Edward Atkinson, Music Director

A former professional poker player and organist, Canadian tenor Edward Atkinson continues to forge a career as an interpreter of a wide variety of styles and languages.

Edward serves as the Director of Sacred Music at Annunciation Church, Director of Sacred Music at St. Paul the Apostle Church, and as the music director of the Saint Ambrose Schola Cantorum. At Annunciation and St. Paul, Edward directs music for the liturgical year, ranging from Gregorian chant to Renaissance polyphony to the sacred music masters of the present day. He also programs concerts year round. In April 2015, Edward directed a fully sung Tenebrae service, which drew many attendees from hours away in neighboring states. In December 2015, Edward directed and narrated an original concert titled A Bullet Train Through Western Music, mapping the development of Western music from 700 B.C. to today while directing the performance of each seminal choral masterwork as it appeared in the timeline.

In addition to his work as a choral conductor, Edward is heard frequently around the United States as an operatic tenor. He most recently performed the role of George Bailey in the second premiere of Jake Heggie’s new opera It’s A Wonderful Life. Previously, Edward was seen in Heggie’s acclaimed Dead Man Walking as Fr. Grenville, to sold out audiences at the IU Opera Theatre & Ballet. Previous seasons included Edward in such roles as Rodolfo (La Boheme), Ruggero (La Rondine), Prince Kodanda (The Last Savage), L’amante (Amelia al Ballo), Don Ottavio (Don Giovanni), Tamino (Die Zauberflöte) and Belmonte (Die Entführung aus dem Serail).

In the orchestral arena, Edward was most recently heard with the Carmel Symphony Orchestra as the tenor soloist for Verdi’s Requiem, alongside Jane Dutton and Timothy Noble. His recent events include performances as the tenor soloist in Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle, Mozart’s Requiem Mass, Britten’s Canticle II: Abraham & Isaac, Bach’s historic masterwork Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland, BWV 61, Britten’s Serenade for Tenor, Horn, & Strings, and Brahms’ Liebeslieder Walzer, Op. 52.

Edward graduated from the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University with a Performer Diploma in Vocal Performance in 2015, and was awarded the university’s prestigious Artistic Excellence Award. He completed a Master’s in Vocal Performance in 2017, also from the Jacobs School.

Edward’s musical foundation was in organ. He earned his Bachelor’s in Organ Performance at the Townsend School of Music at Mercer University in 2010. There he also studied voice with Marie Jarriel Roberts, before moving to Indiana for vocal studies. Edward has studied with Patricia Havranek, Virginia Zeani, and Timothy Noble. His vocal coaches include Kevin Murphy, Richard Margison, and Arthur Fagen. He has been fortunate to sing under the direction of such conductors as David Neely, Constantine Kitsopoulos, Adrian Gnam, John Dickson, David Effron, and Walter Huff.

As a former professional poker player, Edward has played the World Series of Poker and World Poker Tour circuits for many years to fund his life in music. He also has held head directorships at marketing agencies in the branding and publishing industries.

Gabriela Fagen, Mezzo (joined Spring 2018)

Mezzo-soprano Gabriela Fagen is a first year Masters student at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music under the tutelage of Mary Ann Hart. Last spring she completed her Bachelor of Music at IU as a student of Costanza Cuccaro. This spring, Gabriela will appear as Dryade in IU Opera Theatre’s production of Ariadne auf Naxos. Other recent role credits include Unulfo in Handel’s Rodelinda and Ethel Toffelmeier in The Music Man with Indiana University Opera Theatre; Conceptión in Ravel’s L’Heure Espagnole in a Graduate Opera Workshop directed by Carol Vaness, Third Lady in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte with the Prague Summer Nights Festival; Dame Hannah in Ruddigore with the University Gilbert and Sullivan Society; and Third Spirit in Die Zauberflöte with the Savannah Voice Festival. She is also a recipient of the Viola Wheeler Arts Award and the William and Emma Horn Scholarship.

