2012 Christine’s Christmas Performers
Mark King, Piano
At age 13, Mark began his professional music career in Miami, Florida when he joined a group of college-aged musicians called Dante’s Devils as the keyboard player. At 16, he joined Rapid Transit, a local Miami band that achieved great
local success and notoriety. In addition to club dates, Rapid Transit performed in concert at the Miami Marina Stadium and played warm-up for such acts as Blood, Sweat and Tears and Billy Joel. Rapid Transit had a reunion in 2007 and
opened the Dublin July 4th celebration for KC and the Sunshine Band and The Village People. King also worked with Jon Secada and Miguel Morejon in a local production of Godspell. He was active in the recording community and played
keyboard on the song “No One Knows”, a top-15 Billboard hit.
Mark received his MD degree from The Ohio State University in 1986 and put his musical career on hold. He is now an Associate Professor in the Department of Radiology at OSU and resides in Dublin, Ohio with his wife, Heidi, and three
children. Recently, Mark was awarded with the Columbus Rotary Service Above Self Award in recognition of his dedication and effort to create a positive and enduring change in the lives of their community through his work with the
Christine Wilson Foundation and Christine’s Christmas.
Willie Grové, Vocalist
A native of South Africa, Willie (pronounced Villie) came to the USA in 1978. Willie received his vocal training in South Africa, Michigan and Columbus. Professionally, he has performed opera, light opera and musical theatre roles with the Windsor Light Opera in Ontario, Canada (Nanki Poo/The Mikado; Fredrick/The Pirates of Penzance; Richard/Ruddigore; Fairfax/Yeoman of The Guard; Sasha/Fiddler on the Roof), with The Columbus Light Opera, the Performing Arts Council of South Africa, with Opera/Columbus (Nabucco, Un Ballo in Maschera, Lucia Di Lammermoor, and Aiida), Opera/Music Theater Department of The Ohio State University, and with the Hilliard Arts Council. Most recently, he performed the roles of Kromov in The Merry Widow, Lucas in The Student Prince with Opera Columbus, and Sid El-Kar in the Columbus Light Opera’s production of The Desert Song.
Willie is past president of the Board of Trustees of Opera Columbus, and the founder of Go Wild! for Opera at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. He is a founding president of the Hilliard Arts Council an a original board member of Actors’ Summer Theatre Company and the Columbus Light Opera. He is a tenor soloist at Trinity United Methodist Church and works as a Financial Advisor with the award-ranking Grové Financial Group (associated with UBS Financial Services.) He and wife, Katie, live in Upper Arlington.
Denise Alexander, Vocalist
A soloist since early childhood, cast in church musicals and featured in community productions, music has always been a part of Denise’s personal and family life. She attended The Ohio State University for Vocal Performance and has worked with area ensembles as a choreographer and musical consultant for stage and competitive performances.
Denise’s strong interest in Contemporary Christian music has led her to write lyrical compositions, and organize and perform benefit concerts at her church, Bethel United Methodist. Denise also works for Ohio Health in the area of financial management. She lives in Powell with her husband and has been a part of Christine’s Christmas since its inception in 2004.
Laura King, Vocalist & Narrator
Laura King is a freshman at the University of Cincinnati, where she performs in Cabaret and the UC Girls Chorus. She has performed in vocal recitals at Otterbein University, and performed the National Anthem at the Dublin Field of Honor in remembrance of 9/11, and at the City of Dublin July Fourth Celebration in 2011.
Laura’s theatre credits include starring as Amy in Little Women, Alice in Alice in Wonderland, Cosette in Les Miserables, Peter in Peter Pan, and Belle in Beauty and the Beast. While she is majoring in Communications and Electronic Media at UC, one thing is certain: she will continue to pursue her passions for music and theatre.
Ron Perks, Drums
Ron Perks graduated from Capital University and has been studying the various instruments in the area of percussion for quite some time now. His musical experience has spanned the entire musical spectrum, from playing in wind ensembles and concert bands while also being highly active in contemporary musical art forms as well.
Ron is currently a full time student where he has had the privilege of studying with Eric Paton, Nate Anders and Robert Breithaupt. Ron is currently in his last year of obtaining his Bachelor of Music degree in Music Industry as well as minors in both Leadership & Management and Marketing. Ron is a native of Buffalo, NY.
Ben Huntoon, Trumpet
Ben Huntoon is the Jazz Education Specialist at Stanton’s Sheet Music in Columbus, Ohio. Mr. Huntoon actively represents Stanton’s at state, national and international conventions of OMEA, JEN and the International Trumpet Guild. Ben also is a Senior Lecturer at Otterbein University where he teaches trumpet and coaches brass ensembles as well as serving on the jazz faculty.
