Meet the musicians who make the music that makes our wonderful concerts!

                                                                     

Amanda Balestrieri

took her rigorous instrumental training in orchestral and chamber music and her love of language and the stage, and crafted an unusually versatile soprano voice in the classical music community, making her truly a musician’s singer. Born in England, she won two scholarships to Oxford University where she received her BA/MA in German and French, and studied voice in London and Milan. She sang with the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields under Sir Neville Marriner for the soundtrack of the movie Amadeus and was a regular soloist in contemporary music with James Wood’s New London Chamber Choir. 

After moving to the United States, Balestrieri made several notable appearances with the National Symphony under Leonard Slatkin and Christopher Hogwood, and with the Smithsonian Chamber Players under Kenneth Slowik. Renowned for her “radiant intelligence” and her “unusually versatile” voice with its “luminous warmth” (Washington Post, Santa Fe New Mexican), she is in high demand for her musicianship and skills in baroque repertoire. She has appeared with the major period instrument ensembles throughout the U.S., including New York Collegium, Concert Royal and New York Baroque Dance Company, Opera Lafayette, Washington Bach Consort, and American Bach Soloists.

Balestrieri moved to Denver in 2009 and has been a guest soloist with area symphony orchestras and ensembles, including the Colorado Symphony and the Colorado Chamber Players, and with period instrument ensembles including Baroque Chamber Orchestra of Colorado, Boulder Bach Festival, and Parish House Baroque. Formerly on the Voice Faculty at the University of Virginia, she currently teaches Voice Performance at Regis University in Denver. Balestrieri was appointed Artistic Director and Conductor of the Seicento Baroque Ensemble in 2018, and she has recorded with the Dorian, Koch, and Virginia Arts labels.

Updated 2020

                                                                     

Sarah Biber

has played viola da gamba and cello across the United States, Australia, and China. In recent collaborations with dance, she has been featured with the Paul Taylor Dance Company performing solo Bach for the company’s first performance with period instruments. Ms. Biber earned her doctorate from Stony Brook University after double-degree studies at Oberlin Conservatory and College and the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. She recently relocated to Golden, Colorado where she teaches and plays with groups like the Baroque Orchestra of Colorado and Byrd on a Wire, her viol consort. Sarah plays an 1815 Lockey Hill cello and and 2015 gamba by François Danger.enjoys playing both Baroque and Modern Violin. A Colorado native, she has been delighted to be a part of the growth of Early Music in this beautiful state. 

Updated 2020

                                                                     

Stacey Brady

enjoys playing both Baroque and Modern Violin. A Colorado native, she has been delighted to be a part of the growth of Early Music in this beautiful state. Stacey is a dedicated teacher and enjoys her full studio of students ranging from age 3 to 18. A founding member of the highly acclaimed Baroque Chamber Orchestra of Colorado, Stacey also performs with local ensembles such as Siecento and Sphere Ensemble. She is excited to be a part of this great Happy Hour Series in Denver!

Updated 2018

                                                                     

Amalia Dobbins

is a mezzo-soprano who has performed extensively in opera, musical theater and oratorio. Favorite operatic and musical theater roles include The Mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors (CSC), Maud Dunlop in The Music Man, Bloody Mary in South Pacific, Nicklausse in Tales of Hoffmann, Hansel in Hansel and Gretel , and Sarah Brown in Guys and Dolls. As alto soloist, Ms. Dobbins’ oratorio appearances include the Pergolesi Stabat Mater, the Verdi Requiem, Beethoven’s Mass in C major, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Saint-Saëns’ Requiem, Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass and Handel’s Messiah. After graduating from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music with a master’s degree in vocal performance, Ms. Dobbins was chosen by distinguished contemporary classical music composers to premier several new works in the US. Amalia is a founding member of “The Liberty Belles”, an Andrews Sisters-style jazz trio that performs nationally.

Ms. Dobbins studies voice with Metropolitan Opera soprano, Martile Rowland. She has been a voice mentor at The Colorado Springs Conservatory since 2014.

