Chor Leoni

The Leonids

Erick Lichte, conductor

The Leonids is a new professional ensemble under the direction of Artistic Director Erick Lichte. The ensemble serves as the professional headline choir for Chor Leoni’s annual Big Roar Choral Festival and as an educational, inspirational, and aspirational force for this festival and beyond.

In addition to their active solo careers, these extraordinary singers have sung with Chanticleer, Conspirare, Trinity Church Wall Street, Santa Fe Desert Chorale, Clarion Choir, TENET, Skylark, Phoenix Chorale, ANÚNA, and more.

Like the spectacular meteor showers after which they are named, The Leonids come together to rehearse, record, perform and enrich the experience of the Big Roar festival participants.

The Leonids

The eight-voiced TTBB chamber ensemble will play a central role at The Big Roar and will be performing at Harmonia in April, 2024

  • Eric Alatorre, Bass

    Eric Alatorre is the Bass best associated with Chanticleer, where he was a member for nearly 30 years, and is well known for his deep and rich voice. During his tenure with Chanticleer he saw the ensemble grow from a group known best in the United States to an internationally acclaimed ensemble. He has performed in many of the world’s major concert venues on 6 continents, and made nearly 60 recordings which have garnered 3 Grammy awards. Since then he continues to be engaged with many exceptional groups such as Seraphic Fire, Skylark, Conspirare, the Thirteen, and the Leonids.

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  • Tomás Cruz, Tenor

    Known for his "mellifluous, pure tone (New York Classical Review),” Tomás Cruz is a regular in the NYC choral and new music scenes. After studying jazz in college, he began his career in the chorus of Philip Glass’ opera Einstein on the Beach. Since then, he has sung for many artists including Leon Bridges, Toshi Reagon, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Steve Reich, Anthony Braxton, Petr Kotik, Judd Greenstein, Damien Rice, Jonsi & Alex, Lyra Pramuk, and Trinity Wall Street, among others. Notable credits include an appearance on SNL and guest vocalist work on jazz composer Arturo O’Farrill’s Grammy Award winning album Four Questions. Ongoing projects include experimental ensemble Ekmeles, pop a cappella group Duwende, the St. Thomas Choir of Men & Boys, and Philadelphia-based choir The Crossing. Tomás holds two degrees from The New England Conservatory of Music.

  • Brian Hinman, Tenor

    Brian Hinman has been a part of the GRAMMY Award-winning classical ensemble Chanticleer for fifteen years, giving as many as 120 concerts a year, as both Tenor and Road Manager. In addition to performing on seven studio and twelve live recordings since joining in 2006, Brian has been involved in the production end of Chanticleer Records. He has recorded, edited, and/or mixed a number of Chanticleer’s live recordings and most notably was Co-Producer on Chanticleer’s pop/jazz album Someone New with the incomparable Leslie Ann Jones and friend Jace Wittig. Brian is also thrilled to have written several pop, jazz, and gospel arrangements for the group in recent years. No stranger to committees and conference rooms, Brian has also served as Vice-President of the Board of Governors for the San Francisco Chapter of the Recording Academy, the organization that presents the GRAMMY Awards, and served as the Chair of their Advocacy Committee.Before joining Chanticleer, Brian built a background in theater, studied Vocal Performance at the University of Tennessee and studied jazz and acting in New York City.

  • Sam Kreidenweis, Baritone

    Bass-baritone Sam Kreidenweis’ stylistic versatility, rich sound, and engaging stage presence has gained him praise nationally and abroad. As a vocal chamber music artist Sam appears nationally with GRAMMY® Award-winning Conspirare (Austin, TX), Kinnara Ensemble (Princeton, NJ), Santa Fe Desert Chorale (Santa Fe, NM), Skylark Vocal Ensemble (Greater New England), True Concord Voices & Orchestra (Tucson, AZ), Vocal Arts Ensemble (Cincinnati, OH), and has sung previously with the GRAMMY® Award-winning Phoenix Chorale. Internationally, Sam works with the Dublin, Ireland based ensemble Anúna with whom he has toured throughout Ireland, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Belgium, China, and Japan. While singing with the Phoenix Chorale he recorded the Rachmaninoff All-Night Vigil with Chandos Records alongside the Kansas City Chorale, which received two Grammy nominations in 2016 and won for Best Choral Performance. Sam also sang for a season with the professional vocal ensemble Cantus. No stranger to the operatic and musical theatre stages, Sam has worked with the Dayton Opera, Cincinnati Opera, Arizona Opera Company, and the Lyric Opera Theatre at Arizona State University. http://www.samkreidenweis.com/

