Learn More About the Singers
Ellis Anderson, Tenor
Ellis Anderson is a pianist, accompanist, educator, composer, church musician and choral singer residing in South Bend, Indiana. He is a piano instructor and collaborative pianist at Saint Mary’s College and the accompanist for the choral department in the Sacred Music Program at the University of Notre Dame. He is also the music coordinator at Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church in Edwardsburg, Michigan.
Fatima Anyekema Uriame, Alto
Fatima Anyekema Uriame, Alto, is a singer and elementary music teacher with the South Bend Community School Corporation. This is her third season with the Chamber Singers. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in music from the University of Lagos, Nigeria and a Master of Sacred Music from the University of Notre Dame. She was formerly a Co-Director of music with the Notre Dame Children’s Choir where she taught music and prepared students for performances. Fatima has been singing in choirs since she was nine years old and has sung with multiple music ensembles both in Nigeria and in the U.S. She was a member of the Musical Society of Nigeria (MUSON) Choir from 2006 until 2018 when she moved to the United States. She is the Co-Founder of Musica Casa Chorale which participated in the World Choir Games held in South Africa in 2018. Fatima enjoys teaching and working with children. She is passionate about music education and contributing to the development of young people’s singing voices. She comes from a large family of seven where she is the only professional musician. She loves cross-country driving, traveling and her own personal company when she is not entertaining guests.
Melissa Auvil, Soprano
Melissa Auvil, Soprano, is in her fourteenth season with SBCS. Originally from Midland, Michigan, Melissa earned her undergraduate degree in music education at Central Michigan University and her Master’s Degree in voice performance from the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance. She has performed with the Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Kansas City Metro Opera, Midland Music Society, Crosscurrents Theatre, six seasons with the Gilbert and Sullivan Society of Midland, Opera at the Acorn, Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra, as well as the South Bend and Elkhart Civic Theatres. She has appeared on screen in locally filmed movies, “Moondance” and “The Shade Shepherd”. Melissa also enjoys directing, and has worked locally with the Beckwith, Barn Swallow and Elkhart Civic Theatres. She lives with her husband and two children in Goshen, Indiana.
Sharon Bain, Soprano Section Leader
Sharon Bain, Soprano Section Leader, first joined SBCS in 1997. She earned her undergraduate degree in American studies, with a minor in music, from the University of Notre Dame where she studied voice and French horn. Sharon also has a Master of Arts degree in social work from the University of Chicago. She is a married mother of three and works as a counselor at Family Psychology of South Bend, and at the Early Childhood Development Centers of the University of Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s College.
Dylan Enquist Bajo, Bass
Dylan Enquist Bajo, Bass, was born in Madrid, Spain, where he studied piano, composition and chamber music at the Joaquin Turina Conservatory of Music from ages 8 to 18, from which he graduated with honors. After having started his degree of piano performance at Madrid’s Universidad Alfonso X, he transferred to Indiana University South Bend, where he finished completing his undergraduate music studies in the spring of 2021. At IUSB he has been the undergraduate recipient of the 2019-2020 Arts Excellence Award in Music and has been on the Dean’s List since he arrived. He also performs regularly in solo piano recitals, chamber music and orchestral concerts, and as accompanist for different soloists and ensembles. Dylan joined SBCS in 2022.
Christina Beasley Brown, Soprano
Christina Beasley Brown, Soprano, is excited to be returning to the South Bend Chamber Singers for her second season. Originally from Greensboro, North Carolina, Christina received a Bachelors of Music in Vocal Performance and Music Education from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Christina came to South Bend in 2020 in order to continue her education at the University of Notre Dame, graduating in 2022 with a Masters of Sacred Music in Choral Conducting. Now, she teaches voice at Saint Mary’s College and general music at Chamberlain Elementary School in Goshen, Indiana. She is also the Director of Music at First United Methodist Church in South Bend. When not running around to various rehearsals, Christina can usually be found with a book in her hand and a cat on her lap.
