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.
Lizzy Stant, Soprano
Soprano Lizzy Stant, from Dover, Delaware, is thrilled to be back with the Commonwealth Choral for another year of music making. She graduated with her Master of Music degree in Voice from New England Conservatory of Music in 2021. Her staged performances include opera, musical theater, chamber works, and new music. Most recently, she was seen playing Rapunzel in Sondheim's Into the Woods with NEMPAC Opera and First Lady in Mozart's Die Zauberflötewith Miami Music Festival. In fall 2022, she will sing soprano in the Red Choir Quartet in the world premiere of Cosmic Cowboy with White Snake Productions.
In addition to performance, Lizzy is also passionate about teaching and voice science. She was a Teaching Fellow with New England Conservatory’s Community and Partnerships program, where she partnered with Boston Hope Music Project to bring music lessons to front line health care workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. She also teaches a voice science course with the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Tufts University. In August 2021, she presented her research on vibrato and aging singers at the Pan American Vocology Association (PAVA) Conference. She currently teaches at Franklin School of the Performing Arts, and maintains a private studio with students ranging in ages from 8 to 80 years old. For more information visit www.lizzystant.com/
Laura Beth Couch, Mezzo-Soprano
Laura Beth Couch is delighted to be returning for her second season with the Commonwealth Chorale. Laura is a mezzo-soprano from New Jersey who is pursuing her Performance Diploma at Boston University. She earned her Bachelor of Music in Music Education from Rutgers University, and her Master of Music in Voice Performance at Shenandoah University. Laura has performed in operas, recitals, concerts, competitions, church services, and musicals. Most recently, she performed with The Bay Music Festival as La Ciesca in Gianni Schicchi, La Zelatrice in Suor Angelica, and Babette in Beauty and the Beast. At Boston University, she performed as Friedrich Bhaer in Little Women and covered Bradamante in Alcina. Last year, she was the mezzo-soprano soloist for Commonwealth Chorale’s performance of Mozart’s Coronation Mass and Marianna Martines’s Dixit Dominus. She also was the soloist for Charles River Chorale’s performance of Vivaldi’s Gloria. This fall, Laura will perform Alice 2 in Boston University’s production of Alice Tierney by Melissa Dunphy.
In addition to performing, Laura is a caring and dedicated music teacher. For over eight years, she has taught voice, musical theater, early childhood music, music theory, and piano. She teaches after-school music at Wellan Montessori School and voice lessons to Boston University undergraduates. Additionally, she maintains her own private voice studio. As a teacher, Laura strives to create life-long music lovers. She wants her students to feel that they are special, worthy, and capable of creating beauty through art. For more information visit www.laurabethcouchmezzo.com
Leo Balkovetz, Tenor
Leo Balkovetz (tenor) Is a performer and librettist in the Boston area. He has performed in the world premieres of You Reap What You Soul (Guy) and Bedbug (The Reporter) with Promenade Opera Project and the world premier of NIGHTTOWN (Buck Mulligan) with Lowell House Opera and a touring production of Mister Twister (Bobby) an opera for children. As an oratorio soloist, Leo has performed across the state in Handel’s Messiah, Mozart’s Requiem, Coronation Mass and Beethoven’s Mass in C. As a writer, Leo has written the libretto for Quinn Gutman’s Violetta a queer re-telling of Verdi’s La Traviata and a modern treatment of Mozart’s La Clemenza di Titofor Opera del West’s 2023 season.
William Farrell, Baritone
William Farrell has been singing with Commonwealth Chorale a section leader since 2016, and he is excited to be joining the group for another season. Since moving to the Greater Boston area in fall 2015, he has performed with various professional groups, including The Boston Camerata, The Tanglewood Festival Chorus for the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Boston Pops, Capella Nova Mundi, Canto Armonico, and St. Paul's Choir School. In 2019, he had the unique opportunity to perform at the activation Bleed for the Throne by HBO, Game of Thrones, and the American Red Cross at SXSW.
William graduated with a Master of Music in Early Music from the Longy School of Music in 2017. He loves to explore all types of historical performance, especially Renaissance polyphony and Baroque opera. Over the past year he has been on an endeavor with a few other professional singers to present rarely performed or unperformed Franco-Flemish polyphonic choral settings—one on a part—for St. Clements Eucharistic Shrine. They approach settings with liturgically appropriate texts in an attempt to survey a large portion of the repertoire that gets ignored. Outside of singing, William is an avid cyclist and loves to take any opportunity to return to New Hampshire where he can cycle on the beautiful mountain roads.
Killian Grider, Bass
Killian Grider graduated with his Masters in Music Theory from the New England Conservatory of Music in December 2022, and has been singing with Commonwealth Chorale ever since! His academic interests center around music academia's intersection with feminist and queer theory, highlighted by his recent lecture recital "Queering the Dominant: Disco and the V Chord's Second Wave" on YouTube and "Sex, Money, Power: The Intersection of Gender- and Class-Based Oppression in Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk" in the July 2023 DSCH Journal.
Prior to moving to Boston, Killian taught English phonetics for two years at the National Polytechnic School in Quito, Ecuador, and he actively maintains a passion for learning languages. During his undergraduate degree, he studied Chemistry and Music (separately!) and professionally sang in the Vineyard Sound from 2016 to 2017. At present, Killian sings classical and popular music throughout the greater Boston area, including recent performances with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and New England Conservatory Philharmonia. Outside of performances, he house-manages at Berklee's Performing Arts Center while teaching private voice and music theory lessons. He hopes to eventually earn his PhD in Music Theory and become a professor in the field.