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Professional Choral Institute


PCI Program Director

  • James K. Bass

    James K. BassJames K. Bass is Director of Choral Studies at UCLA’s Herb Alpert School of Music at UCLA and Associate Conductor at Seraphic Fire. He previously served on the faculties of Western Michigan University and University of South Florida, and holds a Doctoral degree from University of Miami, and Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees from University of South Florida. Bass has appeared with professional choral ensembles including Seraphic Fire, Conspirare, Santa Fe Desert Chorale, Apollo Master Chorale, Vox Humanae, and Spire. He appears on CD recordings on the Harmonia Mundi, Naxos, Albany, and Seraphic Fire Media labels. Solo orchestral engagements include appearances with The Cleveland Orchestra, New World Symphony, The Florida Orchestra, Grand Rapids Symphony, Back Bay Chorale, and The Sebastians. In 2011 Bass co-founded Seraphic Fire’s Professional Choral Institute at University of South Florida. In its inaugural year of recording, Seraphic Fire and PCI received a GRAMMY® nomination for Best Choral Performance for their recording of Brahms’ Ein Deuthches Requiem. Bass has prepared choirs for Sir Colin Davis, Sir David Willcocks, Jahja Ling, Michael Tilson Thomas, Gerard Schwarz, Giancarlo Guerrero, Michael Francis, Marcelo Lehninger, Stefan Sanderling, Evan Rogister, Danail Rachlev, Joshua Weilerstein, Markus Huber, Michael Francis, Patrick Quigley, and Robert Shaw among others.

PCI Coaches

  • Patrick Dupre Quigley

    Patrick Dupre Quigley, conductor, has been proclaimed “extraordinary” (Gramophone), “authoritative” (Philadelphia Inquirer), “inspirational” (Chicago Sun-Times), and displaying “transformative brilliance” (New York Lucid Culture), and has established himself as an exemplary conductor, creative programmer, and lauded arts entrepreneur whose skills as a musician transcend traditional genre boundaries. In 2012, Seraphic Fire was honored with a GRAMMY® Award nomination for Brahms’ Romantic masterpiece Ein Deutsches Requiem under Quigley’s direction. In 2016-2017, he appeared with San Francisco Symphony, The Cleveland Orchestra, and Grand Rapids Symphony. Previous guest conducting engagements include appearances with New World Symphony, Mobile Symphony, Naples Philharmonic, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, and San Antonio Symphony. Quigley received his Master of Music in conducting from Yale School of Music and his undergraduate degree in musicology from University of Notre Dame.

  • John Buffett

    John Buffett, baritone, enjoys a versatile career singing on the concert stage, in the Opera house, and as a professional ensemble singer. Buffett has sung with the Utah, San Antonio, Winston-Salem, Syracuse, and Pacific Symphonies, The Mark Morris Dance Group, The Pacific Chorale, The Los Angeles and Rochester Philharmonics, and The Cleveland Orchestra. He has also been a featured performer with many of the Nation’s leading Early Music Ensembles including: Apollo’s Fire, Ars Lyrica, The Charlotte Bach Festival, Bach Collegium San Diego, San Diego Baroque Soloists, Con Gioia, The Oregon Bach Festival, and The Boston Early Music Festival. In the Opera house, Buffett has performed numerous roles with Utah Opera, Sarasota Opera, Opera Memphis, Utah Festival Opera, San Diego Baroque, Mercury Opera, and The Ohio Light Opera. Also an accomplished chamber musician, he regularly performs with some of America’s best choral ensembles like Seraphic Fire, The Santa Fe Desert Chorale, True Concord, and the Los Angeles Master Chorale. Recent engagements include both Bach passions, Bach’s B minor mass, "Easter" Oratorio, Magnificat, and Cantatas 32, 75, 153, 140, and 158, Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610, the Mozart, Brahms and Faure Requiems, Vaughan William’s Five Mystical Songs and Handel’s Messiah. His wide-ranging roles on the Opera stage include Dandini in La Cenerentola, Belcore in L’elisir d’amore, Adonis in Venus and Adonis, Uberto in La Serva Padrona, Marullo in Rigoletto, Wagner in Faust, Golaud in Pelleas é Mellisande, and Figaro in Le Nozze di Figaro. Solo appearances at the Tanglewood Music Festival, the Aspen Music Festival, and the Mostly Mozart Festival at Lincoln Center highlight other important performances. Buffett, currently on voice faculty at CSU Long Beach’s Bob Cole Conservatory of Music, received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the Eastman School of Music.