Breighan Boeskool, Soprano
Breighan Boeskool, Soprano, is in her twelfth season with SBCS. She is the Assistant Director of Analytics for the Investment Office at the University of Notre Dame. She holds a B.A. with a concentration in violin performance and a B.B.A. in finance from Saint Mary’s College, as well as a M.M. and Ph.D. in music theory from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM). Breighan is Secretary of the Board of the South Bend Symphony, chairs the Investment Committee for the Society for Music Theory, and is Treasurer of the South Bend Chamber Singers.
Kelly Bone, Soprano
Kelly Bone, Soprano, is in her second season with SBCS. Originally from South Bend, Kelly received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Loyola University, Chicago, where she sang with the University Chorus and Chamber Choir, as well as the Chicago Old Town School of Folk Music Women’s Chorus. For several years, Kelly lived in San Jose, California, where she sang and toured internationally with the Santa Clara Chorale. When she’s not singing, Kelly works in HR Operations out of her home office, and lives in Niles with her husband, Whitney, and two children, Bobby and Amy.
Dawn Bontrager, Alto and President
Dawn Bontrager, Alto and President of the South Bend Chamber Singers, is in her nineteenth season. A native of Northern Minnesota, she earned her undergraduate degree in social work from Goshen College, a Master’s degree in social work from the University of Chicago, and a Master’s of Divinity from the Chicago Theological Seminary. Dawn is a licensed clinical social worker, and is in private practice as a mental health therapist in Mishawaka, IN. Music has always been central to Dawn’s life, and she has been singing all of her life in church, high school and college choirs, as well as in small groups performing in local venues and for special occasions. Dawn lives in Mishawaka with her spouse and their two dogs and a cat. Her interests include travel, and being outdoors biking, hiking and kayaking. She also enjoys spending time with her two adult children. Dawn recently became a first time grandparent, and is thoroughly enjoying doing the grandma thing with her now two year old grandson.
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Daniel Carmignani, Bass
Daniel Carmignani, Bass, is in his second year with the Chamber Singers. As a vocalist (baritone/bass) and instrumentalist (Trombone/Baritone/Tuba) he is excited for adding musical variety to his tool belt. Daniel received his BS in Accounting and currently is a Divisional Controller for a South Bend based manufacturing group. He and his wife, Ali, take care of their adorable but chaotic three boys ages 1,3,and 5. In his spare time, he likes playing Dungeon and Dragons, and solving Sudoku puzzles. He looks forward to what this year of SBCS brings.
Jessica Carter, Alto
Jessica Carter, Alto, is a composer, performer, and educator from South Bend and is incredibly excited to be returning to the Chamber Singers for her fifth season. Jessica holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music from Bethel University, and a Master of Music in Music Composition from Indiana University South Bend. Currently, Jessica is an Adjunct Professor of Music at Bethel University. As a composer, she has been described as having captivating lyricism and highly sophisticated intuition. Jessica has won several awards and accolades including the Kapson Bicentennial Scholarship in Music Composition in both 2018 and 2019 and the 2020 Symphonic Composition Competition through Indiana University South Bend. As a performer, Jessica is a violinist and a mezzo soprano having studied with Jae Sung Lee (MM), Victoria Garrett (MM), Dr. Brendan Shea, and Dr. Emanuel-Cristian Caraman. Jessica has attended the Vail Music Festival in Vail CO, the Atlantic Music Festival in Waterville, ME, the Notre Dame Shakespeare Festival in South Bend, IN, and most recently the IRCAM multidisciplinary festival ManiFest in Paris, France. She has been commissioned by several organizations including Crossing Borders Music, Castle Of Our Skins, and the South Bend Symphony Orchestra. Jessica’s work is published by J.W. Pepper & Son, Inc. and she is a member of Broadcast Music Inc. and the Society of Composers. In her free time, she is a painter, a runner, and a movie fanatic.
