Artist Bios, May 2024

Dora Barnes (May 8) was born and raised in Yakima Washington and now resides in Seattle. She is a classically trained vocalist, pianist, and saxophonist, and is currently studying with Davida Kagen. Dora attended Yakima Valley Community College and Central Washington University with a focus on vocal performance. Dora has performed with the Seattle Art Song Society, Ladies Musical Club, and the Puget Sound Concert Opera, among others. Notably, she has performed as Zerlina in Don Giovanni, placed 1st in the PAFE Opera division, placed 3rd in the Seattle Opera Guild’s Singer Development Awards, and was an honorable mention in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Awards. When not singing opera, Dora is the lead singer and plays saxophone in two Motown/Oldies bands, and also composes her own music.

Julia Bezems (May 12) is excited to join the Ladies Musical Club of Seattle this year as a performing member. Hailing from Allentown, PA, Julia holds Bachelors degrees in voice performance and computer science from the University of Michigan, and she is now active as a singer and choral conductor in the Seattle area. While at the University of Michigan, she performed frequently as a soprano with the Chamber Choir and as a soloist with the University Baroque Orchestra. Since moving to the Seattle area in 2022, she has sung with Seattle Pro Musica, Opus 7 Vocal Ensemble, and the Northwest Symphony Orchestra; and she currently sings with Radiance vocal ensemble. She serves as the Student Assistant Conductor of the Bellevue Chamber Chorus for the 2023-2024 season, and she is co-leader of the Seattle branch of Crescendo North America, an international organization for Christian musicians. Julia works as a software engineer at Microsoft, and she enjoys hiking and studying theology.

Lin Chen (May 8, 10, 12, 30) is a freelance vocalist, violinist and music educator in the Greater Seattle area. Growing up in Australia, she was fortunate to study music with esteemed teachers from the Griffith Conservatorium in Brisbane and the Sydney conservatorium. Her experience in vocal performance spans multiple genres including Classical, Musical theatre and Jazz. She currently studies voice with Dr Kari Ragan. Lin is also a violin coach for the Bellevue Youth Symphony Orchestra (BYSO) and performs with a number of local ensembles including her own string quartet—Quartet Evolution. Her career highlights include performing at the Sydney Opera House, Westminster Abbey and Cologne Cathedral. She enjoys giving regular recitals in Seattle with the Ladies Musical Club.

Lawrence Chu (May 18) is a native of the Seattle area, and currently resides in Bellevue with his family. His former instructors include Phyllis Allport, Frances Walton and Eva Heinitz. After completing 34 years of practice in Emergency Medicine locally, he has begun to reexplore the cello under the guidance of Nathan Chan. He is delighted to have been accepted as an official member of the Ladies Musical Club.

Selina Chu (May 18) has been a part of the music community in the Pacific Northwest for over 40 years, as a master teacher and performer. She has served as an adjudicator and visiting artist as well as Board member for such organizations as Washington State Music Teachers Association, National Federation of Music Clubs, and LMC’s Frances Walton Competition. Selina holds advanced degrees in piano performance, from the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati and the University of Washington, as well as national certification as a teacher of music through MTNA. Thirteen years of experience as Alaska Dance Theatre’s Principal Accompanist taught her to play well with others, and she has a special place in her heart for all types of ensembles.

Steven Damouni (guest artist, May 8) is an active performer of both contemporary and traditional repertoires. He holds a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance and a Master of Arts in Music from Washington State University, where he graduated Magna Cum Laude. Steven has performed in masterclasses for many prominent teachers, including: Nelita True, Doug Humphreys, Robert McDonald, Stephen Drury, and Jonathan Feldman, among others. He has won numerous regional and state competitions in solo piano and is equally at ease as a chamber musician. Steven is also a founding member of Morsel Trio, and is a member of the Partch Ensemble and Inverted Space Ensemble. Performances as both a soloist and a member of these groups have taken him throughout the United States, including performances in Boston, Cincinnati, Chicago, and Kansas City. He completed a Doctor of Musical Arts at the University of Washington, where he studied with Dr. Robin McCabe.

Diana Gao (May 8) manages a double life as a Senior Marketing Manager at Microsoft and a concert pianist. She earned her MBA degree at the University of Washington (UW) in 2015 and is currently studying the piano with Dr. Robin McCabe from UW. She won the Gold Medal of the Seattle International Piano Competition (Outstanding Amateurs Division) and First Prize in the “Golden Classical Music Awards” International Competition, which earned her a solo performance at Carnegie Hall. She’s an active performer in Seattle and international piano festivals. She’s also a Board member of Classical KING and has been a repeated guest of Classical KING’s Northwest Focus Live program. Since 2020, she has presented annual fundraising recitals through the Microsoft Give campaign supporting local non-profit organizations. Those events reinforced her belief that music has the power to inspire change and make the world a better place.

