Current Students

2018 - 2019 Sacred Music Students

Fatima Anyekema (MSM Voice '20) is currently a Master of Sacred Music first year vocal performance student. She is a contralto who back home in Nigeria, where she is from, has previously worked as a soloist and chorus singer in the Musical Society of Nigeria (MUSON) Choir, Music instructor in a music academy, served as choir master in her parish, assistant choir director of the children's choir, and the leader of the Musica Casa Chorale that participated in the World Choir Games held in Pretoria, South Africa in July. She is passionate about teaching and performance and hopes to be a faculty member in a reputable Nigerian university.

Emily Bird (MSM Voice '20) is a soprano and graduate from the University of Western Ontario, with a Bachelor of Music honors specialization in Music Education. In January 2016, she started the Cantiamo program at the Mississauga Children’s Choir, and in 2017 started the MCC’s second location in Port Credit. She has worked for a variety of children’s choirs including Bach Children’s Chorus, Toronto Children’s Chorus, and the Canadian Children’s Opera Company. From 2016-2018, Emily was the soprano soloist/section lead at Royal York Road United Church in Etobicoke, and this past year was the director of their Junior Choir. Also in 2017-2018, she was member of the Schola Cantorum at St. Basil’s Catholic Parish, in downtown Toronto. In the summer of 2014, Emily made her operatic debut as Barbarina in Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro at Accademia Europea Dell'Opera in Lucca, Italy. In the summer of 2016, she participated in the Advanced Oratorio program at the Victoria Conservatory of Music Summer Academy, in Victoria, British Columbia. Emily is a founding member of Cor Unum Ensemble, Toronto's newest baroque ensemble, and served as their General Manager for their 2017-2018 season. Emily currently lives in South Bend, Indiana and is in her first year of the Masters of Sacred Music program, majoring in vocal performance.

Joshua Boggs (DMA Choral Conducting '19) is a third-year conductor and countertenor. He holds degrees in Conducting and Voice from the University of Notre Dame and Ohio Wesleyan University, respectively. Josh particularly enjoys performing early music and new works, whether it be as soloist, chorister or conductor. Beginning Fall ‘18, he will serve a one-year appointment as Instructor of Choral Music at Goshen College. Outside of music, Josh enjoys basketball, trying new cuisines, and contemporary art.

Nolan Carter (MSM Voice '19)

Howard Eckdahl (DMA Choral Conducting '21) is a first-year doctoral student at the University of Notre Dame. Prior to joining the graduate cohort, he established himself as an educator, performer and music director in the Chicago area and northern Illinois. He was Artist-in-residence at Augustana College, where he served on the choral, voice and theory faculties and arranged music for student ensembles. While teaching at Augustana, he led a group of students to perform at Carnegie Hall upon invitation. As a performer, Eckdahl has sung and assisted with several of the top academic choral ensembles in the region. He has sung regularly with professional groups as a chorister, and appeared as soloist with the Northern Illinois University Philharmonic, Fox Valley Symphony, Bach Chamber Choir, and Handel Oratorio Society. Eckdahl has also enjoyed a successful career as a sacred musician, celebrating his tenth year of professional service in the field. Highlights include leading worship for Bishop Eaton’s visit to Gloria Dei Lutheran in Northbrook, IL, and being selected three times as the organist for the ELCA’s Northern Illinois Synod Assembly. He holds a B.A. in music from Augustana College, M.M. in voice and Performer’s Certificate in conducting from Northern Illinois University, and completed a year of conducting study at Northwestern University, where he assisted with regional and world premieres of works by Pulitzer Prize winners John Luther Adams and David Lang. He is a member of the Pi Kappa Lambda honor society.

