Board of Directors
Chair/Treasurer: Stephen Ivain
Vice Chair: Allison Holst-Grubbe
Chairperson Emeritus: Rebecca Bottari
Secretary: Tina Keegan
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.
Andrew Skinner, Junior Choir Director
ANDREW SKINNER grew up in Erie, Pennsylvania, the son of a church musician and a teacher. Andrew majored in music education at Gordon College in Wenham, MA, where he studied French horn as his primary instrument. He was admitted to the Boston Conservatory thereafter for a master’s degree in horn performance, but decided to pursue teaching rather than return as a student. He still teaches horn lessons privately, and plays whenever he can.
After college, Andrew taught middle school for five years in Chelsea, MA, growing a regionally successful choral program from the ground up before moving to Connecticut in 2017. Andrew now directs the choral program at Torrington Middle School in addition to roles as music director for musical theater productions in Torrington and neighboring communities.
Mr. Skinner is currently working toward the completion of a master’s degree in performance technology from Southern Utah University. He and his wife are new parents, and are expecting their second child in January 2021.
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.
Bethany J. Lee, Program Administrator
Bethany is currently running the Chorus Angelicus office from home. She manages the billing, payments, tuition, payroll, donations, advertising, website, phone calls and emails. She is also a homeschooling mother to a Junior Chorister who has come up through the ranks and is in her 7th year in the Chorus Angelicus Choir. She is perseverant, passionate about music and art, mother earth, her daughter, and her chickens. If you need something from the office, you will inevitably be in communication with Bethany. She is happy to help you and hopes her laughter will brighten your day.
Senior Choir: Elizabeth Allyn
Elizabeth recently retired from forty years of service in the public-school system and is pleased to be associated once again with Chorus Angelicus. She is the Minster of Music for the Church of Christ Congregational (UCC), Norfolk, having followed Gabriel's tenure there. She worked for many years with the late Ruth Lansche, in her private voice studio and at The Hotchkiss School. She is honored to be serving as accompanist, with Gabriel, for the senior choir. These young voices and their devotion to our choirs are an important beacon of hope and beauty in today's society.
Junior Choir: Kyong-Han Kim
Kyong-Han Kim has been teaching piano in her private studio and has taught at universities in Korea. Her students have won local, state and national level competitions, as well as performed at Carnegie Hall. She has served as an adjudicator for the National Guild Piano Audition since 2007 and has been invited to judge local and state competitions and auditions in Ohio, Massachusetts and Connecticut. She has performed in numerous concerts and music festivals throughout the US, Canada, Austria, Japan and Korea as a soloist, chamber musician and accompanist including the Bowdoin Music Festival in Maine, Banff Music Festival in Canada, Kiwanis Chamber Music Festival in Edmonton, Canada and Wien Klavier Meisterkurse in Vienna, Austria. Mrs. Kim graduated from Seoul High School of Music & Art and holds BM from Ewha Womans University (Seoul, Korea) and MM from Musashino Music Academy (Tokyo, Japan). She also studied at University of Alberta for Professional Studies (Edmonton, Canada) and attended The Ohio State University for DMA for a year (Columbus, Ohio). Her most influential teachers include Helmut Brauss (University of Alberta), Alexander Satz (Moscow Conservatory) and Martin Canin (The Juilliard School). Currently, she is a member of MTNA, CSMTA and NGPT.
Photo and Bio Forthcoming
Angels in Training: Beckie Wallace