Artists’ Biographies

Click on any picture to learn about the artist.

Julie Adams, Pianist

Having only recently relocated to Coachella Valley from her position at Minnesota State University Moorhead, pianist Julie Adams brings a wealth of diverse experience to her position as accompanist. A native of Independence, Missouri, Julie holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Baker University and a Master of Arts in Voice Performance from the University of Denver Lamont School of Music. With over 30 years of teaching experience at the elementary and university levels, Ms. Adams has earned high praise and numerous awards for her work. From 2009 to 2021, Julie served as Musical Director/Pit Orchestra Director/Pianist for 45 musical theater productions as part of her position at Minnesota State during which time she also served as Chorus Master for seven productions at the Fargo/Moorhead Opera Company. While living in Southern California from 1987-2008, Julie taught at both the elementary and collegiate level. From 2000-2008, she was nominated for eight Inland Theater League Awards for Musical Direction and won the award in five of those years. Coupled with a long career as a church musician, Ms. Adam’s personal singing experience includes roles in The Medium, Gianni Schicchi, The Counsel, and The Old Maid and the Thief, amongst others.

Christopher Anderson–West

Christopher Anderson – West, tenor, studied at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music where he majored in Voice while also studying Composition with Eleanor Armer. Christopher has performed with the Los Angeles Opera as a member of the Chorus as well as performing roles and recitals for companies in Europe, China and around the United States.
Favorite roles performed to date are: Hoffmann in Offenbach’s “Les Contes d’Hoffmann”, Don Jose in Bizet’s “Carmen”, Mario Cavaradossi in Puccini’s tragedy “Tosca”, Canio in Leoncavallo’s “Pagliacci, Rodolfo  in Puccini’s “La Bohème”, Nemorino in Donizetti’s “L’elisir d’amore”, Il Duca di Mantua, from Verdi’s “Rigoletto” at the Tuscia Opera Festival in Italy, Ferrando in Mozart’s “Cosi fan tutte” for the Narni Music Festival in Italy and Tsar Berendey in the American debut of Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Snegurochka”, at Harvard University in Boston.

Steve Baker

After a 29-year career in IT and marketing at Hewlett-Packard, Steve Baker, administrator, retired to the desert with his husband Doug Nagel.  Steve returned to work for 10 years in the insurance business with 1st Community Insurance Services/NFP. Steve is a proud member of CV Singers, the chorus arm of CVCV, and supports Coachella Valley Classical Voices behind the scene. 
Steve has served on the boards of Opera San Jose, San Jose Chamber Orchestra, and the Palm Springs Gay Men’s Chorus (PSGMC).  Mr. Baker currently serves as Vice President of the Desert Winds Freedom Band. Steve has been a first tenor with the PSGMC since 2010.

Andrew Bird

Tenor Andrew Bird has had the honor of performing with the Chicago Symphony Chorus on six Grammy Award-winning albums. Andrew has also performed with the Los Angeles Master Chorale, Grant Park Symphony Chorus, Halevi Choral Society, A Cabbello, Harmonic Voices, and the Palm Springs Gay Men’s Chorus. Mr. Bird was the tenor soloist at the Queen of All Saints Basilica in Chicago and has performed with opera companies across the country, including the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Des Moines Metro Opera, Dayton Opera, and Michigan Opera Theater. Andrew sang in Otello with Luciano Pavarotti at Carnegie Hall, and he was the co-founder and a frequent artist with Opera San Benedetto in Chicago. Mr. Bird is a founding member of Coachella Valley Classical Voices. 

Joel Brown

Tenor Joel Brown was originally from the area, formerly known as South Central Los Angeles. Joel shares inspirational music with a fusion of opera, jazz, and gospel. Mr. Brown’s repertoire ranges from the classical to jazz and gospel. Since 2003, Joel has anchored his career and talent in the rich repertoire of both the historic and contemporary music of the African and African American cultures. As a chorister, soloist, and administrator, Joel has performed and toured extensively with the Albert McNeil Jubilee Singers. He has also accompanied (vocally) such artists as Barry Manilow, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Audra McDonald, Wayne Brady, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic Director, Gustavo Dudamel (as a chorister). On no fewer than eight tours of European concert halls as well as throughout the USA, Joel continues to share his gift with the world.
In 2010, Joel served as the tenor soloist in Puccini’s Messa Di Gloria with orchestra under the direction of Joanna Medawar Nachef. In 2011, Mr. Brown completed a critically acclaimed run of The Difficulty of Crossing a Field with Long Beach Opera. In 2012, Joel sang for the former New York Metropolitan Opera soprano Kathleen Battle (at UCLA’s Royce Hall) as part of the Albert McNeil Jubilee Singers. In 2013, Joel produced and headlined Songs That Give Us Strength (a benefit concert for AIDS Project LA). This concert was a fusion of bel canto, jazz, and gospel. In 2013, Joel made his debut with Los Angeles’ South East Symphony as the tenor soloist for Handel’s Messiah, and will repeat performances in 2014.

David Bruns

A native of Minneapolis, baritone David Bruns graduated with a Vocal Performance degree from the University of Minnesota.  He did advanced training in voice and stagecraft at the Banff Centre for the Arts, in Banff, Alberta, Canada and in Lucca, Italy; under the auspices of the University of Cincinnati CCM.  He made his Italian stage debut at the Teatro del Giglio in Lucca, in Prokofiev’s L’Amore delle tre melarance.  Other stage highlights include leading roles in works by Puccini La Bohème and Gianni Schicchi, Mozart’s The Magic Flute, Rossini’s La Cenerentola, Thompson’s Four Saints in Three Acts, and in several other late 20th Century operas. Operetta and musical theater highlights include the following works: Weill The Threepenny Opera, Rodgers CarouselOklahoma and State Fair, Porter Kiss Me Kate and Herbert Naughty Marietta and Babes in Toyland.  Since moving to Palm Springs, he has primarily been involved in singing sacred music throughout the Valley, but has also sung at private parties, fundraisers, and other special events.  Last year, he sang the National Anthem at the 25th Annual Tour de Palm Springs bicycle race. 

