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Messiah Performers 2017

Mary Nieuwenhuis

Guest Director

Mary Nieuwenhuis has been named guest director for the Grand Blanc Arts Councils’ 30th annual Community MESSIAH Performance, to be held at Holy Family Catholic Church; 11824 S. Saginaw Street in Grand Blanc.  The date is Sunday November 19, and the time is 4:00 p.m.  

Nieuwenhuis is currently the artist director of The Carolyn Mawby Chorale, in which she sang for several years before being named director.  However, she believes that some of her most influential experiences in choral music came when she attended high school at Interlochen Arts Academy, from which she graduated.  After high school, her undergraduate work was completed at Central Michigan University, where she was the recipient of both the Phi Mu Alpha award and the Powers Music Award.  Her graduate work was done at University of Denver, concentrating on music education and choral studies.  

Mary has previously taught for the Carman Ainsworth School District, Flushing Community Schools, and was the director of choral/vocal studies at Mott Community College for 25 years.  Moreover, she has been a musical director for the New Vic Supper Theater, Flint Community Players, and Clio Cast and Crew. Nieuwenhuis has also participated in the Kenneth Jewell Chorale – Detroit, the Flint Festival Chorus, and Flint Arts Chorale.


Laurie DiSabatino


Soprano, Laurie DiSabatino, holds a Bachelor Degree in Music from Central Michigan University. After Graduating from CMU, Laurie performed with the Lyric Opera Theater of Philadelphia and her debut role was MiMi in Puccini’s La Boheme.  Since returning to the Flint area, she has performed locally as a soloist with the New Century Chorale and The Carolyn Mawby  Chorale.  DiSabatino has also been Grand Blanc Arts Council’s Messiah  soprano soloist  three other times and we are very pleased to welcome her back to our stage.


Laurie has also sung with Michigan Opera Theatre’s Opera Chorus in productions of  Verdi’s Nabucco, Puccini’s La Boheme, Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro and Leoncavalo’s I Pagliacci.  Most recently, Laurie has worked with talented composer and organist, Brenda Portman, premiering and recording several of Brenda’s compositions for voice and piano.  Laurie currently serves as Music Director at Kirkridge Presbyterian Church in Grand Blanc, and sings with the Carolyn Mawby Chorale.


Kasie Johnson


Kasie Johnson - Mezzo-Soprano, earned a Bachelor in Music Education from Central Michigan University in 2008.  After graduation, Johnson served as director of vocal music at Mt. Morris High School for three years.  Kasie has studied voice privately at both Flint Institute of Music and Central Michigan University.  Her performance credits include Orlofsky in Strauss’ Die Fledermaus.  Johnson was also very involved in Flint's Vertigo Theatrics, with roles including Sally Bowles in Kander’s Cabaret and Delores Dante and Babe Secoli in Schwartz’s Working.  

Ms. Johnson graduated from Michigan State University with a Masters Degree in Social Work and is currently a school social worker for Kearsley Community Schools. Johnson is also the music director at First Congregational.  Kasie resides in Grand Blanc with her husband Ryan, their five-year-old son,Brennan, and their one-year-old daughter Ellery.


Matthew Forsleff


Matthew Forsleff, Trumpet earned a Bachelor of Music from Western Michigan University, where he majored in both trumpet and viola.  He also holds a Master of Music Education from the University of Michigan. He was a band director at Bendle for 9 years. Currently he is in his 22nd year as Orchestra Director for Flushing Community Schools.  At Flushing, Matt is the primary teacher for 250 young string players in grades four through twelve.  Matthew has also been the music director at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church for the past 31 years. He is a member of the Saginaw Bay Symphony viola section and performs with other area orchestras.

