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TBF Resident Artists

The TBF Resident Artists are some of the finest early music singers and players in the Pacific Northwest. The performers are both experienced ensemble artists as well as accomplished soloists and serve in both capacities at the festival. Members have performed at the Oregon Bach Festival, the Texas Bach Festival, with the American Bach Soloists, the Internationale Bachakademie Stuttgart and other leading early music festivals and ensembles.

Laura Kramer, cello

Laura Kramer has performed extensively as a soloist and chamber musician on baroque and modern cello.  She has performed as continuo and solo cellist with the Pacific Baroque Orchestra, Seattle Baroque Orchestra, NYS Baroque, the Grande Bande and Glimmerglass Opera.  Laura also performs with many choral groups in the Seattle area, including Seattle Bach Choir, Mirinesse Women’s Choir, Bellvue Chamber Chorus and Vespertine Opera.


Erin Calata, mezzo soprano

Known for her vocal clarity, versatile singing, and moving performances, mezzo-soprano Erin Calata readily sings a wide array of genres, with a special interest in Early Music, Art Song, New Music and choral works. As a freelance vocalist, she performs with many organizations locally and nationally including the Texas Early Music Project in Austin, Pacific Musicworks Underground in Seattle, and has also sung in past seasons with Seattle's Vox16 (now Radiance) and Cantaré Vocal Ensemble, the Oregon Bach Festival Berwick Chorus, Bellevue's City Opera Ballet, the Arizona Opera, Scottsdale Choral Artists, and the Stuttgart Festival Ensemble in Germany.  She was chosen as a 2014 New Young Artist with the Victoria Bach Festival in Victoria, Texas and participated in the American Bach Soloists Academy in 2017.  Ms. Calata is on the faculty of Pierce College.


Leann Conley-Holcom, soprano

Hailed for her "sumptuous tone and fine technique" (MusicWeb International) and "clear, soaring" singing (Arizona Daily Sun), Dr. Leann Conley-Holcom performs regularly as a soloist, with appearances including the Oregon Bach Festival, Mountainside Baroque, regional symphonies and a solo debut at Carnegie Hall with the NYC Chamber Orchestra. Leann has sung with True Concord since 2010 and appears on the GRAMMY-award-winning album Far in the Heavens. She is a tenured member of the Oregon Bach Festival Chorus and performs with Solaris and Vox Humana; international singing engagements include Bach Academy Stuttgart and Bach Ensemble Helmuth Rilling. Leann is Director of Choral and Vocal Activities at Seattle University, where she leads the voice program, directs choirs, and teaches conducting and vocal pedagogy. She is on the Board of Directors of the renowned early music organization Pacific MusicWorksand and is an active member of the American Choral Directors Association, National Collegiate Choral Organization and College Music Society. Leann holds degrees in voice and conducting from Pacific Lutheran University, Northern Arizona University, and the University of Washington.  

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Justin Raffa, tenor

Justin Raffa is active as a professional conductor and singer in the Northwest and beyond. Justin has sung as part of the Berkshire Choral Festival, Spoleto Festival USA, Voces Novae et Antiquae, the Tucson Symphony Orchestra Chorus, and continues to perform with both the Festival Chorus of the Oregon Bach Festival and True Concord Voices & Orchestra in Tucson of which he is a founding member. As a member of the Westminster Symphonic Choir under Joseph Flummerfelt, Justin sang with some of the world's leading conductors and orchestras. Currently, Justin sings with Chor Anno, Male Ensemble Northwest, and Polyphony Plus, three regional ensembles made up of professional choral musicians in the Pacific Northwest. Justin is a passionate advocate for the arts and currently serves on the board of a number of arts organizations He is the current chair of the board of the Washington State Arts Commission. A South Jersey native proud of his Sicilian heritage, Justin holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education with a vocal concentration from Westminster Choir College in Princeton NJ and a Master of Music degree in Choral Conducting from University of Arizona in Tucson.

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Max Mendez, bass-baritone

Max Mendez is currently a Professor of Music and Director of Choirs at North Idaho College in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, and has been an active part of the Inland Northwest music community for the last twenty-three years.   For the last seventeen years at North Idaho College, he’s led the NIC Cardinal Chorale, Chamber Singers, and Commercial Music Ensemble. He divides his time between conducting, teaching, and performing. He has sung to critical success throughout the Northwest. As an opera artist, he has performed with Los Angeles Music Center Opera, Opera Pacific, Spokane Symphony Orchestra, Spokane Opera, Opera Idaho, and Inland Northwest Opera.  He has performed with many of the finest concert ensembles in the Inland Northwest, including the Spokane Symphony Orchestra, Mid-Columbia Symphony, Coeur d’Alene Symphony Orchestra, Walla Walla Symphony, Zephyr, Clarion Brass, Spokane Kantorei, and the Northwest Bach Festival. His versatility as a singer ranges from opera and oratorio to musical theatre, cabaret, and popular styles.  Max was a founding member and artistic director of Spokane Choral Artists. He recently completed an eleven-year tenure with Male Ensemble Northwest and is currently a member of Tim Sharp’s Kentucky Harmony.

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