James Goldrick (MSM Choral Conducting '20) was born in Manchester. James Goldrick received a Bachelor of Music (Organ) from the Newcastle Conservatorium of Music, studying with Dr. Philip Matthias. While studying he was Organ Scholar of Christ Church Cathedral, Newcastle, and conductor of the award-winning University of Newcastle Chamber Choir. On returning to Sydney, James commenced at St Mary’s Cathedral as Postgraduate Organ Scholar, and was later appointed Assistant Organist, accompanying and conducting the cathedral’s daily schedule of Choral Vespers and Mass, as well as playing for large-scale liturgies, including the Dedication and Papal Blessing of Domus Australia in Rome by Pope Benedict XVI. During this time, he completed a Graduate Diploma in Education at the Australian Catholic University. From 2014-18 James was Cathedral Organist of St. Stephen’s Cathedral, Brisbane, and responsible for the training of the boys-and-men Cathedral Choir and the acclaimed St Stephen's Schola, and Director of Music of St John’s College, University of Queensland. He is a notable exponent of the art of improvisation at the organ, studying in France with Nigel Allcoat and in masterclasses with Sophie-Véronique Cauchefer-Choplin. In 2018, James relocated to the United States to commence the Master of Sacred Music degree at the University of Notre Dame.

Myles Hayden (MSM Organ '19) is currently going into his 2nd year of his Master of Sacred Music degree at the Sacred Music program at the University of Notre Dame. In addition to his studies at Notre Dame, he is an intern organist at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart at the University of Notre Dame. Recently in 2017, he graduated from Valparaiso University with a bachelor’s in sacred music with the distinction of Magnum cum Laude under the study of Dr. Lorraine Brugh and was a member of Christ College, the honors college. At Valparaiso, he was the recipient of the Signature Artist Scholarship, the highest music scholarship possible, and performed multiple times at the Chapel of the Resurrection, the largest collegiate chapel in the United States. During his collegiate career at Valparaiso he held multiple positions at the chapel including Chapel Music Coordinator, Matins Organist, Matins Choir Director, Handbell Director, and Candlelight pianist/coordinator. He was also the student conductor of the Kantorei, the chapel’s choir, and was organist at Trinity Lutheran Church in Lowell, IN. He has substituted at multiple churches including Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church (Fort Lauderdale, FL), home to the 178 rank Ruffatti Organ made famous by the organist Diane Bish. He has also performed numerous recitals throughout the Chicagoland area including Valparaiso University (103 rank Schlicker Organ), Methodist Temple Church in Chicago, IL (64 rank Skinner), Augustana Lutheran Church in Hobart, IN, Our Reedemer Lutheran Church in South Bend, IN (15 rank Wilhelm) and the University of Notre Dame (Paul Fritts 35 stops).

Brandon Hollihan (DMA Choral Conducting '20) is currently a doctoral student in choral conducting in the Sacred Music Program at the University of Notre Dame.  Prior to this he was a high school vocal music teacher and the music director for Northwest United Methodist Church, living in Columbus, Ohio.  Brandon has dual Master’s degrees in vocal pedagogy and choral conducting from The Ohio State University and a Bachelor’s in voice from Notre Dame.  In the summer of 2018, he participated in the Scholar program with the Chorus America Conducting Academy in southern California, and was also a conducting fellow in the prestigious Norfolk Chamber Choir and Choral Conducting Workshop in Connecticut.  Major works recently conducted include Bach’s BWV 80, “Ein Feste Burg ist unser Gott” (2017), Haydn’s The Creation (2017), and Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms (2016).

Alyse Jamieson (MSM Voice '19) is from Oregon, where she attended The University of Oregon, specializing in early music, small ensemble singing, and where she was also featured in numerous operatic productions. Performing credits in the Pacific Northwest include being a featured soloist with the Oregon Bach Collegium, Vox Resonat (an ensemble performing works from the medieval and renaissance eras), and The Oregon Bach Festival, while also singing roles with Eugene Opera and Cascadia Concert Opera. Here at Notre Dame, Alyse has sung solos in the Mozart C Minor Mass, Bach BWV 80, Handel’s Messiah, while participating in local Evensong services, opera scenes, and is a co-conductor of the Cantabile Choir with Notre Dame Children’s Choir. Having just finished singing the role of Dorabella in Cosi fan Tutte with South Bend Lyric Opera, Alyse is looking forward to the year ahead where, so far, she will be singing Dido in ND Opera’s Fall production of Dido and Aeneas and will be the alto soloist in the South Bend Symphonys performance of Haydn’s Paukenmesse next Spring. Alyse is also a cantor and choral scholar at Gloria Dei Lutheran church.

