The concert series “Sacred Voices” featured short concerts of sacred music from all genres and inflections. The artists were mainly singers and instrumentalists who have have sung or affected music at St. David’s. It is hoped that this series will be another way in which our worshiping community can celebrate the connections and friendships made at our parish – and the joy of sacred music. See the full series below.
JANUARY 2 / PAPOVICH FAMILY
A Family Christmas
Casey, Maureen, and Jonah offer several Christmas favorites, including a humorous take on the “After Christmas” blues.
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(Maureen Broy Papovich, Casey Papovich, and Jonah Broy Papovich)
The Papovich family began in 1996 when Casey and Maureen met singing in the Baltimore Choral Arts Society. Maureen has since made a career of singing classical music with groups around the country including the Arizona Opera Company, the Santa Fe Desert Chorale, The Houston Chamber Choir and, locally, Austin Opera, One Ounce Opera and Inversion Ensemble. Casey is a Professor of Astronomy at Texas A & M University but has sung professionally with groups including The Phoenix Bach Choir and Ars Longa. Jonah, who is in the 7th grade at IDEA Pflugerville, is continuing the tradition and performs with the Austin Children’s Choir, Kids Acting and in the choir at St. David’s Episcopal Church. The family has lived in the Austin area since 2011 and are thrilled to call it home.
FEBRUARY 6 / CHAZ NAILOR
Arias from Elijah and African-American spirituals
Chaz is our talented bass-baritone section leader for the two parish choirs and is always in demand in Austin and the surrounding musical world.
LEARN MORE ABOUT CHAZ NAILOR
In 2009, Texas native Chaz Nailor returned to Austin from pursuing doctoral studies in Voice and Opera performance at The Indiana University Jacobs School of Music where he was a recipient of the T.I.S. Tichenor Foundation Scholarship through the Society of the Friends of Music. His performance studies provided experience portraying operatic roles that range from the Baroque to the 20th Century. Chaz’s operatic roles range from Argante of Handel’s Rinaldo to Benoit of Puccini’s La Bohème, extending to Junius of Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia. His most recent performance for the opera stage was his role as Dr. Bartolo in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro.
He has studied at The University of Texas Butler Opera Center, Lyric Opera San Antonio, and the Indiana University Opera Theater. Yet, embracing performance opportunities outside of the classical genre, Chaz made professional musical theatre debuts in productions of Les Misérables (2014) and The Gospel at Colonus (2014) at Austin’s own Zach Theatre.
He has also performed, with equal adeptness, for the concert stage as bass-baritone soloist in a number of masses, oratorios and other concerted works. He has been a featured soloist with the Texas Choral Consort, performing the roles of Adam in The Creation and of Simon in The Seasons, both by Franz Joseph Haydn. He was featured again, singing the role of ‘Jesus Christ’ in a Chorus Austin production of St. John Passion by Heinrich Schütz. And in 2018 with The Trinity Symphony Orchestra and Choirs, he reprised roles in Haydn’s The Creation. In 2019, he performed among a select solo quartet in Schubert’s Magnificat in C, D486, in the Austin Symphony Orchestra’s season opener (2019-2020), “Triple Delight”, featuring Chorus Austin.
Chaz is currently on the artistic rosters of professional and semi-professional vocal ensembles in south central Texas, including the San Antonio Chamber Choir (SACC), among in-residence artists at The Tobin Center for the Performing Arts. He also serves as a Staff Musician at St. David’s Episcopal Church in downtown Austin and as Bass Baritone Section Leader for Chorus Austin’s Symphonic Chorus.
Outside of the concert hall, he frequently appears as a guest performer in charitable fundraisers organized by the Austin Babtist Women and at local music festivals with touring ensembles such as hip-hop super group Deltron 3030. At SXSW 2019, he added HBO credits to his discography after performing and recording with the Game of Thrones SXSW Festival Ensemble, in association with Giant Spoon and the American Red Cross.
And in Chaz’s rare free time beyond the performance stage, he enjoys technology, laughing, fitness, exercising, socializing, movies, video games, travel, and spending time with friends. His favorite celebrity, dead or alive, is Lucille Ball.
