The Choral Arts New England Board, 2019-2020


Susan Martin, Chair; Jon Saxton, Vice-Chair; Suzan Smith, Clerk; Peter Pulsifer, Treasurer.


Gail Abbey, Holliston, Mass.

Gail Abbey made her career as a choral singer after graduating from Westminster Choir College in 1980. The following year she was hired by Handel and Haydn and Boston Baroque, beginning a more than 30-year career as a professional choral singer. Ms. Abbey teaches private voice; she was a founding member of the Boston Singers Relief Fund and is passionate about the support of singers and choral music organizations.

Greg Brown, Belchertown, Mass.

Dr. Gregory W. Brown is a composer and conductor living in western Massachusetts. He holds degrees in conducting from Westminster Choir College (MM ’01) and The Hugh Hodgson School of Music at the University of Georgia (DMA ’06) and has conducted and taught at Smith College, The College of Wooster, The Putney School, the University of Georgia, the University of Massachusetts (Amherst), and Amherst College. For the 2018–2019 season he was interim chorus master for the Pioneer Valley Symphony Orchestra and Chorus.

Jeffrey Buettner, Middlebury, Vt.

Jeffrey Buettner is Director of Choral Activities and Associate Professor of Music at Middlebury College, and music director of the Middlebury Bach Festival.

David Giessow, Braintree, Mass.

David Giessow is a Senior Lecturer in Vocal Music at The University of Massachusetts. He conducts the Somerville Community Chorus and is Director of Music at the Hingham Congregational Church. He is an active lifetime member of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA). He has served as treasurer for the Florida ACDA and has served on the board of the Massachusetts ACDA.

Andrea Goodman, Lenox, Mass.

Andrea Goodman is the founder and director of the Cantilena Chamber Choir in western Massachusetts. She also serves as the Music Director for the annual summer Saratoga Choral Festival in Saratoga Springs, New York.

Carrie Hammond, Farmington, Conn.

Carrie Hammond sings with both the Copley Singers and the Tanglewood Festival Chorus. She has served as President and CEO of the Hartford Symphony Orchestra and has worked as a business development consultant.

Angelynne Hinson, Portsmouth, N.H.

Angelynne Hinson performs in Cantata Singers (Boston, Mass.) and is a founding member of vocollage, creating original concerts that unite words, music and dramatic concepts for live performance and radio. Ms. Hinson has maintained a private studio and has created and implemented voice/choral artist-in-residency programs throughout northern New England. She also works with medical professionals developing rehabilitative vocal techniques to help Parkinson’s and stroke patients.

Jennifer Kane, Southborough, Mass.

Dr. Jennifer Kane is an active conductor of ensembles that specialize in treble repertoire. She is on the education faculty of the Handel and Haydn Society as the conductor of the children and youth ensembles within the Vocal Arts Program. She is also the conductor of Cantilena Women's Chorale in Arlington, Mass.

Cathy Lanigan, Peterborough, N.H.

Cathy currently sings with the Monadnock Chorus, Norway Pond Festival Singers, and Raylymor Opera Chorus. She serves as Board President for the Monadnock Chorus and also serves on the board for Music on Norway Pond. She holds a Bachelors Degree in Music Education from SUNY at Fredonia and a Masters in Computer Science from New York Institute of Technology.

Amelia LeClair, Newton, Mass.

In 2004, Amelia LeClair founded Cappella Clausura, an ensemble of voices and instruments specializing in music written by women from the eighth century to the present day. Under her leadership, the ensemble has presented works by women of the medieval, renaissance, baroque and romantic eras, and premiered music of by modern composers such as Rebecca Clarke, Hilary Tann, Patricia Van Ness, Abbie Betinis, Emma Lou Diemer, and many others. Cappella Clausura and Amelia LeClair received the 2017 Chorus America’s ASCAP/AliceParker award for adventurous programming. Ms. LeClair is a Resident Scholar in the Brandeis University Women’s Studies Research Center. She also serves as director of choirs at the Church of St Andrew in Marblehead and is the director of Vermilion, a quartet singing a unique Unitarian Vespers service which she created for the First Unitarian Society in Newton.

Susan Martin, Brookline, Mass.