Updated 2020

                                                                     

Barbara Hamilton

is the Artistic Director and Violist with the Colorado Chamber Players, now entering its 26th season. For the past five years, Barbara has embarked on a study of baroque instruments, including the viola d’amore. She recently acquired a 2018 Olivia Pelling viola d’amore, and a 2013 Martin Biller viola d’amore. Barbara was honored to perform at the Tafelmusik Baroque Summer Institutes in 2017, 2018 and 2019, studying viola d’amore with Thomas Georgi. As well, she performed at several Oberlin summer baroque institutes, and performed with the Baroque Chamber Orchestra’s complete Brandenberg concerti in 2018. Previous orchestra positions include Principal Viola and Soloist with the Orquesta de Barcelona, Eastern Music Festival, and Colorado Symphony, and Assistant Principal Viola with Buffalo Philharmonic. She held a one year tutti viola position with New York Philharmonic. Barbara has played as Principal Viola with Pro Musica Colorado for 13 years. She served as the Chamber Music coordinator at Denver School of the Arts from 2013-2018. Barbara has performed chamber music with Lynn Harrell, David Krakauer, Dmitry Sitkovetsky, Julia Fischer, Roger Tapping, Jesse Levine, and Sharon Isbin. Barbara received the DMA from Yale School of Music in 1993, and holds advanced degrees from SUNY Stony Brook and Indiana University.  You can learn more at www.coloradochamberplayers.org.

Updated 2019

                                                                     

Wesley Leffingwell

is a pianist and harpsichordist from Littleton, Colorado. Performances from the past season include the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, the Greeley Philharmonic Orchestra, the Playground New Music Ensemble, the Breckenridge Music Festival, the Ainomae Ensemble, and as a soloist with the Aurora Symphony Orchestra. He works as a staff accompanist for the University of Denver Chorale, and an organist at St. Aidan’s Church in Boulder. Jazz and improvised music were an important part of his musical upbringing. Awarded by Downbeat Magazine, he has made appearances at Dazzle Denver, Porgy and Bess Vienna, as well as Sacramento, Evergreen, and Summit Jazz Festivals. He has taught both as a guest lecturer at the University of Colorado Boulder and privately. Wesley is a 2019-2020 Fellowship Artist with Boulder Bach Festival, studying and performing as basso continuo keyboardist.

Updated 2020

                                                                     

Ann Marie Morgan

is praised by the Baltimore Sun for her “beguiling musicality.” She is a frequent guest artist on viola da gamba with such major ensembles as the Cleveland, Philadelphia, Minnesota and Colorado Symphony Orchestras; at numerous Bach Festivals including Oregon, Bethlehem, and Boulder; and internationally in the Czech Republic, Turkey, Germany and Canada. Often a collaborator with tenor Nicholas Phan she is the violist da gamba on his album “A Painted Tale”, performing in Carnegie Hall and Istanbul; with members of Apollo’s Fire: The Cleveland Baroque Orchestra; and at the Chautauqua Institute (NY). She is featured baroque cellist on Grammy nominated flutist Joshua Smith’s highly acclaimed recording of the Bach continuo sonatas and chamber sonata from the Musical Offering. H&B Recordings Direct notes that her sound is “straight from heaven.” The Colorado Chamber Players and Colorado Bach ensembles invite her to perform regularly cello, cello piccolo and viol. Active as a choral singer locally, she serves as Alto Section Leader for Ars Nova Singers and at Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Littleton. This season she will appear as a cameo artist with St. Martins Chamber Choir and perform concerts with duo partner William Simms (theorbo and baroque guitar). Please see her website for more information at stringperformer.com.

Updated 2019

                                                                     

