A native of Sparta, Illinois, Brian Downen is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Music at University of Texas at El Paso, where he teaches voice and conducts the University Men’s Choir. He is an excellent teacher of young voices and has extensive show choir experience as the former director of the nationally-known Decatur Park Singers and Young Park Singers. In addition to his teaching, Brian enjoys a performing career as an operatic tenor. He has appeared in more than 70 productions with opera companies throughout the United States and abroad including in Canada, Poland, Germany, Italy, Austria and Bhutan. This season he returned to the Metropolitan Opera for two productions. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from Eastern Illinois University and a Master’s Degree in Vocal Performance from Yale University. For more information about Brian’s performance schedule, visit www.briandownen.com
Cherry Duke is an acclaimed singing actress, facile in opera, oratorio, recital, cabaret and musical theater. In addition to singing principal roles with opera companies such asLos Angeles Opera, New York City Opera, El Paso Opera, Tampa Opera and Fort Worth Opera, she is a featured soloist with orchestras in classical and pops concerts, including multiple appearances at Carnegie Hall. Cherry Duke is currently on the voice faculty of the University of Texas at El Paso and serves as their Director of Opera. She has served on the voice faculty of Bay View Music Festival and gives vocal master classes at universities around the country. In addition, Cherry is the founder of YourType Arts Partners and teaches seminars on the business of being a musician around the country. She is a graduate of Texas Woman’s University and the Hartt School at the University of Hartford. For more information, visit www.cherryduke.com
Bobby Picker is an experienced professional show choir choreographer and singer/dancer. A frequent guest clinician, judge, emcee, and choreographer for schools and festivals around the country, Bobby studied Musical Theatre at Lindenwood University and has performed as an Equity Singer/Dancer at theme parks, on cruise ships and in regional theatres across the United States. We are delighted to welcome Bobby back for his second summer with Innovative Music Camps.