|UW-Eau Claire Voice and Choral Area|
Prof. Julie DeBoer
Mezzo soprano Julie DeBoer has performed everything from early music to new compositions on the operatic, concert, and recital stage. Recent operatic roles include Third Lady in The Magic Flute at Aspen Music Festival, Zita in Gianni Schicchi at Bay View Music Festival, Prince Orlosky in Die Fledermaus and Nancy in Albert Herring, both at Northwestern University. Ms. DeBoer has performed both as an ensemble singer and as a soloist with many acclaimed choirs in the midwest, including Grant Park Chorus, Chicago Symphony Chorus, Music of the Baroque, Bella Voce, Transept Consort, and the grammy-nominated South Dakota Chorale. Originally from Western Springs, Illinois, Ms. DeBoer graduated summa cum laude from Lawrence University with a bachelor's degree in voice performance; she holds a master's degree in voice performance and literature from Northwestern University. Teaching both privately and in a classroom setting has always been her passion; at UWEC she teaches Applied Voice, Opera Literature, Song Literature, Diction, Intro to Singing, Voice Ensemble, and Techniques of the Speaking and Singing Voice.
Dr. Liz Pearse
Finding joy in variety, Liz Pearse is a musician of many pursuits. Liz began her exploration of the endless possibilities of the voice after a childhood spent playing any instrument she could lay hands upon. As a performer, her uniquely colorful and versatile voice has led to performances of wide-ranging works from medieval to modern, and though she is known as a specialist in contemporary vocal repertoire, she also deeply enjoys a well-aged song. Liz has recently begun a long-term project commissioning and performing works for singer at the piano (though she still enjoys the collaborative process!), and presents her second full-length program of such pieces, a celebration of the 100th anniversary of Poulenc’s La bestiaire featuring newly-commissioned animal portraits, on tour in 2019. Liz is one-fourth of Quince Ensemble, a treble-voice quartet dedicated to "charting bold new directions in vocal chamber music" (John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune). Their third album, Motherland, was released by New Focus Recordings in spring 2018, and they head back to the studio to record love fail summer 2019.
Dr. Kenneth J. Pereira
Baritone Kenneth J. Pereira's repertoire encompasses opera, oratorio, art song, musical theater, and the Great American Songbook. His operatic roles include Puccini's Marcello in La Bohême, Mozart's II Conte Almaviva in Le Noze di Figaro, and Guglielmo in Cosi fan tutte among others. Dr. Pereira has appeared regularly as a soloist with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Maestro Raymond Leppard in works by Beethoven and Haydn. He is also a featured soloist on that orchestra's 2008 recording of classical and traditional Christmas music. Recent performances include performances of works by Handel and Bach with the Eau Claire Chamber Orchestra, his debut with the Chippewa Valley Symphony Orchestra as the baritone soloist for Beethoven's Symphony No. 9, as well as opera and oratorio appearances with the Borgarmaria Lyric Opera and Yuba-Sutter Master Chorale. He made his international debut singing scenes from Verdi's La traviata (Germont) and Donizetti's L'elisir d'amore (Dulcamara) in gala performances with OperaMaya (Mexico). In addition to those performances, he served as a teaching artist for the company's young artist program. Dr. Pereira has also performed in concert opposite internationally acclaimed sopranos Sylvia McNair and Carol Vaness. Born and raised in northern California, Dr. Pereira graduated Magna cum Laude from California State University, Stanisalaus. He holds a Doctorate of Music in Voice Performance and Literature from Indiana University's Jacobs School of Music, where he also completed a Master of Music Degree in Voice. He has studied voice with Joaquina Calvo Johnson and Andreas Poulimenos.
Dr. Christopher G. McGinley
Associate Professor of Choral Activities
Christopher G. McGinley is a dynamic conductor and music educator based in the Twin Cities where he pursues the DMA in conducting at the University of Minnesota and directs music at Trinity Lutheran Congregation. He holds faculty positions at Augsburg University (music education) and the University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire (music education and directing the Women's Chorus, Symphonic Choir, and The Singing Statesmen). His choirs are noted for their vibrant and nuanced interpretations of works from diverse eras and genres. A strong advocate for community music, McGinley has served intergenerational choirs in Philadelphia, Wisconsin, and Oregon. He holds degrees in conducting and music education from the University of Oregon and University of Delaware, and pursued further studies in conducting at the Frost School of Music. His mentors include Kathy Saltzman Romey, Matthew Mehaffey, Karen Kennedy, Sharon Paul, and Paul Head.