Parish House Baroque

is Colorado Springs’ Early Music Ensemble, specializing in the brilliance and diversity of music from the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries through historically informed performances. Drawing on varied sources of performance practice in interpretation and ornamentation of the renaissance and baroque, Parish House Baroque strives to expand the community of people who love Early Music and to foster the next generation of audiences for Early Music through performances, outreach and dialogue.  With a core formation of baroque violin, recorders, baroque cello, viola da gamba and harpsichord, Parish House Baroque has developed a reputation for highly expressive performances and compelling programming. Parish House Baroque is currently ensemble-in-residence at First Lutheran Church, Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Elisa Wicks (Artistic Director) brings a deep passion for early music to the stage. She has worked and studied with many of the great baroque violinists of our day, including Rachel Podger, Cynthia Roberts, Carla Moore and Julie Andrijeski with coachings from Jeannette Sorrell, Marilyn McDonald, Ross Duffin and Mimi Mitchell. She has performed with Chatham Baroque, the Bach and the Baroque Orchestra, the Baroque Chamber Orchestra of Colorado, Seicento, the Case Western Reserve University Baroque Orchestra (as Concertmaster) and the Pittsburgh Baroque Ensemble (as co-Concertmaster). On modern violin, she earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in violin performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music where her principal instructors were Linda Cerone and Stephen Rose, along with Michelle George and Teri Einfeldt from whom she received her full Suzuki teacher certification. Elisa formerly served as Concertmaster and soloist for the Butler County Symphony and as Principal Second Violin for the Academy Chamber Orchestra, both in the Pittsburgh area. In addition, she performed with the Wheeling Symphony, Erie Philharmonic, and the Westmoreland Symphony. Currently she serves as Principal Second Violin in the Chamber Orchestra of the Springs and is frequently asked to play with the Colorado Springs Philharmonic and other groups throughout the Pikes Peak region both as ensemble member and soloist.  Elisa’s violin was made in 2011 by Thomas Mace of Louisville, Kentucky; patterned after the instruments of Nicolo Amati (1596-1684), who was Stradivari’s teacher. 

Jennifer Carpenter’s love for the recorder began while earning her Bachelor of Music degree in clarinet performance from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Her pursuit of early music studies brought her to study at the University of North Texas where she received a Master of Music degree in musicology with an emphasis in early music performance and is ABD (all but dissertation) for her PhD in the same field from UNT. As a recorder player, Jennifer performs regularly as a soloist and in early music ensembles in both Texas and Colorado. She enjoys teaching as much as performing. In addition to teaching private lessons and coaching ensembles, Jennifer has been on the faculty of early music workshops in TX, CA, NM, and CO. Her enthusiasm for working with amateur recorder players as led her to serve on the Board of Directors of the American Recorder Society, where she was recently elected to her second four-year term. Jennifer was the music director of the Dallas Recorder Society from 2009-2014 and continues to mentor and coach ARS chapters across the country. As a musicologist, Jennifer worked as a teaching fellow at UNT and was an associate professor of music history at Collin College from 2008 until the birth of her son in early 2013. Now happily a resident of CO, she is enjoying integrating into the early music scene on the Front Range.

Eric Wicks serves as organist at the First Lutheran Church in downtown Colorado Springs. He received his Master’s Degree in organ performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music, where he studied with Todd Wilson. He also studied harpsichord with Janina Ceaser, piano with Olga Radosavljevich, eurhythmics with David Brown, and early music performance practice with Ross Duffin. While in Cleveland, Eric joined Elisa in performing baroque programs at the Cleveland Museum of Art, and in house concerts at the home of Phillip Cucchiara, a harpsichord builder. As an organist, Eric previously served at St. Paul’s Episcopal in Kennewick, Washington; St Peter’s Episcopal in Lakewood, Ohio; Old Stone Church (First Presbyterian) in Cleveland, Ohio; Anshe Chesed Fairmount Temple in Beachwood, Ohio; and, from 2004 to 2012, First United Methodist in Butler, Pennsylvania.

Praised for “capturing the bold imagery and beauty” of the works she performs (Gazette), cellist Pam Chaddon currently serves as associate principal cellist for the Chamber Orchestra of the Springs.   She has performed with Maryland and York Symphony Orchestras, Gettysburg and Millbrook Chamber Orchestras, Shippensburg Festival Orchestra, Harrisburg Choral Society, Bel Voce, and Cantate Carlise. As an orchestral soloist, she performed Fauré’s Élégie with the Hanover Symphony.  With violinist Jeri Jorgensen, she is a founding member of Trio Paradis, whose 2013-14  inaugural season presented music by women composers in a series entitled “Unsung Voices.  She received her musical training at Peabody Conservatory under Mihaly Virizlay and Towson University under Cecylia Barczyk.  She has taken master classes and coached with Stephen Kates, Lorne Munroe, David Hardy, and Barbara Thiem.  She has studied baroque cello with internationally-acclaimed viola da gambist and baroque cellist, Ann Marie Morgan.     

