Members | Vox Nova

Members
Current roster of Vox Nova

Biographies

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Jared Smith, tenor, is currently teaching elementary music for Columbia Public Schools. He received his Bachelors in Music Education from the University of Missouri. Outside of Vox Nova, Jared also performs on bass trombone in the Columbia Jazz Orchestra as well as a sub for the Missouri Symphony Orchestra. He has a private studio, teaching lessons in trombone, guitar, and beginning piano. Jared also performs around Columbia and St. Louis in local bands Saint Gnome and Bocomo Ramble, the last of which performed on a main stage at the Roots n' Blues music festival in 2013.

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Lacey Gladden, soprano, just completed her second year of teaching K-12 Music in the Glasgow and New Franklin school districts. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Vocal Performance from Central Methodist University as well as a Master’s degree in Voice from the University of Kansas. She enjoys teaching private voice, flute, and piano to students in Central Missouri. Lacey has been a featured soloist on several concerts and recitals throughout her career, and has performed many roles with the Opera Theatre at Central Methodist University and the University of Kansas, including Pamina in The Magic Flute, Yum-Yum in The Mikado, Patience in Patience, Lucy in The Telephone, Mabel in Pirates of Penzance, Mariane in Tartuffe, Rapunzel in Into the Woods, April in Company, Countess Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro,and Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte. She directed Fayette Area Community Theatre’s production of Annie last summer.

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Darrell J. Jordan, baritone, has been praised for his “resplendent” stage presence (Chicago Classical Review), his “shining, beautiful voice” (Broadway World), and has been called “the star of the show” (Columbia Heart Beat). His extensive repertoire spans from early renaissance music to new, modern compositions. Originally from St. Louis, MO, he holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in both Psychology and Music, and a Master’s of Music in Voice Performance from the University of Missouri. Recent vocal instruction has come from both Ann Harrell and Steven Tharp. In demand as a recitalist and concert soloist, his recent solo engagements include Buxtehude’s Membra nostri jesus J.S. Bach’s Ich hatte viel Bekümmernis with the Choral Arts Alliance of Missouri, Vaughan Williams' Hodie, and Orff’s Carmina Burana with Missouri S&T and the Rolla Choral Arts Society. He was most recently a 2016 Resident Opera Artist for the Missouri Symphony. He has also appeared with Winter Opera Saint Louis, Haymarket Opera Company, Gateway Opera, Toledo Symphony Orchestra, Amherst Early Music Festival, Odyssey Chamber Music Series, and the Institute for 17th Century Music. Mr. Jordan recently gave the North America premier of Bassani’s forgotten solo bass cantata, L’Ombra di Mustafa Cara, at the Amherst Early Music Festival. Mr. Jordan is a member and co-founder of the professional vocal chamber ensemble, Vox Nova. He is a Visiting Guest Artist at Stephens College, and an Adjunct Professor of Music at Columbia College and Central Methodist University.

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Hugh Naughtin, baritone, has a Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance from Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin, where he studied with Patrice Michaels. Since graduating in 2007, Hugh has sung in the Chicago Symphony Chorus, the Grant Park Chorus, and the Chicago-based a cappella ensemble Bella Voce. Hugh lives in Lawrence, Kansas, where he is involved in several local rock groups and teaches private lessons. This is his fifth season with the Kansas City Chorale.

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Jacob Clifford, bass, graduated from the University of Missouri with a Classics degree. During his time at MU, Mr. Clifford was highly involved in several of the choral ensembles, performing with University Singers, Chamber Singers, and was an original member of Mizzou’s male a cappella ensemble, Add 9. He made his opera debut with Show-Me Opera’s production of Mozart’s The Magic Flute, singing the role of Sarastro, and has been a soloist for the Columbia Chorale. Mr. Clifford works in Columbia as a police officer and says it is the coolest thing he has ever done!