Stephen Drendall, Bass Section Leader
Stephen Drendall, Bass Section Leader, is in his thirty-fourth year with SBCS. He received music and music education degrees from Temple University, where he sang under renowned conductor Robert Page and was in the repertory choir for Master’s in Choral Conducting students. He has been cantor at the Episcopal Cathedral of Saint James and St. Michael & All Angels Episcopal (both South Bend), and choir director at Lydick United Methodist and St. Paul’s Episcopal (Mishawaka) Churches. He has soloed with the Elkhart and La Porte Symphonies, and was cantorial soloist for 13 years at Temple Beth-el (South Bend). He is retired as a family and consumer lawyer in South Bend, where he also lives. Stephen’s two children are graduates of the University of Notre Dame. He has retired from forty-four years as an attorney and serves as legal advisor to the South Bend Chamber Singers’ Board of Directors.
Nate Driver, Tenor
Nate Driver, Tenor, is a senior premed student at Valparaiso University entering his second season with the SCBS. Previously, he has performed with the Valparaiso University Chorale under Christopher Cock and the Northwest Indiana Symphony Chorus under Nancy Menk, while also studying under David Govertsen. Interests outside of choir include playing the oboe, ultimate frisbee, and spending time with his two dogs Ozzy and Tigger.
Denver Edwards, Tenor
Denver Edwards, Tenor, is a researcher specializing in cannabis industries with a strong background in sociology, philosophy, and religious studies. Currently, he is pursuing a BBA in Cannabis Industries at LIM College after studying sociology at Rider University for two years. His research focuses on racism within the legal cannabis industry, shedding light on the social dynamics and inequalities that exist within this rapidly evolving field. Denver is committed to social justice and passionate about studying the interactions between individuals, communities, and institutions. He hopes to contribute to a more equitable and inclusive society. Outside of academia, Denver has extensive training in classical music, spanning over a decade. During his time at Rider University, he had the privilege to sing with multiple of the esteemed Westminster Choir College ensembles. He is thrilled to be joining SBCS as the next step in his musical journey! “
Rachel Franklin, Alto
Rachel Franklin, Alto, is in their third season with the South Bend Chamber Singers after moving from their home city of Indianapolis. They received their B.S. in Neuroscience from IUPUI-Purdue Indianapolis, where they performed as soprano section leader of University Choir, and their Master’s of Pathology from Indiana University School of Medicine. Rachel received their ASCP licensure in November of 2020, and now works as a Pathologists’ Assistant at the South Bend Medical Foundation in post-surgical and autopsy sciences. When not working or rehearsing, Rachel can be found playing board games with their husband/high-school sweetheart and furry companion, Ozzy, or practicing aerial arts as an amateur aerial circus enthusiast.
Judith Goltz, Alto
Judith Goltz, Alto, is honored to join the South Bend Chamber Singers. She recently joined the Culver Academies as Director of Orchestral Studies after serving as the Head of Arts, Design and Technology and Director of Orchestral and Choral Studies at the King’s Academy in Madaba, Jordan since 2019. She also taught Instrumental Music in the School District of Philadelphia from 2011-2019 and directed a number of community ensembles for both adults and children in the Philadelphia area.
Goltz graduated from the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education with a Master’s degree in Education and earned a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Susquehanna University. Recently, she completed a Graduate Certificate in International Education Administration and Leadership at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Judith is a passionate musician, having performed as a soprano soloist and orchestral cellist in the United States, Germany, Austria, Italy, Jordan, Egypt, and Japan. She also earned a certificate in World Music Pedagogy from the Smithsonian Folkways Institute in 2011.
Judith and her husband, Mohammed, live in the town of Culver and love traveling, wildlife photography, and cheering on Philadelphia sports teams.
Brittney Hale, Alto
Brittney Hale, Alto, is in her second year with SBCS. She recently graduated from IUSB with a B.M. in Vocal Performance under Dr. Emmanuel Caraman and now focuses on teaching voice lessons and composition. She is active in the local opera community, singing in the SBLO chorus for Lucia, Cavalleria Rusticana, La Traviata, and Don Giovanni. Her favorite choir experience before joining SBCS, was singing Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana for the 2016 IMEA concert. On the rare occasion Brittney is not singing, she enjoys spending time with her cats and dog and settling in with a book or a new show to watch.