Katie Hochman (May 10, 30), soprano, can be heard regularly giving recitals with Ladies Musical Club of Seattle. She has also enjoyed singing opera and oratorio with Puget Sound Concert Opera (PSCO), Opera Theater Oregon, Portland Opera, Utah Opera, Columbia Chorale and Southwest Washington Symphony (SWS). Highlights include the title role of Massenet’s Cendrillon and Héro in Berlioz’s Beatrice et Bénédict performed with PSCO and Exultate, jubilate performed with SWS.

Katie Beisel Hollenbach (May 8) received a Bachelor of Music degree in clarinet performance from the University of Denver, twice placing in the Boulder Philharmonic Young Artists Concerto Competition, as well as traveling to Assisi, Italy as a finalist in the International Clarinet Association’s annual research competition. She received her PhD in musicology from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and currently works at the University of Washington Graduate School. An active musicologist, Katie’s research on 1940s music fandom will soon be published by Oxford University Press, and she is currently serving as the Trustee, Archives for the Ladies Musical Club of Seattle.

Violinist Angie Kam (May 21) is an established teacher and performer in the Seattle area. As an orchestral musician, Angie plays with the Auburn Symphony Orchestra, Symphony Tacoma, and the Tacoma City Ballet. As a pop violinist, Angie has performed with many artists including the Eagles, Andrea Bocelli, the Trans Siberian Orchestra, The Who, Ramin Djalwadi, Amy Grant, Il Divo, Idina Menzel, Evanesance, Lindsey Stirling, Sarah Brightman, and Michael Buble. She is also an active studio-recording musician for movies and video games. Angie maintains a successful violin studio of over 30 wonderful students in Bellevue. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Violin Performance from the University of Oregon, and a Master’s Degree in Violin Performance and String Pedagogy from the Boston Conservatory. In her spare time Angie enjoys mountaineering, skiing, trail running, yoga, and eating.

Mariya Ksondzyk (guest artist, May 12) has a busy career as a performance violinist and violist. She has served as principal and associate principal violist of several symphonies in Washington, Massachusetts, and Montana. She has also embarked on several recital tours as a soloist throughout Washington State and runs a project that brings classical music to Washington’s prisons. As a professional event soloist, she has partnered with prominent local businesses, such as Bloodworks Northwest, Seattle Junior League, and Dick’s Drive In, and performances at venues such as The Fairmont Hotel, Seattle Art Museum, and the Chihuly Museum of Glass. Her playing can also be heard on various artists’ tracks on Spotify and Apple Music, most recently with composer Dmytro Gordon on his single, “To Ukraine with Hope.” An avid teacher, Mariya runs a private studio and serves on the faculty of the Bellevue Youth Symphony. Mariya holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from The Boston Conservatory, where she studied with Rictor Noren.

Taiwanese-American cellist and pianist Janice Ching-Jung Lee (guest artist, May 21) is an active performer and music educator in the greater Seattle area. She is the cellist for the Seattle-based Nexus Quartet, plays frequently with the Gilbert and Sullivan Society, Auburn Symphony, Symphony Tacoma, Tacoma City Ballet Orchestra, Puget Sound Concert Opera, and many other ensembles.  She also served as pianist at Methodist Church in Renton from 2011-2019.

Ellyn Liu (May 30) is a classically trained violinist with a BA in Music from the University of Chicago. She has played with the Puget Sound Symphony Orchestra, Seattle Philharmonic Orchestra, Seattle Metropolitan Chamber Orchestra, and most recently, with the Ladies Musical Club of Seattle. She is particularly fond of chamber and choral music and enjoys performing in an intimate atmosphere.

Joan Lundquist (May 10, 30) has served as a collaborative pianist for Seattle area musicians and organizations for 30 years. Since moving to the area from Humboldt State University in northern California, where she was staff accompanist, Joan has worked with the Northwest Boychoir, Seattle Choral Company, has taught at Seattle University and Northwest University, and has worked with several area private music teachers. Currently, Ms. Lundquist is the Director of Music at Immanuel Lutheran Church in downtown Seattle and rehearsal accompanist for the Seattle Choral Company.