Gregorio Taniguchi, Tenor (joined Fall 2017)

Californian tenor Gregorio Taniguchi delights audiences with his dynamic expression of language and physical gesture. As an ambassador for early music, he crafts each performance to be imbued with a range of colors and emotions to inspire universal empathy with historically-informed insight.

He has portrayed the Evangelist in Schütz’s Weihnachts-Historie and has appeared as tenor soloist in several Bloomington Bach Cantata Project concerts. An avid chorister, he has sung with the Santa Fe Desert Chorale since 2010 and will be joining the Oregon Bach Festival Chorus in summer 2017. In southern California, he has appeared as soloist and chorister in the Los Angeles Bach Festival and was a staple of the region’s elite choral groups including Pacific Chorale and the John Alexander Singers, Horizon Music Group, Pacific Bach Project, and The Golden Bridge.

Gregorio is pursuing a Master’s degree in Early Music from the Historical Performance Institute at Indiana University.

Logan Dell’Acqua, Baritone (joined Fall 2016)

LoganLogan Dell’Acqua, Baritone, is a Junior from Traverse City, Michigan pursuing a degree in Vocal Performance at DePauw University. Recently Logan performed the role of Friedrich Bhaer (Little Woman, Opera) as well as Lancelot (Spamalot) and Ottone (The Coronation of Poppea). Logan has participated with an elite choral program that has performed in places such as Notre Dame, Indy prize awards and the White House. Logan will be featured as the role of Bobby (Company) in DePauw upcoming musical production.

Jeremy Gussin, Bass (joined Fall 2016)

jeremygussinheadshot2 (1)SDFWEFWEFWJeremy Gussin, is a Peruvian bass-baritone studying under Andreas Poulimenos.  Adopted and raised as a proud Iowa Hawkeye with Jewish rootshe completed undergraduate studies in music education at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.  While at UWEC, Gussin had the opportunity to conduct, arrange and compose for the choral program, accompany his peers in studio voice (including a Wisconsin NATS Winner in Musical Theatre), sing with the Downbeat-award winning Jazz Ensemble 1 under the direction of Bob Bacaand greatly enjoy his time with the Office of Multicultural Affairs and the Eau Claire Children’s Theatre.  A strong proponent of contemporary popular music, he has presented at regional and national levels of ACDA, as well as the Kettering National A cappella Festival.  While at Indiana University, he has thrived in several bass operatic roles, work with the Conductor’s Chorus and Summer Chorus (Mozart Requiem, Handel’s Acis and Galatea), and as a student of the late Dr. Zegree; contributing sectional leadership, small ensemble direction, and over twenty arrangements for The Singing Hoosiersall while regaining a sense of self and purpose through collaboration, striving towards versatility and the quest for personal authenticity.  He is a session singer for clients such as Hal Leonard and Alfred through Airborne Studios in Zionsville, IN.

Kellie Motter, Soprano (joined Fall 2015)

KellieMotterA native of Atlanta, Georgia, soprano Kellie Motter is a second-year Master’s student in Voice at the Jacobs School of Music. This past spring, she appeared as Morgana in IU Opera Theatre’s new production of Alcina. Other recent operatic credits include the roles of Pamina (Die Zauberflöte) and La Fée (Cendrillon). As a concert soloist, she has been featured in Brahms’s Ein deutsches Requiem, Handel’s Messiah, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Bach’s Magnificat in D, and in Steve Reich’s contemporary chamber work Tehillim. Kellie completed her Bachelor of Music degree at the University of Maryland, where she was a student of Delores Ziegler and Edward Maclary. At the Jacobs School, Kellie sings with the contemporary vocal ensemble, NOTUS, and teaches applied voice as an Associate Instructor. Kellie is a student of Carol Vaness.