Esra Heisey, Bass
Esra Heisey, Bass, was born in Wichita, Kansas and raised in the South Bend area. He joined SBCS in 2022. Since ending his studies in Voice performance at Goshen College, he has performed professionally for over a decade. As a full time Realtor in Indiana and Michigan, he is thrilled to have a space to create music with the other fabulous musicians in the South Bend Chamber Singers. When he isn’t working on his home or creating music, you will likely find him and his partners, Lathanial and Micah at an area campground, biking, or wishing that he was.
Mike Hildreth, Bass
Mike Hildreth, Bass, is a Massachusetts native who has followed academia to the Midwest (South Bend). After earning an undergraduate degree from Princeton and a Ph.D. from Stanford, both in physics, he and his wife and son spent five years in Geneva, Switzerland before returning to the U.S. where he and his wife joined the faculty at University of Notre Dame in 2000. He is currently Dean of the Graduate School, Vice President and Associate Provost for Graduate Studies, and Professor of Physics & Astronomy.. His research focus is at CERN in experimental particle physics, which makes him one of those “atom smasher” guys. He and his wife enjoy cooking, travel, and outdoor activities, including sailing, cycling, and hiking. This is his twenty-second season with SBCS.
Megan Hire, Soprano
Megan Hire, Soprano, hails from Fort Wayne, IN. This is her tenth year in the SBCS, and she is very excited for the upcoming season. Currently, Megan works as a kindergarten teacher for Fort Wayne Community Schools. She received her Bachelor of Arts in elementary education from Saint Mary’s College, where she also sang in the Women’s Choir. Megan spent nine years as a singer in the Fort Wayne Children’s Choir under the direction of Fred Meads, former artistic director. In high school, Megan sang in show choir and participated in many of the school’s musicals. Megan’s other interests include traveling, swimming, and watching Notre Dame football.
David L. Homann, Tenor
David L. Homann, Tenor, has been with SBCS since its first full season. A former full-time dad, he is constantly on the move in South Bend, serving as a youth group leader, Sunday school teacher, cantor and member of the choir at his church. For almost four years now, David has worked as a driver for the Indiana Donor Network, supporting their mission of saving and improving lives through organ and tissue donation. In between all that, he maintains 12 acres, a large vegetable garden, reads, and plays golf as much as he can.
Kierstin Kremer, Alto
Kierstin Kremer, Alto, is in her first year with the SBCS. She grew up in Chesterton, Indiana and currently lives with her husband, James, in La Porte, Indiana. Kierstin is a licensed Pre-K through 12th grade Music Teacher. She earned her Bachelors of Science in Music Education from Ball State University in 2017. Kierstin is currently working in Chesterton, Indiana as an Elementary Music Teacher. Kierstin formally sang with The Indianapolis Symphonic Choir directed by Eric Stark, The Singing Company of La Porte directed by Matthew Nelson, and began her life-long love for singing with The Logansport Children’s Choir under the direction of Tim and Susan Cahalan.
Emily Klug, Alto Section Leader
Emily Klug, Alto Section Leader, grew up in Michigan and sang with various ensembles, solo competitions, and musicals in elementary school, high school and college. She earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Business Administration from Central Michigan University. After college, she performed with the Farmington Community Chorus and Perfect Blend vocal jazz ensemble in Farmington Hills, MI. She and husband, Brad, are residents of South Bend, and are proud parents of son, James, age nine and a half. She has worked for Ford Motor Company, Bayer Healthcare, and Whirlpool in various roles in sales, supply chain, and IT management and is currently Director of Service Parts Distribution with AM General. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, traveling, reading, and walking with her dog, Dottie. This is Emily’s seventeenth season with SBCS. Emily serves as SBCS Vice-President.
