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School of Music

Choral

2020-2021 Choral Grad Students

Luke Browder

Luke Browder

Luke Browder is pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Choral Conducting at UofSC. A longtime resident of Greenville, SC, Luke received his Bachelor of Music from Furman University, his Master of Music from Converse College, and has served on the voice faculties at Clemson University and North Greenville University. With a specialty in singing for musical theatre, Luke has presented workshops and masterclasses at the statewide conventions of the South Carolina Theatre Association and the Palmetto Dramatic Association/SC Thespian Society. As a choral musician, Luke has directed church choirs for nearly a decade and is currently the Director of Music Ministries at John Knox Presbyterian in Greenville. He has performed with a number of choral groups in the Upstate, including the Spartanburg Festival Chorus, The Greenville Chorale, and as a member of the Chorale’s professional Chamber Ensemble. His professional stage credits include The Baker in Into the Woods, Father in Ragtime, King Arthur in Monty Python’s Spamalot, and Schaunard in La Bohème, as well as direction of the musicals Beauty and the Beast, Mary Poppins, and Tarzan. Luke has served as an adjudicator for the SCMEA Solo & Ensemble Festival, NATS Student Auditions, and the SC Thespian Society Festival. He is a member of the American Choral Directors Association, the National Association of Teachers of Singing, Pi Kappa Lambda, the Presbyterian Association of Musicians, and is an Equity Membership Candidate with Actors’ Equity Association. Luke and his wife Chelsea live in Irmo with their very spoiled dog, Spirit the Springer Spaniel.

Hannah Brown photo

Hannah Brown

A Knoxville, Tennessee native, Hannah Amelia Brown is currently pursing a Master of Music degree in choral conducting at the University of South Carolina. Hannah graduated from the University of Tennessee in 2018 with honors, receiving a Bachelor of Music in both music education and vocal performance. Hannah has competed and placed in state and regional vocal competitions, including regional and national rounds of the National Association of Teachers of Singing competition. While an undergraduate at UT, Hannah was a proud member of the University of Tennessee Chamber Singers, touring locations including Washington D.C., England, and Ireland. She was a member of the Faith Lutheran Church Chancel Choir, and served as a section leader and choral librarian in the Sequoyah Hills Presbyterian Church Chancel Choir. She spent three years as a student ambassador for the UT School of Music, assisting potential students as they transition into college. Hannah also participated in the University of Tennessee Opera Theatre program and the VolOpera undergraduate opera scenes program, performing both on the stage and off through stage management. She enjoys being involved in community theatre, with previous roles including the Baker's Wife in Into the Woods, Hope Harcourt in Anything Goes, Mabel in Pirates of Penzance, and Cosette in Les Misérables. Two weeks before her undergraduate graduation, Hannah accepted a position with Knox County schools and taught as an interim middle school choral teacher. Additionally, she taught private voice lessons in Knoxville for over three years, and hopes to continue to do so in Columbia. Hannah is an active member of the American Choral Directors Association and the National Association for Music Educators.

Denise Ellis

Denise Ellis

Denise Ellis holds a Bachelor's Degree in Music Education from the State University of New York at SUNY Fredonia and a Master’s Degree in Conducting with a Certificate in University Teaching from Syracuse University. Denise also holds a professional teaching certificate in the state of New York. While pursuing her Master’s Degree, Denise served as the Graduate Assistant for the Choral Department at Syracuse University, and sang with the Syracuse University Oratorio Society, the Hendricks Chapel Choir, and the Syracuse University Singers. The Syracuse University Singers is the top touring ensemble at Syracuse University, and Denise was part of the 2015 Singers that competed in the Florilège Vocal de Tours, France; a European choral competition circuit, and won the competition grand prize. Since 2015, Denise has been teaching middle and high school choral music and other electives at the Hannibal Central School District; a small, rural public school in upstate New York. Having just one open enrollment choir at the junior high level, and one at the senior high level, Denise was tasked to revive and stabilize the choral program at Hannibal. In the last five years, Denise has made it her mission to provide opportunities for her students to travel and perform; singing in Annapolis, MD, Boston, MA, and New York City. Her students are regularly invited to perform in honors ensembles, and college choir invitationals, including annual holiday concerts with the State University of New York at Oswego, and a mixed chorus festival at Syracuse University. Denise’s most recent and most important mission as of late isproviding a differentiated and comprehensive literacy education to her students who have varying levels of experience and ways of processing information. Denise currently lives in Syracuse, NY, with her husband and loyal hound, Buddy.

Peter Allen Haley

Peter Allen Haley

Peter Allen Haley is a candidate for the Doctor of Musical Arts in Choral Conducting at The University of South Carolina. He previously spent seven years as Choir Director at East Gaston High School in Mt. Holly, North Carolina, where his students were consistently chosen for honor choirs on the local, state, and regional level, while being immersed in a program that stressed music literacy and artistic excellence. In 2019, East Gaston's Concert Choir was selected to perform at the North Carolina Music Educators Association's Professional Development Conference. In his time at East Gaston, Peter also served as Director of the Gaston County Choral Ensemble, and sang with the Charlotte Master Chorale and Chamber Singers. He has worked in Baptist, Presbyterian, and United Methodist congregations and held leadership roles on the Executive Board of the Presbyterian Association of Musicians and the 2020 Southern Division Conference of the American Choral Directors Association. He holds a B.A. in Music from Wingate University and an M.M. in Church Music from Samford University. He has the honor of being the second-best teacher in his house, behind his wife, Ashley, and is a proud parent of Patrick.

Christopher-Lopez Moore

Christopher-Lopez Moore

Christopher-Lopez Moore, an Edgefield SC native, is currently a graduate at the University of South Carolina pursuing a Master of Arts in teaching degree. He received his bachelor's degree in vocal performance from Coker College. During his study at Coker College, he served as the tenor section leader in multiple ensembles and was the activities manager where he planned retreats and other activities for the ensembles. His theater experience includes playing Rapunzel's Prince in "Into the Woods,"  the lead role of Kaspar in "Amahl and the Night Visitors," and Mitch Mahoney in "25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee." Recently he was cast in the lead of Frantz in the French opera, "Le 66." Christopher enjoys baking, gymnastics, dance and teaching vocal technique throughout the Columbia community. He truly believes that you are the force behind your dreams, and if your dreams don't scare you, they are not big enough.

Nicholas Willey

Nicholas Willey

Nicholas Willey was born in North Carolina and has been living in South Carolina for the past 12 years. He obtained his Bachelor’s in Piano Performance from Winthrop University and is currently serving as the Director of Music at First Christian Church in Charlotte, NC. Nicholas is currently attending the University of South Carolina School of Music seeking his MM in Choral Conducting.


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