Katie Gerber, Founder and Artistic Director, Conductor of Scherzo, Felice, and Cantando Choruses
Throughout her career, Katie has always maintained an active balance between singing professionally, teaching music both privately, and in a classroom setting, and choral directing. She completed her undergraduate degree at I.U Jacobs School of Music, where she received a double degree in Vocal Performance and Music Education with a Choral Music emphasis. Following this, Katie resided in Sydney, Australia for several years, where she was head of Vocal Department at Stella Maris College, created curriculum, and directed several of the school’s internationally award-winning choruses. Following this, Katie relocated to San Francisco, in order to complete her MM in Voice at San Francisco Conservatory of Music. At SFCM, Katie sang the role of Pamina, in “The Magic Flute”, Clori in “L’Egisto”, and the role of Armida in “Rinaldo”, with Conservatory Baroque. Upon graduating from SFCM, Katherine was awarded with several distinctions, including the Dean's Award in Excellence for Opera Performance, and the Dean's Award for Performance in Baroque Vocal Music.
Katie has worked as a choral director in several schools and choruses, including the world re-known children's choruses, the Piedmont East Bay Children's Chorus, Cantabile Youth Singers in Los Altos and the Nueva School for Gifted Learning, where she directed the school choruses and was Head of LS Music. Katie has also directed music at two prominent Bay area churches over the past several years, while maintaining a busy private voice studio at home. Her most recent project has been through a grant-funded project at UCSF/Mt. Zion, directing a chorus for the hearing impaired. Katie is also the Associate Director of the well-known summer program for gifted education, SummerGATE, where she also enjoys coordinating music classes and performances and directing a small Glee Club.
Jonathon Hampton, Conductor of Boychoir
Jonathon Hampton is a unique and versatile choral conductor of 15 years experience, specializing in early classical music, spirituals, and contemporary popular repertoire. He is also a director for the East Bay Center for the Performing Arts, and San Francisco Early Music Society's summer Music Discovery Workshop and Youth Collegium. Hampton also teaches individual voice lessons and is a teaching artist for the West Contra Costa Unified School District. Hampton was previously a director for Pacific Boychoir where, for 14 years, he taught boys of all ages and conducted them with several instrumental ensembles, including the Magik*Magik Orchestra. He revived the children's choir as Director of Choristers at Grace Church in Newark (NJ) over two seasons and founded two choruses in affiliation with his Alma mater, Cornell University. Hampton has been guest conductor of the Cornell University World Music Choir and the choirs of the Cathedral of Christ the Light (Oakland, CA), Lafayette Christian Church (Lafayette, CA), Trinity Wall Street (New York, NY), Holy Trinity Roman Catholic Church (New York, NY), Trinity Church (Princeton, NJ), St. Paul's Episcopal Church (Englewood, NJ), and Trinity and St. Philip's Cathedral (Newark, NJ). Hampton also spent five years with Carnegie Hall's Weill Music Institute, coordinating international music education programs. Hampton also performs professionally as an alto, tenor, and baritone with such ensembles as American Bach Soloists, the San Francisco Symphony Chorus, and Cappella SF in addition to solo work in jazz, soul, and pop music. JonHampton.com
Elana Cowen, Conductor of Prima Chorus
Elana Cowen has had an extensive performing career in opera and musical theatre, as well as a strong background in teaching voice and music direction. Graduating with her Master’s of Music and Post-Graduate Certificate in Vocal Performance from San Francisco Conservatory of Music, she quickly began performing, teaching and directing music all over the Bay Area.
Ms. Cowen has worked extensively with many companies on the West Coast and beyond in performing opera and musical theatre including Opera San José, Utah Festival Opera and Musical Theatre, Lamplighters Music Theatre, Philharmonia Baroque, MasterWorks, Bay Area Classical Harmonies, Bay Area Children’s Theater, West Bay Opera and San Francisco Lyric Opera. Operatic roles performed include Olga in Eugene Onegin, Marcellina in Le Nozze di Figaro, Dido in Dido and Aeneas, Lidio in L’Egisto and Dinah in Trouble in Tahiti. Musical theater roles include Baker’s Wife in Into the Woods, Mrs. Sergstrom in A Little Night Music, and Bird/Mouse in A Year with Frog and Toad. A highlight of her performing career was playing Pizzi in The (New) Mikado with Lamplighters Music Theatre, which Broadway World reviewed, saying “Elana Cowen’s Pizzi is a pleasure.”
Ms. Cowen has worked as a music director and teacher with many children’s theater companies and schools around the Bay Area, including Missouri Street Theatre and Starbound Theatre. Music direction credits include Annie Jr., The Fantasticks and Aladdin Jr. Ms. Cowen is a private voice teacher; other teaching credits include assisting San Francisco Youth Chorus’ Prima Chorus and being an assistant teacher at the SummerGate program. She is a section leader and soloist with the Episcopal Church of St. Matthew’s Chancel Choir in San Mateo and has been a member for over 10 years.
Ray Capiral, Pianist
Ray Capiral, b. 1983, is a skilled pianist and accompanist with over seventeen years of experience. He studied classical piano with Mario Feninger, a student of Nadia Boulanger, and also attended University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), graduating in 2009 with a B.A. in music composition. He has been teaching piano, theory, and composition for seventeen years. He serves as Music Director at Bethany United Methodist Church in Noe Valley.
Shannon Wolfe, Singing/Choral Assistant/Yoga Instructor
Singer-Actor Shannon Wolfe is a radiant and versatile performer. Shannon holds a Master of Music degree from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and is on faculty as Voice Teacher at the Holy Name Conservatory of Music. For two years she directed the Children's Musical Theatre class at Mira Loma Elementary.
Shannon is the creator of FEMMES FATALES: A FILM NOIR CABARET, an hour long music and film show in which she sings rare songs from film noir, re-enacts classic movie dialogue and narrates intimate details of actors' lives.
Bringing you "ballads, boogies and heart-melting harmonies," Shannon is also one half of the smoldering and comedic jazz cabaret duo, Sophisticated Ladies, along with Molly Mahoney. Sophisticated Ladies are currently housed at Society Cabaret in the Hotel Rex in downtown San Francisco.
Shannon has performed alongside comedy legends Rich Little, Carol Channing, Steve Rossi, Shelly Berman and other famous funny people for comedic-magician Robert Strong's televised event, Comedy Talks: Conversations with the Legends of Comedy at USF's Presentation Theater. On camera, Shannon appears as Helen Reddy in the short feature film, The Muppetless Movie.
NAOMI SANCHEZ , Pianist and Vocal Coach
Naomi has worked extensively with singers of all levels, from young children to Broadway veterans. She teaches and accompanies singers at the American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.) and has arranged original theater pieces for A.C.T.'s Young Conservatory, including the musical Forever Young: The Music of Bob Dylan, which toured to London's National Theatre. Ms. Sanchez is also a classical concert pianist and a member of the award-winning piano duo Pas de Duo. They debuted at Carnegie Hall to critical acclaim. Education: Indiana University, M.M., B.M