erhjenChristian Hoff

Christian Hoff, Piano and Voice

Christian is a senior at the University of Maryland studying classical vocal performance and plans to graduate in the spring of 2015. He recently performed with the Janiec Opera Company at the Brevard Music Center (Brevard, NC). Christian played the role of Tobias Ragg in Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd and covered the role of Don Ottavio in Mozart’s Don Giovanni.

Outside of classical music, Christian is a songwriter and is experienced as a performer in styles such as jazz, pop and Broadway repertoire. In addition to being vocalist, he is an accomplished pianist, having studied and performed for 12 years.

Along with being a solo performer, Christian has extensive experience as a choral singer. As a member of the University of Maryland Chamber Singers, he has sung numerous times with the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center. The Chamber Singers recently performed on the world stage, representing the United States at the 10th World Choral Symposium in Seoul Korea.

stephanieStephanie Kruskol Batchelder

Piano and Voice (Soprano)

Soprano Stephanie Kruskol Batchelder received her Master’s degree in Vocal Performance at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, Maryland, studying in the studio of Steven Rainbolt. At the young age of twelve, her passion for musical stage performance was sparked when she played the role of Mary Lennox in an intensive, fourteen-performance summer stock production of The Secret Garden at the Papermill Theatre in Lincoln, NH. “It is easy to fall in love with Stephanie Kruskol, who in her role as Mary is a total delight… she perfectly captures Mary’s willful, headstrong, irrepressible personality,” wrote Ruth Bossie of the Littleton Courier.

Since then, she has sung solo vocals for television ads for Public Service of New Hampshire, and received numerous awards within the state, including reaching the finals for several NATS competitions in her division. She studied voice with Peggo Horstmann-Hodes at the Concord Community Music School in Concord, NH, where she also studied piano with Peggy Senter and Heather Forsha for twelve years. After a year at Plymouth State University, where she studied vocal performance with Kathleen Arecchi, she was awarded a four-year merit scholarship to study at the Peabody Conservatory. She received her BM in Voice Performance at Peabody under the instruction of Dr. Stanley Cornett in 2009. She was a finalist in the 2008 Capital Region Opera Idol competition, and thenceforth was awarded the role of Mabel in the Lakes Region Opera Company’s 2009 production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Pirates of Penzance. In December 2009, she was the soprano soloist in the world premiere of Jerry Ascione’s piece entitled One Hundred Eighty Seven with the New England Wind Symphony. Roles with the Peabody Opera Theater include Flora in Britten’s The Turn of the Screw, the Frog in Janacek’s The Adventures of Vixen Sharp-Ears, Gretel in Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel, and Despina in Mozart’s Così fan tutte.

Aryssa Burrs

Piano, Guitar and Voice

Aryssa Leigh Burrs is a Double Major in Music Education and Voice Performance at the University of Maryland School of Music. She studies with Ms. Carmen Balthrop, leading soprano and a member of the University of Maryland Alumni Hall of Fame. In addition, she is a member of The University of Maryland Chamber Singers, under Dr. Edward Maclary, whose performances include a Korean Concert tour and numerous concerts with both the National Symphony Orchestra and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. Ms. Burrs is the Music director for the award winning acapella ensemble Faux Paz. Faux Paz is the Mid-Atlantic Champion for the Varisty Vocals International Championship of Collegiate A Capella (ICCA). Aryssa has been classically trained on violin, piano, voice and guitar. She also has a great deal of experience in musical theatre, both in community and high school theatre. Ms. Burrs was awarded a Marian Anderson Youth Study Scholarship to study voice with Dr. Julie Bishop at Temple University

Andrew Pendergrast

Guitar, Voice & Piano

Andrew Pendergrast graduated from the George Washington University with a double degree in music and English in 2013. He has played piano and sung for fifteen years, played guitar for eight years, and has picked up with a variety of other instruments including bass, banjo, drums, accordion, fiddle, mandolin, and ukelele along the way. He is comfortable with a wide range of repertoire from pop to classical to jazz to folk, and gets along very well with children and adults. For his Senior Capstone project he composed and directed a full length musical entitled “Show of a Lifetime.”

yufenchouMaria Weissman

Piano, Flute and Voice

Maria Weissman earned her B.A. in Music from George Washington University, where she studied voice, piano, and flute. As an undergraduate, she interned with the Washington Women in Jazz Festival, an annual festival that creates equitable performance opportunities for female musicians, from upcoming young artists to established professionals. She is a strong supporter of women in the arts. For her senior capstone, she arranged works by female composers and songwriters ranging from Blossom Dearie to Merrill Garbus (tUnE-yArDs) for jazz quartet, vocal trio, and small choir.

Maria enjoys working with students of all ages and backgrounds. As an instructor, she likes to help students find their musical voice, based on their goals and interests. She has had the opportunity to study with Alison Crockett (voice, arranging), Jim Levy (piano), and Conrad Manhoff (flute), all of whom have had a great influence on her music career.

Maria currently sings, plays keyboard, and writes music for her band, lux cadenza.

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