Meet the Ensemble
Back row, standing (L to R): Gwen Gilligan, Nina Brown, Chris Wismer, Bill Epstein, Mickey Bond, Alicia Solomon, Jill McCormick, Linda Rice Beck, Marty Wilder, Constance Romero, Sue Katz and Amy Gross
Front row, sitting (L to R): Barbara Doern Drew, Nancy Maret, Julie Kirk, Linda Raney, Susan Phillips, Connie Marks and Anita Hett
Photo Courtesy of Ken Kirk
Linda Rice Beck
, soprano, also sings and plays handbells at First Presbyterian Church Santa Fe. A published composer and ASCAP member, Linda is the commissioned composer for the spring 2022 repertory. She has truly loved the opportunity to set to music the beautiful poetry of Raymond Raney.
(See Commissioned Composers
, alto, joined the Ensemble in 2006. A mixed-media artist, she is co-owner of Artful Soul: Creative Experiences Santa Fe, a studio and gallery featuring creative art classes for adults. Artful Soul is located downtown in the Santa Fe Village Mall. www.artfulsoulsantafe.com
Nina Brown, alto, sang with the Ensemble in the 1980s. She has sung with the Pacific Chorale in California and the Kentucky Opera, among others. She holds a master's degree in voice from CSULB, Long Beach, CA. Nina sings in the First Presbyterian Church choir and studies with Sandra Twibell.
Barbara Doern Drew
, soprano, is celebrating her 39th season with the Ensemble. Along with singing, her current focus is her professional tarot practice (tarotbddrew.com) and her and husband Walter’s “Creative Aging: Embracing Life with Passion, Purpose and Possibility” courses, workshops and retreats, both on Zoom and in person (creativeagingdrew.com).
Gwen Gilligan, alto, has been with the group for all but three years of its existence. The time that the Ensemble had to take off from singing during the last year and a half made her realize just how special this group is, and she is glad to be back singing together!
Amy Gross, alto, joined the Ensemble in 2018. She performed for many years with the Austin Singers in Austin, TX, and has sung in several church choirs, including the First Presbyterian Church choir. Amy is a legal secretary, a freelance editor and an avid birder.
Sue Katz, alto, joined the Women’s Ensemble in 2005. She has also sung with the Santa Fe Symphony Chorus, Santa Fe Pro Coro and Canticum Novum. Sue is a family physician at La Familia Medical Center and a volunteer provider at the Villa Therese Clinic.
Julie Kirk, soprano, has been with the Ensemble for a total of 21 years. She edits our YouTube listings and manages our website and Facebook page. A watercolor painter, insatiable reader and renowned chocoholic, Julie is a longtime volunteer with the Santa Fe Civitan Club, and she also sings with Zia Singers.
Nancy Maret, soprano, is enjoying her sixth season with the Ensemble. Additional singing credits include many years with the Santa Fe Symphony Chorus and with First Presbyterian Choir. Her days are filled with telecommuting as a financial technology consultant, music, Ensemble board responsibilities and caring for beloved horses, humans and a dog.
Connie Marks, alto, is delighted to sing in her 12th season with the Ensemble. She has served on the board of directors and now assists its grants committee. A retired teacher of students who are deaf, she volunteers with the Santa Fe Civitan Club.
Jill McCormick, soprano, has sung with the Symphony Chorus and First Presbyterian Chancel Choir in Santa Fe. She was a Waldorf kindergarten teacher for 33 years, where music was an integral part of each day. Now Jill works with tone, color and movement as a healing modality for children of all ages.
Claire McMahan, soprano, is thrilled to join the Santa Fe Women’s Ensemble! A trained classical pianist, she has sung in many choirs over the years in California, Utah and New Mexico. Claire is pursuing her master’s degree in liberal arts at St. John’s College and works as a massage therapist.
Chris Wismer, alto, joined the Ensemble in 2017 and has served as the singer representative to the board of directors since 2020. She is a lifelong singer and has sung in school and church choirs, as well as folk singing groups, community choirs and the Santa Fe Symphony Chorus.
Bill Epstein, pianist, began studying piano at age 8 in Linden, New Jersey. Further studies were at the Chicago Musical College and Harvard University. In 2002, Bill moved with his wife, Sheila, to Santa Fe, and he became the Women’s Ensemble accompanist in 2006. His work here has included church jobs, playing for eurythmy dance at the Santa Fe Waldorf School and accompanying the Santa Fe Symphony Chorus, Canticum Novum, the Men’s Camerata and the Santa Fe Community College Chorus.