Karin McCullough (May 8) is a Nationally Certified Teacher of Music who gives piano lessons in her Ballard studio & performs often in the Seattle area. She co-led two music history tours of Vienna in the early 2000s. She’s the Principal Organizer in Puget Sound for the international movement Bach in the Subways (this year on March 23 & 24) and is the Acting Librarian for Seattle Music Teachers Association. She has frequently played on KING FM’s show NW Focus Live; her most recent radio performance there was recorded & is available on NPR (

Peter Nelson-King (guest artist, May 12) is a multi-instrumentalist, composer and writer based on the Eastside. Born and raised in King County, they earned performance degrees from University of Puget Sound and Boston University before settling here. They are a regular member of Lake Washington Symphony, Brass Band Northwest, Seattle Philharmonic Orchestra and the experimental improvisation group Scrambler, and freelance with many other groups in the area. They also teach private lessons, host solo and chamber recitals, and collaborate with Seattle’s poetry scene.

Susan Payne O’Brien (May 10, 30) is a poet, performer and opera director living in Seattle. Her writing for theater has been seen on the stages of 2nd Story Chicago, Around the Coyote, Links Hall, The Piven Theatre Workshop and The International Puppetry Festival. She is the founding artistic director of Forte, an all-female improvisational comic opera troupe. In her teaching and work with theatrical and operatic ensembles she is committed to helping students and artists of all levels access authenticity of voice. Recently, she has worked with emerging operatic performers at The Santa Fe Opera, Chicago Opera Theater, DePaul University and The Chicago College of Performing Arts. She is a frequent soloist with Seattle Pro Musica and will be featured in their Spring performances of Ralph Vaughan Williams’ The Sea Symphony in conjunction with The Auburn Symphony.

Ann Rackl (May 18), violinist, has retired from a career as an English as a second language teacher at South Seattle College. She is the former assistant concertmaster of Philharmonia Northwest chamber orchestra, where she has been a member since 1976. She holds a Master of Music Education degree from the University of Montana and has studied violin with Emanuel Zetlin and Martin Friedmann in Seattle. Formerly a private violin instructor, these days she especially enjoys playing chamber and orchestral music.

Emily Riesser’s (May 10, 30) diverse experience encompasses opera, oratorio, theatre, and new works. She recently portrayed Missy Hart in 9 to 5: The Musical (Twelfth Night Productions), sang Dolcina in Suor Angelica (Puget Sound Concert Opera), and sang Frasquita in Carmen (Kitsap Opera). In concert, Emily is known for her interpretation of Bach cantatas, including Wedding Cantata, which she has sung in several venues. Favorite experiences include singing Iphigenie in Gluck’s Iphigenie en Tauride (Seattle Opera Guild), Violetta in Verdi’s La Traviata (Kitsap Opera), Tamiri in Mozart’s Il re pastore (Off-Center Opera), and soprano chorus at Seattle Opera. Emily is a graduate of Goshen College (Goshen, IN) and past participant in Bel Canto Northwest (Portland State University).

Originally from Australia, Stephanie Shadbolt (May 21) has lived and worked in Japan as well as the U.S. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, a Bachelor of Music from Cornish College of the Arts, and a Master of Arts degree in ethnomusicology from Monash University (Australia). Stephanie is also an active gamelan musician, and has performed Javanese and Balinese gamelan in the U.S., Australia, and New Zealand. She frequently performs and records both traditional and new music with Gamelan Pacifica in Seattle.

Soprano Laurel Sprigg (May 10, 30) has delighted audiences in the San Francisco Bay Area for many years with her warm, vibrant singing as a concert soloist, recitalist, and chamber music soloist. In public performances, private events, and intimate gatherings, her artistry is communicated through her fresh, clear, and heartfelt singing. Laurel studied vocal performance and music theory at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and Dance at Bennington College. An advocate of community engagement, Laurel has given recitals to benefit many community groups. She has recently moved to Poulsbo Washington, and has joined the Bremerton Symphony Chorale, Kitsap Opera outreach program, and the Ladies Musical Club of Seattle.

An outstanding member of the Northwest musical community for over 20 years, Regina Thomas (May 10, 30) has performed with a variety of companies including Kitsap Opera, Willamette Concert Opera, Bellevue Opera, Puget Sound Concert Opera, Seattle Opera, and the Seattle Opera Guild. Currently Artistic Director of Puget Sound Concert Opera, Regina has served as Seattle Opera Guild’s VP of Education and is a past President and trustee of concerts for LMC. Favorite operatic roles include Adriana Lecouvreur, Suor Angelica, Tosca, and Judith (Bluebeard’s Castle). Concert work includes Schumann’s Frauenleibe und-leben, Elgar’s Sea Pictures, and Wagner’s Wesendonck-Lieder; soprano solos in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, Fauré Requiem, and Berio’s Folk Songs for voice and chamber ensemble.

Colin Ward (May 8) is an alumnus of Western Washington University, having performed with the WWU Concert Choir and appearing in many opera productions, including as Conte Almaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro. Colin has also appeared in many productions with Puget Sound Concert Opera and with the Seattle Opera Chorus, and is a regular soloist at Christian Science churches in the Seattle area.