2018 VBA Masterclass particiapants L-R Jonas Budris, tenor, Hannah DePriest, soprano, Luthien Brackett, mezzo-soprano, Andrew Padgett, baritone

A History

The Adams Vocal Master Class first took place in July, 1985. For the next several summers, the Master Class consisted of two or three coaching sessions held either in the fellowship hall of Church of the Wayfarer or in the downstairs room at Sunset Center. The participants were chosen either by local audition or casually selected from the Festival Chorale or Chorus during pre-Festival rehearsals. An informal concert or recital with piano sometimes took place, in various locations.

David Gordon was invited to lead the program in 1990, and over the next two years, he expanded and redesigned the program to create more impact within the Festival and beyond. Now, each winter we receive applications from around the world, and through this open audition process, we choose our four participants, many of whom go on to successful and prolific singing careers.

Here (in reverse chronological order) is a list of all participants in the Adams Master Class since the first in-house sessions in 1985.

*Indicates a singer who has appeared in subsequent Festivals as a Chorale Member or Soloist

2018

Hannah De Priest, soprano

Luthien Brackett, mezzo-soprano

Jonas Budris, tenor

Andrew Padgett, baritone

2017

Christina Kay, soprano

Kim Leeds, mezzo-soprano

Gene Stenger, tenor

Elijah Blaisdell, baritone

2016

Molly Netter, soprano

Kate Maroney, mezzo-soprano

Zach Finkelstein, tenor

David McFerrin, baritone

2015

Jana Miller, soprano

Janna Critz, mezzo-soprano

Brian Giebler, tenor

David Rugger, baritone

2014

Lianne Coble, soprano

Johanna Bronk, mezzo-soprano

Steven Soph, tenor

John Taylor Ward, baritone

2013

Molly Quinn, soprano*

Emily Marvosh, mezzo-soprano

Brandon Hynum, tenor

Jonathan Woody, baritone*

2012

Kristen Watson, soprano

Angela Young-Smucker, mezzo-soprano

Zachary Wilder, tenor

Paul Max Tipton, baritone

2011

Kathryn Mueller, soprano

Thea Lobo, mezzo-soprano

Lawrence Jones, tenor

Jason Steigerwalt, baritone

2010

Rebecca Mariman, soprano*

Laura Atkinson, mezzo-soprano

Matthew Anderson, tenor*

Douglas Williams, baritone

2009

Colleen Hughes, soprano*

Abigail Nims, mezzo-soprano

Derek Chester, tenor

Scott Dispensa, baritone

2008

Natalie Gunn, soprano

Darryl Taylor, countertenor 

Matthew Loyal Smith, tenor

Joshua Copeland, baritone

2007

Angela Cadelago, soprano

Katherine Growdon, mezzo-soprano

Dana Wilson, tenor

Nikolas Nackley, baritone

2006

Sherezade Panthaki, soprano

Jonas Laughlin, countertenor

Scott Mello, tenor*

Mischa Bouvier, baritone

2005

Jacqueline Horner, soprano

Sonia Gariaeff, mezzo-soprano

Brigham Timpson, tenor

Robert Samels, baritone

2004

Emily Sinclair, soprano

Daniel Bubeck, countertenor

Nathan Davis, tenor

Tim Krol, baritone*

2003

Christina Jahn, soprano

Elspeth Franks, mezzo-soprano*

Daniel Hutchings, tenor*

David Farwig, baritone

2002

Jenni Samuelson, soprano

Elspeth Franks, mezzo-soprano*

Ryan Turner, tenor*

Brian Ming Chu, baritone

2001

Elizabeth Weigle, soprano 

Stephanie Prewitt, mezzo-soprano

Stephen Ng, tenor*

Christopher Burchett, baritone 

2000

Kirsten Blase, soprano*

Kirsten Sollek, mezzo-soprano

Bryce Westervelt, tenor

Tyler Oliphant, baritone

1999

Mary Wilson, soprano

Margaret Bragle, mezzo-soprano*

Sean Fallon, tenor*

Aram Barsamian, baritone

1998

Jennifer Ellis Kampani, soprano

Maria Soulis, mezzo-soprano

Marc Molomot, tenor

Jeffrey Fields, baritone*

1997

Louise Fauteux, soprano

Emily Eyre, mezzo-soprano

Michiel Schrey, baritone

Sean Watson, baritone

1996

Twyla Whittaker, soprano*

Matthew White, countertenor*

Robert McPherson, tenor

David Paul Meyer, baritone

1995

Melissa Fogarty, soprano

Eve Maisonpierre, mezzo-soprano

Gerald Gray, Boston*

David Newman, baritone*

1994

Mary Ellen Callahan, soprano*

Wanda Procyshyn, mezzo-soprano

Todd Teske, tenor

Paul Grindlay, baritone*

1993
Jean Danton, soprano 

Daniel Taylor, countertenor*

John Tute, tenor

Donald Wilkinson, baritone*

1992

Mia Kim, soprano

Priscilla Peebles, mezzo-soprano

Benjamin Reckdahl, tenor

Keith Jameson, baritone

1990 and 1991

Mary Pat Finucane

Other participants' names unknown

1989

Linda Higson, soprano

Grace Ward, mezzo-soprano

Lynn Gardow, soprano

1988

Catherine Eberle, mezzo-soprano

Jody Druff, mezzo-soprano

Richard Kinsey, baritone

1987

Participants' names unknown

1986

Debra Patchell, soprano

Debbie Cree, mezzo-soprano

William Davis, tenor

1985
First Adams Vocal Master Class
Participants chosen from the Festival Chorale. Names unknown.

1984

The Adams Master Class Endowment Fund is created by friends and family of Virginia Best Adams to honor her on her 80th birthday.

1959

Ansel and Virginia Adams move to Carmel, California. Both are avid musicians and music lovers, and they become loyal patrons of the Carmel Bach Festival.

1935
The Carmel Bach Festival is established and gives its first weekend of concerts.