James Ramsey, Artistic Director

James RamseyJames Ramsey is Executive Director for the St. Luke’s Performing Arts Academy, Director of Music and Arts at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, and Adjunct Choral Faculty at the University of Denver’s Lamont School of Music. James has worked with various orchestras and ensembles in Colorado as well as served as Music Director for the University of Colorado Summer Opera Program, Chorus Master for the Colorado Music Festival, Associate Conductor of the Carolina Chamber Chorale and Assistant Conductor of the Grammy award-winning San Francisco Symphony Chorus preparing for several maestros including Michael Tilson Thomas, Sir Roger Norrington and Libor Pesek. Ramsey has conducted choral and orchestral performances across Europe and the United States and as a baritone soloist performed with CU Opera, Pikes Peak Opera, Opera Colorado, and Rochester (NY) Light Opera Theater.

James earned a Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the University of Colorado, Boulder, a Master of Music degree in conducting at the Eastman School of Music, and a Bachelor of Music Education at Middle Tennessee State University. Mentors and teachers include Joan Conlon, Vance George, Donald Neuen, Alfred Mann, and Samuel Adler. As an instructor, Ramsey has taught at the University of Colorado, Whitman College in Washington, and Brighton Central Schools in Rochester, NY.

During his tenure at St. Luke’s UMC, James has conducted and led music and drama performances that have raised more than $250,000 for worthy causes, missions, and charities both locally and internationally. He has also served in various leadership capacities within the United Methodist Church including Music Director for Exploration and Student Forum conferences.

As the American Choral Directors Association’s Repertoire and Standards Chair for Community Choirs, he has served for both Colorado and the Southwest Region. James resides in Littleton with his wife, Leigh, and their sons, Jack and Luke.

Helen Cha-Pyo, Guest Conductor

HelenChaPyoHeadshotFor the past thirteen years, Music Director Helen Cha-Pyo has inspired hundreds of young musicians to perform at the highest levels, resulting in Empire State Youth Orchestras (ESYO) being recognized as one of the premier music organizations for youth in the United States.   As Conductor of ESYO’s Youth Orchestra, Ms. Cha-Pyo has programmed a wide range of music embracing many different cultures.  Her vision resulted in ESYO being awarded a $100,000 grant to partially fund a music festival that commissioned nine new works, and winning three prestigious ASCAP awards for programming.  She has conducted the orchestra in outstanding concert halls including Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, the Massery Center for the Arts, EMPAC, Tanglewood’s Ozawa Hall, and Carnegie Hall.  She has led the orchestra on two international tours:  to Europe in 2008, and in 2012, to China and South Korea.

From 1996 to 2002, Ms. Cha-Pyo served as Artistic Director and Conductor of the Riverside Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir and Associate Director of Music at The Riverside Church in New York City.  A committed music educator, she pioneered the Riverside Music Educational Program, which served thousands of New York City public-school children. She has produced three CDs with the Riverside Choir under the JAV recordings label: Behold the Star (1998), Touch the Spirit (1999), Anthems from Riverside (2002).

Ms. Cha-Pyo served as Artistic Director for Kenya Jirani Choir and Harlem Jirani Ensemble of the Jirani Cultural Organization from 2009 – 2012. She traveled regularly to Kenya and Korea to oversee artistic activities and train music staff and the choirs.  In 2011 she toured Korea with Kenya Jirani Choir and conducted its 5th anniversary concert at the famed Sejong Cultural Hall in Seoul, Korea.

Ms. Cha-Pyo is also an active church musician serving as choral clinician as well as music leader and liturgist for many national events of the United Methodist Church and for various other denominations.  In 2011, 2013 & 2014, she led workshops in “Global Praise and Worship for Children” and “Engaging Children in Worship through Music” at Drew Summer Music Institute.   She served as music director and liturgist for the Korean Worship and Music Conference held annually at Stony Point Retreat center, NY and at Columbia Theological Seminary in Georgia from 1998-2010.  She was the song leader at the 1998 and 2002 United Methodist Women Assembly; Young Women, Rise Up! conference in 2000; Student Forum (1993-1998) for College Students and Exploration conference for ordained ministry.  In 2003, she served as music director for the International Centennial Celebration of Christianity in Korea conference held in Honolulu, Hawaii.  Since 2006, she has been a frequent clinician for choral conducting workshops, church music conferences and master classes in Seoul, Korea for church musicians.

