Behind the Voices
Dr. Gabriel Löfvall, Artistic Director
GABRIEL LÖFVALL, Artistic Director, is a conductor, pianist and tenor who grew up listening to the sounds of the tango in his native Argentina. Born in the city of Mendoza, he graduated from the National University of Cuyo and sang with the Boys’ Choir there, as a youth, under Marcelo Coltro. He studied piano with Dora De Marinis.
Gabriel moved to the U.S. in 1997, where he attended the Hartt School of Music at the University of Hartford, and received a Masters of Music in piano performance under Luiz de Moura Castro, and later, a Masters and Doctorate in Choral Conducting, under Dr. Edward Bolkovac. Gabriel has taken his music to many different corners of the world: Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, England, Portugal, Spain, Hungary, and the U.S. With flutist Gonzalo Cortes, he formed Duo del Sur, a chamber music ensemble mostly devoted to the research and dissemination of South American contemporary music. He co-directs the vocal ensemble Vallis Musicae, a community chorus that meets regularly for seasonal performances and international tours.
Gabriel was the assistant conductor for The Main Street Singers of New Britain. He currently serves as the Director of Music for St. Patrick-St. Anthony Church in downtown Hartford, and recently obtained a Doctorate in Musical Arts from the Hartt School of Music at the University of Hartford with Dr. Edward Bolkovac.
Laurie Ellington, Junior Choir Director
LAURIE ELLINGTON is a conductor, vocalist and music educator with over 30 years' experience in music. Her passion lies in making great music fun and exciting to young singers through choral and band music, musical theater, and as a private coach and teacher.
Originally from Darien, CT, Laurie moved to the Northwest Corner in 2007 to teach at the Hotchkiss School, where she was Choral Director for seven years. She has also taught at Torrington High School, Housatonic Valley High School, The Berkshire School, Salisbury Central School and is now the Choral, Band and General Music teacher at Sharon Center School in Sharon, CT.
Between residencies in CT, Laurie lived in Germany, where she was a sought-after singer and artistic director of two theater companies. Laurie holds a Bachelor of Arts from Harvard and a Master's of Music Education from Boston Conservatory.
Photo credit: Katherine Griswold
Karen Sovak, Angels in Training Director
KAREN SOVAK is a native of Schenectady, New York, and comes from a family of musicians - instrumentalists, choral, band and orchestra conductors, and church organists. Karen majored in Music Education at SUNY Potsdam and pursued further musical studies with many choral and instrumental ensembles. Karen also indulged her love of the visual arts, with classes at SUNY Albany and then at the Corcoran Art School in Washington, D.C. where she also began her career teaching young children at the Rudolf Steiner School in Falls Church, VA.
Beginning in 1988, The Children's Discovery Center in Winsted, CT became the happy recipient of Karen's considerable creative, teaching, and organizational talents. As Head Teacher and Director, Karen expanded this arts and language-based program for pre-school children, winning National Accreditation for the school's innovative, experiential curriculum. Karen has been singing in Gaudeamus since the ensemble's founding in 1991 and worked with Paul Halley at his recording and music publishing company Pelagos, as General Manager from 1998- 2003. She was the Executive Director of Joyful Noise from 2003-2006.
Karen continues as Director of the Chorus Angelicus Angels in Training as well as the Berkshire Children's Chorus Junior Choir Director, helping very young people to explore and rejoice in their emerging musical potential.
Andrew Thomson, Program Coordinator (Webmaster)
ANDREW THOMSON, ASCAP, (b.1988) is a composer, performer, and educator, and has collaborated with a variety of organizations, ranging from the internationally acclaimed choirs of Joyful Noise, Inc. (having sung as a chorister from 1996-2004) to the United States Marine Corps.
Andrew began music at age four with voice and piano, adding percussion shortly thereafter. In 2006, following high school he enlisted into the U.S. Marines as a musician (and rifleman), and became the youngest member of the composition and arranging staff at the Armed Forces School of Music at age 18. Following his enlistment, Andrew earned a degree in Composition and Percussion from Ithaca College, under the tutelage of Gordon Stout.
In addition to serving as Joyful Noise's Program coordinator, Andrew teaches percussion in northwestern Connecticut, and continues to give recitals and masterclasses around the country.
Andrew is an endorsed artist with Marimba One and Grover Pro Percussion.
Senior Choir: Anne Vogelwede-Green
Junior Choir: Elizabeth Allyn
Angels in Training: Dorothy Cowles