Our Staff

Blake Nawa’a, Assistant Artistic Director

A quintessential “gigging musician,” Blake has assembled a music career as a music director, conductor, instructor, collaborative pianist, chorister, and soloist. Blake has music directed, pit conducted, and played keyboard for musical theatre productions across the Denver metro area with the Denver Center Theatre Company, the PACE Center, and others, as well as various summer theatre education camps. He can also regularly be heard as a tenor soloist in major works concerts at Augustana Lutheran Church, and he sings professionally with St Martin’s Chamber Choir, the Colorado Bach Ensemble, and The Evans Choir. During the pandemic, he produced SONGspeare!, a YouTube series exploring art song settings of Shakespeare’s words. He’s also been known to leave the pit and appear on stage from time to time.

Blake Nawa’a (he/him/his) teaches applied voice at Regis University. As a singer with diverse interests, he values a strong and flexible vocal technique that allows singers to approach a wide variety of genres. Blake is the Music Director of the Original Dickens Carolers. He holds a B.M. in Vocal Performance and a M.M. in Conducting from the University of Denver.

 

Madoka Asari, Pianist

Japanese pianist Madoka Asari is a highly sought after pianist who has performed in the U.S.A., Japan, France, and the Czech Republic. Madoka has performed with members from the Cleveland Quartet, Tokyo Quartet, Canadian Brass, New York Philharmonic, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Takács Quartet and Colorado Symphony

As a soloist, Madoka has appeared with Littleton Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia of Greater Kansas City, Lamont Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Haruka (Sapporo, Japan), and has performed at Carnegie’s Weil Recital Hall in 2010.

Previous fellowships, assistantships and awards have included Music Academy of the West (2017), Aspen Music Festival and School (2016), Associate Instructor for Music Theory at Indiana University (M.M., 2012-14), the Sarah C. Morrison Award for Excellence in Piano and 1st Prize in Solo Honor’s Competition from University of Denver (B.M.) Her teachers and coaches have included Steven Mayer, Evelyne Brancart, Shigeo Neriki, Rebecca Penneys, Rita Sloan and Jonathan Feldman.

In addition to her collaboration with professional artists, Madoka also enjoys coaching and performing with young musicians ranging from preschool to college students through Colorado American String Teachers Association, Boulder Suzuki Strings, Suzuki Association of Americas, Young Musicians Foundation of Colorado, Colorado State Music Teachers Association, and Colorado Children’s Chorale. Madoka has served as a faculty and a staff member at DU’s Lamont School of Music, Colorado State University, and CU Boulder.

Currently, Madoka maintains a private piano studio with over 40 students at Colorado Academy, and continues to privately collaborates for wide variety of concerts.

Dr. Daniel L. Grace, Artistic Director Emeritus

photo-daniel-graceDr. Daniel L. Grace led the Colorado Chorale for 35 years; he retired from the Chorale at the end of the 2008-2009 season.

Noted for his innovative programming, Dan said he planned his concert seasons looking for “two factors: cohesion and variety.” He directed the Chorale in the masterworks; in collaborations with gospel singers, Native American musicians, Celtic dancers, a marimba ensemble, and professional storytellers; and in fully staged musicals from the Broadway tradition.

Dan is a highly regarded clinician, adjudicator, and panel moderator throughout Colorado. Active in the Colorado Music Educators’ Association and the American Choral Directors’ Association, Dan was inducted into the CMEA Educators Hall of Fame in 1992 and chosen as the ACDA Conductor of the Year in 1987.

As Dan retired from the Colorado Chorale after its 39th season, he also honored his talented wife, Billie Grace, the Chorale’s First Lady Emerita.

In gratitude, the Colorado Chorale recognizes the dedication, hard work, and devotion to excellence of Dr. Daniel L. Grace, Artistic Director Emeritus!

Board of Directors

 


Kendall Bridges
President

 

 

Kate Amack
Vice President

 


Deb Roth
Treasurer

Kevin Eronimous
Secretary

Debbie Shumake
Member at Large

Mark Montgomery
Member at Large

Mary Ann Fake
Member at Large

Megan Stafford
Member at Large