Wayne Bryan

Baritone Wayne Bryan began his career as both actor and director at San Diego’s Old Globe Theatre, while stationed in Coronado as a Navy Officer during the Vietnam War. Following his release, he appeared on an episode of “M*A*S*H,” then headed to Broadway where he performed in Good News, Rodgers and Hart, and Tintypes, plus the first national tour of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Numerous regional theatre credits include leading roles in The Will Rogers Follies, Barnum, Candide, Me and My Girl, The Most Happy Fella, and The Drowsy Chaperone. Wayne served as the Producing Artistic Director for Music Theatre Wichita for 34 seasons, producing 168 Broadway-scale productions, while helping to nurture the young careers of such artists as Kristin Chenoweth and Kelli O’Hara. Local audiences have seen Wayne in Noel Coward: A Marvelous Party (RJ Arts at CV Rep) and Notorious (Palm Springs Gay Men’s Chorus). He is honored to be singing under the leadership of Doug Nagel, with whom he studies voice.

Bryan Burch
Bryan Burch

Bryan Burch

This Rancho Mirage Library Series Concert marks Bryan Burch’s debut with Coachella Valley Classical Voices. It is a special pleasure to sing alongside these several dedicated and talented performers. He recently played The Padre in Man of LaMancha at The McCallum Theatre and had a long and happy career as a Broadway stage manager. Bryan studies in Doug Nagel’s studio and has come to realize that one of the outcomes of joyful singing is a pleasant life. 

Jenne Carey

Soprano Jenne Carey is an award-winning singer and actor who has performed across the United States, Canada, Europe, Israel, and Japan. Jenne has premiered roles in several operas, lent her voice to the soundtrack of a major motion picture, and has sung with Andrea Bocelli in Central Park. Ms. Carey is Professor of Music at College of the Desert.

Travis Creston Detwiler

Baritone Travis Creston Detwiler is thrilled to be singing with Coachella Valley Classical Voices. Travis first began singing & playing the piano as early as kindergarten. From there, community theatre, mallet percussionist, wedding pianist & a scholarship for Music Education with a focus on Percussion & Piano followed. He was most happy singing in an 85 member strong, audition only, SATB A Capella Choir during those college years. Travis also performed all over the Southeast traveling for seven years with Taradiddle Players, a Professional Repertory Theatre based out of Children’s Theatre of Charlotte, North Carolina, as well as Summer Stocks & various other performances in & around Charlotte. A few of his favorite acting roles include Romeo in Romeo & Juliet, Prince John in The Lion In Winter, The Littlest Angel, The Wicked Stepmother in Cinderella & Opportunity in Someone’s Knocking. Travis’ IMDB credits include the role of Cowboy in the first LGBT film out of Egypt entitled Toul Omry—All My Life. Travis is especially excited to add the role of Angel in Rent at Palm Canyon Theatre to this versatile list this October ‘23.

Michelle Fiore

Multiple Award-winning soprano, Michelle Fiore has sung throughout the valley and was recently honored to be named an honorary member of the prestigious “Modern Men”.   She has sung for various organizations in the Coachella Valley including the Palm Springs Opera Guild, Tour de Palm Springs, Hot Rodeo, Artists Council, as well as countless others. She has performed the role of Carlotta in Phantom of the Opera at the McCallum.  She has premiered 2 movements of Kurt Jordan’s Love song cycle that were composed for her. Michelle worked on a project for the Palm Springs Opera Guild’s Opera in Schools program that reached over 20,000 students.  Ms. Fiore has performed two sold out concerts for CVRep and has sung benefit concerts for the “Well in the Desert” and for Katherine Finchy Elementary.  Michelle has sung with many chamber groups throughout the Coachella Valley and is a founding member of Coachella Valley Classical Voices. Ms. Fiore sings at multiple churches as well as Desert Outreach Synagogue.  She is currently the Soloist for Palm Desert Christian Science church and has served as a Soloist for the Palm Springs Christian Science Church and St. Cecilia’s Catholic Community church.  She sang for 2 seasons with the California Desert Chorale under the baton of Tim Bruneau and with Desert Winds Freedom Band under the baton of Dean McDowell.  She frequently collaborates with other musicians and artists throughout the valley. 
Ms. Fiore worked on her Artist Diploma at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and received her Master of Music degree at the Manhattan School of Music. She has performed the roles Lisaveta in A Month in the Country and La Fee in Cendrillon, The Queen of the Night in The Magic Flute, Soeur Constance in Dialogues of the Carmelites, and Beatiz in Christopher Columbus.  She studied with Cesar Ulloa, Mignon Dunn, George Shirley, and Donna Dease. While Ms. Fiore is a passionate musician, she is a very dedicated Special Education Teacher and Orthopedic Impairment Teacher at Katherine Finchy Elementary where she uses her music as a tool to teach students with disabilities. Her students are her greatest inspiration.

Ivonne Ibarra

Contralto Ivonne Ibarra has sung as alto in professional and semiprofessional choirs since 2012, when she participated in Turandot with the Autonomous Orchestra of Nuevo León Symphony Orchestra in Monterrey, Mexico. She has sung in the chorus for FaustMadame Butterfly, I Capuletti e i Montecchi, Tosca, Carmen, Elisir d’Amore and The Magic Flute, among others. Ivonne coaches with Palm Springs United Methodist Church Music Director Wayne Hinton.

