Juhi Bansal (she/her)
Composer, Conductor/Music Director
Described as “radiant and transcendent” by New Classic LA, the music of Juhi Bansal takes inspiration from her multicultural background growing up in India and Hong Kong. Her work features themes celebrating musical and cultural diversity, nature and the environment, and strong female role models.
Current projects include Waves of Change, a digital experience on womanhood, identity and clash of cultures inspired by the story of the Bangladesh Girls Surf Club; and Edge of a Dream, an opera about Ada Lovelace, daughter of infamous poet Lord Byron and a 19th Century pioneer in computing commissioned by Los Angeles Opera. Recent seasons have included commissions from the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, Prototype Festival, Beth Morrison Projects, New York Virtuoso Singers, Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre and more.
John Bronston (he/him)
Chorus Master, Coach/Accompanist/Collaborative Pianist, Composer, Conductor/Music Director, Singer, Voice Teacher
New York, NY
John Bronston currently serves as the Musical Director and Conductor of Bounce: The Basketball Opera (Ardea Arts NYC) and previous opera credits include Amahl and the Night Visitors and Trouble In Tahiti. He served as the musical director for the National Tour of Hair and recently served as the associate conductor for the touring productions of Ain’t Misbehavin and Smokey Joe’s Café. Favorite regional credits include The Color Purple, The Wiz, Legally Blonde, and Heathers. New York credits include work with NYMF (New York Musical Theatre Festival), MTF (Musical Theatre Factory), The Women’s Project, The Workshop Theatre, and The New York Theatre Barn and he has served as a pianist and musical director in cabarets and piano bars including Brandy’s, Don’t Tell Mama, and the Duplex. In addition he is a teaching artist for Mayo Performing Arts Center (MPAC) and Stagedoor Manor and has had his work as a composer of musicals and incidental scores produced Off-Broadway and Regionally.
Faye Chiao (she/her)
Composer, Conductor/Music Director, Singer
New York, NY
Faye Chiao is a composer and performer of opera, concert music, and musical theater. Chiao has been honored with awards from The Presser Foundation, The Puffin Foundation and OPERA America. Chiao has also been an artist-in-residence at New Victory Labworks, The John Duffy Institute for New Opera at the Virginia Arts Festival, and Boston Chamber Symphony. Chiao’s work has been commissioned by Houston Grand Opera, Prospect Theater, Single Carrot Theater, and Pittsburgh Festival Opera. Chiao holds degrees from The Peabody Institute of The Johns Hopkins University.
Kelly Kuo (he/him)
Coach/Accompanist/Collaborative Pianist, Conductor/Music Director, Artistic Director/Artistic Administrator
Cincinnati, OH, and Eugene, OR
Praised by the Cincinnati Enquirer as “a leader of exceptional musical gifts, who has a clear technique on the podium and an impressive rapport with audiences,” Maestro Kelly Kuo brings a dynamic versatility and nuance to a diverse repertoire, which includes over 90 operas and an expansive symphonic repertoire as well. Currently Artistic Director of Oregon Mozart Players, his recent engagements have included productions with Lyric Opera of Chicago, Seattle Opera, Cincinnati Opera, Indianapolis Opera, Kentucky Opera, Anchorage Opera, and the Janiec Opera Company of the Brevard Music Center and concerts with the Memphis Symphony Orchestra, Malta Philharmonic Orchestra, Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, Lexington Philharmonic, and Ballet Fantastique. He also curated and conducted the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra’s inaugural Summermusik festival as Interim Music Director.
In 2008, Maestro Kuo became the first conductor of Asian descent to lead a performance at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, making his company debut with Porgy and Bess. He has since returned to lead the Chicago premiere of Charlie Parker’s Yardbird and performances featuring artists of the Ryan Opera Center. Upcoming engagements include company debuts with "Carmen" for Opera Orlando, "Don Giovanni" for Opera Columbus, and concerts with the Reno Chamber Orchestra and Sunriver Music Festival.
An Oregon native and recipient of a Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistant Award for young conductors, Kuo continues to concertize as a keyboardist as the only pianist to have studied with two pupils of the Russian virtuoso Vladimir Horowitz.
Timothy Long (he/him)
Coach/Accompanist/Collaborative Pianist, Conductor/Music Director
Timothy Long is a conductor and pianist of Muscogee Creek (Thlopthlocco Tribal Town) and Choctaw descent who is Music Director of Opera at Eastman School of Music.
