Singing is an essential part of life for Diane Althaus (Feb 19), and sharing it with others is a joy. She organized and sang in an opera ensemble program, including music from Simon Boccanegra, Cosi Fan Tutte, Martha, and Carmen. She and her husband, baritone Mike Dodaro, have sung duet programs of opera arias and art songs, and performed in various local venues, including Stage7. Diane sang in Puccini’s Butterfly in a local opera company, the Countess in a duet from The Marriage of Figaro and Desiree in Sondheim’s A Little Night Music. Pergolesi’s “Stabat Mater” is her favorite sacred music.
Julie Finch-Robé (Feb 19) has appeared as a soloist with Orchestra Seattle and the Seattle Chamber Singers, the Bellevue Chamber Singers and Ballet Bellevue and the Ravenna Strings and is a frequent recitalist in the Pacific Northwest region. She is a regular performer with the Seattle Mandolin Orchestra and is the featured soloist on two of their CDs. Julie has been selected as a participant of various intensive vocal study programs including The Vancouver Early Music Vocal Programme in B.C., Canada with renowned soprano Ellen Hargis, “Songfest” with Martin Katz, and Bel Canto Northwest Institute. As a student of Marianne Weltmann and Geoffrey Boers she was awarded the Helen Crowe Snelling Competition, the Seattle Civic Opera Association Singing Competition, the Mary Levine Career Grant Scholarship, and was a national semi-finalist for the NATSAA (National Association of Teachers of Singing Artist Award) where she received the Karl Trump Award. Before becoming a member of Ladies Musical Club of Seattle, she appeared on their Awards-Debut Tour.
Molly Knight Forde (Feb 5 & 12), pianist, is an acclaimed performer and recording artist whose attention to subtle nuance and color have ranked her among the finest musicians. She has performed as a solo pianist across the U.S. and in Europe, and has broadcast live on Radio France, Antenne 2, National Public Radio and regularly on KING FM. Ms. Knight was the recipient of the Diplôme de Virtuosité at the Schola Cantorum in Paris, where she studied with the late Gaby Casadesus. She also holds Performance degrees from the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music and the University of Washington. Her teacher include Bela Siki, Elizabeth Pridonoff, and Frank Heneghan. Ms. Knight currently serves on the faculty of the Seattle Girls’ Choir, free lances as a professional collaborative pianist, and maintains a private teaching studio in Seattle. She is a certified member of the NMTA, WSMTA, and performs regularly for the Ladies Musical Club. With her husband, she facilitates a global meditation school, regularly performing the music of Thomas de Hartmann and Gurdjieff. Her CDs, The Art of Dance and French, are available at Amazon.com, CD Baby, and iTunes.
Barbara Gulbran (Feb 5 & 12), pianist, holds a Bachelor of Music degree in piano performance from Oberlin Conservatory of Music and did additional study at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria. She attended Graduate School at the Royal Academy of Music in London. She teaches privately and is a frequent performer on LMC programs. From 1998 to 2000 Barbara was president of the Seattle Music Teachers’ Association and from 2005-2007 she was president of LMC.
Katie Hochman (Feb 26) , 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.
Joan Lundquist (Feb 19 & 26) 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 (Feb 12 & 19) took the less-traveled road to a music career. A serious pianist while growing up in Illinois, she suppressed her aspirations and instead became a paralegal. One day she was asked to accompany opera singers at a Fremont Bistro—a weekly engagement lasting 5 years. By then her popularity as an accompanist, soloist & piano teacher let her trade her life as a paralegal for that of a full-time musician. Karin is a Nationally Certified Teacher of Music in Piano. Karin maintains a flourishing piano studio in Ballard and performs frequently in the Seattle area. She is an active volunteer and member of Seattle Music Teachers Association (SMTA), Principal Organizer for the local chapter of Bach in the Subways, of which she is on the Board of Directors, and has served on the boards of SMTA and Musical Experiences, a nonprofit classical music education organization. Karin is the pianist for Third Church of Christ, Scientist.
Rolf Robé (guest artist, Feb 19) began his guitar studies in San Jose, CA at the age of six with the late Henry Weir. He continued his studies with Tomás Montoya and then attended Santa Clara University where he received a Bachelor of Science Degree in mechanical engineering and was a member of the SCU Classical Guitar Ensemble under Robert Bozina. As a classical guitarist Rolf has participated in a number of master classes, most notably with David Feingold and Martha Masters. He is a former member of the Seattle Guitar Orchestra where he performed at the Northwest Guitar Festival as well as the Nordstrom Recital Hall at Benaroya’s “Day of Music.” He is also a member of the Seattle Mandolin Orchestra where he has played mandobass and bass guitar. Rolf enjoys performing with his wife Julie for various recitals and special events. The two live in Sammamish, WA with their 15-year-old daughter Sofia.
Valentina Rodov (Feb 5) was born and raised in Moscow, Russia, and received her music education as a concert pianist from the famous Moscow Conservatory. She performed solo and in chamber groups prior to emigrating to the United States. Once in the U.S., Valentina decided to become a lawyer, which she successfully accomplished upon graduating from law school in Los Angeles and passing the California Bar. Valentina practiced law as business litigator in Southern California for over twenty years until she and her husband moved to Seattle. With great support and encouragement from the Seattle music community, Valentina came back to piano playing, and soon became a frequent and critically acclaimed recitalist and chamber music performer at various venues in the Seattle area.
An outstanding member of the Northwest musical community for over 20 years, Regina Thomas (Feb 26) 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 LMC’s trustee of concerts and Artistic Director of Puget Sound Concert Opera, Regina has served as Seattle Opera Guild’s VP of Education and is a past President of 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.