our singers

a decade of students dedicated to chamber music 

business
director

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 plans on majoring in International Relations with a minor in 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

PETER J. VARGA is a postgraduate research psychologist interested in the neurocognitive underpinnings of inspiration and creativity in music.  Whilst a student at the Ruth Asawa San Francisco School of the Arts, Peter received pre-conservatory instruction in guitar performance with Scott Cmiel (San Francisco Conservatory of Music).  In 2012, he was appointed Organ Scholar at St Dominic’s Catholic Church in San Francisco, California under Simon Berry (BMus, Royal College of Music).

During his tenure (2012-2015), Peter actively accompanied and sang with the St Dominic’s Schola Cantorum supplemented by a choral scholarship and tuition with Jace Wittig (Chanticleer, GAUDE) generously provided by the Dominican priory at the parish.  In 2019, Peter earned his BA, summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from The Catholic University of America, where he founded the Catholic University Festival Schola Cantorum with trumpeter-biologist Paul Elizalde.  As a sophomore, Peter studied at the Rome Center of The Catholic University of America and the Australian Catholic University, where he served as the inaugural Director of Music for the Center whilst also holding the post of Assistant Organist at the Basilica di Santa Maria ad Martyres (the Pantheon).  Upon returning from Rome, he worked as an administrative assistant to Thomas Stehle, Pastoral Associate for Liturgy and Director of Music at the Cathedral of St Matthew the Apostle in Washington, D.C., working primarily with the Cathedral Schola Cantorum.  In May 2021, Peter will be finishing his master’s course in Psychological Sciences at The College of William & Mary.  He is pleased to have taken up the mantle of Music Director in the William & Mary Schola Cantorum’s decennial season and is excited to carry on its legacy into a second decade.

ORGAN

SCHOLAR

SALLY M. MULLIS began her musical education as a piano student. She was raised in the Episcopal Church, and began professionally playing for services at age 18. In the Fall of 2019, she was appointed Organist of the Canterbury Association at William & Mary, playing for weekly services in the historic Wren Chapel and overseeing liturgical music for the Episcopal campus ministry. At this time, she began organ lessons with Thomas Marshall (MM, University of Michigan) of Williamsburg United Methodist Church. She maintains active involvement with Bruton Parish Church in Williamsburg. Under the directorship of Beckie Davy (MM, University of Southern California), she sings occasionally in the soprano section of the Parish Choir, assists with the children's choir, and has been a member of the Tarpley Ringers handbell choir since Fall 2017. When in her hometown of Statesville, North Carolina, she serves as supply organist for her home parish, Trinity Episcopal Church.  She joined the William & Mary Schola Cantorum in Spring 2019 under Virginia Tilley as a soprano. Her newfound interest in liturgical music from the medieval and Renaissance periods, in addition to her growing experience in the Anglican musical tradition, led her to deepen her involvement with the ensemble, assuming the role of Associate Director and Senior Organ Scholar under Peter Varga in Fall 2019.  Sally studies Biology and French at William & Mary, and is a member of the class of 2021.

Wren Chapel Crest

2020–2021 Roster

The singers in the 2020–2021 Roster are: 

Margaret McLaughlin, Caroline Emeric

Ellissa Johnson, Catherine Freemon, Sarah Kopp

Jenna Marzougui, Elise Coberly, Laura Lielbriedis

Emily Elston, Potter McKinney, Justin Oei, & Phillip Ellison     

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.

Wren Chapel Stock Images (Matthew F Rees

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* | 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 ’15, 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 | Jack Villani, 2016, Bass | Daniel Villarreal, 2010, Bass* | Stephen Winand, 2015, Bass | Petar Yanev, 2014, Bass

Wren Chapel 5.jpg

Past Music Directors
 

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). Matthew holds degrees from the College of William & Mary (BA) and the University of Oxford (M.Phil, 2016; D.Phil, 2020). He is currently a Visiting Lecturer in Musicology at the Peabody Institute and The Johns Hopkins University, as well as cover conductor for the National Orchestral Institute. Recent assistantships include the Georgetown University Symphony Orchestra and the Annapolis Symphony Academy. 
You can read more about him at matthewreeseconductor.com | Photos © Zak Thomas Johnson, 2018

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.  

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

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. After completing this degree, she hopes to work in music education, with an emphasis on Roman Catholic liturgical music.

© 2010–2020, William & Mary Schola Cantorum