Born in Seoul, Ms. Cha-Pyo immigrated to the USA when she was 12.  She studied piano and organ in the Pre-College Program at The Juilliard School.   She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Organ Performance from Oberlin Conservatory and Master of Music degrees in conducting and organ performance from the Eastman School of Music.  As winner of many awards and competitions, she has conducted orchestras and choruses in the United States, Africa, Asia, and Europe.

Ms. Cha-Pyo is a member at the Bethany Korean United Methodist Church in Wayne, NJ, where she serves as conductor of Joo-Sarang choir.  She resides in Morristown, NJ with her husband, Daniel and two sons, Christopher and Michael.

Timothy Koch, Artistic Advisor

Timothy KochTimothy Koch serves his fifteenth season as Music Director and Conductor of the Carolina Master Chorale in 2014-2015. His tenure has been marked by notable growth in artistic achievement, extensive touring, acclaimed performances of the masterworks for chorus and orchestra, opera productions, commissioning of numerous major new works, and expanded educational programming.

Koch has led the CMC in tour performances throughout Italy in 2003, and Denmark, Germany and the Czech Republic in 2005, to New York’s Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center in 2007, throughout Spain in June 2008, Costa Rica in 2010, and Finalnd Estonia and Russia in 2012. In South Carolina, Koch and the CMC have presented acclaimed performances of Bach’s St. John Passion, the Mozart and Brahms Requiems, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, and Beethoven’s Mass in C. Koch has prepared the CMC for performances of Verdi’d Requiemand Stabat Mater, the Poulenc Gloria, Schoenberg’s Survivor from Warsaw, and Orffs Carmina Burana, among others. A 2008 performance of Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms with the Long Bay Symphony inspired Myrtle Beach Herald reviewer, William Hamiton to write, “The appropriately named Carolina Master Chorale is a treasure…”

Koch and the CMC embraced a new genre in 2006 with a full concert performance of Bizet’s beloved opera, Carmen. The Chorale followed with a semi-staged production of Verdi’s La Traviata in May 2008. Following the Verdi performances, William Hamilton again wrote for the Herald, “The remarkable Carolina Master Chorale….(made) listeners completely unaware this is a volunteer group… and not a full time professional music ensemble.” Koch and the CMC plan that the great opera repertory will now be regularly represented in future CMC season programming.

The CMC growth has also been marked by numerous successful collaborations. Koch has forged collaborative projects and relationships with the Long Bay Symphony and South Carolina Philharmonic Orchestras, composer Carlisle Floyd, conductors Charles Jones Evans, Micholas Smith, Donald Neuen, Robert Page, David Rayl, Andre’ Thomas, and Eph Ehly, Viennese baritone, Benno Schollum, American soprano Shelly Jameson, internationally renowned mezzo-soprano Kirstin Chavaez, and international music theatre star, Mark Vitale. In recent seasons, the CMC has shared talent and resources with Conway’s theatre of the republic, Litchfield Dance Arts, and the Myrtle Beach Beach School of Performing Arts for a number of popular community projects.

Teamed with CMC Composer-in-Residence Andrew Fowler, Koch presented more than twenty-five premieres of important new works by the composer. In February 2007 members of the CMC participated in the world premiere of Fowler’s most important work to date, Directions for Singing, a 45-minute work for chorus, orchestra, narrator, and soprano and baritone soloists, at New York’s Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center, under the baton of world-renowned choral maestro, Eph Ehly. Koch and Fowler have conceived an opera on Pat Conroy’s The Prince of Tides which Fowler has composed for premiere sometime in the near future.

As founder/music director of the professional Carolina Chamber Chorale, Koch inspired widespread artistic achievement, including twelve commercial recordings on the Albany and Naxos/Milken Achieve labels. His work with ensemble has been lauded by Gramophone Magazine, “a wonderful compendium of finely-judged performances,“ the Charleston Post and Courier, “You have not heard anything like this. Ever.,” and American Composer Samuel Adler, “the finest Professional choir in America.”

Koch holds degrees from Illinois Wesleyan University and the University of Illinois and the Doctor of Musical Arts from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York. he has taught at the Eastman School of Music, Syracuse University, The University of Southern Mississippi, where in 1998 he was chosen as the sole USM recipient of the Mississippi legislature’s HEADWAVE award, the University of South Carolina, the College of Charleston, and Illinois Wesleyan University, where he served as Visiting Director of Choral Activities in Spring 2009. He is married to Grand Strand native and CMC member Jo Nell (Brown) Koch. He also serves on the voice and opera faculties of Coastal Carolina University, and as a board member for the future Myrtle Beach Performing Arts Center.

