MUSIC DIRECTOR AND CONDUCTOR
In a career spanning more than 35 years, Stephen Kushner has served as the conductor of school choirs, church choirs, festival choirs, community choirs and professional choirs, including tenures as the Principal Conductor of the Choir of the Riverside Church in Manhattan, the Director of Choral Music at Phillips Exeter Academy, and the Director of Choral Music at Germantown Friends School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. At both Exeter and GFS, Kushner also served as Chair of the Music Department and Director of Studies. Included among the professional honors he has received are the Michael V. Forrestal professorship at Phillips Exeter Academy, a Klingenstein Fellowship at Columbia University and an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from York College of Pennsylvania. Graduates of Mr. Kushner’s choirs continue to sing in choirs around the world.
ASSISTANT CONDUCTOR AND ACCOMPANIST
Ken Lovett has enjoyed a thirty-five year career as an organist, accompanist, teacher and choral conductor. From 1986-2011 he was Director of Music of Philadelphia's Church of St. Martin-in-the-Fields. During this tenure he served on the Liturgical Commission of the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania, planning and conducting the music for the consecration of the fifteenth bishop of the diocese, as well as the consecration of Philadelphia's Episcopal Cathedral. He has served on the adjunct faculties of Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey, as well as Springside Chestnut Hill Academy and Germantown Friends School in Philadelphia. He has been guest organist for choirs in America and Europe, including tours of Austria, the Czech Republic, England, France, Germany, Italy and Switzerland. He is currently Organist and Associate Director of Music at the Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill in Philadelphia. He holds degrees in organ performance and sacred music from Furman University and Westminster Choir College.
Praised in Opera Now for her “angelic lyric soprano voice", Charlotte Dobbs brings luminous sound and incisive musicianship to a broad repertoire that encompasses Bach, Mozart, and the bel canto masters, as well as the second Viennese school and contemporary composers. After graduating from Phillips Exeter Academy in 2001, Charlotte earned a B.A. from Yale, where she majored in English and Music, and received an M.M. from both Juilliard and Curtis. Charlotte made her New York Philharmonic debut in a new song cycle by the Swiss composer Michael Jarrell, as well as debuts with the Philadelphia Orchestra in a concert of works of Mozart and the Alabama Symphony Orchestra in Handel’s Messiah. She joined the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra for Bach’s Magnficat under Jeffrey Kahane. Other concert appearances include Chicago’s Music of the Baroque (Dido and Aeneas), the Colorado Symphony Orchestra (Beethoven 9). Miss Dobbs made her Kimmel Center and Carnegie Hall debuts in Nielsen's Third Symphony with the Curtis Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Alan Gilbert. She appeared in recital with Mitsuko Uchida at the Marlboro Music Festival, performing Schoenberg's Book of the Hanging Gardens. Also at Marlboro, she gave her first performance of Schoenberg's Second String Quartet, which was reprised with the Saratoga Chamber Players. She has been featured in three programs with the New York Festival of Song, most recently “The Sweetest Path” at Caramoor and Merkin Hall. An avid performer of new music, Charlotte has been featured by the MATA Festival, Beth Morrison Productions, and Collage New Music in Boston. On the operatic stage, Charlotte made her debut with New York City Opera in VOX, a concert performance of new operas, as well as covering Governess in their production of The Turn of the Screw. Charlotte made her European debut as Corinna in Il viaggio a Reims at the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro, and returned to Italy to sing Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia under the auspices of the Fondazione Pergolesi Spontini and Teatro Aligheri in the theaters of Jesi, Fermo, and Ravenna. She also made her debut with the Chicago Opera Theater, singing Servilia in La clemenza di Tito with Jane Glover in a new production of Christopher Alden. Under the baton of Lorin Maazel, she appeared as Governess in the Chateauville Foundation’s production of The Turn of the Screw. Other operatic credits include Amina in La Sonnambula, Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni, the title role in Tchaikovsky's Iolanta, Nuria in Ainadamar, and Countess in Le nozze di Figaro with the Curtis Opera Theater, as well as the title role in Iphigenie en Aulide, Elettra in Idomeneo, and Juno in La Calisto at Juilliard. Charlotte also joined renowned theater group The Civilians for their production Paris Commune at Arts Emerson and the Brooklyn Academy of Music.
Soprano Julie Snyder excels as an educator, performer, and scholar. Dr. Snyder is the proud owner and operator of Snyder School of Singing, LLC, a community music school located in Springfield Township, Pennsylvania. Prior to opening SSS, Dr. Snyder served on the adjunct faculty of the Boyer College of Music and Dance at Temple University for seventeen years, and taught private voice (classical and musical theater), class voice, vocal repertoire, music theory, and vocal diction. During that time, she also served as an accompanist and advisor for several courses in the musical theater program. Dr. Snyder has also created and led camps, courses, and workshops for students of all ages throughout Pennsylvania. As a performer, Dr. Snyder is equally at home in choral, opera, operetta, musical theater, and recital settings, and has appeared with The New York Philharmonic, Opera Philadelphia, The Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra, Variant 6, The Gilbert and Sullivan Society of Chester County, The Philadelphia Gilbert and Sullivan Union, Opera Libera, and The Centre Theater. She currently serves as section leader, soloist, and children’s choir director at The Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill and recently completed a five-year tenure as a core member of The Crossing. Dr. Snyder’s research in the field of Swedish vocal diction and Swedish art song has been utilized by singers and vocal scholars worldwide. She is also sought as an authority on topics pertaining musical theater pedagogy and repertoire. Dr. Snyder holds a Bachelor of Music degree in voice performance (summa cum laude) from Susquehanna University, and Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees in voice performance from Temple University. Originally from Latrobe, Pennsylvania, she now resides in Erdenheim with her two children, Wesley and Natalie.