Conductors

William Berry

William Berry received his Bachelor of Music Performance in Trumpet in 1982 from Indiana University, where he studied with Louis Davidson, Allan Dean and Charles Gorham. He has been a member of the Spokane Symphony Orchestra since 1988 and is principal trumpet for the Walla Walla Symphony Orchestra.

Roger Nelson

A member of the Cornish faculty since 1979, Roger Nelson performs frequently as a pianist and conductor. He holds a B.A. degree from Pomona College and an M.M. in Choral Conducting from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. His early teachers were Adolph Baller and John Steele Ritter. As a pianist, he frequently accompanies for singers and instrumentalists.

Sandi Schwarz

Sandi Schwarz was violin faculty for many years from the time MMR started, so she is not unknown to the older participants. While living in the Seattle area (1974 to 2005) Sandi was active as a modern violinist, but since the '80s has specialized in Baroque- and Classical-style performance practice. One of her loves has been playing chamber music. In the early days there was L'Arianna Quartet with Sandi, Deede Cook, Eileen Swanson and Paige Smith.

Roupen Shakarian

Roupen Shakarian is presently in his eleventh season as music director of the Skagit Symphony. He has also served as the music director of Philharmonia Northwest and Cascade Symphony. As a guest conductor Mr. Shakarian has appeared with many regional orchestras, including the Seattle Symphony, Victoria Symphony, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Northwest Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra Seattle, Skagit Opera and Whatcom Symphony.

Loren Pontén

Loren Pontén is founder and artistic director of Opus 7 Vocal Ensemble. Loren has been an assistant conductor for the Cathedral Choir of St. James in Seattle, and currently is a member of the Cathedral Choir, the Cathedral Chant Choir and the professional ensemble, Cathedral Cantorei.

As a singer, he has also performed with the Tudor Choir and Choral Arts Northwest.

He holds undergraduate degrees in Music and Music Education and completed graduate studies in choral conducting at the University of Washington.

Michael Burch-Pesses

Michael Burch-Pesses is Director of Bands at Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon, where he conducts the Wind Ensemble, Jazz Band, and Jazz Choir, and teaches courses in conducting and music education. He holds Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees in conducting from the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC. Since coming to Pacific University in 1995 he received the Junior Faculty Award (1998) and was named a Wye Fellow of the Aspen Institute (1999). In 2006 he received the S.S.

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