MARCH 20 / MARY ASHTON & AUSTIN HALLER
A Musical Offering
Two of St. David’s favorite musicians from the near past offer a handful of varied and colorful sacred pieces.
LEARN MORE ABOUT MARY ASHTON & AUSTIN HALLER
Mary Elizabeth Ashton
Mary Elizabeth Ashton, soprano, is praised for her “warm” and “clear” tone. She has been singing professionally in Central Texas since 2010 and currently sings with Austin Baroque Orchestra, Texas Early Music Project, San Antonio Chamber Choir, Austin Cantorum, and various choral projects around Austin. Most recently, she has joined forces with four other fierce female voices in the new quintet, Vamp.
Austin Haller is delighted to be back making music at St. David’s, where he served as Organist and Associate Director of Music from 2006 to 2014. Hailed as “always remarkable” (Austin Chronicle), he serves as organist for the Austin Symphony and St. Martin’s Lutheran Church, and he performs regularly with the Grammy-winning choir Conspirare and with many choral ensembles in Central Texas. Austin is the grateful recipient of Austin Critics’ Table and B. Iden Payne Awards for Music Direction, and he is frequently heard performing at Austin Shakespeare’s cabaret series at Parker Jazz Club.
Click here to watch Austin Haller’s last Sunday as organist and music leader at St. David’s Dec. 2014
APRIL 10 / MARK WISCHKAEMPER
Songs from the Sacred Repertoire
Mark offers his own unique turns on several sacred pieces from the various folk traditions of America.
LEARN MORE ABOUT MARK WISCHKAEMPER
Mark Wischkaemper has been a performing singer since the age of 13, when he sang the National Anthem for a major league baseball game. Since then, he’s performed all over the world, including in the largest church in the Western Hemisphere in Mexico City, at a 500-year-old pub in London, and in a performance of Ernst Krenek’s Lamentations of Jeremiah for Krenek’s wife. He’s been the Director of Music, Bethell Hall for seven years and intends to stay as long as they’ll let him. Mark is married to Amanda, father to Abby, and doggy-daddy to three very silly chihuahuas. He’s grateful for the opportunity to sing on this concert series!
DATE TBD / JULIA DI FIORE & PAGE STEPHENS
A Cornucopia of Sacred Duets
Two of St. David’s favorite mezzo sopranos share duets from the classic repertoire.
LEARN MORE ABOUT JULIA DI FIORE & PAGE STEPHENS
Julia Di Fiore
Julia Di Fiore is a former opera singer from Denton, Texas, and holds degrees from Vanderbilt University and Florida State University in Voice Performance. After completing her first Master’s in 2016, Julia performed in and around Austin with various opera and choral companies, and worked in the Development Department for Armstrong Community Music School. In 2017, Julia decided to change careers and pursue a Master of Public Affairs and a J.D. at the LBJ School of Public Affairs and Texas Law School at the University of Texas in Austin. Julia plans to pursue a career in public service.
Page Stephens is a mezzo soprano, voice teacher and arts administrator based in Austin, Texas, with a soft spot for new music. Notable recent premiere performances include: Dana Lyn’s A Point on a Slow Curve with Lyn’s band Mother Octopus; Adrienne Inglis’ Innocent Blood as Mary Esty with Inversion Ensemble; Mark Kilstofte’s The White Album with Copland House in New York; and Russell Podgorsek’s operetta The Two of Swords with Invoke String Quartet. During the 2020-21 season with the pandemic still looming, she has several virtual projects planned with Less Than <10, Inversion Ensemble, Density512, Austin Classical Guitar, and composer Matthew Lyons. Stephens is the Assistant Director for Operations at the Butler School of Music and is working towards her doctorate in vocal performance and pedagogy at UT Austin.
Music from the Sacred Tradition
The Finnigan family has been influential in the Austin musical community and has been a part of the music ministry, here at St. David’s. Susan is the pianist and music director and her two sons and daughter-in-law will be singing (Casey and Corey) and Serena will add the sweet and expressive sound of the oboe to their ecletic mix.