Welcome to the Conservatory of Music!

Continuo Conservatory of Music

"Music gives a soul to the universe, flight to the imagination and life to everything"  Plato 

The Continuo Arts Conservatory of Music provides private studies in voice, piano and a variety of instruments.  In addition, Musical Theater Workshops, Audition Prep, and Music, Mommy & Me sessions are available.

A staff of exemplary working musicians most with Masters to Doctorate degrees are committed to the artistic growth, development and achievements of each individual student.  Lessons take place in the new and beautiful conservatory studios conveniently located in Summit, NJ.

Whether you are considering lessons for yourself, your child or grandchild, here are some important considerations:

The Study of Music will:

Increase your IQ

According to an article from The Telegraph online magazine, “New research suggests that regularly playing an instrument changes the shape and power of the brain and may be used in therapy to improve cognitive skills.”  There is continually more evidence that musicians have organizationally and functionally different brains compared to non-musicians, especially in the areas of the brain used in processing and playing music. Some studies show that playing an instrument can increase your IQ up to 7 points.
 
Increase the capacity of your memory 

Research has shown that both listening to music and playing a musical instrument stimulate your brain and can increase your memory.  A study was done in which 22 children from age 3 to 4 years old were given either singing lessons or keyboard lessons.  A control group of 15 children received no music lessons at all. Both groups participated in the same preschool activities.  The results showed that preschoolers who had weekly keyboard lessons improved their spatial-temporal skills 34 percent more than the other children.  Not only that, but researchers said that the effect lasted long-term.

 Increase Mathematical Ability 

Reading music requires counting notes and rhythms and can help your math skills.  Also, learning music theory includes many mathematical aspects.  Studies have shown that students who play instruments or study the arts are often better in math and achieve higher grades in school than students who don’t. 

Improve Reading Comprehension

According to a study published in the journal Psychology of Music, “Children exposed to a multi-year program of music involving training in increasingly complex rhythmic, tonal, and practical skills display superior cognitive performance in reading skills compared with their non-musically trained peers.”  It’s not surprising to hear results like that because music involves constant reading and comprehension.  When you see black and white notes on a page, you have to recognize what the note name is and translate it to a finger/slide position.  At the same time, you also have to read what rhythms the notes are arranged in and force your tongue to produce the correct pattern.

 Build Self-Confidence

Overcoming musical challenges that you thought you’d never quite master can give you a great sense of pride.  When you first start learning how to play an instrument, it seems like just holding a note for a couple beats or hitting a high pitch is an amazing accomplishment.  Many small successes will eventually breed long term, innate self-confidence.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ellen       Jack      Olivia

Private Voice

Whether studying opera, music theater, or modern pop music, the basics of voice technique are still be applied. Technique refers to the way that we are able to control our singing voices, and in traditional terms this group of techniques (way of singing) is called Bel Canto. Bel Canto is Italian for beautiful singing, which is the goal of every singer, regardless of style. At the Continuo Arts Conservatory of Music we welcome all types of singers. It is our goal to use a combination of traditional Bel Canto and Music Theater repertoire to help singers master their individual techniques so they can apply them to whatever music they choose to sing.

There are many opportunities for our vocal department students to perform throughout the year as well as develop ensemble technique by joining one of our choral ensembles. Many vocal students participate in auditions, competitions, and performances, therefore we offer annual vocal departmental recitals in addition to performance workshops, masterclasses, and more to prepare students for their auditions and performances.  

In preparation for college, regional and state choirs auditions, we offer audition prep packages as well as career-building for serious students focused on attending music school and pursuing music as a career. Each student is paired with a member of our faculty who will assess their needs and guide them towards meeting their individual goals. Lessons are offered in 30, 45 and 60 minutes sessions.  

