Principal Soloists

David Berger, principal bass

David Berger began his fulfilling vocation of vocal performance as a charter member of the Oregon Repertory Singers. He has sung on concert and oratorio stages from coast to coast in repertoire ranging from Monteverdi to Hindemith, including many performances with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra under Lukas Foss, JoAnn Falletta, Robert Shaw, Robert Page, and others. He has also served as soloist under the baton of three British conductors: Sir David Willcocks, Sir John Eliot Gardiner, and Christopher Hogwood. Pursuing his first musical love, Bach and the heritage of the baroque, Berger appeared regularly over three decades with Bach groups in Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Louis, Louisville, Dayton, and Rockford and has sung over 100 performances of Handel’s Messiah. Performing venues include Carnegie Hall and St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. He is currently principal bass of the Collegium Vocale of St. Louis and of the American Kantorei (Bach at the Sem) at Concordia Seminary.

Emily Truckenbrod, principal soprano

Emily Truckenbrod has appeared in recital, concerts, and opera throughout the United States, as well as in Italy, France, Austria, Honduras, and Tanzania, East Africa.  Her voice has been described by reviewers as “having sweet clarity” that “personifies the joy of the music.” On the opera stage, she has appeared in roles ranging from the Queen of the Night (The Magic Flute) to Oscar (Un Ballo di Maschera).  Equally comfortable with oratorio and orchestral works, Ms. Truckenbrod has appeared as soloist with the Tulsa Oratorio Chorus, the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, the Wichita Symphony, the Canterbury Choral Society and Oklahoma City Philharmonic, the Quad Cities Symphony Orchestra, the Richmond Symphony, The Handel Oratorio Society, the American Kantorei, the LaFosse Baroque Ensemble, Concert Choir of Northeast Connecticut, and the Northshore Choral Society, among others.

Dr. Truckenbrod holds the Doctor of Musical Arts and Master’s Degree from the University of Iowa and a Bachelor of Music from Northern Illinois University.  She has also completed studies at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria; at the Eastman School of Music; and as an intern with the National Association of Teachers of Singing Intern Program.  Dr. Truckenbrod is currently the Director of Vocal Studies at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and serves as the Faculty Advisor for the St. Louis Chapter of SNATS (Student National Association of Singing).


Katharine Lawton Brown, principal contralto

Katharine Lawton Brown’s singing career began in musical theatre and extends to opera, oratorio, art song, standards and jazz.  With professional experience at St. Louis MUNY Opera and the Florida Symphony Orchestra, Kathy became principal contralto and soloist with the United States Air Force Band’s “Singing Sergeants” under the renowned conductor, Col. Arnald D. Gabriel, USAF.

Kathy has performed extensively throughout the USA, in Canada and in China, has appeared as soloist on international radio and TV, and is much in demand as a guest artist with prominent choral, orchestral and chamber ensembles.  Her appearances include the Tulsa Oratorio Chorus and Symphony Orchestra, the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, the Folger and 20th Century Consorts of Washington, DC, and the Arianna String Quartet.  She premiered Claude Baker’s “Sleepers Awake” with the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra and has performed regularly with members of that orchestra on the Bach at the Sem series. Since 1993, she has served as principal contralto and soloist with the American Kantorei under the direction of eminent Bach scholar, the late Rev. Maestro Robert Bergt.  From broadcasts of those concerts and her familiar presence as an announcer, her voice is well-known to those who were listeners of KFUO-FM Classic 99.

Holding a BA from Rollins College (FL) and her MM from James Madison University (VA), Kathy has taught at colleges and universities in Virginia, Georgia, Missouri and Illinois.  She joined the music faculty of Greenville College in 2007, serving as Interim Director of Vocal Studies in 2010-11.