PAST SOLOISTS

Elizabeth Hunter Ashley, Lyric Coloratura Soprano

Professional Lyric Coloratura Soprano, Pinnacle Professional Member 2017 from Continental Who’s Who, 2016 Professional of the Year from Strathmore’s Who’s Who,  Ms. Hunter Ashley specializes as a Soloist in Oratorio, Opera, Concert, Sacred, Musical, and Cabaret.  Elizabeth is the sole proprietor of The Elizabeth Hunter Ashley Performance Studio in Danville, California.  She has lived and worked in the San Francisco Bay area for the past 19 years.  She works primarily as a Concert soloist, Private Voice Teacher, Adjudicator, and Philanthropist. Elizabeth is in her 18th year as the Soprano Soloist for The Sing A Long Messiah with Conductor Dr. Tim Smith and the Contra Costa Chamber Orchestra in California. She Co-Founded a Music Arts Foundation:  The Pure Delight Foundation and continues to volunteer as a soloist for charitable organizations.   Ms. Hunter Ashley performs with various Orchestras including recent Concerts with The Austin Minnesota Symphony in 2016 and with The Contra Costa Chamber Orchestra in California in 2017.  She is an active Concert, Recital and Church singer in the East Bay of San Francisco.  Elizabeth is an adjudicator for National Teachers of Singing- Northern CA area as well as The California Music Educators Association. Philanthropy is very important to her.  Elizabeth performs regularly for various fundraisers and uses the sale of her CD “A Season of Serenity” as an additional donation.

With over 16 Orchestras in the United States including California, Illinois, Nebraska, New Jersey, Minnesota and Internationally in Salzburg Austria, and Rome Italy, Elizabeth is frequently a Featured Soloist.  Many of her favorite lead roles include  Rosalinda/Adele in DIE FLEDERMAUS, Josephine in HMS PINAFORE, Julie Jordanx in CAROUSEL, La Ciesca in GIANNI SCHICCI, Bastien in BASTIEN ET BASTIENNE.  In Nebraska, Elizabeth was a member and soloist for The Opera Omaha Company and the Heartland Opera Theatre.  In California she was member and soloist for The San Francisco Choral Artists, guest soprano for The Pacific Masterwork Choir.  Currently Ms. Hunter Ashley is a member and soloist with The Blackhawk Chorus and the newly formed San Ramon Valley Chorale both in the East Bay of San Francisco.

Read more about Elizabeth Hunter Ashley on her website.

Martin Morley, Piano

A native of Montana, MARTIN MORLEY has enjoyed a multifaceted career as a pianist, music therapist, teacher, handbell clinician and conductor. He holds B.M. and M.M. degrees in piano performance from the University of Kansas, where he studied with Flora Chiarrapa Silini, Richard Angeletti, and Portuguese virtuoso Sequeira Costa; in addition, Mr. Morley performed for six years in monthly masterclasses with such luminaries as Gary Graffman, Byron Janis and Leon Fleisher. He has toured North America as an accompanist for Columbia Artists Management and been featured as a concerto soloist with orchestras in Kansas, California and Texas. Mr. Morley is on the Master Artists roster of the Contra Costa Performing Arts Society and has served as CCPAS Vice President. In addition to his position as Director of Worship and Music at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Lafayette, Mr. Morley teaches private lessons and continues freelance playing work as a collaborative pianist as well as in solo and two-piano genres in the Bay Area and beyond. He has performed several times in benefits for the Contra Costa Interfaith Housing organization and for the Young People’s Symphony Orchestra. In May 2018 Mr. Morley will be the featured soloist in Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue with the Contra Costa Chamber Orchestra.

Samantha Rose, Vocalist

Samantha Rose is a prominent Bay Area musical theatre actress and is thrilled to make her debut with Contra Costa Chamber Orchestra. Most recently seen as Peggy Sawyer in 42nd Street (Bay Area Musicals) and the title role in No, No Nanette (42nd Street Moon). Other favorite roles include: Maria (West Side Story, Broadway By the Bay), Nina (In The Heights, Broadway By the Bay), Ariel (The Little Mermaid, CMT Marquee Productions), Olive Ostrovsky (The 25th Annual…Spelling Bee, Hillbarn), Emily Webb (Our Town, Foothill), Mallory/Avril (City of Angels, SF Playhouse), Anne Dindon (La Cage Aux Folles, SF Playhouse), and Heather Duke (Heathers: The Musical, Ray of Light Theatre). Endless love to family and friends who support her dreams and to YOU who are here today!

Susan Waller, Flute

Susan Waller, flute, performed with the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra for twenty-five years (including more than 870 performances of the Nutcracker) and appears throughout northern California in solo and chamber music recitals. She has enjoyed performing in the pit of the Curran, Golden Gate, and Orpheum Theaters in San Francisco in productions of Phantom of the OperaEvitaDamn Yankees, CarouselShow BoatMiss SaigonSunset Boulevard, and Titanic. She has soloed with the Toledo, Napa, Modesto, and Diablo Symphonies, and previously with the Contra Costa Chamber Orchestra. She was a member of the faculty of the University of California, Santa Cruz, 1981–2002. She holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music in addition to a Master of Music from the University of Michigan and a Bachelor of Arts from Case Western Reserve University. During 1994–96, she served as Secretary of the National Flute Association and was a featured performer at the NFA Conventions in Kansas City and Washington, D.C. She lives in San Ramon with her husband Roger and two cats, Attila and Bernie.