Kurt Jordan, Pianist

Pianist Kurt Jordan is the founding principal pianist for Coachella Valley Classical Voices. Kurt accompanies Modern Men, as well. Mr. Jordan is the collaborative pianist for many solo singers and instrumentalists in the valley. As a composer, Mr. Jordan has premiered some of his works, including a song cycle written for Michelle Fiore. Kurt is currently writing an opera with his partner, Tim.  Mr. Jordan is the staff pianist at College of the Desert, where he recently made his debut as Music Director of COT’s spring musical Man of La Mancha. Mr. Jordan will return in 2024 as the Musical Director for the College of the Desert production of Guys and Dolls.

Don Kelley

Baritone Don Kelley began singing in graduate school at the University of Oregon while working on his master’s degree in music composition. Studying voice with a PhD candidate, Don got involved with the Opera Workshop. This led to auditioning for and being in the Eugene Opera Chorus and then to the local theater community with the role of Beadle Bamford in Sweeney Todd.  After finishing his Masters, performing in community musicals became Don’s primary stage work. Some of his leading roles include Archibald in The Secret Garden, Pseudolus in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Jekyll in Jekyll and Hyde, Sweeney Todd in Sweeney Todd, Smudge in Forever Plaid, John Adams in 1776, Fredrik in A Little Night Music, Herbie in Gypsy, Mushnik in Little Shop Of Horrors and Dave in The Full Monty. Since moving to the desert in 2013, Don has played Uncle Ernie in Tommy, The Duke in Big River, Horace Vandergelder in Hello Dolly, The Sheriff in The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, The Captain in Titanic, Sir Danvers in Jekyll and Hyde, Old Joe in Damn Yankees, and Deputy Dindon in La Cage aux Folles. Scattered amongst all the shows in Eugene some full productions with the University of Oregon Opera Workshop including Don Alfonso in Così fan tutte, Baritone in the trio for Trouble in Tahiti, Signor Deluso in Signor Deluso, and Ford in The Merry Wives of Windsor with Cascadia Chamber Opera. Don is delighted to be a member of Coachella Valley Classical Voices and to get the chance to revisit singing in a classical style.

Barbara Kerr

Barbara Kerr has performed with regional theatres from coast to coast. Her musical credits include Gypsy (Rose), Mame (Mame), Follies (Phyllis), Company (Joanne), Anything Goes (Reno Sweeney and Erma), Lady in the Dark (Liza Elliott), A Little Night Music (Countess Charlotte Malcolm), The Most Happy Fella (Cleo), Anyone Can Whistle (Mayoress Cora Hoover Hooper and Fay Apple), Applause (Margo), Annie (Miss Hannigan), Bye Bye Birdie (Rosie), Dames at Sea (Mona), Oliver! (Nancy), Man of La Mancha (Housekeeper), The Threepenny Opera (Jenny), Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella (Queen), The Sound of Music (Baroness Elsa Schraeder), Allegro (Marjorie), Nunsense (Sister Mary Hubert) and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (Smitty). Local audiences have seen her on the Coachella Valley Repertory stage in Thank You, Mr. Sondheim, and in A Marvelous Party, celebrating the music of Sir Noël Coward. She has also appeared in Side by Side by Sondheim and performed in musical tributes to Cole Porter, Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart, George Gershwin, and Kurt Weill. 
Her dramatic credits include the title role in Shirley Valentine, The Lion in Winter (Eleanor of Aquitaine), Wit (Dr. Vivian Bearing), Agnes of God (Mother Superior and Dr. Martha Livingstone), Talley’s Folly (Sally Talley), Hamlet (Gertrude), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Helena), The Merry Wives of Windsor (Mistress Ford), The Winter’s Tale (Paulina), The Importance of Being Earnest (Lady Bracknell), Separate Tables (Anne and Sibyl), The Sisters Rosensweig (Sara), Moon Over Buffalo (Charlotte Hay), Monday After the Miracle (Anne Sullivan Macy), Crumbs from the Table of Joy (Gerte), The Guys (Joan), ‘Tis Pity She’s A Whore (Hippolita), Venus Observed (Jessie Dill), A Passage to India (Mrs. Moore), The Diary of Anne Frank (Mrs. Frank) and Plaza Suite (Karen/Muriel/Norma). 
A past chair of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) College of Fellows, Barbara Kerr is an award-winning communicator with experience in government, business, higher education, and nonprofit organizations in cities including New York City, San Francisco, Milwaukee, Portland and Washington, D.C. as well as internationally in Bulgaria, Hong Kong and the Philippines. A past president of PRSA’s Portland Metro Chapter (now part of PRSA Oregon), she received the chapter’s William W. Marsh Lifetime Achievement Award. An Emmy-nominated journalist, she served as a news director, anchor, reporter, and producer at network television affiliates in Ohio and Maryland. In 2019, she was inducted into the Dayton (Ohio) Area Broadcasters Hall of Fame.

Paul Kowal

Bass Paul Kowal began studying the piano at the age of 7 at the American Conservatory of Music in Chicago.  Mr. Kowal continued through high school, and then in college and after, including a summer at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music. Paul’s vocal experience began a singer with the Amherst College Glee Club. While there, he studied voice with renowned vocal coach Oren Brown. In 1972, Paul sang his way through Africa and the Middle East as a soloist on a US State Department-sponsored 8-week tour. 
Upon graduation, Paul joined the Chicago Symphony Chorus for three years until moving to New York City. There he sang in the NYC Gay Men’s Chorus and its Chamber Choir, and studied conducting for a year at the Juilliard School of Music.  Paul finally settled in Boston and joined the Boston Symphony’s Tanglewood Festival Chorus. and was a member  of Boston choruses, including the Newton Choral Society, Coro Allegro, Chorus pro Musica, and the New World Chorale.
Mr. Kowal resides in Palm Springs where he has sung with A Cabbello and currently sings in Modern Men and Coachella Valley Classical Voices. 

