King's Counterpoint Vocalist Biographies
Biographies of our Principal Vocalists can be found by clicking on the links provided
David E. A. Acres, Musical Director & Countertenor - ♪ Founding Member
Judith Acres, Executive Director, Principal Soprano & Section Leader - ♪ Founding Member
Eric Bash, Bass
Eric Bash is a native of Spartanburg, South Carolina. He is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati-College Conservatory of Music where he received both his Bachelor of Music and Master of Music in Vocal Performance. Mr. Bash also served 4 years active duty enlisted on the USS Howard (DDG-83) and was honorably discharged from the United States Navy. He has performed with companies throughout the country including Lyric Opera of Baltimore, Baltimore Concert Opera, Cincinnati Opera, May Festival, Opera Festival di Lucca, Furman Opera Theater, and Converse Opera Theater. With a huge love of Renaissance and Baroque church music, Eric has performed extensively with Episcopalian and Catholic churches around the world. He now lives in Charleston, SC.
Allison Boyle, Soprano
Allison A. Boyle is a native of Atlanta, GA. She graduated from Clayton College and State University where she received a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance concentrating in early music. While at CCSU, Mrs. Boyle had the privilege to study voice with Dr. Cheryl Boyd-Waddell and early music practices with Dr. Lyle Nordstrom. Mrs. Boyle has sung with several choirs in the Atlanta area, as well as early music ensembles in Atlanta and Athens. As a member of the Atlanta Choral Artists, she has performed several times with the Atlanta Baroque Orchestra. Mrs. Boyle has also performed numerous times with New Trinity Baroque Orchestra and is featured as a First Witch in NTB's recording of Purcell's "Dido & Aeneas" (2002) with Evelyn Tubb & Michael Fields. Mrs. Boyle has had the opportunity to sing for Emma Kirkby & Anthony Rooley and received instruction in historical dance from Ken Pierce, Julie Andrijeski, and Dorothy Olsson. From 2008 - 2019, Mrs. Boyle worked with North Georgia Acting Company in numerous musical theatre shows and events as a featured performer and Musical Director.
Mrs. Boyle recently moved to Summerville, SC with her husband, Kevin Boyle (Director of Bands at DuBose Middle School) and their dog, Piglet. In their downtime (which is scant!) the Boyle’s enjoy watching UGA football and going to the beach!
Thomas Bracewell, Baritone
Tom Bracewell enjoys singing early chamber music, symphonic music, light opera and barbershop. He has performed in vocal ensembles and choruses in several states and the UK, including Charleston Symphony Orchestra Chamber Singers, CSO Chorus, Charleston Opera, Washington Chorus and Cathedral Choral Society. He has sung for Spoleto Festival events, CSO Masterworks concerts and in choral concert series at Kennedy Center for Performing Arts and at Washington National Cathedral. He has also sung in church choirs including Grace Church Cathedral Choir. On the lighter side, Tom once sang a barbershop ensemble in the British Association of Barbershop Signers in Cambridge, England, and in an American ensemble that performed concerts at Disney World. Tom is an engineering graduate of MIT and works in technology development for the US Navy. He lives in Mount Pleasant with his wife Jacki.
Tyler-Gail Carlson, Soprano
Tyler-Gail Carlson is a graduate of the Conservatory at Wheaton College. She is a full-time nursing student and enjoys teaching private music lessons in her spare time.
Ian Crane, Bass
Ian Crane is the vocal instructor at Cuyahoga Falls High School. Previously, he spent five years teaching bagpipes at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. Ian has been performing with Quire Cleveland since its founding, and regularly performs with The King’s Counterpoint, based in Charleston, SC. Ian also performs as a vocalist/instrumentalist with Apollo’s Fire, including their 2018 UK/Ireland tour. Ian participated in the 2019 Amherst Early Music Festival’s Ensemble Singing Intensive. He holds a Bachelor’s in music education from Cleveland State University and a Master’s in conducting from Kent State University.
Tricia Crane, Soprano
Biographical information coming soon!
