Christina Booker is a recent graduate of the University of Louisville where she received her MM in Vocal Performance. She recently performed as a soloist for Bach’s Magnificat in D major and Vivaldi’s Gloria in D major at the Teatro Nacional de Costa Rica and performed as a Guest Artist with Kentucky Opera’s educational tour of Oh! Freedom!. Her opera roles include Belinda in Purcell's Dido and Aeneas, Veronique in Bizet’s Le Docteur Miracle, Aline in Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Sorcerer, and Amanda/Ameliora in Sterling Tinsley’s Daniel and the Dreamcatcher. She has also been a featured soloist in choral masterworks such as Mozart’s Requiem in D minor. Christina served for two years as a member and soloist with North Alabama’s SOLAS, which performed across North Alabama and Mississippi. She also holds a Master’s in Education with a concentration in Kodály Music Education from Loyola University in Maryland and a Bachelor of Arts in Music Education from Jacksonville State University in Jacksonville, Alabama. You can catch her in Actors Theater of Louisville’s upcoming production of Once On This Island in January/February 2020!
Violin (Classical and Jazz) –
Violinist Jane Halliday is a versatile musician with extensive performance experience in a variety of musical genres. She studied violin with Paul Kling, Philipp Naegele, Peter McHugh, and Timothy Baker, and has performed with orchestras and ensembles throughout Kentucky. She has a B.A. in English from Smith College, and a B.M. in music performance and an M.A. in Humanities & Civic Leadership, both from the University of Louisville.
Jane has a rich background providing support to artists such as Stevie Wonder, Josh Groban, Smokey Robinson and Mannheim Steamroller. She has played in many shows for the Broadway series at the Kentucky Center for the Arts and currently serves as Artist-in-Residence at Christ Church Cathedral in Louisville KY. She also has an avid interest in “early music” which she has pursued over the years as a vocalist, a baroque violinist and as a viola da gambist, through study and performance with various early music ensembles.
Besides her work as a classical musician Jane is a superb jazz violinist specializing in “gypsy jazz,” which honors the music of Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grapelli. She is an original member of Swing ‘39, an ensemble devoted to this unique jazz genre. In 2016 she and singer-songwriter Marion Halliday formed a band called Trickster Sister with bassist Donna Bostock. The group celebrated the release of their first EP of origianal music, “Walking in the Tall Grass,” at World Cafe Live in Philadelphia in November 2017. Look for more info about Jane and her music on YouTube, Facebook, Swing39.com and Trickstersister.com.
Piano – Emily McCarthy holds a Master of Music degree in Piano Pedagogy from the University of Louisville, where she studied under Dror Biran. She was the first recipient of Bellarmine University’s Piano Pedagogy and Accompanying Bachelor of Arts degree; she also earned the B.A. degree in Psychology during her time as an undergraduate. Emily has worked in the music profession for over a decade as a private piano teacher and collaborative pianist. Emily also holds the B.S. in Nursing degree and works as a registered nurse at a local hospital in Louisville, Kentucky.
Piano - Hank Evans is a 2013 graduate of Bellarmine University and in May, 2016 he earned the Master of Music degree in Piano Pedagogy from the University of Louisville. He is Director of Music Ministry at St. Leonard's church in Louisville, and performs on both keyboards and accordion with local groups including Funkasaurus, Tony and the Tan Lines, and Wilder Stallions.
Vibes/Percussion – Pat Ahrens graduated from Bellarmine in 2014 with the first-awarded Bachelor of Music degree – Emphasis in Percussion Performance. He currently teaches at Elizabethtown High School and Bullitt Central High School as percussion instructor. Pat performs as percussionist with orchestras and classical ensembles around the Louisville area, including the Louisville Civic Orchestra and Orchestra Enigmatic. His studies with renowned vibraphonist Dick Sisto have led to several opportunities to perform with this local music legend. In addition, Pat performs as a member of Patrick Denney’s combo The Awesemble. Pat’s main musical influences are Red Norvo, Milt Jackson, Gary Burton, Chick Corea, and Bill Evans.
