Max Van Hecke
Michelle Castillo (soprano)
Michelle grew up in Norfolk, where she currently lives and works as an insurance claims examiner. She started choral singing in college as a member of both the women’s chorus and mixed choir at the College of William and Mary, where she also received a minor in music. She has continued her love of singing in many different areas, including being a cantor and chorister at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Norfolk, as well as a member of several other choirs in the Tidewater area, even participating in the International Choral Festival in Nancy, France. She originally joined Schola in 2003, and has been intermittently involved with Schola ever since.
Jasmine Hilbert (soprano)
Jasmine, a musician since her early days, grew up in the town of Chesapeake, Virginia. She has a vocal range of Soprano 1 to Alto 2, but chooses to sing as a Soprano 1. She has played piano since she was seven, violin since age ten, cello from grades 6-12, and has been singing in choirs since she was five. Jasmine joined Schola Cantorum in 2017 and has thoroughly enjoyed the experience. She hopes to continue pursue her love of music as she prepares to go for a master’s degree in music education.
Kay O’Reilly (soprano)
Kay grew up in Fremont, CA and moved to Virginia Beach in 1999. She has been singing in church and school choirs, as well as musical theatre, since age seven. She has a BA in Theatre and a certificate degree from the National Shakespeare Conservatory in NYC. A member of the Eastern Shore Chapel Choir for eighteen years, Kay has also sung locally with the Cantata Chorus. She has been a member of Schola since 2017 and enjoys every minute.
Sandy Ricks (soprano)
Sandy grew up in suburb of Reading, Pennsylvania. She sang in her church choir and in chorus in high school. She has enjoyed singing in a number of community choruses and recently had the opportunity to sing with the Virginia Symphony Chorus. In 2014, she started singing with Schola Cantorum. As for non-musical interests, she is a Virginia Beach Master Gardener and also works for U.S. Senator Mark Warner in his Norfolk office.
Danielle Ward-Griffin (alto)
Danielle grew up in Canada, in a small city close to Toronto. Trained as a classical pianist, she studied music history at university and is currently an assistant professor of musicology at Christopher Newport University. In her spare time, she enjoys singing alto in chamber choirs. She has sung with a number of choruses, including the Yale Camerata, Pro Musica and Battell Chapel choirs in New Haven (Connecticut), the Vivamus choir in London (England), and the Convivium Musicum choir in Mainz (Germany). In 2015, she joined Schola Cantorum.
Mary Ransone (alto)
Mary, a Norfolk native, is a retired teacher. Singing has always been a part of her life; she sang in various groups in church and throughout school. In 2001, she joined Schola Cantorum. Her love of choral music includes most styles of singing, but her heart lies with the challenges of many classical works.
Rebecca Young (alto)
A lifelong Virginia resident, Rebecca is a graduate of the Governor’s School for the Arts. While in college, she studied voice with Schola Cantorum’s current artistic director, Agnes Fuller Mobley-Wynne. Rebecca has performed the National Anthem for the Norfolk Tides for the past seven seasons and currently participates in the praise band at South Norfolk Baptist Church. She joined Schola Cantorum in 2008.
Jacob Barton (tenor)
Jacob was born and raised in Virginia Beach, where he currently lives and works as a math tutor and freelance musician. He began music at an early age with piano and composition lessons, branching into band in middle and high school and chorus at Rice University (Houston). Since 2007, he has explored his twin passions of microtonal tuning systems and musical instrument design, connecting with musical organizations such as UnTwelve, Thingamajigs, Oddmusic-UC, and An Exciting Event. He joined Schola as a tenor in the fall of 2017.
Joseph Browne (tenor)
Joe comes from New Orleans. His father was a professional musician, and so music has been in Joe’s life in some form or other from childhood through university and beyond. He currently sings with Schola Cantorum, the Virginia Symphony Chorus, and his church choir, and plays french horn in the Hampton Roads Metro Band. He has been with Schola since it was based at Virginia Wesleyan University. He enjoys singing with Schola since it has afforded him the opportunity to grow musically and vocally because of its repertoire which represents widely varying musical styles coming from different ages. Besides music, he recently retired as Professor Emeritus of Biology from Tidewater Community College.
Max Van Hecke (tenor)
Max grew up near Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where he started studying piano at age five. At thirteen, he joined his church choir and began studying pipe organ as well. After being involved with church music throughout high school, he attended college at Christendom College in Front Royal, Virginia. While studying theology there, he remained involved in many musical activities, including chapel choir, Gregorian chant schola, musical theater, and barbershop. He currently works as the music director at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Norfolk. He joined Schola in the fall of 2017, and has greatly enjoyed singing with them.
Bob Balcom (bass)
Bob grew up in Long Island, New York, where he met his wife, Elise in eighth grade. Throughout high school, he was involved in musical activities, including playing Bb Clarinet and Eb alto Saxophone. His studies led him in the direction of medicine and he received a medical degree in Syracuse, New York, and subsequently did residency work in Philadelphia. He practiced as a neonatologist for fifteen years and then became Chief Medical Officer and Regional President for a Pediatric/Neonatology group from which which he retired in 2016. Over the years, he continued with his love of music by staying active in the church choirs at the churches he and his family has attended. He joined Schola Cantorum in 2014 to broaden his musical horizons.
Terence Breen (bass)
Terry, from an Air Force family, grew up in several places, including Greece, England, and Washington DC. His music taste and skill is eclectic, having played harmonica since high school and mandolin while serving in the Navy in the 1960s-70s, been interested in Handel and Celtic music, as well as sung in choirs since the 1990s. He sang with Masterworks Choral of Shepherd University West Virginia for five years, and is currently a member of the choir of Virginia Beach United Methodist Church and of an Americana/oldies group called “The Lost Soles.” He joined Schola Cantorum in 2016.
Daniel McCready (bass)
Dan grew up in Wheaton, Maryland. He spent two years in the Navy as a General Medical Officer, and then has practiced medicine ever since. He first became interested in music in elementary school, where he studied violin and trombone. Since the mid 1980s, he has played in a recorder quartet. He has been a member of the Eastern Shore Chapel Episcopal Church since 2004, and a member of Schola Cantorum since 2009.
Bob Rose (bass)
Bob grew up in a village north of Milwaukee, Wisconsin and sang in church choirs starting at age six. After university, he moved to Virginia to attend graduate school in Charlottesville, where he sang in the UVA Glee Club. In 1979, he joined the faculty at Old Dominion University where he was a biology professor until retirement. In Norfolk, he has sung in church choirs, Cantata and Symphony choruses, and for the past six years with Schola Cantorum.
Jeff Stark (bass)
Jeff is originally from Charlottesville, Virginia, but moved to Norfolk in 1983. An architect by profession, one of his favorite quotes is: “Music is liquid architecture; architecture is frozen music.” Jeff started singing in church choirs at the age of ten in order to stay out of trouble with the rest of the congregation. He sang in choirs and small ensembles throughout high school and while he was a student at the University of Virginia. He also was a member of several barbershop quartets in the Hampton Roads area as well as a member of the Virginia Symphony Orchestra Chorus from 2000-2007. He has been singing in the choir at 2nd Presbyterian Church in Norfolk since joining the church with his wife Kathy in 1998. Jeff joined Schola Cantorum in the fall of 2013.
P.O. Box 4456
Virginia Beach, VA 23454-4456