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.
Alex Gmeinder – Tenor
Tenor Alex Gmeinder has been praised by the Madison Isthmus for his “…powerful tenor voice…” in UW-Madison’s production of Don Giovanni.
Mr. Gmeinder earned a Masters degree in Opera Performance from the School of Music at the University of Wisconsin-Madison earlier in 2013. While at Madison he performed the roles of Don Ottavio in Mozart’s Don Giovanni, Giasone in Cherubini’s Medea, and the title role of Fritz Kobus in Mascagni’s L’amico Fritz.
This past summer Mr. Gmeinder spent five weeks in Novafeltria, Italy at La Musica Lirica where he studied with Rossini Festival coaches from Pesaro, Italy. While in Italy he performed the roles of Arturo in Donzetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor and Edoardo Milfort in Rossini’s La Cambiale di Matrimonio.
Other opera roles include King Ouf the 1st in Chabrier’s L’Etoile, the title role in Bernstein’s Candide, Eisenstein in Strauss’ Die Fledermaus, Vašek in Smetana’s The Bartered Bride, and Reverend Parris in Ward’s The Crucible.
Not a stranger to the concert stage Mr. Gmeinder has performed Bach’s Magnificat, Mendelssohn’s Magnificat, Schubert’s Mass in E flat Major, Mozart’s Requiem, and Mozart’s Regina Coeli with the Janesville Choral Union. With Southern Lakes Masterpiece Chorale he has performed Handel’s Messiah, Haydn’s Mass in Time of War, and will soon be performing Puccini’s Messa di Gloria and Ralph Vaughan Williams Serenade to Music. Most recently Mr. Gmeinder was a soloist with the Wisconsin Chamber Choir where he sang Mozart’s Requiem.
Mr. Gmeinder studies with soprano Julia Faulkner who is on faculty at the Lyric Opera of Chicago.
In January of 2014 Mr. Gmeinder will be joining Sarasota Opera for their winter season as part of their Young Artist Program. While at Sarasota Opera he will perform in concerts and operas.
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.