With degrees from Manhattan School of Music and Carnegie Mellon University, Soprano Rebekah Diaz has performed extensively across the musical genres. Having recently sung in Florida Grand Opera's Lusia Fernada under the baton of Maestro Placido Domingo, she has also sung three seasons with the Sarasota Opera and has performed as a soloist on with The Clippership Cruise Line, Pittsburgh Opera Theater, the Pittsburgh Ballet, The Bronx Opera, The Opera Orchestra of New York at Carnegie Hall and locally with The New World Symphony, Miami Lyric Opera, and SOBE Arts Institute.
Currently on the voice faculty at Florida International University, Ms. Diaz is described by the Miami Herald as a having an "admirable and rich voice". Her operatic oeuvre includes such roles as "Liu" from Turandot, "Mimi" from La Boheme, 'Marguerite' from Faust, "Desdemona" from Otello, 'Nedda' from Pagliacci, and 'Leonora' from Trovatore among others. While opera has been a driving force for Ms. Diaz, her great love of Musical Theater and Jazz has kept her performing locally in productions with Broadway Musical Theatre Company of Key Biscayne and in elaborate Musical Theater Reviews under the direction of Cheryl Cavendish. Ms. Diaz was the opening jazz singer for Carmen Lundy's New Year's Eve performance at the Setai Hotel in South Beach and has performed jazz sets as the opening singer and featured jazz vocalist for New World Symphony's Friends of Music events.
Educated at both the New England Conservatory and the Juilliard School, Graham Fandrei has performed in venues across the United States, Europe, and Asia. For Florida Grand Opera, he has appeared as Baron Douphol in La traviata (2008), the Official Registrar in Madama Butterfly (2009), Moralès in Carmen (2010), and as the Marquis Brisaille in Cyrano (2011). He performed both Marcello and Schaunard in the Baz Luhrmann production of La bohème on Broadway, and made his European debut with the Rotterdam Philharmonic in the Netherlands. He has performed for several seasons with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, traveling with them in 2001 to Tokyo to perform Susaku in the Japanese premiere of Miki's The Tale of Genji. This season, he performs in Faust with Connecticut Concert Opera, Carmina Burana with Charlotte Symphony and is Paris in Romeo et Juliette for Florida Grand Opera. Mr. Fandrei has appeared in more than 20 operatic roles in the United States. Personal website: www.GrahamFandrei.com
Lisanne’s career began immediately following high school as the
featured vocalist for the Air Force Bands. During her years in the
service she performed and traveled worldwide with the "Norad Command Band", Travis AF "Band of the Golden Gate", and the U.S. Air Force Academy "Falconaires". Shortly after her service, she received a
scholarship to Berklee College of Music but transferred after one
semester to the University of Miami’s School of Music on a full
scholarship. During that time, she sang lead in the award winning
Jazz Vocal One ensemble and was the featured vocalist for the Concert
Jazz Band. She received her Bachelors, Master of Music, and Doctorate
from the University of Miami (Fl). As a student, she received the
Down Beat magazine ‘Dee Bee student’ award for Best Jazz Vocalist for
two consecutive years.
As a student, she had the opportunity to continue her performing
career as a featured vocalist with the Woody Herman band, Maynard
Ferguson Big Bop Nouveau, and various South Florida big bands and
combos. She was invited to be a featured performer with Joel Grey on
the NBC televised Orange Bowl half-time show, "You'll Get a Kick Out
of Cole. Shortly after, Cy Coleman selected her to replace Monica
Mancini in the national touring company of his Tony award winning
“City of Angels.”
Lisanne finished the tour and was hired as an Assistant Professor of
music at Virginia Tech. She founded the vocal jazz program and
directed the New Virginians jazz vocal ensemble into winning two
consecutive Down Beat “Dee Bee” awards for Outstanding Performance.
During her tenure at VT, she was awarded Associate Professor and
received the Gamma Mu Chapter of Delta Omicron Music Professor of the
Year Award. She continued performing with various bands and as the
lead soprano with a D.C. based vocal jazz quartet, “Uptown Vocal Jazz
Quartet”. UVJQ soon became headline acts for the Ottawa Jazz
Festival, Detroit Jazz Festival, Clearwater Jazz Festival, and La
Nuit du Jazz in Nantes, France. They shared the stage with Jazz
legends such as Nancy Wilson, Tony Bennet, Mingus Big Band, Terrance
Blanchard, Superband, Dr. John, Sonny Stitt, and received critical
acclaim for their two CD’s, “Half-Past Swing” and “When the Sun Goes
While still teaching, Lisanne recorded two CD’s. “Right as the Rain,”
tribute to Harold Arlen, and “Smile” with the John Toomey Trio.
“Smile” was met with critical praise in the Washington Post and
Cadence magazine. After eight years, she resigned her position at VT
to accept an assistantship and work on her Doctorate in Jazz
Performance at the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music
(renamed). It is then that she would receive another “Dee Bee” award,
this time for Best Jazz Arrangement.
Throughout her career, Lisanne has frequently performed at the famous
Blues Ally and the Kennedy Center. She has also performed with the
Woody Herman Orchestra, Maynard Ferguson Big Bop Nouveau, Arturo
Sandoval, Larry Elgart, the University of Miami Concert Jazz Band,
Roanoke Symphony, Palm Beach Pops, Las Olas Studio Orchestra, South
Florida Jazz Orchestra, Sunrise Pops Orchestra, Hallandale Pops
Orchestra, Ars Flores Orchestra, Gene Krupa Orchestra, Harry James
Orchestra, and various bands across the country. She has also
performed with many of the world's top jazz artists such as Maria
Schneider, Bobby McFerrin, Mark Murphy, Four Freshmen, Mose Allison,
Joe Kennedy Jr., Jon Hendricks, Royce Campbell, Darmon Meader, Don
Braden, Paul Bollenbach, Gary Campbell, Ted Rosenthal, Ira Sullivan,
Duffy Jackson, Jim Pugh, Harold Jones, Dave Berkman, Eiane Elias,
Michael Berkowitz, Claudia Acuna, Bucky Pizzerelli, Chip McNeill,
Dennis DiBlasio, John Fedchock, Walter White, Kevin Mahogany, Gary
Burton and many others.
Raina Murnak is a New York born composer and vocalist. She received both her Bachelors in Voice and her Masters in Composition from the State University of New York at Stony Brook where she graduated Summa Cum Laude. She went on to receive her Doctorate in Composition and Vocal Pedagogy from the University of Miami where she is currently teaching. Murnak has enjoyed many performances of her works both in concert and on recordings. Her trio "Lagathia" written for the Ibis Trio was released on Albany Records. Murnak is also a very active Miami performer in many varied venues and genres, ranging from the avant-garde to the commercial. Her latest two projects are a collaboration with author Jane Alison for a ten minute opera to be performed this fall and releasing her first album with her original rock band The Pure Pinks.
Lecturer (Voice), holds two B.M. degrees from Philippine Women's University, and M.M. and D.M. degrees from Indiana University. She studied with Martha Lipton, and was coached by Eileen Farrell and Zinka Milanov. She has taught at colleges and universities in Singapore and Mexico, as well as the United States. A recipient of scholarships from Fulbright Hays and the London Opera Centre, Pilar has performed in solo recitals in Los Angeles, Chicago, Kalamazoo (Michigan), Hickory (North Carolina), the Hawaiian Islands, the Philippines, Singapore, the Bahamas, and Mexico. She is a long standing member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing and Pi Kappa Lambda.