For registration form, policies and procedures  CLICK HERE


Candace Wicke -  Voice (Studio Full-Waitlist Available), Conducting

 Candace Wicke, DMA

Candace Wicke

Last seen on the 2016 Festival Pro Musica e Arte Sacra sharing the program with the likes of the Vienna Philharmonic, Christoph Eschenbach and other world renowned musicians of note, conductor Candace Wicke made her Carnegie Hall debut in 2002.  Founder, President and Executive Director of The Continuo Arts Foundation, Wicke conducted its Inaugural concert at the prestigious Festival Internazionale pro Musica e Arte Sacre Series in Vatican City and Rome, Italy with the Continuo Arts Symphonic Chorus, Orchestra and the City of Prague Philharmonic in 2008; an international concert event featuring a world premiere-televised production which became the subject of a full length documentary film. 

Wicke conducted and produced Continuo Arts’ “Christmas Time in the City” and the Lee Kjelson Memorial “Sounds of Music Series” series in Carnegie Hall and in 2011 the first Festival Internazionale Di Arte Per Giovani Musicisti in Rome, Italy. She was the principal conductor for the 2012 Inaugural season of the Minuetto Music Festival and returned to conduct the second Giovani Musicisti Festival in Rome, Vatican City, Assisi and Prague. Making history in February of 2014, Dr. Wicke conducted the first concert inside the Sistine Chapel by an American organization. The 2015 season included serving as Chorus Master for the world premiere of Disney’s “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” at the Paper Mill Playhouse.

As a champion of new music, Wicke has premiered many compositions in Carnegie Hall, Rome, Vatican City, Prague, Ireland, Australia and other locations around the world. Her international experience also includes conducting the United States representative Wind Ensemble at the Taipei Presidential Inauguration, the City of Prague Philharmonic in the Czech Republic and the Waratah Girls Choir in Australia. Ensembles under her baton have received National and International acclaim performing with Andre Rieu and the Johan Strauss Orchestra in Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall, the Turksoy Orchestra in Lincoln Center and the Music Center at Strathmore, the Global International Women’s Summit, Musica Mundi International, Legatus International, and the Miami Civic Associations Young Artist Debut. She is a popular guest conductor, adjudicator and master class clinician across the United States.

Dr. Wicke conducts and manages the Continuo Arts Intergenerational Choral Programs, Music Conservatory, Community Outreach Programs, and The Minuetto Music Festival. She is the recipient of the 2014 Distinguished Alumni of the Year for Evangel University, New Jersey’s 2016 Women of Excellence in Arts & Humanities Award Winner for Union County, and has received a 2016 Congressional Recognition for dedication and excellence in Arts & Humanities.

Amanda Blutner - Voice

 Amanda Blutner, MA

Amanda Blutner

Mrs. Blütner holds a B.M. in Music Education from Westminster Choir College and an M.A. in Music and Music Education from Teachers College of  Columbia University. During her time at
Westminster, she performed as a choir member and soloist with Schola Cantorum, Williamsonn Voices, and the Westminster Choir under the batons of James Jordan, Joe Miller, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Jacques Lacombe, Alan Gilbert and Joseph Flummerfelt. She has performed in ensembles in engagements around the country including Carnegie Hall, Avery Fischer Hall at Lincoln Center, the Kimmel Center, Paper Mill Playhouse, The United Nations General Assembly, and the Spoleto Music Festival in Charleston, South Carolina.

Mrs. Blütner is a choral director and music teacher in the Elizabeth Public School District, Programs Manager and Assistant Conductor for The Continuo Arts Foundation and is on staff teaching private voice at the Continuo Arts Conservatory.

Allison Mion  - Voice

 Allison Mion, MM

Allison Mion

Originally from Summit,  soprano Allison Mion recently relocated to the greater NY area after 4 years in Atlanta, GA, where she completed her Master of Music degree and holds a Bachelor's Degree from Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania. Ms. Mion currently serves as Administrative Assistant at The Continuo Arts Foundation.

