ATLYS, String Quartet
ATLYS is a classically trained, crossover string quartet comprised of four women. Hailed for being incredibly passionate and interactive in their performances and about their music, the four create a concert atmosphere that is absolutely mesmerizing. The four strive to share their ATLYS of music, filled with melodies and tunes from nations all around the world. Using the string quartet as their blank canvas, they veer outside of the classical music box to develop creative, original covers of some of our most loved music. At the same time, they enjoy returning within the borders of that box to perform lesser-known classical works, creating a program that is both diverse and intriguing. ATLYS has over 500 performances under their belt, having charmed audiences around the world representing Lincoln Center in New York City in collaboration with Holland America Line. Their shows are captivating, and they take pride in drawing people into their concerts who may have never otherwise been interested in attending a quartet performance. Being an acoustic and therefore easily mobile group, they also enjoy performing in unconventional spaces such as art galleries, warehouses, bars, and houses.
Michael Drobycki, Viola
Michael Drobycki has performed with many orchestras and has concertized with acclaimed conductors across the globe. Mr.Drobycki has performed with the Spoleto USA Festival in Charleston, SC for their 2008-2011 seasons, the first three seasons being conducted by then Music Director, Maestro Emmanuel Villaume. In 2011, Mr. Drobycki was invited by Maestro Lorin Maazel to join the Castleton Festival Orchestra and accepted further invitations for the 2012, 2013 and 2014 seasons, performing operas and orchestral works on the Maestro’s 600 acre estate. Michael holds a BM (08’) and MM (09’) in Viola Performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music, where he studied with Cleveland Orchestra members Mark Jackobs and Stanley Konopka. Michael is Principal viola of the Abilene Philharmonic, a substitute violist with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, and is a member of the Texarkana and Dallas Chamber Symphonies.
morgan horning, soprano
Morgan Horning, soprano, holds a Bachelor of the Arts Degree in Music from Luther College, a Master of Music Degree and Artist Diploma from the University of Northern Iowa, and is currently pursuing her Doctorate of Musical Arts Degree from the University of North Texas under the tutelage of Dr. Stephen Austin. She was most recently seen as a soprano soloist with the UNT Nova Ensemble, performing the works of Harrison Birtwistle, Harvey Sollberger, Luciano Berio, Gerhard Stäbler, and Sky Macklay. An avid recitalist, Ms. Horning has made it her artistic mission to explore works of underrepresented composers, with special emphasis on contemporary music and Russian language literature.
Daniel Lockert, Piano
As a soloist or collaborator, Daniel Lockert is equally versatile on the piano, organ and harpsichord. In his role as pianist-collaborator, his wide ranging career has taken him around the globe, playing throughout the USA, Europe, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. In his role as coach and teacher, Daniel has been on the staffs and faculties of the Juilliard School, the San Francisco Opera, Opera San Jose, the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Chapman University, Cal State East Bay, and the Aspen Music Festival. This summer he was accompanist for the chorus at the Mendocino Music Festival, conducted by his wife, Jenny Matteucci. He currently is professor of Collaborative Piano at Notre Dame de Namur University in Belmont, CA as well as Staff Accompanist at Mills College, Oakland, CA. He also is organist-choirmaster at Christ Episcopal Church in Sausalito.
Alex Longnecker, Tenor
Alex Longnecker is a tenor currently based in Dallas, Texas. This summer, Alex will attend the Tanglewood Music Center as a vocal fellow, where he will play the role of the Analyst in Bernstein’s A Quiet Place. Longnecker has performed numerous choral and concert solo repertoire, being most recently hired as a tenor Soloist for the Dallas Bach Society’s performance of Bach’s St. Matthew’s Passion. Other recent solo engagements include Bach’s St. John’s Passion with the University of North Texas’ early music ensemble Collegium, Brahm’s Liebeslieder Walzer with UNT’s A cappella choir, Händel’s Messiah with the St. Monica Choir and the Iowa State Masterworks Choir, Dubois’ Seven Last Words of Christ with the St. Monica Choir, and Mozart’s Requiem with the Iowa State Masterworks Choir. Alex performs frequently in several professional choirs around Dallas/Fort Worth, including the newly formed Verdigris Ensemble, a sixteen member choral group based in Dallas committed to exploring the boundaries of the choral medium. In addition to Verdigris, Alex also sings with the Orpheus Chamber Singers and the Dallas Bach Society. Longnecker also excels on the opera and musical theater stage, particularly in the tenor roles of Mozart, having performed the roles of Don Ottavio (Don Giovanni), Don Curzio (Le Nozze di Figaro) with the University of North Texas Opera Theater, Ferrando (Così fan tutte) and Tamino (Die Zauberflöte) with The Fillmore Studio, as well as Don Basilio (Le Nozze di Figaro) with Pittsburgh Festival Opera. Additional operatic roles with UNT Opera Theater include the Chaplin (Dialogues of the Carmelites), Nutrice (L’incoronazione di Poppea), and Thaddeus Stephens (The Mother of us All). Alex is a native of Ankeny, Iowa.