Adrienne Danrich, Soprano Soloist

headshotThe voice of Midwest Emmy-winning Soprano Adrienne Danrich has been described as “fresh liquid-silver” and “meltingly tender in its high, floating vulnerability” by Opera News. La Cronaca del Wanderer describes her as “…soprano lirico spinto autentico.”

Ms. Danrich made her San Francisco Opera stage debut as Micaela in Carmen after having covered in two of the companies’ prior seasons as Elisabeth in Don Carlos and Liu in Turandot. Recent engagements have included the title role in Aïda with Tulsa Opera and Annapolis Opera; Madama Butterfly with the Imperial Symphony Orchestra; Serena in Porgy and Bess with Skylight Opera Theatre; and Bachianas Brasilieras No. 5 with the Lexington Philharmonic.

Most recent engagements have included NBC’s live telecast of The Sound of Music, and concerts with Cincinnati Symphony and Cincinnati Opera. In the 2014/15 season, Ms. Danrich joins the roster of Lyric Opera of Chicago for Porgy and Bess and Il Trovatore.

Ms. Danrich has sung the roles of Serena in Porgy and Bess with both Cincinnati Opera and Dayton Opera; Sister Rose in Dead Man Walking with Fort Worth Opera; Rosalinda in Die Fledermaus with Lyric Opera of San Antonio; Azelia in Troubled Island for the William Grant Still Festival; and Mrs. Gloop in the The Golden Ticket with American Lyric Theater. Ms. Danrich made her professional debut as Pamina in Die Zaubeflöte with Kentucky Opera while still a part of the Artist Diploma program at University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. She made debuts with Sarasota Opera, Opera Pacific, and Dayton Opera as the Countess in Le nozze di Figaro and her Lyric Opera of San Antonio debut as Fiordiligi in Cosi fan tutte. Ms. Danrich returned to the Dayton Opera stage as Donna Anna in Don Giovanni.
With Cincinnati Opera, she performed the High Priestess in Aïda; Anna in Nabucco; Cilla in excerpts from Margaret Garner; and understudied the role of Mimi in La bohème. She sang the role of Patience in excerpts from Patience and Sarah with American Opera Projects and Tamara in a reading of excerpts from Stefania de Kenessey’s developing opera Bonfire of the Vanities. In the 2014/2015 season, Ms. Danrich will debut the role of Tamara for the New York premiere of Act I of the Bonfires of the Vanities. Ms. Danrich also performed with Kenya Opera in various venues throughout Africa in Nairobi and Mombasa.

In 2006, Ms. Danrich received a commission from Cincinnati Opera to write and perform a one-woman show: This Little Light of Mine: The Stories of Marian Anderson and Leontyne Price. This production, which is a self-described live documentary, premiered in 2007 at the Cincinnati Opera and has since been presented over sixty times in various venues nationwide including The Mann Performing Arts Center as the opening act for the Philadelphia Orchestra, Next Act Theater, Antioch College, Central State University, Jackson State University, MEJ Artists Series, University of Southern Mississippi, and Wright State University, and a newly orchestrated version with the Chamber Orchestra of Laredo. PBS Milwaukee (MPTV) filmed and televised This Little Light of Mine in February 2011 and Ms. Danrich recently won a Midwest Emmy for Outstanding Achievement for On Camera Talent as a Performer and Narrator. PBS Cincinnati (WCET) filmed a newly envisioned original televised version of the show, which aired in the Cincinnati area in March 2012.

Ms. Danrich received her second commission from Indiana University of Pennsylvania-Lively Arts Concert Series in 2010. The new show, An Evening in the Harlem Renaissance, had its debut in February 2011 and was extraordinarily well received. She has since performed An Evening in the Harlem Renaissance at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in a collaborative production between Cincinnati Opera and the Taft Museum, which included students and faculty from her Alma Mater CCM. Most recently, she performed the show at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and had a successful run of the show at the Next Act Theater. An Evening in the Harlem Renaissance will be taped and televised by MPTV in the 2015/2016 season.
On the concert stage, Ms. Danrich has performed selections from Porgy and Bess with Sir Willard White and the San Francisco Symphony; the Rigoletto quartet and Porgy and Bess Suite with the Philadelphia Orchestra; the Brahms Requiem with the Cape Cod Symphony, Bryan Symphony and the St. George’s Choral Society; The Ordering of Moses and selections from Die Fledermaus with the Dayton Philharmonic; Three Divas with Northern Kentucky Symphony, the Bachianas Brasilieras with Fort Wayne Philharmonic and The Orchestra of St. Luke’s Outreach; Dido in Dido and Aeneas with Orchestra of St. Luke’s Outreach; John Carter’s Spiritual Cantata with Louisville Orchestra; Home for the Holidays with Cincinnati Symphony; and opera Galas with the Laredo Philharmonic, Hartt Symphony and Hamilton Fairfield Symphony.

