Mary Wannamaker Huff
Mary Wannamaker Huff, Artistic Director, has extensive experience working with children's choirs, beginning in 1999. She has prepared children's choirs for performances of Vaughan Williams' Hodie, Britten's Saint Nicolas, Handel's Jephtha, Bach's St. Matthew Passion, Mendelssohn's Paulus, Faure’s Requiem, Menotti's Amahl and the Night Visitors, and Mahler's Third Symphony.
Her choirs have appeared on major television networks including appearances on Saturday Night Live, Good Morning America, TODAY, NBC Sports, CBS Sunday Morning, FOX, and MSG. Recently, the NYCCC made its Carnegie Hall debut premiering Carol Barnett’s “Mortals and Angels” with bluegrass superstars, Dailey and Vincent, their Broadway debut in “The Man Who Came to Dinner” with Nathan Lane at Roundabout Theater, their Radio City Music Hall debut in “A Tribute to David Bowie.” The NYCCC opened the Tribeca Film Festival at Radio City Music Hall in 2017 appearing with Carly Simon. International tours have have taken the NYCCC to Canada, Germany, Austria, and Spain.
Among Ms. Huff’s favorite past press reviews was New York Magazine's listing of one of her chorister's performances of Bernstein's Chichester Psalms as one of the year's "Top Ten Classical Events in NYC" (Dec. 7, 2008) and a review in Fanfare Magazine (March/April, 2016): “the musicianship and technical ability of these young singers is impressive…but to be clear, the achievement is even more importantly, artistic.” Her recordings Simple Gifts, a collection of American and British Arts Songs, and ANGEL, sacred anthems for treble voices, are available on MSR Classics, iTunes, Amazon, and Spotify. Simple Gifts appeared on the 2016 Grammy Ballot in the categories of Best Choral Performance and Best Engineered Classical Recording. Ms. Huff’s recent guest conducting performances and teaching workshops have taken her to New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, and Texas.
In addition to her work with the New York City Children's Chorus, she is also the Associate Director of Music at Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church. She is involved in all aspects of the music program including conducting the liturgical children’s choirs, playing the organ for liturgies, accompanying and conducting the semi-professional Church Choir, Saint Andrew Chorale, and Saint Andrew Orchestra, as well as managing the concert series, Music on Madison! Mary spends her summers as Director of the Lake Junaluska Singers, a professional choir of the United Methodist Church in picturesque Lake Junaluska, North Carolina.
Ms. Huff graduated cum laude from Furman University in 1999, and continued her musical studies on a full scholarship at Yale University where she earned a Master of Music degree in 2001. She continued further post-graduate studies in music education at Westminster Choir College specializing in the training of children’s choirs. She has taught music to children of all grade levels (K4-12) in Independent, Catholic, and inner-city schools. She was Director of Children's Choirs at the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola in New York City from 2004 to 2012 where she developed one of the finest Catholic, graded children's choir programs in the country. She has served on the Executive Board of the Presbyterian Association of Musicians and Secretary of the American Guild of Organists (New York City Chapter). Ms. Huff is married to Canadian organist and conductor, Andrew Henderson, and they have two energetic, musical boys.
Andrew Elliot Henderson
Andrew Henderson serves as Executive Director of the New York City Children’s Chorus and is the principal accompanist. Dr. Henderson is the Director of Music & Organist at Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church in New York City, where he oversees an extensive liturgical and choral program, including the 45-voice Saint Andrew Chorale, the New York City Children’s Chorus, in addition to the Saint Andrew Music Society’s Music on Madison concert series.
He also serves as the Associate Organist at New York City’s Temple Emanu-El, as a member of the organ faculty at the Manhattan School of Music, and as the organ instructor at Teacher’s College, Columbia University.
Dr. Henderson, a native of Thorold, Ontario, holds degrees in music from Cambridge and Yale Universities, and in 2007 he was awarded the Doctor of Musical Arts degree at The Juilliard School. He was a finalist in the international competition Grand Prix de Chartres in France in 2002, and won first prize in the Royal Canadian College of Organists’ biennial National Organ Playing Competition the following year. Recent performances include organ and continuo playing with the New York Philharmonic, American Symphony Orchestra, Musica Sacra, Voices of Ascension, The Oratorio Society of New York and The Collegiate Chorale, and solo recitals in Poland, Canada, and throughout the USA.
His performances have been featured on the nationally-syndicated public radio programs Pipedreams and With Heart and Voice. He has been featured as a recitalist and workshop leader at national and regional gatherings of the Presbyterian Association of Musicians, the Fellowship of United Methodists in Worship and Music Arts, the Royal Canadian College of Organists, and the American Guild of Organists. A Fellow of the Royal Canadian College of Organists, his teachers have included John Tuttle, Barrie Cabena, David Sanger, Thomas Murray and John Weaver.
His first solo CD, Andrew Henderson at St. John’s, Elora, was recorded and released in 2010. He can also be heard on the New York City Children’s Chorus CDs Passioni dell’aria, featuring a work for children’s chorus and piano by NYC composer Roberto Perino, and Simple Gifts, released in 2015 on the MSR Classics label.
