GABRIEL MICHAEL FRONGILLO is thrilled to be part of the Phoenix Chorale for his third season. Gabriel graduated from the University of Arizona with his bachelor’s in Choral Music Education, studying voice under Professor Charles Roe, and conducting under Dr. Elizabeth Schauer. He is currently the choir director at Apollo High School in Glendale, serves as the Repertoire and Resources Chair for male choirs for the Arizona branch of the American Choral Director’ Association, and works as a freelance vocalist and choral conductor around the valley.
JOSIAH HAGSTROM is excited to enter into his fifth year with the Chorale. Even more so, amazed to be a part of the 60th anniversary of the Chorale and a part of this next huge chapter. Josiah is an Arizona native and after growing up in Mesa, he now resides in Gilbert with his amazing wife Mindy, his beautiful four-year-old daughter Kayla, their golden retriever Kaia, and their Feb 2018 addition of sweet baby Noah! After studying at MCC and ASU for a degree in Choral Education, an opportunity for a different profession took precedence. He graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies from ASU in 2012, and currently manages an optometry practice in Phoenix after working in the field since the age of 18. Josiah’s previous and current ensembles include Craig Peterson’s Canto Vivo, varied ASU ensembles, Vocal Fix, as well as serving as lead vocalist at Harvest Bible Church in Gilbert.
AARON JONES obtained his Master’s degree from Arizona State University Lyric Opera Theatre in Opera Performance in 2018. While there, he performed the roles of Le Fis from Poulenc’s Les Mamelles de Terésias, Tamino from Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, and Vašek from Smetana’s The Bartered Bride. Aaron spent the summer of 2017 performing the role of Don Ottavio from Mozart’s Don Giovanni with the Hawaii Performing Arts Festival in Hilo, Hawaii. Over the last two years, Aaron has been a member of the chamber ensemble Solis Camerata. With Solis, he has performed in the national tour of Game of Thrones: the concert experience, the music of Zelda at the Phoenix Symphony, and an array of other genres and events. While taking a year off of performing, Aaron has diligently studied the craft of method acting and works every week at the Arizona Actors Academy. Aaron is beyond thrilled to be joining the Phoenix Chorale!
ROBERT HEYDE is the choral director at Scottsdale Preparatory Academy as well as an active performer around the Phoenix valley. He holds a Master’s of Music degree from Arizona State University, and a Bachelor of Music Education from Baylor University. Mr. Heyde has performed various operatic and concert roles through Arizona State University and the Episcopal Parish of St. Barnabas on the Desert, where he serves as interim choral director. He has served as a regional choral chair for the Arizona Music Educators Association and sung with the North Valley Chorale and Solis Camerata. He is excited to be back with the Phoenix Chorale this season after singing on last year’s Christmas series. He resides in Cave Creek with his wife, Stephanie, and their three young sons, Andrew, Beckham, and Hudson.
LUKE LUSTED is in his fifth season with the Chorale. Luke holds the Doctor of Musical Arts degree and Master of Music in Choral Conducting, both from the University of Arizona and the Bachelor of Music Education degree from Louisiana Tech University. Luke currently serves as Pastor of Music and Administration at Camelback Bible Church in Paradise Valley, AZ, is a member of True Concord, previously serving as Assistant Director, and is an active member of The American Choral Directors Association and Arizona ACDA, where he previously served on the board as the Repertoire and Standards Chair for Community Choirs. Previously, Luke served as Director of Music at First United Methodist Church and Artistic Director of Tucson Masterworks Chorale.
J.J. RAFFERTY is excited to continue his fourth season with the Chorale. An Arizona native, he resides in Peoria with his musical wife, Genny, his favorite accompanist, and five children: Rylie, Jace, and triplet boys Asher, Brooks, and Caden. J.J. graduated magna cum laude from Grand Canyon University with a B.S. in Music Education with Choral Conducting emphasis. He later earned his Master’s in Music Education from Kent State University. J.J.’s previous ensembles include varied ensembles with GCU, MCC, GCC, and twelve years with the Sonoran Desert Chorale. He has also had various soloist, conducting, judging, and clinician opportunities with his church, elementary, and high school honor choirs from around the state. J.J. is in his seventeenth year of teaching and is the Director of Choral Activities and Performing Arts Department Chair at Greenway High School in Phoenix as well as adjunct faculty with Ottawa University teaching advanced choral conducting and secondary choral methods.
THOMAS STRAWSER is a native of Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania, enjoys an extensive and diverse career as a performing artist. His professional choral experience includes the Philadelphia Singers during the organization’s tenure with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Manhattan Chorale, Solis Camerata, a choral residency at St. Alban’s Cathedral, staff singer at All Saints’ Episcopal Church, the Grammy-nominated True Concord Voices & Orchestra, and the Grammy-award winning Phoenix Chorale including their album Rachmaninoff: All-Night Vigil which received the 58th Grammy’s “Best Choral Performance” award. Thomas is also in his sixth season at Childsplay, is a co-founder for A/C Theatre Company, and has acted in valley productions with Arizona Opera, Arizona Broadway Theatre, Showtune Productions, and Nearly Naked Theatre. Thomas holds a Master of Music in Opera/Musical Theatre Performance from Arizona State University and a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from West Chester University of Pennsylvania.