John Cunningham, Principal Tenor & Countertenor - ♪ Founding Member
Aimee Herring, Alto
Aimee has resided in the Charleston area for the past ten years, and works in the field of education. Her true love for vocal music began in early adolescence when she heard music from the Renaissance performed by a small ensemble, and she has been singing with choruses, church choirs, and ensemble groups since. Aimee sang with the Christopher Wren Singers at the College of William & Mary, and has enjoyed performing with the Charleston Renaissance Ensemble, the Vocal Arts Ensemble, and the choir of the Cathedral of St. Luke and St. Paul here in Charleston. Instruction under Sam Sheffer has played a key part in her development as a vocalist.
Jillian Hethcox, Soprano - Biographical information coming soon!
John Hethcox, Tenor
John Hethcox has lived and worked in Charleston since 2004. He has sung in choirs at St. Paul's, Summerville, Grace Episcopal, and St. Philip's Church. In previous years John also sang wth Vox Aeterna and Lux Aeterna.
John lives in Mt. Pleasant with his wife, Jolene. Two of their three children are also members of The King's Countpoint. John is employed as Director of Software Development and Integration at local defense contractor Mission Solutions Group. He holds a BS and MS in Computer Science from UCF and an MBA from Wingate University.
Jolene Hethcox, Alto
Jolene Hethcox has been the Assistant Director of Music at St. Philip's Church since 2007. She holds degrees from the University of Central Florida (BA Mus) and the University of Utah (MM) and is currently working on a DSM from the Graduate Theological Foundation. She has directed the children's choirs of St. Philip's on European tours to England, Italy, Austria, and Spain. This is her first season with Kings' Counterpoint.
Lauren Holzer, Mezzo-Soprano
Lauren Pashke Holzer, mezzo-soprano, received her BA in Music at the College of Charleston and her MA in Arts Administration from Florida State University, College of Music. Lauren studied vocal performance with Deanna McBroom and performed various opera roles at CofC including the role of Cherubino in Le Nozze di Figaro and Madam Flora in The Medium. In the College of Charleston Concert Choir, Lauren served as alto section leader and participated in the Regional ACDA Conference performances in Nashville, TN in 2004 and the National ACDA Conference performances in Los Angeles in 2005. At Florida State University Lauren continued to study voice with David Okerlund.
Lauren has held various administrative positions at arts organizations including the Winston-Salem Symphony, Piccolo Spoleto Festival, Spoleto Festival USA, and Eastern Music Festival. With a passion for music, Lauren continues to sing in numerous choirs and has been a member of the Charleston Symphony Orchestra Chorus, The Winston-Salem Symphony Symphony Chorale, the Grace Church Cathedral Choir, the College of Charleston Madrigal Singers and is currently on staff at St. Phillips Church Choir. Lauren currently works with nonprofits at Blackbaud as a Solutions Engineer and resides in Charleston, SC with her husband Adam.
Hannah Jessup, Soprano
Hannah Jessup is a native of South Carolina, who grew up in Columbia and studied Music Performance at Winthrop University. She has sung in many ensembles including the Winthrop Chorale and Chamber Singers, York County Choral Society, Charleston Symphony Orchestra Chorus, and the Caritas Chamber Ensemble in Charlotte, NC. During her time at Winthrop, Hannah participated in many of the operas under the direction of Dr. Jeffrey McEvoy. Her favorite roles include Sister Constance in Dialogues of the Carmelites, Adele in Die Fledermaus, and Amy in Little Women. Hannah is so excited to finally become part of the Charleston Music Community, and is eager for more opportunities to sing!
Walter Kaufmann, Tenor - ♪ Founding Member
From youth choirs to community musical theater productions, Walter "Wally" Kaufmann learned early in life that singing would always play a big part in his artistic expression.
Wally began singing in adult church choir with his father in 1978, and has sung in choirs ever since. Prior to moving to the Charleston area in 1992, Wally sang with the choirs of both Spring Valley Presbyterian Church and Shandon UMC in Columbia, and for the past twenty-plus years has enjoyed singing with the Bethel UMC Chancel Choir under the direction of Gregory H. Jones.