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Christine Jarquio Nichols, mezzo-soprano, is an active music educator, singer, conductor, and pianist in Columbia. In addition to her full-time career teaching middle school vocal music, Christine directs and accompanies various ensembles with the Columbia Youth Choirs, as well as maintains a private voice studio. She is a frequent vocal soloist in the mid-Missouri area, having soloed in Mozart’s Coronation Mass in C, Beethoven’s Mass in C, Handel’s Messiah, J. Michael Haydn’s Missa Sancti Hieronymi, Bach’s Gottes Zeit ist die allerbeste Zeit, and Vivaldi’s Magnificat. Among several operatic performances, her most memorable role was singing the sassy Dorabella in Mozart’s Così fan tutte. Christine also enjoys singing in professional choral ensembles Prometheus and Pro-Arte of Saint Louis, as well as being the Artistic Director of Vox Nova. She holds a dual Master of Music in Voice Performance and Choral Conducting, and a Bachelor of Science in Vocal Music Education. Christine and her husband, Jay, have two dogs (Elly and Oliver) and they love the outdoors and going on adventures!

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Devin Clark, Devin Clark, tenor, attended the University of Missouri where he received a Bachelor’s of Science in Computer Science at the School of Engineering. Devin grew up in the southern suburbs of St. Louis where he was an active member of his high school’s choir program, not only performing but also co-directing ensembles of his own. Upon graduating, Devin elected to attend the University of Missouri for its strong collegiate ensembles and was enrolled into the University Singers, the school’s premier choral ensemble, his freshmen year. Having traveled with the group to Austria, Hungary, and around the Midwest, Devin’s choral experiences grew through each semester. Having developed a love of choral music and performance from an early age, Devin remains active in music in many aspects of his life. While currently a software engineer in Kansas City, Devin continues to perform with Vox Nova and other ensembles throughout the year.

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Paden Richey, baritone, comes from Lee’s Summit, Missouri. He is currently pursuing a Degree in Music Education from the University of Missouri and studies voice with Steven Tharp. He is a member of University Singers and the Show-Me Opera. With the Show-Me Opera company, Paden performed the role of Thomas Putnam in The Crucible and covered the role of John Proctor, and also performed the role of Marco in Puccini's Gianni Schicchi. He has also been a soloist for University of Missouri's Summer Singers when they performed Schütz’s Musikalische Exequien.

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Jonathan Ray, tenor, is currently a Graduate Assistant at Louisiana State University, where he is pursuing his doctoral degree in Vocal Performance and Choral Conducting and studying with Robert Grayson. He holds the MM in Vocal Performance from the UNC-Greensboro and the Bachelors in Vocal/Instrumental Music Education from Arkansas Tech University. Mr. Ray has made appearances with such companies as St. Petersburg Opera, Opera in the Ozarks, Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra, and Greensboro Opera. His numerous operatic highlights include the principal tenor roles in Die Entführung aus dem Serail, La Traviata, L’italiana in Algeri, La Cenerentola, Béatrice et Bénédict, Don Giovanni, Albert Herring, L’elisir d’amore, Die Zauberflöte, Candide, Gianni Schicchi, The Gondoliers, Pirates of Penzance, and Trial by Jury. Additionally, Mr. Ray maintains a private voice studio and teaches undergraduate courses in diction and applied voice at LSU. He also actively appears as a soloist in numerous concerts, recitals, and cabarets.