Dr. Mark R. Mowry
Tenor Mark Mowry has performed a diverse range of opera, concert, and recital repertoire which reflects his broad musical interests. He has sung leading roles in such operas as Britten's Albert Herring, Curlew River, and The Turn of the Screw, Handel's Acis and Galatea, Mozart's Così fan tutte and Idomeneo, Prokofiev's The Love for Three Oranges, Smetana's The Bartered Bride, and Stravinsky's The Rake's Progress. He sang the role of Enrico Carouser in the world premiere of Edwin Penhorwood's opera Too Many Sopranos. As concert soloist, he has been heard in the music of Bach (Magnificat, St. John Passion, St. Matthew Passion), Britten (Rejoice in the Lamb, St. Nicholas, War Requiem), Handel (Messiah), Haydn (Creation), Mendelssohn (Elijah), Mozart (C Minor Mass, Coronation Mass, Requiem, Solemn Vespers), Sir John Stainer (Crucifixion), and Vaughan Williams (Hodie), among others. An advocate of the song genre, Mowry has participated in numerous master classes devoted to the subject and led by such noted musicians as Graham Johnson, Roger Vignoles, and Hâkan Hagegârd; his own recital appearances have occurred both at home in the U.S. and, more recently, in the United Kingdom - first at Jubilee Hall in Aldeburgh, England, for the Aldeburgh Festival. and then for his debut recital at London's Wigmore Hall, for which Graham Johnson was pianist. In addition, Mowry's various musical activities have taken him to the cities of Chicago, Dublin, Lucerne, Milan, Moscow, Munich, New York, Salzburg, Tokyo, and Washington D.C.
In recent years, Mowry's students have won many awards at competitions such as Wisconsin NATS, Schubert Club Auditions, and at district and regional rounds of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. In addition, his students are regularly accepted into prestigious graduate programs in voice performance; graduates in the past three years have received invitations to attend and/or are currently attending University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music, University of Michigan, Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, University of Colorado-Boulder, University of Houston, San Francisco Conservatory, Mannes School of Music, The Juilliard School, Academy of Vocal Arts, and The Curtis Institute.
Mowry received the Doctor of Music degree from the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, where he studied with Virginia Zeani, James King, and James McDonald. He received the Master of Music degree from Northwestern University, and the Bachelor of Arts degree from Luther College.
Dr. Frank A. Watkins
Director of Choral Activities
Frank A. Watkins is assistant professor of music and Director of Choral Studies at the University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire. A native of Omaha, Nebraska, Watkins taught secondary choral music in the state of Texas for six years. He holds degrees in piano performance from Jackson State University (BM), the University of Arkansas (MM), and choral conducting from Northwestern University (MM) and Michigan State University (DMA).
Dr. Watkins is in demand as a guest conductor and clinician. Recent engagements include the University of Nebraska Omaha Collegiate Choir Concert Series (2014), Dunn St. Croix Honor Choir (2015), Lakeland All-Conference Honor Choir (2015), University of Nebraska Omaha Middle School Honor Choir (2016), the Eau Claire Chamber Orchestra (2016), Red Cedar Honor Choir (2017), the Big Nine Festival Honor Choir (2017), the Great Northern Conference All Conference Choir (2017), Cloverbelt All-Conference Honor Choir (2018), and the 2018 Men's Choir Festival in Stillwater, MN. He has presented workshops on choral methods for the International Music and Christian Arts Conference, Michigan State University, and the Ohio State University. In 2015, he presented at both the Wisconsin Music Educators State Convention and the National Collegiate Choral Organization National Conference.
In 2016 Dr. Watkins completed a summer research trip to Corsica studying ancient Corsican polyphony. In 2017, Watkins led an International Fellows Trip to Dakar, Senegal to study the use of hip-hop and rap as a form of non-violent political protest. Watkins' research interests include the intersectionality of race, class, and gender in the music of African-American Women in the 21st century.
Watkins joined the faculty of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in 2014. In 2016, he was appointed Conductor and Music Director of the Eau Claire Chamber Orchestra.
A dynamic young conductor, Watkins' love and passion are teaching. He believes that in order to educate, you must first inspire! It is his goal to make an impact...not just an impression on the lives of those that follow his baton.