CORA BLOUCH is in her thirteenth season with the Chorale. She first studied music at Northern Arizona University and completed her Bachelor of Arts in Vocal Performance at ASU. She is an active contributor to the arts community and has received several awards including first place in the Arizona NATS competition. She has sung with various jazz and rock bands over the years, and has lent her voice to different recording projects around the Valley, both as a singer and as a voice-over actor. In addition to her singing engagements, she is a partner in a fiber-arts business creating hand-knitted wares and handspun yarns, which can be found at Uptown Farmer’s Market during the cooler months and year-round on bewilderknits.com. Always looking to expand her musical reach, Cora took up the ukulele over the summer and has been enjoying it ever since.
LINDSAY DECOSTE is excited to be singing a second season with the Phoenix Chorale! She holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Northern Arizona University. A native of southern California, Lindsay attended Mt. San Antonio College for three years, where she sang under the direction of Bruce Rogers. After transferring to NAU, she held leadership positions in Shrine of the Ages and High Altitude, performed with NAU Opera and as part of the Sedona Academy of Chamber Singers. Lindsay also sings with Canto Vivo under the direction of Dr. Craig Peterson. She currently teaches choir at Desert Wind Middle School and Maricopa High School, and enjoys playing board games with her husband Robert.
ELIZABETH DIFRONZO is elated to make her debut with the Phoenix Chorale this season. Originally from Texas, Elizabeth enjoys the versatility of singing with choral and operatic ensembles. She has most recently performed with Saint George Opera, Frost Opera Theater, Spotlight on Opera, Miami Music Festival, and Texas State University Opera Theatre. In addition to pursuing a performance career, she maintains a private teaching studio in Phoenix and is the alto section leader at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church in Avondale. Elizabeth holds a Master of Music degree in Classical Vocal Performance from the University of Miami and a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education from Texas State University.
NINA MAKSTON is in her third season performing with the Phoenix Chorale. Nina is a native of Arizona. She holds her Bachelors of Music in Vocal Performance from Grand Canyon University, and has been performed with various groups in the valley including Arizona Opera Chorus, Scottsdale Musical Artists, Musica Nova, The Royal Renaissance Singers, and was soloist and section leader at Faith Presbyterian Church for 7 years. She has also worked with many congregations in and around the Phoenix area doing solo work and choral work. She has two children, and works full time in central Phoenix at 180 Degree Automotive as the Office Manager.
HOLLY SHEPPARD is in her eleventh season with the Chorale. She began working towards a degree in Vocal Performance at the University of New Mexico and then moved to Phoenix to attend the University of Advancing Technology (UAT). She earned a B.A. in Multimedia with a Digital Animation emphasis and spent six years as an Environment Artist in the video game industry. She currently works as an artist and animator at Scientific Games Firebird Studios creating slot machine games. Holly has continued her vocal education, studying with voice instructor Gail Dubinbaum. She is a regular soloist and performer with Phoenix Opera and is also a member of the Arizona Opera Chorus. She sings with the Schola Cantorum at Saints Simon and Jude Cathedral and performs frequently throughout the Valley in both solo and choral settings. Holly and her husband George are outdoor enthusiasts living in Mesa with their two birds, Luna and Beaker.
STEPHANIE STICKFORD is in her tenth season with the Chorale. A native of Ohio, she earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in music business and a Master of Arts degree in music education from The Ohio State University. She moved to Phoenix to attend graduate school at ASU, and earned a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in music education. Over the course of her career, she has taught choir and music appreciation at all levels, delivered presentations at state and national music education conferences, taught private voice and piano, served as a church musician and soloist, performed bedside concerts for hospice patients, and sung with jazz big bands and combos. Stephanie currently teaches vocal and general music at Pinnacle Peak Preparatory School in the Paradise Valley School District, is a staff musician at Paradise Valley United Methodist Church, and is a member of Helios, a seven-voice early music ensemble. Stephanie loves being around water–swimming, snorkeling, water skiing, and wake surfing.
LEIA WASBOTTEN is so excited to be in her third season with the Phoenix Chorale. She holds her Bachelor of Arts – Voice degree from Penn State University and is currently pursuing her Masters of Music in Vocal Performance and Pedagogy at Arizona State University. While studying at PSU, Leia was involved in Penn State’s Concert Choir and Essence of Joy where she had the opportunity to perform all over the world, including touring in Europe and singing with The Rolling Stones. Leia is a soprano in both Arizona State’s Chamber Singers and Gospel Choir, where she has been a featured soloist for three years. Leia also directs a church choir at Desert Foothills UMC and teaches voice lessons at ASU and The Music Store.