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Past Lougheed-Kofoed Artists

2017 Artists

Linda Beaupré ’74

Conductor of award-winning choirs for over 30 years, Ms. Beaupre is the founder and conductor of the Bach Children’s Chorus, which includes choristers from the age of six through university.  From 1991-2013 she also conducted Guelph Youth Singers.

Ms. Beaupre has been honoured with a Bi-Centennial Award of Merit from the City of Scarborough, an award given to individuals whose achievements have brought honour and recognition to the City of Scarborough; the 2002 Guelph YM/YWCA Women of Distinction Award in the arts and culture category; and, in 2013, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee medal for service to her community.  In 2014 she was the recipient of the Helen Hosmer Award for Excellence in Music Teaching by the Crane School of Music at the State University of New York at Potsdam.

Linda Beaupré maintains an active schedule as clinician and adjudicator for other choirs and has conducted children’s choir camps, workshops and honour choirs throughout Canada, in the US and as far away as Australia and Indonesia.  Along with Jean Ashworth Bartle and Eileen Baldwin, she is co-author of a series of theory and ear-training workbooks and CDs entitled A Young Singers Journey, which are in use throughout North America and beyond.  This integrated musical literacy programme of workbooks and CDs is owned by Fred Bock Publishing and distributed by Hal Leonard.

Ms. Beaupré received a Bachelor of Music degree from the State University of New York at Potsdam, and a Master of Music degree from the University of Western Ontario. She has taught music in Australia and Nova Scotia, and for several years she was a professional singer with the Elmer Iseler Singers and The Toronto Mendelssohn Choir.

Elizabeth Caballero

Soprano Elizabeth Caballero’s performance in her signature role, Violetta in La traviata is touted as “animated, communicative and believable, singing with a big, facile, focused sound while making the vocal demands of the role seem easy and natural.” Her dramatically compelling interpretation of Violetta led to recent engagements to perform the role for houses across the country, such as Florentine Opera, Madison Opera, Pacific Symphony, and the Orlando Philharmonic.

She was engaged to perform the role of Musetta in Puccini’s La bohème for the Metropolitan Opera after grabbing the audience’s attention in the role at New York City Opera when The New York Times hailed Ms. Caballero as “the evening’s most show-stopping performance offering a thrilling balance of pearly tone, exacting technique and brazen physicality.” She subsequently returned to The Met in their new production of Carmen as part of The Met: Live in HD series.

Recent engagements include an exciting return to Seattle Opera to sing Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni, a performance of Carmina Burana with Florida Orchestra, a chance to sing the title role in Daniel Catán’s Spanish opera Florencia en el Amazonas with Nashville Opera, John Rutter’s Requiem at Carnegie Hall, and a concert appearance as Micaëla in Carmen by Bizet and Previn’s Honey and Rue in returns to the Pacific Symphony. This season she will once again perform as Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni at Lyric Opera Kansas City, as Violetta in La Traviata at Opera Naples and Pensacola Opera, as Zemfira/Nedda in Aleko/Pagliacci at Opera Carolina, Liù in Turandot at Pacific Symphony, and as the soprano soloist in Verdi’s Requiem in Opera Grand Rapids.

Her career continues to gain immense momentum since her European début as Magda in Puccini’s operetta La rondine at Teatro Giuseppe Verdi in Trieste, Italy. This led to command performances at international companies including Cio Cio San in Madama Butterfly at the Staatsoper Berlin, Anne Trulove in The Rake’s Progress with the Brazilian Symphony Orchestra, and the title role in The Merry Widow at Teatro Nacional Santo Domingo.

Ms. Caballero has garnered a reputation as “an intelligently responsive actress” (Opera News) after a string of role débuts throughout the United States: Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni at New York City Opera, Cio Cio San in Madama Butterfly at Lyric Opera Kansas City, Alice Ford in Falstaff with Virginia Opera, Violetta in La traviata at Opera New Jersey, Donna Anna in Don Giovanni at Madison Opera, and a turn as Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro in her company début at Seattle Opera, followed by a triumphant performance as Mimì in La bohème. Her company début at Hawaii Opera Theatre was in a double bill of another signature role, Nedda in Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci and as soprano soloist in the scenic cantata, Carmina Burana by Carl Orff.

A house favorite at Florida Grand Opera, she dazzled audiences as Contessa Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro, Liù in Turandot, Mimì in La bohème, Micaëla in Carmen, and Magda in La rondine. In 2013, she was the recipient of the 2013 Frost School of Music Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Miami. Other favorite engagements include a return to New York City Opera in Pagliacci and La bohème; Adina in L’elisir d’amore at San Antonio Opera; Micaëla in Carmen and Mimì in La bohème at Central City Opera; a return engagement as Liù in Turandot for Lyric Opera Kansas City, and a reprisal of the role at Austin Lyric Opera.

Ms. Caballero has impressed in the competition circuit, as well. She was a National Grand Finalist in The Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, a Gerda Lissner Foundation Award Winner, winner of the New York City Opera Diva Award, 2nd place winner in the Licia Albanese Puccini Foundation, and one of Miami’s Most Influential People by the Miami New Times.

