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Marisa Curcio, soprano

Marisa has been a soprano in the Compostela Choir since September 2021, and joined the lay staff of St. James’ as Director of Communications in February 2022. Originally from near Saratoga Springs, NY, she graduated from Westminster Choir College, earning two Bachelors of Music degrees in music education and sacred music. During her tenure, she sang with Westminster Choir and Westminster Kantorei and regularly appeared with the New York Philharmonic and Philadelphia Orchestra. Prior to singing at St. James’, she sang at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia, and worked as their Associate for Communications. Presently, she appears as a chorister and soloist in services and concerts all over NY, NJ, and PA (sometimes all three in one day!), and maintains a private studio of voice, piano, and strings students at a central NJ music school. Marisa lives in Madison, NJ with her wife, Megan, and cat, Regina Cæli.

Suzanne Lane, soprano

Suzanne Lane has had the pleasure of singing at St. James’ since moving to New York in 2019. She has a varied career, performing in musicals, plays and operas throughout the region.  She has been seen at Ford’s Theatre, the Tony Award-winning Shakespeare Theatre, Studio Theatre, Olney Theatre Center, and with the In Series, among others.  Suzanne went to the University of Oklahoma, where she was the recipient of the Marilyn Horne Scholarship, and had the honor of studying with the legendary mezzo-soprano regularly in lessons and masterclasses. Suzanne lives in Harlem with her husband and two tabby cats.

MaKayla McDonald, soprano

Soprano MaKayla McDonald is an active performer of opera, art song, and new work. She recently sang with New Muses Project at the Kaufman Center to present a concert of “hidden choral gems and chamber music. Other recent engagements include: contemporary works with ChamberQUEER at National Sawdust, a Juneteenth Concert with Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre, American Opera Project + New York University/Tisch Opera Lab, and a recital for Butler University, Jordan College of the Arts Black History Month Arts Celebration. To learn more and see upcoming projects, visit: 

 A graduate of the University of Northern Iowa, where she was the recipient of many scholarships, including two graduate assistantships, MaKayla holds both a Master of Music and Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance. 

MaKayla currently resides in Brooklyn, NY and when not on singing, she is an Adjunct Lecturer for the Borough of Manhattan Community College Music and Art Department (BMCC-CUNY).  

Christine Papania, soprano

Christine loves singing in the Compostela Choir at St. James’ Church! As a singer and music educator, she has a passion for choral and early music and performs with various ensembles as a choral singer and soloist. Christine also composes and performs with her ensemble, Ariadne, and teaches voice through her private studio and various music organizations throughout the city. She is a graduate of Indiana University Jacobs School of Music and is currently a student at the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College. When she isn’t singing, Christine enjoys hiking, Brooklyn farmers markets, adventures in the city, and picnics at Prospect Park!

Linda Tsatsanis, soprano

Hailed as “ravishing” (New York Times) and possessing “sheer vocal proficiency, a bright, flexible voice, big but controlled, shaded with plentiful color” (Boston Globe), Canadian soprano Linda Tsatsanis enjoys a career that spans the concert hall, opera stage, movies, and television. Her versatility has made for a distinguished career taking her across the United States, Canada and Europe. Ms. Tsatsanis has appeared as soloist with Tallis Scholars, Toronto Symphony, Seattle Baroque Orchestra, Mark Morris Dance Group, Pacific Baroque Orchestra, Seattle Opera, among many others.  She has recorded extensively, and her debut solo album with Origin Classical, And I Remain: Three Love Stories, was described as a “seductive recital of the darker sides of 17th-century love” by Gramophone Magazine.

Alessandra Craig, alto

Alessandra Craig, originally from Seattle, Washington, has just graduated from the American Musical and Dramatic Academy for musical theatre, and is thrilled to be joining the choir at St. James! While they love all things singing, acting, and dancing, their first love in the performing arts was always classical voice. Alessandra grew up singing with the youth choirs at St. James Cathedral in Seattle, joining the Cathedral Choir in high school and serving as a cantor and a soloist there for a number of years as well. Outside of singing, they love to dance (particularly tap and ballet), knit, sew, and draw. Currently they are studying studio art and graphic design through the City University of New York.

Hannah Holmes, alto

Hannah has been singing with the Compostela Choir since 2015, and is very thankful to call St. James a musical home. An operetta enthusiast, she performs frequently with the New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players and the Victor Herbert Renaissance Project. She also sings in choral ensembles including the Bard Festival Chorale and New York Virtuoso Singers. She lives in Inwood with her husband Paul (who is also a singer – they met performing together at the Ohio Light Opera). When not engaged in musical endeavors, Hannah enjoys spending time in Fort Tryon Park, cooking vegetarian delights, and crafting.

Ben Thomas, countertenor

Ben Thomas, a native of Auburn, Alabama, resides in the Inwood neighborhood of Manhattan and has been a parishioner at St. James’ Church since 2013 and is beginning his 10th year in the Canterbury and Compostela Choirs. When not at St. James’, you can find him teaching private piano and voice lessons to his beloved students, belting out his favorite musical theater tunes, or trying to improve his Olympic weightlifting skills at his CrossFit gym. He is happily married to his husband of 5 years, Tyler Walker, and they have an adorable 12-year-old cocker spaniel, Parker.

Marquis Fuse, tenor

Marquis moved to New York from Boston to pursue a career in Opera, and works in healthcare. 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.

Kevin Schneider, tenor

Kevin Schneider is thrilled to join the ranks of Compostela Choir and the New York choral scene! While Kevin is an early music specialist, most often appearing as a chorister in Episcopal churches, they also sing with Philadelphia Symphonic Choir, the Philadelphia Singers, Voce inc., and Downtown Voices. Outside of the realm of music, Kevin enjoys being in nature, baking, snuggling everyone else’s pets until they can adopt one of their own, and tea. You will probably find them drinking a cup of matcha.

Tyler Walker, tenor

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.

Ray Bailey, bass

Ray Bailey grew up in rural southeastern Virginia, where he realized he loved playing the piano and singing by age 5. He’s worked in church music since age 15, and joined the Episcopal Church at Christ Church, New Haven while majoring in theatre at Yale, where he later worked as a music-director and vocal coach in the University’s School of Drama. Since moving to NYC in 2004, he has performed as far afield as New Orleans and Moscow, but finally found his church home at St. James’ in 2011, where the ever-increasing quality of music, liturgy, thought, preaching, and people who love the Lord continually inspires him.

Bruce Saylor, bass

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.