Katrina Keat (MSM Choral Conducting '19) is from Greenville, South Carolina, and is a singer, conductor, and organist. She received her B. A. in music (voice) and political science from Benedictine College in 2015. While at Benedictine, Katrina was a music theory tutor and also founded Benedictine Baroque, a student-run ensemble which played only Baroque music. She performed large works with the group such as J.S. Bach’s “Jauchzet Gott”, Pergolesi’s “Stabat Mater”, Leonardo Leo’s “Salve Regina”, and more. She also performed the soprano solos for the Benedictine College Concert Chorale’s performances of Faure’s “Requiem”, Rutter’s “Requiem”, and Vaughan William’s “Dona Nobis Pacem”. Prior to attending Notre Dame, Katrina was the Director of Music at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Corpus Christi, Texas, where she directed numerous choirs and was the primary organist for masses in both the Ordinary and Extraordinary Form. While serving as director at St. John's, Katrina conducted works such as Durufle's "Requiem", Byrd's "Mass for Five Voices", and Haydn's "Missa Brevis Sancti Joannis de Deo" during the context of the liturgy. Katrina enjoys running and fishing, and is a loyal fan of the Boston Red Sox.

Heejin Kim (DMA Organ '20)

Zen Kuriyama (MSM Choral Conducting '19) born and raised on the Big Island of Hawaii, is a singer, conductor, and budding musicologist. A 2014 Presser Scholar, Zen received his B.A. in Music from the University of Hawaii at Mānoa ('15), where he studied both voice and musicology. Zen received a M.M. in Voice Performance from Stony Brook University ('17) under the Belari Scholarship in Voice, where he studied with Randall Scarlata. At SUNY Stony Brook, Zen held a dual Teaching Assistantship appointment: one in Musicology, and the other in Choral Conducting. Zen is a recent recipient of a Graduate Summer Travel & Research Grant from the Nanovic Institute for European Studies, which he will use to study the unfinished/unpublished manuscripts and personal letters of Gerald Finzi on-site at several archives in England and Scotland. A proud member of the American Choral Directors Association and the American Musicological Society, Zen is an avid hiker, runner, and lover of poetry. 

Mark Laseter (MSM Voice '20) is a tenor, enjoys a varied career of singing, accompanying, and teaching. Previous accompanist engagements include a year with the American Boychoir School, the Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute, the 2016 Tennessee All State Honor Choir, and the 2012 Southern Division ACDA Honor Choir. As a professional choral singer, Mark has appeared with Seraphic Fire and Grammy award winning ensemble The Crossing. This past year saw Mark in the United Kingdom where highlights include performances for Prince William Duke of Cambridge at Hereford Cathedral, for Charles Prince of Wales in a concert at Buckingham Palace, and for Pope Francis both in St. Peter’s Square and the Sistine Chapel. Mark received his bachelor’s degree in voice performance from Westminster Choir College and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in sacred music at the University of Notre Dame.

Leah Martin (MSM Organ '20) graduated from the Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University, where she studied organ performance with Dr. Janette Fishell. She was a Jacobs Scholar as well as an Indiana University Founders Scholar. In March of 2017, she was awarded first place in the American Guild of Organists’ Indianapolis Regional Competition for Young Organists. Her notable performance experiences include recitals at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia and recitals on the Wanamaker Organ. She has served as organist at Fairview United Methodist Church in Bloomington, IN, for two years, and she is an assistant organist at the Bryn Athyn Cathedral in PA over summers. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in organ and sacred music at the University of Notre Dame, where she is the assistant organist at St. Peter's United Church of Christ.