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Dr. Hyekung Sia Lee


Dr. Hyekyung Sia Lee, a native of South Korea, is an active performer, appearing as a soloist, chamber musician, and collaborative pianist. She has received her second master’s degree from Manhattan School of Music and earned her doctorate in Piano Performance from Michigan State University. She taught at Yeungnam University where she received her first master’s degree. She won the Honors Competition at Michigan State University, the PianoTexas International Festival Concerto Competition, the Kankakee Valley Symphony Orchestra Piano Concerto Competition, and American Protégé International of Romantic Music.

Dr. Lee has performed with several orchestras, including Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, and given chamber music recitals with fine musicians in New York and Michigan. She has been featured on numerous occasions for many instrumentalists, especially woodwind and brass players. She also has extensive experience as a choral accompanist. Currently, she is a staff accompanist at Oakland University in Michigan and associate music director at Church of the Holy Family.


Maria Berry


Alto, Maria Berry, is a native of Grand Blanc, Michigan. She has been a parishioner of Holy Family Parish for many years and has sang in Holy Family’s children’s choir, high school chamber choir, and adult choir. Maria is currently a senior at Powers Catholic High School in Flint, Michigan. At Powers, she is heavily involved in choir, marching band, Rotary Interact, National Honors Society, and theatre.


This past spring, Maria performed in the Powers Catholic Theatre Department’s production of The Lion King. She played Sarabi, the mother of Simba. Maria is planning on going to college in Michigan, where she will earn a degree in the biological sciences and possibly continue her education at a school of veterinary medicine.

Aaron David Bush McCoy


Tenor, Aaron David Bush McCoy, is a native of Burton and has been involved in music since age six when he began playing violin to emulate his grandfather.  Then at FIM, Aaron discovered he could sing and began studying voice with Sylvia Pittman. Aaron attended Central Michigan University and earned a B.A. in vocal performance.  At CMU, McCoy-Jacob studied voice with Dr. Timothy Caldwell and is currently studying voice with Nada Radakovich.  

Some of McCoy-Jacob’s performance credits include: performances with Flint Symphony, International Youth Orchestra, and Detroit Symphony.   Some of the many roles Aaron has sung include the title role in the musical Bye Bye Birdie, Don Jose in Bizet’s Carmen, and Kasper in Menotti’s Amal and the Night Visitors.  He is a recipient of both a St. Cecelia Scholarship and the Piarian Scholarship and is proud to say he shares an Emmy and the Aurora Award with The Flint Symphony and the Jubilee Chorale. This summe, Aaron sang the role of Ralph Rackstraw in The Kearsley Park Players’ performance of the Gilbert and Sullivan operetta HMS Pinafore, and earned rave reviews.


David Lindsey

Lyric Baritone

David Lindsey- Lyric Baritone, is a member of the voice faculty at the Flint Institute of Music and a member of the music staff at Court Street United Methodist Church – Flint. He earned a Bachelor of Music in Education from UM-Flint in 1996, and a Masters in Vocal Pedagogy and Performance from Westminster Choir College of Rider University in 2003.  

Mr. Lindsey has studied voice with Melody Racine, Candace de Lattre, Wendy Bloom, and Nada Radakovich and sung under stellar conductors such as Carolyn Mawby, Margaret Hillis, John Rutter, and Enrique Diemecke.  

David has also performed throughout the United States as well as several world sites over his twenty-five year career.  To highlight just a few, he has performed at Carnegie Hall in New York City, The National Cathedral in Washington D. C., Westminster Abbey in London, and the American Embassy in Auckland, New Zealand. His solo/chorus singing career has included portraying a member of the chorus in Donizetti’s Daughter of the Regiment. He has also performed with the Flint Light Opera Company in the role of Ben in Menotti’s The Telephone, and the Judge in Gilbert and Sullivan’s Trial by Jury.  This coming January, you can hear David perform the title role in Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi.  David is proud to say he grew up in the Flint area and graduated from Swartz Creek High School.  He thanks his high school choir teacher, David Priestap, and his elementary music teacher, Jeanette Lindsey – his mom.


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