Baritone Ryan Becker has been actively singing in Sioux Falls since transferring to Augustana College in the fall of 2008. While pursuing a Music Degree at Augustana, Ryan sang with the Augustana Choir, the Chamber Choir, and on stage with Augustana Theatre. He is currently bass section leader and a member of the Ensemble Singers at First Congregational Church in Sioux Falls. In addition to choral music, Mr. Becker has been actively involved with the Sioux Empire Community Theatre, teaching the music for the recent Stage Adventures productions of Bugsy Malone, Jr. and Sleepy Hollow: A Musical Tale.
Praised for his “smooth, rich sound” and “stylish power” by Tim Smith of the Baltimore Sun, bass Matthew Curran brings a blend of intelligent musicianship and strong dramatic instincts to a variety of performances in opera, concert, recital and choral music. His 2015-2016 season includes Ramfis in Aida at both Opera Southwest and Baltimore Concert Opera, bass soloist in Bach’s St. John Passion with St. Andrew Music Society (NYC) and Pistola in Falstaff with Opera Delaware. Notable recent engagements include: Timur in Turandot at St. Petersburg Opera, Daland in Der Fliegende Holländer at Opera Roanoke, Colline in La Bohème at Atlanta Opera, and Frère Laurent at Opera New Jersey. A frequent interpreter of new work, Mr. Curran recorded the role of Edwin Cheney in Daron Hagen’s opera Shining Brow, performed live with the Buffalo Symphony Orchestra and released on the Naxos label. He has sung the bass solos in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Handel’s Messiah, Mozart, Verdi, and Brahms Requiems, and many of the great Bach Oratorios, among others. M.M. Indiana University School of Music, B.M. Loyola University School of Music - New Orleans. www.matthewcurran.net.
Brandon Hendrickson, baritone and voice faculty member at the University of South Dakota, is an active performer on the opera, concert and recital stage. Hendrickson's "beautiful baritone," as hailed by Opera News, has been heard interpreting standard and contemporary operatic and recital repertoire on an international level. His performances on the opera stage have included leading roles in Gianni Schicchi, The Seagull, The Magic Flute, The Merry Widow, The Marriage of Figaro, Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream, Carmen, Adamo's Little Women, Massenet's Werther, La Bohème, Poulenc's Dialogues of the Carmelites, Cosi fan tutte, Barab's I Can't Stand Wagner, Humperdinck's Hansel and Gretel, La Traviata, and Die Fledermaus. Hendrickson performed the role of Papageno alongside Samuel Ramey in a production of The Magic Flute with The Sounds of South Dakota, and performed as a chorister with The Dallas Opera in the world premiere of Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer's great American Opera, Moby Dick. On the concert stage, Hendrickson's recent credits include debuts with South Dakota Chorale, Piccolo Spoleto Music Festival, Great Falls Symphony Orchestra, Canterbury Choral Society, Oklahoma City Philharmonic, Helena Symphony Orchestra, Madison Symphony Orchestra, Sounds of South Dakota, Louisiana Sinfonietta, Southeast Pennsylvania Symphony Orchestra, Charleston Symphony Orchestra, The South Dakota Symphony Orchestra, and The Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra.
Joseph Hubbard, bass. Cert., Opera Institute at Boston University ('17); M.M. Voice Performance and Literature, Northwestern University; B.M. Vocal Performance, University of North Texas. Recent operatic credits include Mother in Seven Deadly Sins with the Opera Institute; Colline in La Bohème and Orazio in the new world premiere of Faccio’s Amleto with Opera Southwest; Seneca and Littore in L'incoronazione di Poppea at the Aldeburgh Festival (UK) and also at Northwestern University with the Dunbar Early Music Festival; and Sarastro in Die Zauberflöte with the Aspen Music Festival. Recent soloist engagements include Fauvel in Le Roman de Fauvel with Newberry Consort; Abbot in Gilgamesh from The Ourobouros Trilogy with Beth Morrison Projects, conducted by Julian Wachner; Schütz and Monteverdi with Mountainside Baroque; 17th century Roman music with the Duke Vespers Ensemble at the Boston Early Music Festival; a debut at The Morgan Library and Museum (NYC) with Schola Antiqua of Chicago; Monteverdi's Vespers of 1610 with Orpheus, Ars Lyrica Houston, and The Whole Noyse; Early Music America's Festival Ensemble at the Boston Early Music Festival; and Bach's Mass in B Minor with American Bach Soloists and Academy. He is a founding member and Artistic Advisor of the South Dakota Chorale.
