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Ensemble Artist Program

Ensemble Artist Program


Seraphic Fire’s Ensemble Artist Program at UCLA’s Herb Alpert School of Music and University of Miami’s Frost School of Music provides season-long vocal ensemble training to undergraduate and graduate voice student. Participating artists are chosen through competitive auditions through their school’s choral programs. This collaboration aims to help emerging professional singers discover outlets for professional employment while fulfilling Seraphic Fire’s educational mission to encourage the occupational advancement of musicians.

Participating students are invited to perform alongside the professional ensemble in subscription concerts across South Florida.


Ensemble Artist Program at UCLA
James K. Bass, Director of Choral Studies

Ensemble Artist Program at Univeristy of Miami
Amanda Quist, Director of Choral Activities

Seraphic Fire’s Ensemble Artist Program is supported in part by the Dunspaugh-Dalton Foundation.

University of Miami EAP Participants

  • Emma Beers

    Emma Beers is a third-year undergraduate student at the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music. She is pursuing a Bachelor of Music Education degree along with a vocal performance certificate. Emma is studying in the voice studio of Professor Jeanette Thompson. She is a second-year member of the Frost Chorale, a third-year member of Frost Opera Theater, and Secretary of the University of Miami’s chapter of the American Choral Directors Association. Emma is currently preparing her first role as Jenny Hildebrand in Frost Opera Theater’s performance of Street Scene. Outside of her studies, Emma is in her second season working as a Teaching Assistant for the Miami Children’s Chorus, Minuet Choir. Emma is so honored and ecstatic about her first season as a Seraphic Fire Scholar!

  • David Caldarella

    David Caldarella is a composer and vocalist studying music composition at the Frost School of Music in Miami, FL. Caldarella began his study of music at the ACES Educational Center for the Arts in New Haven, CT, along with private composition lessons with composer Polina Nazaykinskaya. His studies continued with pianist-composer Michael Brown, and later conductor Alasdair Neale, as a member of the New Haven Symphony Orchestra's Youth Composer Project and as an intern for the orchestra. His works have seen premieres by the Frost Chamber Singers, the Lux Mea Choir, and the Greater Connecticut Youth Symphony Orchestra. His piece, Domine Deus, is currently published in the Amanda Quist Choral Series with Walton Music.

  • Zaryah Gourgel

    Zaryah Gourgel has been a performer since she was a child. She was born and raised in West Palm Beach. There, she attended Bach Middle School of the Arts and Dreyfoos High School of the Arts. From there, she developed several artistic interests and hobbies, such as cinematic music making, comic books, manga/anime, Dungeons and Dragons, and so much more! Her main focus, however, was primarily vocal music. In her Junior year of high school, she took part in the Palm Beach Opera Studio, where her operatic training truly began. She is now a senior studying Vocal Performance at the Frost School of Music and is looking forward to an amazing year with the Seraphic Fire singers!

  • Gabriel Harley

    Gabriel Harley is an MM candidate in Choral Conducting at the University of Miami Frost School of Music where he studies under Dr. Amanda Quist. He serves as a graduate teaching assistant and is the conductor of the Allegro and Vivace ensembles in the Miami Children’s Chorus. Prior to his time in Miami, Harley was a middle school choral music educator in the Delaware public school system for five years. As a passionate advocate for diversity, equity and inclusion in the choral classroom, Gabe served as the membership chair for Delaware ACDA. In addition to teaching and conducting, Gabe is an active performer. He is currently a member of the Philadelphia Symphonic Choir. In 2018, he earned a Bachelor’s in Music Education Degree from Westminster Choir College where he studied with Dr. Joe Miller and Dr. Amanda Quist. At Westminster, Gabe traveled internationally with both Westminster Choir in 2017 for the World Choral Symposium and Westminster Kantorei in 2016 for a summer European tour.