Melissa Castillo-Garsow

Melissa Castillo-Garsow is a Mexican- American writer, journalist, and scholar currently completing a PhD in American Studies and African American Studies at Yale University. A lover of all forms of writing, Melissa's short stories and poetry have been published or are forthcoming in numerous journals including Acentos Review, Hispanic Culture Review, Kalyani Magazine, Huizache Magainze, Four Quarters (India) and Portal (Australia). She is the co-editor with Jason Nichols of La Verdad: An International Dialogue on Hip Hop Latinidades, recently published with Ohio State University's Global Latino/a Studies, as well as the editor of a forthcoming Manteca!: An Anthology of Afro-Latin@ Poets with Arte Público Press. Her first novel, Pure Bronx, was released by Augustus Publishing in Fall 2013 and her first volume of poetry Coatlicue Eats the Apple is forthcoming with VerseSeven in June 2016.

Melissa completed her Master’s degree in English with a concentration in Creative Writing at Fordham University in 2011 where she was a graduate assistant for the American Studies Program. Prior to that she was awarded a Bachelor of Arts from New York University summa cum laude with a double major in Journalism and Latin American Studies. A former employee of NBC News, El Diario/ La Prensa and Launch Radio Networks, Melissa has had articles and reviews published in a wide variety of forums including, Latin Beat Magazine, Washington Square News, University Wire, El Diario/La Prensa, Women’s Studies, Words. Beats. Life: The Global Journal of Hip-Hop Culture, and The Bilingual Review.

As a scholar of American and African American Studies, Melissa has published three books, four book chapters and seven peer reviewed articles, that introduce new ways of looking at migration, ethnicity, race and gender in the US via both scholarly and creative interventions in the fields of Latin@, Latin American, American and African American Studies. Her dissertation, “A Mexican State of Mind: New York City and the New Borderlands of Culture" establishes a much needed dialogue between African American and Borderlands studies by considering the recent history of Mexican migration to New York within the context of a much longer history of black and brown laboring bodies.  She is also currently at work guest editing a special issue of Words. Beats. Life: The Global Journal of Hip-Hop Culture about Brazil, forthcoming Winter 2016.

Eleanor Daley

Eleanor Daley received her Bachelor of Music Degree in organ performance from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, and holds diplomas in both organ and piano from the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto and Trinity College in England. She has been Director of Music at Fairlawn Avenue United Church in Toronto since 1982 and is currently the conductor of three choirs there. As a freelance accompanist, Eleanor has worked with numerous choirs, including the Toronto Children’s Chorus, the Canadian Children’s Opera Chorus, The Toronto Mendelssohn Choir and the Elmer Iseler Singers. She has been the accompanist of the Bach Children’s Chorus since 1995, and was the accompanist of the Amadeus Choir under Lydia Adams’ direction from 1991-2005.

A prolific composer, Eleanor has a remarkable gift for melody and sensitive interweaving of text and music. She has over 100 choral compositions in publication, and is commissioned extensively throughout North America and Europe. Her compositions have been performed and recorded throughout North America, Great Britain, Europe, South Africa and the Far East. Eleanor’s compositions have twice received the National Choral Award for Outstanding Choral Composition of the Year by the Association of Canadian Choral Conductors at their national conference. In 2005, Eleanor was invited to be the first Composer-in-Residence at the international choral festival, Festival 500, in St. John’s, Newfoundland.

The choirs of Fairlawn Avenue United Church have recorded two CDs featuring the choral music of Eleanor Daley: Canticle to the Spirit (2000) and What Sweeter Music (2003). Magnificat Live! which features the Magnificats of John Rutter and Jonathan Willcocks was released in 2009, and a Christmas CD called Gloria was released in 2012.

Cynthia T. Davis 

Cynthia  has worked as a freelance makeup artist in Los Angeles, New England and New York, and has over twenty years of experience. She is a graduate of Elegance Academy of Professional Makeup in Los Angeles, CA, and is currently a matriculating B.A. Technical Theatre student at the University of Rhode Island while taking her final semester courses at SUNY Potsdam. 

Her experience includes work in T.V., film, theater, photo shoots, local performances, Halloween haunts, and teaching workshops. She has worked as a consultant as well as designed and created special effects and unique makeup looks. She makes prosthetic pieces using various latex materials, teeth using dental acrylic, hair pieces, bald caps, props, and numerous other entertainment effects. 

Cynthia recently moved to the Potsdam with the idea of opening an artists' space and venue. She is in the process of remodeling a large building in Norwood in hopes of bringing more arts to the area by offering a work space for herself and other artists to teach classes and/or display their work, as well as a venue for performing artists, such as musicians, poets and theater artists to perform. 

Kevin Deas

Kevin Deas has gained international renown as one of America’s leading bass-baritones. He is perhaps most acclaimed for his signature portrayal of the title role in Porgy and Bess, having performed it with the New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, National Symphony, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Pacific Symphony, and the symphonies of Atlanta, Baltimore, Calgary, Columbus, Detroit, Florida, Hartford, Houston, Milwaukee, Minnesota, Montreal, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Utah, and Vancouver, and at the Ravinia, Vail and Saratoga festivals.

