guest artists



Carrie Hennessey


Known for her soaring voice and richly nuanced characters, soprano Carrie Hennessey is consistently thrilling audiences and critics in opera and concert appearances around the world. Ms. Hennessey’s much awaited debut in Previn’s A Streetcar Named Desire “gave us a Blanche that let us burrow into her character’s soul, even into the darkest crevices…Hennessey, using a one-two punch of music and drama, made it resonate in a way that equaled the finest stage performances of the part I’ve seen.” (Fresno Bee)  Ms. Hennessey’s embodiment of the title role in the West Coast Premiere of Tobias Picker’s opera  Emmeline earned her a Bay Area Broadway World Awards for “Best Leading Actress in a Musical” nomination. Praised for bringing her signature “exquisite vocal purity and range to the title role”and was “nothing short of sensational” (San Francisco Classical Voice). As Mimì in La Bohème, Ms. Hennessey “..possessed of a full, powerful lyric soprano, which delivers Puccini’s arias and duets richly. Her “Mi chiamano Mimì” (Yes, they call me Mimì) in Act 1 is gorgeous”. (San Francisco Classical Voice) On only one day’s notice, Ms. Hennessey made her debut with the Modesto Symphony Orchestra, as soprano soloist in Mahler’s Symphony No. 4, to great acclaim.

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2020/2021 season includes a title role debut in Kát’á Kabanová by Leoš Janáček, Rose in At the Statue of Venus with Festival Opera and accompanied on piano by composer, Jake Heggie. Ms. Hennessey will also perform the world premiere of Bones of Girls by librettist, Cristina Fríes and composer, Ryan Suleiman, with The Rogue Music Project, a collective of performers that cultivates adventurous musical and theatrical experiences. Other performances include Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, a recital with long-time collaborator Jennifer Reason of all female composers, “And Yet She Persisted: Stories and Music of Women in Classical Music”, chamber music featuring female composers with Chamber Music Society of Sacramento, as well as numerous recitals, chamber music and orchestral concerts, cabarets and continuous music education projects.

Recent engagements include Ms. Hennessey’s orchestral debut of the Strauss’ Vier Letzte Lieder with conductor Daniel Stewart, collaborating in the development and performance of a world premiere ballet with choreographer Darrell Grand Moultrie and the Sacramento Ballet, Carmina Burana, Gounod’s Messe solennelle en l’honneur de Sainte Cécile, Brahms’ Requiem, a celebration of Leonard Bernstein’s music with concert “Bernstein 100” with the Colorado Symphony and Sinfonia Chamber Brass, a role debut in a sold out run as Estelle in the opera The Stronger, a recital in several East Coast venues “Crisis of Faith” with bass Paul An of arias, duets and scenes from new operas including several World Premieres, Song of Sacramento a recital benefitting the Sacramento Children’s Chorus, featuring local composers and 8 world premiere songs, Carmina Burana with Sacramento Ballet, Mozart’s Exsultate, Jubilate! and Requiem, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, chamber works including Respighi’s Il Tramonto, Ravel’s Trois Poèmes de Stéphane Mallarmé and William Walton’s Façade, as well as several appearances in recital.

Previous performances include Britten’s War Requiem, Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 as well as debuts at the Concertgebouw in Bruges, in Ypres, Belgium and at the Liederhalle in Stuttgart, Germany singing the soprano solo in the Verdi Requiem. Alongside the world-renowned composer Ricky Ian Gordon in the fall of 2016, Ms. Hennessey gave Master Classes and performed a recital of his original art songs.