Allison found great success both on the stage of Georgia State and in the Atlanta community.  Notable roles include Mary Warren (The Crucible--Robert Ward) and Rosina (Il Barbiere di Siviglia). Previous roles include Adele (Die Fledermaus), Madame Kirsten (The Beautiful Bridegroom), Queen of the Night cover (Die Zauberflöte), Zerlina (Don Giovanni), Miss Wordsworth (Albert Herring), and Despina (Cosi fan tutte).  She was a two-time soloist for the Schubert Mass in G, presented by the Georgia State University Singers and the Atlanta Choral Guild, and was a finalist in the 2014 NATS Regional Competition (Southeastern Region), and a semi-finalist in the 2015 Orpheus Vocal Competition.

In February of 2015, Miss Mion  made her Atlanta Symphony Debut as the featured soloist for the "My Family Valentine" children's concert series.  That summer, Allison attended the Opera Breve Vocal Institute in Witchita Falls, Texas, where she played the role of Miss Wordsworth in their main-stage production of 'Albert Herring', under the instruction of J.J. Hudson and Brian Osbourne.

In 2016, Ms. Mion was once again a semi-finalist for the Orpheus and a finalist in both the NY Lyric Vocal Competition and the Classical Singer National Convention in Boston in April and May.  Throughout the Spring season, Miss Mion was cast as Despina by new local [Atlanta] opera company, ‘small opera’, where she starred in the company's debut performance in April.  

Currently, Miss Mion is enjoying adjusting to life in the greater NY area again.  She is a member of both the Civic Chorale and Sonare Ensemble at the Continuo Arts Foundation, where she is also on the Administrative Staff.  She is also on staff at the Wharton Institute for Performing Arts, as part of their elementary school music outreach program in Paterson, NJ.  This April, Miss Mion will be traveling to Detroit, Michigan with Opera MODO, where she will portray the role of Zerlina in their spring production of Don Giovanni.

Samantha Ferrara  - Musical Theater Audition Prep, Voice

 Samantha Ferrara, BM

Samantha Ferrara

Samantha Ferrara, Director of Musical Theater at The Continuo Arts Foundation, graduated in 2014 from Westminster Choir College of Rider University with a B.M. in Music Education and a minor in Musical Theater. While at Rider and Westminster, she performed as a choir member and soloist with Symphonic Choir, as well as performing in six mainstage productions under the direction of Nathan Hurwitz, Robin Lewis, Trent Blanton and Miriam Mills.     

     Ms. Ferrara can be frequently found on both the professional and community stage; she spent last spring in the chorus of Hunchback of Notre Dame at Paper Mill Playhouse, and this past summer flying high in Trilogy Repertory Company’s Mary Poppins as the title role.  Some of her favorite roles include Niki Harris in Curtains, Ariel in Footloose and Hope Harcourt in Anything Goes.   

     Ms. Ferrara lives in Bernardsville, where she is the alto section leader at St. Bernard’s Episcopal Church and had music directed productions at Bernardsville Middle School. Ms. Ferrara is currently teaching chorus and orchestra at Mountain View Middle School in Mendham.

Jessica Walch, Voice

 Jessica Walch, MM

Jessica Walch

Soprano Jessica Walch is a versatile emerging young artist and voice teacher.  Recent performance credits include Angelica in Handel’s Orlando, Josephine in HMS Pinafore, Lady Saphir in Patience, Nursing Sister & Alms Sister in Suor Angelica, Edith in Pirates of Penzance, Woman 1 in Songs for a New World, and Violet Hilton in Side Show.  In 2015 she was seen in Disney’s production of The Hunchback of Notre Dame at the Paper Mill Playhouse under the direction of Scott Schwartz.  She has worked with such opera and theater companies such as Light Opera of New York, Ridgewood Gilbert & Sullivan Opera Co., Garden State Opera, New York Lyric Opera, and Stony Hill Players.  Jessica sings with the professional choir Sonaré and is an Artist-in-Residence with the Continuo Arts Foundation.  For three summers she had the pleasure of taking part in the Minuetto Music Festival in Summit, NJ, where she was an Emerging Artist Winner. Jessica is also an accomplished voice teacher whose students have performed in Carnegie Hall, been accepted into regional choirs, and successfully completed the Royal Conservatory of Music examinations.  She recently graduated from Montclair State University with a Master’s Degree in vocal performance.   She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in vocal performance from Muhlenberg College.