Engagements during the 2016-17 Season include Handel’s Messiah with the Houston Symphony, Rochester Philharmonic and National Cathedral; Vaughn Williams’ Dona Nobis Pacem with the Richmond Symphony, Verdi’s Requiem with the Virginia Symphony, Puccini’s ‘Messa di Gloria’ with the Bach Festival Society of Winter Park, Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feastwith the Buffalo Philharmonic, Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius with the Jacksonville Symphony, Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass with Baltimore Choral Arts, Mozart’s Requiem with VoxAmaDeus and a Rachmaninoff’s ‘The Bells’ with JoAnn Falletta at SUNY Potsdam.

Kevin Deas’ engagements during the 2015-16 season included Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Bach Festival Society of Winter Park and the Pacific, Phoenix, and Richmond Symphonies; Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass, the Duruflé Requiem, and a concert of Bach Cantatas with the National Philharmonic; Messiah with Pacific MusicWorks and the Alabama Symphony; Frank Martin’s Golgotha with the New Amsterdam Singers; the Brahms Requiem with Vox Ama Deus; Mozart Requiem with the Baltimore Choral Arts Society; and Elgar’s The Apostles with the Bucks County Choral Society.

Kevin Deas’ recent concert performances include Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with Boston Baroque, Buffalo Philharmonic, Calgary Philharmonic, Colorado Symphony, Elgin (IL) Symphony, Louisiana Philharmonic, National Arts Centre Orchestra, North Carolina Symphony, Pacific Symphony, and Richmond Symphony; Verdi’s Requiem with the Richmond Symphony, National Philharmonic, and Winnipeg Symphony; Handel’s Messiah with Boston Baroque, Cleveland Orchestra, Kansas City Symphony, National Philharmonic, Seattle Symphony, and the Warsaw Easter Festival; Mozart’s Requiem with the Alabama Symphony and Vermont Symphony; Bach’s St. Matthew Passion with the Grand Rapids Symphony and Oratorio Society of New York; St John Passion with the Bach Festival Society of Winter Park and Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de Mexico; Ravel’s L’enfant et les sortilèges with the New York Philharmonic; and Copland’s Old American Songs with the Chicago and Columbus (OH) Symphonies.

A strong proponent of contemporary music, Kevin Deas was heard at Italy’s Spoleto Festival in a new production of Menotti's Amahl and the Night Visitors in honor of the composer's eighty-fifth birthday, which was videotaped for worldwide release. He has also performed the world premieres of Derek Bermel’s The Good Life with the Pittsburgh Symphony and Hannibal Lokumbe’s Dear Mrs. Parks with the Detroit Symphony. His twenty-year collaboration with the late jazz legend Dave Brubeck has taken him to Salzburg, Vienna and Moscow in To Hope!, and he performed Brubeck’s Gates of Justice in a gala performance in New York during the 1995-96 season.

Kevin Deas has recorded Wagner’s Die Meistersinger for Decca/London with the Chicago Symphony under the late Sir Georg Solti and Varèse's Ecuatorial with the ASKO Ensemble under the baton of Riccardo Chailly. Other releases include Bach's Mass in B-minor and Handel's Acis and Galatea on Vox Classics; Dave Brubeck's To Hope! with the Cathedral Choral Society on the Telarc label; and Haydn's Die Schöpfung with the Virginia Symphony and Boston Baroque for Linn Records. June 2014 marks the release of “Dvorak in America” (Naxos), featuring Mr. Deas performing the world premiere recording of Dvorak’s “Hiawatha Melodrama” and Dvorak’s arrangement of “Goin’ Home” with the PostClassical Ensemble.

Hélène Dorion

Hélène Dorion was born in 1958 in Quebec City. She studied Philosophy at the University of Laval, and published her first poetry collection, L’Intervalle prolongé, in 1983. Since then, her prolific oeuvre – poetry, fiction, essays, children’s book – has constituted one of modern Quebecois literature’s major achievements. She is the winner of the Governor General’s Award for Poetry, the Prix Mallarmé, the Prix French Studies of the University of Montreal, the Prix Wallonie- Bruxelles, the Prix Anne-Hébert, the Prix Alain-Grandbois, and numerous other Canadian and international prizes. When Ravir: Les lieux appeared in 2005, Dorion became the first Canadian to receive the Prix Mallarmé, while her 2008 poetry collection, Le Hublot des heures, won the Prix Charles-Vildrac – another first for a Quebecois writer. In 2011, Dorion won the European Prix Senghor.

In 2006, Hélène Dorion was elected to the Academy of Letters of Quebec. In 2007 she was decorated Knight of the National Order of Quebec, and in 2010, Officer of the Order of Canada. Library and Archives Canada has acquired her archives in 2006.

Translated and published in fifteen countries, her work was the subject of an international symposium held in 2009 at the University of Paris-Nanterre, in collaboration with the University of Quebec at Montreal, under the direction of Jean-Michel Maulpoix. Theses, dissertations and journal issues were devoted to her work, as well as a collective work involving the collaboration of several writers and critics, entitled We travel around Hélène Dorion. In 2012, the National Library of France (BNF) devoted to her a tribute night.