An active professional trumpet player, Ben has performed in Ohio and throughout the Midwest for over thirty years. He has performed for a number of professional theatrical companies including CAPA’s Broadway Series. He has played on a regular basis for numerous jazz personalities with the Columbus Jazz Orchestra and Vaughn Wiester’s Famous Jazz Orchestra, among others.
Nathan Kufchak, Cello
Nathan is a graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University’s Music Department as a cello performance major and has studied with members of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, the Cavani String Quartet, the Emerson String Quartet, and numerous other professional chamber music ensembles. He has also worked with faculty from the Cleveland Institute of Music, Ohio University Music Department, Otterbein College Music Department, Capital University Music Department, and the Baldwin Wallace Conservatory of Music.
He has served on the faculty of Capital University’s Summer Suzuki Institute, ASTA/NSOA Summer String Institute in Ithaca, NY, as well as serving year-round with the Chamber Music Connection in Columbus, Ohio. He maintains a private teaching studio for cello and bass students.
Bradley Sowash, Bass
Multi-talented Bradley Sowash is an acclaimed jazz pianist, composer, author and educator. Bradley has delighted listeners of all ages in concert halls and churches throughout the United States and Europe for over two decades. His emotional style and formidable technique have prompted favorable reviews in national publications including The Village Voice and Billboard Magazine among others.
As a sideman, he has played with such luminaries as The Cab Calloway Orchestra and The Mill Brothers. His broadcast credits include national radio airplay on NPR’s Morning Edition among others and he has been a regular guest on the PBS-TV series, The Piano Guy. His publications include several volumes of jazz hymn arrangements published by Augsburg Fortress Press and educational jazz piano books published by the Neil A. Kjos Music Company and Houston Enterprises. Bradley lives in Columbus with his wife, Susan.
Kyle Fox, Percussion
Kyle is a 17 year old senior at Hilliard Darby High School where, he participates in Marching Band, Wind Ensemble, Percussion Ensemble, Drumline, Symphonic Choir, Men in Black, Men’s Chorus, and Chorale. He also performs in Sonshine Productions, a musical drama group from Columbus, Ohio. In addition to being proficient on all varieties of percussion instruments, Kyle enjoys singing, playing the guitar and the piano.
Over the past five years, Kyle has taken ten percussion solos to the Ohio Music Education Association Solo and Ensemble competition, earning all Superior ratings. As both a junior and a senior, Kyle was selected to perform with the OMEA All-State Band and with the Capital Honors Wind Ensemble. Kyle has also been a member of the Columbus Youth Symphonic Band for the past three years. In 2012, Kyle had the honor to perform with Darby’s internationally known Symphonic Choir at the American Choral Directors Association conference in Fort Wayne, Indiana. After graduation, Kyle intends to pursue a degree in music education.
Dublin Jerome High School A Cappella Choir
Jeanne Wohlgamuth, Director
A Cappella Choir and Chorale, the elite choral ensembles at Dublin Jerome High School, are two of five choirs in the Choral Department. Under the direction of Jeanne Wohlgamuth, the members of the choirs are relentless in their quest to attain excellence on both a technical and emotional level. The singers seek to connect personally with the text and music performed with the hopes of moving the hearts and souls of their audience.
Both choirs regularly attend the Ohio Music Educator’s District and State Large Group Adjudicated Event where they consistently receive straight Superior ratings in Class AA.
Christian Jonathan Miller
The Chamber Music Connection, Inc. (CMC)
Deborah Price, Founder & Artistic Director
CMC is a non profit 501c3 organization dedicated to providing an enriching music experience for players of all ages and skill level. Among CMC’s prestigious programs are the Conservatory Series and the ‘Gig’ program which provide students with professional experience and our community with high-quality performances for formal concerts and events, including weddings and parties. Alumni include many gifted students who attend prestigious universities and conservatories. Past and current students have received features on NPR’s From the Top and have placed in the Fischoff, Saint Paul, and Discover National Chamber Music Competitions.
Deborah Barrett Price is the Founder and Artistic Director of the Chamber Music Connection, Inc. (CMC). She also serves on the faculty of Denison University teaching viola, violin and chamber music and is a Yamaha Certified String Educator Clinician. In recognition of her work as the Founder and Artistic Director of the CMC, Debbie was named the Columbus Symphony Orchestra Community Educator of the Year and has received accommodations from the Ohio State Senate and House of Representatives. In addition to directing CMC summer programming, Debbie serves on the faculties of the Columbus Suzuki Institute, ASTA/OSU Midwest String Teachers Conference, and Midwest Young Artists Chamber Music Workshop. In past summers, she directed a performance tour in Europe and CMC Italia, an extension program of CMC, Inc., performing chamber repertoire and conducting the CMC Italia chamber Italia chamber orchestra in Bonefro and Rome, Italy including a performance at Italy’s esteemed Santa Cecilia Conservatory.
Thank you for joining us…
Jae Suk Bae