Growing up in rural southeastern Virginia, Ray Bailey always wanted to be a rock & roll singer, so he went to Yale, majored in theatre (directing), and became an Anglo-Catholic. He's bilingual and loves all things French, reads Latin, and enjoys fast cars, croquet, and the sea. When not pursuing music (he also plays keyboards, percussion, and horns; writes, conducts, and teaches), he likes to sleep and dream of New Orleans.
Megan is a coloratura soprano active in the opera scene. Her signature and favorite role is the Queen of the Night, which you can check out on her website at www.meganbrunning.com. Before moving to New York, Megan sang at the Episcopal Cathedral of St. Philip in Atlanta for five years. The four things she loves most in life are animals, food, music, and colors! When she's not singing, Megan is most likely hunting for treasure at thrift stores or stuffing her face with vegan macarons. Or cupcakes. Or doughnuts. You get the idea.
Marquis moved to New York a year and a half ago from Boston to pursue a career in Opera. He now works in healthcare . . . Cheers! Marquis has performed extensively across the New England area, singing opera, chamber and oratorio repertoire. When he isn’t singing, Marquis enjoys baking, reading and going to the movies. Marquis has learned important life lessons since moving here, like not taking deep breaths on garbage day and how New York is the city where umbrellas come to die.
I began singing in St. James’ choir in 1989 and joined the congregation in 1993. Singing the choir is the foundation upon which I have been able to build a more spiritual life. I greatly enjoy the satisfaction of bringing others to greater depths of understanding, and love the the spiritual high one feels after participating in a great liturgy. My daughter, Holly, now in college, was raised in the music program at St. James’, and my wife, Dorothy, is finally a full-time student at Union Theological Seminary after dreaming about it for the past 35 years. I also currently serve on the Vestry as the Junior Warden.
Hannah Kurth, a native Iowan, is a recent transplant to the city. She holds a BM from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and an MM from Eastman, and while in school she cultivated a love for singing opera, musical theatre, early music, and choral music. She can often be found in Brooklyn, enjoying fine cheese and wine with her boyfriend Paul (also a choral singer). She loves spending time in nature, cooking vegetarian fare, and has a mean impression of Frodo succumbing to the One Ring.
Stephanie grew up in San Antonio, Texas, and then moved to New York to obtain a Bachelor's Degree in Classical Voice at the Manhattan School of Music. She is currently the General Administrator for the George London Foundation for Singers (www.GeorgeLondon.org), and she sings operatic and choral repertoire in the tri-state area (www.StephanieLamprea.com). When not completely immersed in music, Stephanie attempts to cook, considers jogging (twice a year) to be a hobby, and loves to read.
Dean was interested in music since early childhood, learning a variety of instruments from piano to clarinet to string bass (all of which he plays badly). His fascination with opera and composing began when he was about 12 years old, and has been involved with both ever since that age, singing from choirs as a boy soprano to performing lead roles on operatic stages in the US and Europe, and composing music for theater, advertising, multimedia projects, and worship, including works heard at St. James’. Having “done all of that” professionally, his current work isn’t based on music, so Dean is especially grateful to be able to be so actively engaged in the choirs and musical life of St. James’ Church.
Lydia made her singing debut in the Overbrook Presbyterian Church Nursery School Christmas Pageant at age three. From then on she participated in choirs and a cappella groups through school and college. After college, she took twenty years off, until she met Davis on the 2013 St. James' Pilgrimage to Israel, and realized it was time to come back to the choir stalls. She's delighted to be in both the Canterbury and Compostela Choirs. For her day job she works in Finance, but that's not nearly as much fun as singing.
Gwyneth Mooney joined the St. James’ Compostela choir as a soprano in June 2002. Over the years she has enjoyed the professionalism and camaraderie Davis and the other musicians bring to the group and has also enjoyed making music and spending time with the St. James’ community. During the week you can find her a few blocks away from church teaching music and drama at Dominican Academy, a Catholic high school for girls. Gwyneth’s great loves after music are sports and the outdoors. She’s an avid runner and logs many miles in Central Park and along the Hudson River near her home in Jersey City. When not in the city, Gwyneth spends as much time as she can at her second home in the Catskills where she enjoys gardening, hiking, skiing, and golf.
A Floridian by birth, Brittany suffers through NYC winters because of the magical musical possibilities the city has to offer. She sings and tours with the "girl band," Siren Baroque (all-female Baroque ensemble), and tends to sigh, faint, cry, and/or die in every opera role in which she is cast. In addition to music, Brittany is infatuated with neurology and bioscience. She is almost done with a second masters degree in speech pathology with a specialization in voice disorders.
Christine Papania, originally from New Jersey, currently lives in Brooklyn working as a soprano and composer/producer. Christine has a passion for choral and early music and loves singing at St. James' Church. Christine performs with various ensembles throughout the city and composes and performs classical/ambient electronic music with her ensemble, Ariadne. She is thrilled to be involved in New York’s diverse and inspiring music scene.
Born and raised in Pontiac, Illinois, John developed most of his musical foundation from singing four part harmonies with his family at his childhood church. As a member of a "brass only" extended family, he often subbed as a horn player in his family's brass quintet, "Holiday Brass". After studying voice and horn at Illinois State University, he moved to New York City where he received his master's degree in voice at Mannes College. He is currently pursuing a career in opera.
Bruce Saylor is delighted to join the Compostela Choir and the parish of St. James'. A composer of opera, symphony, and chamber music, he loves writing church music. A cradle Episcopalian from Philadelphia, he's been a New Yorker since the 1960s, is proud of his four accomplished daughters, and teaches at the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College and at the CUNY Graduate Center.
Misty has entertained audiences across the United States & Europe. She has presented several recitals of Kurt Weill's music at Lincoln Center and has sung with the Seattle, Houston, Phoenix, San Diego, Detroit, and Miami Symphonies, the Boston Pops and at the Chicago Ravinia Festival. Misty's first love was choral music and she was thrilled to join the Compostela Choir in 2006. She is the featured soloist on Ike Sturm’s Jazz Mass, which received outstanding reviews from some of the world’s top music journals; it was voted one of the Best Albums in 2010 by Downbeat magazine. Originally from Atlanta, Georgia, Misty now lives with her loving husband and two beautiful daughters in the Hudson Valley where she enjoys running and Nordic skiing. She now also cantors the Candlelight Communion service Sunday evenings at St. James'.
I love Anglican Church music and have been in love with it for about two years now. This past August I traveled to England to sing Evensong services at St. Paul's in London and Canterbury Cathedral and it was truly a dream. I am also obsessed with Beyoncé. I moved to NYC in the fall of 2013 with my boyfriend, Tyler Walker, and our cocker spaniel, Parker.
Tyler came to St. James' only a few months ago after moving to NYC with his partner, Ben, and his precious Cocker Spaniel, Parker. He learned to play piano and sing when he was 4 by sitting in his grandmother's lap on Sundays in a little south Georgia church. Tyler loves church music and has been a church organist for the past 8 years.