Hélène Dorion is also the author of fifteen artist books, and is frequently invited to contribute as guest editor of journals and anthologies. She was a member of the editorial boards of several literary journals, including Estuary (Quebec), Courrier of the International Center for Poetic Studies (Belgium), Cronica (Romania) and Présages (France), and worked, as a critic, for various cultural and literary publications. She also edited the issues of several foreign journals devoted to Quebec poetry, as well as a variety of anthologies of Quebec poets and an edition of poems by Saint-Denys Garneau.

Hélène Dorion was literary editor of Éditions du Noroît from 1991 to 2000, where she also directed a series of audio recordings of poetry and music. In 1999 and 2000 she was writer in residence at the University of Quebec, and at the University of Montreal. She has also conducted numerous writing workshops, both in educational institutions as at literary events. She has held regular columns in various magazines. 

She is part of the editorial board of Les Écrits, a member of the committee of the “Quebec International Writers Conference” and a permanent member of the jury of the French-language international poetry prize Louise-Labé.

James Esber

Using paint and plasticine, James Esber addresses notions of distortion and perception by mining the pawed-over icons of popular culture. The list includes sugary sweet Hummel figurines, war photos, crushed cars, pornography and Honest Abe Lincoln. Fragmenting and distorting these images, Esber creates visual puzzles in both platicine and paint, inviting the viewer to embrace absurdity or bridge the gap between abstraction and figuration by mentally bandaging holes and reconfiguring forms.

James Esber has shown his work in New York and abroad including a 25-year survey at the Clifford Gallery at Colgate University (2014) and a solo exhibition at the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Ridgefield, CT (2011). He has had multiple one-person shows at PPOW, NYC, Bernard Tolle in Boston and Pierogi in both New York and Leipzig. He has also shown widely in group exhibitions, including One Work at the Tang Museum (2014), The Land of Earthly Delights at The Laguna Art Museum (2008), and SITE Santa Fe’s Fifth International Biennial: Disparities and Deformations: Our Grotesque (2004).

James received a BFA from the Cleveland Art Institute and studied at Skowhegan, ME and Temple University in Rome, Italy. He is the recipient of a NYFA Fellowship award, a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant, and has participated in residencies such as MacDowell Colony and Yaddo, among others. He currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY and is represented by Pierogi Gallery.

JoAnn Falletta

Hailed as a “leading force for the music of our time”, for her work as a conductor, communicator, recording artist, audience builder, champion of American composers and distinguished musical citizen, JoAnn Falletta serves as Music Director of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and the Virginia Symphony Orchestra, and Principal Guest Conductor of the Brevard Music Center. She has been acclaimed by The Washington Post as having “Toscanini’s tight control over ensemble, Walter’s affectionate balancing of inner voices, Stokowski’s gutsy showmanship, and a controlled frenzy worthy of Bernstein.”

Internationally celebrated as a vibrant ambassador for music and an inspiring artistic leader, Ms. Falletta is invited to guest conduct many of the world’s finest orchestras. She has guest conducted over a hundred orchestras in North America, and many of the most prominent orchestras in Europe, Asia, South America and Africa. Her North America guest conducting appearances have included the orchestras of Philadelphia, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Dallas, St. Louis, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Seattle, San Diego, and the National Symphony as well as the Montreal and Toronto Symphonies. International appearances include the Liverpool and Manchester-BBC Philharmonics, Scottish BBC Orchestra, Czech and Rotterdam Philharmonics, Orchestra National de Lyon, Mannheim Orchestra, the Lisbon Metropolitan Orchestra, and the London Symphony. Asian engagements include appearances with the Korean Broadcast Symphony, Seoul Philharmonic, China National Symphony and the Shanghai Symphony. Ms. Falletta’s summer activities have taken her to numerous music festivals including Aspen, Tanglewood, the Hollywood Bowl, Wolf Trap, Mann Center, Meadow Brook, OK Mozart Festival and the Grand Teton Festival.
In 2016, Falletta was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, joining an esteemed roster that dates back to the Academy's founding in 1780, including America’s founding fathers and more than two hundred fifty Nobel and Pulitzer Prize winners. She has served as a member of the National Council on the Arts and is the recipient of many of the most prestigious conducting awards including the Seaver/National Endowment for the Arts Conductors Award for exceptionally gifted American conductors, the coveted Stokowski Competition and the Toscanini, Ditson and Bruno Walter Awards for conducting, as well as the American Symphony Orchestra League’s prestigious John S. Edwards Award. She has introduced over 500 works by American composers, including well over 100 world premieres.
Falletta, a leading recording artist for Naxos, has been recognized with two Grammy Awards and ten Grammy nominations. Recent recordings include Stravinsky’s The Soldier's Tale with the Virginia Arts Festival Chamber Players and narrated by Fred Child, a disc of Victor Herbert’s cello concerti with the Ulster Orchestra and works of Florent Schmitt with the Buffalo Philharmonic. In addition to recording the music of Joseph Marx with the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra and her fifth world premiere recording of the music of Kenneth Fuchs with the London Symphony, this season will see the release of a disc dedicated to the music of Vitezslav Novak with the BPO. Her growing discography includes over 100 titles with the London Symphony, Ulster Orchestra, Long Beach Symphony, Philadelphia Philharmonia, Women’s Philharmonic, Netherlands Radio Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, English Chamber Orchestra, New Zealand Symphony, and Czech National Symphony.

