and has been in full time music ministry at the Montgomery Evangelical Free Church in Belle Mead, New Jersey since 1992. Additional studies include music theory at Westminster Choir College, composition with Timothy Shaw, and worship studies with Robert E. Webber. He is published by Roger Dean, Lorenz, and Choristers Guild. He enjoys participating in the musical culture of his surrounding communities as accompanist and soloist as well as administrating and directing the many choirs and ensembles of his church community. One of his greatest honors was performing in the Center Hall of the White House.
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.
Jeremy Zimmer is a composer, organist, and pianist based in the greater Chicagoland area. He is a recent graduate of DePaul University, where he earned the Master of Music degree in Composition and studied with Dr. Christopher Jones and Dr. Seung-Won Oh. He received the Bachelor of Arts degree in Music at Concordia University-Chicago, where he studied with Dr. Jonathan Stahlke. He began playing organ professionally in 2011, at Hope Lutheran Church in Hillside, Illinois. He now holds the position of assistant cantor at Grace Lutheran Church in River Forest, Illinois. He currently resides in Naperville, Illinois with his wife Evelyn.