Valley of the Sun Chapter 2016-2017 Board of Directors
Advisors and Committee Chairs
Fall Workshop Chair: Alexis Davis Hazell and Rachel Stoddard
Fall Student Auditions Chair: Nichole Jensen
Advisors: Christy Welty, Nichole Jensen, and Mary Jane McCloskey
Past President: Dr. Alexis Davis-Hazell
SNATS Advisor: Dr. Rachel Velarde
Arizona District Governor
Dr. Rachel Velarde
2016-2017 Nominating Committee
Dr. Jeffrey Stevens, Chair; Claudia Kennedy, Carole FitzPatrick, and Tom Jones
Lyric soprano Jennifer Nagy is active as a professional singer and teacher in the Phoenix metropolitan area. She has been a voice teacher at Chandler/Gilbert Community College since 1998 and has taught at Mesa Community College, 1991-2004.
Ms. Nagy has had a wide variety of performing experience. Ms. Nagy has been a featured soprano soloist for works such as Handel’s Messiah, the Brahms Requiem, Poulenc’s Gloria, Rutter’s Requiem and Magnificat, and Mozart’s Coronation Mass. She has appeared as a guest artist with several symphony orchestras in the western U.S. including the Coeur d’Alene Symphony, the Flagstaff Symphony, and the Phoenix Symphony. She has made appearances with Arizona Opera and Phoenix Opera; roles include Barbarina in Le Nozze di Figaro, the Foreign Woman in The Consul, Frasquita in Carmen, Micaela in Carmen, and Pamina in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte. Chamber work includes appearances with great critical acclaim with Chamber Music PLUS Southwest collaborating with actors such as Lynn Redgrave, Efrem and Stephanie Zimbalist, Margot Kidder, and Hayley Mills.
Ms. Nagy’s students regularly place in the Arizona NATS Classical and Musical Theater Student Auditions. High school students have been successful at the Regional Honor Choir Auditions and made it into the Arizona All-State Choir. Former students have attended all three of the major Arizona universities as well as several who have attended out-of-state schools as music majors or minors. Student accomplishments also include holding roles in local community theater productions, members of the AZ Opera chorus and some have gone on to have professional careers in vocal performance.
Ms. Nagy is originally from Fresno, CA and received her Bachelor of Arts in Music with emphases in voice and piano performance from Whitworth College in Spokane, WA. She received her Masters in Vocal Performance from Arizona State University. top of page
Rachel Stoddard, soprano has been a Music Educator in the Phoenix area for the past 20 years. Currently she runs a large private voice studio in the North Valley and serves as the Vocal Music Director for productions at Phoenix First. Rachel sings with the Sonoran Desert Chorale and is often a featured soloist. Former Choral Directing positions include Scottsdale Christian Academy, Arizona Christian University, Paradise Valley Community College, the Phoenix Boys Choir (training choir) and the Paradise Valley Unified School District. Musical Direction credits for dozens of school and community theater productions include Mary Poppins, Celebration of Christmas, Oklahoma, Joseph, Pirates of Penzance, The Music Man, Fiddler, Bye-Bye Birdie, Honk!, Peter Pan, Godspell, It’s A Wonderful Life and many original shows and summer camp programs. Over the years Rachel has performed with various Valley organizations such as the Valley Chamber Chorale, The Phoenix Bach Choir Festival Voices, The Phoenix Theater, Stagebrush Theater and Theaterworks.
She earned a MM degree in Music Education from ASU and a BM degree in Music Education from Susquehanna University. Professional affiliations include NATS, NAfME, AMEA and ACDA. Rachel is married to director, writer, actor Mark Stoddard, who serves as the Performing Arts Director at Phoenix First. Their three sons are also heavily involved in the performing arts. Philip attends the Juilliard School, where he received his BM Degree in Vocal Arts and is currently pursuing an MFA in Acting. Stephen sings in the Shrine of the Ages Choir and is the President of the a cappella group Elevation at Northern Arizona University and Zachary, who was actively involved in both solo and choral music in high school and who will be spending the upcoming year as a foreign exchange student in Germany prior to attending NAU in the Fall of 2016.