  • Hannah Penzner

    Hannah Penzner is from Los Angeles, California currently studying at the Frost School of Music to receive her Masters in Vocal Performance. As a soloist she has performed Hear Ye, Israel from Mendelssohn’s Elijah with the Bob Cole Conservatory Symphony Orchestra in 2017 and the Arizona Philharmonic in 2023. Penzner has sung with Grammy-award winning ensemble Conspirare, and Tonality. As a member of Tonality, she recorded on the soundtracks for Warner Brothers Space Jam 2 and Netflix's Spiderhead, joined Bjork on her Cornucopia tour in 2021. While at Frost she covered the role of Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro and performed the Dulcissime solo in Carmina Burana. This coming year she will play Mrs Fiorentino in Kurt Weill’s Street Scene with the Frost Symphony Orchestra and Mamah Borthwick in the world premiere of Stained Glass by Shawn Crouch with Frost Opera Theater.

  • Cees Postema

    Cees Postema is an American basso-profundo specializing in operatic and choral singing based in Miami, Florida. Postema draws praise for his rich, smooth timbre and his robust and intense sound on the extreme low end of the bass range. Postema spent four years in the St. Olaf Choir, one of the most renowned undergraduate choral ensembles in the world. Postema is currently in the second year of the Master of Music, Vocal Performance Program at the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami, where he studies with world-renowned baritone Kim Josephson.

  • Lauren Richards

    Lauren Richards is a mezzo-soprano from Richmond, Virginia, with experience in choral and operatic singing, as well as organ performance. They are in their junior year studying Vocal Performance at the University of Miami Frost School of Music. This past summer, Lauren worked as a Box Office Apprentice for Spoleto Festival USA in Charleston, SC. Last spring, they were a Flower Girl and chorus member in Frost Opera Theatre’s production of Le nozze di Figaro. Lauren will be in Frost’s production of Kurt Weill’s Street Scene as a member of the chorus in February 2024. Their junior recital will be on March 22, 2024, at The Chapel of the Venerable Bede on the University of Miami campus.

  • Andrew Richardson

    Andrew Richardson is a master's student and teaching assistant at the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami studying Music Education and working alongside the Donna E. Shalala MusicReach program. His work primarily focuses on secondary choral music education as well as secondary general music and the ways we can continue to authentically implement and teach contemporary music in classroom settings. Before his master's, Andrew graduated from the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam with a bachelor's degree in Music Education specializing in choral and general music as well as certificates in piano pedagogy and classical voice performance. Outside of class, Andrew is very passionate about contemporary a cappella and has received accolades for excellent directing and arranging skills.

  • Sam Scheibe

    Sam Scheibe is an American composer/arranger, conductor, and vocalist. His music has been performed and commissioned by ensembles across the
    United States and the United Kingdom by ensembles including the Frost Chorale, the Westminster Williamson Voices, Anchorae, the West Jersey Chamber Music Society, and the University of Aberdeen Chamber Choir. He received his Undergraduate degree from Westminster Choir College, his first Master's degree from the University of Aberdeen, and is now pursuing a Master's in Choral Conducting from the University of Miami, under the direction of Dr. Amanda Quist. His music is published by GIA publications and recorded by the GRAMMY-nominated Westminster Williamson Voices. Sam also performs as a bass-baritone with professional ensembles including the Same Stream Choir, and Choir Next Door.

  • Kyra Stahr

    Kyra Stahr has founded her career as a conductor, educator, and vocalist on compassion and empathy. Stahr is currently a DMA candidate in Choral Conducting at the University of Miami Frost School of Music where she studies under Dr. Amanda Quist. She serves as a graduate teaching assistant and is the Associate Conductor of the Master Chorale of South Florida. Stahr is the co-founder and co-creator of conduct(her) podcast. In 2023 she earned her M.M. from the University of Southern California where she was Associate Conductor of Oriana and the South Bay Children’s Choir. At USC she was selected for the 2022 ACDA Eastern Graduate Conducting Masterclass and was awarded the 2023 Choral Music Departmental Award. Stahr enjoys serving as a guest conductor, clinician, and presenter. Recently she presented at the World Symposium on Choral Music and looks forward to presenting at SWACDA and ACDA Southern in 2024.