J.J. Mitchell (MSM Organ '19) is a second year master’s student in the Sacred Music at Notre Dame (SMND) program pursuing an MSM in Organ Performance. His teacher is Dr. Craig Cramer. JJ holds an organist position at Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Notre Dame, IN. He is an alumnus of Westminster Choir College, where he graduated Summa Cum Laude in 2017 with a BM in Sacred Music. JJ made his international debut in March 2018 on a tour with Notre Dame's Women's Liturgical Choir that included venues such as St. Joseph’s Oratory in Montreal and St. Michael’s Cathedral Basilica in Toronto. Playing organ and conducting the choir, he was recorded for national broadcast on Canada’s Salt & Life television network. Later that year, JJ was awarded a grant from the Nanovic Institute for European Studies. With this funding, he performed and studied organ music in France and England in July 2018. A leader in his department, JJ serves as SMND's representative to the university's Graduate Student Union. He also was selected to be an ambassador of SMND to the Republic of Georgia in June 2018, provided by the Alice Martin Fellowship. Most recently, JJ was named a finalist for the 2019-20 Frank Huntington Beebe Fund for Musicians Grant. He has held positions at several Catholic Churches, including the Cathedral of St. Thomas More in Arlington, VA. JJ also has extensive experience and training working with both singing and handbell choirs. He is an active member of the American Guild of Organists and the National Association of Pastoral Musicians, where he serves as the youngest member of the National Publications Committee. 

Constantine Novotny (MSM Voice '19) is a second-year voice performance baritone. He was raised in the metro-Detroit area and attended Oakland University for his undergraduate degree in voice performance. After graduating from Wichita State University as the Samuel Ramey Fellow of Opera Performance, he performed with Detroit based groups such as Opera MODO and Audivi. Constantine loves to sing a variety of repertoire from opera to choral, and also is the lead singer and songwriter for his band, The Sundots. He looks forward to another year of music-making at Notre Dame!

Ryan Peteraf (MSM Choral Conducting '19) is a second-year choral conducting student. He received a Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance, with a minor in Music Education, from the University of the Arts. Ryan admires the rehearsal process while working with choirs and orchestras. He loves the music of the Classical Era, and his favorite composer is Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. John Williams and Leonard Bernstein fueled Ryan’s passion for the art of conducting. 

Emorja Roberson (DMA Choral Conducting '21) is a pianist, conductor, workshop coordinator, composer, arranger and vocalist in world of classical and gospel. He recently debuted “Let’s Just Praise the Lord” with the South Bend Symphony Orchestra, from his live recording Rejuvenate Me with Rejuvenation Gospel Choir January 2017. Roberson graduated from the University of North Florida with a Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance, where he studied with Krzysztof Biernacki. As a young artist, he held lead roles in Die Zauberflöte, The Consul, The Mikadoand La Bohèmewith the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra and performed as a soloist in Handel’s Messiah. As of May 2017, Roberson was coined as the first African-American to graduate with a Master of Sacred Music in Vocal Performance from the University of Notre Dame. Currently, Roberson is studying with Dr. Mark Doerries as a Research Assistant to prepare for his studies as a future doctoral student in Conducting, in addition to piloting the Voices of Courage choir at Madison and Harrison Primary Center. Roberson serves as the Director of Music for Olivet African Methodist Episcopal Church and the Choir Director for the Indiana University South Bend Gospel Choir.  January 2018, Roberson’s compositions, “I Need Your Presence” and “Lord, I’m Grateful” were debuted by the South Bend Symphony Orchestra under the batons of Dr. Marvin Curtis and Dr. Alastair Willis.

Gregory Santa Croce (MSM Organ '19) originally from Binghamton, New York is a graduate of the University of North Texas in Denton, where he studied organ and sacred music with Dr. Jesse Eschbach and Dr. Charles Brown and jazz with professors Pat Coil and Richard DeRosa. His recent awards include first prize in the 2016 William Hall Pipe Organ Competition in San Antonio, Texas, and the University of North Texas College of Music Presser Scholarship, the highest honor the school of music may award to an undergraduate. Greg was also a finalist in the 2017 American Guild of Organists Southwest Regional competition in Dallas, Texas. Greg maintains an active musical schedule as an organ soloist as well as freelancing as a jazz and collaborative pianist, composer, and arranger. Greg has just begun a master's degree in sacred music at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, where he studies organ with Dr. Craig Cramer and serves as an organ scholar at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart.

Daniel Schwandt (DMA Organ '21) is returning to Notre Dame after completing an MSM in organ in 2018. Originally from Appleton, Wisconsin, Daniel received his Bachelor of Music degree in Church Music from St. Olaf College. Prior to coming to Notre Dame, Daniel was an active church musician in the Twin Cities and in Chicago, where for twelve years he was the seminary musician at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago and Cantor of Augustana Lutheran Church of Hyde Park. Most recently he was the Cantor of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Chicago and assisted with the Notre Dame Women’s Liturgical Choir. His interests cover the spectrum of the church musician’s art, from conducting and composing, to liturgical theology and leading assembly song. His interest in the organ also extends to free reed instruments like the harmonium and American reed organ.