Described by the NY Times as an “oceanic bass”, Tom McNichols continues to garner praise for work ranging from internationally acclaimed operatic premiers to standard operatic, concert and choral repertoire. In the last 11 years, his voice has been heard on five continents in live performance, live and recorded radio broadcasts and more than a dozen studio recordings. Recent engagements include: Opera de Monte Carlo, The Dallas Opera, Chicago Opera Theater, Boston Modern Orchestra Project: Death and the Powers (The Administration), Opera Carolina, Opera Omaha, Opera Grand Rapids, Boheme Opera: The Magic Flute (Sarastro), The Dallas Opera: Becoming Santa Claus; a new opera by Mark Adamo (The Donkey, Cover), Austin Lyric Opera: Aida (The King), Sacramento Opera: Il Trovatore (Ferrando) Upcoming engagements include: Atlanta Symphony Coronation Mass (Mozart), Portland Opera The Magic Flute (Sarastro), BravoLozanoProductions The Bohemians (Colline, film adaptation of Puccini’s La Bohéme) An appearance as a grand semi-finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in 2008 led Tom to resign his tenure with CANTUS, a position he held for four seasons that entailed more than 350 live performances and broadcasts on NPR, EBU, CBC, APM, and MPR. This is Tom’s fifth season with The South Dakota Chorale. For more information: www.tommcnichols.com
Stephen Richardson, baritone, is an active singer in solo and choral repertoire across the country. His home is in Chicago where he is often featured as a soloist for Music of the Baroque, Bella Voce, The Rookery, Constellation Men’s Ensemble, and Holy Name Cathedral’s Schola Cantorum. Stephen regularly sings with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Chorus, Lyric Opera Chorus and Grant Park Music Festival Chorus, among other local and national ensembles. Stephen is also skilled in electroacoustic music composition and production. Richardson holds a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from Roosevelt University and a Master of Music in Vocal Performance from Northwestern University. Stephen is thrilled and honored to work with The South Dakota Chorale on this incredibly poignant concert.
Heath Weber is the Associate Dean for Performing Arts at Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa. Prior to his appointment at Morningside, Heath Weber worked in public school music education at all levels, K-12 in South Dakota, Minnesota and Iowa. Choirs and show choirs under his direction were awarded top honors at State, Regional and National levels. He holds a bachelors and Masters degree from Augustana College (now Augustana University) in Sioux Falls, SD and has completed coursework for the Educational Doctorate in Administration from the University of South Dakota. Weber has directed the South Dakota Ambassadors of Excellence for over two decades. The camp, a two-week immersion with experiences in various academic pursuits, leadership training and intense performing arts, exists for high ability youth from all over the country. Weber has led the group on 7 global performance tours reaching 5 continents and 23 countries. His dissertation work in gifted education has earned him appearances at the National Conference on Gifted Children in Minneapolis and numerous state gifted conventions in the upper Midwest. Mr. Weber has also appeared on the North Central ACDA convention as a presenter on Assessment in the choral classroom. His most recent presentation, Building Creativity: A Do-It-Yourself Guide was delivered to the Iowa Choral Directors Association Summer Symposium in 2014. As clinician, adjudicator and guest conductor, Weber is in high demand across the country. His work with summer enrichment opportunities, team building and leadership training keeps his schedule full.
Tim Worthington is a founding member of the South Dakota Chorale. He has been in love with classical choral music ever since he became a soprano member of the Kansas Boys Choir at age 11. During his college years he was a member of the K-State Singers and sang vocals for the Marion Roberts Jazz Trio in Manhattan, KS. He was delighted to be a member of the Kansas City Symphony Chorus for nine years and the Dakota Men's Ensemble for two years. Tim has been a professional painter and pastor, and currently serves as Spiritual Director at Dow Rummel Village in Sioux Falls. He is married to the Rev. Kathryn Timpany, and together they have four children and three grandsons.
Robert Ward is the conducting associate for the University Singers at the University of North Texas where he is a DMA candidate in Choral Conducting. Along with his duties at UNT, Robert serves as the associate conductor for Schola Cantorum of Texas.
Robert holds degrees from Oklahoma State University, B.M. and Southern Methodist University, M.M. both in music education. As an educator, Robert taught middle and high school choir in North Texas, including eight years at The Oakridge School in Arlington. In that time he became interested in emerging teaching philosophies and their potential impact in music. Robert presented twice at the Texas Music Educators Association on these topics which motivated his desire to pursue graduate studies.
Robert has also sung with the Orpheus Chamber Singers, Taylor Festival Choir, Texas Choral Artists, The Choral Pickup, and Vox Humana. He lives in Grapevine, Texas with his wife Lindsey and their son Karsten.
Michael Lyle is an active choral musician in the triangle region of North Carolina. He sings regularly with the Duke Vespers Ensemble, Choral Society of Durham, and Vocal Arts Ensemble of Durham. Mr. Lyle has recently performed as baritone soloist in Faure's Requiem with the Duke Chapel Choir, and as bass soloist in Saint-Saëns Christmas Oratorio with the Choral Society of Durham. In addition to his choral work, Mr. Lyle is active as a conductor, leading the New Voices Choir of the Church of Reconciliation in Chapel Hill, NC. He has also served as Assistant Conductor of the Really Terrible Orchestra Of the Triangle (RTOOT). Mr. Lyle is the Staff Assistant to Chapel Music at Duke University in Durham, NC. He holds the Master of Music in Conducting degree from the University of Texas – El Paso, and the Bachelor of Music degree from Grove City College.