our singers

a decade of students dedicated to chamber music 

AssociatE Director

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EMILY ELSTON is a member of the Class of 2023 and is originally from Woodbridge, Virginia. She has been a member of choral ensembles all her life, from youth choirs at her local church to the Madrigal Choir at her high school and even her high school’s all female a Capella group. Emily was the highest scoring Alto 2 at the 2018 auditions for the Virginia Senior Honors Choir, and owes all of her sight-reading and performace skills to her high school director, Tommy Tutwiler. At William & Mary, Emily is a singer with the William & Mary Choir in addition to Schola Cantorum, and is heavily involved with the Canterbury Association. She is also a member of the Delta Gamma Fraternity. Emily is double-majoring in International Relations and History. She is very excited to be working closely with Schola Cantorum this year and for the rest of her time on campus. Emily’s major goal is to grow Schola’s membership, to meet new singers and make beautiful music with them in the future. 

MUSIC

DIRECTOR

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LAURA LIELBRIEDIS joined the Schola in the fall of 2020 under Peter Varga. Music has always infused her life, and she has a special love for Gregorian chant and sacred music from the Renaissance and Baroque periods. Laura sang in choirs throughout elementary and middle school, and she was a member of the Mennonite Children's Choir of Lancaster in high school. She is especially grateful for the instruction of the director, Rosemary Blessing, who was instrumental in developing the technical skills necessary for advanced musical settings. An active member of the William and Mary Catholic Campus Ministry, Laura leads a small group and is involved with music ministry. As part of her duties as the director of the Schola and a member of CCM, Laura manages cantors for candlelit Holy Hours and Masses. She believes in the power of ancient sacred music to create meaningful and deep connections with others and God, and thus is thrilled to continue on the mission of the William and Mary Schola Cantorum. Laura studies Biology at the college and will graduate in May 2022.

Business Director

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CATHERINE FREEMON is a sophomore from North Carolina, and she is thrilled to be supporting Schola Cantorum in the role of Business Director. She spent her formative years singing with her church's choir and eventually moved on to a state ensemble for treble voices. Catherine has had many excellent opportunities to sing for groups, but some of her favorites are singing in the opera La Bohème, singing with the North Carolina Symphony, and singing for a documentary on sacred music. She also sang competitively for five years. Catherine plans to declare a major in government during the '21-'22 academic year. When she is not singing, you might find her worshipping with Canterbury, a W&M group for Episcopalians, or working in the Office of Financial Aid. 

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2020–2021 Roster

The singers in the 2021–2022 Roster are: 

Margaret McLaughlin, Caroline Emeric, Catherine Freemon

Madison Stasch, McKinley Sprinkle, Calder Sprinkle

Emily Elston, and Laura Lielbriedis   

Auditions

If you are interested in auditioning for the William & Mary Schola Cantorum, please send an email of interest to wmscholacantorum@email.wm.edu or contact the Music Director directly. Auditions usually consist of warm-ups, a prepared piece, and two pieces of sight-reading in contrasting styles.

Auditions normally occur two times a year, at the beginning of each semester.

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Past Members

The William & Mary Schola Cantorum is happy to count more than 75 former members. We are deeply indebted to them for  their musicianship, dedication, and stewardship of the ensemble:

Allen Blehl, 2014, Organ Scholar | Megan Grady, 2011, Organ Scholar* | Thomas Lever, 2012, Organ Scholar* | Sally Mullis, 2021, Organ Scholar (Fmr. Associate Director) | Nick Starr, 2013, Organ Scholar
 

Kate Allen, 2012, Soprano* | Chantalle Ashford, 2014, Soprano | Taylor Ashlock, 2013, Soprano (Fmr. Assistant Director) | Laura Brown, 2016, Soprano | Emily Chrisman, 2017, Soprano | Devon DeYoung, 2017, Soprano | Kayla Ebright, 2019, Soprano | Sarah Falls, 2017, Soprano | Cat Grundy, 2017, Soprano | Margot Hanclich, 2019, Soprano | Nora Pace, 2014, Soprano | Rachel Rochte, 2014, Soprano | Mary Shannon, 2020, Soprano | Nairuti Shastry, 2017, Soprano (Fmr. Assistant Director) | Abby Thompson, 2016, Soprano (Fmr. Business Director) | Kate Tidaback, 2011, Soprano* | Katherine Weber, 2020, Soprano | Rachel Wilbourne, 2019, Soprano | Alle Witt, 2012, Soprano*

Emily Abbey, 2018, Alto | Lauren Fernandez, 2016, Alto | Meredith Graham, 2013, Alto* | Lauren Harrington, 2013, Alto* (Fmr. Business Director) | Rachel Haynes, 2015, Alto | Kate Hibbs, 2010, Alto* | Victoria Johnson, 2017, Alto | Ariana Kuhnsman, 2018, Alto | Ciara Mills, 2015, Alto | Erin Morris, 2012, Alto | Kimberly Ness, 2013, Alto | Meagan Nouhra, 2011, Alto | Meara O'Malley, 2014, Alto (Fmr. Business Director) | Bailey Orr, 2018, Alto | Honora Overby, 2017, Alto | Kate Patterson, 2012, Alto* | Claire Seely, 2013, Alto* | Clair Vogel, 2014, Alto
 

