Principal singers

Suzanne Adam, Soprano. Born in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1978. Suzanne has been passionate about music, singing and spirituality since she was a small child, and now works with thousands of children across the UK through Fischy Music, a children’s music organization. In demand as a vocalist and fiddler, Suzanne also writes and performs with acoustic duo Fair Witness and bluegrass group The Homecoming String Band.

Elisabeth Von Trapp, born and raised in Vermont, is the granddaughter of the legendary Maria and Baron von Trapp whose story inspired The Sound of Music. She has carried on the legacy of the internationally renowned Trapp Family Singers, enthralled audiences from European cathedrals to Washington D.C.’s Kennedy Center, and had her music featured on National Public Radio, BBC-Radio, Japanese National Radio and CNN Spanish Radio.

Jane Beaumont Snyder, Soprano. Jane is a “renaissance soul” who is devoted to the healing of spirit through the senses. Her many passions include poetry, dance, yoga, massage therapy, dreamwork, astrology, organic farming, vegan cuisine, philosophy, and, of course, music. She has a B.A. in French and Jazz Studies from Scripps College, and is currently working towards a second B.A. in Transpersonal Studies and Writing. A frequent soloist with the Oriana Singers, she has performed with Viva La Voce’s Puppet Opera and the Vermont Mozart Fesitval.

Reina Guarnaccia, Mezzo Soprano. Reina Guarnaccia has grown up in the glorious green hills of Vermont with a passion for music, culture, and language. Although she began vocalizing at a very early age, her musical career began at Champlain Valley Union High School with Carl Recchia, Andrew Miskavage, and Robin Fawcett. She has starred in the musical “Honk!”, sung with the funkadelic band”Soulvation Army,” and performed lead vocals in a number of University of Vermont jazz combos. Currently pursuing her passion for teaching Spanish, Reina has kept her love of music alive with projects such as the recording of “A Celtic Mass for Peace,” composed by her father, Samuel Guarnaccia, Jr. She also works with her close friends, singer/songwriters Ben Thyng and John Powell. Her vision is to continue singing throughout her teaching career.

Emily Day, Alto. Emily Day has been singing professionally for ten years. She graduated with honors from the New School Jazz and Contemporary Music Program in New York and is currently a lecturer and/or adjunct faculty at the University of Vermont, Johnson State College, St. Michael’s College and Community College of Vermont. She also performs regularly with the Swingin’ Vermont Big Band and with smaller ensembles in the greater Burlington area.

Will Burhans, Tenor. Rev. Will Burhans, pastor of the UCC Charlotte Congregational Church and a singer/songwriter, has recorded two CD’s of original acoustic spiritual music; “Making Shadows” in 2003 and “Weight of Grace”, 2006. His recordings feature Carl Recchia on piano and Tim Cummings on whistle, both also featured in The Celtic Mass for Peace. Rev. He was raised deep within the womb of the church by his father and grandfather, Baptist preachers, where music became a primary expression of his faith. After following “Jonah”, in the opposite direction of his calling, a retreat at a Benedictine monastery led him to seminary in Berkeley, California and an eventual embrace of his calling as a Christian pastor. He serves The Charlotte Congregational Church, a vital congregation of progressive minded, big hearted, music loving people, a blessing for Rev. Burhans’ ministry. His work with Sam Guarnaccia, Carl Recchia and other parishioners on the Mass for Peace is only one example of the rich opportunities for collaboration that Rev. Burhans has enjoyed. For more about the Charlotte church and Rev. Burhans ministry, go to

Vincent Pelletier, Bass/Baritone. Vin Pelletier manages the Language Resource Center at UVM and was formerly the chair of Humanities at Trinity College. A musician all his life, in many genres and with different instruments, his early heroes were Pete Seeger, Joan Baez, and Judy Collins — along with others who gave voice to our deepest hope for peace in troubled times. He now performs regularly with the Oriana Singers and the Vermont Mozart Festival and has sung many principal roles ranging from the sublime (Jesus in the St. Matthew Passion) to the ridiculous (Shadbolt in Yeomen of the Guard). He currently serves as music director at St. Andrew’s in Colchester, Vermont. “The Celtic Mass for Peace recording project cemented together a very loving group of singers and players for an intense week of peacemaking. Thanks for the privilege of being part of it.”

