Meet the Soloists in "Language of Love"

Meet the Soloists in "Language of Love"

February 15, 2024

  • February 15, 2024

Meet the Soloists in "Language of Love"

As anticipation builds for our upcoming Language of Love concert, we're excited to introduce you to the remarkable soloists who will be gracing the stage. Among them are seasoned performers, whose voices have become beloved components within the Chorale over the years, as well as fresh talents making their soloist debut. With a perse blend of experience and energy, each artist promises to share something special, ensuring an evening of unforgettable musical moments. 


Since graduating with her master’s degree from the USC Thornton School of Music, Chelsea Chaves has sung with Pacific Chorale, soloed with Pacific Symphony, and performed at various private events around Los Angeles and Orange County. Chelsea is currently performing in Pacific Symphony’s Class Act program and is the Engagement and Education Coordinator for Long Beach Opera. In 2018, she was a recipient of a prestigious vocal scholarship from the Profant Foundation in Santa Barbara. Roles performed include Pamina (Die Zauberflöte) with the Astoria Music Festival, Hanna Glawari (Die lustige Witwe) with Chapman University, and Lay Sister (Suor Angelica) with Opera Santa Barbara. She has also performed the roles of Gretel (Hansel and Gretel) and Adele (Die Fledermaus) for Pacific Symphony. Previous Young Artist Programs include OperaWorks, SongFest, the Astoria Music Festival and Musiktheater Bavaria. She was a finalist for the Loren L. Zachary Competition in 2015 and has sung the National Anthem at two Lakers games.


Rebecca Hasquet is an active soloist, chorister, and instructor in Southern California. She joined Pacific Chorale as a staff singer in 2018 and currently sits as the soprano section leader of the ensemble. Rebecca also holds the soprano choral lead position of the sanctuary choir at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church of Newport Beach. Her previous choral activities include Meistersingers in Orange, the Santa Clarita Master Chorale, the Chamber Choir at College of the Canyons, and the Summer Festival Choir at Idyllwild Arts Academy. Rebecca’s solo performance roles include Mozart’s Don Giovanni (Donna Elvira) and Le nozze di Figaro (Marcellina), Puccini’s La Rondine (Magda de Civry), Strauss’ Der Rosenkavalier (The Marschallin), and Mozart’s Requiem. Rebecca also provides vocal coaching and writes commissioned music arrangements and transcriptions. In December 2018, she became the co-owner of By The Porchlights, a traveling venue for up-and-coming artists presenting acoustic pop-up shows and live recording sessions on porches and other outdoor spaces in Southern California. Rebecca holds a bachelor’s degree in vocal performance from the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music at California State University, Long Beach, where she studied with Brian Farrell and served as the soprano section leader of the Chamber Choir under the direction of Dr. Jonathan Talberg.


American mezzo-soprano Emily Border enjoys an active career as a chorister and soloist. Equally at home in a concert hall or the musical theater stage, her versatility of vocal styles and compelling dramatic communication have endeared her to audiences and directors throughout the United States, Asia, and Europe.

Musical Theatre credits include Nellie in South Pacific, Cinderella in Into the Woods, Julia in The Wedding Singer, and others. No stranger to the opera world, Ms. Border has enjoyed performing as Jo in Mark Adamo’s Little Women, Dorabella in Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte, and others. She joined Long Beach Opera’s outreach program in 2023, bringing opera to Long Beach area schools as Sam in The Playground King. Recently, she was understudy for both Hansel and the Witch for Pacific Symphony’s production of Hansel and Gretel for their Family Music Mornings. Next month, she will appear as the “Woman in Pants” for Orange County Lyric Opera’s production of Ethel Smyth’s Fête Gallante.

Ms. Border sings with the Los Angeles Master Chorale and Pacific Chorale, where she has been honored to sing under the batons of Grant Gershon, Rob Istad, Gustavo Dudamel, and Carl St.Clair. With the Pacific Chorale chamber group, she has previously been featured as a soloist on Montverdi’s Vespro della Beata Vergine and Hildegaard’s O Virdissima Virga. Pacific Chorale’s creative programming creates a consistent variety of musical and artistic opportunities, including the award-winning multimedia The Wayfaring Project, a concert film featured on PBS. By far, though, her most memorable experience with the Pacific Chorale family has been joining them for the summer 2023 European tour, bringing Florence Price’s Abraham Lincoln Walks at Midnight and Haydn’s Missa in Angustiis, “Nelson Mass'' to the people of Austria, Germany and the United Kingdom.

