Nightingale Ensemble Members
Michigan-native Valerie Beck
found her passion for singing at Grand Valley State University where she earned her BM in Vocal Performance. Valerie was a crucial part of the Opera Theater department at GVSU with highlight roles of Dido (Purcell) and Third Lady (Mozart). Valerie worked with Opera Grand Rapids as an Emerging Artist and Opera Chorus member. New to Chicago, Valerie graduated with her Masters in Vocal Performance from the Chicago College of Performing Arts (2018). Recent roles for Valerie include Jo in Little Women
(Adamo), the Mother in Mendelssohn's Homecoming
for CCPA and Mrs. Páskova/ Lapák in The Cunning Little Vixen.
Last summer Valerie attended the Hawaii Performing Arts Festival where she covered the role of Jo and coached with the composer, Mark Adamo. Valerie is scheduled to sing a recital at Our Lady Mother of the Church in November.
With twenty years of performing experience, LeAnne Bennion
has been highly praised for her masterful ability to create a classy atmosphere for any event. She has played at distinguished venues such as the Palmer House, Chicago Symphony Hall, The Drake Tower, the Chicago Botanic Garden, St. James Cathedral and she regularly plays for tea time at the Langham Hotel and the Palmer House Hilton. LeAnne has performed in numerous states as well as countries across Europe and South America. As a freelance harpist and experienced chamber artist, she performs with choirs, for weddings, funerals, business events and private parties. In particular, LeAnne enjoys playing vintage jazz and the music of iconic figures such as Frank Sinatra, Louis Armstrong, George Gershwin and Ella Fitzgerald.
has performed with the New World Symphony, the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, the Cleveland Pops Orchestra, and the Peninsula Music Festival Orchestra
. An accomplished piccolo player, Alex won first prize in the National Flute Association’s Piccolo Audition and Masterclass Competition (2017). Also in 2017, Alex performed Vivaldi’s Concerto in C Major with the Peninsula Music Festival Orchestra in Door County, WI. She has performed in piccolo masterclasses for Jennifer Gunn, Cynthia Meyers, and Alyce Johnson. In 2016, Alex was a featured soloist alongside Claire Chase
in the International Contemporary Ensemble's concert of Cutting the Circle of Sounds by Salvatore Sciarrino. Other performance highlights include chamber concerts with noted jazz musicians Victor Goines and Branford Marsalis.
Guitarist and Executive Director
Ryan Wallace completed his bachelors degree in classical guitar at Webster University, and his masters degree at the San Francisco Conservatory, where he studied with Grammy award winning guitarist and composer Sergio Assad. In addition to private concerts and showcase events, Ryan has performed in a tribute event for the famous Romero brothers, in which his quartet played a variety of historical instruments from the Harris Guitar Collection, performed in various master classes around the country, and in 2016 premiered the guitar concerto For Carl Solomon at the San Francisco Center for New Music.
Guitarist and Artistic Director
Zoë A. Wallace
is a classical composer and guitarist who is continually striving to broaden the repertoire for instruments in an ensemble setting. She has performed in a number of concerts as a soloist and in a duo throughout California, Illinois, and Utah, and has written pieces for such groups as the Fifth Wave Collective. Zoë
received her Masters degree in classical guitar with Denis Azabagic and her Bachelors degree at San Francisco Conservatory of Music with Sergio Assad while also studying composition with Dr. Marc Mellits and Dr. Ryan Brown. Zoë is currently published by Erebus Music Publications.