A Family Christmas featuring Katie and Matt Travis

at The State Theatre

Sponsored by: The State Theatre

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Katie Travis

Originally from Michigan, Katie is a versatile soprano equally at home singing operetta through contemporary musical theater. She has performed principal roles at The Fireside Theater, Liederkranz Opera Theater and at the Quisisana Resort Theater. In July of 2013, she performed the role of Cosette in Les Miserables at the St. Louis MUNY alongside Norm Lewis, and Hugh Panero. She is a recent winner of the Lys Symonette award for her performance at the 2014 Lotte Lenya Competition. Katie just finished playing the role of Christine Daaé in the North American Tour of The Phantom of the Opera. Katie is passionate about global music education. In the fall of 2012, Katie spent time teaching music in Ghana at The Beacon House School, an orphanage for children in Accra. A continuous dreamer and free spirit, Katie is a lover of the color yellow, poetry, her ukulele, Settlers of Catan and mountain climbing. She is grateful for her musical journey and the beautiful people she’s met along the way.

Matt Travis

A native of Bay City, Michigan, Matt completed a bachelor’s degree in Voice Performance at the University of Michigan and a master’s degree in Choral Conducting at Penn State University. While attending Penn State, he served as assistant conductor to the Penn State Men’s Glee Club, conducting performances at various division conferences and in domestic and international tours. During his time in central Pennsylvania, Matt was music director of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Centre County, from 2006 to 2010. Following his years at Penn State, Matt was the Music Director at Trinity-Pawling School in Pawling, N.Y. from 2010-2014. Matt recently completed his doctorate in choral conducting at The University of Connecticut where he founded and directed the UCONN Men’s Glee Club and taught undergraduate courses in conducting and general music. In addition to his work at UConn, Matt served as Music Director of the Kent Singers and as Male Choirs Repertoire and Standards Chair for the Connecticut chapter of The American Choral Director’s Association. Matt is founder and Artistic Director of The Mid-Michigan Singers and Mid-Michigan Voice Academy. An active conductor and dedicated student of music, Matt has participated in numerous summer programs, including the Yale Summer School of Music, University of Michigan Choral Symposium and Eastman Conducting Institute, and prestigious Oregon Bach Festival studying with German conductor Helmuth Rilling. Matt has been fortunate enough to receive numerous fellowships including: American Choral Director’s Association Lannom Fellowship, Chorus American Choral-Orchestral Fellowship, and The Yale Summer School of Music Fellowship.

Victor Minke Huls

Is a cellist, conductor, countertenor and pianist who comes from a Floridian family of musicians. A recent dual-Masters graduate from the University of Michigan, Victor studied cello performance with Richard Aaron and orchestral conducting with Kenneth Kiesler. For three years he served as Music Director and conductor of the Ann Arbor Camerata, and now continues as co-conductor and curator of the Camerata Chamber Series. Dedicated to highlighting his fellow musicians, Victor piloted their Concerto Competition (2014), the side-by-side concert titled "Strung Together" (2017), various outreach events, and multiple recording sessions of new works, including a CD project with Dr. Nancy Ambrose King titled “IllumiNation: New American Concertos for Oboe,” to be released by Equilibrium Records with worldwide distribution in 2018. In 2015, Victor was featured cello soloist in the NAXOS recording project led by David Alan Miller at the National Orchestral Institute. This summer, Victor taught at Prelude Chamber Music Camp, performed as cellist with the Aspen, Peninsula, and St. Augustine Summer Music Festivals, and appeared as Student Guest Conductor for OperaMaya in México. Victor currently plays with the Lansing, Flint and Jackson Symphony Orchestras, and tours with a chamber "all-arts" ensemble called Red Shoe Company.

Catherine McMichael, Rod, Nathan and Meredith Bieber

In 1981, Rod Bieber and Catherine McMichael, both native Ohioans, moved to Saginaw from Ann Arbor, having recently completed their Masters’ degrees from the University of Michigan in violin and chamber music, respectively.
Rod played concertmaster with the Saginaw Symphony, Catherine taught piano and both were active performers in the area.
Rod started the Saginaw Symphony School of Music, Catherine sang with and occasionally arranged music for Saginaw Choral Society.
Since that time, they’ve welcomed two children into the world, both of whom are fine musicians in their own right.

Meredith, a recent CMU grad in neuroscience, plays piano, guitar, ukulele, and sings in Mt. Pleasant coffee shops when she’s not backpacking across Europe, cooking Middle Eastern food or working at Green Acres Assisted Living.

Nathan is a violin performance major, with one term left before graduating from the U-M School of Music, Theater and Dance in Ann Arbor. Nathan was named “Young Musician of the Year” by the Saginaw Bay Symphony Orchestra in 2014. That same year he was invited to participate in the Youth Arts Festival in Kalamazoo, an invitation offered only to those with the very highest scores in the yearly Solo/Ensemble festival.

Besides raising their children to be interesting and contributing members of society, both Rod and Catherine are still integral to the music scene in the Saginaw Bay area.
Rod hosts two radio shows on WUCX Delta College Public Radio: Backstage Explorer and Audition Room.
He plays with the Saginaw Bay Symphony Orchestra, the Bijou Theatre Orchestra of Bay City, subs with the Flint Symphony, often appears on Saginaw Choral Society concerts, and directs the Chancel Choir at First United Methodist Church, Saginaw. That’s in addition to teaching violin students, passionate involvement with Rotary International and going to his day job as a New York Life Insurance Financial Services Professional.
Catherine still teaches piano, performs with SBSO, co-directs the Bijou Orchestra, plays ragtime with the River Raisin Ragtime Revue based in Ann Arbor and directs the Bells on High handbell choir at FUM. Oh, and she writes a lot of music; everything from symphonies and large scale choral works to saxophone sonatas (true, premiering in Zagreb, Croatia in July) and pieces for trombone quartet, tenor and percussion (true, true, premiering at University of Wisconsin, River Forest, in April). Recent concerts have included her harp concerto Esperance performed by the Hong Kong Philharmonic, and her brass quintet Asteria premiered at the Lieksa Brass Week in Finland. Catherine is represented by five publishers and her music is performed on six continents. You will hear some of her arrangements on this evening’s concert.



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