Notable recent opera highlights include Blanche Du Bois in André Previn’s A Streetcar Named Desire, Sarah Miles in the Bay Area premiere of Jake Heggie’s The End of the Affair with West Edge Opera, Mimì in La Bohème, Elle in La Voix Humaine in NYC, Lauretta in Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi and Magda and Floria Tosca in Puccini: A Man and His Muses for Sacramento Opera. Notable concert appearances include Other highlights include her debut with the Houston Symphony at Jones’ Hall, Mozart’s Mass in C minor at St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Budapest, Hungary and Reduta Hall in Bratislava, Dvorak’s Requiem in Rudolfinum Hall in Prague, Mahler’s Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen at the International Mahler Festival in the Czech Republic, the Verdi’s Requiem, Mozart’s Requiem, Villa Lobos’ Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5, Mendelssohn’s Elijah and Lobgesang. the Mahler’s Symphony No. 4, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 and Vaughn Williams’ Dona Nobis Pacem.Handel’s Messiah with the renowned Pacific Symphony, Stravinsky’s ballet Pulcinella, Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde at the Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts, a World Premiere song cycle written for Ms. Hennessey and the Rootstock Percussion Trio, Orff’s Carmina Burana with Grand Rapids Symphony, and Fauré’s Requiem and Brahms’ Requiem with Oakland Symphony where Hennessey brought “bright tone and elegant legato”.

Ms. Hennessey directed the Sacramento Children’s Chorus their joint production in Brundibar with Sacramento Opera, is currently an artistic advisor to the board and mentor to the artistic staff. Ms. Hennessey continues to actively support music education through lectures, workshops and Master Classes in the communities in which she works, as well as nurturing a thriving private vocal studio.

Anthony Patterson


Anthony Patterson enjoys a multi-faceted career as solo and collaborative pianist, composer/ arranger, and educator. In November 2017, he performed Carmina Burana and Chichester Psalms for two pianos, percussion and chorus with the National Chorale directed by Dr. Everett McCorvey at David Geffen Hall celebrating the 100th anniversary of Leonard Bernstein’s birth. Patterson’s solo performances with orchestra include Beethoven’s First, Third and Fifth Concerti, Rachmaninoff 2nd Concerto, Mozart’s Concerto in Dm K. 466, Prokofiev Third Concerto, Saint-Saen’s 2nd Concerto, Carnival of Animals, and Patterson’s signature piece, Rhapsody in Blue.

Patterson has recorded seven CD’s for Chérie Noble (Brio Recordings), five of which are his own compositions for dance. His arrangement of “My Regards” was performed by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra with Scott Thornburg as trumpet soloist.  Other groups that have performed his music include the Indianapolis Pops Orchestra and Blue Lake Festival Chorus. Besides his work in the classical sphere, Patterson has orchestrated several pop/rock/soul songs of the 1960s and 1970s for cover bands (keyboard, guitar, sax, brass, strings, bass, drums, vocals). Patterson has played for a number of Broadway touring shows, including Wicked, Anything Goes, The Color Purple, Chorus Line, Legally Blonde, Shrek, West Side Story, The Addams Family.

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Tony began classical piano lessons at age three with his father, Richard Patterson. He made his solo debut at age eight, playing Mozart’s Concerto no. 28 with the Lima Symphony; then premiered “The Anthony Concerto” with them at age twelve, a piece composed for him by his teacher, Don Hurless. His teachers include Richard Syracuse, Jerome Rose and Earl Wild.

Tony was Artist-in-Residence at Alma College from 1995-2020 and faculty pianist at the Bay View Music Festival since 1986 where he has given hundreds of solo and chamber music performances. Patterson previously served on the faculty of the University of Charleston, West Virginia and Capital University. He is a CASIO Artist and Academic Consultant.