Kelly McDaniel

Mezzo-soprano Kelly McDaniel was last seen playing the narrator in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolored Dreamcoat. This was her second role with the Desert Theatricals company following Madame de la Grande Bouche in Beauty and the Beast. You may have seen McDaniel in her eight-week portrayal of the title role in Always, Patsy Cline. Kelly has made quite the tradition of performing leads in girl power shows such as Mamma Mia, Nunsensations, Beehive, and Winter Wonderettes. McDaniel has loved playing strong women such as Golde in Fiddler on the Roof, Charlotte in A Little Night Music and Lady Beaconsfield in Jeckyl and Hyde, all at the McCallum Theatre. McDaniel holds a bachelor’s degree in music from California State University Long Beach, where she also met her husband. Ms. McDaniel would like to thank him as well as her six children for their encouragement and support. 

Elaine Wang Meyerhoffer

Elaine Wang Meyerhoffer, mezzo-soprano, began classical singing late in life and committed to its rigors by completing a B.A. in Music in Vocal Performance (Class of 2017, U. of Redlands, CA – over three decades after her first college degree in English Literature from Stanford University).; the San Francisco Bay Area; and Santa Fe, NM; and actively seeks out classical music offerings from home and through travel. At present, Ms. Meyerhoffer is a member of the Commissioning Club for the Santa Fe Desert Chorale and serves on the board of directors of the Palm Springs International Piano Competition.
Elaine’s focus has been on art songs and lieder, presenting recitals in Santa Fe, themed in literary and multicultural ways. In 2018, “East in West” featured traditional Chinese songs in Mandarin, and Chinese poems translated into French and English, set to music by Western composers. In 2019, “Women: Wiles, Woes and Wows” included songs interspersed with poetry by Santa Fe Poet Laureate (2010-12) Joan Logghe. This August, Elaine presents “Hope is the thing…,” a program of songs using the Emily Dickinson poem as a catalyst. Elaine also delights in every opportunity to collaborate in music ensembles and with other arts. During the holiday season, Ms. Meyerhoffer can be found in hoop skirt and Dickens costume, singing in quartets with the Desert Carolers throughout the Inland Empire, CA. Elaine resides in Palm Springs, CA.

Doug Nagel

Coachella Valley Classical Voices Founding Director and bass-baritone Doug Nagel is a Montana native. Nagel sang over 80 operatic baritone roles in his singing career including Count, Scarpia, Dracula, Dutchman, Magnifico, Monterone, Tabor, John Proctor, Renato, Bartolo, Giovanni, Pasquale, Figaro, Leporello, Marcello, Schicchi and Germont. Doug recently returned to Billings to sing John the Baptist and direct Rimrock Opera’s production of Salome
Coachella Valley Classical Voices Founding Director and bass-baritone Doug Nagel is a Montana native. Nagel sang over 80 operatic baritone roles in his singing career including Count, Scarpia, Dracula, Dutchman, Magnifico, Monterone, Tabor, John Proctor, Renato, Bartolo, Giovanni, Pasquale, Figaro, Leporello, Marcello, Schicchi and Germont. Doug recently returned to Billings to sing John the Baptist and direct Rimrock Opera’s production of Salome
Doug premiered the role of Theseus in Roumanis’ Phaedra, broadcast on PBS. International attention came when he created the role of de Santander in the Virginia Opera world premiere of Musgrave’s Simon Bolìvar, later singing the production at the Royal Albert Hall, London, broadcast on the BBC. Mr. Nagel is heard on Albany Records in Nosferatu as the title role of Orlock (Dracula). 
Before directing Rimrock Opera, Doug was the Artistic Director of Rogue Opera, Medford, and Opera Idaho, Boise. Nagel was the Artistic Director of Rimrock Opera from 2000-2014, where he guided 26 productions including Aïda, Così, Traviata, Butterfly, Crucible, Barber, Merry Widow, Bohème, Figaro, Girl of the Golden West, Elixir, Tosca, and Carmen. Doug has judged the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and sat on the NEA Opera Grant Committee.
Nagel is a retired Associate Professor of Music from MSU Billings. Residing in the Coachella Valley with his husband, Steve Baker, a longtime member of Palm Springs Gay Men’s Chorus (PSGMC), Doug proudly serves as the Vocal Coach for PSGMC. Nagel has a large voice studio and many of his students sing in local choruses and leading roles in local Theater Companies. 

Luís Salcido IV

Verdi baritone Luís Salcido IV is an award-winning singer/actor known for his ability to transform into the character he portrays.  The baritone has performed since childhood appearing in television, movies, as well as performing professionally in Nashville, TN. Luís is a Southern California native and is currently employed by Coachella Valley Unified School District as the Orthopedic Impairment Specialist. Luís performed with Lyric Opera of Orange County’s 2022 productions of Carmen and L’Opera Petite. Luís was a recipient of the Desert Theatre League Award for Outstanding Supporting Male Performer for his work as Buddy in The Cardigans. Credits also include Linus in You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown, The Cat in The Hat in Seussical the Musical, Aristocrat in Evita, Guglielmo in Così fan tutte, Nanki-Poo in The Mikado, Ruddigore in Ruddigore, Bill in A Hand of Bridge, The Russian in Chess, Motel the Tailor in Fiddler on the Roof, and Mr. Applegate in Damn Yankees. Luís holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music Performance and Pedagogy and an MS in Special Education. Luís has studied with American Soprano Marylin Tyler at the University of New Mexico. Luís is thrilled to be performing in the Coachella Valley again and is honored to be a member of the Classical Voices of the Coachella Valley.
You can follow Luís on Instagram @Luis.salcido_baritone or on his website at