Since stepping up to the podium as Music Director of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Maestro Falletta has been credited with bringing the Philharmonic to a new level of national and international prominence. This season, the BPO will once again be featured on national broadcasts of NPR’s Performance Today, SymphonyCast and From the Top, and international broadcasts through the European Broadcasting Union.
Under Falletta’s direction, the Virginia Symphony Orchestra has risen to celebrated artistic heights. The VSO, which made critically acclaimed debuts at the Kennedy Center and New York’s Carnegie Hall under Falletta and entered into their first multinational recording agreement with Naxos. The orchestra performs classics, pops and family concert series in Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Newport News and Williamsburg.
In addition to her current posts with the Buffalo Philharmonic, the Virginia Symphony, Brevard Music Center, and Music Advisor to the Hawaii Symphony, Ms. Falletta has held the positions of Principal Conductor of the Ulster Orchestra, Principal Guest Conductor of the Phoenix Symphony, Music director of the Long Beach Symphony Orchestra, Associate Conductor of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, and Music Director of the Denver Chamber Orchestra.
Ms. Falletta received her undergraduate degree in classical guitar from the Mannes College of Music in New York and her master’s and doctorate degrees in conducting from The Juilliard School.

Jane Fine

Jane Fine received her B.A., magna cum laude from Harvard University in 1980 in Visual and Environmental Studies and an M.A. from Tufts University and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in 1983.

Fine is a recipient of grants from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, The New York Foundation for the Arts and The National Endowment for the Arts, Individual Artist’s Fellowship program.

Artist’s residencies have played a major role in her development as a painter. In 1992-1993 she spent seven months as a fellow at The Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. She has been a guest at Yaddo five times, (1990, 1996, 1998, 2001 and 2011) and was a resident at The Millay Colony in 1990. In 1998 she worked for three months at the Cité Internationale des Artes in Paris.  In 2010 she was an artist-in-residence during the inaugural season of the Central City Artist Project in New Orleans. In 2013 she participated in the Golden Foundation Residency where she had the opportunity to work directly with the technicians at the Golden Artists Colors factory. In 2015 she was invited to spend six weeks at The Hermitage Artists Retreat in Florida.

Over the last fifteen years she has been invited as a visiting artist to approximately twenty institutions including Colgate University, Pratt Institute, Brooklyn College, The School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, The School of Visual Arts, University of Washington at Seattle, University of South Carolina at Columbia, Nova Scotia School of Art and Design, Hamilton College, Cornell University, Skidmore College, The University of Vermont, Princeton, Brooklyn College and Tyler School of Art.

She was a Visiting Assistant Professor at The School of Art and Design at Alfred from 1997-1999. I taught part-time at SUNY Purchase and SUNY New Paltz and held short-term positions at RISD, Vassar and Bennington. In 2009 she was the Christian A. Johnson Visiting Artist at Middlebury College. Last year she enjoyed a one-year appointment at Hamilton College.

Her paintings and drawings have been exhibited nationally and internationally for over twenty years and her work is currently represented by Pierogi Gallery, which just moved to the Lower East Side in New York City. She has had eight solo shows in New York as well as one-person shows in Houston, Boston, Milan, Leipzig and San Francisco. In 2014 a five-year survey of her work, including 35 pieces, was on exhibit at The Clifford Gallery at Colgate University.

In addition to individual work she also makes collaborative drawings with her husband, James Esber. This work, exhibited under the fairly transparent pseudonym “J. Fiber” has been included in numerous group shows in the United States. She has lived and worked in Williamsburg, Brooklyn since 1986.

Patrick Ryan Frank

Patrick Ryan Frank is the author of the poetry collections The Opposite of People and How the Losers Love What’s Lost, both from Four Way Books. He studied poetry at Northwestern University, Boston University, and the James A. Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas. Though a recent Fulbright Fellow to Iceland and current resident of Austin, Texas, he grew up in front of a small TV in rural Michigan.



Ann Gale

Ann Gale is an American figurative painter based in Seattle, Washington. Gale received her BFA from the Rhode Island College and her MFA from Yale University. She has been the recipient of several awards including: Western States Art Federation/National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Grant, Washington Arts Council Individual Artist Fellowship and a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship.  She received an Academy of Arts and Letters Museum Purchase Award and is an Academician of the National Academy of Art and Design, NY. The artist's work has been shown in galleries and museums across the United States including solo exhibitions at the Portland Art Museum, Portland, Oregon and the Weatherspoon Art Museum at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro.  Her work is in the permanent collection of the Portland Art Museum, Tulsa Museum of Art and the National Academy of Art and Design, NY.  Her work is represented by the Dolby Chadwick gallery, San Francisco, Prographica gallery, Seattle and Steven Harvey Fine Art Projects, New York. Gale is a professor of painting and drawing at the University of Washington School of Art, Seattle.


Saad Hajidin ’88

Saad Hajidin, SUNY Potsdam ’88, was born in Narathiwat, Thailand, and spent his early childhood traveling the world while his father, a senior diplomat, was opening embassies and consulates for the Kingdom. 

He came to New York in 1979, when his father was a delegate to the United Nations, and remained in Queens with his adult sister when his parents moved on to another post.     He graduated from Flushing High School and, at SUNY Potsdam, earned a Bachelor of Arts in printmaking with a dance minor. 

