About Ensemble Lyrae
Inspired by the natural beauty and brilliance of the constellation Lyra, Ensemble Lyrae brings together four uniquely and highly talented musicians. While each shines as a soloist, together, these women form deep connections in performing quartets and trios. The pianist and four vocalists of Ensemble Lyrae seek to illuminate musical works often unknown or under-played. They also premiere cutting-edge pieces written specifically for the Ensemble and their remarkable sound.
Whether performing in a spacious concert hall or a more intimate salon-style setting at home, these captivating Boston-based musicians enliven the audience's senses, engage their imaginations, and invite them to live in a world of timeless beautiful sound. Ensemble Lyrae has performed on the Music at Norway Pond Concert Series and Music at Whitehead Series and have been invited to perform at Boston Public Library's 'Concert in the Courtyard' summer series in the summer of 2020. They are the recent recipients of a 2019 Medford Arts Council Grant and Mass Cultural Council Grant, which allowed them to bring their program "Nevertheless, She Persisted" to a private audience at the Medford Council on Aging in June 2019.
Flourishing mezzo-soprano Grace Allendorf is known for her “creamy timbre, evenness of color and coloratura agility.” A consummate musician, she is dedicated to performing opera, oratorio, art song, musical theatre, and new music. Grace made her debut with Opera 51 as a member of the chorus in their production of Faust and she performed the role of Dew Fairy in Hansel and Gretel with Longwood Opera. She has shared the stage as a soloist with Milton Community Concerts, Concord Community Chorus, Coro Allegro, Andover Choral Society, Metropolitan Wind Symphony, Freisinger Chamber Orchestra, and Spectrum Singers. She was honored to premiere the role of Lilac Fairy in Sleeping Beauty by Francine Trester as a second-year apprentice in the Nahant Music Festival in 2014. Other premieres include works by Charles Tarver, Josh Hummel, and Dominick DiOrio.
Grace has been a core member of Ensemble Lyrae since its formation in 2016. The pianist and four vocalists seek to illuminate musical works often unknown or under-played. They also premiere cutting-edge pieces written specifically for the Ensemble, including works by Vartan Aghababian, Charles Tarver, Brian John, and Eva Kendrick.
Grace holds the position of Administrative Director of Community Performances and Partnerships at New England Conservatory, a community service based program designed to connect students with the community. Her role there has reinvigorated her passion for giving back to the community through music. She has performed solo recitals at a number of senior care facilities including Fuller Village, Needham Council on Aging, Chestnut Hill Benevolent Association, Norwood Housing Authority, Café Emmanuel, and Hale House.
Grace currently serves as a section leader and soloist at First Parish in Milton and as a cantor at St. Richard's Parish in Danvers. She holds a Master’s Degree in Vocal Performance from Longy School of Music and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music with a minor in Theatre Arts from Brandeis University. She is a student of Jayne West and has participated in master classes with Ryan Turner, Sharon Daniels, James Maddalena, David Kravitz, Martin Katz, Sondra Kelly, and Sheri Greenawald.
Grace belongs to Beyond Artists, a coalition of artists that pledge a portion of their concert fees to organizations they care about and therefore publicize the nonprofit’s work. With every performance she supports Norwood Circle of Hope, established to support Norwood residents who need assistance due to a catastrophic medical occurrence.
Soprano Rachael Chagat is known for her “clear and pure tone which ranges from soaring to sweet.” Dedicated to both art song and vocal chamber music, Ms. Chagat has performed in venues across the U.S. and in Europe. Recent performances include Nova Cantatae Ensemble and the Magdalene Ensemble. Rachael is a founding member of Enemble Lyrae, a Boston-based chamber ensemble.
An experienced music educator, Rachael is a Teaching Artist with the Handel and Haydn Society and teaches K0-6th grade general music at the Winship School in Brighton. She is currently Director of the Choral Program at the New School of Music in Cambridge, MA. In the Fall of 2021, Rachael was named a Fellow in the third cohort of the Music Educator and Teaching Artist (META) Fellowship. Previously, she has been a Choral Artist with the Metropolitan Opera Guild and served on faculty for the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s Days in the Arts at Tanglewood program.