Dave Sanchez

Tenor Dave Sanchez has enjoyed singing for a long time. Mr. Sanchez performed with Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles for 30 years, where he was a soloist as part of the first openly gay chorus to tour Eastern Europe, shortly after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1991.
Dave had the pleasure of performing in many amazing venues including Walt Disney Concert Hall, Carnegie Hall, Hollywood Bowl (Simpsons take the Bowl, under the direction of Hans Zimmer) and Shubert Theatre (Mahler’s 8th under the direction of Gustavo Dudamel) to name some.
Recently moving from Los Angeles to the Palm Springs area with his partner, Evan, and their two French Bulldogs, Coco, and Duke, they now call the Coachella Valley home. Mr. Sanchez performs with Palm Springs Gay Men’s Chorus and makes his solo debut with Coachella Valley Classical Voices.

Patrick Wallace

Tenor Patrick Wallace is ecstatic to sing with Coachella Valley Classical Voices. A Bay Area native, Mr. Wallace is new to the Coachella Valley and recently completed his first year singing with the Palm Springs Gay Men’s Chorus. Patrick is a graduate from University of Southern California’s Bachelor of Fine Arts Acting program, where he was a member of Reverse Osmosis, a premier co-Ed A Cappella group. Patrick’s previous musical credits include the Emcee in Cabaret, Hunter in Title of Show, Gabriel in Next to Normal and ensemble roles in RentInto the WoodsTarzan, and Grease to name a few. Mr. Wallace will appear in the 2023-24 season of Palm Canyon Theater as Mark in Rent and Cowboy in Boys in the Band.

Mark Ziemann

Baritone Mark Ziemann retired to Palm Springs in 2013 after teaching elementary music for 30 years.  Mr. Ziemann received his BM in voice performance from the University of Pacific and then moved to San Francisco, singing with the San Francisco Opera and Symphony Choruses. Ziemann studied German Lied and opera at AIMS in Graz and at the Vienna Conservatory of Music, both in Austria.  Mark has also sung with the Marin, East Bay, Sacramento, Stockton, and Townsend Opera Companies, as well as performing many musicals in regional theatres.  Mr. Ziemann sang under the conducting of legends Claudio Abbado, Edo DeWaart, Kurt Adler and Leonard Bernstein.  In the valley, you might have heard Mr. Ziemann perform with the Modern Men Chorus, Palm Canyon Theatre, Desert Rose Theatre, or as The Governor at the McCullum last Spring in Man of LaMancha.

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Steve Baker

After a 29-year career in IT and marketing at Hewlett-Packard, Steve Baker, administrator, retired to the desert with his husband Doug Nagel.  Steve returned to work for 10 years in the insurance business with 1st Community Insurance Services/NFP. Steve is a proud member of CV Singers, the chorus arm of CVCV, and supports Coachella Valley Classical Voices behind the scene. 

Steve has served on the boards of Opera San Jose, San Jose Chamber Orchestra, and the Palm Springs Gay Men’s Chorus (PSGMC).  Mr. Baker currently serves as Vice President of the Desert Winds Freedom Band. Steve has been a first tenor with the PSGMC since 2010.

Marc Copfer

Baritone, Marc Copfer, is thrilled to be a part of Coachella Valley Classical Voices.   Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, Marc has been singing since childhood and throughout high school in various choruses and ensembles. Most recently, Mr. Copfer was a part of Cleveland’s North Coast Men’s Chorus under the artistic direction of Richard Cole for almost 15 years as a member, principal soloist, and dancer including their signature ensemble, the Coastliners. Marc was also a featured soloist at the Gay Games 9 held in his home city and at GALA in Denver.
Since his arrival to the valley, Mr. Copfer immediately joined the Palm Springs Gay Men’s Chorus under the artistic direction of Jerry Soria-Foust, where he has been a featured soloist, performing and dancing in his first two shows and showing no signs of stopping.  

In his spare time, Marc enjoys traveling and spending time at home in Cathedral City with his partner J.R., a NICU nurse and Daphne, their Italian Greyhound.

Donald Corin

Donald Corin earned a BFA degree in Musical Theater from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, a Master of Vocal Arts degree from The Catholic University of America, and an Executive MBA from Averett College with a concentration in Housing Policy.  He has appeared on Broadway in Don’t Step on My Olive Branch, and Equity tours of Fiddler on the Roof (as Motel),  Man of La Mancha (as Anselmo), Kiss Me Kate (suitor), Joe Namath on Broadway (backup singer) and No, No Nanette (Tom Trainor).  He was an ensemble member of the famed Kenley Players throughout Ohio and Michigan in such shows as Good News, Applause, No, No Nanette, and Gigi.

His classical performing experience ranges from the Cincinnati Opera Chorus, The Washington National Opera Chorus, The Youngstown Symphony (as Gaston in La Traviata), The Aspen Opera Theatre (as Nathaniel in The Tales of Hoffman, Tamino in The Magic Flute and Count Almaviva in Il Barbiere de Siviglia), The Washington Summer Opera Theatre (as Brighella in Ariadne Auf Naxos), The Washington Savoyards (as Cyril in Princess Ida), The Victorian Lyric Opera (as Richard Dauntless in Ruddigore), the Little Theater of Alexandria (as Nanki Poo in The Mikado), and as tenor soloist in various churches in the Cincinnati and Washington, DC metropolitan areas, and with the Montgomery College Symphony Orchestra (as the Evangelist in Bach’s Christmas Oratorio).  Don moved to Palm Springs in 2020 and after a 23-year hiatus from performing is excited to be back singing with Doug Nagel and the Coachella Valley Classical Voices.