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Christina Casey is a lyric mezzo soprano from Kansas City, Missouri. Ms Casey currently resides in Baton Rouge, Louisiana where recently finished a Master of Music at Louisiana State University, under the tutelage of Dr. Lori Bade. Ms. Casey is a member of several professional choral ensembles. She will be the featured mezzo soprano soloist for Aaron Copland’s choral work, “In the Beginning” with Baton Rouge’s newest professional ensemble, Red Shift. Ms. Casey’s most recent performance was the role of Prince Orlofsky in the comic operetta Die Fledermaus, with the Missouri Symphony Society. With LSU Opera Ms. Casey portrayed the roles of Isabella in Rossini’s L’Italiana in Algeri, Katisha in Gilbert and Sullivan’s (The Mikado), The Beggar Woman in (Sweeney Todd), and Béatrice (Béatrice et Bénédict), Ms. Casey has been an apprentice artist at Opera in the Ozarks, where she portrayed the role of Angelina in La cenerentola, and Flora in La traviata. Other roles in her repertoire include Elizabeth Proctor (The Crucible), Giasone, (Il Giasone), Daphnis, (Daphnis et Chloé). Ms. Casey is a recipient of a 2016 Encouragement Award with the Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions, in Little Rock, Arkansas. Ms. Casey is a graduate of the University of Missouri, where she completed a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance, and studied with Ann Harrell.

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McKenzie Miller, soprano/alto, recently began her Masters at LSU where she studies with Dennis Jesse. Her Louisiana performances include Johanna in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Yum-Yum in The Mikado, Edith in Pirates of Penzance, and the Dew Fairy in Hansel and Gretel. Miller received her undergraduate degree from the University of Missouri - Columbia, where she was consistently recognized in state and regional NATS, MMTA, SAI, and NAFTZGER competitions. At MU she performed the title role of Suor Angelica, Geraldine in A Hand of Bridge, and Abigail Williams in The Crucible. Miller has enjoyed appearances as a featured soloist with Louisiana Sinfonietta, Odyssey Chamber Series, C.O.M.P. Festival, the University of Missouri Singers, Missouri Symphony Society, and Exit 28 Chamber orchestra. She can be seen this fall as Anne Truelove in LSU's The Rake's Progress.

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Kaitlin Foley, soprano, has been praised for her “crystalline vocals” and “beautiful singing.” Ms. Foley is a supremely versatile performer with a passionate ear for early and new music. She has sung with the Haymarket Opera Company, Grant Park Chorus, Bella Voce, Schola Antiqua, Prometheus, and Chicago-based women’s trio Artemisia. She achieved her M.M. in Voice Performance from DePaul University and completed her undergraduate work in music education at the University of Missouri. Ms. Foley is a Vocal Artist in Residence with the Rockefeller Chapel Choir, under the direction of James Kallembach, and is the director and founder of the Rockefeller Children’s Choir.

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Jeremy Wagner, bass, is a junior in Vocal Performance and Vocal Music Education at the University of Missouri, under the tutelage of Steven Tharp. Last year he performed in his first vocal competition at NATS and took second place. He debuted with the Show-Me Opera Company in 2014 in the scenes program in the role of Don Magnifico from Rossini’s La Cenerentola. Other roles include Amantio di Nicolao in Gianni Schicchi and Antonio in Le nozze di Figaro. He also staged and performed “Si tra i Ceppi” from Handel’s Berenice in the spring of 2015. Jeremy is the Musical Director at First Christian Church in Centralia, Missouri. He also holds leadership roles as the President of the Student Chapter of the American Choral Directors Association at the University of Missouri, the President of the Music Student Advisory Council, and the Vice President of University Singers.

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Catherine Sandstedt, soprano, is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Music degree in vocal and viola performance. Catherine currently studies voice with Ann Harrell and viola with Leslie Perna. Catherine has performed the roles of Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro, Mary Warren in The Crucible, and Nella in Gianni Schicchi with the Show-Me Opera. Catherine has also debuted the role of Gunloed in the world premiere of The Outlaw. She recently placed 2nd in the Senior Women division at the 2015 National level of NATS. She has also received 1st place in the Junior Women division at the Regional NATS in 2013, as well as 1st place in the Sophomore Women vocal division at the 2012 Missouri State NATS. This past summer, Catherine had the opportunity to perform with the OperaNEO program in San Diego, California, where she performed as Almirena in Handel’s opera, Rinaldo.

