Thomas AyresA recording by the New York Pro Musica - "Ayres, Madrigals, and Dances" - started Tom on a lifelong interest in early music performance, both as a singer and as an instrumentalist. He works as a human factors consultant, investigating accidents, but prefers riding a bicycle.
Janet BaileyAn avid a cappella singer since high school, Janet Bailey sang with William Mahrt’s Early Music Singers at Stanford, then studied and sang jazz while living in New York. In San Francisco, she has sung with choral groups including Lacuna Arts. A former freelance journalist, Janet leads corporate workshops on presentation skills and on how to write emails that don’t waste people’s time. She likes riding her bike around San Francisco, taking longer routes to avoid hills.
Dane BushDane sings tenor in Tactus SF. His choral experience started his last year in high school as a second bass and he continued to exert his low range through the next four years in the University Singers and Chamber Singers of UMD in Duluth, Minnesota. Afterward he had the opportunity to sing with the professional choir From Age to Age as a baritone, giving monthly concerts across Minnesota and the northern midwest. In the dearth of choral options upon moving to upstate New York for graduate school he formed a medieval trio and gave free recitals in the architectural gallery at RPI. Now he lives in San Francisco and sings tenor and sometimes countertenor in Tactus SF as well as The Choral Project (San Jose).
Alexis CalozaAlexis began singing early music in college with the Harvard-Radcliffe Collegium Musicum and the Chamber Singers. Following graduation, he sang in a number of Boston- and New York-based groups, including the Boston Choral Ensemble, Music Sacra, and the Choral Society of Grace Church. He spent the last eight years exploring contemporary choral music with the International Orange Chorale of San Francisco before joining Tactus and returning to his early music roots. He pays the bills by investigating white collar crime.
Liz CheekLiz hails from Philadelphia and is returning to her love of Early Music after taking a 10 year hiatus, which focused on her career in macroeconomic policy research. Liz was raised in a family that loved and performed classical music from William Byrd to the Hi-Los. She has toured Austria, the Czech Republic, Poland and Hungary as second violinist in the Philadelphia Sinfonia Orchestra, and as a first soprano with the Philadelphia Girls Choir. She has also dabbled in musical theater from the Wiz’s Evillene, the Wicked Witch of the West, and Gilbert and Sullivan’s Mabel from Pirates and Penzance.
Ron CohenRon Cohen for decades had a day job as a physicist, and crammed in as much music as he could during off hours. Havring retired from his physics gig in 2013, he has filled much of the freed time with performance (vocal as well as trumpet, renaissance cornetto, and recorder) and behind-the-scenes work with musical groups. In addition to Tactus, Ron has been singing with Bay Area Classical Harmonies (B.A.C.H.), San Francisco Bay Area Chamber Choir, and the Russian vocal ensemble Slavyanka. He plays instrumental music with a number of bay area ensembles, including, as a founding member, the renaissance wind band Mane Musica.
Carol HenriCarol Henri's love of choral singing started with a fantastic High School choir and Madrigal group and continued with the UC Berkeley University Chorus. She has been a regular member of the Oakland Symphony Chorus for many years and also currently sings with the SF Bach Choir. In addition, she has sung with the SF Symphony Chorus, the SF Midsummer Mozart festival chorus and the SF Choral Society. She has worked for many years at IBM as a Technical Sales Specialist.
Tyler JensenA native of the San Francisco East Bay, Tyler W. Jensen has been singing since before he could talk! Having graduated from Pacific Lutheran Unversity with a Bachelors in Musical Arts, Tyler has sung in chamber choruses, a handful of musicals, jazz choirs, barbershop quartets, and is now excited to be singing with Tactus SF. When he isn’t singing, Tyler enjoys hiking, playing kickball, and cooking in his spare time.
Kristine JohnsonKristine grew up in Seoul, Korea, in a military community based in Yongsan Garrison, which shuttered its gates in 2018. According to her parents, she’s been singing since she was a baby. Her choir experience began in elementary school, until shyness got the best of her; she didn’t take up choral music again until joining the Seoul American High School Show Choir her junior year. She has also been a member of the Mount Holyoke Chorale, Glee Club, Chamber Singers, and V-8s a cappella group. Her interest in early music began while studying Computer Science and Philosophy at Wesleyan University, where she sang with Collegium Musicum for three years, singing the works of Byrd, Tallis, Purcell, and Victoria, among others. As a non-music major, she was tickled pink to receive the Lipsky Prize her senior year--an award that came with actual money! She also performed in student productions and an opera and oratorio ensemble, and especially cherishes her brief time singing in a small senior thesis group. More recently, she has performed Faure’s Requiem (a favorite), and Mendelssohn’s Elijah with the San Francisco Choral Society. Fun fact: she took third place in an amateur opera competition in Hawaii.