Charles Gallagher

Tenor Charles Gallagher received his Bachelor of Arts from the Manhattan School of Music in 1984, where he studied voice with Gabor Carelli and Uta Graf. In college, Charles performed supporting roles in Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro and The Magic Flute. Changing course, Charles attended law school at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California, graduating in 1993, and passing the California bar exam that fall. After a 30+ year hiatus from singing, Charles joined the Palm Springs Gay Men’s Chorus, where he remains a member of the first tenor section. Mr. Gallagher is presently Senior Counsel with the law firm of Slovak Baron Empey Murphy & Pinkney LLP in Palm Springs, where his practice is focused on civil litigation, probate litigation, and HOA disputes. 

Henry Doering

Henry Doering, second tenor, is thrilled to be singing with old friends and new as a CV Singer in the wonderful chorus of Coachella Valley Classical Voices. Henry is a retired public defender from San Francisco and has lived in the Coachella Valley since 2011. Mr. Doering’s singing background is primarily in amateur musical theater, after being a boy soprano in a church choir in his hometown.

Henry’s first actual chorus singing experience was the Palm Springs Gay Men’s Chorus, where he has been a member since 2016. Mr. Doering is also a member of PSGMC’s Board of Directors. Henry hopes to expand his vocal horizons by singing in CVCV and is grateful for the opportunity.

Ric Caleb Durity

Ric Caleb Durity, tenor, began his vocal musical journey at age 5, with his musician grandfather accompanying him, and as a soprano soloist for seven years in the local church choir. Just before his voice changed, Ric sang soprano voice with the boys’ choir at the Washington National Cathedral while also serving as an acolyte there.  Once his voice changed, Mr. Durity became an instrumental musician and consummate “band nerd” playing first trumpet through his high school and college years. While at college and with the help of his voice teacher, Ric once again found his tenor voice and appeared in performances of West Side Story and with the college choir. Following completion of his graduate studies, Mr. Durity joined the Rochester Oratorio Society, the leading choral/orchestral ensemble in New York’s Finger Lakes region, where he developed an even greater appreciation for choral music and had the privilege of performing under the direction of Maestro David Zinman. 

A change in geography allowed Ric the opportunity to sing as a first tenor with the Denver Gay Men’s Chorus for several years. Mr. Durity enjoys singing music from Broadway, classical, sacred, pop, bluegrass, and country western traditions.  Ric is pleased to have resumed his vocal training with voice teacher, Doug Nagel, and is very excited through Coachella Valley Classical Voices, to rediscover the joy of singing for an audience other than his husband of thirty-four years, Robert Phillips.

Bunny Fisher

Soprano Ms. Bunny Fisher was first discovered her love of singing at a young age while entertaining company in her grandparents’ home with songs from the musical Oklahoma. Later in junior high, Bunny entered a talent competition singing “How High the Moon” and the school choir director dubbed her a young “Ella Fitzgerald.” Bunny’s appreciation of classical choral music was inspired by singing with her L.A. High School choir for three years in the Carmel Bach Festivals, as well as in multiple L.A. citywide choral competitions, and brilliant high school productions of the musicals Kiss Me Kate, Candide and The Music Man, the latter of which took her to perform “Seventy-Six Trombones” as a member of the chorus at the Hollywood Bowl with Robert Preston. In college, Ms. Fisher sang and performed with both the Spelman College Glee Club and as a member of a theater group, The A-M-S Players, frequently having the lead roles in its musical productions including Katherine/Lilli in Kiss Me Kate, Luisa in The Fantasticks and Nellie Forbush in South Pacific

After college, Bunny received an M.A. in Speech Pathology and Audiology from the University of Iowa and went on to practice as a Speech and Language Pathologist at The Rehab Institute of Kansas University Medical Center and at Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago. As time went by her creative interests superseded her clinical pursuits and Ms. Fisher left the field to become an actress, voice over talent, and print model. Bunny appeared in the television drama “Lady Blue” and was seen in numerous television commercials and print advertisements. Ms. Fisher also opened a business as an agent for commercial photographers, a successful career which lasted nearly 30 years. 

In 2001, Bunny resumed the joy of singing and debuted as a jazz songstress at Miller Country House in Harbert, Michigan. She subsequently performed at numerous restaurants, jazz, and country clubs throughout Michiana, and in Chicago’s Ritz Carlton and Hilton Hotels. Known most for her cabaret work at the Acorn Theater in Three Oaks, Michigan over seven seasons, five of which were with celebrated pianist David Lahm. 

Bunny is thrilled to be a member of CV Singers and in her first season singing “Make Our Garden Grow” from Leonard Bernstein’s “Candide.”

Jeffery Scott Goodwin

Jeffery Scott Goodwin, tenor, is a Southern California native. Jeffery and his family moved to the desert in the pre-Covid era of 2018. After a long career in marketing and eCommerce. Mr. Goodwin is fortunate to now work remotely and splits his time between Palm Desert and Carlsbad, California.

After contemplating singing as an artistic outlet for many years, a fortuitous introduction to Doug Nagel set the wheels in motion. Mr. Nagel is now patiently teaching Jeffrey how to make music with his voice. Mr. Goodwin makes his debut as a CV Singer with Coachella Valley Classical Voices.

Tessa Gregory-Walker

Tessa Gregory-Waker, mezzo-soprano, is a happy-go-lucky Brit who moved to the scorching desert five years ago and now is a permanent resident living with my husband Colby, our three children, and dog Robbie.

