Dusty Francis, Artistic Director
Conductor and bass-baritone Dusty Francis enjoys an active career as a performer, clinician, and music educator in New York and across the country. He currently serves as Artistic Director of the New York City Master Chorale, Director of Choirs at Collegiate School, and Director of Children’s Choirs at St. Michael’s Episcopal Church. Recent seasons have included performances at esteemed venues such as Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center, Cathedral of Saint John the Divine, and St. Patrick’s Cathedral, among others.
When not on the conducting podium, Francis can often be heard singing with some of the country’s finest professional choral ensembles, including the GRAMMY-nominated True Concord Voices & Orchestra, the Atlanta-based Skylark Vocal Ensemble, and the Manhattan Chorale. Recent solo engagements have spanned styles and periods ranging from Bach to Puccini and Schubert to Sondheim.
Francis holds the Master of Music degree in Choral Conducting from the University of Maryland and a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Xavier University in Cincinnati. He is a member of the American Choral Directors Association and the National Association for Music Education. A native of Ohio, he currently resides in Manhattan.
Laura Barger, Accompanist
Laura Barger is a pianist devoted to the exploration and creation of new music. She is a founding member of the internationally-acclaimed piano-percussion quartet, Yarn/Wire, described as “fearless” and “restlessly curious” in their creation of new musical experiences for New York audiences (TimeOutNY). Also praised for their “mesmerizing” performances (NYT), Yarn/Wire has been featured internationally at the Lincoln Center Festival, Edinburgh International Festival, Barbican Centre, Shanghai Symphony Hall, rainy days festival (Luxembourg), Library of Congress, Brooklyn Academy of Music, and many others. Beyond Yarn/Wire, Laura is a frequent collaborator with the Wet Ink Ensemble, and has performed with many of the finest American contemporary ensembles. She also serves as music director and pianist in Miller Theatre at Columbia University’s annual staged production of Saint-Saëns’ Carnival of the Animals. Laura holds degrees in piano from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville and Stony Brook University, and is an alumna of the Banff Centre, Lucerne Festival Academy, Darmstadt International Summer Course, and Bang on a Can Institute. She is currently on faculty at John Jay College (CUNY).
Board of Trustees
Lewis “Skip” Teel, Chair
Sara Yood, Vice Chair
James S. Longo, Secretary
Charley Mills, Treasurer
Nora Thomson, Trustee
Laura King, Trustee
Julie Rulyak Steinberg, Advisory
Morten Lauridsen, Honorary
Donald Neuen, Honorary
Dusty Francis, ex officio
Julie Heller, Chorus President, ex officio
Thea Kano, Artistic Director Emeritus
Laurence C. Boylan, Esq.
Leslie Ann Lopez
Paul Salamunovich (1927 – 2014)
Debra K. Unger
Marion S. Wise