Alexa Liberi, Alto
Steven Mast, Tenor
Steven Mast, Tenor, has been singing with SBCS since 2000. A native of La Porte, Indiana, he was a Michigan resident for 25 years before relocating to New Carlisle. Steven earned undergraduate degrees in music and elementary education from Valparaiso University, an M.A. in reading and literacy studies from Western Michigan University, and an M.S. in counseling and human services from Indiana University. In 2016, he retired after teaching in the Dowagiac, Michigan schools for 25 years. During his career, he taught fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh grades, as well as elementary music. Steven now serves as Department Chair and Director of Student Teaching in the Education Department at Saint Mary’s College, and is Finance Administrator for the Episcopal Cathedral of Saint James. Steven enjoys yoga, cooking, and travel. He was a singer in the inaugural Chanticleer in Sonoma Choral Workshop, and is also Administrator for Epworth Music & Worship Retreat, which he has attended since 1984.
Timothy McFeeters, Bass
Timothy McFeeters, Bass, has been a member of South Bend Chamber Singers since 2023. He has been an active musician in community and church choirs as well as theatre in South Bend and the surrounding area for several years. A lifelong love of the community music experience was the inspiration to earn a bachelors in music education from Andrews University. After graduating, he worked as a teacher before switching to focus more on performances in choir, opera, and musical theatre. When the opportunity permits, he continues to teach music at a local community theatre in the capacity of music director. In his free time, he enjoys biking, swimming, cooking, and acting.
Melaney Miller, Alto
Melaney Miller, Alto, is in her sixteenth season with SBCS, and serves on the board as a member-at-large. She hails from Manistee County, Michigan and currently lives in South Bend as an “empty nester” with her boyfriend, Jon. She rejoined the 126th Army Band with the Michigan Army National Guard in 2018 as a percussionist/pianist/vocalist, after a 19 year hiatus. She plays percussion for the La Porte County Symphony Orchestra, and performs freelance work as a piano accompanist, percussionist, and photographer. She spent most of the pandemic on active duty orders in Lansing, helping the State of Michigan with Covid testing and vaccination support and was able to travel home to South Bend most weekends and attend rehearsals. She enjoys golf, salsa dancing, travel, antiquing, and being home.
Andrew Nemeth, Assistant Director, Tenor Section Leader
Andrew Nemeth, Tenor Section Leader, returns to SBCS for an eleventh season. Andrew is a lifelong resident of South Bend. He earned his Bachelor of Music degree in music education from Butler University in 2010, studying choral conducting with Eric Stark and Henry Leck, and earned his Master of Music degree in music education from Boston University in 2016. Andrew is Director of Choirs at Penn High School, where he co-teaches seven choirs. He is also Music Director at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in South Bend. In the little free time he has, he enjoys spending time with family, traveling, roasting his own coffee, and entertaining his cat, Zephyr. He would like to take flying lessons in the near future to attain a private pilot license.
Kara O'Malley, Soprano
Kara O’Malley, Soprano, grew up in the Chicago suburbs, where she took part in a variety of choirs, musicals, and solo competitions. She attended Notre Dame for her undergraduate degree (B.B.A. in accountancy), and quickly followed it up with a master’s (M.A. in theology). Kara served in Catholic parish ministry for nine years, and she currently ministers to her two children full time in addition to being a freelance writer for Catholic publications. She is very excited to have the opportunity to sing with the Chamber Singers for an eleventh year.
Betsie Pendarvis, Soprano
Betsie Pendarvis, Soprano, returns for her twelfth year with SBCS. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Music Theory from Texas Christian University, as well as significant postgraduate study. She served as part-time church choir director in Fort Worth, Texas while raising four children, and then for 21 years, served as Director of Music and Worship for her parish in Salem, Virginia. She and husband, John (also with SBCS), relocated to South Bend to be closer to family. In addition to their daughter in South Bend, Betsie and John have three other adult children in New Orleans, Indianapolis and New Hampshire. Betsie currently spends her time volunteering for the Christ Child Society, knitting, gardening, and helping with grandchildren.