Drums - Terry O’Mahoney is Adjunct Professor of Music at Bellarmine University, where he teaches Jazz Drums, Applied Percussion, Rock Drums, Percussion Ensemble, and Jazz Combo. He is an active performer in the Louisville area with various jazz and classical ensembles, including the Louisville Orchestra. He was formerly a Professor of Music at St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish (Nova Scotia, Canada), where he taught classical and jazz drumming, World Music, and directed the Latin Jazz, Percussion Ensemble, and small jazz ensembles. He is active as a performer, adjudicator, and clinician throughout the US and Canada. He holds a B.M.Ed. from the University of Louisville and a Masters in Jazz Performance from the University of Miami (FL). He also studied privately with jazz drumming legend Jeff Hamilton (Los Angeles, CA). He has performed on drumset with numerous jazz artists (Mike Stern, Randy Brecker, Phil Woods, Curtis Fuller, Jimmy Heath, Lew Soloff, and others) in addition to his frequent symphonic performances with Symphony Nova Scotia (Halifax, NS) on percussion and drum set. He has three books in print - Motivic Drumset Soloing, Jazz Drumming Transitions, and 100 Essential Drumset Lessons - for the Hal Leonard Corporation. His articles have appeared in Modern Drummer and Percussive Notes magazines and his compositions have been published by Per-Mus Publications. He plays Vic Firth drumsticks and Crescent Cymbals exclusively.
Jazz Piano - Todd Hildreth is instructor of jazz piano at Bellarmine University where he also teaches courses in Jazz, Pop, and Rock History. Todd's musical interest began with the accordion at 10, and moved to Jerry Lee Lewis, Frank Zappa and Queen at 12. He enrolled at Bellarmine University in 1985 with the intention of becoming an English teacher, but discovered Oscar Peterson, Chick Corea and Keith Jarrett by the end of his first semester and has never looked back. He has founded or been in collaboration with groups such as The Java Men, King Kong, Liberation Prophecy, Squeeze-bot, Vgroove, The Louisville Improvisors, and the Todd Hildreth trio. He teaches at the annual Jamey Aebersold Summer Jazz Workshops, leads the music program at Ascension Lutheran Church, and is the musical director for The WHAS Crusade for Children's annual telethon. Todd has performed or recorded with Don Braden, Stephanie Courtney (Flo from the Progressive commercials), Aretha Franklin, Norah Jones, Dave Liebman, Rufus Reid, Joan Rivers, Bobby Shew, Dave Stryker, and many others.
Guitar - Will Wilder completed a Bachelor's degree in Jazz Studies from Bellarmine University, a Master's degree in Jazz Guitar Performance from the University of Louisville, and now works full-time as a musician and teacher. He performs regularly in bands including country, funk, rock, and jazz. Will's original band, Wilder Stallions, has released an all-original album, a video series, and has performed on WFPK's Live Lunch radio broadcast.
Piano - Paige Harpring studied with Dror Biran at the University of Louisville, where she graduated in 2017 with a Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Pedagogy. She studied with Young Hyun Cho and Derek Polischuk at Michigan State University, where she received a Master of Music degree in Piano Pedagogy in 2019. She also completed an internship in 2019 at the Faber Piano Institute in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where she taught a group class for young beginners. Paige is excited to be returning home to Louisville to continue her career as a piano instructor in both private and group settings.
Megan Burnett (Actor, acting teacher, director) is BU’s Theatre Program Director. She studied at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, Shakespeare & Company and with John Basil of American Globe Theatre. She was a teaching artist for Kentucky Shakespeare Festival and Folger Shakespeare Library. She received her MFA in Theatre from the University of Louisville. Megan will offer one-on-one acting classes in contemporary, classical, and Shakespeare styles. Group acting classes in scene work will be offered when possible.
Michelle Salerno has taught several theatre courses including acting, directing, devising theatre/ solo performance, and improv as well as classes in public speaking, literature, and history. She has an M.A. and Ph.D in Theatre from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a B.A in Theatre from the New School. She has worked as a director, dramaturg, producer, playwright, and actress in New York and Chicago.