Betsy

Betsy Jane Bledsoe, Kansas City soprano/alto, graduated from the University of Missouri (BM) and Michigan State University (MM). Studying vocal performance, she performed several operatic roles, including Serpetta in Mozart’s La finta giardiniera and was a winner of the 2012 Missouri NATS competition. Veering away from operatic repertoire, Betsy pursues her passion of music through musical theater. Her favorite roles include Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady and Luisa in The Fantasticks. A very active member of the Kansas City theater scene, she was recently seen in Shawnee Mission’s Theater in the Park as a featured soloist in West Side Story and Rose in The Secret Garden. Her favorite adventure since settling back in KC was to perform the role of Kate Monster in Avenue Q. (Puppeteering is not easy!) When not on stage Betsy works at Children’s Mercy and directs the bell choir at Asbury United Methodist Church.

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Rachel Naughtin, soprano, believes that teaching and performing go hand in hand. Since moving to Lawrence, Kansas, in 2013, Rachel has become an active performer and educator in the area. She currently teaches general music in Topeka while continuing to pursue a performance career and maintain a private voice studio. Rachel is a member of the Te Deum Chamber Choir in Kansas City, and has also performed with the Kansas City Opera Institute and the Kansas City Chorale. In 2013, Rachel completed a Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance at the University of Missouri. There she performed the role of Despina in Mozart’s Così fan tutte. She also appeared in the scenes program as Adele (Die Fledermaus), Sophie (Der Rosenkavalier), and Zerlina (Don Giovanni). She was an active concert soloist in the Columbia area. An active recitalist, Ms. Marschke has performed repertoire spanning five-centuries and welcomes the opportunity to explore new music.

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Robert Battle, alto/baritone, attended Central Visual & Performing Arts High School and graduated from Kirkwood Senior High. Robert received his undergraduate degree from the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music & Dance, where he sang in a number of choral ensembles, including the Heritage Chorale. Robert is the Artistic Director of the Columbia Public Schools 5th Grade Honors Choir and co-directs the Boonslick Chordbusters Barbershop Chorus. He is a member of the American Choral Directors Association, the National Association for Music Education, and the Barbershop Harmony Society. Robert has been with the Missouri Fine Arts Academy for 9 years as the artist-in-residence for choral music. He is also certified to teach in New York State and is a fitness trainer for Les Mills BodyJam dance classes. An active voice teacher and advocate for equal arts opportunities in urban areas, Battle spends most of his downtime dancing, gardening, running, cooking, or catching up on short stories mostly written by David Sedaris.​

Ian

Ian Meyer, tenor, comes from Columbia, Missouri. He is pursuing a Bachelor of Science at the University of Missouri in Vocal Music Education, where he has studied voice with Mark McCrory, and continues his study under Steven Tharp. He also has studied piano with Dr. Janice Wenger and continues under Dr. Natalia Bolshakova. He is a member of the University Singers and the Show-Me Opera. He has performed the role of Dr. Blind in the Missouri Symphony Orchestra’s production of Strauss’ Die Fledermaus, Rinuccio in Show-Me Opera’s production of Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi, and the role of Basilio in Show-Me Opera's production of Le Nozze di Figaro. He was also a chorus member in Show-Me Opera’s production of Ward’s The Crucible, and has performed scenes from Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress, Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Strauss’ Adriadne auf Naxos, Mozart’s Don Giovanni, Bastien und Bastienne, Verdi’s Falstaff, and Copland’s The Tender Land. Mr. Meyer has worked as a Worship Leader on staff at Woodcrest Chapel, and as a band clinician at First Assembly Church. He has also taught Piano and Voice at the Columbia Academy of Music and the Community music program. Mr. Meyer enjoys membership of the professional ensemble Vox Nova and has worked with the St. Louis based Early Music Specialists, Pro-Arte. Mr. Meyer also participated in the Idaho International Choral Festival in Pocatello, Idaho and the Small Ensemble Intensive Summer Program as part of the Amherst Early Music Festival in New London, Connecticut.