Wally lives with his wife, Parker, and their sons Cade and Kirk in Mount Pleasant, where he is a partner in a guardianship and fiduciary business, Kaufmann and Associates, LLC. He is also a lawyer, licensed since 1991. Wally is an active member of, and serves on the executive board of, the East Cooper Outboard Motor Club, an organization which supports many local humanitarian charities with financial contributions exceeding twenty thousand dollars annually. Wally's twin, Paul, is an artist and actor who lives in Columbia -- and Paul can out-sing Wally any day! Wally is grateful to be singing with The King's Counterpoint, and thanks David and Judith for allowing him to be a part of this great group of singers!
Mark Lazzaro, Baritone
Mark has been a choral singer since 2000 when he joined the chancel choir of James Island Presbyterian Church. He still sings with JIPC and in 2014 also joined the choir of Circular Congregation Church. Since 2003 Mark has been a member of the Charleston Symphony Orchestra Chorus and Chamber choir, singing a variety of large orchestral masterworks and smaller chamber pieces. He has sung many times in Spoleto in the combined chorus of the CSOC and the Westminster choir and has sung in Piccolo Spoleto with the CSO. Mark has sung many times in the Montreat Worship and Music festival in the full chorus and the select adult chamber choir. He has performed with the Taylor Festival Choir as a guest singer. In real life, Mark is a Biology Professor at the College of Charleston and is a member of the Intelligent Design Barbershop Quartet, a group of five biology and chemistry faculty. Mark is thrilled to be a part of the King's Counterpoint!
Brianna Lombino, Soprano
Brianna Lombino graduated from Syracuse University with a Bachelor of Music in vocal performance. There, she studied under Eric Johnson and was a member and soloist for their Oratorio society, Opera Workshop, Hendricks Chapel Choir, Baroque Ensemble, and Contemporary Ensemble. While in Syracuse, she also was apart of Syracuse Opera where she performed in their opera chorus for Eugene Onegin. She has traveled as a chorus member and soloist to Canada, Italy, Germany, France, England, and all over New Jersey, DC, and the Syracuse. Brianna recently moved to the Charleston area where she is thrilled to join The Kings Counterpoint.
Jill McMillan, Soprano
Jill McMillan resides in Murrells Inlet, SC with her husband and two dogs. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education from Fort Hays State University. Jill teaches first grade in Hemingway, SC, where she is also a leader of the primary grades choir. She often uses her singing voice to engage the students in her classroom. Jill grew up as a Royal School of Church Music vocalist for her home church, and attended the annual Royal School of Church Music convention at Grace Church in Charleston as a child. She was very active in her high school's Show Choir, performing musical theater pieces as well as sacred classical. Jill's most treasured memory as a vocalist is when she played the role of Peter Pan and got to fly across the stage! She is a new member who greatly looks forward to sharing a love for music with the community and other vocalists in the King's Counterpoint.
Norma Melendez, Soprano - ♪ Founding Member
Norma Melendez is a music teacher at Flowertown Elementary in Summerville, S.C. She has performed with the Singers of Summerville community choir and Palmetto Bronze handbell ensemble in Summerville. Mrs. Melendez received her Bachelor’s degree in music from the College of Charleston. She is currently a staff singer at The Cathedral Church of St. Luke & St. Paul in Charleston, SC.
Prior to living in Summerville, Mrs. Melendez directed children and adult vocal choirs in Florida and Puerto Rico. She performed with Coro Sinfonico de Puerto Rico and Cantas de Camara, choral ensembles based in San Juan. Mrs. Melendez has conducted children's handbell choirs in Wilmington, NC, Miami, FL, and most recently the choirs at Rollings Middle School of the Arts.
