Jesse Antin is the founder of Clerestory. He has performed with many of the finest groups in the Bay Area since moving to California in 2000, including five years with the esteemed men’s ensemble Chanticleer. He appears on seven Chanticleer recordings, including one Grammy winner. Other local performances have been as a soloist and chorus member with the American Bach Soloists, the choir of Grace Cathedral, and accompanying the Mark Morris Dance Group.
Jesse is a native of Princeton, New Jersey, where he grew up singing countertenor in a cathedral men-and-boys choir. Jesse majored in music and philosophy at Brown University. During Jesse’s early career in church music, he was also an organist, choir director, and composer; his pieces continue to be performed and recorded by choirs around the country.
Jesse lives in Oakland and works as a fundraiser for the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley. He is an avid hiker, biker, and rock climber, a home brewer of ales and roaster of coffee, and a loyal fan of the Oakland A’s. Jesse sings in honor of his young sons Mason and Sage, and with love for Lindsey and Margaret.
Jamie Apgar, countertenor, is a Ph.D. Candidate in Musicology at the University of California, Berkeley, where he is completing a dissertation entitled “Singing ‘By Course’ and the Politics of Public Worship in the Church of England, c1560-c1640.” He has presented his research at conferences in the US and UK, and has two publications due out next year. During his time at Cal, he has maintained an active performance career, singing countertenor and playing keyboard with numerous church and chamber ensembles. He is currently the Associate for Music at All Souls Episcopal Parish in Berkeley, where he plays the organ, directs the choirs, and oversees the music program. Jamie lives in Berkeley with his wife, Melanie, an opera scholar whom he met in his Ph.D. program; when not scrutinizing assumptions about music and culture, they love cooking, laughing, walking in the sun, and lounging on the couch.
Tenor Kevin Baum is currently section leader and a member of the ensemble Schola Adventus at Church of the Advent of Christ the King in San Francisco. He is also a cantor at St. Ignatius Catholic Church. Kevin sings with the Philharmonia Baroque Chorale, with Schola Cantorum, the San Francisco Lyric Chorus, and as an alternate with the San Francisco Symphony Chorus. Kevin is also a tatting instructor in Berkeley.
Sidney Chen, bass-baritone, is committed to the performance of music of our time, specializing in the creation of new works for voice. He performs with Meredith Monk and Vocal Ensemble, most recently in composer/choreographer Monk’s music-theater work On Behalf of Nature, which has been seen at the BAM Next Wave Festival and the Edinburgh International Festival, and which has been recorded for ECM Records. With the San Francisco Symphony he traveled to Carnegie Hall, premiering Monk’s chamber work Realm Variations as part of the 2012 American Mavericks Festival. In recent seasons he has performed Luciano Berio’s monumental Sinfonia for 8 voices and orchestra, toured to Denmark with San Francisco Lyric Opera’s production of David Lang’s the little match girl passion, and collaborated with the Friction Quartet on a concert of new works for vocal quartet and string quartet. In 2009 he sang in Carnegie Hall’s 45th-anniversary celebration of Terry Riley’s In C, organized by the Kronos Quartet. He is the co-founder of The M6, a New York-based vocal sextet, which has been heard on NPR and featured in the New York Times. He regularly performs with the San Francisco new music chamber chorus Volti, and serves as the group’s artistic advisor.
Dan Cromeenes, countertenor, is a versatile musician who has performed professionally as a countertenor soloist, choral singer, and accompanist. Originally from southern California, he studied piano and voice at Biola University. He received his Master’s degree in accompanying at East Carolina University, where he made his countertenor solo debut with Capella Antiqua. After working three years at Biola as Staff Accompanist, he joined Chanticleer for their 2005-06 season, singing concerts across Europe, Japan, and the United States. Dan continues to perform throughout the San Francisco Bay area, both as an accompanist and as a singer. He has played for Santa Clara University, West Bay Opera, Livermore Valley Opera, BASOTI, Santa Clara Chorale, Lamplighters Music Theatre, and has worked as a freelance accompanist and coach. As a singer, he has performed with various ensembles, including American Bach Soloists, Philharmonia Baroque Chorale, Clerestory, Pacific Collegium, Sanford Dole Ensemble, San Francisco Renaissance Voices, and Grace Cathedral Choir of Men & Boys. As a soloist, he has performed Handel’s Israel in Egypt and Vivaldi’s Gloria with the Santa Clara Chorale, Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610 with Bach Collegium San Diego, Handel’s Te Deum in A Major with San Francisco Lyric Chorus, Bach’s St. John Passion with Bay Area Classical Harmonies (BACH), new editions of Alessandro Scarlatti’s works with Arcadiana, and early music recitals on SCU’s Faculty Recital Series and at St. Dominic’s Catholic Church. When not onstage or behind a piano, Dan can usually be found either on a hike in the mountains or at home baking gourmet goodies.
