SSVI 2016 FACULTY
Director/Master Teacher/vocal consultant (all genres)
Karen Parks is President and CEO of Stagebound, Inc., and Director of the Stagebound Vocal Intensive which presents Vocal Intensives/Workshops, seminars and produces professional performances. She is also founder of Ottimavoce, Inc., a production and recording company. Karen currently serves on the Voice Faculty at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts (New Studio on Broadway) and was a YoungArts National Panelist for Classical Voice for five years. She continues to perform both nationally and internationally, presents Master Classes, Vocal Intensives and Workshops worldwide and maintains a private voice studio with instruction offered (including Skype/FaceTime lessons) in seven genres of music.
Karen's voice clients and students have performed at major opera houses and concert halls, nationally and internationally, including The Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall. They also perform leading roles on Broadway and National tours in The Book of Mormon, Phantom of the Opera, Newsies, Lion King, West Side Story and have been selected to perform on the highly coveted Broadway's Rising Stars program at New York City's Town Hall. The majority of Karen's students have been featured in leading roles for their university productions and her students have been accepted (more than 95% on full scholarship) to major universities including Julliard, Manhattan School of Music, NYU, AMDA, Oberlin Conservatory, Berklee School of Music, USC Thornton School of Music, Mannes, University of Michigan, Indiana University and University of North Carolina Chapel Hill.
Karen's career highlights include performances with the San Francisco Opera, London Symphony, Budapest Symphony, Goteborg Symphony, Helsinki Philharmonic, New World Symphony and the Boston Pops. She performed a concert commissioned by Dame Janet Baker at Barbican Hall, toured as Micaela in Carmen with the San Francisco Opera's touring company and sang the role of Nedda in Pagliacci for three seasons at the Savonlinna Opera Festival. She has performed in twelve languages at major opera houses and concert halls worldwide including Carnegie Recital Hall, Alice Tully Hall, The Kennedy Center and the Boston Pops.
Her numerous solo and collaborative recordings include Nobody Knows, which debuted at #2 on the Billboard Charts (classical), Nocturne, the first English language album of Finnish classical poetry, Perfect Harmony (televised and aired internationally) and the role of Cindy Lou in Carmen Jones at Abbey Studios in London (EMI). Karen graced the London musical theater stage in the West End production of Carmen Jones at the Old Vic Theater and was nominated for an Olivier Award for her role as Cindy Lou in Carmen Jones.
A Fulbright scholar, Karen was the first recipient to be granted exclusive study with Maestro Gabriele Pisani at the prestigious La Scala Opera House in Milan, Italy. Her studies culminated in a debut solo performance with the Maestro at the piano. KarenParks.com
Musical Theatre Vocal Performance
Michael McElroy has credits as a performer that include: Broadway: Next to Normal, RENT, The Wild Party, Big River (Tony nomination 2004, Drama Desk nomination) The Who's Tommy, Miss Saigon, Patti LuPone on Broadway, High Roller Social Pleasure Club., HAIR (Encores). New York Philharmonic: Candide. National Tour: Next to Normal, Rent, Big River (LA Ovation nomination), SARAFINA. Off-Broadway: Some Men (Second Stage Theater), BLUE (Roundabout), Violet (Original Cast, Playwrights Horizons, Drama Desk Nomination), Thunder Knocking on the Door (Minetta Lane), Richard III (NYSF) Regional: Broadway 3 Generations(Kennedy Center), Big River(Fords Theater Helen Hayes Award 2006), Fences (Riverside), Angels In America: I&II (Alley Theater), BLUE (Pasadena Playhouse L.A. Ovation Nomination), Dreamgirls(Pittsburgh Playhouse). Featured on such cds as BLUE, The Who’s Tommy, The Wild Party, Violet, Dream True, Film: Rent Live on Broadway, Romance and Cigarettes, Stonewall, Television: Cantebury Law, Love Monkey, All My Children, Spin City, Michael Jackson Concert, 2002 Grammy's. Michael McElroy is the Founder/Musical Director and Arranger for Broadway Inspirational Voices (BIV) a multi-racial gospel choir composed of Broadway performers from such shows as: Alladin, Book of Mormon, Motown, The Lion King and the upcoming First Wives Club and On Your Feet. Broadway Inspirational has recorded 2 Albums: GRACE (DMP Records) and GREAT JOY! (Sh-K-Boom Records). Michael received a a Grammy nomination in 2004 for his work on Great Joy: A Gospel Christmas. BIV has performed with such greats as Mariah Carey, Jason Mraz, Sting, Elton John, Vanessa Williams, Patti LaBelle, Clay Aiken and Heather Headley. Michael is head of Vocal Performance in the New Studio on Broadway in the Department of Drama, Tisch School of the Arts at New York University.
