Rehearsal Pianist: Mark Feldhusen
MARK FELDHUSEN joined Commonwealth Chorale as rehearsal pianist in 2009. He is also accompanist at Temple Israel in Boston, Temple Beth Elohim in Wellesley, Rivers School Conservatory, and Perkins School for the Blind. Praised for his “sensitive accompaniment” (The Arts Fuse, 3/14/12), Mr. Feldhusen has also appeared in concert with the Heritage Chorale as well as numerous concerts of secular and sacred Jewish music. He is active in the Boston chamber music scene and annually attends the Bennington Chamber Music Conference. He has studied with Darryl Rosenberg and Kevin McGinty. A talented sight-reader and quick study, he has also been known to step out of the audience, take the place of an indisposed pianist, and save middle school performances of The Pajama Game.
Commonwealth Chorale thanks the Izolde Lamont Fund for making this position possible.
Conducting Intern: Joseph Nizich
Joseph Nizich, assistant conductor of Commonwealth Chorale, is a graduate student in choral conducting at the New England Conservatory, studying with Erica Washburn. He holds bachelor’s degrees in voice performance and choral music education, minoring in choral conducting from the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University Bloomington (2017). As a choral assistant at NEC, he conducts the NEC Concert Choir, the NEC Preparatory School Tourjée Singers, and also holds a position as assistant conductor to the Endicott Singers at Endicott College. He studies vocal pedagogy under Dr. Ian Howell, and is conducting research focusing on the intersection between psychoacoustics, spectral analysis, and choral blend. Previous to his tenure at NEC, he spent two years as the choral director of West Lafayette Jr./Sr. High School in Indiana, where he conducted four ensembles across grades 7-12, taught general music, directed the school musicals, and worked as a clinician. As choral director, his ensembles participated in multiple Indiana State School Music Association events, earning gold ratings at regional and state levels.
Commonwealth Chorale thanks Marie and Jim Allen for making this position possible.
Soprano: Laura Thomas
Laura Thomas,is a Boston-based soprano specializing in early and sacred music. She holds an M.M. in Historical Performance (Voice) from Boston University, where she studied with Aaron Sheehan. Recent solo appearances include Monteverdi’s Vespers at Stonehill College in Easton, MA, and the American premiere of J.A. Hasse's oratorio Sanctus Petrus et Sancta Maria Magdalena with the Harvard Early Music Ensemble. Ms. Thomas is also an avid performer of choral music. In addition to her work with Commonwealth Chorale, she sings with local ensembles Vox Futura, Ensemble Altera, and Analog Chorale. Ms. Thomas has performed extensively with the Marsh Chapel Choir of Boston University, singing a diverse mix of sacred music spanning from Renaissance motets to Bach cantatas to contemporary premieres. She is excited to be joining Commonwealth Chorale for the 2019-2020
Alto: Leo Balkovetz
Leo Balkovetz, counter-tenor, is a performer of operatic, choral, and chamber music in the Boston area with local groups including Triad, Canto Armonico, Commonwealth Chorale, and Carduus. In 2018, he graduated with a Master's of Music in Historical Voice Performance from the Longy School of Music, where he sang the role of Vaguas in Vivaldi's Juditha Triumphans with Early Music group Eudaimonia. He has also performed in La Clemenza di Tito (Annius), Cendrillon (6th Spirit), and La Sonnambula (Notary) with Promenade Opera Project and the alto soloist in Bach's Cantata BWV 54 with First Lutheran Church in Boston. He is the alto section leader of Commonwealth Chorale in Newton, MA, where he was a featured soloist in Menotti's The Unicorn, the Gorgon and the Manticore. He is also a member of the Schola Choir at the Cathedral of St. Paul in Boston, where he recently sang as a soloist for Handel’s Messiah.