Our 2014-2015 Soloists

Sweeping Horizons

Kim Lees, Soprano

Kim Leeds, soprano, is a native of the Chicago area. Noted for her "rich timbre and flexible voice" Ms. Leeds has appeared as a soloist in numerous concert performances, most notably Mendelssohn’s Lauda Sion and Bach’s Weihnachts-oratorium with Christ Church, NYC.  In 2006 and 2008 Kim Leeds attended the International Vocal Arts Institute in Puerto Rico where she sang in masters classes with Joan Dorneman, Paul Nadler, and Diana Soviero. Some of her most recent roles include playing the title role in The Rough Faced Girl by Gabriella Snyder, The Wife in the world premiere of Ronnie Reshef's Reqiuem for the Living, Daphne in Musica Nuova's Sibling Rivalry, and Misericordia/Amor Celestis in Hildegard von Bingen’s Ordo Virtutum


In addition to multiple contemporary performances, Ms. Leeds enjoys early music. In 2010 she attended the Amherst Early Music Festival with Musica Nuova as artist-in-residence and has sung for many years with the critically acclaimed group Cappella Clausura. Balancing her career between performing and teaching, Ms. Leeds recently received her Master of Music in Vocal Pedagogy and Performance from the Boston Conservatory under the tutelage of Kevin Wilson.


Philip Lima, Baritone

Philip Lima’s performances regulary are marked by critical praise: “His singing was glorious” (The BostonGlobe); “vibrant baritone and a commanding presence” (Cleveland Plain Dealer); “keen musicianship along with total dramatic intention.” (Opera News ONLINE).

He has sung a wide array of leading operatic roles, including world premieres, for the international Kurt Weill Festival in Dessau, Germany; Lyric Opera Cleveland; Opera Theater of Pittsburgh; Opera Columbus; El Paso Opera; Boston Academy of Music and Opera Boston; Handel & Haydn Society; Granite State Opera; Cape Cod Opera; and Boston’s Prism Opera and Opera -by-the-Bay.

In concert, Mr. Lima has appeared as soloist with the Daejeon (Korea) Philharmonic Orchestra; the National Philharmonic of Ukraine; Boston Ballet; Boston Landmarks Orchestra; and more than fifty orchestras and concert series across the United States. Mr. Lima’s performance of Schubert’s Winterreise with pianist Beverly Orlove was described by The Boston Phoenix as one of Boston’s“Unforgettable Classical Events of 2005.”

Mr. Lima is a native of New Bedford, MA, and an alumnus of Yale University. He studied at the Tanglewood Music Center and with Richard Conrad. More information about Mr. Lima is available at www.philiplima.com.

Blooming in Boston

Jessica Cooper, Soprano

Praised for a "warm,  sizeable" voice that is "agile, attractive and full of character,"  Jessica Cooper was hailed by the Boston Globe as "a welcome addition to Boston's top rank of Handel sopranos."  Jessica has recently made solo appearances with the Boston Cecilia, Handel and Haydn Society, Musica Sacra, Bach Collegium San Diego, Tucson Chamber Artists, and Worcester's Arcadia Players, and has been actively performing as a soloist with chamber groups and orchestras in Boston since 2000.

Jessica's creative independent projects include the co-founding and artistic direction of the "Henry Purcell Society of Boston" www.BostonPurcell.org, a new 501 (C) (3) organization specializing in the music of the English Baroque, and she also performs with Cyprian Consort- a small chamber ensemble performing works written for lute, viola da gamba and voices www.cyprianconsort.org, and "Ensemble Porteno"  presenting concerts of little known gems from the extensive catalogue of Ástor Piazzolla’s tango music with piano and string quartet.

In past years, Jessica was a finalist in the New England Regional Metropolitan Opera National Council for Auditions for two years in a row, was a first place winner of the New England National Association of the Teachers of Singing National Competition twice, and was a finalist for the national level. She has also appeared as a soloist with the La Jolla Symphony, Boulder Bach Festival, Exsultemus Period Ensemble, Emmanuel Music, Portland Symphony, Boston Civic Symphony, Wellesley Symphony Orchestra and Nashua Symphony, and was a featured guest on WGBH 89.7,  "Classics in the morning."   Jessica is lecturer at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, where she has taught applied voice since 2006, and Musical Theater History since 2010.


Thomas Jones, Baritone

Baritone Thomas Jones has a solo career that spans more than three decades, and he continues to appear on stages everywhere. The critics from coast to coast have hailed his performances as “elegant, passionate, expressive and sensitive”. Richard Buell of The Boston Globe calls the vocal and stage presence of Thomas Jones "irresistible". Anthony Tommasini of The New York Times proclaims that Mr. Jones sings "with plush
sounds and musical vigor". Mr. Jones’ solo work includes appearances with The Santa Fe Symphony, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, San Francisco's Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, Boston'sHandel & Haydn Society, Apollo Chorus of Chicago, San Francisco City Chorus and Orchestra, Vancouver Chamber Choir , Phoenix Bach Choir, New York's St. Cecilia Orchestra and Dessoff Choirs, Baltimore Choral Arts Society, Omaha Symphony,
Pacific Chorale and Pacific Symphony, Battle Creek Symphony, Billings Symphony, Louisville Bach Society and Masterworks Chorus and Orchestra of Washington, DC.

Thomas Jones has sung recitals coast to coast in the USA and in the cities of Stockholm, Oslo and Copenhagen. Mr. Jones has soloed with well over 150 choruses throughout The USA, appearing under the baton of maestros such as Christopher Hogwood, Nicholas McGegan, Roger Norrington, Thomas Dunn, John Alexander, Jon Washburn, Daniel Beckwith, Robert Page and Tom Hall. Recordings include Handel “Messiah” for National Public Radio and Handel “Samson” with the Canadian Broadcast Orchestra and the Vancouver Chamber Choir. Metro Boston appearances include Boston Civic Orchestra,Masterworks Chorale, Coro Allegro, Back Bay Chorale and many collaborations with The Newton Choral Society. Thomas Jones has been teaching voice and vocal performance at the Office for the Arts at Harvard University for 23 years.


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Commonwealth Chorale
P.O. Box 600122
Newtonville, MA 02460

Telephone: 617-527-SING (7464)

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