Voice & Piano Instructors
Peter Skaar holds a Masters of Music from the Hartt School of Music and a Bachelors in Music Performance from Shenandoah Conservatory. Peter is also graduate of the Dreyfoos school of the Arts. Starting piano at age 7 and later cello at age 11 Mr. Skaar has over 18 years of musical experiences. His major Teachers include Terry King Professor of cello at the hartt school and Longy school of music, Clyde Thomas Shaw Retired Professor of Cello at Shenandoah Conservatory and member of the former Audubon String Quartet, as well as David Cole Cello Professor at Lynn Conservatory.
As a teacher Peter has experience working with all ages and levels of player. He believes that each student’s needs are unique and that with enough dedication anyone can become a musician. “There are only two rules I have in my lessons. A student needs to learn something and the student should have fun during learning.”
Hailing from Worcester, MA, Anna got her musical start at the piano, which she studied privately for 10 years with Claire Paquette and Maureen Egan. Under their tutelage, she performed piano works ranging from Beethoven to Gershwin at recital halls and churches across the Worcester area. She quickly expanded her music lessons to include voice lessons, studying classical voice and musical theatre with Thomas René Brennan and Angeliki Theoharis. She also began taking part in musical productions at Calliope Theater, appearing in such roles as Madame Thénardier (Les Misérables) and Irene Molloy (Hello, Dolly!).
Anna’s passion for theatre continued into high school, where she took on such roles as Alice (You Can’t Take It with You), Miss Dorothy (Thoroughly Modern Millie), and Lady Larkin (Once Upon a Mattress). As much as Anna enjoyed her theatrical roles, it was in the choir room where she truly found a home. She served her high school’s choir as section leader for two years, and president for one. She was honored to take part in the Massachusetts Central District Honors Chorus for four years, and the Massachusetts All-State Chorus for three.
Her passion for music and for helping others led her to pursue a music degree in college. Anna graduated with honors from the University of Hartford’s Hartt School in December 2017, where she completed a double major in vocal performance and music education. She studied classical voice with faculty members Joanna Levy and Cherie Caluda. While at Hartt Anna was an active member of Hartt Opera Theatre, performing such roles as Second Lady (The Magic Flute), Mother (Amahl and the Night Visitors), and Cecily (Thomas Pasatieri’s La Divina). She was also active in Hartt’s choral department, serving the Chamber Choir as section leader for two years. She also completed tours of Italy, Hungary, and the Czech Republic with the Hartt Touring Choir. Through her time studying music education, Anna expanded her knowledge about instructional methods for students in nursery school through twelfth grade. She is certified in First Steps in Music and Conversational Solfege. She is also a member of the American Choral Directors Association and the National Association for Music Education, for which she served as president of her collegiate chapter.
In addition to teaching at Summit, Anna is an active performer in the greater Hartford area. She has performed with Opera Connecticut and Rocky Hill Community Theatre. This past year she began singing with Voce, a professional choir based in Hartford. Voce will be recording of the works of Paul Mealor in an album entitled Twilight this spring. Additionally, Anna sings every Sunday with the Schola Cantorum at the Cathedral of Saint Joseph, and is a cantor at St. Matthew’s Catholic Church in Southborough, MA. In the future, Anna plans to continue her education in the field of vocal pedagogy. With this knowledge, she hopes to inspire future generations of musicians to explore and fall in love with music.
Kirby Stalley grew up in Vernon, Connecticut and has been involved in music since a young age. He was a member of the Connecticut Children’s Chorus for nine years and was president of his high school choir at Rockville High School in Vernon. Kirby attended Luther College in Decorah, Iowa. While at Luther he studied music and for three years sang in their flagship choir, The Nordic Choir. While at Luther Kirby got to work with some of the biggest names in the choral world including, Dr. Allen Hightower, Dr. Andrew Last, Dr. Jeffrey Douma, Dr. Ann Howard Jones, and Dr. Kenneth Fulton. While in The Nordic Choir Kirby had the opportunity to sing such masterworks as, Bach’s Mass in B Minor, Handel’s Messiah, Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass, Lauridsen’s Lux Aeterna, among others. He was also the leader of a student run a capella chamber choir, Jubilus. He is the founder and conductor of the choral group, Vox Populi. Kirby has toured throughout the United States as well as France and Italy. From 2012 to 2013 he was the choir director at First Lutheran Church in Ellington, Connecticut, and from 2015 to 2017 he was the choir director and Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Lanesboro, Minnesota. He has also guessed conducted the chancel choir at South United Methodist Church in Manchester, Connecticut.
