Who Are We?: Biographies and Information

Arianne Abela is a recent graduate of the Yale School of Music and Yale Institute of Sacred Music where she studied with Marguerite Brooks, Jeffrey Douma and Simon Carrington. She is the 2010 recipient of the Hugh Porter Prize Award and served as assistant conductor of the Yale Glee Club and conductor of the Yale Chamber Singers in 2009-2010. As co-conductor of the Yale Saybrook Orchestra, she conducted the Dvorak New World Symphony, selections from Handel Belshazzar, Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 1, and Beethoven Leonore Overture No. 3. She was a member of the Yale Schola Cantorum in 2008-2009 under the direction of Simon Carrington and toured China and Korea in May 2009 to perform Bach’s B Minor Mass.

Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Arianne performed with the San Francisco Girls Chorus for many years and collaborated with Michael Tilson Thomas and Vance George of the San Francisco Symphony, Joseph Jennings of Chanticleer, and Helmuth Rilling in the Oregon Bach Festival and World Choral Symposium. Arianne was the 1999 recipient of the SFGC Alumnae Association Merit Scholarship and returns to the SFGC each summer as music director of the summer Alumnae Chorus.

Arianne graduated from Smith College and received the 2008 Judith Raskin Memorial Prize for voice, the 2008 Earnst Wallfisch Prize for music, and the winner of the 2008 Concerto Competition with Mozart Exsultate Jubilate. Arianne was the assistant conductor for the Yale Glee Club from 2006-2008. In the spring of 2007, Arianne conducted movements of the Durufle Requiem with the Smith College Orchestra and choirs. That same year, she acted as Musical Director for the Smith Theater Department production of Cinders, which featured her original instrumental and vocal compositions. In 2006, Arianne performed as Le Feu in the 5-College Consortium Opera Production of Ravel’s L’enfant et les Sortileges. Arianne participated in the 2006 International Varna Conducting Workshop in Bulgaria where she conducted the Verdi Requiem. During her summers, she worked as Conducting and Vocal apprentice at the Berkshire Choral Festival with renowned artists, composers and conductors. Arianne currently teaches music at Notre Dame High School in West Haven,CT and is director of the Chorister Academy at St. John’s Episcopal in Waterbury. Arianne is also a jazz singer/artist and performs with Clifton J. Noble and local jazz artists in the Connecticut area.

Arianne has been committed to Benefit Concerts for many years. Below you will find a list of Concerts Arianne spearheaded:

2010, Gloria! Benefit Concert for the East Oakland School of Music (in collaboration with Colin Britt and Debi Wong).

2009, Bach Mass in B minor for the Northampton Community Music Center’s Children’s Scholarship fund.

2009, Saybrook Orchestra Benefit Concert for Shelter Now.

2008, Harmonies for Healing: Concert for Children with Disabilities program in Northampton, MA

2007, Harmonies for Healing: First Annual concert, Smith College. Benefit for Maggie Worthen’s medical expenses, friend who suffered a stroke in college.

Colin Britt, originally from Maine, holds a master of music degree in Choral Conducting at Yale University, where he studied with Marguerite Brooks, Jeffrey Douma, and Simon Carrington and was a member of the Yale Camerata and Schola Cantorum. Mr. Britt graduated from the Hartt School in 2007 with studies in Music Composition and Conducting. A versatile pianist, he has worked as a staff accompanist at the Hartt School, the Connecticut Children’s Chorus, and for several public school choirs in the Hartford area. He sings and is the assistant music director at the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Hartford, and has sung with the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, Con Brio, and Concora (Connecticut Choral Artists).

At Hartt, he studied composition with David Macbride, Ken Steen, and Larry Alan Smith, and orchestration with Steven Gryc. He studied piano with Margreet Francis, took voice lessons with Wayne Rivera and Cherie Caluda, and was a private conducting student with Edward Bolkovac. Prior to entering college, he studied piano for many years with Brian Franck in Auburn, Maine.

His compositions have been performed by several ensembles at Hartt, Yale, and throughout the state, including the Hartt Chorale, the Hartt Symphony Orchestra, the Yale Schola Cantorum, and the Greater Middletown Chorale, who in 2008 premiered his arrangement of “Lift Every Voice and Sing” in Europe. In the 2008-2009 season, he was the composer-in-residence for the New Haven Chorale, under the direction of Edward Bolkovac. His composition “Afternoon on a Hill” is scheduled for publication in 2010 with the Simon Carrington Choral Series, through Alliance Music Publications.

As a conductor, Mr. Britt assisted with the Yale Camerata, served as the Marquand Chapel Choir director. From 2005-2007, he was the assistant conductor and accompanist for the Choral Club of Hartford and the musical director for the University of Hartford’s a cappella group L’shir. In 2007, he conducted the Maine District II Honors Festival Middle School Orchestra. Mr. Britt has also been active in musical theater for most of his life, and has directed the music for productions of “Sweeney Todd,” “Peter Pan,” “Fiddler on the Roof,” “Joseph and the Amazing…” “The Scarlet Pimpernel,” “Singin’ in the Rain,” and a full concert performance of Carl Orff’s “Carmina Burana.” In 2008, he was the assistant conductor for the Hartt Undergraduate Opera, “Orpheus in the Underworld.”

Mr. Britt currently serves on the adjunct conducting faculty at Hartt, as acting director of music at Marquand Chapel at Yale, and as the assistant music director at the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Hartford.

Mezzo Soprano, Debi Wong, was born and raised in Vancouver, British Columbia.  Praised for her effective performances, Ms. Wong enjoys working as both a chamber singer, concert soloist and recitalist.

Her recent performances include Monteverdi’s 1610 Vespers with Alexander Weimann in the Early Music Vancouver Festival, Bach’s St. John Passion with the Vancouver Bach Choir and the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra conducted by Bruce Pullan, Beethoven’s Mass in C Major with Beverly Shangkuan and the Yale Repertory Chorus, and Messiah with William Boughton and the New Haven Symphony Orchestra.

In her 2009 – 2010 Debi performed Bach’s Singet Dem Herrn and Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott with Masaaki Suzuki (Bach Collegium Japan), Bach’s B Minor Massconducted by Simon Carrington (King Singers, Yale Schola Cantorum) and Handel’s Te Deum and Haydn’s Salve Regina conducted by Nicholas McGegan, and she was also heard on the discovery series at the Oregon Bach Festival performing Bach’s Christmas Oratorio under the direction of Helmuth Rilling.

As well as performing and studying early music, Debi is also an active recitalist.   Recent collaborations include “Sweet and Low: The Songs of George Gershwin and Dana Suesse” with world renowned pianist, Sara Davis Buechner, and Schumann’s “Sechs Gedichte und Requiem” with internationally acclaimed pianist, Ted Taylor.

In 2008, Debi received her Bachelor of Music from the University of British Columbia where she was awarded the Catherine Cooke-Topping Medal for musical excellence.  Debi is also a recent graduate from the Yale School of Music and the Yale Institute of Sacred Music, where she received her Master’s in Music in Voice, and the 2010 Margot Fassler award for her performances in Sacred Music.

Next year Debi will make her debut in the world of Early Opera with Stephen Stubbs and his production of Monteverdi’s Il Ballo delle Ingrate. She will also be starting her doctoral studies in English Renaissance theatre and music through Sibelius Academy in Helsinki Finland.


One Response to “Who Are We?: Biographies and Information”

  1. […] hit, arranged for a 32-voice choir and a 23-piece orchestra. ISM alums Colin Britt ’10MusM and Arianne Abela ’10MusM did the arranging; Britt did the orchestration and Abela conducted. They put the whole […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: