Stewart Wayne Foster, Director of Music
Stewart Wayne Foster is the newly appointed Director of Music and Organist of the Royal Poinciana Chapel in Palm Beach, Florida. He leaves a prestigious position in Los Angeles, where for eight years he served as Organist in Residence for the First Congregational Church, one of L.A.’s most historic churches. A consummate performer on the pipe organ, harpsichord and piano, and an expert accompanist and vocal coach, his performances have been praised by critics worldwide. According to a review by The Dallas Morning News of one of his most recent concerts, “You can play the organ differently, but you can’t play it any better than Stewart Wayne Foster . . . [He played] with technical finesse second to none and an Apollonian elegance of expression.”
Mr. Foster is a native of Florida where he studied organ as an undergraduate at Stetson University. He went on to receive his Master’s degree in the harpsichord and early music from the University of North Texas and, in organ, his Diplôme de Concertiste from the École Normale de Musique in Paris, where he lived for five years. While there, he was staff continuo player with L’Orchestre de St. Louis-en-l’Ile, and accompanist for the Paris Choral Society, in addition to serving as assistant organist at the American Cathedral in Paris. His many awards include the Gold Medal and Audience Prize at the 1997 Dallas International Organ Competition; First Prize at the William Hall Organ Competition; First Prize at the École Normale de Musique; and First Prize at the American Guild of Organists’ Regional Competition.
Known for his vast and eclectic repertoire, Mr. Foster has performed as soloist with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, the Augusta Symphony, and the Charleston Symphony, and has accompanied numerous fine choral groups and vocalists throughout his career. He has released one CD recording of French Symphonic organ works on the Towerhill label. He recently released a new CD on the historic Huguenot Church organ in Charleston, South Carolina. He has been interviewed several times on NPR’s Pipedreams. He co-produced a new DVD documentary on the world’s largest church pipe organ at First Congregational Church in Los Angeles. Mr. Foster has provided organ music for the film “Marie Antionette” (2006) and for the television show “Ugly Betty.” Recent performances include the Washington National Cathedral, the Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas, and, in 2008, a solo recital for the National Convention of the American Guild of Organists. He appeared as a soloist in the recent DVD production highlighting the Rosales pipe organ in the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, California. This summer he will be presenting recitals and master classes for the Regional Convention of the American Guild of Organists, and for the Disciples of Christ Annual Summer Music Conference.
Judy Davis, Soprano
Judith Field Davis, Soprano, holds a Bachelor of Music from the University of Miami and was a graduate student at the Manhattan School of Music in Opera Studies. She also earned a BS in Geology from Florida Atlantic University along the way. Judith has performed locally with the Palm Beach Opera, Miami Opera, Ft. Lauderdale Opera. Gold Coast Opera, Hallandale Pops, Sunshine Pops and Coral Springs Pops Orchestras. During the 1980′s Judith traveled and performed extensively throughout Europe, the Middle East and Scandinavia. Known for her versatility she is comfortable with many different musical styles including jazz, musical theater, operetta, opera and oratorio. She is also the owner of the popular attraction “DivaDuck Tours” which she began in 2002. Now you know where the “Diva” in DivaDuck comes from!
Suzanne Galer, Soprano
First-place winner of the New York Vocal Artists’ Competition, coloratura soprano Suzanne Galer has played the role of the Queen of the Night in Mozart’s Magic Flute with many companies, including Italy’s Rome Festival, Ars Nova of Alabama (2009), Whitewater Opera of Indiana, Sorg Opera of Ohio, Indiana Opera Theatre of Bloomington, and The Lake Charles Symphony (LA). In New York, Galer has made her cami and Weill Hall debuts and has sung at numerous venues including the Long Island Lyric Opera, The Opera Company of the Hamptons, The New Rochelle Opera, The Rockland Opera, The West Park Chamber Society, The Gerard Edery World Music Ensemble, The National Arts Club of Manhattan, and the Trinity Church Wall Street Recital Series. Galer was a regional finalist in the Metropolitan Opera Competition and a national finalist in the Chicago Lyric Opera Young Artist competition. She also won prizes in the U.S. Information Agency and Queens Opera competitions. Recent national conference appearances have included the College Music Society International conference in Bangkok, Thailand (2007), Hawaii International Conference (2006), NATS National Conference in Nashville (2008), NATS Interno San Diego (2008), and National Conference in Minneapolis (2006). Galer has made faculty appearances in operas, recitals and master-classes at colleges and arts centers across the country including Interlochen School for the Arts, The University of Michigan, Blue Lake Fine Arts Center, Central Michigan University, Michigan State University, and Notre Dame. Galer’s career has spanned the United States. She has performed the role of the Governess in Britten’s Turn of the Screw with The Inspiration Point Festival (AK), the Mother Abbess in Puccini’s Suor Angelica with the Bel Canto Northwest Festival (OR), and Najade in Ariadne auf Naxos with Shreveport opera (LA). In addition, she has performed supporting roles with Cincinnati Opera (OH), as well as sacred solos at California’s Crystal Cathedral and New York City’s Marble Collegiate Church. Her oratorio performances include Honegger’s King David with the Midland Odessa Symphony and Orff’s Carmina Burana with both the Jacksonville Masterworks Chorale (FL), and The Lakes Charles Symphony (LA). Galer has performed the role of the Dew Fairy in Hansel and Gretel with The Indianapolis Opera, and the played the role of Serpina in La Serva Padrona with The Crossroads Opera Company (IN). She has also performed with the Marion Philharmonic Orchestra (IN), The Manistee Chamber Orchestra (MI), the Cambridge Music Society (OH), the North Carolina Theatre (NC), and the Shoals Symphony (AL).
Kristin Brouwer, Contralto
Mezzo Soprano Kristin Brouwer continues to gain attention as an up-and-coming performer of both opera and concert works. A graduate of the esteemed Indiana University Jacobs School of Music and the New England Conservatory of Music, Boston, Ms. Brouwer has performed under the guidance of celebrated conductors and stage directors, including Sir Colin Graham, David Effron, David Morelock, Imre Pallo, Matthias Kunsch, and John Poole. Recent operatic roles include Hermia in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Dorabella in Cosi fan tutte, Tisbe in La Cenerentola, and Dritte Dame in Die Zauberfloete. As a concert soloist, Ms. Brouwer has been heard in Handel’s Messiah, Schubert’s Mass in A-flat, Bach’s Magnificat, the Vaughan Williams Magnificat, Gretchaninoff’s All-Night Vigil, Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass, and Mendelssohn’s Elijah. Ms. Brouwer has been mentored by renowned voice teachers Andreas Poulimenos, Edward Zambara, and Kathleen Kaun. As a student at Indiana University, she received a graduate assistantship and was the recipient of the Kohlmeier Award. Currently, Ms. Brouwer serves as an Adjunct Instructor of Voice at Palm Beach Atlantic University and Palm Beach Community College.
Ann Irvine, Contralto
Marty Marshall, Tenor
Marty Marshall is a graduate of Florida Atlantic University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Music. He has been a tenor soloist at The Royal Poinciana Chapel since 1996. For the past four seasons, Marty performed the tenor solos in Dubois’ Seven Last Words with the Chapel Chorale. He has performed many times as tenor soloist with the Masterworks Chorus in Handel’s Messiah, Vaughan William’s Serenade to Music, Saint-Saen’s Christmas Oratorio, Haydn’s Creation and Lord Nelson Mass, and the Mozart Requiem and Coronation Mass. Mr. Marshall has served as the President of The Federation Music Club of the Palm Beaches since 1995 and President of The Masterworks Chorus of the Palm Beaches since 2002. Marty has participated as a tenor soloist in two European tours with Masterworks Chorus of the Palm Beaches.
Bryon Grohman, Tenor
A native of Hazleton, Pennsylvania, tenor Bryon Grohman performs frequently as soloist on both the concert and opera stage. Recent operatic roles include Gilbert in Donizetti’s Lucie de Lammermoor and Joe in Puccini’s La Fanciulla del West as part of the esteemed Glimmerglass Opera Young American Artist’s Program, Don Ramiro in Rossini’s La Cenerentola and Don Narciso in Rossini’s Turco in Italia with the Indiana University Opera Theatre, Pastore in the Chicago Lyric Opera’s production of Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo, and Spoletta in the Opera Theatre of St. Louis production of Puccini’s Tosca. Mr. Grohman made his Boston Symphony Orchestra debut in Oliver Knussen’s Where the Wild things Are with the composer conducting. As a Tanglewood Music Center Vocal Fellow, he sang the role of Rinuccio in Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi and, at the request of Seiji Ozawa, returned to Tanglewood to perform Fenton in Verdi’s Falstaff. Recent concert soloist engagements have included Handel’s Messiah with the Bloomington Early Music Festival, the Evangelist in Bach’s Johannes Passion, Mozart’s Requiem, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, and Britten’s St. Nicholas Mass. During the fall of 2005, Grohman premiered the role of Nicholas in a performance of Death and the Powers, a new opera by Tod Machover and Robert Pinsky previewed in Monte-Carlo during the November 2005 Opera Europa conference. Mr. Grohman has served as choral conductor at Wellesley College, New England Conservatory of Music, and the Church of Our Saviour, Brookline, Massachusetts.