 

Piano
Private Piano

The piano is an excellent instrument for laying a strong foundation of music education. Our piano department offers supportive and quality instruction for all levels and ages. We place an emphasis on individuality in learning and provide hands-on, tailored instruction. For students looking for an instrument to study, the piano's basic structure allows for the fundamentals of music to be learned through a visual and comprehensive approach, which can be easily transferred to other instruments. Students will explore musical concepts such as note reading, rhythm, melody, harmony, style and expression. 

Private piano lessons provide focused, one-on-one instruction, while guiding students to develop their unique talents at their own pace. Private lessons establish a solid foundation in theory, repertoire and polished technique. Students are exposed to a variety of musical concepts and skills while being inspired to achieve their goals. Our faculty are top-level educators with years of teaching experience. Having studied at some of the most prestigious universities and conservatories our faculty are highly-successful, experienced and caring musicians. 

Each student is paired with a member of our faculty who will assess their needs and guide them towards meeting their individual goals. Lessons are offered in 30, 45 and 60 minutes sessions.  

For registration form, policies and procedures  CLICK HERE


Lucas Barkley - Piano, Audition Prep (Opera, Classical), Music Theory

 Lucas Barkley, MM

Lucas Barkley

Mr. Barkley is a pianist and vocal coach who lives in South Orange, NJ serves as staff accompanist at The Continuo Arts Foundation and works in the New York City area. Recently he was pianist and coach for Manhattan Opera Studio's Winter Festival as well as rehearsal pianist with Regina Opera (Lucia di Lammermoor). He is also a regular pianist for performances at Brooklyn Opera (recent productions include Elektra and Nabucco, with Das Rheingold, Thaïs, and La Gioconda upcoming in 2016).

Mr. Barkley recently relocated from Pittsburgh, PA where he was a staff pianist at Duquesne University’s Mary Pappert School of Music and a pianist and vocal coach for Undercroft Opera (Carmen, Norma, The Magic Flute, Die Fledermaus, Madama Butterfly). He was also an accompanist and coach for CO-OPERA, a co-production of Pittsburgh Opera and Carnegie Mellon University featuring the world premieres of five one-act operas by student composers, and accompanist and répétiteur for the inaugural production (Verdi’s Macbeth) of Resonance Works | Pittsburgh. As an art song accompanist, Mr. Barkely devised and accompanied two all-Schubert recitals (Nacht und Träume in 2013 and 1815: A Schubert Song Bicentennial) as well as a graduate recital featuring works of Schubert, Poulenc and Brahms. With tenor Daniel Arnaldos in 2014 he presented Spain is Different: Spanish Songs and Arias and Sehnsucht (structured around settings of Goethe’s Nur wer die Sehnsucht kennt) at Carnegie Mellon University.

In 2013 and 2014 Mr. Barkley studied at the Vancouver International Song Institute, coaching with (among others) Graham Johnson, Martin Katz, Cameron Stowe and Arlene Shrut. Lucas holds a bachelor’s degree in piano performance with a minor in English literature from Duquesne University and a master’s in collaborative piano from Carnegie Mellon. He lives in New Jersey with his wife Kerri, daughter Lydia and cat Mädchen.



 

 

Instrumental

Private studies for wind and string instruments available soon.

Hunchback Master

Musical Theater/Audition Prep

 

Samantha Ferrara  - Musical Theater Audition Prep, Voice

 Samantha Ferrara, BM

Samantha Ferrara

Samantha Ferrara, Director of Musical Theater at The Continuo Arts Foundation, graduated in 2014 from Westminster Choir College of Rider University with a B.M. in Music Education and a minor in Musical Theater. While at Rider and Westminster, she performed as a choir member and soloist with Symphonic Choir, as well as performing in six mainstage productions under the direction of Nathan Hurwitz, Robin Lewis, Trent Blanton and Miriam Mills.     