Elizabeth Miller, Principal Alto - ♪ Founding Member
Karl Peterson, Baritone
Karl Peterson is a recent transplant to Charleston from New York City, where he lived for more than thirty years. While there, he attained a BA in Music Performance (with honors) from Wagner College and an MA in Musicology from Columbia University. He was engaged in legal support work, as a proofreader, word processor and paralegal for several of New York City’s largest law firms. He also followed his passion for early music, singing with ensembles such as the Queens College Vocal Ensemble, Canticum Novum, Cappella Oratoriana, New York Continuo Collective, Canby Singers and Russian Chamber Chorus of New York.
In recent years, food writing has become the focus of Karl’s professional efforts. He is a contributor to both the Oxford Companion to Cheese and Savoring Gotham, encyclopedic books published by Oxford University Press, and is the owner and blogger of the Dairy Free Traveler. While living in New York, he met his wife Therese, and the two are very thrilled to now be living in Charleston. In addition to his appearances with King’s Counterpoint, Karl may also be found at Old St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church where he is a new member of the Parish Choir.
Shaffer Ripley, Soprano - ♪ Founding Member
Shaffer Ripley is so grateful to have been a member of The King's Counterpoint since its inaugural performance in December, 2014. Born and raised on Charleston, SC, Shaffer enjoys spending time with her friends and family, singing, theatre, running, and photography. Outside of The King's Counterpoint, she also sings in the chancel choir of her home church, Bethel United Methodist. Shaffer is a 2014 graduate from The College of Charleston, majoring in Theatre, and enjoys performing as often s possible, most recently in the shows "Bye Bye Birdie" and "Sweeney Todd" with the Flowertown Players. She currently works as the Media Clerk at Carolina Park Elementary in Mt. Pleasant, SC, and is also pursuing her Masters in Library and Information Science through the University of South Carolina. She is thankful for the places music has taken her, ad looks forward to continuing that in the future.
John Schroeder, Bass - ♪ Founding Member
John has been a choral singer for more than 25 years with Episcopal churches in NJ, TX and Charleston. He has been a singer for Grace Episcopal Church since 2004, including 10 years as a section leader. In addition, he has been a member of the Charleston Symphony Orchestra Chorus since 2003, singing a wide variety of large scale symphonic and chamber choral works. John was president of the CSOC for two years. In real life, John runs the email systems for the College of Charleston. He is thrilled to be a part of the King's Counterpoint!
Brian Shepherd, Principal Bass & Section Leader - ♪ Founding Member
Paul Thomas, Assistant Director - ♪ Founding Member
Lisa Van Bergen, Alto
Lisa Van Bergen (alto) grew up in Atlanta, GA, in a home filled with music. She started studying piano at age 7, and starting in choirs soon after. She cam to The College of Charleston in 1985, and joined the madrigal Singers. She is thrilled to be back singing with her former schoolmates in The King's Counterpoint. Lisa has a Master's Degree in Counseling from The Citadel, is a Licensed Professional Counselor, and has spent her career in the social services. She now runs Professional Nonprofit Solutions, providing consulting and grand writing services, as well as being a staff therapist at Lowcountry Pastoral Counseling Center. She is married to Doug Murphy and has two daughters, Constance and Chloe.
Elizabeth Wallis, Alto - Biographical information coming soon!
Laura Williams, Mezzo-Soprano
Laura just moved to Charleston from Denver, Colorado and is very excited to be singing in her first concert with The King’s Counterpoint! Laura was recently on the Voice Faculty of the University of Colorado, Denver and the University of Northern Colorado and is a Singing Voice Specialist where she consults and habilitates singers with injured voices. She earned her Certificate of Vocology from the National Center for Voice and Speech, MM from CU Boulder and BM from Brevard College in North Carolina.
Laura frequently performs with the International Bachakademie in Stuttgart and Weimar, Germany, under Helmuth Rilling, Hans-Christoph Rademann and Kathy Romey and has toured in Germany, Chile and Tunisia. Recently, Laura has performed as both a soloist and choral member with the Oregon Bach Festival, Colorado Bach Ensemble, the Baroque Chamber Orchestra of Colorado and other local groups in the Denver metro area.
Laura is so excited to live near the beach and she, her husband Tyler and Westie named Harvey are really enjoying Charleston so far!