Choral singers

Ellen Bosworth, Soprano

Sarah Gilmore, Soprano

Annemieke Spoelstra, Soprano. “Dutch born pianist Annemieke Spoelstra called classical music ‘pure’ at age 3. Since then she has filled her life with searching for beauty in music, language, and nature. As a performer and teacher, she feels a great responsibility to bring music alive.” Born in Kampen, The Netherlands, Annemieke started piano lessons at age seven, and studied classical piano at the Conservatory in Zwolle. She earned her degrees (Bachelor and Masters as Performing Artist) for soloist, chamber music and art song accompaniment. In 1997 she was First Prize winner for Music Student of the Year, a finalist in Paris at the international Nadia and Lili Boulanger competition, and since January 2004, has been a US resident in South Burlington, Vermont where she performs solo, teaches piano at St. Michael’s College and coaches vocalists and instrumentalists. Annemieke has performed concerts in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, France, Italy, Austria, Switzerland, Poland, and the USA.

Juliet McVicker, Alto

Roy Cutler, Tenor

Pete Sutherland, Bass. Raised on a diet of Broadway show tunes, operatic arias and British invasion melodies, PETE SUTHERLAND discovered both traditional music and songwriting in college and like Huck Finn “lit out for the territories”. A warm-voiced singer and multi-instrumentalist known equally for his potent originals and intense recreations of age-old ballads and fiddle tunes, his performances “cover the map”. A veteran of several old-time bands as well as touring and recording with the popular Sugar Hill / Windham Hill trio METAMORA in the 1980’s, Sutherland has showcased his uniquely lyrical fiddle playing and rootsy songwriting on a small handful of recordings including “Poor Man’s Dream” (originally released on Flying Fish Records), “A Clayfoot’s Tale” and the recent fiddle collection “Streak O’ Lean” (both on his own Epact label. Pete remains active as a teacher, studio producer and festival programmer. His latest CD, “The Wilderness Road” features his original history songs sung by an all-star line-up of VT talent.

Carl Recchia, Choral Conductor. Carl Recchia has been teaching choral music for 31 years, presently working with high school and church choirs. He has guest-conducted numerous festivals, teaches a Jazz/ Gospel chorus at the Flynn Theatre, is music director for the FlynnArts summer musical with Robin Fawcett. Carl has served as music director for a number of local New England theatres and as co-manager of the All State Chorus at the Vermont All State Music Festival. His love for the “Celtic Mass” has grown with each rehearsal and performance. He is very grateful for the opportunity to be a part of this glorious project!


David Gusakov, Violin ~ Co-arranger. David Gusakov, a 1971 graduate of Yale University, moved to Vermont in 1973. He joined the Vermont Symphony that year and a popular bluegrass/swing band, Pine Island, the next. He soon realized that in Vermont he’d found the ideal setting for his spirit and his music – he married Anne Wallace in 1979 and settled in Bristol later that year. David has been very active on the Vermont music scene for the past 35 years as teacher, conductor, composer/arranger and as violinist/violist in a wide variety of groups, genres and musical settings. Currently he is pursuing his passion for gypsy jazz with the Will Patton Ensemble and Swing Noire. David played a critical role in arranging or co-arranging most of the sections of A Celtic Mass for Peace, Songs for the Earth as it evolved over the past two years.

Patricia Julien, Flute. Patricia Julien is an Associate Professor of Music at the University of Vermont, where she teaches courses in music theory and jazz composition and arranging. She received the Ph.D. in Music Theory from the University of Maryland, College Park (conducting research on the early compositions of jazz saxophonist Wayne Shorter) and the degree Master of Music in Jazz and Commercial Studies from Manhattan School of Music (with emphasis on jazz flute performance and composition/arranging). She has appeared in concert at Carnegie Hall, Weill Recital Hall, Alice Tully Hall, and The Kennedy Center, and has toured the eastern United States, Canada, and Europe. Ms. Julien has composed and arranged works for solo voice and piano, mixed-voice choral ensembles, solo flute, solo vibraphone, small jazz combos, big band, marching band, concert band, and orchestra. Ms. Julien has compositions published with Imagine Music Publishing.