In his sophomore and junior years, as part of Potsdam’s foreign exchange program with Liverpool University and Manchester Polytechnic University, he was introduced to Textile Design.  And that’s where his fascination, and his career, began.  In his early working years in New York, he continued his education, taking classes at the Fashion Institute of Technology and honing his skills with couture training at the exclusive Maison Sapho School of Dressmaking and Design.

After stints at powerhouses such as Donna Karan and Liz Claiborne, he joined Ralph Lauren in 1999 as a technical designer, and is now Senior Director, Sweaters and Knits Design, responsible for Design Development and Technical Design for Men’s Sweaters, Women’s Sweaters and Men’s Knits (including the classic Polo shirt), working with  teams responsible for annual business of more than one billion dollars.  And he was a key player in the production of the iconic 2010 and 2014 U.S. Winter Olympics team sweaters — and is at work on the sweater for 2018.   

Saad, who became an American citizen and lives with his spouse of 24 years in New York City and in Ghent, NY, credits his liberal arts education at SUNY Potsdam for helping to shape him personally and professionally.  “I had great art teachers who guided me and honed the skills I needed to get into fashion. I was able to grow as an individual, to value teamwork and the need to never stop learning as my career continues.  And I had the opportunity meet so many good people, some of whom are still close friends. Those experiences prepared me for whatever I wanted to do in life.”

Rebecca Hazelton

Rebecca Hazelton is the author of Fair Copy (Ohio State University Press, 2012), winner of the 2011 Ohio State University Press / The Journal Award in Poetry, and Vow, from Cleveland State University Press. She was the 2010-11 Jay C. and Ruth Halls Poetry Fellow at the University of Wisconsin, Madison Creative Writing Institute and winner of the “Discovery” / Boston Review 2012 Poetry Contest. In 2014, she won a Pushcart. Her poems have appeared in Poetry, The New Yorker, and Best American Poetry 2013 and 2015.



Branford Marsalis

NEA Jazz Master, renowned Grammy Award-winning saxophonist, and Tony Award nominee Branford Marsalis is one of the most revered instrumentalists of his time. Leader of one of the finest jazz quartets today, and a frequent soloist with classical ensembles, Marsalis’ most current recording with his quartet is Four MFs Playin’ Tunes. On this album, the song takes center stage, with the band members bringing their considerable musical expertise to bear, as they focus on each tune as an important musical entity unto itself and not merely a vehicle for showcasing individual talent.

Charles Gans from the Associated Press exclaims, “Saxophonist Marsalis leads one of the most cohesive, intense small jazz ensembles on the scene today… This album shows that Marsalis’ quartet hasn’t skipped a beat with the change in the drummer’s chair, effortlessly playing often complex original tunes that are thoroughly modern while referencing past jazz masters.”

The Branford Marsalis Quartet is one of the most innovative and forward-thinking jazz ensembles around today and is composed of Branford Marsalis on saxophone, Joey Calderazzo on piano, Eric Revis on bass, and Justin Faulkner on drums.

Christopher Olszewski

Olszewski is not one to seclude himself in his studio. In the summer of 2016, he drove his 1998 Cadillac Deville on a 5600-mile road trip, You, Me and the Deville Make Three: Vision Quest 2016. Along the way, he created site-specific, interactive installations and invited total strangers to write their darkest secrets onto his “canvases” – protective car covers that Olszewski then transfigured into objects resembling ceremonial animal skins.

The story skins document how the haunted past of Native-America is not dead; in fact, it’s not even past. Crowding the skins are images of Cadillac emblems, buffalo nickels, portraits of Custer and Andrew Jackson, cartoon mascots of the Braves and the Redskins. Between the images are raw, hand-scrawled statements like “I’m afraid of living,” “I’m Free,” and “Don’t Cross this Line.” The results are complex visual narratives portraying our hopes, rages, and fears and the pop culture totems that fuel them: beer cans, porn, car commercials and prayers.

In retracing the haunted history of Native-Americans (on previous trips he has driven the Trail of Tears and Custer’s route to Little Big Horn) Olszewski uncovers the demons of our collective history and places them alongside the private demons of people he meets on his quests, as well as his own personal demons. The result is a sense that none of our demons are truly private. They belong to all of us.

Olszewski’s provocative work – painting, sculpture, graffiti, interactive installation, performance art – deploys multiple genres, responding to a mediated culture that sells us to ourselves in headlines, trailers, image fragments and ad slogans. The work is visually acute, politically pointed, and painfully alive.

Leila Philip

Leila Philip is the author of four books: The Road Through Miyama (Random House 1989, Vintage 1991) for which she received the 1990 / PEN Martha Albrand Special Citation for Nonfiction; the award-winning memoir A Family Place: A Hudson Valley Farm, Three Centuries, Five Wars, One Family (Viking 2001, Vintage 2002, SUNY 2009); Hidden Dialogue; A Discussion Between Women in Japan and the United States (Japan Society Public Affairs Publishing Program 1993) and Water Rising (New Rivers Press, 2015), a collaboration between Leila Philip and artist Garth Evans.