Past Members

Rachel Mikol, Alto (Fall 2016 to Fall 2017)

RachelMikol-30-Edit-WEBBEEWWEFRachel Mikol, soprano, is a Master’s student in Voice Performance at the Jacobs School of Music. She most recently performed as an apprentice artist at Ash Lawn Opera in Charlottesville, Virginia, and this past school year she was seen as Dorabella in IU Opera Theater’s production of Cosi fan tutte, as a soprano soloist in Handel’s Messiah with the Joshi Handel Project, and as Elizabeth in the world premiere of The Forest of Dreams by Nic Chuaqui with New Voices Opera. An advocate of contemporary music, Rachel frequently collaborates with IU composers, and regularly performs with NOTUS: IU Contemporary Vocal Ensemble and New Voices Opera, a student-run contemporary opera company. Other operatic credits include First Lay Sister and cover of Sister Genevieve (Suor Angelica), and the Dew Fairy (Hansel and Gretel). She has been in scenes as Zerlina (Don Giovanni), Adina (L’elisir d’amore), Susanna (Le Nozze di Figaro), Andrews Sister (Transformations), Armida (Rinaldo), and Johanna (Sweeney Todd). In 2014 Rachel was a young artist at the International Performing Arts Institute in Kiefersfelden, Germany where she was a winner of their aria competition and was seen as Beth (Little Women) and Pamina (Die Zauberflöte). She was also a finalist in the 2014 Classical Singer Magazine Competition. A native of Buffalo, NY, Rachel earned a Bachelor’s degree in Vocal Performance and Music Education from Ithaca College and currently studies with Mary Ann Hart at IU.

Bille Bruley, Tenor (Fall 2015 to Spring 2017)


Bille Bruley, tenor, hails from Montgomery, Texas and is currently pursuing Graduate Studies in Opera Performance at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, studying under Carol Vaness. He completed his studies in Vocal Performance at Baylor University in 2014. In the 2015 season, Bille was an Apprentice Artist with Central City Opera, singing The Tempter in Britten’s The Prodigal Son, Gastone in Verdi’s La Traviata, and covering the role of Sancho in Leigh’s Man of La Mancha. He was awarded the Iris Henwood Richards Memorial Award by the Central City Opera House Association. Bille was also named Grand Prize Winner at the Metropolitan Opera National Council District Auditions in Houston, TX, and was a Regional Finalist at the MONC Gulf Coast Regional Finals in 2014.

Mr. Bruley has participated in summer training and young artist programs, including most recently the Central City Opera as a member of the esteemed Bonfils-Stanton Young Artist Program. As a Studio Artist in 2014, he sang roles in Heggie’s Dead Man Walking and participated in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s The Sound of Music, and Bernstein’s Trouble in Tahiti. At the conclusion of the season, Mr. Bruley was awarded the Central City Opera Studio Artist Award. Other programs include the 2012 and 2013 Opera in the Ozarks Festival in Eureka Springs, AR. As an Apprentice Artist, he portrayed the roles of Frederic in Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Pirates of Penzance, and Goro in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly. For his portrayal of Frederic, he was voted Best Leading Male Role by members of the company, faculty, and staff.

During his time at Baylor, Bille was a valued member of the Baylor Opera Theater, winning the Most Outstanding Baylor Opera Theater Member Award in 2012, and performing numerous roles such as The Defendant (Trial By Jury), Peter Quint (The Turn of the Screw), Chevalier de la Force (Dialogues of the Carmelites), Donald Hopewell (Gallantry), and Basilio (Le nozze di Figaro), just to name a few. He also won the Thomas Stewart Award for Vocal Excellence from the Baylor University School of Music.

Mr. Bruley has participated in many state, regional, and national competitions, including most recently The Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions as mentioned previously, the Texoma NATS Competition where he won Second Place, and the MTNA State, Regional, and National Competitions where he won First Place, First Place, and Third Place, respectively. He was a finalist in the prestigious 2014 Dallas Opera Vocal Guild Competition, as well as a semi-finalist in the 2013 Lois Alba Aria Competition. He has also been a featured Soloist or Performer with many orchestras, symphonies, and ensembles in Texas, including The Waco Symphony, The Fort Worth Baroque Society, and The Texas Baroque Ensemble.