     Ms. Ferrara can be frequently found on both the professional and community stage; she spent last spring in the chorus of Hunchback of Notre Dame at Paper Mill Playhouse, and this past summer flying high in Trilogy Repertory Company’s Mary Poppins as the title role.  Some of her favorite roles include Niki Harris in Curtains, Ariel in Footloose and Hope Harcourt in Anything Goes.   

     Ms. Ferrara lives in Bernardsville, where she is the alto section leader at St. Bernard’s Episcopal Church and had music directed productions at Bernardsville Middle School. Ms. Ferrara is currently teaching chorus and orchestra at Mountain View Middle School in Mendham.

 

 

Batons  Music Theory  Candace Conducting

Conducting/Music Theory Tutoring-AP Prep

        

Candace Wicke -  Voice (Studio Full), Conducting

 Candace Wicke, DMA

Candace Wicke

Last seen on the 2016 Festival Pro Musica e Arte Sacra sharing the program with the likes of the Vienna Philharmonic, Christoph Eschenbach and other world renowned musicians of note, conductor Candace Wicke made her Carnegie Hall debut in 2002.  Founder, President and Executive Director of The Continuo Arts Foundation, Wicke conducted its Inaugural concert at the prestigious Festival Internazionale pro Musica e Arte Sacre Series in Vatican City and Rome, Italy with the Continuo Arts Symphonic Chorus, Orchestra and the City of Prague Philharmonic in 2008; an international concert event featuring a world premiere-televised production which became the subject of a full length documentary film. 

Wicke conducted and produced Continuo Arts’ “Christmas Time in the City” and the Lee Kjelson Memorial “Sounds of Music Series” series in Carnegie Hall and in 2011 the first Festival Internazionale Di Arte Per Giovani Musicisti in Rome, Italy. She was the principal conductor for the 2012 Inaugural season of the Minuetto Music Festival and returned to conduct the second Giovani Musicisti Festival in Rome, Vatican City, Assisi and Prague. Making history in February of 2014, Dr. Wicke conducted the first concert inside the Sistine Chapel by an American organization. The 2015 season included serving as Chorus Master for the world premiere of Disney’s “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” at the Paper Mill Playhouse.

As a champion of new music, Wicke has premiered many compositions in Carnegie Hall, Rome, Vatican City, Prague, Ireland, Australia and other locations around the world. Her international experience also includes conducting the United States representative Wind Ensemble at the Taipei Presidential Inauguration, the City of Prague Philharmonic in the Czech Republic and the Waratah Girls Choir in Australia. Ensembles under her baton have received National and International acclaim performing with Andre Rieu and the Johan Strauss Orchestra in Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall, the Turksoy Orchestra in Lincoln Center and the Music Center at Strathmore, the Global International Women’s Summit, Musica Mundi International, Legatus International, and the Miami Civic Associations Young Artist Debut. She is a popular guest conductor, adjudicator and master class clinician across the United States.

Dr. Wicke conducts and manages the Continuo Arts Intergenerational Choral Programs, Music Conservatory, Community Outreach Programs, and The Minuetto Music Festival. She is the recipient of the 2014 Distinguished Alumni of the Year for Evangel University, New Jersey’s 2016 Women of Excellence in Arts & Humanities Award Winner for Union County, and has received a 2016 Congressional Recognition for dedication and excellence in Arts & Humanities.

Lucas Barkley - Piano, Audition Prep (Opera, Classical), Music Theory

 Lucas Barkley, MM

Lucas Barkley

Mr. Barkley is a pianist and vocal coach who lives in South Orange, NJ serves as staff accompanist at The Continuo Arts Foundation and works in the New York City area. Recently he was pianist and coach for Manhattan Opera Studio's Winter Festival as well as rehearsal pianist with Regina Opera (Lucia di Lammermoor). He is also a regular pianist for performances at Brooklyn Opera (recent productions include Elektra and Nabucco, with Das Rheingold, Thaïs, and La Gioconda upcoming in 2016).

