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).
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.
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.
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.
Kyle RandallKyle is a composer who writes both concert music and music for films and games. He's written a lot of choral music, and loves singing in choirs. He sang with some of the members of Tactus when they were living in Boston, and is happy to be singing with them again! Kyle was a Tactus Co-Director during the transitional 2018-2019 season.
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.
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 sang in California All-State Honor Choirs through high school, as well as the high school's after-school vocal jazz choir. 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. In her 20s she took violin lessons and sang with Los Angeles Choral Artists and Cantori Domino in LA. Having moved to the Bay Area in 2016, she currently works as a Senior Process Engineer at a refinery. 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 Coro d'Amici.
The following members are on leave this set but will return for our May concerts:
Ron CohenRon Cohen for decades had a day job as a physicist, and crammed in as much music as he could during off hours. Having 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.
Susan SwerdlowMezzo/alto Susan Swerdlow has enjoyed singing in Tactus SF 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 SF, she sings with the San Francisco Bay Area Chamber Choir, does choral and solo work with the Berkeley Bach Cantata Group, is a member of a Renaissance trio, and occasionally takes advantage of other solo opportunities. 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 SF Co-Director during the transitional 2018-2019 season and is currently a Vocal Teaching Artist with Little Opera.