Darryl Tookes is a singer, pianist, composer, arranger, poet, educator, and humanitarian. He has recorded and performed with George Benson, Diana Ross, Sting, Leonard Bernstein, Paul Simon, Burt Bacharach, Quincy Jones, Carly Simon, Laurie Anderson, Dave Grusin, Gerry Mulligan, Patti Austin, Rod Stewart, Elton John, Steve Tyrell, and many others. In spite of these collaborations, Tookes’ style is completely original. He has what has been described as an “angelic” voice (NY Newsday), which along with his message of love, are at the core of who Darryl Tookes is an artist. Studying physics in college gave Tookes a perspective on harmony that informs his music in surprising ways. From his first hit single, Lifeguard, Darryl Tookes has been seen and heard as a prophetic messenger of love and spirituality, essential elements in all of his songs. He has never wavered from this path. Tookes’ voice has been featured on commercials for Coca-Cola, AT&T, American Airlines, and the US Army, among others, and on the television show, Sesame Street. His other television appearances include Late Night with David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Saturday Night Live, The Morning Show with Regis Philbin, Great Performances, Everyday with Joan Lunden, The Joan Rivers Show, and NBC’s Today Show. He has performed at the White House, and received a standing ovation at Carnegie Hall for his duet with Roberta Flack. An educator, Tookes is Adjunct Professor at the Tisch School of the Performing Arts at NYU. He also mentors a growing number of private students at the Lagond Music School in Westchester County, NY. Further, Tookes is a clinician, having taught master classes at several universities and secondary schools. He has arranged for student a cappella groups, and has been awarded numerous commissions for composing and arranging choral works. In the realm of sacred music, Darryl Tookes is artist-in-residence at First Presbyterian Church of Stamford, CT, and is frequently an invited guest soloist at interdenominational services. He also performed Duke Ellington’s Mass with Jessye Norman at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. Darryl Tookes has participated in many charitable activities – concerts and recordings – including Arts for Healing, Best Buddies, A Better Chance, UNICEF, Hands Across America, Songs of Love, Comic Relief, The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS/HIV Foundation, Daniel Pearl Foundation, Rainforest Foundation, 9/11 Memorial, Fall In Love With America – Again, and Fun In Learning Tutorial, and Creative Learning @ FPC. He is in partnership with the global humanitarian organization, AmeriCares, serving as a goodwill ambassador, traveling the world to provide aid and crisis relief to victims of natural and manmade disasters. For more than three decades, Tookes has been an active member of ASCAP, AFTRA, SAG, NARAS, and AF of M. He served two terms as Chairman of the New York Singers Collective, and three terms on the board of directors for the Society of Singers. Tookes was founding musical director for Black to Broadway. He is also musical director, pianist and arranger for Lesley Gore.
Rachel Tecora Tucker
Movement for Singers
Rachel Tecora Tucker, dancer, teacher, choreographer, has enjoyed a varied career on and off the stage. Some of Ms. Tucker’s professional dance experience includes a stint at the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company where she performed works by Ulysses Dove, Talley Beatty, Donald McKayle, Eleo Pomare, Donald Byrd and Dwight Rhoden. She was on the first national tour of The Wiz directed and choreographed by George Faison whom she later assisted on several projects. She is a former Radio City Rockette and was a member of the original, Broadway, company of Disney’s The Lion King where she served as one of two dance captains and was later promoted to the off-stage position of Resident Dance Supervisor for the National Touring Company training a wide range of professional actors, singers, and dancers.