Mr. Barkley recently relocated from Pittsburgh, PA where he was a staff pianist at Duquesne University’s Mary Pappert School of Music and a pianist and vocal coach for Undercroft Opera (Carmen, Norma, The Magic Flute, Die Fledermaus, Madama Butterfly). He was also an accompanist and coach for CO-OPERA, a co-production of Pittsburgh Opera and Carnegie Mellon University featuring the world premieres of five one-act operas by student composers, and accompanist and répétiteur for the inaugural production (Verdi’s Macbeth) of Resonance Works | Pittsburgh. As an art song accompanist, Mr. Barkely devised and accompanied two all-Schubert recitals (Nacht und Träume in 2013 and 1815: A Schubert Song Bicentennial) as well as a graduate recital featuring works of Schubert, Poulenc and Brahms. With tenor Daniel Arnaldos in 2014 he presented Spain is Different: Spanish Songs and Arias and Sehnsucht (structured around settings of Goethe’s Nur wer die Sehnsucht kennt) at Carnegie Mellon University.

In 2013 and 2014 Mr. Barkley studied at the Vancouver International Song Institute, coaching with (among others) Graham Johnson, Martin Katz, Cameron Stowe and Arlene Shrut. Lucas holds a bachelor’s degree in piano performance with a minor in English literature from Duquesne University and a master’s in collaborative piano from Carnegie Mellon. He lives in New Jersey with his wife Kerri, daughter Lydia and cat Mädchen.

 

 

 

Staff

Candace Wicke -  Voice (Studio Full), Conducting

 Candace Wicke, DMA

Candace Wicke

Last seen on the 2016 Festival Pro Musica e Arte Sacra sharing the program with the likes of the Vienna Philharmonic, Christoph Eschenbach and other world renowned musicians of note, conductor Candace Wicke made her Carnegie Hall debut in 2002.  Founder, President and Executive Director of The Continuo Arts Foundation, Wicke conducted its Inaugural concert at the prestigious Festival Internazionale pro Musica e Arte Sacre Series in Vatican City and Rome, Italy with the Continuo Arts Symphonic Chorus, Orchestra and the City of Prague Philharmonic in 2008; an international concert event featuring a world premiere-televised production which became the subject of a full length documentary film. 

Wicke conducted and produced Continuo Arts’ “Christmas Time in the City” and the Lee Kjelson Memorial “Sounds of Music Series” series in Carnegie Hall and in 2011 the first Festival Internazionale Di Arte Per Giovani Musicisti in Rome, Italy. She was the principal conductor for the 2012 Inaugural season of the Minuetto Music Festival and returned to conduct the second Giovani Musicisti Festival in Rome, Vatican City, Assisi and Prague. Making history in February of 2014, Dr. Wicke conducted the first concert inside the Sistine Chapel by an American organization. The 2015 season included serving as Chorus Master for the world premiere of Disney’s “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” at the Paper Mill Playhouse.

As a champion of new music, Wicke has premiered many compositions in Carnegie Hall, Rome, Vatican City, Prague, Ireland, Australia and other locations around the world. Her international experience also includes conducting the United States representative Wind Ensemble at the Taipei Presidential Inauguration, the City of Prague Philharmonic in the Czech Republic and the Waratah Girls Choir in Australia. Ensembles under her baton have received National and International acclaim performing with Andre Rieu and the Johan Strauss Orchestra in Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall, the Turksoy Orchestra in Lincoln Center and the Music Center at Strathmore, the Global International Women’s Summit, Musica Mundi International, Legatus International, and the Miami Civic Associations Young Artist Debut. She is a popular guest conductor, adjudicator and master class clinician across the United States.

Dr. Wicke conducts and manages the Continuo Arts Intergenerational Choral Programs, Music Conservatory, Community Outreach Programs, and The Minuetto Music Festival. She is the recipient of the 2014 Distinguished Alumni of the Year for Evangel University, New Jersey’s 2016 Women of Excellence in Arts & Humanities Award Winner for Union County, and has received a 2016 Congressional Recognition for dedication and excellence in Arts & Humanities.