Dr. Lloyd Mims, Bass
Dr. Lloyd Mims was appointed dean of the School of Music and Fine Arts at Palm Beach Atlantic University in July 2000. Prior to that time, he served as professor (since 1984) and dean (since 1993) of the School of Church Music and Worship at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. He did postdoctoral studies in voice and literature at The Juilliard School and the America-Italy Society. In addition, he was a fellow with the Bach Aria Institute in Stony Brook, N.Y., and the American Symphony Orchestra League Conducting Workshop in Houston. His professional performances include roles with Kentucky Opera, Mobile Opera, The Louisville Orchestra, and the Asuncion National Philharmonic in Paraguay. For twenty years he was the conductor of the Seminary Orchestra in Louisville, Kentucky and has conducted a wide range of opera and symphonic works; he presently is the conductor of the PBA Symphony. Dr. Mims is a member of and served a four-year term as Kentucky Governor for the National Association of Teachers of Singing and is currently serving a four-year term as Regional Governor of the Southeast Region (AL, FL, GA). He also a member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, Conductors Guild, and the National Opera Association. An ordained minister, he has served as minister of music for a number of churches in Kentucky, Florida and Mississippi.
Ardean Landhuis, Bass
Ardean’s love for performing began at a young age. Church choirs and school plays led to full-time involvement in both music and theatre in college. While earning his B.A. in Music at Northwestern of Iowa, he maintained a busy performance schedule as a part of several vocal and instrumental ensembles as well as numerous plays and musicals. While at Northwestern, Ardean was honored with an Irene Ryan Acting Award nomination at the American College Theatre Festival. He continued his education by pursuing his M.F.A. degree in Acting at M.S.U. in Minnesota, receiving further training in Acting Styles, Dance and Stage Combat. He soon entered the professional world of performing, enjoying success in both dramatic and Musical Theatre roles and earning membership in Actorâ€™s Equity Association. While in graduate school, Ardean continued private voice study in Opera and soon began performing with regional opera companies. Since then, he has performed over 50 different roles in a variety of operas and theatre productions across the country. His theatre acting repertoire includes such diverse roles as “King Alonso” in Shakespeare’s THE TEMPEST and “Artie Shaughnessy” in John Guare’s THE HOUSE OF BLUE LEAVES as well as more familiar characters like “Officer Krupke” in WEST SIDE STORY and “Inspector Ledoux” in PHANTOM. As an opera singer, Ardean has been privileged to work with several of the opera world’s premiere singers, directors and conductors. He sang his first DON GIOVANNI under the baton of Julius Rudel and performed roles in BARBER OF SEVILLE and MADAMA BUTTERFLY under the direction of legends Nate Merrill and Renata Scotto. He was “Dr. Grenvile” to June Anderson’s dying “Violetta”, a spry “Njegus” to Richard Leech and Ana Maria Martinez as “Danillo” and “Hannah” and an ever-loyal “Leporello” to Dwayne Croft’s provocative “Giovanni”. A buffo Bass-Baritone, Ardean’s operatic repertoire includes the traditional “doctors and servants” – Leporello, Dr. Bartolo, Dulcamara, & Alidoro – as well as “character roles” – Alcindoro, Benoit, Frosch, & Njegus. Although spending most of his time in the repertoire of the Italian composers, he has spent some time with the works of Delibes, Poulenc, and Saint-Saens. Ardean also finds time to devote to the concert stage, having performed in numerous Broadway and Classical music concerts as well as several Oratorios, including Handel’s MESSIAH, Rossini’s STABAT MATER and Mozart’s REQUIEM.