Jordan Sramek (tenor) is Founder/Artistic Director of The Rose Ensemble (Saint Paul, Minnesota), and enjoys an active career as a performing musician, scholar, teacher, and arts entrepreneur. Jordan studied early vocal performance and harpsichord at the College of St. Scholastica and has spent time learning from such early-music experts as Benjamin Bagby, Eric Mentzel, Dom. Daniel Saulnier, Margriet Tindemans and Crawford Young. He is highly respected for his meticulous research of music rarely heard in the concert hall and has championed vocal repertoire from Renaissance Poland, Bohemia and Sweden, as well as Baroque Mexico and 19th-century Hawaii. Now in frequent demand as performer and clinician, Jordan has led musical workshops and master-classes at universities and festivals across the U.S., and with The Rose Ensemble he has developed several award-winning educational programs for young people. Jordan’s honors include a Minnesota State Arts Board Fellowship for Performing Musicians; a Jerome Foundation Travel/Study Grant; and the 2010 Chorus America Louis Botto Award for Innovative Action and Entrepreneurial Zeal.
Kathy Lee (soprano) is a founding member of The Rose Ensemble. She appreciates the musical challenges it offers her as a performer, as well as the opportunities to connect deeply with others and make a difference in their lives through music. Kathy has performed with the Gregorian Singers and Dare to Breathe, and appeared as a guest artist with the Oratorio Society, Lyra, and the Minnesota Orchestra (where she performed Amahl in ‘Amahl and the Night Visitors’). She holds a B.A. from Bethel College. Kathy is a cantor and soloist at the Church of St. Louis, King of France and has been on the staff of the St. Paul Conservatory of Music since 2009, leading a delightful children's choir and teaching beginning music theory. Kathy has a passion for encouraging musical literacy in young children. She says you haven't lived until you've jumped around from note to note on a giant musical staff with a bunch of giggling kids.
Kim Sueoka (soprano) joined The Rose Ensemble in 2003, drawn by the group’s emphasis on storytelling through music. Kim also performs with Lau Hawaiian Collective, Lumina Women’s Ensemble, and The First Readings Project and recently appeared as a guest artist the Neuss Chamber Orchestra. Kim is a COMPAS teaching artist, an artist-in-residence at Hamline University’s Center for Global environmental Education, and a staff singer at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church (Minneapolis). Originally from Koloa, Kaua’i, she has earned degrees in music from the University of Evansville and the University of Minnesota. In addition, she has studied Hawaiian chant and hula with Kumu Amy Ku’uleialoha Stillman and the late Kumu Pohaku Nishimitsu. A past recipient of Minnesota State Arts Board Cultural Community Partnership and Artist Initiative grants, Kim is currently training with ArtSage to become a creator and facilitator of participatory arts experiences for older adults.
Kris Kautzman (alto) has been a member of The Rose Ensemble since 1999. She enjoys the opportunities it provides her to delve deeply into historical music from many different cultures and continents. Kris has also performed with the Elm Ensemble and LePaKa Trio and currently serves as the alto section leader at Holy Family Catholic Church. In addition to vocal performance, Kris maintains a lively career as a freelance solo flutist.Kris earned a degree in music from St. Olaf College and has since participated in several nonprofit executive leadership courses. She enjoys the challenge of juggling dual careers as a professional musician and a nonprofit administrator because, she says, it stimulates both halves of her brain. When not working, Kris is most likely tending the garden of her 130-year-old cottage.
Nick Chalmers (tenor) became a member of The Rose Ensemble in 2010, drawn by the variety of the repertoire and the opportunity to travel to new and interesting places. Nick has also sung with the Minnesota Opera, Opera Memphis, and Minnesota Choral Artists and appeared as a soloist with Revolution Baroque, the Bach Society of Minnesota, the New Baroque Opera Collective, and the Mirandola Ensemble. In addition to his performance work, Nick directs the choir and teaches music theory and history at Chesterton Academy. He also directs the Schola Cantorum and Choristers at the Church of the Holy Family in St. Louis Park. Nick earned a degree in music from St. Olaf College, where he was tenor section leader in the Early Music Singers and the St. Olaf Choir. He is an avid gardener, a pursuit he learned from his father-in-law, Mark, and shares his home with two cats, Figaro and Arvo.
