Andrew Peters

Minister of Music and Organist

A native of West Caldwell, New Jersey, Andy is a graduate of St. Olaf College and the Cleveland Institute of Music. A recipient of numerous awards, he has played as ensemble organist with the St. Louis Symphony. His first season in 2013 included performing Benjamin Britten’s Peter Grimes at Carnegie Hall on what would have been Britten’s one hundredth birthday. In addition to playing solo organ recitals and leading hymn festivals, he often accompanies silent film comedies starring Harold Lloyd.

Andy is an active member of the American Guild of Organists (AGO). He has been dean of the Nashville chapter, director of the 2010 St. Louis Pipe Organ Encounter, and chair of the 2015 Region VI Convention. He also filled several terms on the national AGO’s Committee on the New Organist.

Before coming to Augustana in November 2021, Andy served Episcopalian, Presbyterian, United Church of Christ, and United Methodist congregations in Connecticut, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, and Tennessee. He has been featured as a guest commentator on the radio program Great Sacred Music and organist on Pipedreams. His music is published by Augsburg Fortress, MorningStar Music, and Paraclete Press. Andy and his wife Christine and cat Garfield live in the city of Denver.

For more information, visit andrewjpeters.com.

Contact Andy at 303-388-4678 ext. 122 or by email.

Kevin T. Padworski

Chancel Choir Director

Kevin T. Padworski serves as Chancel Choir Director at Augustana Lutheran Church (ELCA) in Denver. In addition to this role, he also serves as the Artistic Director of The Colorado Chorale and Director of Vocal Music at Colorado Academy. Padworski performs extensively, and has been the recipient of numerous honors and awards declaring mastery in multiple disciplines: conducting, voice, saxophone, and keyboards. Professional appearances include the Colorado Repertory Singers, Colorado Choral Arts Society, Colorado Symphony, Colorado Symphony Chorus, Cincinnati Youth Choir, Dallas Symphony, DCINY Concerts Orchestra, Mid-America Concert Productions, Evans Choir, Jubilate Deo Chorale and Orchestra, Lamont Symphony Orchestra, New England Wind Ensemble, Opera Colorado, University of Denver, Stratus Chamber Orchestra, American Baptist Churches USA, and numerous collaborative and solo performances.

Padworski holds a Doctor of Musical Arts in conducting and literature from the University of Colorado, and the master and bachelor of music degrees in conducting and music education from the University of Denver and Eastern University. He is an active composer and writes for soloists, instrumental, and choral ensembles with a particular interest in creating robust and engaging orchestrations and accompaniments. Padworski’s music has been performed at local, state, regional, and national ACDA conferences, receiving premieres in venues such as Carnegie Hall in New York City and the Votivkirke in Vienna, and his commissions have received accolades including recognition from Americans for the Arts. His works are available through Santa Barbara Music Publishing, Hal Leonard, Pavane, and MusicSpoke.

Contact Kevin at 303-388-4678 ext. 111 or by email.

Emily Murdock

Soprano, Augustana Vocal Ensemble

Soprano Emily Murdock is currently the soprano section leader and soloist at Augustana Lutheran Church in Denver. She performs frequently with the Central City Opera Touring Artists and has also sung with Boulder Opera, Opera Maine, Opera in the Ozarks, the Boulder Fringe Festival, Pine Mountain Music Festival, Opera Colorado, and many regional chorales and orchestras. She is one half of the ensemble Liria Duo with pianist Sara Parkinson. Emily has been successful in many multi-round competitions, including the Denver Lyric Opera Guild competition, the National Semi-Finals of the NATS Artist Award recital competition, the National Finals of the Music Teachers National Association Young Artist Competition, and the Regional Round of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. Emily also works as the Director of Education and Community Engagement at Central City Opera, bringing opera performances and education to schools and communities across Colorado. She received her Master of Music in Voice Performance from the University of Colorado at Boulder and her Bachelor of Music in Voice and Flute Performance from the University of Montana. Raised in Whitefish, Montana, Emily resides with her husband and young daughter near Denver.

Lesie Remmert Soich

Alto, Augustana Vocal Ensemble

Leslie Remmert Soich joined the Augustana Vocal Ensemble in August of 2015. She has been a faculty member of the Music and Entertainment Industry Studies at CU Denver since 2006 and the Commercial Voice Program Director since 2012.

She holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Southern Illinois University and a Master of Music degree from the University of Colorado, Boulder. She has been a Metropolitan Opera Auditions Regional Finalist in both the Midwest and Rocky Mountain regions. She has been the recipient of the Denver Lyric

Opera Guild (DLOG) competition’s Norwest Fund and Berenbeim Scholarships, the 1996–1997 recipient of the Galen & Ada Belle Files Spencer Fellowship at the University of Colorado, the Third Prize Winner in the Meistersinger Competition in Graz, Austria, a finalist in the Bel Canto Foundation Vocal Competition in Providence, Rhode Island. And a quarterfinalist in the American Traditions Competition as part of the Savannah Music Festival, Savannah, Georgia.

