Training: Voice, Conducting
Masters Degree: Choral Conducting - Yale School of Music, Program Certificate from the Yale Institute of Sacred Music
Bachelors Degree: Vocal Performance, Cornish College of the Arts
Octavia McAloon is a classically-trained soprano and conductor based in Bellingham, WA. After an upbringing scattered across the Pacific Northwest, she returned to Seattle and earned her bachelors degree in Vocal Performance from Cornish College of the Arts. As a freelance artist, she began working as a music educator, church musician, conductor, and specialist in contemporary music for vocal ensembles. Her passion for conducting led to a masters degree in Choral Conducting from the Yale School of Music and program certificate from the Yale Institute of Sacred Music. While living in Connecticut, she worked with numerous ensembles as a soprano, soloist, conductor, and recording artist. Her work at this time included international tours, awards for achievement in church music, and performances. Octavia studied with acclaimed conductors such as Masaaki Suzuki, Marin Alsop, Grete Pedersen, David Hill, and her primary study with Marguerite Brooks and Jeffrey Douma.
Outside of the classical field, Octavia works as a folk singer-songwriter, with a growing recorded output. Her debut album, With Breath of Wind, was released in April 2020 and her sophomore album Skybound was released in January 2023. Skybound is a folk-opera concept album that tells a tale of dark forests, old magic, and celestial storylines. Both are available on all streaming platforms. Additionally, she records choral vocals from her home studio, is a developing producer of ambient music, and composes and arranges vocal music.
You can hear Octavia playing folk music around Bellingham, singing as section leader and soloist with the Bellingham Chamber Chorale, and streaming live music three times a week on Twitch as 8via. Octavia teaches private voice lessons in Bellingham, WA
Learn more about Octavia and her music www.octaviamcaloon.com
TRAINING: Cello, Voice
Bachelor of music cello performance from Western Washington University
Ben’s musical background is extensive and diverse. Half of his life has been spent in the concert hall with the cello and voice, and the other half has been spent in cultural contexts including Powwow, the Lummi Blackhawk Singers, Ecclesiastical settings, and a lengthy stint with the Bellingham chapter of the Pacific Coast Norwegian Singers. As a cellist and vocalist, Ben has taken several tours to Europe as a principal cellist in orchestral settings, has sat principal cello appointments in the Western Washington University Symphony Orchestra, and has directed vocal ensembles ranging from 10 voices to 80-piece full choirs. Even as a child, Ben showed devotion to enhancing every scene he played music in one way or another. As a result, Ben has shown disciplined collaborative musicianship and staunch commitment to proper cultural celebration. These were primary motivators through his Performance Degree work at WWU, continuing Graduate Study in Music Education, and a planned Doctorate study in Ethnomusicology. These are also primary motivators in Ben’s teaching philosophy. Ben sees choral, orchestral, solo, chamber, folk, and beginning playing/singing all as skill sets worthy of their proper attention. Every student who learns from Ben will be treated where their skill set is at. They will also be pushed with joy and enthusiasm into the disciplined path to their dreams. Ben teaches voice in Bellingham, WA and online.