Lin Chen (Apr 22) 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 expands 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.
Tim Fuller (guest artist, Apr 22) holds a bachelor’s degree from Wesleyan University, where he studied South Indian drumming along with piano performance. He is active in the Seattle area as a collaborative pianist and soloist. He also dances with the Radost and Datina folk ensembles. He is especially passionate about the chamber music of Brahms, Prokofiev and Enescu.
Inspired by his grandmother and singing “The Sound of Music” in middle school choir, Michael Housley (guest artist, Apr 11) began teaching himself piano before studying with Dr. David Brunell at the University of Tennessee. Since moving to Seattle to pursue a career in Architecture, Michael collaborates regularly with Melet Whinston (cellist), accompanies the Seattle University Chapel of St. Ignatius Choir and has participated in several Chamber Music Madness retreats with various chamber ensembles.
Joan Lundquist (Apr 23) 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.
Born in Northern CA, Luke Raffanti (Apr 11) has been a frequent piano performer around Seattle since moving here in 2017. Before the pandemic, he performed frequently at house concerts, retirement homes, and for benefit concerts. In 2018, he earned the top prize in the Chopin Northwest solo piano competition and in 2019 he was featured as vocal accompanist and solo pianist on Classical KING FM. He has enjoyed collaborating with several professional opera companies: Seattle Opera, Seattle Modern Opera Company, and Northwest Opera in Schools, as well as numerous individual professional vocalists. Luke teaches roughly 40 students of all ages at Cascade Piano Studio in Ravenna, and is the collaborative pianist and organist at Richmond Beach Congregational United Church of Christ in Shoreline. Lately Luke has been branching out into voice, and singing in the Seattle Pro Musica choir. He earned a BM in classical piano performance and a BA in environmental studies from Oberlin College and Conservatory of Music.
Emily Riesser’s (Apr 23) diverse experience encompasses opera, oratorio, theatre, and new works. She recently portrayed Elle in a staging of Poulenc’s one-voice opera, The Human Voice (Ladies Musical Club), sang Frasquita in Carmen (Kitsap Opera), and played a nun in Sister Act (Tacoma Musical Playhouse). In concert, Emily is known for her interpretation of Bach cantatas, including Wedding Cantata, which she sang recently 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).
Soprano, Tiina Ritalahti (Apr 23), holds degrees in music and vocal performance from the University of Washington. She has performed throughout Washington with Northwest Opera in Schools Etcetera (NOISE), Puget Sound Opera, Ladies Musical Club and Puget Sound Concert Opera as well as being a featured soloist for the Finlandia Foundation. She has sung such roles as the First Spirit and Pamina in Mozart’s The Magic Flute, Despina in Cosi fan tutte, Lisa in Bellini’s La sonnambula, Änchen in Der Freischütz by Weber, Cis in Britten’s Albert Herring, and Olympia in Offenbach’s The Tales of Hoffman. Further she has performed in multiple operas by Menotti: Lucy in The Telephone, Monica in The Medium, and Laetitia in The Old Maid and the Thief. Her passion for singing also extends to art song repertoire, which she performs regularly in recitals around Western Washington. Tiina has created unique breathing classes for young singers that combine her knowledge and experience as a massage therapist, certified yoga teacher and singer.
Eric Shankland (Apr 29) has been playing bassoon since age 15. He played in the NCR band and the Youth Philharmonic in Dayton, Ohio. He studied with Arthur Grossman and played in the University Symphony at the University of Washington, and currently studies with Paul Rafanelli of the Seattle Symphony. He was principal bassoon in the Eastside Symphony (Redmond) for fifteen years. Eric is a research scientist at the University of Washington.
Julie Shankland (Apr 29) has played clarinet since marching band in the Ohio snow. Since moving to Washington, Julie has played in the UW Concert Band, Eastside Symphony, West Seattle Community Orchestras, Rain City Symphony, and various chamber music camps. Julie is an adult student of Jennifer Nelson and recently learned to play bass clarinet. Julie works in the Office of General Counsel at the Washington State Bar Association.
Melet Whinston (Apr 11) studied under Maria DeRungs, and was first chair in the Portland Junior Symphony and Princeton University Orchestra. She has presented school performances as a member of the Leschi Trio and as as a duo with Michael Housley, pianist. She has many years of experience as a chamber musician and solo performer, and performs regularly at St Andrew Presbyterian Church and local recitals.