Toccata's Soloists

Arrigotti, Maria – lyric coloratura soprano: Maria is a Carson City native, has recently been seen performing such roles as Magnolia in scenes from Showboat (Tahoe Arts Company), Julie in Carousel (Western Nevada Musical Theatre Company (WNMTC)), Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni (Sierra Lyric Opera Studio), Maria in West Side Story (WNMTC), Marian in The Music Man (WNMTC), Serpetta in La Finta Giardiniera (Bay Area Summer Opera Theater Institute), Sophie in scenes from Der Rosenkavalier (Oberlin at Casalmaggiore, Italy), Vallencienne in The Merry Widow (University of Nevada, Reno (UNR)), and Mabel in Pirates of Penzance (WNMTC and Valhalla Players). In 2000, Maria placed third in the nation in the Music Teachers National Association Collegiate Voice Competition. She graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno in 2001 with a Bachelor of Arts (high distinction) in both Music and Math, and in 2004 with a Master of Science in Math. Maria is now a full-time math instructor at Truckee Meadows Community College.


Axton, Donna – alto and piano: Donna grew up in upstate New York. She received music and math degrees from Allegheny College, and a Masters in piano from UNR, where she studied with James Wynn. She spent 14 years touring with Hoyt Axton's Country-Western, Boogie-Woogie, Gospel, Rock and Roll Band all over this country and Europe. She is currently a professor at Sierra Nevada College. Additionally she has directed scores of musical theater productions, accompanied the Nevada Opera Chorus and the Sierra Nevada Chorale, and currently directs and conducts the SNC Concert Choir and the St. Patrick's Church Choir. In 2003, she and Chip Meyrelles co-wrote a modern cantata, Paradise Lost, which has been performed in Incline Village, Carson City, and New York City. She also plays with TOCCATA winds and plays and records with her trio, "Out of the Blue", and her son Matthew's band, Hoyt's Revenge.


Brock, David – organ: David began his musical training at age 8. His professional career started at age 11, as a cathedral chorister at Washington National Cathedral. His early teachers were Anthony Furnivall, Shirley and Norman Scribner, and Richard Roeckelein. At Swarthmore College, he studied with Robert Smart (organ and accompanying), and Gerald Levinson (composition). From 2001-2007 David served as Director of Music and Organist at St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church, Incline Village, Nevada. In 2004, David was awarded an Associate Certificate of the American Guild of Organists (AAGO). He continues his organ studies with Dr. Roger Nyquist. Brock maintains an active organ recital schedule throughout the United States. He also performs as pianist with TRIO BRIO, and serves as organist, and continuo accompanist for TOCCATA.


Stuart DukeDuke, Stuart Alan – baritone: Stuart earned his B.S. in Music Education at the University of Vermont in 1976, with a specialty in voice. He made his European debut in 1994 as a soloist at the Pitten International Music Festival, in Austria and toured New England, under the direction of Robert DeCormier, performing the role of The Loudspeaker, in Viktor Ullmann’s Holocaus Opera, The Emperor of Atlantis. He was a founding member and soloist with the Vermont Symphony Orchestra Chorus. He graduated from UNR in 2001 with a Masters of Music in Vocal Performance. His appearances in local performances include King Melchoir in Amahl and the Night Visitors, Don Alphonso in Cosi fan tutti, Baron Zeta in La Traviata, Reverend Olin Blitch in Floyd’s Susannah, and Mr. Gobenot in Menotti’s The Medium. His appearances with Nevada Opera include Fiorello in The Barber of Seville, the Imperial Commissary and Yamadori in Madame Butterfly. Stuart is a founding member of TOCCATA.