Philip has received numerous awards for her writing, including fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, The National Endowment for the Arts and The National Endowment for the Humanities. Her essays have been widely anthologized. Fluent in Japanese, she writes on Japan as w ell as about art for a variety of venues including Art in America and Art Critical. She is also columnist at The Boston Globe.

Leila Philip is a Professor in the English department at the College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, MA, and holds the title of Honored Visiting Graduate Faculty Mentor in the Ashland University low residency MFA program in Creative Writing. She is the Contributing Editor at River Teeth, the journal of Nonfiction Narrative.

Charles Reid

Praised in Opernwelt for his “marvelous timbre, consistent throughout, well focused, excellently agile voice,” Charles Reid is being recognized as one of his generation’s leading lyric tenors. He has sung on many of the most famous international stages, including nine seasons with New York’s Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, Theater an der Wien, Frankfurt OperaDeutsche Oper am Rhein and the festivals of Bayreuth, Salzburg, Spoleto USA, and Glimmerglass. Upcoming events include Mr. Reid’s return to Theater an der Wien as Wolfgang Captio in Hindemith's Mathis der MalerTheater Hagen as Don Jose in Bizet's Carmen, and concert debuts with National Orchestre de LyonBeethoven Orchester BonnVirginia Symphony Orchestra, and Buffalo Philharmonic.

Mr. Reid’s most recent performances include debuts as Rodolfo (La Boheme), Nadir (Les pecheurs de perles), Sam (Susannah), Claudio (Das Liebesverbot) and his return to the roster of the Metropolitan Opera where he covered Demetrius in Jeremy Sam's The Enchanted Island. In previous seasons, Charles earned acclaim for performances of Alfredo, Duca di Mantua, Macduff, Nemorino, Cassio, Tamino, and Don Ottavio with the Nationaltheater Mannheim, Deutsche Oper am Rhein (Düsseldorf), Hessisches Staatstheater Wiesbaden, Stadttheater Gießen, and Theather Wintherthur. Beyond the Germanic countries, Mr. Reid has been heard as Tito under the baton of Adam Fischer in Barcelona and Madrid. Additionally, he performed the little known Mozart opera, Ascanio in Alba, in Mexico City. For his Alfredo, renowned critic Gabor Halasz writes, “Charles Reid gave a vocal and musical performance of Alfredo without any limitations or boundaries, with a shimmering tenor voice, flawless technique, extraordinary feeling for style, and very clear intonation.”

Equally at home on the concert stage, past appearances include Boston’s Handel and Haydn Society, Radio Symphony Orchestra Vienna, Lisbon's Gulbenkian Symphony Orchestra, Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, Washington, D.C.'s National Symphony, Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival, Nashville Symphony, Madison Symphony Orchestra, Harrisburg Symphony, Berkshire Choral Festival, and the U.S. Naval Academy. Mr. Reid’s growing concert repertoire now includes over 35 masterwork compositions.

Mr. Reid’s recent recordings include Haydn’s The Seasons with Amor Artis Baroque Orchestraand a DVD release of Katharina Wagner’s Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg with the Bayreuther Festspiele. In addition, Charles can be heard on the Deutsche Grammaphon DVD of Mozart’s Ascanio in Alba with the Salzburger Festspiele. Charles is also on Gothic Records singing the tenor solos in Alice Parker’s Melodious Accord with the Master Chorale of Washington.

In addition to his performance schedule, Mr. Reid has recently been appointed Director of Vocal Studies at Andrews University where he serves as Associate Professor and Artist in Residence. He also produces the podcast, This Opera Life, available through his website and iTunes. Charles is the recipient of prestigious awards from the Richard Tucker Music Foundation, Loren L. Zachary National Vocal Competition, Florida Grand Opera YPO Competition, Connecticut Opera Competition, and the Marjorie Lawrence International Vocal Competition.

Jay Rhoderick

Jay Rhoderick has been performing theatre and improvised comedy for over twenty years, training at NYC’s William Esper Studio, studying the Meisner acting technique.  Jay has taught improvisation and acting to hundreds of adults, university students, teens, professional actors, and businesspeople for over fifteen years.  He graduated from Swarthmore College, is a former faculty member of Chicago’s Second City Theatre and was a guest instructor at Yale School of Drama.  Jay has also worked as a teaching artist, curriculum development specialist, and faculty trainer in the New York City public school system.

As an actor, Jay co-founded Philadelphia’s Pig Iron Theatre Company and performed the lead in their Edinburgh Fringe debut production of The Odyssey.  He was lucky enough to be in the original production of Urinetown, creating the role of Officer Lockstock.  One of Jay’s most exciting improv gigs was performing and teaching improv to US Olympic athletes in preparation for dealing with the media at the 2008 Beijing Games.  He continues to coach bankers, lawyers and other professionals in executive presence.

Stephan E. Savoia ’75

Born in New York City and raised in its metropolitan area, Stephan Savoia is a graduate of SUNY Potsdam, where he majored in Sociology/Social Theory and minored in Fine Art/Photography. Savoia also holds a Masters of Arts degree in journalism from the University of Missouri, where he studied under renowned editor and photojournalist Angus McDougall. Upon completion of graduate school Savoia worked as a newspaper staff photojournalist in Monroe, Louisiana and Baton Rouge, Louisiana respectively. Joining the Associated Press as a staff photojournalist in November 1990, Savoia worked as the Associated Press’ National Photographer based in the northeast from 2000 to 2005. He is a founding member of the Associated Press’ popular “Diverse Visions/Diverse Voices” multi- cultural journalism workshop, participating in all twelve annual programs before its 2007 cancellation.

