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 honored to be the Ensemble's commissioned composer once again, and 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 launching a new art space in Santa Fe for hands-on teaching and “art experiences” such as themed painting parties. Mickey has a studio near Abiquiu and shows in the Abiquiu Studio Tour. instagram.com/MickeyBondArt
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 37th season with the Ensemble. Other passions include her professional tarot practice, writing and editing spiritual material, and traveling the world speaking, writing and teaching about “Creative Aging: Embracing Life with Passion, Purpose and Possibility” with her beloved husband of 30 years, Walter.
Gwen Gilligan, alto, has been with the group for all but three years of its existence and as such most audience members have read everything they need to know about her. This year she wants to quote Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.: “Hatred confuses life, love harmonizes it.”
Amy Gross, alto, performed for many years with the Austin Singers in Austin, TX, and has sung in several church choirs. She is the managing editor of a publishing company and an alto in First Presbyterian Church's Chancel Choir. This is Amy’s second season with the Santa Fe Women's Ensemble.
Anita Hett, alto, comes from a musical family and has been singing her entire life. She enjoys playing music with her family, both professionally and for fun, and she is the song leader at her church. In 2013 Anita traveled to Italy, singing solos at various venues.
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, sang with the Ensemble in the late 1980s and rejoined in 2004; this is her 20th year! Julie edits our website, YouTube and Facebook page. A watercolor painter and renowned chocoholic, she is a longtime volunteer with the Santa Fe Civitan Club and sings with Zia Singers.
Nancy Maret, soprano, is happy singing for her fourth season as the Women’s Ensemble has its 39th. Additional singing credits include 13 seasons with the Symphony Chorus and 18 years with First Presbyterian Choir. In her third year of Ensemble Board service, she continues as the treasurer and fundraising chair.
Connie Marks, alto, is delighted to sing her eleventh season with the Ensemble. She has served on the group’s 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 also enjoyed singing with the Santa Fe Symphony Chorus and the First Presbyterian Chancel choir. She recently completed Tama-Do Academy of Healing with tone, color and movement. This past summer, she graduated from Antioch University with a master's degree in transdisciplinary education as a healing art.
Susan Phillips, alto, is a lifelong singer and has been singing with the Women’s Ensemble for over 30 years. She has also sung with the UNM women’s chorus, Las Cantantes, and the UNM Symphony Chorus, as well as the Santa Fe Symphony Chorus and Canticum Novum.
Constance Romero, soprano, received her BA in voice and MA in music education at New Mexico Highlands University. She is retired from Pecos Independent Schools. She has sung with the Santa Fe Symphony Chorus, Pro Coro, Coro de Camera and Quintessence, and loves singing solos. She joined the Women’s Ensemble in 2016.
Alicia Solomon, alto, has appeared repeatedly in past decades with the Santa Fe Opera, Symphony and Desert Chorale. She currently sings at the Church of the Holy Faith on Palace Avenue, teaches voice and piano in Santa Fe, and is delighted to rejoin the Women’s Ensemble for her third season.
Marty Noss Wilder, soprano, has a BA in music from Stanford University. A licensed massage therapist and a registered biodynamic craniosacral therapy practitioner, she works in private practice and at the Christus St. Vincent Regional Cancer Center. Singing with the Ensemble is a delightful and expanding part of her life.
Chris Wismer, alto, is a physical therapist and Feldenkrais practitioner. A lifelong singer, having grown up in a musical family, Chris was in college before she realized that not everyone sings in four-part harmony! She has sung in numerous groups over the years, including 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.