- Eric Alatorre
- Michael Bresnahan
- Brian Hinman
- Ben Johns
- Matthew Knickman
- Cortez Mitchell
- Nate Pence
- Kory Reid
- Alan Reinhardt
- Marques Jerrell Ruff
- Darita Mara Seth
- Adam Ward
- Jace Wittig
ERIC ALATORRE, bass, joined Chanticleer in the last century. Really. Now in his 25th season, he is the provider of much of the Chanticleer lore from former times and is enjoying sharing the joy of singing with some of his colleagues who are, quite literally, a new generation of singers. He still enjoys being able to perform all over the country and the world, which gives him plenty of time to explore his other passion: food. A part-time hedonist and full-time wine enthusiast, he is always looking for another wonderful dining experience to share with friends and his fellow singers on the road. His other passions include promoting Apple products to others, eating his way around the world, being married to his wonderful wife Dorothee, and enjoying watching his daughters Mia and Clara discover the joys of learning English, German and Spanish.
MICHAEL BRESNAHAN, tenor, is thrilled to be in his third year with Chanticleer. A West Virginia native, he received his B.M. in Vocal Performance at the Chicago College of Performing Arts, where he studied with Mark Crayton and Matthew Chellis and sang several leading roles. He then received a Master’s Degree in Music Education from VanderCook College of Music and worked as a choir teacher at a high school in downtown Chicago. He sang with some of the finest church choirs in Chicago, including the choirs of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church and Fourth Presbyterian Church. His other interests include country two-stepping, random adventures, and delicious food.
BRIAN HINMAN, tenor, is in his ninth season with Chanticleer. Born in the suburbs of Chicago, he spent his childhood singing in choirs. Brian studied vocal performance at the University of Tennessee in addition to acting at the Larry Singer Studios and jazz with Joe Solomon, both in New York City. He has sung with rock bands, bluegrass bands and gospel choirs and has a long string of theater credits including lead roles in regional productions of Company and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. This is also Brian’s ninth season as Chanticleer’s Road Manager. He recently Co-Produced Chanticleer’s latest pop/jazz studio album, Someone New, with Leslie Ann Jones and Jace Wittig.
BEN JOHNS, Chanticleer’s Director of Education & Guest Artist, finished his master’s degree in Choral Conducting in 2009 at the University of California, Irvine and holds undergraduate degrees in Dance, Vocal Performance, and Chemistry. Mr. Johns earned merit-based graduate fellowships, teaching assistantships and scholarships from the Tom and Elizabeth Tierney, Ann and Gordon Getty, Mary and Philip Lyons, and Sunny Brown Scholarship Foundations. He also earned the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Research for his honor’s thesis topic, “Exploring the Neurobiological Basis for the Effect of Movement on the Voice,” a topic he presented at the American Association of Physics Teachers conference at California State University, Sacramento in 2004. Ben sang in the Chanticleer ensemble for three years before moving to his current position as Chanticleer’s Director of Education. His education duties include, but are not limited to, directing Chanticleer’s LAB Choir and giving master classes to Bay Area high school and middle school choirs. Outside Chanticleer Mr. Johns continues to sing and conduct. He is artistic director of Musae, teaches voice privately, and has taught at Diablo Valley College and UC Davis.
MATTHEW KNICKMAN, baritone, is proud to be in his fourth season with Chanticleer. Born in Korea, he started singing as a boy at St. Stephen’s Cathedral Choir of Men and Boys in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. He holds degrees in vocal performance and pedagogy from Westminster Choir College. As a member of the critically acclaimed Westminster Choir and Westminster Kantorei, he performed with the New York Philharmonic, Dresden Philharmonic, & New Jersey Symphony, and was led by celebrated conductors, including Alan Gilbert, Lorin Maazel, Kurt Masur, Harry Bicket, Charles Dutoit, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Richard Hickox, Neeme Järvi, Bernard Labadie, Nicholas McGegan, Julius Rudel, Stefan Parkman, Joseph Flummerfelt, and Andrew Megill. He has also performed with Les Violons du Roy et La Chapelle de Québec, Early Music New York, Opera Company of Philadelphia, Opera Theatre of Weston, and Spoleto Festival U.S.A. He has been a soloist in numerous oratorios and Bach cantatas, including the St. John and St. Matthew Passions with early music organizations such as Fuma Sacra, Philadelphia Bach Festival, and Carmel Bach Festival. In 2010, he was a Finalist in the Sixth Biennial Bach Vocal Competition for American Singers. When not singing, Matthew enjoys comfort foods and is an exercise and nutritional science enthusiast.
