James Kennerley | Music Director
James Kennerley is an award-winning, multifaceted musician, working as a conductor, keyboardist, singer, and composer. He has been Music Director of Ars Musica Chorale and Artistic Director of the New Jersey State Children’s Chorus since 2017.
James made his Lincoln Center conducting début in 2008, and recently made his Carnegie Hall solo début with the celebrated ensemble Sejong Soloists. A recognized specialist in the realm of early music, he has given solo harpsichord concerts throughout the United States and Europe, to great acclaim. He is also a member of the early-music ensemble Sonnambula, currently in residence at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, in New York City.
Hailed as “a great organist,” displaying “phenomenal technique and sheer musicality” (Bloomberg News), James is Municipal Organist of the City of Portland, Maine, one of only two such positions in the US.
James is Organist & Choirmaster of Saint Ignatius of Antioch Episcopal Church on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, and also serves as part of a team of musicians at Park Avenue Synagogue in New York City, one of the foremost centers of Jewish music and liturgy in the world.
A prize-winning composer, James specializes in choral music and works that incorporate historic instruments. His 2012 composition, Lauda novella, was featured as part of the Twelfth Night Festival at Trinity Church, Wall Street, and he was awarded first place in the Association of Anglican Musicians’ 2013 competition. His 2016 setting of Adam lay ybounden has enjoyed performances worldwide. A keen educator, James has taught in workshops at Princeton University, Westminster Choir College, and the Madison Early Music Festival.
James began his musical training as a chorister of Chelmsford Cathedral. He was educated at Harrow School and Cambridge University, where he was Organ Scholar at Jesus College. He was then appointed Organ Scholar of Saint Paul’s Cathedral, London, where he worked daily with the choir of men and boys under the direction of Malcolm Archer, and had the honor of performing in the presence of Her Majesty the Queen on several occasions. James has degrees from Cambridge University and The Juilliard School, and holds the prestigious Fellowship Diploma of the Royal College of Organists.
Please visit www.jameskennerley.com for more information, videos, and news.
Nadezhda (Nadia) Christova-Carmichael | Pianist
Born and raised in Bulgaria, Dr. Nadezhda (Nadia) Christova-Carmichael has been studying and performing piano since the age of six. She recently completed her doctoral studies in Collaborative Piano at the University of Maryland, College Park, under the tutelage of the renowned pianist and pedagogue Rita Sloan.
A devotee of choral music for adults and children, Nadia serves as the accompanist for Ars Musica Chorale and the New Jersey State Children’s Chorus, both in Ridgewood, NJ. She accompanies the choirs at Collegiate School in NYC and is also working with the Brooklyn Youth Chorus. She has played for the University of Maryland Concert Choir and the Washington Sängerbund, the oldest German singing society in the Washington D. C. area. Additionally, she is Minister of Music at Zion Lutheran Church in Maywood, NJ.
As a dedicated teacher, Nadia held faculty positions at the International School of Music in Bethesda, MD and the Jubilee Enrichment Program in Manhattan’s Chinatown. Last fall, Nadia and her husband, Dr. Sean Carmichael, founded the Upper West Side Piano School in New York City, where they enjoy teaching piano to students of all ages.
Marjorie Vandervoort | Concert Mistress
Marjorie Vandervoort began her long association with Ars Musica Chorale in the early 1980s. She has served as soprano soloist and associate/assistant conductor under founder Joyce Keshner, Italo Marchini, Robert Long, Kelly Crandell and Dusty Francis. She took part in all the concert trips to Europe, conducting and soloing in Belgium in 1983 and subsequent trips.
Marge is now in her 26th year as Music Director of the Ridgewood Choral, a women’s chorus established by Frank Kasschau in 1929. Her conducting experience also includes work as assistant conductor of the Rockland Camerata, guest conductor of Harmony Basket Chorus (a choir of Japanese women), and church choirs.
She grew up in Ridgewood, NJ, where she studied piano with Howard Kasschau and Florence Monell Marble. A resident of Closter for over 60 years, she and her late husband Robert raised three daughters; grandchildren and great-grandchildren complete the family. She has an art and custom-framing business, The Mirage Portfolio.[divider]