Andrew Kane (tenor), in his pursuit of the Twin Cities’ best early music performance opportunities, joined The Rose Ensemble in 2012. He has been singing professionally since earning his Bachelor of Music from Augsburg College in 2010. Andrew also sings regularly with the Mirandola Ensemble, the Cathedral Choir of St. Mark's, Glorious Revolution Baroque, the Minnesota Bach Society, the First Readings Project, and Lau Hawaiian Collective. In addition, Andrew appeared with VocalEssence, Minnesota Chorale, the Oregon Bach Festival, Bachakademie Stuttgart, and the Minnesota Opera. Appearances as a soloist include the St. Mark's Music Series, Consortium Carissimi, and VocalPoint chorus.
Jake Endres (baritone) joined The Rose Ensemble in 2014, attracted by the outstanding quality of both the repertoire and performances. Jake has worked extensively in St. Paul as a freelance singer, actor, music director, composer, director and producer. He will be familiar to many though his appearances with regional groups such as The Minnesota Orchestra, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, The Schubert Club, Children’s Theatre Company, History Theatre, Park Square Theatre, Skylark Opera, Paul Bunyan Playhouse, Mu Performing Arts, Frank Theatre, Nautilus Music-Theater, and American Folklore Theatre. Jake has earned degrees from St. Olaf College and the University of Iowa. He is the proud papa of two of the world’s sweetest daughters, Annabelle and Gavia.
Mark Dietrich (bass) is a founding member of The Rose Ensemble. He considers the opportunity to make music at this level a rare gift and often a spiritual experience. He also enjoys traveling with The Rose, encountering new cultures, and making friends all over the world. Mark has performed with many local arts organizations including Dare to Breathe, 15 Head, VocalEssence, The Dale Warland Singers, The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and Theater de la Jeune Lune. He recently appeared as the basso profundo soloist in the Rautavaara “Vigilia” with the Winnipeg Soloist Choir under Elroy Friesen. Mark holds both undergraduate and graduate degrees in vocal performance from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. Together with Kim Sueoka, he runs the April Fool Bakery, delivering freshly baked goods to individuals, businesses and organizations throughout the Twin Cities. He enjoys spending what little spare time he has with his lovely wife Jennifer and an impressive assortment of animals.
Peter Tuff (baritone) recently moved to the Twin Cities from Carmel-by-the-Sea, California. There he was active as singer, choral conductor and arts administrator, having served both Carmel Music Society and the Monterey Symphony in management roles. Peter first appeared with The Rose Ensemble in their debut performance with the Minnesota Orchestra in December. He is delighted to now be a regular member of the Ensemble as well as Communications Associate. Peter has an extensive background in opera and concert, and lived in Vienna, Austria, for ten years where he sang with the Vienna State Opera, the Salzburg Festival and the Imperial Chapel. Recent solo performances include Vaughan Williams’ A Sea Symphony, Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, Copland’s Old American Songs and Finzi’s In Terra Pax. Peter studied voice and French horn performance at Pacific Lutheran University. Peter and his wife LeAnna are empty nesters, and their two rescue dogs named Figaro and Susanna are adjusting to the Minnesota climate.
David Burk (multi-instrumentalist), long fascinated by the endless palette of sounds found throughout the world, plays a variety of stringed-instruments employed in Arabic, Persian, Turkish, Latin, African, Carribean, and American musical traditions.Performing with The Rose Ensemble since 2005, David describes it as a joy because it enables him to breathe life into music that has been overlooked or even forgotten and to illuminate connections with other periods and cultures.His other performing credits include the Georges Lammam Arabic Orchestra, Voices of Sepharad, Persian singer Sattar, traditional Persian group Robayat, Ethnic Dance Theatre, Intergalactic Contemporary Ensemble, Lau Hawaiian Collective, Silver Swan Chamber Ensemble and many others.David holds a degree in International Relations from the University of Minnesota and has studied privately with Arabic master musicians Simon Shaheen and Bassam Saba. When not involved in various musical pursuits, David enjoys roller-blading, biking, hiking, learning about alternative energy systems, and contemplating "the Big Questions".
Ginna Watson (vielle, rebec, harp) is a Minneapolis-based violinist and early music specialist. She performs with the The Rose Ensemble and the Lyra Baroque Orchestra, as well as with many of the early music productions in the Twin Cities. She has appeared in numerous early music series throughout the United States, as well as the Boston, Indianapolis, and San Antonio early music festivals. Internationally, Ginna has performed in the Tage Alte Musik early music festival in Regensburg, Germany, and the Los Siglos de Oro early music series in Madrid, Spain, as well as festivals in Italy and France. Ginna is the violin instructor at Hamline University in St. Paul. She also frequently gives master classes on medieval and baroque performance practice in the Twin Cities and throughout the country, including Houston Baptist University, Colorado State University, Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, and the Center for Jewish Culture and Creativity in Los Angeles.