Ms. Gregory-Walker has performed onstage in theatre and choirs her whole life and during primary school even got to sing with thousands of other kids at the Royal Albert Hall! Group singing brings Tessa so much joy and loves what it does to build the community. Here in the valley, you may have seen her (not singing) on the Desert Theatreworks or Desert Ensemble theatre stages in Love, Sex and the IRS, Salty, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner and, The Beebo Brinker Chronicles.

Ms. Gregory-Walker has just started a new job as the Theatre Manager for Revolution Stage Company, and is so excited to be a part of a new performance venue in downtown Palm Springs!

Tessa wishes to thank her Mum and Dad back in the UK, who have always supported her performances and would be at every concert and show if they could.

Kelly Groves

Soprano Kelly Groves fell in love with opera as a tween at a performance of Madama Butterfly and the rest is history. After beginning college in engineering, Kelly transferred to San Francisco Conservatory of Music, majoring in voice under Hermann Le Roux. Most recently, Kelly performed alongside CVCV’s Kelly McDaniel in Musical Theater University’s The Prom. Ms. Groves’ favorite roles have included Dona Elvira and Annie Oakley, and she is delighted to be performing with the fabulous artists of Coachella Valley Classical Voices.

John Hunsaker

The COVID Pandemic changed all our lives. For Baritone John Hunsaker, it helped bring music back into his life as a singer and guitarist. John, his husband, and dogs moved to the Coachella Valley in 2020. When it was safe to reconnect with everyone, Mr. Hunsaker met local musician Bob Gentry and joined the Modern Men chorus. John remembered the joy and freedom that comes from creating music and sought to improve his singing by taking voice from Mr. Nagel. Doug has been a source of support and inspiration and Mr. Hunsaker is honored to be included in this talented group of amazing singers in CVCV.

Kate Klaben

Mezzo-soprano Kate Klaben recently made the Coachella Valley her home after six years of traveling all lower 48 States in a 40ft motorhome, and she is thrilled to be singing again! Prior to hitting the road, Kate performed with the San Jose Symphony and a chorale of 200 vocalists from all over the world against the backdrop of all three Lord of the Rings movies, providing the score live while the movies played on a giant screen behind them. It was the first time it had ever been done in America. So not only has Ms. Klaben sung in Italian, French, and German, she has sung in Elvish and Dwarvish! Over the course of her musical career, Kate has performed with the West Valley Masterworks Chorale, in San Jose, California, and the Greene County Adult Concert Choir, Ohio, where she studied voice under Dorothy Smith at Wright State University. Ms. Klaben has also performed in multiple musical stage productions and musical reviews throughout the Dayton, Ohio area, including Sweeney Todd, Follies, Company (April), Anything Goes (Bonnie), She Loves Me (Ilona), Allegro (Jenny), Tarantara, and A Day in Hollywood/Night in the Ukraine.

Rocky J. Lewis

Tenor Rocky J. Lewis was born and raised in Pendleton Oregon, and undergraduate studies in Psychology and Theatre in Springfield, MO, where he was a member of the ensemble in MSU Tent Theatre’s productions of Man of La Mancha, Babes In Arms, Damn Yankees, and The Boyfriend. Then in NYC for 8 years and more theatre training and experience as well as worked as one of the city’s best Headshot Photographers.

Mr. Lewis relocated to Hollywood and to the San Fernando Valley for 30 years. Rocky went back to graduate school at the age of 50 for Psychotherapy, earning 2 licenses: Marriage and Family Therapist, and Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor. After a 2 year stay in Arkansas, Rocky moved to Palm Springs, where he was accepted into the Palm Springs Gay Men’s Chorus. Now a proud member of the ensemble of Coachella Valley Classical Voices, as a Bari-tenor, Mr. Lewis has had the good fortune to perform in front of 30K people in 1975 as a marching baritone member of the Kilts Drum and Bugle Corps from Racine, Wisconsin.

Jason Mannino

Since moving to Coachella Valley in 2021, Baritone Jason Mannino, has been popping up on stages all over following a 20+ year performing hiatus. Recent credits include launching his first solo cabaret, Return to Joy at The Foundation Lounge at Neuro Vitality Center; Man of La Mancha (Barber/Muleteer, COD/McCallum Thater); Over the River and Through the Woods (Nick Cristiano, Sun City Palm Desert), White Christmas (Ralph Sheldrake, Desert Theater Works); operatic debut in the West Coast Premiere of Unbound (Guy). Over the past two years, Jason has sung in multiple concerts with Modern Men, A Cabbello, and Coachella Valley Classical Voices.

This October you can see Mr. Mannino portray Oscar Wilde in The Bent’s 2nd season opener – Gross Indecency – The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde. In 2024, Jason will perform his second cabaret at the Arthur Neuman Theater at The Joslyn Center in Palm Desert and The Foundation Lounge at Neuro Vitality Center in Palm Springs. Mr. Mannino’s “daytime” job is as a Managing Partner with Unicursal Talent, an executive search, leadership development, and executive/career coaching firm.

Wilson Raiser

Bass Wilson Raiser has been a professional performer, actor, singer, dancer, stand-up comedian, and cabaret artist since the 70s. After attending the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, he has done theater and musicals in Los Angeles, Phoenix, and New York City. Wilson created the role of Harry Heavyset in the award-winning PINAFORE! in LA and NYC. 

Mr. Raiser has been in TV and movies, some of his credits include Growing Pains, Matlock, Home Improvement, General Hospital, Alien Nation, Melrose Place and Scare Tactics. Wilson has done commercials in Sweden and the USA.

Mr. Raiser sang with Gay Men’s Chorus Los Angeles and Men Alive of Orange County and with GMCLA performed in Moscow at Tchaikovsky Hall (in the first organized gay event in the history of Russia), also St Petersburg, Tallin, Helsinki and Berlin.