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  • Matthew Newhouse, Tenor

    Texas-born tenor, Matthew Newhouse brings power, tenderness and evocative story-telling to the concert stage. A rising name in concert, ensemble and historically informed performance, Matthew’s expertise ranges from Medieval plain-chant to contemporary avant-garde vocal works. As a soloist, Matthew’s recent highlights include Evangelist in Schütz’s Weihnachtshistorie (Harmonium Stellarum), J.S. Bach’s Magnificat (TENET Vocal Artists), Mendelssohn’s Lobgesang (Norfolk Chamber Music Festival), Evangelist in J.S. Bach’s Weihnachtsoratorium (Yale Schola Cantorum), Handel’s Messiah (Handel Choir of Baltimore) and Aaron Jay Kernis’ world premiere of Edensongs (Yale Schola Cantorum). Matthew’s professional ensemble collaborations include projects with Apollo’s Fire, The Thirteen, TENET Vocal Artists, Artefact Ensemble, Evergreen Ensemble, Ensemble Altera and Emmanuel Music. Matthew is a founding member of the New York based vocal ensemble, 4th Wall Ensemble, an exponentially growing organization collaborating with such composers as Jeff Beale and music groups like Grammy-award winning Time for 3. Previous soloist opportunities have included performing with the Houston Masterworks Chorale, Emmanuel Music, Ars Nova Chorale and The New Mexico Philharmonic. Matthew has had the privilege to work intimately with esteemed conductors Grete Pederson, Masaaki Suzuki, David Hill, Richard Bado, Chris Allen, Steven Stubbs, Craig Hella Johnson, and Jeanette Sorrel. Matthew gave his Carnegie Hall debut as winner of the 2019 Semper Pro Competition. In 2023 Matthew proudly participated in the prestigious Virginia Best Adam’s Masterclass at the Carmel Bach Festival. Matthew heralded the inaugural season of the American Voces8 Scholar Programme in 2018, an experience Matthew attributes with forming his small-ensemble singing technique. An avid proponent of Icelandic vocal repertoire, Matthew strives to incorporate Icelandic works into the classical music canon. Matthew holds a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from Baylor University and a Master of Music in Voice: Early Music, Oratorio and Chamber Ensemble from Yale’s School of Music. When not performing, you can find Matthew in the kitchen crafting fresh pasta, bubbling curries or baking fresh bread.

  • Jacob Perry Jr., Tenor

    Tenor Jacob Perry Jr., based in the Washington Metro Area, receives praise for his “gorgeous and stylish” interpretations of Renaissance and Baroque repertoire (ClevelandClassical.com). He has been featured as a soloist with Apollo’s Fire, Handel Choir of Baltimore, Mountainside Baroque, Tempesta di Mare, The Thirteen, Washington Bach Consort, and The City Choir of Washington. Jacob was selected as the tenor participant of the Virginia Best Adams Masterclass of the 2020 Carmel Bach Festival. Deeply immersed in vocal chamber music, Jacob enjoys active membership in Les Canards Chantants, a soloist-ensemble based in Philadelphia, as well as engagements with ensembles such as The Thirteen, the Art of Early Keyboard (ARTEK), New Consort, and Cathedra. Additionally, he can be heard singing with larger choirs such as Yale Choral Artists, The Clarion Choir, Washington Bach Consort, and the Choir of Washington National Cathedral. He has explored the vocal works by contemporary composers through engagements with Third Practice, hexaCollective, and Great Noise Ensemble, and co-directs Bridge, a genre-defying vocal ensemble based in Washington. https://jacobperryjr.com/

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  • Daniel Schwartz, bass

    A Philadelphia native, Daniel has sung with the Opera Philadelphia chorus where he has performed a number of bit roles including The Foreman in the east coast premiere of Oscar. Daniel also sings with The Crossing, a two-time Grammy winning new music choir. He is a founding member of nationally renowned vocal sextet Variant 6. Two years ago he made his debut as a soloist with The Philadelphia Orchestra for Pat Metheny and the American Beat. In addition to his singing career, Daniel holds the position of Artistic Director of the Philadelphia Voices of Pride.

  • Gregório Taniguchi, Tenor

    Gregório Taniguchi crafts compelling performances of historical and new works alike for a modern audience. He has empowered narratives with an intuitive sense for storytelling as the Evangelist in Bach’s St. John Passion and Miles Zegner in Missy Mazzoli's Proving Up. He recently appeared in the Peter Sellars-staged production of Schütz’s Musikalische Exequien with Los Angeles Master Chorale. He has worked with pioneers and the next generation scholar-interpreters of early music, such as John Butt, Maria Guinand, Dana Marsh, Jane Glover, and Matthew Halls. Gregório enjoys the alchemy of collaborative ensemble singing, especially with Clarion Vocal Ensemble, Bach Collegium San Diego, TENET, Washington Bach Consort, Tesserae, Santa Fe Desert Chorale, and Oregon Bach Festival. Gregório is passionate about being an active part of the community of artists, coaching language and teaching. He also prioritizes being part of his ecological community, germinating seeds and raising native wildflowers of the places he calls home.