  • Maxwell Trombley

    Maxwell Trombley is a first-year MM candidate in choral conducting at the University of Miami Frost School of Music. Previously, he taught secondary choral music in the Michigan public schools. His choirs regularly received excellent ratings at state competitions and toured throughout the United States. As an active performer, he has sung internationally and as a chorister with many of the premiere American orchestras such as the New York Philharmonic, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, and the Toledo Symphony Orchestra. In addition to his work as a singer and educator, Maxwell is an experienced conductor. He has participated in masterclasses and programs at prominent institutions and is the interim choir director at Epiphany Catholic Church in Miami, Florida. Maxwell serves on the summer voice faculty and managerial staff at Interlochen Center for the Arts. He earned a Bachelor of Vocal Music Education from Eastern Michigan University.

  • Yi-Chun Sarah Tsai

    Yi-Chun Sarah Tsai was born and grew up in Taichung City, Taiwan. Since early childhood, Sarah has drawn into music and singing. She started learning the piano at age 4 and began taking voice lessons at 12. She has been studied in some of the best music schools in Taiwan and the United States. In 2021, she received her master's degree at the College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) at University of Cincinnati, and she is currently studying her doctorate degree in Vocal Performance and Pedagogy at the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami. Sarah has had plenty of performance experience in both opera and as a concert soloist. She sang the role of Cherubino in Le Nozze di Figaro, The Mother in Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors, Serpina in Pergolesi’s La Serva Padrona, and Hänsel in Humperdinck’s Hänsel und Gretel.


UCLA EAP Participants


  • Maddy Chamberlain

    Maddy Chamberlain is a soprano vocalist from the San Francisco Bay Area. She is currently a second-year undergraduate student at UCLA, pursuing a BA in Music Education and studying voice with esteemed baritone Vladimir Chernov. In her time at UCLA, she has been an active member of Chamber Singers and the Adoro Music Ensemble, and she is excited to be joining Seraphic Fire’s Ensemble Artist Program this year. With the UCLA Chamber Singers, Madison sang soprano in the vocal quartet for Lera Auerbach’s West Coast premiere of Vessels of Light in beautiful Royce Hall. In addition to her vocal work, Madison aspires to become a choral conductor at the K–12 and collegiate levels and hopes to inspire young artists to develop a passion for music, as she did, through music education. Also an avid instrumentalist, she is a member of the UCLA Marching Band as a percussionist.

  • Krystal Mao

    Krystal Mao is a lyric coloratura soprano currently in her third year at the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music, where she is under the tutelage of renowned baritone Vladimir Chernov. She has performed roles such as the Second Woman in Dido and Aeneas, Coridon in Acis and Galatea, and recently originated the role of Siren in the world premiere of Quake by UCLA composition professor Kay Rhie. Previously, she performed in UCLA Opera’s productions of The Rake’s Progress (Stravinsky), L’elisir d’Amore (Donizetti), and Les Mamelles de Tirésias (Poulenc) as a member of the chorus. Krystal has also been a part of the UCLA Chamber Singers ensemble for the past three years, and this year she is a new member of the Seraphic Fire Ensemble Artist Program.

    Prior to attending UCLA, Krystal worked with a variety of high-profile opera singers and vocal professors, including Grammy Award winner Denyse Graves and Juilliard professor J.J. Penna. In the summer of 2022, she attended the International Vocal Artists Academy of Payerbach, where she furthered her studies with Vladimir Chernov and Olga Toporkova through daily intensive vocal training. In 2023, she was a recipient of the second-place SAI Pasadena Alumnae Scholarship Award. This year, Krystal looks forward to her upcoming junior recital in the spring.

  • Rachel Hahn

    Maryland native, Soprano, Rachel Hahn is currently pursuing her master's degree in Voice Performance at the University of California, Los Angeles, studying with John Buffet and Michael Dean. Ms. Hahn received her Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance from the Boston Conservatory. She also received a minor in psychology from the Berklee School of Music and a Certificate in Vocal Pedagogy from the Boston Conservatory at Berklee. Coming up this year, Rachel is most looking forward to singing Dr. Veronica Vera during the fully staged world premiere of The Grand Hotel Tartarus by Richard Danielpour with UCLA Opera in May. She is thrilled to be making her debut with Seraphic Fire in Miami with so many talented musicians and she hopes to sing with them again in the future.

