Spencer Martin has performed and taught at music festivals throughout the U.S., Canada, Israel, and Europe as both violist and conductor. An active chamber and orchestral musician, he has appeared as guest violist with the Pro Arte String Quartet and the Amelia Piano Trio. His solo performances include Berlioz’s Harold in Italy with the Luther College Symphony Orchestra in venues in Austria, including Vienna’s Konzerthaus. Spencer has served as Principal Violist in the Tuscaloosa Symphony, and also frequently performed in the viola sections of the Minnesota Orchestra, the Alabama Symphony Orchestra, the Wichita Symphony Orchestra, and the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra. Spencer’s solo, chamber, and orchestral performances have been featured in numerous radio broadcasts including National Public Radio, Canadian Brodcasting Corporation, Minnesota Public Radio, and Kansas Public Radio.
Spencer’s CD, “Gems Rediscovered,” was released to critical praise on the Delos label in 2012 and features lesser-known works for viola and piano by Ernest Walker, Paul Juon, Robert Fuchs, and Benjamin Dale. Spencer can also be heard on the Innova label on the disc “Waves of Stone, Music by Brooke Joyce.” A former member of the music faculty at the University of Alabama, Spencer holds degrees from Butler University, Wichita State University, and the University of Minnesota. His teachers include Korey Konkol, Catherine Consiglio, and Barbara Westphal. Also an avid proponent of Baroque music, Spencer performs frequently on Baroque violin and has studied in Berlin with Baroque violinist Bernhard Forck. To see and hear excerpts of Spencer's performances, or for further information, visit his website.
Baritone Andrew D. Whitfield enjoys a vibrant career as a performer, teacher, and stage director. In addition to appearances with Des Moines Metro Opera, Opera Southwest, and Pensacola Opera, Andrew was a resident artist with Portland Opera Works and toured with outreach programs for Opera Kansas and Opera Birmingham. Other performance highlights include engagements with the Dubuque Symphony Orchestra, the Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre, and the Peoria Bach Festival. He has been a featured soloist in the Brahms Requiem (Grinnell College) and in Haydn's Lord Nelson Mass (with the Luther College Symphony Orchestra at Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis, MN.) He performed as the baritone soloist in the world premier of Mohammed Fairouz's Anything Can Happen with the Grinnell College Singers at Fourth Presbyterian Church in Chicago, Illinois. Along with his colleague Jessica Paul, he has presented Schubert's Winterreise numerous times in Iowa, Wisconsin, Colorado, and Texas. Also, his recording of Brooke Joyce’s Three Iowa Ballads, released on the Innova label, has received notable praise. Recent appearances include performances of Handel's Messiah and the children's opera Owl at Home, as well as chamber music recitals at The Baroque Room in St. Paul, MN and on the Second City Chamber Series in Tacoma, WA.
Originally from Shelbyville, Indiana, Andrew received the Bachelor of Music degree from Butler University, the Master of Music degree from Wichita State University, and the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Louisiana State University. He currently serves as Professor of Music and Coordinator of Opera at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, where he teaches applied voice and opera workshop. He is also a founder and director of the International Music Festival of the Adriatic, a summer chamber music festival for piano, strings, voice, and composition in Duino, Italy.
To see and hear excerpts of Andrew's performances, please visit his YouTube channel.
Stefano Sacher (Trieste, 1962- ) holds a master's degree in Composition from Tomadini Conservatory in Udine, and degrees in Choral Composition and Conducting from Tartini Conservatory in Trieste, and in Orchestral Conducting from Martini Conservatory in Bologna. He also graduated from the College of Literature and Arts at the University of Trieste, with a thesis on Sergej Prokofev’s music in movies.
He furthered his Compositional studies with Antonio Bibalo in Norway and with Hans Werner Henze in Rome.
Stefano Sacher has composed two operas, choral music, chamber music, orchestral music, music for the theater, and songs.
Recent works include Aubade (for mezzosoprano and orchestra), Concertante (for winds, piano and drums), Stabat mater (for soprano, mixed choir and strings), Three elegies (for baritone, viola and piano), and the opera La memoria di Medea, which premiered at IMFA in 2016.
His works are regularly performed and broadcasted in Europe, Canada, the U.S. and have been published by Pizzicato and Nomos Editions.
Maestro Sacher’s conducting career has taken him throughout the world, to countries such as Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Austria, Germany, Belgium, Poland, Switzerland, the U.S., Canada, the Czech Republic, Sweden, Finland, Malta, Cuba and Mongolia, where he has conducted symphonic, choral and operatic repertoire.
Sacher has been teaching all music courses at the United World College of the Adriatic since 2001. He was also the IB Music teacher from 2001 to 2011.
He has also published a book of poems, articles and essays on musicology, and was a radio host for the Italian national radio RadioRai music programs.
Since 2009 he has been the artistic director of the Mozart Society Italia, based in Trieste, where he founded a youth orchestra, the Amadeus Adriatic Orchestra, which he conducts.
Nicholas Shaneyfelt is Visiting Assistant Professor of Music in Collaborative Piano at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa. He completed his doctoral studies in the Collaborative Piano studio of Martin Katz at the University of Michigan. Prior to Michigan, he served as Staff Accompanist for the Department of Music and Dance at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, with regular involvements at the Northampton Community Music Center, Unitarian Universalist Society of Amherst, and the UMass Newman Center. He currently accompanies Luther College’s Nordic Choir, and has accompanied the Chamber Choir and Chorale at UMass under the direction of Tony Thornton, the UMass Conducting Institute, the South Hadley Chorale, and regional honor choirs and choral societies in western Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Connecticut and Maine.
Originally from Knightstown, Indiana, Dr. Shaneyfelt received Bachelor’s degrees in Music and Computer Science from the University of Notre Dame, and a Master of Music degree from UMass with a dual focus in Solo and Collaborative Piano. At UMass, he was the recipient of the 2011 Eugenie May Piano Award. While at Notre Dame, he was the winner of the university’s concerto competition. His piano trio, “The Nora Trio,” was the first Notre Dame chamber ensemble to be selected as a finalist in the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition. Notable recent performances include the premiere of David Amram’s Greenwich Village Portraits with saxophonist Jonathan Hulting-Cohen, recital tours with soprano Katie Calcamuggio-Donner, engagements in Los Angeles, New York City, and the Kennedy Center through the University of Michigan’s Gershwin Initiative, and Winterreise with tenor William Hite.
Nicholas has studied with John Blacklow, Nadine Shank, Estela Olevsky, and Gilles Vonsattel.
A native of Iowa, violist Angela Kratchmer maintains an international career as a teacher, performer, and arts administrator. Committed to socially-motivated artistic practice, Kratchmer was selected to join the Global Leaders Program as a member of the 2018 Cohort and recently received a certificate in social justice, teaching artistry, cultural agency, and social entrepreneurship with teaching artist residencies in Chile, Paraguay, and Tanzania.
Kratchmer holds degrees from Luther College (BA '13), the Eastman School of Music (MM '16), and is currently pursuing a DMA at the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami as a teaching assistant to Jodi Levitz. Previous teachers have included Spencer Martin and Carol Rodland.