Amanda Blutner - Voice

 Amanda Blutner, MA

Amanda Blutner

Mrs. Blütner holds a B.M. in Music Education from Westminster Choir College and an M.A. in Music and Music Education from Teachers College of  Columbia University. During her time at
Westminster, she performed as a choir member and soloist with Schola Cantorum, Williamsonn Voices, and the Westminster Choir under the batons of James Jordan, Joe Miller, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Jacques Lacombe, Alan Gilbert and Joseph Flummerfelt. She has performed in ensembles in engagements around the country including Carnegie Hall, Avery Fischer Hall at Lincoln Center, the Kimmel Center, Paper Mill Playhouse, The United Nations General Assembly, and the Spoleto Music Festival in Charleston, South Carolina.

Mrs. Blütner is a choral director and music teacher in the Elizabeth Public School District, Programs Manager and Assistant Conductor for The Continuo Arts Foundation and is on staff teaching private voice at the Continuo Arts Conservatory.

Lucas Barkley - Piano, Audition Prep (Opera, Classical), Music Theory

 Lucas Barkley, MM

Lucas Barkley

Mr. Barkley is a pianist and vocal coach who lives in South Orange, NJ serves as staff accompanist at The Continuo Arts Foundation and works in the New York City area. Recently he was pianist and coach for Manhattan Opera Studio's Winter Festival as well as rehearsal pianist with Regina Opera (Lucia di Lammermoor). He is also a regular pianist for performances at Brooklyn Opera (recent productions include Elektra and Nabucco, with Das Rheingold, Thaïs, and La Gioconda upcoming in 2016).

Mr. Barkley recently relocated from Pittsburgh, PA where he was a staff pianist at Duquesne University’s Mary Pappert School of Music and a pianist and vocal coach for Undercroft Opera (Carmen, Norma, The Magic Flute, Die Fledermaus, Madama Butterfly). He was also an accompanist and coach for CO-OPERA, a co-production of Pittsburgh Opera and Carnegie Mellon University featuring the world premieres of five one-act operas by student composers, and accompanist and répétiteur for the inaugural production (Verdi’s Macbeth) of Resonance Works | Pittsburgh. As an art song accompanist, Mr. Barkely devised and accompanied two all-Schubert recitals (Nacht und Träume in 2013 and 1815: A Schubert Song Bicentennial) as well as a graduate recital featuring works of Schubert, Poulenc and Brahms. With tenor Daniel Arnaldos in 2014 he presented Spain is Different: Spanish Songs and Arias and Sehnsucht (structured around settings of Goethe’s Nur wer die Sehnsucht kennt) at Carnegie Mellon University.

In 2013 and 2014 Mr. Barkley studied at the Vancouver International Song Institute, coaching with (among others) Graham Johnson, Martin Katz, Cameron Stowe and Arlene Shrut. Lucas holds a bachelor’s degree in piano performance with a minor in English literature from Duquesne University and a master’s in collaborative piano from Carnegie Mellon. He lives in New Jersey with his wife Kerri, daughter Lydia and cat Mädchen.

Allison Mion  - Voice

 Allison Mion, MM

Allison Mion

Originally from Summit,  soprano Allison Mion recently relocated to the greater NY area after 4 years in Atlanta, GA, where she completed her Master of Music degree and holds a Bachelor's Degree from Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania. Ms. Mion currently serves as Administrative Assistant at The Continuo Arts Foundation.

Allison found great success both on the stage of Georgia State and in the Atlanta community.  Notable roles include Mary Warren (The Crucible--Robert Ward) and Rosina (Il Barbiere di Siviglia). Previous roles include Adele (Die Fledermaus), Madame Kirsten (The Beautiful Bridegroom), Queen of the Night cover (Die Zauberflöte), Zerlina (Don Giovanni), Miss Wordsworth (Albert Herring), and Despina (Cosi fan tutte).  She was a two-time soloist for the Schubert Mass in G, presented by the Georgia State University Singers and the Atlanta Choral Guild, and was a finalist in the 2014 NATS Regional Competition (Southeastern Region), and a semi-finalist in the 2015 Orpheus Vocal Competition.

