Colin Aponte

Colin Aponte is a 17-year-old senior at the Webb School of Knoxville and the Concertmaster of the Knoxville Symphony Youth Orchestra. He began playing violin at the age of 3 and studies with Dr. Miroslav Hristov at the University of Tennessee. Prior to relocating to Tennessee in 2021, he was the Concertmaster of the Bangor […]

Laura Beth Wells

Laura Beth Wells is an actor, singer, voice over actor, and teaching artist. She made her Broadway debut as Emily Osborn in the original company of Spiderman: Turn Off The Dark, directed by Julie Taymor and Philip McKinley. A classically trained actor, other credits include: Heather in Gideon’s Knot (Bridge Street Theatre/John Sowle, dir.), Kafka/Waitress in All in the […]

Lidiya Yankovskaya

Russian-American conductor Lidiya Yankovskaya is a fiercely committed advocate for Russian masterpieces, operatic rarities, and contemporary works on the leading edge of classical music. She has conducted more than 40 world premieres, including 16 operas, and her strength as a visionary collaborator has guided new perspectives on staged and symphonic repertoire from Carmen and Queen […]

Oliver Herbert

Cellist Oliver Herbert is quickly building a reputation as an artist with a distinct voice and individual style, admired by audiences for his communicative and connective performances. The recipient of a 2021 Avery Fisher Career Grant, Oliver has been praised by San Francisco Classical Voice for his “expansive tone, virtuosity, and musical instincts.” Recent appearances include debuts […]

Michael Roemer

Michael Roemer, a diverse baritone with “robust sonority,” has performed with many arts organizations across the United States as a soloist on both the operatic and concert stage and as an ensemble artist of Chicago a Cappella and the Lyric Opera of Chicago Chorus. Highlights from Michael’s concert and operatic repertoire have included Haydn’s Missa […]

Jennifer D’Agostino

Mezzo-Soprano Jennifer D’Agostino received her Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) degree at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Voice Performance with a minor in Opera Production. She completed her Master’s Degree as a member of the Knoxville Opera Studio with the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, and her Bachelor’s Degree from Baldwin-Wallace College Conservatory of Music. Jennifer was […]

Rhea Carmon

Award-winning wordsmith RheaSunshine is a force that weaves passion, purpose, and power into poetry. She is the creator and Executive Director of the 5th Woman Cohort, which explores the stories of women. Regardless of race, women share the same experiences, fears, joys, and more, and the 5th Woman allows them to examine these moments without […]

The Fifth Woman

When founder and executive director, Rhea “RheaSunshine” Carmon, began to express her narrative through the powerful tenet of spoken word poetry twenty years ago, she realized that there is healing to be found in the act of speaking our stories aloud. The fifth woman was to be named Poetry. She is, she loves, she hurts, […]

Ryan Shaw

Ryan Shaw is a three-time GRAMMY® nominated artist for his solo projects, Columbia Records’ This is Ryan Shaw, his In Between and Dynotone’s Real Love. He has shared the world stage with such artists as Van Halen, Bonnie Raitt, John Legend, B.B. King and Jill Scott. His music has been featured on FOX’s So You Think You Can Dance and ABC’s Dancing with […]