Kaitlin Foley, soprano, has “emerged as one of the truly great musicians of this city” (Vocal Arts Chicago). With her “vocal gleam and fiery dramatic involvement” (Chicago Classical Review) and her “absolute technical security” (John von Rhein), Ms. Foley is a versatile performer with an ear for early and new music. She has sung with the Haymarket Opera Company, Grant Park Chorus, Third Coast Baroque, Ensemble Dal Niente, and is a founding member of the genre-bending female vocal trio Artemisia. Foley recently debuted as a soloist with the Grant Park Chorus and Orchestra on Schubert’s Mass in G. Through various cultural exchange programs including Village Harmony and SongRoots, she has studied non-Western vocal traditions in Corsica, Republic of Georgia, Cuba, and Appalachia. She achieved her M.M. in Voice Performance from DePaul University and completed her undergraduate work in music education at the University of Missouri. Ms. Foley is a Vocal Artist in Residence at Rockefeller Memorial Chapel. She equally enjoys teaching and performing, and directs various choirs and teaches voice at People’s Music School, The Musical Offering, Rockefeller Chapel, Women of Note, and Niles West High School.
Rae Myra Hilliard
Rae-Myra Hilliard, originally from Buffalo, NY, earned her Master of Music Degree from the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls, IA. Prior to leaving Western New York, Ms. Hilliard performed with the Greater Buffalo Opera Company, Buffalo Opera Unlimited, Opera Sacra and the Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus. In the Chicagoland area, Ms. Hilliard has sung professionally with the Chicago Symphony Chorus, Grant Park Symphony Chorus, Chorus Angelorum, Fourth Presbyterian Church Morning Choir, St. Edmund’s Episcopal Church, and Bach and Beyond. As concert soloist, Ms. Hilliard has performed with Bach and Beyond, St. Edmund’s Episcopal Church, South Shore Community Chorus and the Music Institute of Chicago Chorale. Through her association with the Chicago Symphony Orchestral Association, Ms. Hilliard worked with its South Shore community programs as section leader, vocal instructor and assistant conductor.
Ms. Hilliard’s operatic roles performed include the Countess in Le Nozze di Figaro, Serena in Porgy & Bess, Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni, Miss Pinkerton in The Old Maid and the Thief, Singing Spirit in Sunyata (world premiere), and Emma Berdis Jones (mother of writer James Baldwin) in The Baldwin Chronicles (world premiere).
As an active recitalist, Rae-Myra consistently programs works featuring Black-American composers/lyricists or works written for a classical singer of color. Her debut CD, Lifescapes: One Woman’s Journey is a compilation of the some of the works she has programmed on past recitals, all of which were written by Black-American composers. The CD is available on CD Baby for download.
Besides her career as a professional singer, Ms. Hilliard is the music director at St. James Lutheran Church in Lake Forest, IL. In this time of pandemic, Ms. Hilliard is teaching online using the Zoom platform, for now. Currently, I have my private students in addition to my students from the University of St. Francis (Joliet). Evanston Township High School (Evanston), and the Music Institute of Chicago (Evanston and Winnetka branches). Ms. Hilliard has been an adjudicator for the Chicago Public Schools solo and ensemble competitions, IMEA preliminary auditions and the local competition for the National Association of Negro Musicians (NANM). She is currently a member of NATS, AGMA and NANM.
Cole Seaton, Lyric Tenor, is an active performer, singer, and educator. He is a professional member of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Chorus where he holds the position of Tenor Section Leader. He has a long association with the CSO Education and Community Outreach programs at the South Shore Cultural Center and the Symphony Center in Chicago. For 18 years he has been a Governor on the National Board of Governors for AGMA, The American Guild of Musical Artists, the union which represents professional classical choristers, soloists and opera singers, Ballet dancers and Stage Managers across the country. Mr. Seaton is a tenor soloist and section leader at the historic Fourth Presbyterian Church of Chicago on Michigan Ave. and at Chicago Sinai Congregation’s in downtown Chicago. He received his formal training and degree in vocal and opera performance at the Cleveland Institute & Conservatory of Music. He has appeared as tenor soloist in numerous national television and radio broadcasts.
Mr. Seaton maintains voice studios in downtown Chicago, at Niles North and Niles West High School in Skokie and at Evanston Township High School. He has been an adjudicator with the Chicago Public Schools and various state districts for the ILMEA District and State Choral competition, Cole has performed with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Berlin Staatskapelle at Carnegie Hall in New York. Mr. Seaton sang on the 2010-2011 Grammy Award winning recording of Verdi’s Requiem with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chorus. He can also be heard on the soundtrack of Steven Spielberg’s Academy Award nominated movie “Lincoln". For more info about Mr. Seaton's musical life and groups, visit his website at coleseatonmusic.com