CORTEZ MITCHELL, alto, is a native of Detroit, MI. He graduated from Morgan State University with a B.A. in music and a B.S. in mathematics and holds an M.M. in voice from the University of Cincinnati’s College Conservatory of Music. As Minnesota Opera’s first resident artist countertenor he performed the role of Cherubino in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro and covered Nicklausse in Offenbach’s Les Contes de Hoffman. With Urban Opera he performed the role of 1st Witch in Purcell’s Dido and Aneas. He has been featured in solo performances of J.S Bach’s Cantata#147 Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben with the Dayton Philharmonic, R. Nathaniels Dett’s The Ordering of Moses and Adolphus Hailstork’s Done Made My Vow with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Rachmaniov’s Vespers in St. Petersburg Russia, and Wynton Marsallis’s All Rise with the Lincoln Center Jazz Ensemble. Cortez has received awards from the National Opera Association, The Washington International competition and the Houston Grand Opera Elleanor McCollum competition. Mr. Mitchell is in his eighth season with Chanticleer.
NATE PENCE, soprano, is thrilled to begin his career with Chanticleer. He received a full ride to Southern Virginia University, a private liberal arts college in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, where he studied voice with soprano Christine Schadeberg and received his Bachelors degree in Music. He regularly performs as a soloist in such pieces as Handel’s Messiah, Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms, Orff’s Carmina Burana, and other popular concert works. While performance has always been a thrill, his true love is teaching. Mr. Pence had the pleasure of being the director of the women’s choir at Southern Virginia University from 2010 to 2012. During the 2013-2014 school year he served as the conductor of the Men’s Choir at the University of Florida (Go Gators!). While there he was awarded a Graduate Assistantship in choral conducting under Dr. Willard Kesling, while simultaneously studying voice with Dr. Elizabeth Graham. Mr. Pence will finish his Master’s Degree in Choral Conducting long distance while he tours with Chanticleer.
Soprano & Assistant Music Director
KORY REID, soprano & assistant music director, is in his fourth season with Chanticleer. He studied music education at Pepperdine University and completed a Masters Degree in Choral Conducting from the University of Southern California. Kory is a sought after countertenor soloist who has sung for Los Angeles Zimriyah Chorale, Los Robles Master Chorale, Catgut Trio, USC Chamber Singers, Pepperdine University Concert Choir and Collegium Musicum, and for many diverse choral recitals and church music programs, including Mel Gibson’s church. He is a barbershop music enthusiast, was a district finalist in the quartet contest and a past member of the Westminster Chorus, winning the International Barbershop Chorus Contest in 2010. Kory also served as the Music and Choir Director for St. Matthew’s United Methodist Church in Newbury Park, CA. In his spare time, he enjoys watching eccentric documentaries, drinking wine, and teaching barbershop tags to his Chanticleer brothers on the road.
ALAN REINHARDT, alto, is pleased to be in his ninth season with Chanticleer. He grew up in Long Island, N.Y. and prior to joining sang with various ensembles in New York City including The Men and Boys choir at St. Thomas Church on Fifth Avenue, Early Music New York and choral performances with the N.Y. Philharmonic. In 2005, he sang the lead countertenor role in the premiere of the dance/opera A More Perfect Union in the State Theatre in Perm, Russia as part of the Sergei Diaghilev Festival. Recently, he has been exploring his love of poetry on the website Voetica.com where you can find him reading classic American poets Robert Frost, Richard Wilbur and Walt Whitman. Alan holds degrees from SUNY Potsdam and the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana.
