The chronological, geographical, and vocational makeup of Musica is as multifaceted as its repertoire. As Mark Munson, Associate Professor of Music and former President of Ohio Choral Directors Association (OCDA) put it, “Such high quality is not necessarily the norm for adult ensembles of this sort.”
Music is a life fixture in small-town South Dakotan Karen Bruening. From rural church choirs to All-State Choir, from national Future Farmers of America events to singing the National Anthem at local ball games, Karen sang and performed from the moment her parents taped her at four singing “Winnie-the-Pooh.” Karen furthered her musical acuity at The University of South Dakota, notably singing in the selective Chamber Singers that performed extensively, including in Germany, Norway, Denmark, and Carnegie Hall. She graduated with bachelor degrees in both Music Education and Accounting and a Masters in Public Accountancy. During those years, Karen would also meet and marry her husband, Garrett, who would later join the United States Air Force, ushering Karen into the life of a military spouse. Six years and five states later, Karen continues to contribute musically wherever the Air Force takes the couple, including in the Minot Chamber Chorale, the Sewanee Chorale, and numerous military functions. Karen and Garrett have two wonderful girls, Kabryni and Aleydis. The 2013-2014 season will be Karen’s first with Musica.
Elyse grew up in the Miami Valley and graduated from Oakwood High School. She went on to pursue a degree in Art History from St. Olaf College in Minnesota and was a member of the famed St. Olaf choir for 3 years, touring all over the United States as well as in the UK and Ireland. Elyse loves poetry, art and music and has a passion for art provenance, the research of the history of ownership of works of art– especially of art that was looted during World War II. Elyse currently sings in the choir of Lutheran Church of Our Savior with several other Musica members. She also speaks French and can make a sound exactly like a trumpet. 2010-2011 was Elyse’s first season singing with Musica.
Diane received a Bachelor of Music Education from Mary Hardin Baylor College in Belton, Texas and a Master of Music in Vocal Performance from the University of Texas at San Antonio. She has been married to Frank for 40 years and they have two grown daughters as well as a son and daughter-in-law who are the parents of their beautiful granddaughter, Maddie. Diane has sung with the San Antonio Symphony Mastersingers and Opera Chorus, and with Dayton Bach Society. The Gentners have lived in the Dayton area for over 30 years. Diane loves reading, and other hobbies include; sewing, needle crafts and quilting. Diane is an active volunteer and sings in the choir at St. George’s Episcopal Church. She’s been a teacher, church choir director, business manager, office manager and retail store manger.
Bio coming soon!
Bio coming soon!
Sheila Hart Brown
Originally from New York, Sheila graduated from Bard College with a degree in English Literature, then moved to Ohio when husband Cliff accepted a teaching position at Wittenberg University. She took several music classes at Wittenberg and began singing with some of the University vocal ensembles, including: Kalliope, a small Early Music group which also performed Renaissance dances; Chamber Singers, an SATB group which toured in Seoul, South Korea and Kyoto, Japan; and The Wittenberg Singers, an advanced women’s ensemble. Sheila has also sung with the Springfield Symphony Chorale since it was formed, performing such major works as the Vivaldi Gloria, the Haydn Lord Nelson Mass, Verdi’s Messa da Requiem and Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana. Aside from the performing and visual arts, Sheila’s other main passion is working with animals. She bred, raised and showed Egyptian Arabian horses for many years, and now works with Therapy and Service dogs. She is the proud mother of daughter Jessalyn. Sheila joined Musica for the 2011-2012 season.
Bio coming soon!
Harriet Pence Gray
Amber began singing at a young age, performing her first solo at the age of 4 in the Open Door Preschool patriotic revue. Originally from Indianapolis, she spent her early years in choral groups in school and church groups and with the Indianapolis Children’s Choir and Youth Chorale. She first moved to the Dayton area to attend Wittenberg University on a partial music scholarship. She traveled with the Wittenberg Choir, under the direction of Dr. Donald Busarow, for four years along with taking private lessons and performing with the Opera Studio at Witt. After school, she moved to Michigan and sang with the Holland Chorale and moved back to Dayton for a job in the area. Amber is excited to be back singing after a few years off. She currently works as a Technical Writer for Assurant Specialty Property, and enjoys wheel thrown pottery and reading in her spare time. Amber holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Religion from Wittenberg University and a Master’s Degree in Student Affairs Administration in Higher Education from Ball State University.
Bio coming soon!
Bio coming soon!
David Priebe is a graduate of the Conservatory of Music at Capital University, Columbus Ohio. He received his Master of Music Education degree from Bowling Green State. He taught music (elementary, junior high and high school) for thirty six years. He was choir director at Waite High School (Toledo), Norwood High (Cincinnati), and Greenville High. After a lengthy stint in elementary he retired in 2004. He is an adjudicator for high school and junior high solo and ensemble events and is a tutor at Ansonia Schools. While at Capital Dave was soloist with the Mens Glee Club and sang in the Varsity Quartet. He has sung with the Toledo Choral Society, the May Festival Chorus and the Toledo Symphony Orchestra Chorale. He has sung the National Anthem at high school and college games. He enjoys concerts, plays, good movies, trips to the art museum and traveling. He has been to China, Africa, Alaska Hawaii, the fifty states, Germany, Holland, England, Scotland, Belgium, Italy, Austria, Germany, Denmark, Turkey, Greece, Sweden, and Bermuda. He is a preacher’s kid and he enjoys serving his Lord in his daily life and through his work as organist/pianist at St. John Lutheran Church. He keeps in shape by biking, walking his two miniature Dachshunds (Herman and Greta) and exercising on his “Total Gym”. He is enjoying his first year in Musica and thoroughly enjoys working with the amiable and gifted Michael Fuchs!