She has appeared as Marcellina (The Marriage of Figaro) with Opera Colorado in 2005 and sang the title role in the company’s world premiere of La Curendera in 2006. Other roles include Queen of the Fairies (Iolanthe), Dido (Dido and Aeneas), Flora (La Traviata), Mother Abbess (The Sound of Music), Elizabeth Proctor (The Crucible), Cousin Hebe (HMS Pinafore), The Mother (The Consul), the Second and Third Ladies (The Magic Flute), Dorabella (Cosi fan tutte), Dinah (Trouble in Tahiti) and as Suzuki opposite Cynthia Lawrence in Madama Butterfly. Solo engagements include the AIMS Festival Orchestra-Graz, Austria, the Boulder Philharmonic, St. John’s Cathedral Festival Orchestra, Sinfonia of Colorado, Colorado Music Festival, Ft Collins Symphony, St. Mary’s Baroque Chamber Orchestra and The Colorado Baroque Chamber Orchestra.

She has been an apprentice artist with the Sarasota Opera, a member of the Joseph and Loretta Law Artist Center of Opera Colorado and is currently an active member of the Central City Opera Ensemble and St Martin’s Chamber Choir.

Blake Nawa`a

Tenor, Augustana Vocal Ensemble

A jack of all trades who hopes to occasionally exhibit some mastery, Blake Nawa’a works around the wider Denver metro area as a voice teacher, musical theatre music director, collaborative pianist, conductor, and soloist. He is a double-graduate of the University of Denver with a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance and a Master of Music in Choral Conducting. He sings with many of Denver’s choral ensembles, including St Martin’s Chamber Choir, the Colorado Bach Ensemble, and the Evans Choir, and he also music directs productions with various Denver-area theatre companies. Blake is the music director of the seasonal Original Dickens Carolers, and in 2021, he became the assistant conductor of the Colorado Chorale.

As a voice teacher, Blake works with beginning to advanced students on repertoire in all genres, and he teaches in locations including Parker, Greenwood Village, and in Denver. An avid, self-avowed music nerd, he is prone to periodic bursts of musical research, one of which spawned the YouTube recital series SONGspeare, an exploration of art song settings of Shakespeare’s words.

Keith Williamson

Bass, Augustana Vocal Ensemble

Keith Williamson, a Colorado native, is the bass member of the Augustana Vocal Ensemble (AVE), the professional vocal quartet for Augustana Lutheran Church. He Is also a twenty-seven-year veteran of the Opera Colorado chorus, and sang for twenty-one years with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra Chorus. Keith has also performed solo roles in several Opera Colorado productions, including Gianni Schicci, Macbeth, Sweeney Todd, The Barber of Seville and Don Pasquale. In addition, Keith has performed regionally in staged productions of Copeland (The Tender Land), Menotti, (Amahl and the Night Visitors), and Purcell (Dido & Aeneas). His solo concert repertoire includes both Mozart’s and Verdi’s Requiems, Bach’s St. John and St. Matthew Passions and Orff’s Carmina Burana. He performed in the 2004 regional premier of Tan Dun’s Water Passion, conducted by the composer. Since 1995, Keith had performed for more than twenty seasons in a Madrigal Dinner production, in which he portrayed the Lord of the manor. Keith has also performed Bach’s Coffee Cantata, Menotti’s The Telephone, and Purcell’s La Serva Padrona with the Walden Chamber Music Society of Colorado. In July of 2019, Keith was a chorister for Bravo! Vail’s first fully staged performance of Giacomo Puccini’s opera Tosca, with an international cast and the Philadelphia Orchestra, led by conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin.

Keith has a degree in Nursery and Landscape Management from CSU and works for Little Valley Wholesale Nursery in Brighton, Colorado.

Angela Howard

Angela Howard is thrilled to be the director for Choristers and Cantabile! Angela is a passionate music educator who currently teaches K–5 general music and choir at Independence Elementary in the Cherry Creek School District. She served as the guest clinician for the 2016 Rocky Mountain Choristers Guild Children’s Choral Festival and is currently the co-president of the organization. Previous teaching experience includes K–5 general music in Minnesota and North Dakota and 6–12 vocal music in Iowa. Angela is a proud graduate of North Dakota State University (Go Bison!) where she holds a Master of Music in Music Education (2015) and a Bachelor of Science in Vocal Music Education (2002). In addition to elementary music and choir, Angela has extensive experience directing musical theater productions at the elementary, middle school, and high school levels. When she is not teaching, Angela fills her time by singing with the Augustana Chancel Choir, traveling, and spending time with friends and family.

VOLUNTEER MUSIC STAFF

Marcia Olson

marsha-1Marcia Olson directs the Cherub Choir. An active member in Chancel Choir and Augustana Ringers, she enjoys working with children. Marcia is retired as Vice Principal at Mracek Middle School in Aurora, Colorado.

Sharon L. Schillereff

sharon-1Sharon L. Schillereff is a Colorado native and currently resides in Wheat Ridge. Sharon works as a paralegal in downtown Denver. An active participant in Augustana’s Music Ministry, Sharon assists and accompanies the Choristers Choir, teaches Recorders, sings in Chancel Choir, and rings in Augustana Ringers.