John Pendarvis, Bass
John Pendarvis, Bass, begins his twelfth season with SBCS. He is retired after 33 years in executive leadership positions for family service agencies in Texas and Virginia, and moved to South Bend to be closer to family. A native of Houston, Texas, John received his B.A. from Texas Christian University and a Master of Science in social work from the University of Texas at Arlington. From his school years on, John has served as a music minister and song leader for a diversity of liturgies, prayer meetings, retreats and conferences—currently serving as a Cantor at St. Joseph Church. He also plays guitar and trumpet. John and his wife, Betsie, (also a member of SBCS) have four adult children and eleven grandchildren. He is a Tour Guide for Sacred Heart Basilica at Notre Dame, and serves on the Board of Directors for several local organizations including Real Services, Forever Learning and the Kiwanis Club of South Bend.
Lucy Roberds, Soprano
Lucy Roberds, Soprano, is happy to begin her third season with the SBCS. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Social Work degree, with minors in voice performance and Spanish from Anderson University in 2019. She grew up in multiple areas of Indiana, singing in many choirs over the years, including the Anderson University Chorale. In her free time, she enjoys consuming and sharing art and music of all kinds, as well as exercising and spending time in nature. Vocal music is the most natural form of expression for Lucy and she is happy to incorporate group choral singing back in her life.
Victoria Schemenauer, Soprano,
Ethan Schopp, Tenor
Ethan Schopp, tenor, is entering his first season with the SBCS. Originally from Minier, IL, Ethan moved to the Mishawaka-South Bend area to begin his career as a music teacher at Penn High School, co-teaching multiple choirs alongside fellow SBCS member Andrew Nemeth. Ethan graduated from Butler University with a Bachelor of Music in music education in the spring of 2023. At his time in Butler, he studied voice with Dr. Dana Zenobi and music education with Dr. Becky Marsh. Previously, Ethan has sung with the Robert’s Park United Methodist Church in downtown Indianapolis. In his time outside of teaching and singing, Ethan enjoys time in nature on his bike as well as bouldering at local climbing gyms.
Jon Sherry, Bass
Jon Sherry, Bass, graduated from Bethel College with a degree in Church Music in 1985. He served various congregations until 2011. In 2013 he started working as a Plant Supervisor for Triangle Rubber and Plastics at their Elkhart Plant. Jon has been an intermittent member of the bass section for ten years.
Thomas Speranza, Bass
Thomas Speranza, Bass, is originally a native of Northwest Indiana and moved to South Bend in the summer of 2021. He has many years of experience as a singer and conductor for St. Thomas More’s Schola Cantorum in his hometown of Munster, IN. Between 2016 and 2019, Thomas performed abroad in Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, and South Africa with various different choral ensembles. A recent graduate of Purdue University Northwest, Thomas continues his lifelong passion for music and is excited to perform another season with SBCS.
Maria Weaver, Soprano
Maria Weaver, Soprano, is excited to begin her second season with the SBCS. She is originally from Italy, where she grew up singing in various choirs starting at the age of 5. She also studied the cello at the local Conservatory. She is now a Mathematics graduate student in Indiana and played the cello in the Purdue Symphony Orchestra for five years.
Doug Williamson, Bass
Doug Williamson, Bass, is a Montana native who has lived in South Bend for eighteen years, and has been with SBCS for 17½ seasons. Doug sang with Helena Symphony Chorale, Helena, Montana for ten years prior to moving to South Bend and has had much experience with musical theater and dramatic theater. Recently, Doug appeared in the South Bend Civic Theater’s production of Les Misérables, and has also played the role of Voltaire/Dr. Pangloss in Saint Mary’s production of Candide. Doug is a graduate of Carroll College, Helena, Montana (biology) and works for Labcorp. His hobbies include landscaping, gardening, cooking, travel, and long walks.