In February of 2015, Miss Mion  made her Atlanta Symphony Debut as the featured soloist for the "My Family Valentine" children's concert series.  That summer, Allison attended the Opera Breve Vocal Institute in Witchita Falls, Texas, where she played the role of Miss Wordsworth in their main-stage production of 'Albert Herring', under the instruction of J.J. Hudson and Brian Osbourne.

In 2016, Ms. Mion was once again a semi-finalist for the Orpheus and a finalist in both the NY Lyric Vocal Competition and the Classical Singer National Convention in Boston in April and May.  Throughout the Spring season, Miss Mion was cast as Despina by new local [Atlanta] opera company, ‘small opera’, where she starred in the company's debut performance in April.  

Currently, Miss Mion is enjoying adjusting to life in the greater NY area again.  She is a member of both the Civic Chorale and Sonare Ensemble at the Continuo Arts Foundation, where she is also on the Administrative Staff.  She is also on staff at the Wharton Institute for Performing Arts, as part of their elementary school music outreach program in Paterson, NJ.  This April, Miss Mion will be traveling to Detroit, Michigan with Opera MODO, where she will portray the role of Zerlina in their spring production of Don Giovanni.

Samantha Ferrara  - Musical Theater Audition Prep, Voice

 Samantha Ferrara, BM

Samantha Ferrara

Samantha Ferrara, Director of Musical Theater at The Continuo Arts Foundation, graduated in 2014 from Westminster Choir College of Rider University with a B.M. in Music Education and a minor in Musical Theater. While at Rider and Westminster, she performed as a choir member and soloist with Symphonic Choir, as well as performing in six mainstage productions under the direction of Nathan Hurwitz, Robin Lewis, Trent Blanton and Miriam Mills.     

     Ms. Ferrara can be frequently found on both the professional and community stage; she spent last spring in the chorus of Hunchback of Notre Dame at Paper Mill Playhouse, and this past summer flying high in Trilogy Repertory Company’s Mary Poppins as the title role.  Some of her favorite roles include Niki Harris in Curtains, Ariel in Footloose and Hope Harcourt in Anything Goes.   

     Ms. Ferrara lives in Bernardsville, where she is the alto section leader at St. Bernard’s Episcopal Church and had music directed productions at Bernardsville Middle School. Ms. Ferrara is currently teaching chorus and orchestra at Mountain View Middle School in Mendham.

Jessica Walch, Voice

 Jessica Walch, MM

Jessica Walch

Soprano Jessica Walch is a versatile emerging young artist and voice teacher.  Recent performance credits include Angelica in Handel’s Orlando, Josephine in HMS Pinafore, Lady Saphir in Patience, Nursing Sister & Alms Sister in Suor Angelica, Edith in Pirates of Penzance, Woman 1 in Songs for a New World, and Violet Hilton in Side Show.  In 2015 she was seen in Disney’s production of The Hunchback of Notre Dame at the Paper Mill Playhouse under the direction of Scott Schwartz.  She has worked with such opera and theater companies such as Light Opera of New York, Ridgewood Gilbert & Sullivan Opera Co., Garden State Opera, New York Lyric Opera, and Stony Hill Players.  Jessica sings with the professional choir Sonaré and is an Artist-in-Residence with the Continuo Arts Foundation.  For three summers she had the pleasure of taking part in the Minuetto Music Festival in Summit, NJ, where she was an Emerging Artist Winner. Jessica is also an accomplished voice teacher whose students have performed in Carnegie Hall, been accepted into regional choirs, and successfully completed the Royal Conservatory of Music examinations.  She recently graduated from Montclair State University with a Master’s Degree in vocal performance.   She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in vocal performance from Muhlenberg College.

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