After working on Thomas Adès’s operatic tour-de-force, Powder Her Face, Tim was named by Robert Spano to be his assistant conductor at the Brooklyn Philharmonic. He was subsequently named an associate conductor at the New York City Opera. This led to engagements with companies such as Boston Lyric Opera, Wolf Trap Opera, Opera Colorado, Utah Opera, Tulsa Opera, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, The Juilliard School, Yale Opera, the Oklahoma City Philharmonic, and the Oregon Bach Festival.
Tim has performed as a pianist and harpsichordist at venues such as Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, Merkin Hall, National Sawdust, Jordan Hall, Wigmore Hall in London, the Alte Oper in Frankfurt, Herkules Hall in Munich, Dvorak Hall in Prague, La Halle aux Grains in Toulouse, the Aspen Music Festival, the Moab Music Festival, the Caramoor Festival, the Mostly Modern Festival, and the Dame Myra Hess Series in Chicago.
Recently, he conducted the world premiere and tour of Missing, an opera about the 3,000 missing Indigenous women in Canada, with Pacific Opera Victoria, the Regina Symphony Orchestra, and the Prince George Symphony Orchestra. He has also led Ricky Ian Gordon’s Tibetan Book of the Dead and Don Giovanni for the Eastman Opera Theatre, Die Zauberflöte and Le Nozze di Figaro for the Prague Summer Nights Festival, and Dream Seminar with the Trondheim Sinfonietta.
Casey Robards (she/her)
Coach/Accompanist/Collaborative Pianist, Conductor/Music Director
Currently on Keyboard/Voice faculty at Univ of Illinois as a pianist/vocal coach. Conductor/pianist/coach at Bay View Music Festival, a young artist program with one mainstage production, a scenes/art song program, and a Negro Spirituals Intensive.
Former faculty positions in vocal coaching/collab piano at Indiana University, Central Michigan and postdoc work at Oberlin. Research focus on African American piano, art song, and spirituals.
Jesse J. Sanchez (he/him)
Music Director, Composer, Librettist
Jesse J. Sanchez, a pioneer of new Latinx works in musical theater and plays with music, is a nationally recognized composer, librettist, playwright, music director, and Grammy Nominated educator (2014). Jesse is currently in residence at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival as the Artistic Music Supervisor. He is currently commissioned as a librettist by Boston Lyric Opera and Opera America to create a digital opera miniseries. Jesse’s music and plays have been produced at Boston Lyric Opera, 24 Hour Plays: Viral Monologues, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, New York Theatre Barn, FOGG Theatre of San Francisco, Arizona Theatre Company, Huntington Theatre Company, Hartford Stage, Alley Theatre, Arizona State University, University of Texas at Austin, The New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts, among others. Jesse is a proud member of the Dramatists Guild of America and National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures.
Damien L. Sneed (he/him)
Coach/Accompanist/Collaborative Pianist, Composer, Conductor/Music Director
New York, NY
As a multi-genre recording artist and instrumentalist, Damien Sneed is a pianist, vocalist, organist, composer, conductor, arranger, producer, and arts educator whose work spans multiple genres. He has worked with jazz, classical, pop, and R&B legends, including the late Aretha Franklin and Jessye Norman, which he is featured on Norman’s final recording, Bound For The Promised Land. He also worked with Wynton Marsalis, Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross, J’Nai Bridges, Lawrence Brownlee, Brandie Inez Sutton and many others.
Sneed recently premiered his new work, commissioned by the Sphinx Organization, “We Shall Overcome -- Our Journey: 400 Years from Africa to Jamestown,” at Carnegie Hall’s Isaac Stern Auditorium joined by his fellow Sphinx Medal of Excellence recipients J’Nai Bridges and Will Liverman along with Sneed’s chorus, Chorale Le Chateau, and the Sphinx Virtuosi Orchestra.
During the 2018 – 2019 season, Sneed served as music director, composer in residence, and cover conductor for the staff of the Houston Grand Opera. Sneed was also commissioned to compose a new chamber opera, MARIAN’S SONG, about Marian Anderson for HGO, with its world premiere on March 5, 2020.
Sneed is featured in the award-winning PBS documentary Everyone Has a Place, starring Wynton Marsalis which captures Sneed’s journey as the musical conductor of Marsalis’ “Abyssinian Mass”. Sneed is also featured in Aaron Dworkin’s book, The Entrepreneurial Artist: Lessons from Highly Successful Creatives.
Sneed is currently a faculty member of the Manhattan School of Music. He recently joined the faculty of Michigan State University as artist-in-residence.