Meridian Singers, Spring 2015
Sally De Fazio
Singers’ Brief Biographies (December 2014)
Jess Ahearn works in online education at MIT and is probably the first choir member to be recruited via Twitter. She has previously sung with the Oriana Choir at USC’s Thornton School of Music and with the Cantores Choir in Dunedin, New Zealand. This is her third concert with the Meridians.
Mary Briggs went to Harvard Medical School, only because MIT doesn't have one, but is married to an MIT alumnus. An early music aficionado for 20 years, she enjoys singing as well as recorder + baroque flute playing in ensembles and as soloist. New to Meridians, she also sings with the Renaissance choir Vox Lucens and First Parish in Lincoln's choir. She has played/sung with A Joyful Noyse and Arcadia Players. Now retired from medicine, music and tennis keep her very busy.
Alexandra Cok is currently a fourth-year PhD student in Chemistry at MIT. She has sung in choral groups of all sizes and varieties since the age of 5, including the Calvin College Capella and the MIT Women's Chorale. She has sung with the Meridians since 2013.
Nina Davis-Millis has worked at the MIT Libraries for over 25 years. Since 1995 she has also been the housemaster of Random Hall, one of MIT’s undergraduate dorms and home to the oldest milk on campus. She has sung locally with Tactus, Summer Seasonals, Musica Sacra, and Capella Alamire, and in New York with The Dessoff Choirs and the Canby Singers.
Sally De Fazio first became enchanted by choral harmonies while in elementary school. She has since participated in whatever chorus would take her whenever she could. She has sung for decades with the MIT Women's Chorale, but appreciates the variety of singing with the sound of the deeper voices of some of her fellow Meridians. A retired immunologist, she dabbles at playing classical piano and is a part-time teacher of watercolor painting.
Larry Gall joined the Meridian Singers in the fall of 2009. He is an enthusiastic vocal musician who is bass/baritone soloist at St. Michael's Episcopal Church in Milton, having previously served as bass section leader at First Parish in Concord. Larry studies voice in the studio of Robert Gartside in Lexington and also performs with the Masterworks Chorale. He has retired from the National Park Service following a long career as an historian and manager.
Kate Gyllensvard works in the MIT Libraries and at the Cambridge Historical Commission. She has been singing in choirs for as long as she can remember, including Cambridge Madrigal Singers, Back Bay Chorale, Convivium Musicum, Tactus, Summer Seasonals, and the Jameson Singers.
Kate Judd enjoyed the April 2010 Meridian concert so much that she joined the group shortly thereafter. She has sung in many choral groups over the years. She presently sings in the Cambridge Community Chorus and in her church choir. Kate taught First Grade at the Maria Baldwin School in Cambridge for 22 years. She and her husband, an MIT alumnus, thought they were both retired until he started working in MIT's Plasma Science and Fusion Center Laboratory in January 2010.
Susan Lester has been singing in groups since the age of 8: at summer camp, in her high school’s glee club; in a college a cappella group; in the MIT Choral Society from 1964 to 1990 under conductors Klaus Liepmann and John Oliver; with the parish choir of St. Paul Church in Harvard Square since 1997 (with fellow Meridian Andrea Siegel), and with the Meridian Singers since its earliest days. Sue retired from MIT in 2008 and enjoys tennis, watercolor painting, Shakespeare, and maintaining connections with friends on campus.
Stephen Pepper has been singing in choral groups large and small almost continuously since age 8. In 42 years in Boston he has sung with the Back Bay Chorale, Harvard Summer Chorus, Boston Gay Men’s Chorus, and several church choirs. He joined Meridian Singers in September 2008. At MIT Stephen works in the Office of Undergraduate Advising and Academic Programming, where he staffs the Committee on Academic Performance; consults for Faculty freshman advisors; and coordinates credit for external study.
Kate Schenck is an Administrative Staff Assistant in the Ombuds Office. In addition to Meridian Singers, Kate most recently performed with the Oriana Consort. She has been a soloist and ensemblist with several area groups including A Joyful Noyse, the Choir of the Church of the Advent, Capella Alamire, Longy Chamber Singers, and Master Singers.
Andrea Siegel is in her fourth year at MIT and joined the Travel Office as Assistant Manager in September. She started singing in choral groups in grade school, sang with Back Bay Chorale for 15 years and enjoys singing purely a cappella with the Meridians. Andrea also sings in the Parish Choir at St. Paul Church in Harvard Square, along with fellow Meridian Sue Lester.
Richard Tarrant has taught Classics at Harvard since 1982 and is currently Pope Professor of Latin. From 1997 to 2014 he was a member of the Parish Choir at Saint Paul Church in Cambridge, where he sang with fellow Meridian members Susan Lester and Andrea Siegel.
Rich Wenger is the E-Resource Systems Manager for the MIT Libraries. He has been singing in choral groups since college, and is in his second season with the Meridian Singers. Some of the groups with which he has sung are the Master Singers, Spectrum Singers, A Joyful Noyse, and the Apollo Club of Boston.
Last Updated March 2015