Kevin Mathews

Kevin is a Helena native and current resident. He studied vocal performance at Montana State University while earning a degree in Chemical Engineering. While at MSU he was active in performance choirs, local opera, and musical theater. After graduation he moved to the Seattle area where he performed as a soloist with the Pacific Lutheran University chorale. Continue reading

Mark Walker

Mark Walker is the Helena Chamber Singers accompanist.  He works as a hydrologist for Hydrometrics.  As a junior in high school Mark was a guest artist with the Helena Symphony playing Gershwin’s “Rhapsody In Blue”.  He has played in numerous bands and jazz ensembles in Helena over the years.  He lives with his wife, Shannon, and two children.

Cathy Barker

Cathy Barker has been singing as long as she can remember. Since sixth grade she’s been game for just about any solo, from “Blowin’ in the Wind” to “He Shall Feed his Flock.” She loves singing with others in church, camp, or concerts. Ensembles of note include the Prairie Arts Chorale (southwest Minnesota), the Seattle Peace Chorus and City Cantabile Choir, and the Helena Symphony Chorale. Cathy and her husband Dick Weaver are co-pastors at Plymouth Church in Helena, where music abounds.

Mike Swisher

Mike Swisher is a graduate of the University of Montana with a degree in Music Education with a voice emphasis.  He has been in numerous productions as a soloist, such as Handel’s Messiah, Brahm’s Requiem, the Faure Requiem, Marriage of Figaro by Mozart, Carmina Burana by Orff, Amahl and the Night Visitors by Menotti, Damn Yankees and Gilbert and Sullivan’s Gondoliers.  He has also been the choral director for pieces such as the Mozart Mass in G, the Verdi Requiem and the Poulenc Gloria with the Cheyenne, WY Symphony Chorale and has also directed church choirs there.  He moved back to Helena, MT two years ago and lives her with his wife, Ann.

The following were guest artists in past years: Anne Basinski

Anne Basinski, soprano, is currently on the faculty of The University of Montana-Missoula, where she teaches voice in both the Music and the Drama/Dance Departments. Her graduate degrees are from Indianan University, and professional credits include operatic roles with the Indianapolis Opera; the Ohio Light Opera; the Intermountain Opera of Bozeman, where she was seen as Zerlina in Don Giovanni; and the Rimrock Opera of Billings, where she sang Rosina in Il Barbiere di Siviglia. Continue reading

Megan Buness

Ms. Buness began voice lessons at the age of fourteen – with a foundation of violin lessons at age five, piano at age seven and french horn in elementary school (the private lessons for last two continued through college) – studying with her mother, Fay Buness in Helena, Montana. A mere three years later she was declared a winner in the National Association of Teachers of Singing Competition. During those years, she was also selected for All-State and All-Northwest choirs, and later toured with the Helena Symphony Chorale under the direction of her father Dave Buness in Australia. Her high school collaborations with vocalists and instrumentals received the highest ratings in district and state music festivals. Continue reading

David Cody

David Cody is highly sought after in the intermountain region as a tenor soloist in opera and in concert, as a conductor and musical director, and as a stage director. He has sung many leading and supporting roles with such companies as The Opera Theater of St. Louis, The Ohio Light Opera, Intermountain Opera, Rimrock Opera and Nevada Opera Theater. He was featured recently with the Helena Symphony as tenor soloist in Summer Sun, Winter Moon by Robert Kapilow, and as “Beadle Bamford” in Stephen Sondheim’sSweeny Todd. Continue reading

Carolyn Coefield

A Montana native and current resident of Billings, Montana, soprano Carolyn Coefield has performed with several ensembles including Portland Opera Works!, Portland SummerFest, Helena Symphony, Astoria Music Festival, Bel Canto Northwest, Portland Opera Guild and The Illustrious Virginia City Players. Most Recently, Carolyn performed the roles “Papagena” and “2nd Lady” in the Portland Opera Works! 2006 production ofThe Magic Flute. During the summer of 2006 Carolyn sang the role of “Giannetta” in the Portland SummerFest Concert Production of L’Elisir D’amore. Continue reading

Sherry Linnerooth

Sherry Linnerooth is the Professor of Horn at Montana State University and is principal horn of the Bozeman Symphony. Sherry teaches horn at the Flathead Lake Music Camp, is the founder of the Montana State University Horn Ensemble, is a member of the Bozeman ParForce Ensemble and has performed with the Fargo-Moorhead, Grand Forks, Helena, Butte and Billings Symphonies. Sherry performs with the Intermountain Opera Association and the Montana Ballet. She has presented sessions and is a member of the Montana Bandmasters. Continue reading

Gabriel Navar

Cantos Alegres (Joyful Songs)

Cantos Alegres was commissioned by and written for the Master Chorale of Tampa Bay, Jo-Michael Scheibe, Music and Artistic Director (by Paul Basler). The commission (sponsored in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts) came about after critically acclaimed performances of Basler’s Missa Kenya in the spring of 2000 by Maestro Scheibe and the Master Chorale. Continue reading

The Premiere Dance Company

The Premiere Dance Company strives to provide quality training and expand the dance education for young dancers ages 13 thru 18. At PDC they create a positive learning and social environment in a setting where dancers can explore dance as a career option. They encourage involvement in the Helena community including the schools where dancers serve as role models. They promote & share the art of dance as a service to the community. They perform benefit performances and provide free tickets to area non-profit organizations. Helena Chamber Singers is honored to have performed with PDC on several occasions.

Everett Suttle

Everett Suttle, a native of LaFayette, Georgia, is a graduate of the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University. He continued his studies at the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria, and the Brahms Haus in Baden Baden, West Germany. He has also coached with such outstanding artists as Luciano Pavarotti, Peter Pears, Martin Arroyo, Eleanor Stever and David Garvey. Continue reading

Janna R. Williams

Janna R. Williams is a native of Helena, Montana. Janna was a member of the Helena High School Starlighters and Ambiance groups, as well as the Women’s Quartet. She began her vocal studies with Dr. Steve Michelson and will be completing her Masters in Vocal Performance at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music where she studies with Barbara Paver.

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Bells of St. John’s Lutheran Church

The American Guild of English Handbell Ringers, the “Bells of St. John’s,” under the direction of Karen Bryson, is a four octave handbell (49 bell note range) ensemble. Karen Bryson is a former handbell ringer and took over as director four years ago. This dedicated group of 12 ringers has been participating in the handbell choir, one for as little as two years and others for almost 18 years.