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Gregory White, Conductor

Gregory White is Conductor-Music Director of the Advent Chorale of WNY and is Organist at the University Presbyterian Church – a National Historic Landmark in Buffalo, NY – where he plays for worship services, and accompanies the Choir and Soloists on the 3-manual Kegg Organ. Mr. White is listed in “Who’s Who in America.” He served as harpsichordist with the Ars Nova Musician’s Chamber Orchestra for over 25 years; he has performed as harpsichordist and organist in concerts with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and the Western New York Chamber Orchestra, and in chamber music recitals with local artists on Opus Classics’ Live-WBFO Radio. He has served as a choral clinician as well as the Executive Board for the American Guild of Organist – Buffalo Chapter. His choirs have appeared in performances with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and released a CD of Handel’s greatest masterwork Messiah with the Ars Nova Musicians Chamber Orchestra. Mr. White has toured Europe in performances with his choirs whereby the Mayor and Common Council of Buffalo, NY issued proclamations declaring them Musical Ambassadors of Buffalo as part of their European Concert Tour; he has performed as organist for programs and master classes in the City of London and Cambridge, England and for two years in Paris, Versailles and Rouen, France. Formerly a Program Director at Catholic Charities of Buffalo, NY, Mr. White served as a frequent trainer on Gender and Racial Justice. He was an invited presenter at the First, Second, and Third World Conferences for Women Shelters in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada; Washington, DC; and The Netherlands. He served on the NYS Governor’s Domestic Violence Fatality Review Team for three years as well as other judicial committees, a National Think Tank on Batterer Programs; and former Chair of the Erie County Coalition Against Family Violence. He was a frequent trainer/presenter throughout New York State, as well as nationally, and traveled throughout the Caribbean and South America as presenter, panelist, and trainer for the United States Government – Partners of the Americas, Washington, DC.


Cristen Gregory, Soprano

Performed with the English Chamber Orchestra, broadcast on the BBC Radio Network; the Aldeburgh Festival in England; and the International Arts Festival in Bermuda. She has sung solo recitals in London, England, and throughout Canada. Cristen has sung with many orchestras including Chicago Symphony Hall, the Buffalo Philharmonic, the Rochester Symphony, the Erie Chamber Orchestra, the Toronto Symphony and the Vancouver Symphony.


Faith M. Baer, Mezzo-Soprano

Joins the Advent Chorale for her seventh year as soloist. Graduated from Roberts Wesleyan College in 2002 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education with a concentration in Spanish and a minor in Music. As a undergraduate Ms. Baer studied with Mr. Brian Clickner, sang in the RWC Chamber Singers and was a member of both the Wind Ensemble and the Roberts Wesleyan Chorale.


Jeffrey J. Thompson, Tenor

is a native of western New York and completed his undergraduate studies at Houghton College.  An active recitalist and soloist, Mr. Thompson is known for his performances of oratorio and chamber music with a variety of ensembles, including the Houghton College Choir, Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus, Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, East Aurora Advent Chorale, Western New York Chamber Orchestra, Chautauqua Symphony, and Villa Maria Chorale.  Highlights of these performances have included the Bach Magnificat (broadcast live on NPR), Mozart Coronation Mass, Rossini Messe Solonnelle, Haydn Creation, Mendelssohn Lobgesang, Vaughan Williams On Wenlock Edge, and Handel Messiah.  He has studied voice with Kelley Hijleh and Margaret Kuhl.  In addition to singing, Mr. Thompson is an accomplished organist and is currently the organist and director of music at Baker Memorial United Methodist Church in East Aurora where he also volunteers in the youth ministry.  He has completed a recording of organ music featuring the pipe organs of East Aurora.


Valerian Ruminski, Bass

Valerian Ruminski is a graduate of the acclaimed Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia PA and made his Metropolitan Opera debut in Carmen. He has made major debuts with Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, Opera de Monte Carlo, NYC Opera, Dallas Opera, Seattle Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Opera de Montreal, Santa Fe Opera and most recently with The Danish National Opera in Aarhus, Denmark as well as Opera Ireland, Musica Viva in Beijing China and Hawaii Opera Theatre in Honolulu. His upcoming performances will be with Teatro Lirico d'Europa in FL, SC, NJ and CA with the national tour of Barber of Seville and then he goes to Switzerland to sing in The Marriage of Figaro with the Orchestra Theater Biel Solothurn as well as singing The Messiah in Amsterdam with the Netherlands Opera. His home is Buffalo NY where he Founded and has been the Artistic Director of Nickel City Opera since 2009.


Joanne Hollenbeck, Accompanist

Received her BS degree with a major in voice at SUNY Fredonia, where she accompanied the Festival Chorus, Opera Theatre, numerous vocal and instrumental soloists, and was the organist and children's choir director for the Dunkirk Presbyterian Church. Her musical career included vocal music teaching in the East Aurora and Hamburg school systems, and organ studies under Frederick Burgomaster and David Bond. She has held positions at the Hamburg Christian Scientist Church, the Orchard Park Presbyterian Church, and is currently keyboardist at the Hamburg Presbyterian Church. Ms. Hollenbeck has accompanied choruses and soloists in the Western New York area and at summer music conferences in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Florida, and North Carolina. A former Emergency Medical Technician, each January she spends a week in Haiti doing medical mission work with Functional Literacy Ministry.


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Last updated: 11/10/11.