Hakel-Anderson, Olivia – soprano: Olivia earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Vocal Performance from the University of California, Irvine. She studied drama with South Coast Repertory Theater in Costa Mesa, California. She has just completed performances as "Cherubino" in W. A. Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro with Nevada Opera in April of 2011 at the Pioneer Center in downtown Reno. Olivia recently made her European Solo Concert Debut in July of 2010 at the Annual Summer Music Festival at the castle in Bojnice, Slovakia. She has also performed the roles of “Annina” in Verdi’s La Traviata, the "Sandman" in Humperdink's Hansel and Gretel, and "Buttercup" in Gilbert & Sullivan's HMS Pinafore. Olivia has sung the Alto and Soprano II solos for many oratorio works, including Mozart’s Requiem and Coronation Mass by W.A. Mozart, Handel’s Messiah, Vivaldi’s Gloria, as well as JS Bach’s The Passion of our Lord according to St. Matthew, Mass in B Minor, and Magnificat. She is equally comfortable in the musical theater world where recently she portrayed the role of "Mama Rose Brice" in Desert Sound Production's Nevada premier of Funny Girl at the Celebrity Showroom at John Ascuaga's Nugget in Sparks, Nevada. She has also performed the roles of “Adriana” in Rogers and Hart’s The Boys from Syracuse and as the “Baroness Elsa von Schraeder” in The Sound of Music, and “Julie” in a revue of Showboat with the Nevada Civic Light Opera during the Saturday dinner cruise aboard the MS Dixie River Boat on Lake.


Anna HelwingHelwing, Anna – soprano: Anna was born and raised in Poland where she earned B.A. and M.A. in English and American Literature. There she also studied piano and organ at the Wroclaw School of Organ. For several years she also sang in the internationally acclaimed Wroclaw Technical University Choir, having toured in over twenty countries, including U.S. After immigrating to California in 2002, Anna decided to further develop her musical education, and in 2008 she received a master’s degree in vocal performance at University of Nevada, Reno, where she studied with Dr. Katharine DeBoer. She has performed solo concerts in Germany and Poland. And locally, she regularly co-operates as a soloist artist with TOCCATA Tahoe Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, Sierra Nevada College Choir, NorthStar Chamber Players, Opera Bel Canto of Reno, and organizers of Valhalla Arts Festival. Her solo performances include: Mozart’s Regina Coeli K.128, and Requiem, Bach’s St. Matthew Passion and Mass in B minor, Händel’s Messiah, Brahms’Requiem, and Orff’s Carmina Burana; as well as the roles of Amahl in Menotti’s Amahl and Night Visitors, and Belinda in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas. Anna teaches piano and voice courses in South Lake Tahoe Community College, and works as a music director and organist.


Macary, Brune – violin: A native of Paris, France, Brune Macary has been studying music in the United States since 2006 upon graduation from the Conservatoire de Lyon. She began studying the violin at the age of six, and has been performing in orchestras and chamber music since the age of 12. She received her Bachelor of Music degree in Violin Performance from Lawrence Conservatory of Music in Appleton, Wisconsin in 2010. During the summer of 2009, she volunteered to teach music to young students in Leogane, Haiti, where she also performed chamber music and solo concerts. Brune is currently a graduate teaching assistant and member of the Nightingale String Quartet as she pursues her Master’s degree with violinist Stephanie Sant'Ambrogio at the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR). Winner of the 2011 UNR Concerto Competition, she will solo with the orchestra in Glazunov Concerto on February 24, 2011.


Moore, Melody – soprano: Powerhouse Soprano Melody Moore has been featured in numerous regional, summer stock and New York City productions. Recent starring roles: Queenie in The Wild Party at Kalliope Stage in Cleveland, Ohio; Millie in Thoroughly Modern Millie, and Hermia in A Midsummer Night's Dream at The Weathervane Playhouse in Newark, Ohio. Melody co-wrote and created the cabaret Wild Women's Blues, performed to rave reviews in NYC. A native of Southern Illinois she earned a degree in musical theatre from SIUC and is a proud member of the Actor's Equity Association. Currently Melody is a student of Craig Carnelia (Tony award winning composer of Sweet Smell of Success, and Working), and is in production for the pilot of Liberty and Carlton. She is featured on the New York cast recordings for Superhero Celebrity Rehab and Repo: The Genetic Opera, which is now a major motion picture. She can also be seen in The Pink Panther, The Sopranos, Dave Chapelle Show, and Life on Mars. This fall Melody will be starring as Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady at the Beck Center. Melody Moore has performed in numerous workshops and readings in NYC, Off Broadway and Off-Off, touring productions, cruise ships and regional theatres.


