With choral music being such an important part of liturgy at SsAM, an ensemble of professional singers was established in 1996 when the parish was founded. The SsAM Staff singers serve as the core of the parish choir and perform occasionally as a separate ensemble as the SsAM Collegium. Frequently featured in worship at SsAM as well as in concert settings, the Collegium performs a wide range of music from Gregorian Chant and Renaissance motets to selections from the contemporary and world music repertoire.
Originally from the Philadelphia region, Isabel moved back to the area after she and her husband raised their family in Scotland (UK), Virginia, and finally New Hampshire, where they lived for many years. Ms. Gray has a Bachelor of Arts in Music, performance concentration, from the University of New Hampshire and a Master of Science in Library Information Science from Drexel University. She is the assistant Director of Library Services for Camden County College (NJ) and is a Navy veteran.
Isabel’s first church gig was at the age of seven, singing in the junior choir at The Church of the Good Shepherd, Pitman, New Jersey where her mother was the organist and choir director. Isabel was a section leader/soloist for several churches while living in New Hampshire and continued in this role at Trinity Church in Asbury Park, New Jersey for several years. She has taught vocal classes for high school students as part of the SYMS program at the University of New Hampshire and was the first director/vocal coach for a hospice care singing group in New Hampshire.
In addition to solo appearances with various choruses in New Hampshire, Isabel was a member of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, the Boston Symphony’s resident chorus, for many years. She had the privilege of working with many world famous conductors while a member of the Chorus. She participated in several Carnegie Hall Choral Workshops, including ones conducted by Sir Neville Mariner, Charles Dutoit, and Andre Previn.
Solo and ensemble credits include Dubois’ Seven Last Words of Christ, Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle, Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Yeoman of the Guard, Benjamin Britton’s A Ceremony of Carols, Bach’s Magnificat, and many major oratorios, cantatas, and choral symphonies. Recital appearances include local and international venues. She is a former student of Richard Conrad and currently studies with David Christopher.
Lianna Magerr, Soprano
Lianna Magerr is a singer and music educator who serves as the Manager of Operations for the Wilmington Children’s Chorus. Her love of choral music began when she joined the Wilmington Children’s Chorus in 2007 as a member of the choir and then spent her high school years as a dedicated member. Later, she became an intern, which gave her the opportunity to share her love of education and music with Youth Choir division. In addition to her work with WCC, Lianna works with a number of area schools and organizations as a teacher, clinician and organizer. Her goal is to inspire the youth of Delaware through the art of singing to be their best selves.
Director of Cultural Affairs for the City of Wilmington, Tina Betz is known for her role in coordinating and raising funds for numerous large-scale events and community arts projects, such as the DuPont Clifford Brown Jazz Festival, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Community Celebration, the City’s Independence Day celebration, Art-On-The-Town. She also developed innovative and successful projects such as the Wilmington Children’s Chorus, the Fringe Wilmington Festival, Clifford Brown Year Round concert series, and the City’s first and only theater dedicated to independent films, filmmaking and filmmakers, Theatre N at Nemours.
A classically trained singer, Tina is not only a member of the SsAM Collegium, but performs frequently at SsAM and throughout the community as highly sought after vocalist. Also well known as an actor, recent credits include narration with the Delaware Symphony Orchestra (Copeland’s The Promise of Living vocal ensemble and Lincoln Portrait narration), First State Ballet Theatre (Nutcracker Suite narrator), and lead roles in countless shows from Sweeney Todd to The Vagina Monologues.
Tina has served on the board of many local arts organization as well as the grant review panels for the National Endowment for the Arts, Pennsylvania Council for the Arts, Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, Pennsylvania Artists on Tour, Delaware Division of the Arts, and New Jersey Council on the Arts. Her contributions to the community have been recognized with the YMCA’s Black Achiever’s award; Christiana Cultural Arts Center’s “Christi Award” for Outstanding Achievement by an artist; Girls Inc.’s Strong, Smart and Bold award; and Cab Calloway School of the Arts’ Arts Smarts Award for commitment to the arts in the community.
Tina earned a Bachelor of Liberal Studies degree from Boston University and studied pre-law at Merrimack College in North Andover, Massachusetts.
Augustine Mercante, a 2013 Delaware Division of the Arts Fellow, enjoys an active career performing repertoire from the Baroque to The Great American Songbook. He was a Fellow at the 2013 Tanglewood Music Center where his performance in George Benjamin’s Written on Skin was called “glowing” by The New York Times. As a 2010 Fulbright Scholar, he studied in Germany at the invitation of Edith Wiens and performed with companies in Augsburg, Munich, and Nürnberg, as well as Salzburg, Austria, where he performed at the Salzburg Festival.
Augustine Mercante is the founder and Creative Director of LifeSongs, an organization that takes music to under-served audiences and produces benefit concerts for individuals with special medical needs. He and his partner, Justin, live in Wilmington where Gus maintains a private teaching studio and sits on the faculty of The Music School of Delaware.
David Anderson, Tenor
David has been a member of the SsAM Collegium since 2007. He has been heard in recital in Wilmington, DE, Tucson, AZ, and Reno, NV. He also sings in the Opera Delaware Chorus and The Delaware Valley Chorale. David has also performed with The Rainbow Chorale of Delaware, Orpheus Male Chorus in Phoenix, AZ, and several other community choruses. David holds a Bachelors of Science in Hotel and Resort Management and a Master of Science in Organization Development and Instructional Design, both from Rochester Institute of Technology. He has pursued his post Bachelors study and love of cooking by taking cuisine and pastry courses at Le Cordon Bleu, Paris and La Cuisine Paris. Singing has always been a passion for David. He has performed as a soloist with numerous choral groups including The Rainbow Chorale of Delaware, Delaware ChoralArts, and the SsAM Choir. Notable voice teachers have included Elliot Jones and David Christopher. For his day job, David works in the HR Learning and Organization Development Department at AmeriHealth Caritas Family of Companies.
Cameron Dixon, Baritone
Cameron is a student at the University of Delaware studying Exercise Science in the college of Health Sciences. He is a long time member of The Episcopal Church of Saints Andrew and Matthew sang as a chorister in the Cathedral Choir School of Delaware under the direction of Dr. Darryl Roland. He served as a member of the Wilmington Children’s Chorus for 3 seasons and is currently an active member of the YChromes, the University of Delaware’s only all-male a cappella ensemble.
Clint Williams, Baritone
Clint Williams serves as Chair of the Performing Arts Department at Sanford School, where he conducts three choirs, teaches acting, general music, guitar, and produces the plays and musicals. He is past President of Delaware Music Educators Association and Delaware American Choral Director’s Association. Clint is a graduate of the University of Central Oklahoma, where he received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music. He also pursued post-graduate studies in opera performance at Temple University. Before teaching at Sanford, Clint spent a decade performing as a professional singer in many operas and oratorios. Among his honors as a singer are second place in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and being named a finalist in the Orpheus National Vocal Competition. An accomplished pianist and vocal coach, Clint also enjoys music directing, accompanying, and conducting musicals at Sanford School and at professional theatres in the area. Recent musical performances include conducting the world premiere of the ballet Irene with First State Ballet at The Grand Opera House in Wilmington, Delaware, and appearing as the countertenor soloist in Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana with the Delaware Symphony Orchestra, also at The Grand. He resides in Hockessin, Delaware, with his wife, Noël, and their son, Elliott.