Schola Cantorum of Eau Claire

a choir of early music

Schola Cantorum of Eau Claire is a 12-voice choir in the Eau Claire and Chippewa Valley area dedicated to the a cappella vocal music of the medieval, renaissance, and baroque.

Schola Cantorum of Eau Claire is a vocal chamber ensemble established in the Fall of 2014. The area of Eau Claire and Chippewa Valley has nurtured many wonderful choristers and great choirs; a choir that specializes in the art of early music will add to the diversity of cultural events.

Photo credits: Anna Rybicki


Singers

Seth Berrier, tenor
David Huber, tenor
Jerry Hui, tenor/director

Jim Boulter, bass
Michael Loes, bass
Mark Lundin, bass

Christine Emerson, soprano
Lauren Melberg, soprano
Anna Rybicki, soprano

Amanda Durst, alto
Beth Wacek, alto
Laurie Wheeldon, alto


Jerry Hui, Director

Jerry (Chiwei) Hui has written a wide variety of music that ranges from serious concert art music to humorous choral arrangements. His music has been performed in the United States, Germany, France, Scotland, Indonesia and Hong Kong by community choirs, campus ensembles, and professional groups. His composition has won prizes including the Robert Helps Prize 2008, and received commission that was featured at the World Saxophone Congress.

As a conductor, Dr. Hui has founded and directed various community choirs, church choirs, chamber ensembles and orchestras. At home in both early and contemporary music, he has performed often as baritone and countertenor. He is active in performing for fellow composers, and has premiered over 30 new works. He is directing and performing with Eliza's Toyes, a vocal sextet specialized in early music which has been featured on Wisconsin Public Radio. He is currently the Director of Choral Activities at University of Wisconsin-Stout, assistant conductor at the Madison Early Music Festival, and conductor of the Menomonie Singers.

A native of Hong Kong, Jerry Hui received his DMA degree in music composition at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Dr. Hui's principal composition teachers include David Crumb, Stephen Dembski, Robert Kyr, Joel Naumann and Laura Schwendinger. His conducting teachers are Beverly Taylor , Sharon Paul, and Bruce Gladstone.



Seth Berrier, tenor

Seth started singing with choirs at a young age as a soprano with the St. Louis Children’s Choir.  He has sung in a choir at every school he attended since taking leadership roles in his high school concert choir and swing choir.  He performed in community theater in St. Louis playing a crapshooter in Guys ’n Dolls, a ghost in The Secret Garden, a brother in Joseph and that Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Joe Cable in South Pacific and Charlie Dalrymple in Brigadoon.  He was the first freshmen member of Jordan Jazz at Butler University and remained a member for three years (as well as the madrigal singers) while earning his bachelor or arts in music.  He earned a Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Minnesota and now teaches computer science at Stout while making regular appearances at the Mabel Tainter Center for the Arts (including Jesus in JC Superstar and Jamie Wellerstein in The Last 5 Years) and is a founding member of South of the River Theater Company.  He lives in Menomonie with his wife Monica and two children Christopher and Julianne who continually sacrifice as much as he does so that he can be part of wonderful ensembles like Schola.


Jim Boulter, bass

Jim Boulter, baritone, is an associate professor of chemistry and environmental studies at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, and director of the Watershed Institute for Collaborative Environmental Studies. He holds a Ph.D. in analytical chemistry with an emphasis in atmospheric science and a B.S. from Pacific Lutheran University in chemistry with an emphasis in environmental studies. In Eau Claire, he sang with the Master Singers for 10 seasons. His performances on trumpet with other ensembles have included the Colorado Mahlerfest Orchestra, Bellevue Symphony, Seattle Gilbert and Sullivan Society and Seattle’s Philharmonia Northwest. Other musical highlights include performing for composers Alan Hovhaness on trumpet and Dan Forrest with the Mastersingers. He is married to soprano, Christine Emerson, who he met while performing J.S. Bach’s Cantata #51 at Pacific Lutheran University.


Christine Emerson, soprano

Christine Emerson, soprano is thrilled to begin her third season with Schola Cantorum.  Ms. Emerson is not new to the early music scene, having performed with such notable artists as Margriet Tindemans, Dalton Sand, the Boulder Bach Festival and the early music ensemble Fiori Musicali, just to name a few. Ms. Emerson received a bachelor of music from Pacific Lutheran University and a Master’s of Music from the University of Colorado at Boulder, specializing primarily in early repertoire. Having shown great passion for music from the medieval through the baroque, Ms. Emerson is excited that the Chippewa Valley now has a professional ensemble with this appeal. She resides in Eau Claire, Wisconsin with baritone James Boulter and adorable labradoodle Marty and is also an ordained pastor at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Eau Claire.


Amanda Durst, alto

Amanda.jpg

Amanda L. Durst earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Physics and Music from the University of South Dakota where she studied horn with Gary Reeves and piano with Susan Keith Gray.   Mrs. Durst has played with the Black Hills Symphony Orchestra, Athens Symphony Orchestra, and the Fairbanks Symphony Orchestra, and has sung with the Athena Grand Opera.  She currently performs with Schola Cantorum of Eau Claire, WI, and the Ludington Guard Band of Menomonie, WI, while guiding her three talented daughters and maintaining a burgeoning sewing and quilting business.