Upcoming performances include an appearance at the American Choral Director’s Association National Conference in Salt Lake City, UT with the South Dakota Chorale, a performance with Duke University, and summer performances with Central City Opera.

Currently residing in Bloomington, IN, Bille is an Associate Instructor of Voice in the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music.

Sarah Pistorius, Alto (Fall 2014 to Spring 2016)

SarahP FINALSarah Pistorius is a sophomore at DePauw University studying vocal performance. She is a member of St. Ambrose Schola Cantorum and DePauw Chamber Singers. Her recent operatic roles includes Ramiro in DePauw Opera’s La Finta Giardiniera and Suor Dolcina in Suor Angelica with Southern Illinois University Opera Theater. Sarah has placed first in regional and sectional NATS competitions, and this summer travelled to Boston to compete in the NATS national semi-finals. Currently, she studies under Caroline Smith, and has performed in master classes with Dr. Everett McCorvey, Erie Mllls, Adam Guettel, and Sylvia McNair.

Ross Coughanour, Baritone (Fall 2015 to Spring 2016)

Ross Coughanour HeadshotRoss Coughanour is a Baritone from Santaquin, UT. He graduated with a B.A. in Vocal Performance from Brigham Young University in 2013. While at BYU, Ross performed such roles as Papageno in Mozart’s Die Zauberflote, Ben in Menotti’s The Telephone, Guglielmo in Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte, Dr. Stone in Menotti’s Help! Help! The Globolinks!, Somarone and Leonato in Berlioz’s Beatrice et Benedict, and the Duke of Plazatoro in Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Gondoliers. Outside of school, Ross played the Marquiz in Verdi’s La Traviata with the Utah Lyric Opera, Uncle Bonze in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly with the Utah Lyric Opera, and Edwin in Gilbert and Sullivan’s Trial by Jury with Snow College Opera. Currently pursuing a Master’s degree at Indiana University, he has featured as Mang Ong in the world premiere of P.Q. Phan’s The Tale Of Lady Thi Kinh, Marcello in Puccini’s La Boheme, and Melisso in Handel’s Alcina. Upcoming roles for 2015 include the Pirate King in Gilbert and Sullivan’s Pirates of Penzance and Frank in Strauss, Jr.’s Die Fledermaus. Ross lives in Bloomington, IN with his wife and three children.

Rebekah Howell, Alto (Fall 2015 to Spring 2016)


Rebekah Howell is a young soprano in the early stages of a budding career in the performance industry. Currently, she is beginning the first year of her master’s degree at Indiana University, studying with acclaimed American soprano Carol Vanes, and making her IU Opera & Ballet Theater debut as Adele in Die Fledermaus in November of 2015 and as Ado Annie in Oklahoma! in April of 2016. Rebekah completed her undergraduate degree at Baylor University where she studied privately with Robert Best.
Rebekah has performed as a young artist with SongFest (Ruth Williams Scholarship), the Studio Program at Chautauqua Opera (Encouragement Award), and the Studio Program at Opera in the Ozarks (Best Colleague Award, Best Female Performer Award). Recent opera credits include Queen of the Night (The Magic Flute), Samantha (The Ballad of Baby Doe), Zerlina (Don Giovanni), Blondchen (Die Entführung aus dem Serail), Olympia (Prima Donna), Flora (The Turn of the Screw),Sister Constance de St. Denis (Dialogues of the Carmelites), Belinda (Dido & Aeneas), and Barbarina (Le nozze di Figaro).
In 2015, Rebekah was the national winner of the Music Teacher’s National Association Young Artists Vocal Competition. In the Texoma Region National Association of Teachers of Singing Competitions, she was a frequent finalist, winning both the Edward Baird Singer of the Year Award in 2014 and the Grady Harlan Award for Most Promising Professional Voice in 2013. In 2014, she was a finalist in the Dallas Opera Guild Competition, and in 2015 she received an Encouragement Award at the New Orleans District of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.

