The Singers

While pursuing a violin performance degree at Boston University, J Michael Compton was overheard singing his violin music (at pitch!), and was promptly thrust into Boston's flourishing early music scene.  His first professional post was in the choir of First and Second Church in the Back-Bay neighborhood. In the Twin Cities, he has performed with several early music groups, and joined The Gregorian Singers in its early years as an all-male ensemble.  Michael studied organ with the late Howard Don Small, Canon Musician Emeritus at the Cathedral Church of St. Mark, and he has served as Director of Music at St. Matthew's Episcopal Church since 1983. He enjoys editing and performing neglected baroque masterpieces as well as composing new works, including a setting of the Passion and a Celtic Mass.  Michael continues to perform on both modern and baroque violin.  His other interests include antique-collecting and photography.

Gabrielle Doran has been singing in choirs since high school, where she sang with the Trinity School Chamber Singers in Bloomington. From there she went on to join the University of Minnesota Women's Chorus.  Her particular love for early music grew during her several years with the Waltham Abbey Singers in St. Paul.  She then spent four years in Boston as a member of The Oriana Consort, and she also helped start a Gregorian chant schola at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Waltham, MA.  Gabby joined the Gregorian Singers in 2011.  She has also sung with Exultate, Hymnos Vocal Ensemble, and the Cathedral of Saint Paul.  She lives in St. Paul with her husband and three children.

Elina Kala has been with The Gregorian Singers (on and off) since 2002. She also sings at the Basilica of St. Mary in Minneapolis and in Saana Ensemble, a Finnish women's folk group. Elina has lived in Minnesota since 1991 after moving here from Finland.  She works at Hazelden in Plymouth as a family therapist and addictions counselor. She loves downtown living, Balkan gypsy music, arranging music for Saana Ensemble, hot yoga, and especially sweating in sauna with other expat Finns.

Nick Karageorgiou, a recent graduate of Indiana University, is singing with a wide array of Minnesota vocal ensembles. In addition to The Gregorian Singers, he is a member of the Schola Cantorum at the Basilica of St. Mary and Hymnos vocal ensemble. He will also be singing with Riverdance’s original lead vocalist Katie McMahon and her Celtic Christmas Show this coming December. Nick also performed with IU’s opera chorus, singing in major operatic productions of A View From the Bridge, Der Rosenkavalier, and Akhnaten. In his spare time, he sang the lead in Just Four Guys, Bloomington’s local barbershop quartet, entertaining distinguished guests in the President’s Box during football games.

Tiffany Skidmore received a B.A. in Vocal Performance and Music Composition from Gonzaga University and a M.A. in Music Composition from Eastern Washington University.  She recently completed her Ph.D. in Music Composition at the University of Minnesota, studying with James Dillon.  Her work has been has been featured in the Hildegard von Bingen Festival of Women in the Arts and the Rimon Artist Salon, and has been performed throughout Europe and the United States by the CSU Stanislaus Concert Chorale, the EWU Concert Chorale, Opus7 Vocal Ensemble, the Kiev Philharmonic, and members of the Spokane Symphony and the Hark Quartet.  She has sung for the Spokane and Coeur d’Alene Opera companies, the Spokane Symphony Chorale, and numerous other ensembles.  She currently sings with the Minnesota Chorale and serves on The Gregorian Singers’ board of directors.

Founding Artistic Director Monte Mason received a Bachelor's Degree in piano performance at Macalester College in 1971.  After additional musical studies at the University of Minnesota, he left academia to pursue perfomance opportunities, including the formation of The Gregorian Singers at age 23.  The abiding factors in this decision included a personal and professional ken to learn more about chant and to experience its performance. Howard Don Small, organist/choirmaster at St. Mark's Cathedral in Minneapolis, was instrumental in allowing this experiment to take place in the lovely visual and acoustic setting of the cathedral. Almost forty years later, the rest has been history. Other positions and passions include organist/choirmaster at St. Martin's by the Lake, Minnetonka Beach, composer, editor, piano teacher, writer, botanist, and maintaining various odd collections in his home in South Minneapolis.

Mary Mason graduated from Macalester College, where she received a B.A. in music and sang in the Concert Choir under the direction of Dale Warland. She participated in several performances with the Minnesota Orchestra, including the U.S. premiere of Krzysztof Penderecki’s St. Luke Passion at Carnegie Hall. After college, she embarked on consecutive careers in law and aviation, while continuing to sing in choirs that included St. Mark’s Cathedral Choir under Howard Don Small, and an early spinoff of the Gregorian Singers, The St. Cecilia Singers. She is also a member of St. John’s Oratorio Chorus. She is now retired from Delta Air Lines but continues to teach part-time at Metropolitan State University. She also serves on The Gregorian Singers’ board of directors.

