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.”
Sri Lankan-American soprano, Cheranjana Thuyacontha Barton is an active performer, based in Hartford, CT. She currently performs as Choral Scholar and Soprano soloist under the direction of and in collaboration with director and composer, Noah Smith. Her recent performances include operatic roles such as Olympia in Davies’s Pinocchio, Sister Constance in Poulenc’s Dialogues of the Carmelites, Gretel in Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel, Norina in Donizetti’s Don Pasquale, Mlle. Silberklang in Mozart’s Der Schauspieldirektor and an ensemble role in Rossini’s Le Comte Ory with Lowell House Opera at Harvard University. Recent oratorio soloist experience includes Messiah HWV 56, Elijah Op. 70, MWV A 25 and Choral Fantasy Op. 80.
In addition, Mrs. Thuyacontha Barton’s achievements include awards such as the Boston Conservatory voice scholarship, Winston Voice Scholarship of the National Society of Arts and Letters, National Semifinalist in NATS (National Association of Teachers of Singing) Competition, National 3 rd place in MTNA (Music Teachers’ National Association) as well as Voice scholarships and Honors Graduate Award at Frostburg State University. She has worked under prestigious directors such as Nathan Troup, conductors such as Edward Jones and coaches such as Jean Anderson-Collier and Patrecia Au. Her voice teachers include Mariana Mihai- Zoeter and Monique Phinney.
Mrs. Thuyacontha Barton received her Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance from the Boston Conservatory at Berklee. Last but not least, she is fluent in Singhalese, proficient in Spanish and holds extensive experience in the study and performance of Sri Lankan Eastern music.
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.
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.
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.
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.