Performing Artists, May 2022

Sydney Belden (May 21) is a junior at the University of Washington, pursuing a double degree in Environmental Studies and Classical Vocal Performance. She is a student of the UW School of Music training as a coloratura soprano under the study of the accomplished Dr. Tom Harper, and sings in the highly acclaimed University of Washington Chamber Singers, which is comprised of graduate students in the UWSoM and advanced undergraduates, directed by Dr. Geoffery Boers. Sydney is also appearing in the Puget Sound Opera’s Falstaff as a chorister in June as well as productions in their 2022-2033 season.

Lawrence Chu (May 6) 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 6) holds a special place in her heart for all types of ensemble playing, from duo-piano recitals to choral works, chamber music, and dance collaboration. During her association with Alaska Dance Theatre as their Principal Accompanist, Selina developed a lifelong interest in the expressive relationships between movement and music. She holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Washington, a Master of Music from the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music, and permanent National Certification from MTNA. Selina maintains an independent piano studio in Issaquah and has served as an adjudicator, clinician, and master teacher throughout the Pacific Northwest. She is known for her sense of humor and creative approach to learning and performance.

Emiko Hori (May 6, 27), a native of Japan, graduated from renowned Indiana University Jacobs School of Music in Piano Performance. She studied with Shigeo Neriki, performed at numerous places including Banff Centre, Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival, Germany, and others. Emiko became fascinated with and continued her study in Computer Science at Boston University. Busy working in technology companies such as CommerceHub and Microsoft, Emiko thought she would never play the piano again. She was wrong; Emiko became one of the newest performing members of Ladies Musical Club. Emiko enjoys dividing her time between performing concerts, teaching piano, and working at Starbucks HQ’s Digital Commerce team.

Inspired by his grandmother and singing “The Sound of Music” in middle school choir, Michael Housley (May 21) 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.

Violinist Adrianna Hulscher (May 19) began her studies at the age of 6, inspired by a gift from her parents—a record of Mozart’s delightful opera The Magic Flute. She is currently a freelance violinist in the Seattle area, and a member of the Pacific Northwest Ballet Orchestra. She developed her musical skills at the New England Conservatory and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. Adrianna is a member of the St. Helens String Quartet, and has also performed with Seattle Opera and the Seattle Symphony. As a soloist, she has performed Bartok’s 1st violin Concerto with the University of Texas Symphony and The Lark Ascending by Vaughn Williams with the Lake Sammamish Symphony. Adrianna lives in Seattle with her husband and six year old daughter, Amelia.

Pianist Dr. Minju Kim (May 21), a native of South Korea, has established herself as a versatile soloist, chamber musician and collaborative pianist. Minju has won numerous awards, including the Sidney Wright Accompanying Competition, Korean Music Association Competition, and Korea-Germany Brahms Association Competition. With her avid interest in chamber music, Minju joined Bowdoin International Music Festival and Music Academy of the West as a fellow in collaborative piano. Currently, Minju serves as collaborative pianist at Shoreline Community College, Seattle University, and Northwest Girlchoir, and works with several private studios for instruments and voice. Minju holds degrees in Piano Performance from Seoul National University (B.M.), Indiana University (M.M./P.D.), and University of Texas in Austin (D.M.A), and in Collaborative Piano from New England Conservatory (M.M.).

Joan Lundquist (May 13) 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 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 and 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, and is the former program Director for Haller Lake Music Series, a neighborhood classical music series featuring local musicians in recital.

Erika Pierson (May 27) earned her bachelor’s in Cello Performance from Indiana University and her master’s in Performance from the University of Michigan. Between her degrees, Erika studied in Berlin, at the Hochschule der Kunste, and in London under Eileen Croxford, FRCM. Her other teachers included Richard Aaron, Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi, Markus Nyikos, and Erling Blondal Bengtsson. Erika has given solo recitals in England, Germany, Spain, and in the United States, and has soloed with orchestras in Berlin, Ann Arbor, and Everett, WA. On the less classical side of things, she has also performed with Mannheim Steamroller, Rod Stewart, The Walkmen, and Deltron 3030. Currently Erika performs regularly as the cellist in NOCCO Chamber Orchestra, and freelances and teaches in the Seattle area.

Born in Northern CA, Luke Raffanti (May 20) 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 (May 13) 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).

Melet Whinston (May 21) trained 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 Leschi Trio and as a solo performer (with piano). She has many years of experience as chamber musician and solo performer, and she performs regularly at Parkshore and other retirement facilities and schools.