David Zerbe


David Zerbe is the Paul Cameron Russel Professor of Music at Alma College, where he serves as director of bands and percussion studies. He was the recipient of the Faculty Barlow Award in 2013 and the Outstanding Faculty Award for the Humanities in 2011. A founding member of the internationally acclaimed DMP recording group the Robert Hohner Percussion Ensemble, he has performed John Mackey’s Concerto for Percussion with the Alma Symphony, as a soloist for the Flint Symphony’s performance of Carman Moore’s Gospel Fuse and as a percussionist with the Midland, Saginaw, Traverse City, and West Shore symphonies. He was also featured with the C.M.U. Jazz Lab 1 performance of Rob McConnell’s I’ve Got Rhythm at the Montreux International Jazz Festival and Buddy Rich’s Channel One Suite arrangement at the Elmhurst and Aquinas Jazz Festivals. An active free-lance musician, Mr. Zerbe has appeared with Aretha Franklin, Peter “Madcat” Ruth, Michael Feinstein, Marie Osmond, Harper and the Midwest Kind, Sharri Williams, Jive at Five, and for Rich Little. His Alma College Percussion Ensemble has been invited to perform 19 times at the Notre Dame Collegiate Jazz Festival, with vibist Joe Locke at the Port Townsend (Wash.) Jazz Festival and opened the 2009 Detroit International Jazz Festival sharing the Chase Main Stage with the Hank Jones Trio and Chick Corea, Stanley Clark and Lenny White. He is the lead drummer and arranger for the percussion section of the Alma College Pipe Band. Dave Zerbe is the founder and director of the “Legacy Percussion Orchestra” a professional percussion ensemble with a national membership, which was a headline act for the Lionel Hampton International Jazz Festival, John Clayton Artistic Director, on February 26, 2011.

Katy Ambrose

French Horn

Katy Ambrose has been praised by the Philadelphia Inquirer as a “spectacular” and “graceful” musician, Katy Ambrose has made a name for herself as an educator, chamber and orchestral performer. She is on faculty at the University of Iowa, where she is Visiting Assistant Professor in the School of Music. She was previously on faculty at the University of Virginia, where she also served as Principal Horn of the Charlottesville Symphony Orchestra, holding the ensemble’s Johanna and Derwood Chase & Chase Investment Counsel Corporation Chair. 

Katy’s extensive orchestral experience includes positions in the Delaware Symphony Orchestra and the New Orchestra of Washington (current), Northeast Pennsylvania Philharmonic, Philly Pops!, Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra, Albany Symphony, Lexington Philharmonic (KY), as well as substitute appearances with numerous orchestras including the Philadelphia Orchestra, Opera Company of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Ballet, Hawai’i Opera Theater, Chamber Music Honolulu, Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, Harrisburg Symphony, Vermont Symphony and the New Haven Symphony. In the realm of Historically Informed Performance Practice, Katy has performed on Baroque horn with the Washington Baroque Consort, and on Classical horn at the Staunton Music Festival. 

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As a soloist and chamber musician she has commissioned and performed world premieres of pieces by Rene Orth, Sarah DuBois, Rachel Devorah Wood Trapp, Lucy Pankhurst, Katherine McMichael, Scott Boerma, and James Territo. She commissioned and performed the world premiere of Boerma’s “Isle of Skye” at the 2012 Edinburgh Easter Festival. Outside of the classical setting, Ambrose has played for Adele, Cee Lo Green, Andrea Bocelli, and as a recording artist for NFL Studios.

Katy was the founding Operations Coordinator for the Boulanger Initiative, a not-for-profit organization based in Washington, DC that promotes music by women through performance, education, and commissions. Katy was a co-founder of Seraph Brass, and is a founding member of Izula Horns, a quartet of horn players from the Washington, DC area who are dedicated to blending high quality performance with immersive community engagement. She is also a member of Conica, a transcontinental natural horn quartet.

Katy is especially interested in mentoring younger musicians and has taught for and developed programs and curricula for several education programs including the Philadelphia Orchestra School Partnership Program, Delaware Symphony school program and the “El-Sistema” inspired programs Tune-Up, Philly and Play On, Philly!

Katy earned a Doctor of Musical Arts at Temple University, an Artist Diploma from Yale University, a Master’s degree from the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, and a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan. She was the recipient of the prestigious William D. Revelli Award at University of Michigan and the Henry and Lucy Moses Fellowship at Yale.