Katherine Wessinger is a gifted soprano, having appeared in concert and opera in New York City and throughout the United States. Her recent performance in Haydn’s Creation garnered ample praise from the New York Times: “Ms. Wessinger’s light, clear voice was beautifully suited to Gabriel’s music…she has a genuinely angelic voice and sang with charm and grace” (Tommasini).
In addition to her exceptional talent as a singer, Ms. Wessinger is also an exceptional teacher, particularly gifted with teaching young voices. Mary Huff, Artistic Director of the NYCCC, says about Ms. Wessinger: “I have had the good fortune of working with many fine vocal pedagogues in my career teaching children. None can match Katherine Wessinger, who has both a flawless technique and an equally encouraging and demanding rapport with her students. She is the finest teacher for individual vocal study I know for children.”
Paul D'Arcy (tenor) is in demand nationally as a soloist, chamber musician, and music educator. Formerly of Austin, TX, he performs regularly with the Austin Symphony, the Grammy® winning Conspirare, ensemble viii, Convergence, and the Texas Early Music Project. Paul also performs with the San Diego Bach Collegium, Santa Fe Desert Chorale, Vox Humana of Dallas, True Concord of Tucson, the Apollo Master Chorale of Minnesota, Spire of Kansas City, the Advent Choir of Boston, and in the Victoria Bach Festival. Recent solo appearances include Handel’s Messiah and Mozart’s Requiem with the Austin Symphony, Mendelssohn’s Elijah and Bach’s Christmas Oratorio with Concordia University, Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass with the Advent Choir of Boston, Monteverdi’s Vespers with ensemble viii, and the world premiere of Mozart Requiem Undead at the Fusebox Festival in Austin, TX. He has performed on numerous recordings for Harmonia Mundi, Reference Recordings, Naxos, and PBS, including the 2015 Grammy winning album, The Sacred Spirit of Russia with Conspirare. A noted pedagogue and technician, Paul maintains an active voice studio of approximately thirty students, many of whom have continued the study of music at the college level.”
Shannon Murphy found her love of music at a young age, starting piano lessons at age four. In 2012 she graduated with a B.M. in Piano Performance from Westminster Choir College of Rider University in Princeton, NJ, where she studied piano with Ena Bronstein-Barton and organ with Ken Cowan. While acquiring her degree, she broadened her experience with studies in piano pedagogy, voice, and accompanying.
Most recently she accompanied for the Westminster Summer Vocal Institute and the New York City Children's Chorus. Currently, she is Music Director at Messiah’s Reformed Fellowship. She also teaches and conducts the preparatory division of the New York City Children’s Chorus. Since founding the Murphy Piano Studio in 2012, she continues to instruct piano and voice privately both in Brooklyn and Manhattan.
Canadian soprano, Allison McAuley, is both an opera singer and voice teacher in NYC. Having performed numerous operatic roles within the US, Canada and Europe, including Susanna (The Marriage of Figaro), Mme. Goldentrill (The Impresario), Noémie (Cendrillon), Charlotte Malcolm (A Little Night Music), Frasquita (Carmen), and Despina (Cosi fan tutte), she was most recently seen as Zerbinetta Strauss’ Ariadne auf Naxos in Berlin this past summer.
A graduate of both Queen’s University in Canada and New York University, Ms. McAuley holds degrees in both music performance and education and is also a certified high school teacher. Ms. McAuley is thrilled to be on staff teaching NYCCC's youngest members in their preparatory division this season! .
New York City Children's Chorus
at Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church
921 Madison Avenue @ 73rd Street
New York, NY 10021 • 212-288-8920
Helen Karloski, Administrative Assistant, works in all facets of the New York City Children’s Chorus. She is a Pittsburgh native and an outstanding mezzo-soprano based in New York City. A versatile artist, she is at home in a variety of musical styles including oratorio, opera, and chamber music. The New York Times wrote of her performance in Georg Philip Telemann's rarely performed oratorio Der Tag des Gerichts, "Helen Karloski commanded attention as Reason."
Ms. Karloski made her Lincoln Center debut in Mozart’s Solemn Vespers with the Mostly Mozart Festival under the baton of Iván Fischer. Her other solo engagements include Vivaldi’s Gloria with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Dvořák’s Stabat Mater with the Omaha Symphony, Haydn’s Theresienmesse with Voices of Ascension, Bach’s Magnificat with the Victoria Bach Festival, and Bach’s St. Matthew Passion and Brahms’ Alto Rhapsody with St. Andrew’s Music Society.
Ms. Karloski received the Ellen Lopin Blair Award for First Place in the 2015 Lyndon Woodside Oratorio Solo Competition. An accomplished ensemble singer, Ms. Karloski performs regularly with Conspirare, where she was featured on the Grammy-winning recording The Sacred Spirit of Russia, Voices of Ascension, Musica Sacra, Santa Fe Desert Choral, and Handel and Haydn Society. Favorite opera and theater performances include The Cunning Little Vixen (Hen) and My Fair Lady starring Kelsey Grammar and Kelli O’Hara with the New York Philharmonic. Ms. Karloski holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Vocal Performance from Carnegie Mellon University.