ALISON CHANEY is in her tenth season with the Chorale. A native of Dallas, Texas, she completed a graduate degree in vocal performance from The Ohio State University after attending Baylor University. Alison has appeared with the Carolina Chamber Chorale, Sounding Light of Michigan, and on the American Bach Series along with numerous opera companies including Florida Grand Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, Opera Company Brooklyn, and the Ash-Lawn Highland Summer Festival. Alison is the Headmaster of Scottsdale Preparatory Academy, one of the Great Hearts Academies.
CASSANDRA EWER has been a member of the Chorale since 1994 and is a graduate of the University of Oregon with a dual degree in music education and vocal performance. Career highlights include performances at the World Choral Symposiums of 2002 (Minneapolis) and 2008 (Denmark) and the 2003 National ACDA Convention (NYC), as well as ten seasons with the Oregon Bach Festival during which she premiered Arvo Pärt’s Litany with the Hilliard Ensemble and performed on OBF’s Grammy-winning CD Penderecki: Credo. She is a featured performer on fourteen professional recordings, many of them Grammy-winning or nominated, including recordings on the Hänssler-Verlag and Harmonia Mundi labels and she has sung on all of the Phoenix Chorale’s Chandos recordings.
NINA COLE GARGUILO is in her fifth season with the Phoenix Chorale. Originally from Memphis, she is currently pursuing a Doctoral degree in Vocal Performance at Arizona State University, with an emphasis on American Music. In addition to opera and musical theatre performances, she has been a featured soloist in many choral works. While obtaining her Bachelor’s degree at the University of Mississippi, Nina was a soloist for Ola Gjielo’s Tundra, and his premieres of Liberation of Ellisbell and New York I & II. In the summer of 2013, Nina sang the title role in the opera, Das Tagebuch der Anna Frank at the Mittelsächsisches Theater in Freiberg, Germany. She was most recently seen in the premiere of a new musical work, Of Leto. A teacher as well as a singing artist, Nina loves helping students of all ages and abilities, whether they be learning new techniques or preparing for stage performance.
CARMEL GROENWALD is entering her third season with the Phoenix Chorale. The group served as an initial inspiration of her love of choral music and pursuit in becoming a choir director. Carmel graduated from ASU in 2011 with a degree in Choral Music Education and has spent three years in the field. Her teaching experiences include schools in the Tempe School District, Scottsdale Christian Academy, the Phoenix Girls Choir and Camelback Bible Church children’s choir. Currently, Carmel serves as Worship Director of Genesis Church and continues to teach from her private piano studio for young beginners.
CAROL PLATT JENNINGS is in her fifteenth season with the Chorale. As a soloist, she has performed in South Dakota, Oklahoma, Arizona, Australia, and South Korea; performed in renowned ensembles including the Oregon Bach Festival Chorus, Santa Fe Desert Chorale, True Concord Voices and Orchestra, American Bach Series and in churches throughout the Valley. For over ten years, she has studied voice with Mrs. Claudia Kennedy, her teacher and mentor, and continues to specialize in French Mélodie. She holds voice faculty positions at both Glendale and Scottsdale Community Colleges as well as Grand Canyon University. She earned a Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance from ASU and a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Oklahoma. Carol is a member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing.
KIRA ZEEMAN RUGEN is in her twelfth season with the Chorale. She is the artistic director of Solis Camerata, an early music professional choir, which sang at ACDA in Pasadena, February 2016 and with the Phoenix Symphony performing Final Fantasy Video game music, September 2016. Kira is a faculty member at Grand Canyon University, where she teaches music history, conducting and music education courses. She has performed under Tom Koopman in Carnegie Hall’s Young Artist Concert Series and in Korea’s Incheon International Choral Festival. Kira has toured with Anúna (Ireland’s National Choir) under Michael McGlynn throughout Ireland, Japan and China. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Vocal Performance and Choral Conducting from Weber State University, a Master of Music in Choral Education and a Doctorate in Choral Conducting at ASU.
DANYA TILLER is in her twelfth season with the Chorale. She is the Artistic Director of the Phoenix Girls Chorus, a five choir non-profit organization for young women now in its 35th season, and with whom she made her conducting debut at Carnegie Hall in June 2016. Danya earned a B.M. in Piano Performance and M.M. in Choral Conducting from the University of Alabama, and is A.B.D. for the D.M.A. in Choral Conducting from the University of Oklahoma. A native of Knoxville, Tennessee, she has performed with distinguished ensembles including the Santa Fe Desert Chorale, New Orleans Opera, Santa Fe Pro Music Chamber Orchestra, Santa Fe Opera, The Phoenix Symphony, and St. Martin’s Chamber Choir, and she has toured extensively with choirs worldwide as both singer and conductor. Danya is also Associate Director of Music at Mountain View Presbyterian Church and a founding member of Helios, a seven voice early music ensemble in it’s second full season.