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WHAT WE DO

The Collegium Ladyes ensemble is comprised of approximately 16 singers and sings a wide variety of repertoire ranging from Gregorian chant to traditional carols. Many of the Ladyes are professional soloists, music teachers, or choral musicians; all are experienced choral singers.  We share a love of a cappella vocal music and are especially fascinated by medieval and Renaissance repertoire. The Ladyes rehearse and perform in an encouraging, respectful, and creative environment, and actively share our music with a wide audience in diverse venues.

OUR ROOTS

The Collegium Ladyes began in early 2011 in collaboration with the student Collegium at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. We have since branched out on our own as an all-women's early music vocal ensemble. Concerts have included music from this early repertoire (c. 1100-1600) as well as selections by contemporary composers such as Joan Szymko, Abbie Betinis, Linda Kachelmeier, John Tavener, and Daniel Pinkham. The Ladyes sing programs at a variety of Milwaukee-area venues. Our CD Knowing She Hath Wings was recorded in 2017.

HOW IS OUR NAME PRONOUNCED?

koh-LEG-ee-um LAY-deez

The Collegium Ladyes is a women's a cappella ensemble based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Our mission is to perform choral music in a broad spectrum of styles, ranging from medieval to contemporary. We reach out to a wide audience in diverse venues, conveying themes of beauty, peace, and unity through rich and expressive singing.  We are dedicated to developing each singer's vocal and musical skills and studying relevant contextual and historical materials.

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JENNY GETTEL, Artistic Director

Jenny Gettel is Artistic Director for The Collegium Ladyes. She has served as music director at Christ Episcopal Church and at St. Boniface Episcopal Church, where she directed adult and children’s choirs and led a contemporary band. Additionally, she directed the Jubilate Choir of the Milwaukee Children’s Choir. Ms. Gettel has served as soprano soloist with the Bach Babes and Ensemble Musical Offering. She has appeared as soloist at the Washington Island Music Festival, with the Prometheus Trio, Present Music, and with Skylight Opera. Ms. Gettel teaches private voice lessons at Concordia University, at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music, and at her home in Grafton, and has also taught at UWM and Alverno College, as well as taught general music in Milwaukee area public schools. She holds a Master of Music in Vocal Performance from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, and a Bachelor of Music in Choral Education from Lawrence University.

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BARBARA AHLF

Barbara Ahlf is a private music teacher for varied instruments and ages. She regularly cantors for Masses at the Cathedral of St. John’s, downtown Milwaukee, and participates in the choirs. Barbara has a BFA in Music Therapy from UW-Milwaukee, with majors in voice and violin. She was a member of the Milwaukee Symphony Chorus since January 1986, and was a section leader and part of the professional core. She was honored to have performed solos with the MSO-C, Milwaukee Chamber Orchestra, the Sheboygan Chorale, and other groups. Barbara is a Registered Music Therapist and a Lifetime member of Delta Omicron Music Fraternity.

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EMILY BENSON

Emily Benson has enjoyed being part of the Milwaukee's musical community for over 20 years. Teaching special education for Milwaukee Public Schools takes up most of her time these days, but she is a long time soloist for Christ Church choir, as well as a long-standing member of the Collegium Ladyes. In her free time, she enjoys a variety of hobbies, including gardening, knitting, and reading. Her favorite moments are spent with her daughter, Elizabeth, and her two crazy dogs, Bella and Dozer.

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MARTHA BROWN

Retired from a 40-year career in Milwaukee City government, Martha has had musical interests and involvement since childhood. She's been employed as a part-time church musician since she was a teenager; she currently serves Wauwatosa Presbyterian Church as organist/pianist, where she plays for weekly services and accompanies the Chancel Choir and soloists. She also has been active with PianoArts of Wisconsin, Inc, serving as board president from 2014 to 2022. Martha joined the Ladyes in 2021 and enjoys teaming up with fellow second altos to provide a solid foundation for higher voices.  

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JILLIAN BRUSS

Jill is originally from Wisconsin and has sung for audiences since she was in grade school. Over the years she’s had the opportunity to perform as a soloist and in the ensembles of the Florentine Opera, Wisconsin Philharmonic, Dallas Opera, Rockford Bach Chamber Choir, Milwaukee Choral Artists, Milwaukee Youth Symphony, Waukesha Choral Society, MasterSingers, Bel Canto and Lutheran Acapella.  She recently performed with Oconomowoc Chamber Orchestra. One of her performing highlights was a concert tour, in the countries of her grandfathers, Norway & Denmark. Jill has worked with many students in the area – Carroll University, UW-Parkside, Pius XI High School, the Conservatory of Music and privately in Elm Grove.  Her students have gone on to study in New York City, Luther College, UW-Madison, Lawrence University and have performed at the Skylight and First Stage.

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ELIZA DAWN

Eliza Dawn Imbrie has had a passion for music ever since she starting singing in her school’s choir in 5th grade, and has been participating in vocal groups for over 10 years! Although she is an HVAC service technician by trade, she finds a great deal of joy in creating music with others, and in sharing that music with her community.

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JULIE GAULKE

Julie Gaulke is a composer, arranger, pianist, and vocalist. She earned her degree in Music Theory/Composition from the University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point in 1988, and has gone on to work as a private piano instructor, organist, and choir director, as well as an editor and writer for Plank Road Publishing (MusicK8 Magazine). Currently she is self-employed recording learning tracks packages, writing and arranging a cappella music, and creating multitrack videos on her YouTube Channel.