Johnny Mok, Cello
Born in Hong Kong, Johnny Mok started his cello studies at the age of five, and continued in the US in 2001. He earned his Bachelor of Music at the University of Alabama with Carlton McCreery, and Masters of Music and Professional Studies Certificate at The Boston Conservatory with Andrew Mark. In 2017, Mok was invited as a Cello Fellow at the National Repertory Orchestra. In addition, Mok has performed as Principal and Section positions with the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra, Charleston Symphony Orchestra Tuscaloosa Symphony Orchestra, Cape Symphony, Cape Ann Symphony, Santa Fe Symphony Orchestra and the New Mexico Philharmonic. He is currently an active performer and teacher in the Greater Boston area.
Zach Neufeld, Piano
Composer, organist, and pianist Zach Neufeld received an MA from UCLA and a BM from the University of Redlands. He is currently a doctoral candidate in composition at UCLA, and was recently awarded the prestigious Dissertation Year Fellowship for work on the music of Steven Mackey. Recent performances include selections from Winterreise with tenor Thomas Segen for the Los Angeles Philharmonic's Inside the Music series at Disney Hall, and the piano-four-hands arrangement of Barber of Seville with Pacific Opera Project. As both a performer and composer, Zach has a particular affinity for music for the voice. Let All Things Know Peace for a cappella choir, was premiered by the LA chamber choir Inspiravi as part of their emerging composers series. Zach was also a featured composer at the 2015 Cal State LA choral composers workshop. Two recently completed projects include a setting of the Preces and Responses for the Redlands, CA based choral camerata Ensemble XXI, and an arrangement of Fleetwood Mac's Landslide for the choirs at Northern Michigan University. Zach is currently an accompanist for the voice department at UCLA and the choral programs at Mt. St. Mary's University and the Windward School. He is also organist at St. John's Episcopal Cathedral in downtown LA. While at UCLA, Zach has played masterclasses with James Conlon, Susan Graham, Steven Blier, Speranza Scappucci, Peter Kazaras, and Christopher Ocasek. He is active as a bass chorister, and has sung with professional groups in the LA area.
Amy Pirtle, Cello
While completing her DMA at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, Amy has taught privately everywhere from New York City to her home state of Iowa, and continues to teach several students via Skype from all over the country. As an avid chamber musician, she was a founding member of the contemporary ensemble All of the Above, as well as a founding member of the Bird String Quartet, in residence at the Interlochen Arts Camp in 2013. She holds a MM from the Cleveland Institute of Music, and BM from the University of Iowa. Amy also loves cooking, reading, and traveling as much as possible--- some of her favorite spots include London, Berlin, Rome, Amsterdam, and Cape Town.
Malcolm Payne Jr., Baritone
Malcolm Payne Jr. is a graduate of the University of North Texas with two Bachelors of Music degrees in Vocal and Flute Performance. Payne constantly seeks to share his love of opera with new and familiar audiences. Recent engagements include Don Giovanni, The Three Little Pigs ( The Dallas Opera) ; Cinderella’s Prince/Wolf 1, Into the Woods (Rockwall Summer Musicals), and Audrey II, Little Shop of Horrors ( Firehouse Theatre). Future engagements include Jim, Porgy and Bess (F ort Worth Opera) and General Boom in Payne’s fourth touring season with The Dallas Opera’s Education Outreach program. Payne enjoys baking in his spare time.
Brent Taghap, Cello
Brent Taghap, 25, is a violinist from the Tampa Bay area. He holds degrees from the Florida State University (BM ‘16) and DePaul University (MM ‘18 & Certificate in Performance ‘20). His primary teachers include Janet Sung, Corinne Stillwell, and Eliot Chapo. Other mentors include I-Hao Lee and Carolyn Stuart. Since 2017, Brent has been a member of The Civic Orchestra of Chicago, the training orchestra of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Other orchestral programs and festivals that Brent has participated in include The Varna International Music Festival and the National Repertory Orchestra. Brent is currently completing his post-masters Certificate in Performance under the tutelage of Janet Sung at DePaul University. He currently lives in Chicago, IL with his cat, Wren.