Nick JonesNicholas Jones is a retired professor of English (Oberlin College) and a member of the board of Early Music America. He sings and plays recorder, violin, and viola da gamba in a number of early music groups in the Bay Area.
Jason LeithJason Leith began his music-making as an oboist, switching to voice as his primary instrument at Williams College in Massachusetts where he studied chemistry, after having gotten fed up with making reeds. He sang in the (mostly) Early Music group, the Elizabethans, at Williams, and then in a variety of church choirs in Cambridge, UK, in Boston, and now sings in sight-singing group Coro d'Amici and the Schola Cantorum at St. Mark's Episcopal church, both in Berkeley. He enjoys composing, microtonality, and simultaneous cross-relations.
Jessica OrmeJessica has been involved in vocal performance from a young age, singing in musical theater as a child, and as a choir member since junior high school. She has performed both jazz and classical music as a soloist. Jessica has a BA in music from SFSU and has studied jazz vocals at the Jazz School in Berkeley.
Patricia SauraPatricia Saura grew up in Madrid, Spain, and developed a passion for early music as a young teenager when her father took her to many concerts of Spanish Renaissance keyboard music where he often served as organ or harpsichord tuner. She earned a Bachelor's degree in music from Cal State Hayward and has sung in a number of choirs over the past 25 years, including Coro Hispano de San Francisco, Sacred and Profane, and Lacuna Arts Ensemble. She works as a medical interpreter in San Francisco.
Susan St MartinSusan made her conducting debut in the 4th grade, when she directed the 4th grade recorder group in "Frère Jacques" in canon. Susan has taken one formal music theory class in her life, during her last semester at MIT, where she got her undergraduate degree in Biology. Otherwise, she credits her school music teachers and choral directors over the years with all the music theory she knows. Susan is a research assistant at Sangamo Therapeutics, where she works on curing diseases with therapeutic gene modification. Other interests include knitting, figs, whisk(e)y, and the occasional lamb kebab.
Richard StantonRichard Stanton is a professor of finance and real estate at U.C. Berkeley. He started singing in choirs as a child in London then took a brief 25-year break, during which he moved to the U.S. More recently, he has sung with the SF Bach Choir and its chamber chorus, Concentus; the SF Choral Society; and Mostly Motets, where he first met and sang with several of the other members of Tactus. He has been singing with Tactus since Spring 2019.
Susan SwerdlowMezzo/alto Susan Swerdlow has enjoyed singing in Tactus since summer 2017. Upon retiring recently after several fulfilling decades teaching choral music at the College Preparatory School in Oakland, she threw herself into singing as never before. In addition to Tactus, she sings with the San Francisco Bay Area Chamber Choir, does choral and solo work with the Berkeley Bach Cantata Group, and is a member of a Renaissance trio. Susan, who holds an M.M. in choral conducting from Temple University, trained the choruses for many productions at Berkeley Opera (now West Edge Opera) and Oakland Opera Theater, and is a former music director of Sacred and Profane Chamber Chorus. She was a Tactus Co-Director during the transitional 2018-2019 season.
Barb WestreeBarb Westree is retired from environmental consulting. Beginning her musical life in high school, she always sang in big choruses. While the Verdi and Mozart Requiems are great works, Barb now derives her musical joy from small ensembles and Early Music. Besides Tactus, Barb also sings with Lacuna Arts in San Francisco.
Marianne WolfMarianne first began music instruction at the age of four when her neighbor taught her to read music and play her Hammond organ. Throughout elementary she participated in school choirs and began clarinet lessons at the age of 10. She managed to get herself into 3 electives in 8th grade - choir, band, and orchestra. Life was good! When she was 15 her Music Director, Faith France, placed a bassoon in her hands and she's never put it down. She continued to participate in various choirs and orchestras during high school and college, and formally started studying voice as an adult. In addition to Tactus she currently sings with the Oakland Symphony Chorus and plays bassoon in various chamber groups and the newly established Piedmont Chamber Orchestra. She uses her BS in biology to teach high school biology and is the proud mother of three children, plus one she took on when she taught ESL in Tanzania.
Melike YersizMelike began singing and playing piano before she can remember, and has been in a choral singer since 4th grade. She went on to get degrees in Chemical-Biological Engineering and Music Composition in college, where she continued her choral singing and exploration of early and new music. Melike joined Tactus SF in summer of 2017, and is heavily involved behind the scenes with the choir’s administration, website, and publicity. She also sings with International Orange Chorale and dabbles in composition in her spare time. In her professional life, Melike investigates industrial chemical accidents around the nation to learn from them and to prevent similar incidents from recurring.