Savoia, who was selected as one of the 150 most "outstanding alumni in the arts" by the State University of New York in 1994, has displayed his work in a 1975 one-man show titled "First Photographs" and a 1988 group retrospective show titled "Potsdam Revisited." A collection of his work resides in the permanent collection of the State University of New York. In 2002 Savoia was selected as the year’s distinguished alumni speaker at SUNY Potsdam and delivered the college’s 2005 commencement address.

A two-time Pulitzer Prize winner, Savoia was the lead photographer on the Associated Press' photo team that won the 1993 Pulitzer Prize for feature photography. He also shared in the AP's 1999 Pulitzer Prize for feature photography. Conferred honoris causa in May 2005, Savoia is the recipient of a Doctorate of Fine Arts from the State University of New York.

Among the major stories Savoia has covered are:

  • Presidential Campaigns: Bill Clinton in 1992, Steve Forbes in 1996, Bob Dole in 1996, John McCain in 2000 & 2008, and Vice-president Al Gore in 2000
  • Ten Democratic & Republican National Conventions
  • Four Presidential Inaugurations
  • 1995 Kobe, Japan Earthquake
  • 1994 Cuban Boatlift
  • Upwards of 20 different North American hurricanes
  • Swiss Air, Egypt Air and JFK, Jr., airplane crashes
  • Several G-7, G-8, APEC and WTO meetings, including rioting in Seattle, Washington and Quebec City, Canada.
  • Long term - issue orientated - word & picture projects in Newfoundland & Nunavut, Canada on closure of the Grand Banks fishing grounds and Inuit culture
  • Special, extended photo coverage of McCain/Feingold Campaign Finance Reform legislation as it moved through the U.S. Senate approval process

  • Ground Zero 9/11 coverage
  • Special, extended project on post 9/11 homeland security measures
  • Summer Olympic games, Major League Baseball Playoffs & World Series,
  • National Football League Playoffs & Super Bowls, National Basketball Association Championship series, NCAA Men’s & Women’s Championship Basketball Tournaments
  • Funerals: President Ronald Regan, Chief Justice William Rehnquist, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, Sen. Edward M. Kennedy

Mason Smith ’66

Mason Smith’s life has been deeply rooted in the North Country, with his mother’s and his first wife’s family farms in St. Lawrence County, his grandparents’ summer camp at Lake Ozonia, his father’s newspapers in Gouverneur and Canton, and his present home and boats shop in Long Lake. He attended The Manlius School, Amherst College, Cornell University, and after a hitch in the U.S. Navy, Potsdam State and Stanford University, from which he holds a Ph.D. and a Masters in Creative Writing. He is the author of three award-winning novels, the latest called Far Alaska, which follows two North Country characters seeking a new life after the troubled events of the previous book, Towards Polaris, and two three-act plays set in the region during the construction of the St. Lawrence Seaway. He returns to his fictional Olmstead County, “wedged in between Franklin and St. Lawrence counties without much disturbing the ground,” in this novel-in-progress about Sabattis Falls in the 1970s. Everybody Knows and Nobody Cares, Knopf 1971/Paperback edition, Pocket Books, 1972. Florida, XLibris 2005/Syracuse University Press edition, Towards Polaris, 2008 and Far Alaska, Gray Books 2012.

The Bach Children’s Chorus and Bach Chamber Youth Choir

The Bach Children’s Chorus (BCC), founded in 1987, consists of 180 auditioned singers in choirs at differing levels of ability. Singers aged six through university age are divided into five treble choirs (Preparatory, BCC I, II and III and Chamber Choir) and a Youth SATB choir for boys with changed voices and girls aged 16 and up.  BCC is a Company-in-Residence at the Toronto Centre for the Arts and performs several guest engagements annually in the Greater Toronto area and beyond.  BCC choirs have been awarded The Elmer Iseler Choral Award for Best Choir of the Toronto Kiwanis Festival in seven recent festivals, and they have won many first place awards at both the provincial and national levels of the Canadian Federation of Music Festivals, including the 2013 overall award for Best Choir.  They have also been awarded first prize in the Children’s Choir category of the CBC/Radio-Canada National Competition for Amateur Choir in three competitions over the past years, including 2015.

The BCC has released six solo CDs, and can be heard on several soundtracks including a video by the Canadian Brass. Members of BCC II and III have had many opportunities to work with composer Stephan Moccio, including recording his song “I Believe” for the Vancouver 2010 Olympics.

Past tours have included trips to the Atlanta International Music Festival; Festival 500 in St. John’s, Newfoundland; Suas E! Festival in Cape Breton and the Children in Harmony Festival, Disneyworld as part of the Honour Choir.   In 2012, BCC III competed in the Golden Gate Children and Youth Choral Festival in Oakland, California and received three gold standards.  In 2013, BCC members attended the International Choral Festival in Missoula, Montana, where they performed with choirs from 16 countries.