Ms. Tucker is currently a Full-time Lecturer in Dance at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte, and holds a faculty position at Charlotte Ballet Academy, formerly The North Carolina Dance Theatre School of Dance, under the direction of Kennedy Center Honors recipient Patricia McBride and Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux where she choreographs for the conservatory, the pre-professional and apprentice program divisions. She has also taught in the young adult programs at the Alvin Ailey School and Steps on Broadway in New York City.
Ms. Tucker graduated from Baltimore School for the Arts and received her BA in Dance from Pointe Park University in Pittsburgh, PA. She recently completed her Master of Fine Arts in Dance degree from Hollins University, in affiliation with the American Dance Festival, The Forsythe Company, and The University of Music and Performing Arts in Frankfurt, Germany. Ms. Tucker is also a Pilates instructor trained in both classical and contemporary methods.
Sam McKelton whose lyric tenor led the New York Times to exclaim him “a model Mozart tenor…”, has traveled throughout the world delighting audiences in both the classical and pop worlds. Mr. McKelton has appeared with many major symphony orchestras and chamber ensembles and, for three years, he traveled the world with superstar Harry Belafonte with whom he was featured in the 1997 PBS Special, Harry Belafonte and Friends. He starred in an off-Broadway revival of the Broadway and London hit musical Five Guys Named Mo’, and was an original Broadway cast member of the Tony Award winning Disney musical The Lion King. Mr. McKelton has been seen in the role of Sportin’ Life in Porgy and Bess with the Opera Company of Philadelphia and the Indianapolis Opera directed by Henry Miller, as well as many concert and semi-staged productions, and in the title role of Udu in the musical/light opera by composer and trombonist Craig Harris with librettist and poet, the late Sekou Sundiata. He sang the role of The Stranger in the New York premiere of Carlisle Floyd’s opera Markheim with the Center for Contemporary Opera (CCO), and did a turn as Angel Levine in the critically acclaimed CCO production of The Angel Levine by Elie Siegmeister. A native of Detroit, Michigan, Mr. McKelton continues to make concert and solo appearances around the country and makes appearances on behalf of the Negro Spiritual Scholarship Foundation as one of the organization’s Honorary Lifetime Members. He is a member of the famed, American Spiritual Ensemble, and frequently appears as a guest artist and gives master classes at schools and universities across the U.S. His 2014-15 season will include performances in Denmark, at the Royal Danish Opera, various locations in the United States, the world premiere of Adolphus Hailstork’s opera, Robeson, and a cultural exchange mission to Bolivia on behalf of the U.S. State Department. Visit his upscale custom vests and accessories clothing line here.
Matt Cataldi is a New York City based pianist, musical director, and teacher. He has earned a Doctorate of Music in Piano Performance and Literature from Indiana University where he minored in jazz studies, and has served on faculty there before joining the Tisch School of the Arts. As a performer, Dr. Cataldi has given solo concerts at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. in addition to a successful international concert and masterclass tour of Latin American piano music as well as his orchestral debut with Rachmaninoff's 3rd piano concerto. Past theatre credits include musical director at the Gallery Players in Brooklyn, the Post Playhouse in Western Nebraska, and the Tisch Center for New Musicals at NYU.
Ok Kyun Kang
Ok Kyun Kang is a composer, pianist and music director from South Korea. Recent works include music for "Hamlet" at LaMama, chamber opera “Sleepy” and musical “Christmas Carolyn” in Seoul. BM and MM in Music Composition from Yonsei University, MFA in Musical Theatre Writing at the Tisch School of the Arts/NYU. Current Collaborative Pianist at Barnard College/Columbia University and NYU. BMI musical theatre workshop member.