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 performer of many styles, but is most sought-after as an early music soprano. In addition to The Rose Ensemble, she has appeared with Virgin Ground, the Gregorian Singers, the Lyra Concert, and the St. Paul Early Music Series. She has toured extensively throughout North America and Europe singing music from Buxtehude to Britten. Kathy is a founding member of the a cappella ensemble Dare to Breathe, with whom she performed several U.S. tours.
Kathy is in her 15th year as cantor and soloist at the Church of St. Louis, King of France, and in her third year on the staff of the St. Paul Conservatory of Music. Look for her next recital, “Songs from the Flood,” coming next year.
Kim Sueoka (soprano) is a soloist and collaborative musician with a love for chamber music, historical music, and new compositions. In the Twin Cities she has appeared as a soloist with Silver Swan Chamber Ensemble, The Neuss Chamber Orchestra, and the National Lutheran Choir. Her voice features prominently in “The River Inside of Trees,” a 2011 album of works by Minnesota composer Todd Harper. She was recently awarded an Artist Initiative Grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board to perform and record “Nā Mele Wai,” a collection of Hawaiian songs on the theme of fresh water.
Originally from Koloa, Kaua’i, Kim presently resides in the Twin Cities. She earned a Bachelor of Music degree in vocal performance at the University of Evansville under the instruction of Joseph Hopkins and completed a Masters degree at the University of Minnesota, where she studied with Lawrence Weller.
Growing up in the shadow of Cleveland’s Severance Hall, Kris Kautzman (alto) intended from a young age to be a concert flautist. Minnesota had other plans for her. In college she sang with the St. Olaf Choir, and the experience altogether changed the direction of her performing career. She joined Rose in 1999, and loves being part of a group that continually challenges itself and explores new repertoire. She also serves as choir section leader at the Cathedral of Saint Paul.
Nick Chalmers (tenor) is excited to begin his second year with The Rose Ensemble. Originally from Hopkins, Minnesota, Nick earned a Bachelor of Arts from St. Olaf College in May 2007, where he studied voice under Robert Smith, sang in The Early Music Singers, and was tenor section leader in the St. Olaf Choir under the direction of Anton Armstrong. Nick has also been section leader with the Chorus of Opera Memphis and church soloist at Germantown Presbyterian Church in Germantown, Tennessee.
Nick has recently sung with Glorious Revolution Baroque, The Singers-Minnesota Choral Artists, and the Minnesota Opera Chorus and is a tenor section leader, cantor, and a co-conductor of the St. Cecilia Choir at the Cathedral of Saint Paul. Some of Nick’s current activities include cheering on the Twins and Vikings and assisting his lovely wife, Bethany, with her lesson planning.
Andrew Kane (tenor) joins The Rose Ensemble for their 2012-13 season. Andrew earned a Bachelor of Music in voice performance from Augsburg College in 2010. He has since sung with the VocalEssence Ensemble Singers, the Minnesota Chorale, and the Minnesota Opera, as well as local early music ensembles including Consortium Carissimi and The Mirandola Ensemble. Andrew has also served as a section leader at St. Mark's Episcopal Cathedral since 2010, and has performed choral works touring Europe under Helmuth Rilling and the Bachakademie.
Mark Dietrich (bass) hails from Avon Lake, OH, on the shores of beautiful Lake Erie. He spent his college years in Cincinnati, where he earned both his undergraduate and graduate degrees in vocal performance from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. Since 1996 he has been a resident of St. Paul, and has performed with many local arts organizations, including Dare to Breathe, 15 Head, VocalEssence, The Dale Warland Singers, The Saint Paul Chamber Orchesra and Theatre de la Jeune Lune. He still does occasional opera and oratorio work, but mostly enjoys being at home these days, collecting impractical skills and spending what little spare time he can find with his lovely wife Jennifer and an impressive assortment of animals.
Long fascinated by the endless palette of sounds found throughout the world, David Burk (multi-instrumentalist) has endeavored to learn to play various stringed-instruments, among them those of the Arabic, Persian, Turkish, Latin, African, Carribean, and American musical traditions. His performing credits include the Georges Lammam Arabic Orchestra, Voices of Sepharad,Persian singer Sattar, traditional Persian group Robayat, Ethnic Dance Theatre, and Intergalactic Contemporary Ensemble.
Maintaining a full, private lesson schedule of his own students, he has also written instructional columns for Guitar Player magazine and www.truefire.com. He has composed or arranged music for Mixed Blood Theatre as well as numerous commercials, movies and television programs.
Ginna Watson (vielle, rebec, and harp)is a Minneapolis-based violinist and early music specialist. She performs with The Rose Ensemble and the Lyra Baroque Orchestra, as well as with many early music productions in the Twin Cities. She has appeared on many 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, the Los Siglos de Oro early music series in Madrid, Spain, and festivals in Italy and France.
Ginna is the violin instructor at Hamline University in St. Paul. She also gives masterclasses on medieval and baroque performance practice in the Twin Cities and nationally, including Houston Baptist University, Colorado State University, Luther College, and the Center for Jewish Culture and Creativity in Los Angeles.