Rachael graduated with Distinction from the Longy School of Music in Cambridge with both a Masters and Graduate Performance Diploma in Vocal Performance. While at Longy she was a 2005 Honors Competition winner and a finalist in the 2007 Concerto Competition. Ms. Chagat earned her Bachelor’s degree at Capital University in Music Education and a certificate from the Zoltán Kodály Pedagogical Institute of Music in Kecskemét, Hungary.
Admired for her versatility as singer and actress, Mezzo-Soprano Michelle Deluise enthralls audiences with her magnetic stage presence and rich, captivating voice. Originally from Tennessee, Michelle has established her musical presence in the Northeast. Michelle made her Musical Theater debut portraying Alice/ Mrs. Winthrop in The Secret Garden with The Longwood Players. She has portrayed the roles of Maurya in Riders to the Sea, Suzy in La Rondine, Sally in Die Fledermaus, Rosina in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, and The Sorceress in Dido and Aeneas. Comfortable in any range of roles, Michelle is a sought-after stage performer, liturgical minister, recording artist, and all-around entertainer. Michelle has been fortunate to perform with many outstanding ensembles in the New England area, including Boston Opera Collaborative, MetroWest Opera, American Classics, The Tanglewood Festival Chorus, New England Classical Singers (NECS), Boston Russian Choir, and MetroWest Choral Artists (MWCA). She has also performed on Longy's SeptemberFest Series as well as with The Old West Organ Society's Summer Series.
Between 2009 and 2019, Michelle served as Director of Music and Cantor at her beloved parish, St. John the Evangelist Parish in North Cambridge. During her tenure, Michelle crafted her skill as a conductor and music arranger, grew the all-volunteer adult choir from eight to 25 people, which were ultimately able to perform complex polyphony with 6-8 part divisi, thus offering beautiful and excellent music to the St. John's community.
As a teacher, Michelle has taught all ages voice, guitar and general music. Her most recent position was at St. Charles of Borromeo School in Woburn, where she taught General Music to children ages three to fourteen. In both classroom and the private studio, Michelle delights in the process of helping her students discover their own voice and their love of music. Michelle remains an active cantor at churches throughout Massachusetts.
Michelle holds a B.M. from the University of Dayton in Music Therapy with a minor in Psychology. She received an M.M. in Vocal Performance and a G.P.D. in Opera Performance with Distinction from Longy School of Music.
Lea Peterson is a Boston-based singer, music director, vocal arranger, and voice teacher. As a classically trained mezzo-soprano Lea has an active soloist and ensemble career as well as being a sought-after private voice coach, teaching artist, and conductor.
Lea is currently the alto soloist at Hancock United in Lexington and previously sang at Christ Church Needham where she also revitalized the youth choir, functioning as its music director and conductor. In 2021 Lea had the opportunity to mount her own recital, The Multiplicity of Eve, which featured musicians, composers, and poets whose works span four centuries. Other recent highlights include performing Amy Beth Kirsten's vocal trio “fire” (from Saviour), premiering Joi Harper's piece unshakeable, and debuting high-romantic and turn-of-the-century works by Ukrainian female composer Stefania Turkewich for Longy School of Music’s New Music Marathon.
As a private teacher Lea maintains a voice studio in Somerville, where she teaches students of all ages and abilities, always prioritizing healthy vocal technique and pedagogically informed singing. She is currently a visiting music professor at Bridgewater State University as well as a music director and voice teacher at Greater Boston Stage Company. Lea is also a highly regarded workshop leader and group coach, often being invited into high schools, colleges, and community choirs to lend her expertise in regards to ensemble music making, vocal arranging, and conducting.
Lea completed her M.M. in Vocal Studies at Longy School of Music of Bard College with a 4.0 GPA under studio teacher Pamela Dellal. She previously earned a B.A. in Music from Skidmore College, graduating summa cum laude with Honors in Music after only 3 years. She studied with soprano Sylvia Stoner-Hawkins and took notable masterclasses with Robert Glasper and Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon. In 2012 Lea was one of 6 singers to be awarded the Ensign Darling Vocal Fellowship at the Bushnell Center for the Arts, studying with teacher Joanne Scattergood, coach Starr Cookman, and taking masterclasses with Sondra Kelly, Ellie Ellsworth, Kristin Huffman and many others.