Wilson currently sings with Palm Springs Gay Men’s Chorus and is honored and proud to be part of the CV Singers, while living in Cathedral City.

Rebecca Ann Rodriguez

Mezzo-soprano Rebecca Ann Rodriguez is a member of the Coachella Valley Classical Singers and a new cover artist. Ms. Rodriguez is a graduate from the University of California Irvine and holds two bachelor’s degrees in education sciences and drama. Rebecca is a local artist and has performed regionally, where her most notable role was the lead Aldonza in The Man of La Mancha and a Desert Star League winner of choreography for The Rocky Horror Show. Ms. Rodriguez is also a current member of the California Desert Chorale, under the direction of her vocal coach, Tim Bruneau. 

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”
   – Eleanor Roosevelt

Judi Russo

Judi Russo, soprano, has always had music in her life. Judi was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and grew up in a family of singers. Ms. Russo was very involved in choir and musical theater in high school and went on to the University of Wisconsin to earn a degree in Elementary Education with a music minor. Judi sang with the Milwaukee Symphony Chorus for two years before moving to Denver. There, Ms. Russo sang with the Cherry Creek Chorale and the Colorado Symphony Chorus. While teaching 2nd and 3rd grade, Judi wrote and directed musicals that coincided with the Science or Social Studies units. Ms. Russo received her master’s degree in education from the University of Colorado. 

Judi started to come to the desert in 2000 as a frequent vacationer. In 2007, she retired from teaching elementary school and became a snowbird, spending time in Denver during the summer. Ms. Russo has sung with the California Desert Chorale since 2008 and served as the Secretary on the Board for 5 years. Judi has been studying private voice with Tim Bruneau since she joined the chorale. Under his guidance, she has performed her own recitals and cabaret shows, along with various solos and duets in Friends in Song and Eisenhower Memory Care fundraisers. 

In May, 2011, Judi got involved in the College of the Desert’s musical productions. Judi has been in 9 shows since then. COD is where Ms. Russo met her significant other, Lou Galvan, in her first show, Anything Goes. They have been enjoying singing, acting, and traveling together since then. Judi has been a full-time resident of La Quinta for 11 years and currently teaches part-time at the College of the Desert in the ESLN department.

Andrew Taines

Andrew Taines, baritone, fell in love with music and theater at an early age upon seeing a production of The Mikado. During his years while living in New York City, Mr. Taines sang the entire Gilbert and Sullivan canon, including leading roles in Patience and Ruddigore. With New York Grand Opera, under the direction of Vincent LaSelva, Andrew sang in the ensemble for many Verdi operas, both the very obscure (Alzira, Giovanna d’Arco) and the well-known (Aida, Il Trovatore), as well as concerts in Carnegie Hall of the Verdi Requiem and Beethoven’s 9th Symphony. Mr. Taines also has sung the baritone roles of the Count and Don Alfonso in Le Nozze di Figaro and Così fan Tutte. Pursuing his love of early musical comedies, Andrew presented a production of the 1924 Jerome Kern musical, Sitting Pretty. Andrew has performed roles in the plays, The Man Who Came to Dinner and Charley’s Aunt. Recently, Mr. Taines sang in the MOMENTum concert with Modern Men and is pleased to be joining Coachella Valley Singers.

Paul Trombley

Paul Trombley, tenor, moved from San Francisco to Coachella Valley in 2017.  I have been involved in choral groups all my life, from The Cecilia Society in Boston – an early music group, up to The San Francisco Symphony Chorus –  where he sang most of the major choral works with amazing conductors such as Michael Tilson Thomas, Kurt Masur, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Herbert Blomstedt, and Mstislav Rostropovich. 
Mr. Trombley also sang with such groups as The Simsbury Light Opera Company, The San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus, The San Francisco Bach Choir, Verismo Opera, and now in Coachella Valley, St Margaret’s Episcopal Church, Modern Men and The Inland Master Chorale in Redlands.  
Paul has a music education degree but made a “living wage” working for Charles Schwab as a payroll accountant. Mr. Trombley is happily retired and enjoying life as a desert rat!

Grant Wheaton

Bass-Baritone Grant Wheaton, originally from Minneapolis, recently relocated to Palm Desert from NYC. His strong interest in music began during his adolescence when he studied classical music and enthusiastically sang and played piano to a wide variety of show tunes. As a performer, some of Grant’s favorite music theatre roles have included Paul in Company, El Gallo in The Fantasticks and Adam in The Apple Tree, as well as the title role in the comic opera The Man on the Bearskin Rug. Mr. Wheaton toured Europe twice with concert choirs and sung with various choruses. Grant also directed eight one-act operettas, music directed and conducted the musicals Pippin and Guys and Dolls and sang in two professional show groups. Mr. Wheaton studies voice with Doug Nagel. With an MFA in Acting, Grant has had roles in the films Working Girls, Crimes and Misdemeanors and FX. Mr. Wheaton has played recurring roles on several daytime soaps including All My Children, Another World, Guiding Light, and One Life to Live. Grant loves his new life in the desert with his husband Dennis, and puppy Jamie.

Erik Zellers

Second Tenor Erik Zellers, has lived in the Coachella valley for twenty-three years, having moved here from San Francisco where he worked in IT.  Erik started singing in choirs in elementary school, including the Golden Gate Men’s Choir in San Francisco, and most recently, the Palm Springs Gay Men’s chorus. Currently he is part of a trio that leads the worship music at River of Hope Palm Springs.  With piano lessons as a kid, ballet in high school, and trained in art his entire life, Mr. Zellers now lives with his partner, Matthew, a dog, three cats and a parrot, and probably should’ve taken lessons in being a zookeeper.

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