Julie Gaulke Music website

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SUZANNE GRABER

Suzanne Graber has been singing in choirs since 5th grade. She recently retired as a general music teacher in the Wauwatosa School District, where she directed three elementary children's choirs, sharing her love of singing with children. Suzanne has been a member of the Milwaukee Symphony Choir and the Milwaukee Chamber Choir.  She enjoys hiking, biking and kayaking with friends and spending time traveling to visit her children and grandchild.  As a member of Collegium Ladyes, she is thrilled to sing with such talented women!

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ELIZABETH GREEN, accompanist

Elizabeth Green, who earned a doctorate in piano performance from the Peabody Institute in Baltimore, currently teaches piano performance at her private studio in Germantown, and at the Steinway Gallery in Wauwatosa.  She is an active chamber music performer and enjoys working with local music students as an accompanist .  Elizabeth is the music director and organist at two different parishes on the south side of Milwaukee, and she loves accompanying the Collegium Ladyes!

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JENNIFER HARTLAUB

Jenny is a lifelong choral and chamber singer.  She is a Family Medicine nurse practitioner and professional development leader within a large local health system. Jenny also enjoys yoga, gardening, and time with her husband, four grown children and beautiful grandchildren. 

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CHARLOTTE HEIDENREICH

Charlotte is honored to be one of the original members of the Ladyes. She has been singing in Episcopal church choirs ever since her mother made her go to children’s choir every Saturday morning at Saint Paul’s in Elkins Park, PA. Charlotte studied voice with Lucy Shelton and Jeremy Slavin, and has been a section leader with the Milwaukee Symphony Chorus. When she isn’t singing, you’ll find her working as Medical Director for Allstate Health, or at an ice rink where she is an official judge for US Figure Skating.

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SARAH KNOX

Sarah Knox is a Professor in the Department of Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology at Marquette University. She earned her doctoral degree at the University of Maryland, and completed prior degrees at Johns Hopkins University and the University of Virginia. She grew up in a home filled with classical music, and especially loves choral music. Sarah has been a Ladye since the group’s inception, and she also sings in an Episcopal church choir. In her free time, she is an avid exerciser, reader, and traveler.

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AMY KRZYKOWSKI

Amy is very pleased to be singing with the Collegium Ladyes. With degrees in Secondary Education-English and Library and Information Science, she has had careers as a mother of six, an English teacher, and a high school library media specialist. Concurrent with those careers, she has enjoyed singing in a variety of choral groups and church choirs, as well as being part of the handbell choir at a Catholic church in Cedarburg. She follows in the footsteps of several generations of family members who loved to harmonize. Since her retirement, she has been enjoying playing tennis, traveling, reading, crocheting, hugging grandchildren, and, of course, singing.

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CYNTHIA MATCHETTE

Cynthia Matchette, soprano, is a founding member of The Collegium Ladyes. Cynthia graduated from Westminster Choir College, where she was a member of the world-famous Westminster and Spoleto Festival dei Due Mondi choruses. She has sung under renowned symphony conductors Leonard Bernstein, James Levine, Pierre Boulez, and Krzysztof Penderecki, among others. In addition, Cynthia has sung with Dayton, Cincinnati, and Florentine Opera companies. She served as a soprano section leader for 45 years in churches in New Jersey, Ohio, and Milwaukee. For fifteen years, she sang with the Milwaukee Choral Artists, a professional women’s chorus. Currently she sings with the Master Singers of Milwaukee as well as The Collegium Ladyes. Since 2004, Cynthia has been president of her own business, SmArt Sales, a sales representation firm, serving the giftware market.

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KATIE PROM

Katie has had a love for singing since she could vocalize sounds. She formally joined choir in high school and has been part of many singing groups since, including church choirs, Lakeshore Chorale, and the Cedarburg Women’s Choir. She has shared her passion for music by assisting with school and church youth choirs and singing alongside her 5 children and 5 granddaughters. When she is not singing, you can find Katie caring for grandchildren, taking care of her horses and dogs, reading, gardening, and flying with her husband. 

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LIZ SHICKLES

Liz has been singing her whole entire life, and is never happier than when performing a cappella music. A native of the Chicago area, she studied voice with MaryJean Allen, prior to joining and touring with the Collegiate Choir of Illinois Wesleyan University. Liz then sang with Apollo Chorus, Allegrezza, Lakeside Singers, and Faces for Radio. Since adopting Milwaukee as her hometown, she has sung with Lutheran A Cappella, and joined the Ladyes in 2023. In between rehearsals, Liz recruits top-tier talent for Milliman, drives her active son Toby all over creation, and joins her husband Chris on the occasional bike ride – especially if it will end at a beer garden.

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CAROL STORCK

Carol Storck is the Director of Music and Choir Director at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Newburg, WI, and teaches piano and voice lessons to children in her home music studio in Cedarburg.  A certified music teacher, Carol has taught general music and choir in parochial and public schools in the Milwaukee, Manitowoc, and Sheboygan areas, including elementary, middle, and high school.  She has also taught infant, toddler, and early childhood music classes, and she directed children’s choirs for the Milwaukee Children’s Choir, Silver Lake Children’s Choir, Holy Family Conservatory of Music, and St. Francis Borgia Church. She taught courses including Solfege and Music Education Methods classes to undergraduate and graduate students at Silver Lake College (Holy Family College). Carol has a Bachelor of Music from the University of Wisconsin- Madison and a Master of Music with a Kodaly emphasis from Silver Lake College (Holy Family College).

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ELIZABETH VOGEL

Elizabeth (Libby) earned degrees in voice from UW Eau Claire and Ohio State University. She is most happy these days singing beautiful choral music with Christ Church choir in Whitefish Bay and with the Collegium Ladyes. Libby is a retired teacher from Milwaukee Public Schools and stays busy studying music and Alexander technique, as well as doing odd jobs for friends and family.

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