Elliott Smith (DMA Choral Conducting ABT)

Benjamin Stone (DMA Organ '19) is a candidate for the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in organ performance. He is currently finishing a thesis on the chorale-based organ works of Johann Ludwig Krebs and Gottfried August Homilius. He is Director of Music and Organist at First United Methodist Church in South Bend, and teaches music courses at St. Mary’s College and the University of Notre Dame. Ben previously served as a graduate assistant at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart at Notre Dame, where he worked with the Liturgical Choir, Chant Schola, Women’s Liturgical Choir, and Basilica Schola. Soon to be a “triple-Domer,” Ben’s previous degrees are also from Notre Dame, a Master of Sacred Music (2015) and Bachelor of Arts, summa cum laude, in organ performance and theology (2013).

Carina Sturdy (MSM Organ '20) is a first year MSM student at Notre Dame University studying Organ Performance. She recently earned her Bachelor of Music in Organ Performance at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts studying under Dr. Timothy Olsen. In addition to playing numerous solo concerts including recitals at the Spoleto Festival, the Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine, and Bruton Parish Church, Carina has placed in both regional and national music competitions. She has competed in three cycles of the Quimby/AGO Competition for Young Artists, placing second in the Mid-Atlantic regional competition in 2017. She served as organ scholar for the Royal School of Church Music Carolina Course at Duke University in the summer of 2017. Carina has also served as the Organist for Main Street United Methodist Church in Kernersville, NC and Organ Scholar for Bruton Parish Church in Williamsburg, VA.

Emily Swope (MSM Voice '19) is from Derry, New Hampshire and is currently working on her Masters in Vocal Performance and Sacred Music from the University of Notre Dame. She earned her Bachelor of Music degree from Ave Maria University, with a minor in Shakespeare in Performance. Emily is the fourth of nine children, and has loved working with kids all her life. She's fluent in German, loves traveling, and is looking forward to teaching and singing solo sacred repertoire after finishing her degree!

Jared Swope (MSM Voice '20) is from Missouri, where he received bachelor's degrees in music education & music performance. He is a first year voice master’s student in the Sacred Music Program at the University of Notre Dame. While singing is one of the most important things in his life, he also enjoys cycling, the outdoors and playing various sports.

Audrey Thomas (MSM Organ '20)

Joshua Wang (MSM Choral Conducting '20) is currently a student in choral conducting in the Master of Sacred Music Program at the University of Notre Dame. Prior to moving to South Bend, Josh was a resident artist for two seasons with the Toledo Opera (Toledo, OH). In this position he was primarily a pianist for educational outreach programs that reached over 20,000 children in regional school districts. Additionally, Josh collaborated with the Toledo Choral Society as pianist and organist for their concert seasons, most notably preparing for the Toledo Symphony Messiah concerts. Always a church musician, Josh served as the Director of Music at First Presbyterian Church in Bowling Green, OH where, in 2016, he instituted an annual community sing-along of Handel’s Messiah. Josh is a proud member of the American Choral Directors Association through which he was awarded first place in the Wisconsin State Student Conducting Competition as an undergraduate student. He is also certified in service-playing from the American Guild of Organists. He holds a B.M. in Piano Performance from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and an M.M. in Piano Performance from Bowling Green State University.

Erin Wendt (MSM Choral Conducting '20) is a first year choral conducting master's student in the Sacred Music program at the University of Notre Dame. Erin comes to Christ the King after teaching junior high and high school choir for the past five years in the Gilbert Public Schools system, in Gilbert, Arizona. Erin graduated from Northern Arizona University with dual degrees in vocal performance and choral music education. While at NAU, she sang in the Shrine of the Ages choir and the select vocal jazz ensemble High Altitude, in addition to studying voice with Dr. Ricardo Pereira. In 2012, Erin was awarded the Outstanding Future Music Educator award by the Arizona Choral Directors Association and in 2014 she was awarded the New Choral Educator of the Year awards by the Arizona Choral Educators association.