After receiving degrees in music history and theory, and following further study in trumpet and and composition, baritone Steven Hodulik has settled into a career in vocal music. As a choral singer, he appeared for two summers at the Aspen Music Festival, sang in Mexico City with the National Symphony Orchestra of Mexico, at the America Cantat III festival in Caracas, Venezuela, and twice at Carnegie Hall. He sang the role of the Page in Menotti's Amahl and the Night Visitors for five seasons with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, and that of King Aragorn in Howard Shore's Lord of the Rings Symphony with the Minnesota Orchestra. He currently sings with the Minnesota Chorale, the Minnesota Beethoven Festival Chorale, the St. Paul Vocal Forum, and at the Cathedral of St. Paul as a choir section leader, cantor, chant precentor, and serves there as occasional organist.  He has sung with the Gregorian Singers since 2004.

Katie Eakright graduated from the University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire with a Bachelor's Degree in Music Education.  While at UWEC, she was a member of the Women's Concert Choral, the Symphonic Choir, and the Vocal Jazz Ensemble.  After graduating from college, she moved to the Twin Cities Area and began singing with Exultate Chamber Choir and Orchestra, of which she is still a member. She has also sung with Hymnos Vocal Ensemble.  Currently, she works in customer service in the Annuities division of a large insurance company.

Karla Cole is the Director of Music at St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church in Roseville, presiding over a bustling music ministry of singers and handbell ringers as well as The Gift of Music concert series. She is a former piano faculty member of Simpson College and holds degrees in piano performance from Texas Wesleyan University and Drake University. She has sung with the Des Moines Vocal Arts Ensemble and Consortium Carissimi. In addition, she is a busy chamber musician and accompanist and the mother of a dog, two cats and a couple of college students, in order of neediness.

The Gregorian Singers 4542 Blaisdell Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55419-5031

Deanna Davis recently moved to the Twin Cities after completing her Master of Music in vocal performance at University of Nebraska – Lincoln in May 2013. While in Lincoln, Deanna participated in the UNL University Singers and the Chancel Choir at First Presbyterian Church. Staged productions include “Queen of El Dorado” in Bernstein’s Candide, "Mother" in Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors and “Drusilla” in Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea. Deanna received her Bachelor of Music from Western Washington University where she played "Belinda" in Dido and Aeneas and was active in the choral program. She is from Spokane, Washington and looks forward to getting to know her new home in Minnesota while teaching and performing.

Jonathan Sill grew up in Manchester IA. He attended the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where he studied vocal performance under Professor Alisa Belflower. Most recently, Jon moved to the Twin Cities in order to pursue a performance career. He has been active in the choirs in the Lincoln, Nebraska community and university including Big Red Singers, Chamber Singers, Men’s Choir, University Singers, and the men’s a capella group “Rocktavo”. His staged production credits include Jean Valjean in “Les Misérables”, Jimmy O’Keefe in “Later that Same Evening”, Kaspar in “Amahl and the Night Visitors”, Joe Crowel in “Our Town”, Jenek in “The Bartered Bride”, Warren in “Bernice Bobs Her Hair”, and Fabrizio in “The Light in the Piazza”. 

Jeffrey Jamieson first sang with the Gregorian Singers in 1977 in a Gabrieli multi-choral concert as a chorister at Sacred Heart Church. After somewhat recovering from voice change he rejoined the group during summer breaks from Westminster Choir College in 1983-84. During his six years of study, Jeff majored in Church Music with an organ principal and voice minor, and then did his graduate work in Choral Conducting with a voice principal. As a member of the Westminster Choir, Jeff has sung under the batons of Abbado, Bernstein, Kubelick, Levine, Masur, Mehta, Muti, and Shaw.

Since moving to Minnesota in 2013, Jack Vishneski has specialized in the middle voices of the choral world, singing tenor, alto, and countertenor for repertoire ranging from the 12th century to the present. Jack earned a BA in History, Music, and Ethnomusicology from Beloit College, and an MA in Music from the University of Minnesota. Jack hails from Chicago, where he sang with the William Ferris Chorale, the Oriana Vocal Collection, and in studio sessions at GIA Publications. He also sings with St. Clements' Episcopal Church and MPLS-Impulse, and will make his debut with Consortium Carissimi during the 2015-16 season.  Jack works as an audio-technical consultant and as technical assistant to local composer Carol Barnett.  At play, you'll find him cooking, biking, doing yoga, wrestling his cat, or playing nerdy board games.