Updated 2020

                                                                     

Scott Saari

earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in guitar performance from University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and Arizona State University, respectively. He has been a regular member or guest lutenist and viola da gambist with many Early Music ensembles in the Southwest, such as Musica Dolce, Helios, and Musica Sonora, as well as a soloist on guitar and lute. After moving to Denver from Phoenix in 2016, Scott formed the Chimera Consort, currently concentrating on lute duet and lute/viol repertoire, with Denver lutenist Diana Linger. Scott is enjoying studying viola da gamba privately with Ann Marie Morgan. Sharing the subtle beauty of Early Music with new audiences and aficionados is his driving passion.

Updated 2019

                                                                     

Peter Schimpf

is an associate professor and Chair of the Department of Music at Metropolitan State University of Denver. He has taught courses in music history, world music, music appreciation, and the history of Rock and Roll, and he is the founder and director of the MSU Denver Early Music Ensemble. He earned a Ph.D. from Indiana University in musicology, and has a BM in performance from California State University Sacramento where he studied guitar and lute with Dr. Richard Savino. As a performer on period instruments, he has performed with the Baroque Chamber Orchestra of Colorado, Colorado Music Festival, Seicento Baroque Ensemble, and the Denver Early Music Consort.

Updated 2018

William Simms

is an active performer of early music. Equally adept on lute, theorbo and baroque guitar, he regularly performs with Apollo’s Fire, The Washington Bach Consort, Tempesta di Mare, Modern Musick, Ensemble Vermillian, Heartland Baroque and Three Notch’d Road. He has performed numerous operas, cantatas and oratorios with such ensembles as The Washington National Opera, The Cleveland Opera, Opera Lafayette, Opera Philadelphia and American Opera Theater. Venues include The National Cathedral, The Kennedy Center, The KImmel Center for the performing arts and The Barns at Wolftrap. Summer festival performances include Tanglewood, Caramoor and Ravinia. He has toured and recorded with The Baltimore Consort and Apollo’s Fire. His recording with Ronn Mcfarlane, Two Lutes, was CD pick of the week on WETA in 2012. He has recorded for the Centaur, Sono Luminus and Eclectra labels. Mr. Simms received his Bachelor of Music from the College of Wooster in Ohio and his Master of Music from Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore. He is Instructor of Guitar at Mt. St. Mary’s University and Hood College, where he is founder and Director of the Hood College Early Music Ensemble.

Updated 2019

                                                                           

(Photo: Ablaze Studios)

Solis

has continued to challenge and delight audiences since its inception in 2016, weaving together unexpected styles to present engaging concert programs. Though Renaissance and contemporary classical music are the heart and soul of what they do, the group approaches all styles with equal vigor and commitment to musical excellence. This quintet brings together decades of combined experience from diverse musical backgrounds spanning everything from french horn to organ, guitar, piano, composition, and of course a common love for vocal music. The result? An expressive and versatile group whose prowess in performance is surpassed only by their infectious joy. For upcoming events and more information about the singers, you can visit their website at solissingers.com.

   Mo Bailey, soprano
   John Boggs, alto
   Daniel Parks, tenor
   Brian du Fresne, baritone
   Maxwell J McKee, bass

Updated 2019

                                                                           

Daniel Urbanowicz

holds a master’s degree from the New England Conservatory of Music and a bachelor’s degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music. Mr. Urbanowicz is the former Principal Viola of the Augusta Symphony and performs regularly with the Miami Ballet, Jacksonville Symphony, Southwest Florida Symphony, and the Charleston Symphony Orchestra. Dan has played with the New World Symphony at Carnegie Hall, the Sarasota Orchestra, the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra, the Atlantic Symphony, Gulfshore Opera, the Canton Symphony Orchestra, the Firelands Orchestra, and the Plymouth Philharmonic. He has served as Principal Violist of Charlottesville Opera, Gulfshore Opera, Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival in Germany, the Pacific Music Festival in Japan, and the Chautauqua Music School Festival Orchestra. Apart from playing the viola, Dan also enjoys playing the viola d’amore. As a viola d’amore player Dan has been featured at the Tafelmusik Baroque Summer Institute, College of Charleston’s Second Monday Series, and Augusta University as a guest lecturer and recitalist. His principal teachers include Martha Katz, Jeffrey Irvine, Lynne Ramsey, and Marylene Gingras-Roy on viola; and Thomas Georgi on Viola d’Amore. Mr Urbanowicz plays on a 2017 Robert Clemens Viola. Urbanowicz’s viola d’amore is from the 19th century and is of unknown origin.

Updated 2019