  • Carmen Voskuhl

    Carmen Voskuhl is an emerging mezzo-soprano based in Los Angeles, CA. She is a recent graduate from the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music with a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance. Most notably, Carmen Voskuhl originated the role of El Alma in Carla Lucero’s Juana, which gained her praise from the Los Angeles Times, commenting on her “commanding vocal and theatrical presence.” Other roles Carmen has performed include Acis (Acis and Galatea), Marcellina (The Marriage of Figaro), and Le Mari (Les Mamelles de Tirésias). Carmen is currently a member of the UCLA Chamber Singers and was a part of this group throughout her undergraduate experience, including being a chorus member in the recording of Richard Danielpour’s The Passion of Yeshua, which won a Grammy for Best Choral Performance. Carmen is currently with Opera UCLA and UCLA Choral Studies through the UCLA Extension pursuing post-baccalaureate studies, and this is her second year with the Seraphic Fire Ensemble Artist Program.

  • Kevin Corrigan

    Kevin Corrigan, tenor, is an undergraduate Vocal Performance major at the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music, where he is a student of Professor Juliana Gondek. Most recently, he performed the role of Sorceress in Purcell's Dido and Aeneas. This spring, he is most looking forward to singing the roles of Bardolfo in Falstaff, Le Remendado in Carmen, and Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni and the Chorus in Dialogues des Carmélites for a program of staged opera scenes. Kevin is also a member of the UCLA Chamber Singers, the UCLA Gluck Vocal Ensemble, and the St. Nicholas Parish Choir. Kevin is an alumnus of and former Part Leader for the All-American Boys Chorus and has been recognized for his talents in various local and national competitions. Alongside his musical endeavors, Kevin is civically engaged and involved in local government as a council executive assistant to City of Irvine Vice Mayor Larry Agran.

  • Chris Shayota

    Christopher Shayota is a fourth-year vocal performance major at UCLA. He transferred to UCLA from Santa Rosa Junior College, where he earned associate’s degrees in music, theater arts, and humanities. In 2022, Chris sang in Carnegie Hall with the SRJC Chamber Singers. At SRJC, he performed roles in All the Great Books (abridged), Shrek the Musical, and Into the Woods,, and served as assistant director for The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. At UCLA, Chris has sung Lacouf in Les Mamelles de Tirésias and the Sailor in Dido and Aeneas.

  • Josh Valdes

    Joshua Valdes is a second-year vocal performance master's student at UCLA. He has played various operatic roles such as Don Giovanni (Don Giovanni) and Figaro (Le Nozze di Figaro). Joshua has sung in award-winning choirs such as C.O.C.’s Just Jazz and the BCCM Chamber Ensemble. He has had the opportunity to sing at renowned venues such as Carnegie Hall and The Mormon Tabernacle, where he was a part of the BCCM Chamber Ensemble’s debuting of the west coast premiere of Eric Whitacre’s The Sacred Veil. He has studied with excellent teachers, among some of the most prestigious programs in the U.S., including CSU Long Beach, UC Los Angeles, and New York University.

  • Leland Smith

    Leland Alexander Smith is an operatic baritone who began his training at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music Pre-College in 2021. Leland is the national 1st Place Winner of the 2019 CS Music Vocal Competition, National Honorable Mention of the 2021 and 2020 YoungArts Competition in Classical Voice, National 2nd place winner of the 2020 Hal Leonard Vocal Competition and two-time finalist in the Opera Buffs, Inc. Artists of the Future Competition. Leland was also awarded 3rd place and the Most Promising Sophomore Award (Western Region) by the 2019 Schmidt Vocal Arts Competition. Leland has attended various summer programs for opera, including the prestigious Curtis Summerfest at the Curtis Institute of Music. He is honored to be a full-merit scholarship recipient of the Frost School of Music Program at Salzburg and the Schmidt Vocal Summer Institute. Leland is currently a junior undergraduate student with a full-ride scholarship at UCLA, continuing his vocal training under Professor Juliana Gondek.