Marie Severing – Soprano
Marie Severing is Director of Choral Music at Big Foot Union High School, Walworth, WI. Her musical educational experiences include study at L’Ecole Hindemith, Vevey, Switzerland and Northwestern University, Chicago. She has a Master’s degree from St. Mary’s University of Minnesota, with an emphasis in Vocal Care. She has studied with Helen Boatwright, Hugues Cuenod, Yolanda Marculescu, Elizabeth Fischer-Monestero and Susan Blumer.
For the 2000-2001 and 2001-2002 school years, Mrs. Severing was invited to be Soprano Section leader for the Wisconsin State Honors Mixed Chorus. During her tenure as Director of the Big Foot Union High School Vocal Music Department, her choirs have performed with Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and in festivals in London (England), Los Angeles, New York City, Orlando and New Orleans. Her students have been privileged to work with such distinguished choral conductors as Weston Noble, Rick Bjella, Anton Armstrong, Michael Ross, Margaret Hawkins and Richard Severing.
As a soprano soloist, Mrs. Severing has performed locally with Choral Union (Janesville), The Southern Lakes Masterpiece Chorale (Walworth County), The Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, The Beloit-Janesville Symphony Orchestra, The Northern Wisconsin Summer Music Festival, Oakway Symphony Orchestra (Detroit), and many others. For over 20 years she has had the honor of working with many talented students as a private voice teacher, and has been an enthusiastic promoter of singing as a lifetime sport.
Brian Leeper – Baritone
Brian Leeper is the Vocal Area Coordinator at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, where he teaches Studio Voice, Vocal Pedagogy and Opera and oversees the UW-Whitewater Solo Voice Camp, a one-week summer program for high school singers desiring solo performance careers. An active soloist and clinician, he has presented numerous masterclasses and recital performances at Colleges and Universities across the US. He has been a member of the voice faculty of La Musica Lirica, a five-week summer opera program in Novafeltria, Italy, for seven years and prior to that was on the faculty of Operafestival di Roma in Rome, Italy. Having performed over twenty major roles with opera companies in the US and abroad, including a national radio broadcast performance of Candide with the Cleveland Orchestra, Brian has also appeared as soloist in Oratorio under conductors Robert Shaw, Leon Botstein, Robert Page and Weston Noble. In October 2010, he traveled across Poland performing recitals of Chopin songs and musical theatre.
Mr. Leeper is currently President of the Wisconsin Chapter NATS (National Association of Teachers of Singing.) His former voice students have won awards and competitions including district and regional Metropolitan Opera Auditions, NATS Student Auditions and are currently singing in opera houses in the US and Europe. Brian holds vocal degrees from Luther College and The University of Nebraska and has done further graduate study at The Florida State University. Most recently, Brian was named the 2011 recipient of the Instructional Excellence Award at UW-Whitewater.