Thomas Brigham, 2010, Tenor* | Dereck Bassinger, 2016, Tenor | Stephan Cotner, 2015, Tenor | Patrick Dittamo, 2013, Tenor | Owen Doherty, 2021, Tenor | Wes Dunnavant, 2014, Tenor (Fmr. Music Director) | Samuel Holliday, 2017, Tenor (Fmr. Business Director) | Ben Hull, 2014, Tenor | William Gaskins, 2017, Tenor | Andy Li, 2017, Tenor | Matthew Reese, 2013, Tenor* (Fmr. Music Director) | Christopher Richardson, 2013, Tenor* | Mason Shefa, Law School 2019, Tenor | Matthew Spears-Heinel, 2018, Tenor | Charles Michael Dunn Steiner 2015, Tenor | John Sullivan, 2015, Tenor | Scott Waldman, 2013, Tenor*
 

Barret Armbruster, 2010, Bass* | Ian Arthur, 2011, Bass | Connor Barto, 2016, Bass | Cory Chapman, 2011, Bass | Spencer Chretien, 2014, Bass | Gibson Haynes, 2013, Bass | Connor Knutsen, 2018, Bass | Daniel Lefler, 2012, Bass | Miguel Petrosky, 2017, Bass | Edris Qarghah, 2010, Bass* | Jacob Robins, 2016, Bass (Fmr. Music Director) | Tom Seabrook, 2012, Bass* | Simón(e) Sun, 2011, Bass | Peter Varga, MS 2021, Bass (Fmr. Music Director) | Jack Villani, 2016, Bass | Daniel Villarreal, 2010, Bass* | Stephen Winand, 2015, Bass | Petar Yanev, 2014, Bass

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Past Music Directors
 

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MATTHEW F. REESE
Founding Music Director

Matthew F. Reese is an American conductor active on both sides of the Atlantic. He currently conducts the Washington Young Sinfonia and was most recently music director of the English chamber orchestra, Consortium Novum. A recipient of Oxford’s conducting prize, Matthew has held the Music Directorships of the Oxford University Philharmonia (2016–17), the Oxford University Wind Orchestra (2015–16), and The Choir of Pusey House (2017–18). In 2016, he was named the University’s inaugural Conducting Scholar, assistant-conducting the St. Anne’s Camerata. Matthew holds degrees from the College of William & Mary (BA, 2013) and the University of Oxford (M.Phil, 2016; D.Phil, 2019). He is currently a Visiting Lecturer in Musicology at the Peabody Institute and The Johns Hopkins University. Recent assistantships include the Georgetown University Symphony Orchestra, the Annapolis Symphony Academy, and the National Orchestral Institute.

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WES DUNNAVANT
Second Music Director

Wes Dunnavant served as the Schola's Music Director for two semesters during his time at the College of William and Mary. Following his graduation from the College in the Winter of 2013, Wes returned to his native Chesterfield, VA, where he continues to maintain an active performing schedule as an accompanist for middle and high school choirs throughout central Virginia and as a tenor in the James River Singers. He is currently Director of Worship and Music at Bethany Place Baptist Church, where he has served since 2014.  

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JACOB G. ROBINS
Third Music Director

Jacob G. Robins is a doctoral student in organic chemistry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (expected 2021). While pursuing his B.S. in Chemistry at the College of William & Mary (2016), Jacob sang with both the Choir of the College under the direction of Dr. James Armstrong and the Schola Cantorum. He now resides in Chapel Hill where he has continued to deepen his musical experiences with the Carolina Choir under the direction of Susan Klebanow (2016-17), the Choral Society of Durham (2017-2021), and the CSD Chamber Singers (2018-19), both under the direction of Dr. Rodney Wynkoop. Photo © Andreas Wierschen, 2019

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VIRGINIA E. TILLEY
Fourth Music Director

Virginia E Tilley is an emerging choral conductor with a particular interest in Medieval and Renaissance sacred music. Virginia completed her B.A. in Music at the College of William & Mary, where she studying choral conducting with Dr. Miles Canaday and Dr. James Armstrong, and received Honors for her senior thesis on thirteenth century liturgy and Gregorian chant in England.  After graduating from the College in 2019, Virginia began a Master program in Choral Conducting with a concentration in sacred music at the Catholic University of America. Additionally, she is teaching choral music at Oakcrest Girls School and is the organist at The National Shrine of St . Alphonsus Liguori in Baltimore, Maryland. 

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  PETER J. VARGA

Fifth Music Director

Peter J. Varga was instrumental in carrying the Schola through the pandemic. He received his B.A. in 2019 in psychology and organ performance from The Catholic University of America and his M.S. in 2021 in psychological sciences from William & Mary. Currently, he is reading for the DPhil in experimental psychology at the University of Oxford where his research examines how emotion and higher psychological states are interpersonally communicated through music.  He sings with the College Choir of Christ Church.