Emily is also a frequent collaborator on recording projects, ranging from new choral works to progressive metal music, and everything in between.

Ms. Border holds a Bachelor’s Degree in music from the Biola University Conservatory of Music, and is a proud member of AGMA.


A free-spirited mezzo-soprano with a genuine passion for music, Denean Dyson is a true artist fervently driven to share the beauty and influence music holds. Classically trained yet accomplished in many genres, her additional vocal capabilities in R&B, soul, and jazz allow her to deliver a beautifully artistic sound imbued with skill and emotion in every performance. This Vegas-born chanteuse earned a B.A. in music ('11) from CSU Fullerton School of Music and immediately launched into a career as a professional artist, entertaining audiences in the US and abroad.

Denean’s incredible vocal agility has earned her the privilege of sharing a stage with many talented artists like renowned mezzo-soprano Susan Graham, jazz and blues legend Barbara Morrison, and singer and actress Reba McEntire.

As a featured soloist, Denean has dominated the stage with notable compositions like Carole King’s “A Natural Woman,” “Satisfied” from Hamilton, “One Night Only” from Dreamgirls for Segerstrom’s Cabaret Series, “I Don’t Know” from Bernstein Mass with Pacific Chorale, “A Wonderful Guy” in South Pacific in Concert with Pacific Symphony, is showcased on Jake Heggie’s premiere choral opera The Radio Hour (Delos), and has headlined CSU Fullerton’s Concert Under the Stars.

Denean is honored to have sung for gifted conductors like Gustavo Dudamel, John Williams, Ludwig Wicki, John Alexander, Robert Istad, Carl St. Clair, Nicholas McGegan, and Keith Lockhart, in renowned venues such as Carnegie Hall, the Hollywood Bowl, Staples Center, Segerstrom Concert Hall, and more.

Based in Long Beach, Denean also leads her own group, Denean’s Soul Foundation, sharing fresh renditions of R&B, jazz and soul tunes from Motown to today’s pop hits at a variety of public and private venues and events.

Denean remains ever grateful that her life is full of music!


Eleen Hsu-Wentlandt is an American mezzo-soprano of Chinese heritage, raised in mild-mannered Ohio, and based in wild-mannered Los Angeles. She has performed regularly with Pacific Chorale since 2008, singing on commissions and local premieres by composers Thierry Escaich, Jake Heggie, James MacMillan, Florence Price, Tarik O’Reagan, and Frank Ticheli. Showcasing her adoration of Bach, she was a featured soloist in Pacific Chorale’s “Jesu, meine Freude” motet (The Wayfaring Project) and Mass in B Minor. With Los Angeles Master Chorale, she participated in Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Grammy-winning recording of Mahler Symphony No. 8, conducted by Gustavo Dudamel. Apart from concert work, she has voiceover credits in television and video game formats. As a singing story-teller, her favorite credits include: The King and I with McCoy Rigby Entertainment (Lady Thiang u/s, performed), The Importance of Being Earnest: A Wilde New Musical (Gwendolen), and Amahl and the Night Visitors (Mother). Currently, she is developing an original musical theatre work that will showcase a cast of incredible female vocalists. Ms. Hsu-Wentlandt’s musical training began with the Cleveland Orchestra Children’s Chorus and Sacramento Youth Symphony, and wended its way through Pomona College and California State University, Los Angeles (MM Choral Conducting.) Love to Josh.


Stephanie Shepson is a mezzo-soprano, pianist and vocal music educator in Southern California. She began her music training with the piano and completed a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance from Wheaton College Conservatory of Music (2005). Following her studies, she worked as a middle and high school choral music educator in Texas. Continually drawn to the unique, expressive quality of the voice, she returned for a Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance from the University of Redlands (2019), studying with Patricia Gee. With an affinity for languages, she enjoys bringing to life lesser-performed works such as Swedish song cycles by Jean Sibelius and works by Estonian composers.

Shepson’s versatility for performance is evident in recent duet and solo appearances on Pacific Chorale chamber concerts, a European tour with the Pacific Chorale, and the role of Idamante in Mozart’s opera Idomeneo. Additionally, she has worked as staff accompanist for the University of Redlands Youth Choir and performed with the Boise Philharmonic Master Chorale.