Susan sings with the Metropolitan Chorale in Brookline, Mass., and is currently serving on their board. She has also served on the boards of Climate Action Brookline and the Abaris Foundation. Now retired, Susan’s career was as a business analysis consultant.

Brian O'Connell, Lowell, Mass.

Brian has taught of the faculties of seven institutes of higher learning, has directed six choral societies, has had extensive experience in public schools, for fifteen years has directed the Sarteano Chamber Choral Conducting Workshop in Tuscany and is a frequent adjudicator and clinician throughout New England. He serves as choral composition adjudicator of The American Prize and is a past-president of Mass ACDA.

Dwight E. Porter, Stoneham, Mass.

Dwight Porter, a technology business consultant, is president of PrimeKey Management, which provides technology, web strategy and implementation to small business and non-profits. He is an active tenor with BSO’s Tanglewood Festival Chorus, Cantata Singers, and other Boston area choruses and churches.

Peter Pulsifer, Winchester, Mass.

Peter Pulsifer sings in several local choruses, including the Tanglewood Festival Chorus and Chorus pro Musica, and was active for 16 years in the Washington Chorus in Washington, DC. He also serves as Chair of the Winchester Cultural Council and is a board member of Boston Singers Resource. He is a scientific consultant, computer programmer, editor and sometime writer.

Robert Russell, Portland, Maine

Robert Russell came to Portland in 1979 as professor of music at the University of Southern Maine and music director of ChoralArt. He concluded a 36-year tenure at University of Southern Maine in 2015, when he was named professor emeritus. He has conducted more than 75 festival choruses, including All-State choruses in Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts. He is music director of ChoralArt in Portland, Maine.

Jon Saxton, Wayland, Mass.

Jon Saxton is a bass-baritone who has sung with the Tanglewood Festival Chorus for over twelve years. He has appeared in regional productions with the Vokes Theater, Westford Chorus, Concord Players, New World Chorale, and Opera51. Jon is past chair of the board of Boston Singers’ Resource and a current member of the Wayland Cultural Council; he is immediate past chair of Juventas New Music and of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus Committee. He also serves on the Leadership Council of MassCreative.

Suzan Smith, Amherst, Mass.

Suzan has sung with Da Camera Singers in Amherst, Mass., for over 30 years. After moving to northern Massachusetts, she joined the Keene Chorale and a church choir, and might join more, except that too many meet on the same nights. Now that she is retired from UMASS Health Service, she expects to have time to sing in other groups.

Ellen Gilson Voth, West Hartford, Conn.

Dr. Ellen Gilson Voth is Artistic Director of the Farmington Valley (Connecticut) Chorale and is an active composer, adjudicator and guest clinician. For the 2018–19 year, she has a special appointment in the Department of Music at Western Connecticut State University. From 2011 to 2018, she was the Artistic Director of Novi Cantori, a professional chamber choir based in Springfield, Mass., that is known for its innovative programming of repertoire from the Renaissance through the present, as well as for providing opportunities for choral composers to refine works-in-progress and for forging community connections with organizations throughout the region. She has also served as Chorus Director of the Pioneer Valley Symphony Chorus, Director of the Symphonic Chorale at Gordon College, Assistant Conductor of the New Haven Chorale, and a conductor with the Connecticut Children’s Chorus. Dr. Voth is a frequently-commissioned composer whose works are published by Oxford University Press, ECS Publishing, Colla Voce, and Santa Barbara Music Publishing. She also remains active as a performing pianist and organist.

Lei Ray Yu

Dr. Lei Ray Yu (Ray) is currently Music Director and Conductor of the Constellation Children's Choir in Belmont and the AMDG Choir in Worcester, and is the Principal Guest Conductor of Harmonia Choir in both Bejing and Kunming, China. She has been conductor of the Boston University Women's Chorus and Collegiate Chorale, the Boulder Chorale, the Schola Cantorum of Kansas City, the Beijing University Chorus, and Star of Hope Children's Performing Troupe in Beijing, China. Dr. Yu serves as a bridge between Chinese and Western choral music worlds. She travels to China yearly, holding symposiums and masterclasses for Chinese choral conductors. At the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, China she studied with Xiao-Ying Zheng and Ge-Shun Ma; at Boston University, she earned a D.M.A. degree, studying the art of choral conducting with Ann Howard Jones, David Hoose, and Craig Smith.