Summer of Stars
Join us for a fun summer of rehearsals where we have invited a fantastic set of performers, professors and professionals to share their techniques, insights and how to bring your performance to the next level!
Sarah Wigley is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Voice for the Lyric Theatre department at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, where she instructs Lyric Theatre Studio, Musical Theatre Repertoire, and Singing in Musical Theatre while maintaining a private voice studio and frequently stage directing both opera and musical theatre. Wigley holds an MM in Voice Performance from Colorado State University and a BM in Voice from the University of Minnesota. While residing in Minneapolis, Wigley performed professionally with regional companies such as the Guthrie Theatre, the Skylark Opera, the Mystery Cafe, the Minnesota Centennial Showboat, and the Minnesota Opera. Ms. Wigley’s Denver credits include roles such as Aldonza in Man of LaMancha, Emma in Jekyll and Hyde, Dolores in The Wild Party, and Miss Scarlett in Clue-The Musical. Sarah Wigley has served as faculty for the Musical Theatre department at the University of Northern Colorado as well as Parlando School for the Arts in Boulder, Colorado, and has had several students appear on Broadway and in national tours and regional theaters across the nation.
As a contemporary voice specialist, Ms. Wigley frequently presents workshops concerning flexible voice technique and crossover training for both studio voice teachers and choral educators. Sessions ranging from “Crossing Over: Contemporary Voice Technique for Solo and Ensemble Singing” to “Crossing Genres: A Classical Singer’s Guide to Jazz” have energized the International Congress of Voice Teachers in Stockholm, Sweden, the National Association for Teachers of Singing, Illinois Music Education Association, Iowa Choral Directors Association, and Minnesota Music Education Association. Professor Wigley’s students are frequently awarded as finalists in musical theatre competitions for the National Association for Arts and Letters and the National Association for Teachers of Singing, and she currently sits on the board of the Chicago chapter of the National Association for Teachers of Singing.
Kevin Keller has been a member of the Society since 1978. Growing up in the St. Louis, MO area, after college he moved to Dallas, TX where he sang with the Vocal Majority for 4 years and then returned in 1989 to St. Charles, MO. He was an assistant director and section leader with Ambassadors of Harmony for over 15 years and still sings with the chorus today.
He has been in several quartets throughout the years, most notably with Cheers! who placed 6th at International in 2003.
Kevin has coached all levels of choruses and quartets all over the world. He has been on faculty for district schools for almost 30 years as well as Harmony University staff for over 20 years.
As a certified Music judge since 1998, he served 7 years on Board of Review, Music Category Specialist from 2008-2010 and Chair of Contest & Judging from 2012-2015.
Kevin has been arranging barbershop music since 1991 and has arranged for all levels of groups including International medalist choruses and quartets in BHS, SAI and HI. He currently teaches online beginning arranging classes for HU Online and has served as a mentor for beginning arrangers.
Professionally, Kevin is semi-retired but still actively consults with local and global businesses on continuous improvement and operational excellence as well as conducting training classes.
He and Ann’s two daughters live in the St. Charles area and they just welcomed grandchild #3 into the world on June 5.
July 14 2020 - Nathan Gunn
"Cultivating Performance Magic"
Nathan Gunn is widely acclaimed for his diverse performing career bridging the genres of opera, musical theatre, and recital. Gunn grew up in South Bend, Indiana doing what most Midwestern boys do: playing sports, working hard at school, and spending time with his family. His interest in music became a passion during his junior year of high school when he was introduced to Mozart’s opera, Die Zauberflöte. Consumed by a desire to learn more, Nathan attended the University of Illinois (the third generation in his family to attend the school) to study music.
As a performer, Nathan is respected as an artist, musician, and singing actor. He has performed many of opera and musical theater’s greatest roles on the world’s most prestigious stages. Nathan has also been seen and heard on television, radio, video, and live simulcast performances, including the first ever Met in HD broadcast(The Magic Flute), in which he sang Papageno, one of his signature roles. In addition to Papageno, Nathan has reinterpreted classic roles such as Billy Budd, Figaro, and Don Giovanni, garnering many awards, including the Grammy Award for Best Opera Recording (Billy Budd) and the Metropolitan Opera’s first ever Beverly Sills Award. Additionally, Nathan has been widely acclaimed for his ability to crossover into musical theater, including performances with the New York Philharmonic in Carousel and Camelot, as well as a televised celebration of Stephen Sondheim’s80th birthday. Nathan has frequently collaborated with many stars of musical theater, including Mandy Patinkin, Kelli O’Hara, Audra McDonald, and Kristin Chenoweth.
Nathan believes that music is a living art form and must be nurtured to remain relevant. He has championed dozens of new songs, operas, and sung theater in a multitude of venues. He recently debuted his one-man autobiographical show produced and written by Hershey Felder, entitled Flying Solo, which has been lauded as a “riveting autobiographical musical [that] is a stunner both with its touching, relatable, family-centric narrative and Gunn’s entertaining, charismatic performing style (Broadway World review).” Nathan and Julie Gunn created their production company, Shot in the Dark, to produce and perform cabaret shows which entertain the public, and give young artists and hometown celebrities a platform to showcase their talents. Nathan and Julie are also often seen in recital and cabaret settings where they enjoy creating programs uniquely tailored to the special event. This season, Nathan will perform new roles with Pittsburgh Opera, Chicago Opera Theater, Beth Morrison Projects and PROTOTYPE Festival, and will debut Drytown: a Living Room Vaudeville with Julie Gunn.
Nathan is a professor and Swandlund Chair at the University of Illinois where he is co-director of Lyric Theatre @ Illinois, a comprehensive program embracing a broad continuum of opera and musical theatre, as well as the development of new works. At the Lyric Theatre @ Illinois, Nathan developed and founded the first ever Bachelor of Musical Arts in Lyric Theatre curriculum in the nation. The program is part of the School of Music at the University of Illinois and housed in the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts.
In addition to life as a performer, educator, and arts advocate, Nathan is an avid patron of the arts. Nathan and Julie Gunn consistently support pre-college music education and sponsor local cultural events in order to secure the future of the art form. Nathan and his family reside in Champaign, Illinois.
July 28, 2020 - Finalizing our Presenter - Stay Tuned
Aug 11, 2020 - Finalizing our Presenter - Stay Tuned
Aug 25, 2020 - Finalizing our Presenter - Stay Tuned