Shepson is currently a staff singer with the Pacific Chorale. When not rehearsing or performing, she tends to a growing voice studio in Redlands and serves as a pianist and vocalist at Emmaus Church in Redlands, CA.


Nate Brown, tenor, is an active singer, teacher, and church worship director. Born and raised in the Czech Republic, he completed his bachelors degree in music at Biola University studying voice with Dr. William Lock. Nate has been a member of Pacific Chorale since 2015 where he has enjoyed performing in many performances including the GRAMMY award-winning Mahler’s 8th Symphony and as a soloist in Bach’s St. John Passion. Nate has also performed as a soloist with various groups in the Los Angeles area including Long Beach Camerata Singers, Meistersingers, and Angels Vocal Art. Nate is currently the worship director at Redemption Hill Church in Whittier. He is also the founder of the online ministry Worship Refocus which centers on providing musical training to church musicians and singers across the world. Nate and his wife are co-owners of their music school in the Los Angeles area (


Alan Garcia, tenor, received his BA in Music Education and teaching credential from CSU Fullerton. While in school, he sang as a soloist for Vaughan Williams’s Mass in G minor, O’Regan’s The Ecstasies Above, and Mozart’s Regina Coeli. Since graduating, Alan has continued singing professionally as a chorister and soloist with Pacific Chorale, Choral Arts Initiative, De Angeles Ensemble, and Tonality. Currently, he is Director of Choirs at Magnolia High School, where he was recognized as Teacher of the Year in his first year of teaching. He also serves as cantor and section leader at St. Norbert Catholic Church. Alan is ecstatic and honored to be singing with Pacific Chorale for another season!


Sammy Salvador, tenor, received his B.A. in Music Education and his Single Subject Teaching Credential in Music from Cal State Fullerton. He has been singing with Pacific Chorale for the past five years and has been featured as a soloist in The Wayfaring Project. He is currently the choir director at Dr. Augustine Ramirez Intermediate School in Eastvale, and the new Director of Music at Church of the Foothills in Santa Ana. He also currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Southern California Vocal Association as the Jr. High Honor Choir Chair. Sammy has served as section leader at the Idyllwild Summer Arts Camp and the Pacific Chorale Choir Camp. Sammy previously sang under Rob Istad at Cal State Fullerton and has had the opportunity to travel all around the world, performing in concerts in Paris, New York, Sweden, Estonia, Finland, Russia, and Spain. Sammy has been honored to be a featured soloist in works such as Claudio Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610, Tarik O’Regan’s The Ecstasies Above, George Frideric Handel’s Messiah, and Israel in Egypt, Herbert Howells’ Requiem, David Lang’s The Little Match Girl Passion and in Dale Trumbore’s debut album How To Go On. Sammy has performed with the Long Beach Camerata Singers, Pacific Chorale, and Choral Arts Initiative.


Hailing from rainy Washington state, Michael Fagerstedt is a baritone/bass vocalist and educator. With over two years serving as a staff singer for the Pacific Chorale, Michael has been a featured soloist at the annual Carols by Candlelight performance and in Pacific Chorale’s Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610. He has also served as a featured soloist and cantor at St. Juliana Falconieri Catholic Church. Michael's vocal journey includes choral performances with Kathleen Battle, Andrea Bocelli, and John Williams at iconic venues like the Hollywood Bowl, Honda Center, and the Segerstrom Center for the Arts. During his time at California State University, Fullerton, studying under Janet Smith, Michael fondly remembers touring Spain with the University Singers and being a featured soloist at Carnegie Hall. After graduating with his Bachelor’s of Music in Vocal Performance, Michael coached young singers in competitive show choir settings, and currently, he shares his passion for music as an elementary music teacher in Southern California.


Matthew Kellaway is a professional singer, teacher, and conductor known for his warm and rich baritone voice as well as his versatility of style in music. He has been a soloist with the Pacific Chorale, Pacific Symphony, Disney's Candlelight Concerts, and has sung with Disney's Voices of Liberty, The John Alexander Singers, and the Los Angeles Master Chorale. Over the past ten years, Matthew has been the director of Men’s Chorus and private voice instructor at Biola University and also directed the Tenor/Bass Chorale, Treble Chorale, and Musical Theatre Ensemble at Fullerton College. Matthew currently serves as Operations Manager for Contra-Tiempo, a professional dance company out of the Los Angeles area.