Featured Conductors

Erica Glenn

Dr. Erica Glenn received her DMA in Choral Conducting from Arizona State University, where she led the Women’s Chorus for two years, taught Beginning Conducting, worked as chorus master for various opera productions, and co-founded the Arizona Women’s Collaborative (championing new works by female composers). Dr. Glenn holds a BM and MM in Music Theory and Composition (Longy School of Music) and an Ed.M. in The Arts in Education (Harvard). She is a 2020 recipient of an American Councils Research Grant, a Creative Constellation Grant, and a Melikian Center Grant for her research into the life and works of Stefania Turkevych, Ukraine’s first female composer. In 2019, she received Arizona State University’s Teaching Excellence Award, and she has presented multiple interest sessions at ACDA and AATSEEL.  As a composer, her choral works have been commissioned by ensembles across America. Her first opera won the 2007 International Opera-in-a-Month Competition sponsored by VocalWorks, and she also won the Chanticleer Student Composer and Longy Graduation Composition Competitions. Erica’s most recent full-length musical, The Weaver of Raveloe, received both a developmental reading at the 2012 New York Musical Theatre Festival and a 2014 world premiere at the American Repertory Theater in Boston. As a conductor and scholar, Erica is committed to bringing forgotten female voices out of obscurity.

Kamna Gupta

Kamna Gupta is an American Prize-winning conductor experienced in operatic, orchestral, and choral repertoires. She is especially passionate about new opera: this year, she was slated to conduct several world premieres, including making her Canadian debut at Tapestry Opera, and at The Glimmerglass Festival (postponed due to Covid-19). Additional recent company credits include the Royal Opera in Versailles, Beth Morrison Projects, Sarasota Opera, Opera Saratoga, and American Lyric Theater.

Active internationally, Ms. Gupta’s orchestral credits include performances in Germany, Russia, and the Czech Republic. A special highlight was leading the Leipziger Barockorchester in an all-Bach program. Additional highlights include her work with the New York Youth Symphony and the Atlantic Music Festival.

Ms. Gupta’s passion for education has also led her to work with education departments at the New York Philharmonic and the Castleton Festival. She is currently based in New York City.

Amirah Ismail

Amirah Ismail has performed as a pianist, violinist, and vocalist in Algeria, Egypt, Latvia, and the United States.  She has perfect pitch and is a super sight-reader.  When she is off stage, Amirah works as a U.S. diplomat.  She is currently based in Washington, DC.

Akua Leith

Akua Leith is a Fulbright Fellow who graduated from the University of the West Indies (UWI), St. Augustine, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Musical Arts, as well as Northern Illinois University (NIU) with a Masters of Music in Conducting with an emphasis on Steelpan Performance. Prior to pursuing graduate studies, he performed with the National Steel Symphony Orchestra of Trinidad and Tobago as a full-time performer and is now serving as Artistic Director and Conductor of the orchestra, appointed to the position in 2016.

As a performer, Mr. Leith has toured extensively while promoting the national instrument of Trinidad and Tobago. He has participated in tours throughout Europe, Asia, North America, Central America, South America and the Caribbean. His teaching experience in Trinidad and Tobago includes being a Lecturer at the University of Trinidad and Tobago, as well as, Vice Principal of Performance as well as Music Director of the TAGS Prodigies ensemble, Holistic Music School, Cascade Servol Life Centre, the Music Schools in the Panyard initiative and the City Angels music program. While in the United States of America, he taught, conducted workshops and created arrangements for several groups, including, Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra Steel Orchestra (CYSO Steel Orchestra), Cultural Academy for Excellence (CAFÉ), based in Washington DC, Naperville High School in Illinois, and Birch Creek Music Performance Center, Wisconsin.

Antonio Lozano

Tenor and conductor, Antonio Lozano, has taught music in the state of Arizona since 2005, currently at Cesar Chavez High School in the Phoenix Union High School District. Under his direction, the choir, concert band, marching band, and orchestral programs have received many prestigious awards. Mr. Lozano has been a guest conductor and clinician for numerous junior high and high school instrumental and choral festivals and honor ensembles.

Mr. Lozano holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Music Education from Grand Canyon University with a dual emphasis in Choral and Instrumental Studies. He was a recipient of the President Singers Scholarship, was chosen as the 2003 male singer for the National Association of Teachers of Singing, and competed in the 2004 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. He has performed with the Phoenix Opera and appeared on American Idol.

Andrew Sievers

Andrew Sievers has been active in the Phoenix area as a professional singer, instrumentalist, director, and actor for the last decade. An Arizona native, Andrew completed undergraduate work at both Arizona State University and Northern Arizona University, as well as graduate work at NAU. Andrew is currently on the staff of Pinnacle Presbyterian’s Music Ministries and is Assistant Director of Music at Corpus Christi Catholic Church. In addition to his performing and directing endeavors, Andrew also works in marketing with Accent Concerts and in production with Arizona Musicfest. In the summer of 2019, Andrew became one of the founders of Muse Phoenix.

Shela Yu

Shela Yu is a muti-faceted Asian-American artist in the Phoenix area, venturing into art, music, and dance. Born and raised on the West Coast in Arizona, she is active as an illustrator, songwriter, and dancer – often exploring how to combine her passions. Her digital art is inspired by music and movement. Each piece has a story to tell, which is why she likes to include poetry with her designs. In addition, Shela operates her own healing practice focused on women’s empowerment through sound and Craniosacral Therapy.


Arranger

Dan E.T.

Danny Torgersen, or Dan E.T., is the multi-instrumental madman of the modern age, ultra-cool composer, singer of songs, collector of esoteric knowledge and cultivator of eclectic views.

Torgersen has built a reputation on being one of the most prominent and prolific trumpet players in Phoenix, Arizona. Renowned for his talent, his charisma and what he brings to the stage, Torgersen is one of the most sought after musicians on the scene, and with good reason.

Torgersen first came to public attention when he joined a ska band called Captain Squeegee and The Soap Suds in 2002 as their new trumpeter. Within a few short years the band transformed into something far different from how it began, with Torgersen leading the helm and the vocals exploring psychedelic sounds and esoteric subject matter. They had dropped the Soap Suds and simply become Captain Squeegee, a band that would eventually continue without any of its original members to far greater heights.

He’s played on three albums by Cumbia rock pioneers Fayuca and toured internationally with them, and also lends his trumpet playing to Sublime tribute outfit Badfish, which has accounted for his constant touring of the United States. Torgersen has also been a main player on three hip hop albums from Mouse Powell. He finds himself as a composer, songwriter and keyboardist on many of these projects.