Board of Directors 2017-2018

President: Prof. Kaarin Safsten
1st Vice President, Programs: Dr. Cathy Hauan
2nd Vice President, Membership: Dr. Andrea Pitman Will
Secretary: Dr. Amanda DeMaris
Treasurer: Dr. Stephanie Weiss

Advisors and Committee Chairs

Fall Workshop Chair: Alexis Davis-Hazell

Fall Student Auditions Chair: Stephanie Fox

Advisors: Alexis Davis-Hazell, Nichole Jensen, and Mary Jane McCloskey

Past President: Jennifer Nagy

SNATS Advisor: Dr. Rachel Velarde

Arizona District Governor 

Dr. Rachel Velarde

2017-2018 Nominating Committee

Tom Jones, Chair; Marcus Denton, Beth Livingston-Hakes, and Patti Graetz


Officer Bios

Kaarrin Safsten, President

Kaarin Safsten, President

 Kaarin Safsten, Soprano, a native of Bellingham, Washington, holds a Master of Music (Voice) and Performance Diploma in Professional Opera Studies from Indiana University and a Bachelor of Music Performance and Pedagogy (Voice) from Brigham Young University.

Ms. Safsten has taught voice lessons for 15 years and is in her twelfth year teaching collegiate music courses. She currently teaches music humanities courses and private lessons at Chandler-Gilbert Community College in addition to teaching at Arizona Music Academy and maintaining a private studio in Mesa. Ms. Safsten has sung several operatic roles, including Fiordiligi (Cosi fan tutte), Marie (Wozzeck) and Electra (Idomeneo). She has also sung, recorded, and toured the United States as a member of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, has sung with the Arizona Opera Chorus.

Cathy Hauan, Soprano

1st Vice President, Program Chair


Andrea Pitman Will, Vice President, Programs

Andrea Pitman Will,2nd Vice President, Membership

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.



Dr. Amanda Demaris

Dr. Amanda DeMaris, Secretary

Amanda DeMaris, soprano, has been heard on opera, recital, and concert stages singing such repertoire as Lucy in The Telephone, Papagena in The Magic Flute, and soprano solos in Handel’s Messiah and Mozart’s Vesperae. She holds the degree BM in vocal performance from Ithaca College, MM in vocal performance from New England Conservatory, and EdD from Columbia University’s Teachers College.

DeMaris has taught at Cornell University as a visiting lecturer, Ithaca College as a lecturer and assistant professor, and at Columbia University and the New England Conservatory as a teaching assistant. Her students have gone on to perform with Forbidden Broadway, Vocal Essence Ensemble Singers, cruise ships, and numerous summer stock companies. In 2015, she joins the faculty of Arizona State University as Clinical Assistant Professor of Voice.

DeMaris is a member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing, New York Singing Teachers Association, and Pi Kappa Lambda. Her conference presentations have included the Voice Foundation’s 38th Annual Symposium, ISME’s World Conference in Bologna, Italy, Arizona Music Educators Association, and NATS National Conference. Her research interests include musicianship for singing, and self-directed learning in the applied voice studio. Her work has been published in the Journal of Singing.


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Dr. Stephanie Weiss, Treasurer

Stephanie Weiss, mezzo-soprano, is an Assistant Professor of Voice at Arizona State University’s Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts School of Music. She earned her  Bachelor of Music from New England Conservatory (voice), Bachelor of Science from Tufts University (biology and drama), Master of Music from University of Missouri-Kansas City, Professional Studies Diploma from Mannes College of Music, and Doctor of Musical Arts from University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Previously, she was Assistant Professor of Voice at University of Nevada, Las Vegas, a Teaching Fellow with the Metropolitan Opera Education Department, and has served on the faculty of COSI (Centre for Opera Studies in Italy) in Sulmona, Italy. Since 2010, she has been on the voice faculty at AIMS in Graz.

A San Diego native, she was a Midwest Regional Finalist of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and at Mannes College of Music, a recipient of a Richard F. Gold Career Grant from the Shoshana Foundation. As the winner of the American Berlin Opera Foundation Competition (now called Opera Foundation), she became a member of Deutsche Oper Berlin as a Stipendiatin and continues to be a regular guest artist with the company. Roles at the Deutsche Oper Berlin have included Frasquita (Carmen), Musetta (La bohème), Erste Dame and Zweite Dame (Die Zauberflöte), Gerhilde and Grimgerde (Die Walküre), and Schlafittchen (Berlin premiere of Das Traumfresserchen), Marianne Leitmetzerin (Der Rosenkavalier), Aufseherin (Elektra), Johanna [cover] (Szenen aus dem Leben der Heiligen Johanna), and Venus [cover] (Tannhäuser) in the company’s tour to Beijing.

In the U.S., her most recent appearances have included the Sorceress (Dido and Aeneas) with Opera Company of Middlebury, Berta (Il Barbiere di Siviglia) and Suzuki (Madama Butterfly) with Opera Las Vegas, and Marianne Leitmetzerin (Der Rosenkavalier) and Giannetta in L´elisir d´amore with the San Diego Opera.

On the concert stage, she debuted with the Berlin Philharmonic as the Cook in Le Rossignol under the baton of Pierre Boulez. She has also sung the role of Rose in Lakmé at Carnegie Hall with Opera Orchestra of New York under Eve Queler. She performed Wesendonck Lieder with the Henderson Symphony Orchestra, Mahler’s Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen and Symphony No. 4 with the L’viv Philharmonic (Ukraine), and Santuzza in Cavalleria rusticana with Singakademie Potsdam.

A versatile performer, she has also been seen on other European stages, such as Berlin’s Staatsoper Unter den Linden as Erste Dame (Die Zauberflöte), Marcellina (Le nozze di Figaro) and Marthe (Faust), Oper Frankfurt as Musetta, Oper Leipzig as Grimgerde (Die Walküre) and Stadttheater Bern, Oper Dortmund, and Oper Köln as Marianne Leitmetzerin. Other notable performances have included Venus in Tannhäuser with Mecklenburgisches Staatstheater Schwerin, and the title role of Johanna in Szenen aus dem Leben der Heiligen Johanna by Walter Braunfels at Oper Köln.