Lance Orta, Tenor (Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Spring 2016)


Tenor Lance Orta is a senior at DePauw University where he studies with Dr. Kerry Jennings. He has been seen on stage as Alfred in Die Fledermaus and Belfiore in La Finta Giardiniera and has been a soloist with the DePauw Chamber Singers on multiple occasions. He was selected to sing on a master class with world-renowned baritone Thomas Hampson and was featured on concerts during the residencies of Adam Guettel and John Corigliano. He was a semi-finalist in the Orpheus Vocal Competition this year, has twice won 1st place in the Indiana State NATS Student Auditions, and won 1st Place at the Great Lakes Regional NATS competition this year.

Yazid Pierce-Gray, Baritone (Fall 2014 to Spring 2016)


Yazid Pierce-Gray is a young baritone originally from Germantown, Maryland. He has performed in venues such the Strathmore, John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and Carnegie Hall. Yazid has performed for and worked with composers such as Adam Guettel, Libby Larson, and John Corigliano. He is a recipient of the National Society of Arts and Letters Award for Excellence in Theatre and was a finalist of the Schmidt Youth Vocal Competition in 2011 and 2012. Most recently Yazid competed as a semi-finalist in the National NATS competition and the Harold Haugh Vocal Competition, where he received the Shirley Verrett Award. He is currently a junior at DePauw University, where he studies with Caroline Smith, in pursuit of a Bachelor’s of Music degree in Vocal Performance. While at the DePauw, he has had the opportunity to perform roles in a number of musicals and operas, including Parade (Jim Conley), [title of show] (Hunter), Die Fledermaus (Frank), and La Finta Giardiniera (Nardo).

Julie Strauser, Soprano (Fall 2014 to Spring 2016)

JulieStrauserJulie Strauser, soprano, is currently a junior at DePauw University pursuing a Vocal Performance degree and is studying with Professor Caroline Smith. Recently, Julie performed the roles of Lucille in DePauw Theatre’s “Parade” and Serpetta in DePauw Opera’s “La Finta Giardiniera”. She was also a winner of DePauw’s 2014 Concerto Competition. As a part of DPU’s Music of the 21st Century, she, as a soloist, has performed works in concert by John Corigliano, Adam Guettel, and was selected to sing on the Libby Larsen Master Class. In August 2013, Julie performed in the IndyFringe Festival as Estella in “The Witch of The Place” with Intimate Opera of Indianapolis. Other roles at DePauw include Heidi in “[Title of Show]” and Cinderella’s Mother in “Into the Woods”.

Joseph Leppek, Tenor (Spring 2015)


Joseph Leppek, tenor, is a Senior at DePauw University where he studies under Caroline B. Smith. He is pursuing a Bachelor of Voice Performance, with a focus in Opera Performance. At DePauw, Joseph has taken part in the select Chamber Singers choir for all four years of his degree. He is also frequently heard as a soloist in recitals and masterclasses under guest artists, including Roberto Sierra, Paul Corigliano, Adam Guettel, Jason Robert Brown, and others. His past roles with the DePauw Opera most recently include Emperor Nero in The Coronation of Poppea, as well as Il Podestá in Mozart’s La finta giardiniera, Eisenstein in Johann Strauss’ Die Fledermaus, and the Mayor in Benjamin Britten’sAlbert Herring. During the summer, Joseph spends his time in Aspen, Colorado with the Aspen Opera Theater Company as part of the Summer Music Festival. Last summer Joseph covered the title tenor role in A Picture of Dorian Gray. He will be returning to Aspen to play the principle tenor role of Haydn in Steven Stucky’s one-act opera, The Classical Style, with a full fellowship. Joseph has also performed chorus roles in Bizet’sCarmen, Bernstein’s Candide, Britten’s Peter Grimes, and Claudio Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea with Aspen Opera Theater. In 2012 Joseph spent the summer in Austria with the FAVA Austria program, performing roles in Mozart operas including Le Nozze de Figaro as Basilio. Joseph is originally from Novi, Michigan and will be pursuing Vocal Performance in graduate school once he graduates from DePauw in the Spring.