Alice is very dedicated to music ministry in the church. She has been a member of the Schola Cantorum at the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Hartford since 2008, where she frequently presents solos. She also serves as a cantor for the Catholic Communities of East Hartford North, St. John Fisher Church in Marlborough and St. Mary’s Parish in Longmeadow, Massachusetts. Concert works have included soprano soloist in Mozart’s Requiem, Fauré’s Requiem, Vivaldi’s Gloria, and Benjamin Britten’s Missa Brevis and Ceremony of Carols. Chamber works have included soprano soloist in Heinrich Schütz’s Müsikalische Exequien, J.S. Bach’s Wedding Canata (BWV 202) and Giacomo Carissimi’s Jonas.
Alice will be traveling to Ireland in the summer of 2013 for a two-week concert tour with Vallis Musicae, a choral ensemble based out of the Farmington Valley.
Mezzo-Soprano Genevieve Clements has been an active performer since the age of 4. Throughout her childhood, Genny played the piano, baritone horn, and sang in local choirs and musical theatre productions, often receiving solos and leads. When it came time to decide on plans after high school, she decided to study classical voice at the Hartt School at the University of Hartford in West Hartford, CT. During her four years at Hartt, Genny studied voice with Cherie Caluda and Kyle Swann and performed with Hartt Opera Theatre.
During the fall of her junior year, Genny continued her studies in Milan, Italy, and performed with professional choirs in the area. While in Milan, she also realized her love of 20thand 21st Century music for the voice, especially contemporary opera and chamber music. Since graduating summa cum laude with her Bachelor of Music in Classical Vocal Performance, Genny has developed her proficiency and passion for teaching both voice and piano to aspiring musicians of all ages and skill levels. She loves helping people make and nurture a connection with music of all kinds. Genny sings with the Schola Cantorum at the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Hartford, CT and is an active performer and recitalist around the Hartford area.
Graham Woodland is an active performer and teacher based in New England. As an orchestral musician, Graham was recently named Assistant Concertmaster of the Missouri Symphony Orchestra, serves as Concertmaster of the Hartt Orchestra, and is also a member of the New Britain Symphony and other Connecticut regional orchestras. He has appeared as soloist with the Missouri Symphony Orchestra, University of Missouri Philharmonic, MU Chamber Orchestra, and will solo with the Hartt’s Contemporary Ensemble, Foot in the Door, this fall. He has been a winner and finalist at numerous competitions including the Music Teacher’s National Association Young Artist Competition, Cynthia Woods Mitchell Young Artist Competition, MU Concerto Competition, and the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition. Summer Festivals attended include the Innsbrook Institute Academy and Festival, the Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival, and the Texas Music Festival.
As a teacher, Graham has extensive experience working with children and adults of all levels on both violin and piano. Graham’s pre-college violin students have earned leadership positions in prestigious youth orchestra programs, including the Saint Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra and the Missouri All-State Orchestra, and have had success in State and National level competitions. Always looking to expand his teaching knowledge, Graham is currently completing his Suzuki training at the Hartt School with Christie Felsing and Teri Einfeldt.
A passionate chamber musician, Graham has coached chamber music with members of the Emerson, Jasper, and Heath Quartets, as well as members of the Berlin Philharmonic and Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra. He recently graduated from the University of Missouri where he was a student of Eva Szekely, and is currently a student at the Hartt School studying with Katie Lansdale on a full scholarship.