Munc, Joel – viola: Joel received his Bachelor and Master degree from the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California. He earned a Bachelor degree in Music Performance and Music Education from the Conservatory of Music in 1998, and Master of Education in Music Education from the Graduate School in 2000. In June of 2000, Mr. Munc conducted the Central Valley Youth Symphony in a performance at Carnegie Hall. Then in August of 2000, Mr. Munc began teaching at Galena High School in Reno, Nevada. Since then, the Galena High School orchestra has been recognized nationally and has received top awards at Festivals in California and Nevada. Joel was also been the conductor of the Reno Philharmonic Youth Concert and Youth Symphony Orchestras from 2001 to 2008. Mr. Munc maintains an active private studio and also plays professionally in many local ensembles, and is also Principal violist and a founding member of TOCCATA the Tahoe Symphony Orchestra and Chorus.


Paulson, Daniel – tenor, holds a Bachelor of Music degree in voice performance from California State University, Sacramento, and a Masters in Music Degree in Choral Conducting from California State University, Los Angeles.  His recent roles include the Evangelist in Bach's St. Matthew Passion, Obadiah in Mendelssohn's Elijah, the Evangelist in Schütz's Passion and the Dragon in John Rutter's The Reluctant Dragon.  Other solo works include Mozart's Coronation Mass, Handel's Messiah & Chandos Anthems, Schubert Lieder, Dubois' Seven Last Words of Christ, Bach Cantatas, as well as a local premiere of John Adams' The Wound-Dresser.  Besides a soloist, Mr. Paulson is an accomplished composer and conductor.  He is known for his adventurous concerts and has been hailed as an "astute programmer" and a conductor who can "coax urbane performance from his singers."  Currently he works in the Music Department at American River College, is Director of Music Ministry at Dixon United Methodist Church, is a Resident Artists with the Tahoe Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, and serves as Founder & Music Director for the internationally recognized women's vocal ensemble, Vox Musica.


Raffiee, MishaI – violin, age 12, currently attends the Davidson Academy of Nevada. She began violin studies at age 2 ½ with Caryn Neidhold and the Suzuki program, as well as with Ruth Lenz, and since 2003, has studied with UNR professor Phillip Ruder. She has been a member of the Washoe County Honor Orchestra and the Nevada All-State Orchestra. She was the concertmaster of the Washoe County Junior Honor Orchestra at age 8, and joined the Reno Philharmonic Youth Symphony Orchestra shortly after. Misha has been a concertmaster of the YSO since 2006, and was the grand prize winner in the 2007 RPYO Concerto Competition. Misha is also the youngest ever to be awarded a contract with the Reno Philharmonic Orchestra. Misha has also been playing the piano for the past 3 years, and currently studies with UNR professor James Winn. She has participated in the Northern Nevada Music Teachers Associations’ piano festival the past 2 years, and has earned a superior rating both years.


Roznitovsky, Marina – harp: Marina currently teaches harp at the University of Nevada, Reno and Truckee Meadows Community College. She is the principal harpist with the Reno Chamber Orchestra, Susanville Symphony and the Nevada Opera. She is often a featured soloist and a number of her performances have been broadcast on National Israeli and US television and radio. She also performed under the baton of Mr. Daniel Barenboim during a worldwide tour with the West Eastern Divan Orchestra. Marina earned her BM, MM and PD in harp performance and pedagogy at Indiana University, under the tutelage of Distinguished Professor, Susann McDonald. As a graduate student one of her most significant achievements was winning the first prize in the music category of the 2006 National Society of Arts and Letters competition in Bloomington, IN. Marina was a recipient of the American Israel Cultural Foundation scholarship award four consecutive times. She also received multiple scholarship awards from the Dunie Weitzman Conservatory, Indiana University, Barenboim-Said Foundation and the Bureau of Jewish Education. Marina was born in Ukraine, and immigrated to Israel with her mother when she was six years old. At the age of twelve she began studying harp under the instruction of Professor Olga Moitlis.