Chris Fritzsche, soprano, is a native of Santa Rosa CA. He has been a “performer” since the tender age of two, when he was first dragged (literally) across the stage, playing the part of young Michael’s teddy bear in the play, Peter Pan. Flush with such early success, he took up the guitar at age seven and immersed himself in music of the Beatles, Simon & Garfunkel, James Taylor, and John Denver, among others. He discovered the joys of choral singing in high school and went on to study voice in college as a tenor. Several leading musical theatre and opera roles later, he graduated with a degree in music, and was about to get a real estate license (in order to satisfy his Capricorn desire for money) when someone informed him that the falsetto voice he had only ever used in jest could actually be put to use on the concert stage. This led him to join the men’s ensemble Chanticleer as a soprano for the next 11 years, performing in many of the world’s greatest concert halls and singing on well over a dozen recordings, two of which won Grammy Awards. Having retired from the road in 2003, he has since expanded his solo and ensemble career, appearing with various groups and artists in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond. He served on the vocal faculty at his alma mater, Sonoma State University, from 2004 to 2009. He continues to teach vocal classes and performs regularly with the Sonoma Bach early music organization. He is currently the Music Director for the Center for Spiritual Living in Santa Rosa.
Sepp Hammer, bass-baritone, is a regular soloist with various ensembles throughout the Bay Area. Highlights of his repertoire include Bach’s St. Matthew Passion and B Minor Mass, Brahms Requiem, and Vaughan Williams Five Mystical Songs. Sepp is a great enthusiast for art-song repertoire, in particular the songs of Schubert, Brahms, and Hugo Wolf. Since 2016, he has been a member of the Philharmonia Baroque Chorale. He holds a master’s degree in vocal performance from New England Conservatory and a physics degree from the University of California. When not singing, he can be found working as a web-developer and learning Argentine tango.
David Kurtenbach, tenor, is engaged regularly with leading Early Music and contemporary music ensembles throughout the Bay Area and North America. A soloist with Apollo’s Fire, Volti, Artists’ Vocal Ensemble (AVE), Clerestory, Oakland East Bay Symphony and Chorus, Schola Cantorum, and Pacific Mozart Ensemble, he has also shared the stage with American Bach Soloists, Magnificat, and the Marion Verbruggen Trio. His performances have been heard at Tanglewood, Ojai, Oregon Bach Festival, and Berkeley Early Music Exhibition, as well as on commercial recordings for Innova/Naxos, Koch International, Soli Deo Gloria, and Tonehammer. David is also an experienced opera conductor, having spent nine years with Festival Opera as Conductor of the Chorus and recently completed his appointment as Chorus Master of Opera San Jose. He currently works at Grace Cathedral teaching voice and music theory to choirboys and clergy, and sings each week with the Choir of Men and Boys.
James Nicholas Monios, bass, enjoys a varied musical career as a performer and teacher. A native of Long Beach, California, Jim studied piano, contrabass, and voice while earning a Master of Arts degree in historical musicology. Since moving to San Francisco in 1991, Jim has performed with many of the finest ensembles in the Bay Area, including San Francisco Opera Chorus, Philharmonia Baroque Chorale, American Bach Soloists, and San Francisco Choral Artists, and he has appeared as soloist with San Francisco Symphony, San Francisco City Concert Opera, Soli Deo Gloria, and Magnificat. He has been bass soloist at Temple Sherith-Israel and several San Francisco churches, including Church of the Advent, where he also served as Associate Director of Music. He began working with Piedmont Children’s Choir in 1994 and has continued teaching and conducting in private schools ever since, while maintaining a private piano studio in San Francisco.
Justin Montigne, countertenor, is originally from Des Moines, Iowa, where he was forced off the piano bench after a dismal accompanying stint into the middle school choir. After this fortuitous switch, he went on to receive his Bachelor’s in music from Drake University in Des Moines, and his Master’s and DMA in vocal performance from the University of Minnesota. An active teacher as well as performer, Justin taught voice for the University of Minnesota and toured Minnesota and the upper Midwest, performing with many ensembles including the Minnesota Opera, the Minnesota Orchestra, Western Plains Opera, and the Des Moines Symphony. Justin then moved to San Francisco and sang alto for three years with the acclaimed male vocal ensemble, Chanticleer, performing a wide variety of works with the group in venues around the United States and the world. He has sung with the Minnesota Opera, the Oregon Bach Festival, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, AVE, Seraphic Fire, Conspirare, and other ensembles. Justin teaches voice at the San Francisco Girls Chorus, and is a registered yoga teacher, specializing in yoga for singers. When not warbling, teaching, or practicing yoga poses, Justin enjoys time at home with the other three J’s—his husband Joe and their two challenging canines, Jasmine and Jorge. www.SingAsana.com
Clerestory occasionally has need of additional singers on a temporary or ongoing basis. To be considered for such openings, please submit a resume, letter of interest, and recording to firstname.lastname@example.org.