A native of Orange County, New York, Rachel Love, Soprano studied voice and piano privately starting at a young age. While being active in recitals and competitions, she made the decision to further her musical career over in Hartford, CT where she received her Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from The Hartt School of Music in May of 2014. While studying, Rachel performed the role of Anna Maurrant in Kurt Weill’s Street Scene in February of 2014, covered the role of Rosalinda in Johann Strauss’ Die Fledermaus in February of 2013, performed the role of Chorus 1 in Ned Rorem’s Fables in December of 2012, and performed as Countess in scenes of Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro in December of 2011 with Hartford Opera Theatre. During her time she also prepared a recital with works including Richard Wagner, Giuseppe Verdi, Christoph Willibald Gluck and William Bolcom in May of 2014. In the summer of 2014, Rachel was a part of the BEAT Festival in Brooklyn, New York (A visual Art and Music Production) reviewed by the New York Times. Rachel performed the role of Gertrude in Engelbert Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel with the Revolution Opera Alliance in December of 2014 and proceeds to perform with various opportunities in and out of the Hartford area. Rachel has also served as section leader and soloist in churches of Hartford, currently holding a position with the Schola Cantorum at the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Hartford since 2013 where she has performed solos and sings with the schola.
Sarah Himmelstein, soprano, began her musical journey at a young age. Growing up, she was a member of her school’s bands and choirs, performed in school musicals, and was a part of the musical theatre program at the Capitol Theater Arts Academy in Willimantic, CT. In high school, she was accepted into the New England Music Festival choir and performed with the South Windsor High School show choir Choral Spectrum. Sarah found her love for classical singing as a freshman in high school when she began her private vocal training at Summit Studios. Sarah continued her musical studies at the University of Connecticut where she received her Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance in May of 2017. While at UConn, she sang with the Concert Choir, the Collegium Musicum, and performed with UConn Opera Outreach and UConn Opera Theatre. Notable performances during her undergrad include Le nozze di Figaro (Barbarina) and singing as soloist Glaubige Seele in the North American premiere of the Keiser Brockes-Passion performed by the Collegium Musicum in February 2017. In May of 2017, Sarah began singing with the chamber choir Vocal Alchemy, a group combining voices of the Greater Middletown Chorale and professional singers. In September 2017, she took on a position as a choir member and soloist at the First Congregational Church of Cheshire. Sarah is currently earning her Performer’s Certificate in Vocal Performance at UConn where she will sing the roles of La Fée in Massenet’s Cendrillon and Suor Dolcina in Puccini’s Suor Angelica.
Soprano Kathryn Bowden is making her mark in the fiendish role of the Queen of the Night (Königin der Nacht) in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, for which she has become highly in demand. In October 2017 Ms. Bowden made her Metropolitan Opera debut as the Queen in the company’s German language mainstage production and covered the role during the Met’s English language family performances later in the season. She also made her 2017 Baltimore Symphony Orchestra debut performing the Queen’s famous “Der Hölle Rache” in the concert program Heroes and Villains. The role of the Queen has served as Ms. Bowden’s 2015 San Francisco Opera debut vehicle and her entry onto the Metropolitan Opera roster as cover for the 2016 family performances of The Magic Flute. She looks forward to reprising it for her San Diego Opera debut in April 2021.
In 2018 Ms. Bowden makes her debut with Houston’s Opera in the Heights as Cunegonde in Candide. Additional roles include Drusilla (L’incoronazione di Poppea), the Coloratura (Postcard from Morocco), Anne Trulove (The Rake’s Progress), and Greta Fiorentino (Street Scene).
An alumna of San Francisco Opera’s prestigious Merola Opera Program, Ms. Bowden performed the roles of Mrs. Gobineau (The Medium) and Nella (Gianni Schicchi) and excerpts from the role of Amina (La sonnambula). She has also participated in the voice program of the Chautauqua Music Festival.
Ms. Bowden has been a District Winner of the 2016 and 2014 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in Florida and Winner of the 2013 Jenny Lind Competition for Sopranos. She earned her Performer’s Certificate and Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from the University of Connecticut, and is a current Masters candidate at Florida State University.