Tim Cummings, Whistle & Small Pipes. Timothy Cummings is a piper and whistle-player who performs, teaches, and composes piping and Celtic-related music in Vermont. Tim has studied at The College of Wooster (OH), Victoria University of Wellington (NZ), The College of Piping (PEI), and the RSAMD in Glasgow. He recently launched Beithe Publishing, a cottage-industry devoted to publishing contemporary piping music.

John Dunlop, Cello. John Dunlop, attended Oberlin and received his Master of Music from the San Francisco Conservatory.  John is principal cello with the Vermont Symphony Orchestra and has served as principal cello with the Vallejo Symphony, the San Francisco Conservatory Orchestra, Chautauqua Festival Orchestra and the All-New England Orchestra.  He has backed up Phish (Dirt), Lyle Lovett, and Trey Anastasio Solo Album.  He composed and recorded incidental music for an independent film, “Andy Across the Water”, which was voted Best Comedy at the 2002 Aspen Shortfest.

Ana Ruesink, Viola. Ana Ruesink, violist, plays with many classical music ensembles throughout the region, including the Vermont Symphony, the Burlington Chamber Orchestra, and the Green Mountain Opera Festival. She also enjoys other musical genres. She plays regularly with Impropriety, an English country dance band. Her trio Symphony Reel plays an eclectic mix of Scandinavian and Irish music, performing both on the concert stage and in schools across Vermont. At present her favorite group is the Barker Family String Band, a collaboration with her husband and two young daughters.

Dominique Gagne, Flute. Dominique Gagne, originally from Londonderry, NH, is a jazz flutist, pianist and composer. She has a Bachelor’s in Music Education from Oberlin Conservatory and a Master’s in Jazz Composition and Arranging from UMass Amherst. She has just relocated to Brooklyn, NY from Burlington, VT, to focus on a new band which fuses elements of both Brazilian and Mississippi-based pife and drum music. She is currently teaching privately in Manhattan and works for Music Together, an early childhood music program.

Mance Grady, Bodhran. Mance Grady, Master Player of the Bodhrán, sanctioned by the National Endowment for the Arts through RISCA’s Master/Apprenticeship Program to foster the preservation and perpetuation of the art of bodhrán playing, is the first in the U.S. to receive this distinction. A premier Celtic percussionist, Mance’s authority on the Bodhrán and remarkable ability to create scales and harmonies are legendary.

Recording engineers/artists

Chuck Eller. Chas Eller has been in the recording industry for 29 years and has recorded or produced over 500 LP’s and CD’s for numerous independent and major record labels, creating music scores for clients such as Columbia Pictures, and Walt Disney and receiving three INDIE Awards. He has co-produced several music specials for National Public Radio, including the 1988 Newport Folk Festival. Charles Eller Studios is an unsurpassed facility in Charlotte, Vermont, that has become synonymous with quality audio recording, mastering, and music production. In 2001, Phish guitarist Trey Anastasio partnered with him in the creation of a studio at Trey’s personal creative workshop, “The Barn.” He performs with the internationally known pop-jazz group Kilimanjaro, now with their new album, ‘Homecoming’, and for years with the Unknown Blues Band and B.B. King alumnus Big Joe Burrell. Chas helped record and produce the original Kilimanjaro records, which both made the “Top Five” for national jazz radio airplay. With these two bands he has performed across the U.S. as well as festival appearances in Switzerland, The Soviet Union, Holland, Denmark, and has toured nationally with blues legend, Paul Butterfield and singer songwriter, Elisabeth von Trapp.

Lane Gibson. Engineer, Lane Gibson, was a professional musician and vocalist for over 30 years. He was one of the co-founders as well as the keyboardist for “The Davis Bros. Garage Band,” a successful rock group in New England and Colorado in the seventies and early eighties. One of his compositions, “Lookin’ For the Money” landed them a record contract with Charisma Records in the U.K. Lane joined with local band “Downpour”, working with them until 2000. In 1993 he reconnected with Chas whose new studio was by then too busy for one operator. Gibson says, “It has been an amazing opportunity for me to work with incredible gear, an extremely talented engineer and musician, and a client list of genuinely, wonderful people, who I enjoy both musically and personally.”