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Tracy Peterson grew up in Lincoln, Nebraska, where she started out in the local community theatre. She then attended UN-L, where she studied with Dr. Richard Grace. Favorite opera roles there were Poppea, The Coronation of Poppea, The First Lady, The Magic Flute, and Miss Wordsworth, Albert Herring. She earned a Master of Music in Performance at ASU, where she studied with the late Warren Hoffer.
She sang for twelve seasons with the Phoenix Bach Choir, (now the Phoenix Chorale) under the direction of Anders Ohrwall, Jon Washburn and Charles Bruffy. She also sang for twenty years with Phoenix Vocal Jazz, a local non-profit organization partnering with schools to promote vocal jazz education. The group did a steady stream of performances as part of local performing arts series, including the Phoenix Symphony Pops, Phoenix Bach Choir and Phoenix Boys Choir.
Tracy has taught voice and related classes for almost 25 years in the Maricopa Community Colleges system, currently at the Mesa campus. She also teaches at Arizona Christian University and is serving as Music Director at Memorial Presbyterian Church in Phoenix.
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Mrs. Connie Trujillo was recently elected for her 3rd term as treasurer for the Valley of the Sun Chapter of NATS. This is her 20th year of teaching private voice lessons to students of all ages. Throughout her career, she has taught at various music academies, public and charter schools, community colleges, universities, and in her private home studio. She is currently an adjunct music faculty member at Grand Canyon University, where she teaches private voice lessons and class voice. Her students have gone on to attend various universities as graduate students, build careers in music education, and perform in many different venues, including the Metropolitan Opera. Mrs. Trujillo has performed as a soloist in numerous concerts including Mozart’s “Coronation Mass” with St. Barnabas of the Desert Episcopal Church, “Carmina Burana” with the Music in the Mountains Festival, Handel’s “Messiah” with the Scottsdale Symphony Orchestra, and Mendelssohn’s “Elijah,” Bach’s “B Minor Mass,” and Rutter’s “Magnificat” with Grand Canyon University. Mrs. Trujillo attended Truman State University in Kirksville, Missouri, for her Bachelor of Arts in Vocal Music, and Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona, for her Master of Music in Vocal Performance. Mrs. Trujillo currently resides in Gilbert, Arizona, where she lives with her two beautiful daughters and loving husband.
Andrea Pitman, soprano, is an Arizona native and made her debut with Arizona Opera as Lucy Brown in The Threepenny Opera and with The Phoenix Symphony as First Fairy in Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Most recently she sang the role of Mabel in The Pirates of Penzance with the Prescott Pops Symphony, performed the soprano solos in Messiah with The Phoenix Symphony and Grand Canyon University, returned to the role of Madame Goldentrille in The Impresario with Opera Revolution, and appeared as a guest artist in Lyric Opera Theatre’s Die Fledermaus, singing Strauss’ coloratura aria, Frühlingsstimmen.
Andrea’s repertoire displays her versatility in a range of comic and dramatic roles. She has especially enjoyed the comedic characters of Norina (Don Pasquale) and Zerbinetta (Ariadne auf Naxos), as well as the two sopranos in The Impresario, playing the young Mademoiselle Silberklang in addition to the imperious Madame Goldentrille, a role she also performed in Austria with the Salzburg Opernensemble. Other roles include The Queen of the Night (Die Zauberflöte), performed with the Salzburg Opernensemble and in the U.S. with Intermezzo Opera; the title role in The Merry Widow; Belinda in Dido and Aeneas, Nella in Gianni Schicchi, and Esmeralda in The Bartered Bride.
Equally at home in musical theatre, some of Andrea’s favorite roles include Marian in The Music Man (for which she received an ariZoni award nomination for Best Actress in a Musical), as well as Sister Sophia (Sound of Music) and Mrs. Mops (Menken’s A Christmas Carol) which she performed with Broadway Palm West. She has also appeared around the greater Phoenix area in Showtune Productions’ performances of Broadway Showstoppers and Sounds of Christmas.
Andrea received her Doctorate of Musical Arts in voice from Arizona State University, where she currently holds the position of Faculty Associate in Voice. She also earned a Master of Music in voice from Northwestern University, where she served as a teaching assistant. She maintains a private voice studio in Chandler, where she currently resides with her husband and two young sons. top of page