Ms. Danrich made her soloist debut at Carnegie Hall with the New England Symphonic Ensemble in Beethoven’s Mass in C and Mozart’s Mass in G. She made her Alice Tully Hall debut with The Little Orchestra of New York performing arias and duets by Vivaldi. Ms. Danrich sang her first Beethoven Ninth Symphony with the Cape Cod Symphony Orchestra and the Cape Cod Times raved that “Young soprano Adrienne Danrich… added a glistening top to the ensemble work and sang solo passages with an unforced bell-like tone that penetrated to the far corners of the hall.”

Ms. Danrich is a native of St. Louis, MO and is an alumna of Eastman School of Music and the
University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. Ms. Danrich has recorded The Sound of Music, Live!; Only Heaven by Ricky Ian Gordon with PS Classics, Age to Age with OCP Publications, Original Songs of Sacred Slumber and Solitude with Soli Deo Gloria Productions and A Tribute to William Warfield with the Eastman School of Music.

Mark Hayes, Commissioned Composer

DSC_7498-final-300w_lowresMark Hayes is an award-winning concert pianist, composer, arranger and conductor. His personal catalog, totaling over 1,000 published works, includes work for solo voice, solo piano, multiple pianos, orchestra, jazz combo, small instrumental ensembles, and choruses of all kinds. Mark received a Bachelor of Music degree summa cum laude in Piano Performance from Baylor University in 1975. He has conducted the SWACDA and MCDA Community and Church Honor Choir, and served as guest conductor at Carnegie Hall, featuring his Te Deum and Magnificat. In 2010, Baylor University Center for Christian Music Studies awarded Mark the Award for Exemplary Leadership in Christian Music. Mark arranged and orchestrated the music for Civil War Voices, which won six awards including “Best Musical” in the 2010 Midtown International Theatre Festival in New York. He conducted the world premiere of his work for chorus, orchestra and narrator, The American Spirit, at Lincoln Center in May 2011 and the world premiere of his Requiem in Lincoln Center in May 2013.

In addition to his involvement in the sacred and secular choral music fields, Hayes is an accomplished orchestrator and record producer. The album, I’ve Just Seen Jesus, which Mark arranged, orchestrated and co-produced, received the Dove Award for Praise and Worship Album of the Year in 1986. In June 2010 Mark released his first CD of original songs titled All Is Well, featuring Kansas City jazz artist, Monique Danielle.

Whether concertizing on the other side of the globe or composing at his home in Kansas City, Missouri, Mark is blessed to live out his mission “to create beautiful music for the world”.

Kenrick Mervine, Organist/Accompanist

staff_kenmKenrick Mervine has earned reviews such as “a delight for both the layman and the connoisseur,” and “an organist of stature, one whose personality encompasses superb musicianship and technique in equal measure.”

With degrees in Organ Performance with Distinction from Westminster Choir College, Princeton, Ken received an Organ Talent Scholarship, and honors from the American Guild of Organists, West Chester State University, and the Music Teachers National Alliance. He has appeared at the Kennedy Center, Washington DC, served on the faculty of Seton Hall University, performed with numerous symphony orchestras, and was privileged to serve as an organist for Pope John Paul II during World Youth Day. In addition to his responsibilities at St. Luke’s UMC, he appears regularly playing the harpsichord, celesta, keyboard/synthesizer and organ for the Colorado Symphony Orchestra. He also serves as Organist of Temple Emanuel, Denver.

Ken and his wife Barbara, also a musician, have presented hundreds of concerts and workshops throughout the country, and have been featured on American and Canadian Public Radio and “Pipedreams.” They serve at St. Thomas More Catholic Church in Centennial, CO. In addition to serving as Music, Organ, and Liturgical Consultants they are Allen Artists. They also focus on teaching and training future musicians for concert and liturgy. Most recently, the Mervines filled in (with three hours notice) for the “First Lady of the Organ:” Diane Bish at the Pikes Peak Center, Colorado Springs, when she was too ill to appear. They have been featured guest artists on the Hour of Power at the Crystal Cathedral, Garden Grove California.