Marques Jerrell Ruff
MARQUES JERRELL RUFF, bass-baritone, is in his second season, and grateful for the opportunity to sing with Chanticleer. A native of East Hartford, CT, Mr. Ruff is a graduate of Central Connecticut State University where he earned a degree in Music, and also founded and directed the all-male a cappella ensemble, DIVISI. Mr. Ruff has been privileged to appear in concert as a soloist with the Hartford Symphony Orchestra, Vivre Musicale, CONCORA, and VOCE Inc. where he recorded “Sure on This Shining Night” with American composer, Morten Lauridsen. Marques has been the recipient of top honors from the National Association of Teachers of Singing Voice Competition and the Classical Singer Competition. A lover of classical and choral music, Mr. Ruff is also an avid jazz, gospel and musical theater performer, and has appeared in regional theater productions of several plays, including: Rent (Tom Collins) and Ain’t Misbehavin’. Prior to joining Chanticleer, Mr. Ruff recorded and released a brand new song cycle written specifically for his unique instrument by composer, and friend, Daniel J. Campolieta entitled, Guided Imagery. When not performing with Chanticleer, Marques enjoys consuming good southern cuisine and being continuously inspired by his muse, Beyonce!
Darita Mara Seth
DARITA MARA SETH, soprano, is honored to be returning for his second season with Chanticleer. Born and raised in Columbus, Ohio, he gained recognition as a young church musician singing and playing piano in worship teams. Darita attended the Conservatory of Music at Capital University, studying vocal performance. While at Capital, Darita sang with the renowned Chapel Choir, was a founding member of the chamber ensemble, Philomel, and was named roles in numerous operatic and music theatre productions. While pursuing his undergraduate degree, Darita first gained experience singing countertenor and was immersed in sacred choral rigor at Saint Joseph Cathedral in Columbus. Additionally, Darita has recorded with AireBorn Studios (Zionsville, IN) for various new music publications namely, Beckenhorst Press. He also is a proud alumnus of the Interlochen Arts Academy and Camp, where he participated in the composition, opera, and choral programs. He is recognized by the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts as a youngARTS 2008 finalist. Darita enjoys bringing new music to life and serving his time as a mentor for young choral students. He is an actively writing arranger for college a cappella groups and high school show choirs. His other interests include cooking meals of his Cambodian-American roots, having the opportunity to explore the most gorgeous European cathedrals, and walking dogs.
ADAM WARD, alto, is originally from Tecumseh, Oklahoma. At an early age Adam became fascinated with the voice of Patsy Cline and as a child he made a number of television appearances singing Cline’s songs. Mr. Ward began singing countertenor while studying French horn performance at Yale University. There he was also a founding member of the Yale Schola Cantorum. He has since performed as soloist with the International Contemporary Ensemble and was a member of the Choir of St. Mary the Virgin at the famed “Smoky Mary’s” in midtown Manhattan. As a horn player, Adam was a member of the Verbier Festival Orchestra, winner of the concerto competitions at Yale and Stony Brook Universities, and was a top prize-winner at the Coleman, Fischoff and Yellow Springs national chamber music competitions. He is currently composer-in-residence for the New York City based Choral Chameleon directed by Vince Peterson. Adam holds a BM from Manhattan School of Music, MM from Yale School of Music and additional years of study at the Hartt School, Royal College of Music (London) and Stony Brook University. Adam is overjoyed to be in his ninth season with Chanticleer.
Interim Music Director
JACE WITTIG, Artistic Advisor. An Indianapolis native, he began his musical training early with the Indianapolis Children’s Choir, touring often in North America and Europe. He received his B.M. in Vocal Performance at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, studying voice with Dr. Craig Priebe and piano with Dr. Jim Helton. Before joining Chanticleer, he sang in Indianapolis with Cantabile and also worked as a studio singer at AireBorn Studios. He has worked as an Artist in Residence at the San Francisco School of the Arts, teaching in the classroom and directing small ensembles. His other interests include stumbling through old piano music and cooking for his loved ones. He is glad to have the unending support of his friends and family, and thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Chanticleer.