  • Amanda Crider

    Amanda Crider, mezzo-soprano, has been recognized for her “deep expressivity and impressive stamina” (New York Times), “gleaming vocalism” (Boston Globe), “star acting” (Urban Milwaukee), and “superbly clear diction and warmly burnished timbre” (South Florida Classical Review). Her 2021-22 Season included appearances with White Snake Projects in a new opera by Mary Prescott, soloist in Mozart’s Requiem with Elgin Symphony and Amarillo Symphony as well as multiple appearances with Seraphic Fire. Ms. Crider has appeared as a concert soloist with Calgary Philharmonic, Apollo’s Fire, Charleston Symphony, Jacksonville Symphony, New World Symphony, Amarillo Symphony, Eugene Symphony and the International Contemporary Ensemble, among others. In demand for performances of classical and contemporary opera alike, Amanda has performed with LA Opera, Boston Lyric Opera, Florentine Opera, Dallas Opera, Beth Morrison Projects, Orlando Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Opera Omaha, Des Moines Metro Opera, Eugene Opera, Anchorage Opera, Opera Boston, New York City Opera, Castleton Festival and Glimmerglass Opera. She has performed as a recitalist with Trinity Church Concerts at One Series and Five Boroughs Music Festival, and appeared on Marilyn Horne’s “…the song continues” series at Carnegie Hall. Amanda has been a prize winner in the José Iturbi International, Jensen Foundation, Oratorio Society of New York, Palm Beach Opera, Joy in Singing Debut Artist and Center for Contemporary Opera Vocal Competitions, and is a recipient of a Richard F. Gold Career Grant from the Shoshana Foundation. Ms. Crider is also the Founder and Artistic Director of IlluminArts, Miami’s Art Song and Vocal Chamber Music Series.

  • Brad Diamond

    Brad Diamond, is a talented and versatile tenor known for his musicianship and style. Equally adept in the genres of opera, oratorio and song literature, Diamond has presented over 400 solo vocal performances featuring works by Cavalli, Monteverdi, Bach, Handel, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Rossini, Berlioz, Orff, Bartok, Janacek and Britten with symphony orchestras and opera companies across North America and Europe. Dr. Diamond completed his Bachelor of Music Degree from Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ in 1991. He received his master's and doctorate degrees from the University of Cincinnati’s College Conservatory of Music between 1993 and 2004. Dr. Diamond currently holds the position of Professor of Voice at Samford University.

  • Rebecca Myers

    Rebecca Myers, soprano, is a celebrated performing and recording artist who specializes in a comprehensive variety of repertoire including early, contemporary, and chamber music. Recent seasons have seen solo engagements with Seraphic Fire, Tempesta di Mare, Lyric Fest, Opera Philadelphia, Apollo’s Fire, the CalPoly Bach Festival, and Philadelphia’s Bach @ 7 series. Also a highly sought-after recital artist, Rebecca has been featured in art song recitals with pianists Laura Ward and Benjamin C.S. Boyle presented by the European American Musical Alliance (EAMA), The Woodmere Art Museum, and Opus Opera. Acclaimed for her work in the field of new music, Rebecca is a core member of The Crossing, the two-time GRAMMY®-winning ensemble dedicated entirely to new music. She has premiered works by the top living composers around the world and she was a soloist on the 2016 GRAMMY®-nominated Bonhoeffer, released by The Crossing. Rebecca is a founder and member of the cutting-edge vocal sextet, Variant 6, which specializes in early and contemporary vocal chamber music.

  • Leona Cheung

    Leona Cheung, a collaborative pianist, has been hailed as "artistically mature, with well-thought-out presentations" (Definitely the Opera). She is especially known for her musical leadership and responsiveness while collaborating with singers and conductors. As a distinguished choral pianist, she collaborated with Maestro Helmuth Rilling and Singfest Hong Kong on a number of large-scale choral-orchestral works from 2012 to 2015. Leona accompanies ensembles such as the Handel and Haydn Society, Boston Children’s Chorus, Boston Choral Ensemble, and MIT Women's Chorale. She also serves as a staff pianist with the New England Conservatory, Boston Conservatory, and Northeastern University. Born and raised in Hong Kong, Cheung holds a Master of Music and a Graduate Diploma in Collaborative Piano from the New England Conservatory, as well as a Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Performance from Hong Kong Baptist University.