Siadat, Fahad – tenor and composer: Siadat is a San Francisco Bay Area performer/composer specializing in theatrical music for vocal ensembles. His work explores the differing sound possibilities of the voice, using both standard notation/singing as well as extended vocal techniques. He holds a Master of Fine Arts from the California Institute of the Arts, and a Bachelor of Music in Theory and Composition from Vanderbilt University's Blair School of Music. He has performed and composed for a variety of ensembles, dance, and theater companies including the California EAR Unit, New Century Players, and the CalArts Singer's Collective, as well as public schools along the west coast. He has been a tenor soloist for TOCCATA since 2008 and a guest vocalist with PARTCH since 2009 for the Micro tonal music festival in Southern California. He currently serves as composer-in-residence for both TOCCATA and Warrior-Poet Theater Productions in Los Angeles.


Strotz, Joy – soprano, recently starred as Emma in Nevada Civic Light Opera’s production of Jekyll and Hyde, and as The Diva in NVCLO’s concert production of Phantom of the Opera. She has also appeared as Countess Ceprano in Nevada Opera’s Rigoletto, and “Kate Pinkerton” in Piper Opera House’s Madama Butterfly. She has also appeared as a guest artist for the Lake Tahoe Summer Music Festival, Sierra Nevada College Summer Artist Series, and Red, White & Tahoe Blue. She is a member of the Nevada Opera’s madrigal group, Il Nome. Joy is a regularly featured soloist with TOCCATA as well as many other regional performance art groups. Her commercial and portrait work can be seen at


Van Meter, William – trumpet, is a native Nevadan who started playing trumpet in junior high school. While he studied music at the University of Nevada, Reno, Bill earned an undergraduate degree in accounting and went on to obtain his law degree from Willamette University in Salem, Oregon. Currently, Bill is the Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Trustee in Reno. Bill performs regularly with the Reno Wind Symphony, Reno Pops Orchestra, and TOCCATA.



Bowman, Virginia – violin: Virginia grew up in the Reno area and began playing violin at the age of seven. In high school she played with the Honor Orchestra of America in Indianapolis, IN where she worked with the host of NPR’s From the Top, Christopher O’Riley. In summer 2008, She played with a string quartet in Manhattan as part of NYU’s intensive string quartet program. Virginia has studied violin with Ivanka Dill, Philip Ruder, and currently studies with Stephanie Sant’Ambrogio at the University of Nevada, Reno. She is an undergraduate student working towards a degree in violin performance. Virginia has been Concert Master of TOCCATA since 2009.


Lord, Mark – trumpet: Mark was born in Neptune New Jersey and began his trumpet lessons at age 8. He later studied with Robert Nagel, founder of the New York Brass Quintet, at the Hartt College of Music. Mark has also had the good fortune of studying the baroque repretoire with Lee Weisert, a specialist in that style, and with Robert Heinrich, who performed for many years in New York City with chamber orchestras and shows. Mark performed as first trumpet with the Taipei Symphony in Taiwan for several years, and since moving to Reno over 20 years ago has been active as a free-lance player in the Reno Tahoe area. He has performed with the Reno Chamber Orchestra, Reno Philharmonic and Opera Orchestras and in most of the major showrooms in the area. He currently performs often as a recitalist with his wife, composer/pianist Jacklynn Lord, and their daughter, soprano Michelle Norris.


Kuttler, Ben – tenor: Ben is a native of Davenport, IA and a graduate of Carthage College in Kenosha, WI. While at Carthage he was a member and soloist of the Carthage Choir and the Lincoln Chamber Singers and was a featured soloist with the Carthage Wind Orchestra. He studied with Greg Berg at Carthage and is a current student of Dr. Katharine DeBoer in Reno, NV. He is also an active performer of his own compositions and is working on a musical entitled, Exit Only as well as Jingles. Ben is very excited to be singing the Mozart Requiem for the first time and looks forward to future opportunities to perform this work.