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.
Dennis Bergin, principal organist
Mr. Bergin has written several concert works for solo organ:
- T. S. Eliot Impressions (Set 1) 1998 (St. Louis, MorningStar, 2000)
- T. S. Eliot Impressions (Set 2) 1999
- Two Lenten Meditations on Poems by Alln Tate 2000
- Elegy “The Rain” (Homage to Edith Sitwell) 2000
- The Last Enemy 2003
Joy Boland, principal soprano
Joy Boland, a graduate of Webster University, is employed full time in theatrical administration at The MUNY in Forest Park since 1998. She has performed with the American Kantorei for 16 seasons, serving as principal soprano since 2004. Joy was also the St. Louis district Metropolitan Opera auditions winner for 2004 and the Artist Presentation Society of St. Louis overall winner in 2008.
Seen most recently as Kate Pinkerton in ‘Madama Butterfly’ with Michele Crider with Muddy River Opera in Illinois, Joy also portrayed the comical Bertha in New Opera St. Louis’s production of ‘Il Barbiere di Siviglie.’ Her operatic roles include Rosalinde (Die Fledermaus) for LyriCo, Light Opera of St. Louis; Alisa (Lucia di Lammermoor) for Tulsa Opera; Emilia (Otello), La Badessa (Suor Angelica) Clotilde (Norma), Marthe (Faust), Mrs. Nolan, (The Medium), Sr. Catherine (Dead Man Walking), and Annina (La Traviata), all for Union Avenue Opera; La Ciesca (Gianni Schicchi) for Webster University; and Lola Markham (Gallantry) for SIUE. Ms. Boland also created the role of Mary Todd Lincoln for the world premiere of ‘ABE: The Musical’ at Muddy River.
Ms. Boland served as a member of the voice faculty at St. Louis University from 1999 to 2004 and is also a licensed massage therapist currently working with singers, dancers, and instrumentalists.
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.