David Huber, tenor

Rev. David Huber is a theological agitator, singer, cook, writer, and political activist. He is thankful to serve as pastor of Plymouth Church (Eau Claire), a small church with a big heart making the world a more loving world. He enjoys rattling local politics by serving on the steering committee of the Western Wisconsin Citizen Action Co-operative, as president of the board of Northern Spirit Radio, and a member of the Citizens Climate Lobby. He serves on the board of the Master Singers, is part of the Chippewa Valley Suicide Prevention Coalition, the Chippewa Valley Safe Spaces Coalition, and is clergy representative to Eau Claire County’s Coordinated Services Team. He volunteers at the State Theater and with “Stand in the Light”, Chippewa Valley’s new choir for people with dementia. He graduated from Union Seminary in NYC with an M.Div. and GMI Engineering & Management Institute with a BSEE.


Michael Loes, bass

Michael Loes is a Junior Applied Science student from Ramsey, MN studying Material Physics and Nanoscience at UW-Stout. Michael has been singing in choirs wherever he has been since age 9, and has toured with such choirs as the Land of Lakes Choirboys and the National Catholic Youth Choir. The musical experience from St. Agnes High School in St. Paul, MN provided him with a background in Renaissance and Baroque music. A member of the USA Junior Olympic gymnastics program for nearly a decade, he continues his athletic career as a student with the UW-Stout Cheer and Stunt Team. Currently performing with the UW-Stout Chamber Choir and Devil Tones Acappella, he is excited to join the Schola Cantorum of Eau Claire and extend his musical pursuit.


Mark Lundin, bass

Mark Lundin, tenor, is returning to performing after completing a long tenure as Cantor and Director of Liturgical Music for the Newman Parish in Eau Claire, Wis. He has a special interest in early music and is thankful for an experience such as Schola Cantorum in the Chippewa Valley. Mark is the vocal music teacher at Memorial High School in Eau Claire where he conducts the Treble, Mixed and Concert Choirs as well as the Old Abe Show Choir and highly acclaimed Memorial Madrigals and Vocal Jazz Ensemble. He also serves as music director for the musical theatre program. Prior to teaching, Mark was the Membership and Communications Manager for the Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestras in Madison, Wis. Mark holds degrees in Music and Mass Communications from UW-Eau Claire and Music Education from Edgewood College in Madison. In addition to his work responsibilities, he is an active advocate for music education and recently finished a 3-year tenure as Vice President of the Chippewa Valley Youth Symphony Board of Directors. Mark lives in Eau Claire with his multi-talented wife Trisha.


Lauren Melberg, soprano

Lauren was born and raised in Waukesha, WI. She graduated in May 2014 with her BME and is currently teaching music in the School District of Altoona. Lauren has toured with choirs nationally and internationally. She has performed alongside many groups, including the Chicago Children's Choir and The Rose Ensemble. She is excited to be performing with Schola Cantorum.


Anna Rybicki, soprano

Anna studied voice at Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington, Illinois and graduated with a Bachelor of Music degree in vocal performance and a Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy. After college, she attended the University of Michigan Law School. She is an attorney licensed in Illinois, Iowa, and Wisconsin, though she is currently practicing mothering instead of law. Anna has sung with IWU’s Collegiate Choir, University of Michigan’s Outreach in the Performing Arts, Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre, Theatre Cedar Rapids, jazz combo Just Brewed Jazz, and The Master Singers. Anna is delighted to be joining Schola Cantorum for its second season. In addition to singing with Schola, she performs with Chippewa Skiffle Orchestra. Anna and her husband, Jim, live in Eau Claire with their three children.


Beth Wacek, Alto

Beth Wacek studied piano and percussion at the University of Wisconsin Whitewater, graduating with a B.M.E with an instrumental focus. She performed locally and internationally with Wisconsin Ambassadors of Music, the UW-Whitewater Concert Band, Concert Choir, Jazz Ensemble I, Warhawk Jazz Combo, and served as percussion section leader for the Warhawk Marching Band. She taught elementary general music, band and choir in several schools throughout Wisconsin. She now serves as the Director of Music and Liturgy for Saint Joseph’s Catholic Church in Menomonie, WI and directs three of the parish choirs. Beth is proficient on eight instruments. She performs locally with the Chippewa Valley Concert Band, the Menomonie Art Music Society, and the Ludington Guard Band, where she has played for 16 years and served as music librarian for six years. She has accompanied soloists and ensembles throughout Wisconsin. Beth lives in Menomonie with her equally talented husband, Mark, and their two children Zachary and Miriam.


Laurie Wheeldon, Alto

Laurie is excited to join Schola Cantorum for the early music it performs, and the intimacy of a small ensemble.

Laurie started ensemble singing with the Northfield Children's choir. She continued through Northfield High School and the University of North Dakota, singing and soloing in choral music.

After earning a BS in Social Work, she married her fun buddy, Joe. Five kids joined the Wheeldon family and she continued music through her church singing with contemporary worship bands, as a cantor for the liturgy, and soloing gospel spirituals. She returned to choral music when she joined the Menomonie Singers. With performances in Classical, Liturgical, Gospel, Jazz, Bluegrass and Folk, music continues to be Laurie's favorite way to collaborate with people in her community.

Laurie works part time at the Boyceville Public Library bringing music to preschoolers and great books to patrons. She works full time to add wit and wonder into the adventure of family.


Alumni

Annie Bailey, alto

Annie Bailey, alto, is a certified nurse midwife at Mayo Clinic Health System-Eau Claire. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music from Hamline University, a Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance, and a Master of Science degree in Nurse Midwifery, both from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. She is also a member of the Master Singers and the Chancel Choir at First Congregational United Church of Christ in Eau Claire.

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Background image: Initial from an Italian Antiphonal, ca.1500.