Musical Performers

Karina Avenesian, pianist for "Three Blind Mice," is a doctoral piano performance candidate at Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. She frequently performs with her husband, Tony Weinstein.
Dexter Griffin,singer in "Que Siri Siri" and "I Swing U Swing," is currently a sophomore at Bloomington High School South. He is a member of Sounds of South, Reimagining Opera for Kids, and the Bloomington South Lacrosse Team. Additionally, he studies voice with Dr. Thomas King. In his free time, he enjoys singing, sailing, volunteering and being involved in the Bloomington community.
Jazz Masters, musicians for "My Name is Jazz" and "C Jam," created by jazz pianist/ composer Monika Herzig, Jazz Masters is a result of research for her book, "David Baker - A Legacy in Music" (IU Press, 2011). Geared towards primary school children, the interactive presentation by a professional jazz quintet introduces basic elements and historical facts and figures of Indiana jazz history, such as Hoagy Carmichael, the Gennett Recording Studios, the Hampton Family Band, Wes Montgomery and Freddie Hubbard, and improvisation.
IU Children’s Choir, singers for "What Do You Hear," "Chiquilla" and "It Takes a Village" was founded in 1980 by Dr. Mary Goetze and Dr. Jean Sinor.
The mission of the Indiana University Children's Choir is to teach young people to value and experience excellent singing through musical activities which develop skills, sharing, self-expression, and personal growth. The choirs rehearse and perform throughout the school year, working with a team of conductors and musicianship teachers, some of whom are nationally recognized in their fields. All four choirs in the program perform in annual winter and spring concerts, as well as in specially arranged performances elsewhere. Advanced units of the choir are often incorporated in the IU Jacobs School of Music concerts and performances, and individual members of the choir have participated in IU opera productions and musicals.
Serge Kalinovsky was born in New York and moved to Bloomington, IN in 2013. He loves reading, chess, and playing his cello. He has two brothers and a dog named Chewy.
Russian Recording is a full-service analog and digital recording studio located in downtown Bloomington, IN, owned by Mike Bridavsky, and has contributed to more than a thousand records since 2003. BloomingSongs sound-engineer, Kyle Houpt, has gone above and beyond for this project!​
Alejandra Martinez, singer in "Que Siri Siri," "I Swing U Sing," "Hi Said All the Birds," "Three Blind Mice," "As I Was Going to St. Ives," and librettist of "What Do You Hear, Chiquilla?," is a soprano, and hails from Los Angeles, California. She specializes in Spanish and Latin-American music as well as late-Romantic and Modern works. Concert credits include performances at the National Council de la Raza, collaboration with members of the Cleveland Orchestra, and repeat engagements with the Cleveland One World Festival. Favorite opera credits include La Contessa (Le nozze di Figaro), Salud (La vida breve), and Lady Billows (Albert Herring). She performs regularly throughout Monroe County and Brown County with Reimagining Opera for Kids, and was recently a featured soloist with the Bloomington Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Alejandro Gómez Guillén. Recipient of the Elly Ameling Award for Excellence in Recital Performance, Ms. Martinez is a 1st year Doctoral Student at the Jacobs School of Music, where she studies with Teresa Kubiak.
Salaam, musicians for "Ya Sadiqi," has delighted audiences for years with its expansive repertoire of Middle Eastern and North African music. Salaam is true to the traditions, informing the uninitiated, and evoking nostalgia in listeners who are familiar with the art form. What sets Salaam apart is the versatility of its musicians, whose deep knowledge of Eastern and Western styles gives them the flexibility to move effortlessly between genres. Iraqi-American band leader Dena El Saffar's compositions take advantage her own eclectic musical upbringing to create a sound rooted in maqam (the modal system used throughout the Middle East), with tasteful forays into Latin, African, Balkan, Rock, Blues, and Classical styles . It is satisfying to bring this original material to the stage alongside lush compositions of Mohammed Abdel Wahab and the Rahbani Brothers, historic Ottoman Empire-era Peshrevs, anonymous Iraqi songs, and folkloric melodies from Upper Egypt. Salaam, whose name means peace in Arabic, is a musical ambassador for peaceful coexistence.
The Vera Quartet, string players for "Hi Said All the Birds," "As I Was Going to St. Ives," and "Three Blind Mice," is currently Graduate Quartet-in-Residence at the Jacobs School of Music, studying with the Pacifica Quartet. They will also be quartet in residence for the JSoM New Music Ensemble this year, performing contemporary works for string quartet on many NME programs and working with its director, David Dzubay. The quartet was formed in August of 2015 and has been performing in and around Bloomington ever since; other performances include at the Beethovenhaus in Bonn and at the Banff Centre. In the coming months the quartet will be representing IU on a tour of Korea and performing as guest ensemble on NPR’s Performance Today. In addition to working with the Pacifica Quartet, they have been coached by Atar Arad, Mauricio Fuks, Alex Kerr, Peter Stumpf, Mark Steinberg, Richard Lester, Hsin-Yun Yang, Barry Shiffman, Joshua Bell, Martin Beaver and Ani Kavafian.
Maria Izzo Walker, singer in "Ya Sadiqi," "Que Siri Siri," and "I Swing U Swing," is a regular Cardinal Stage performer, found in The Birthday Feast, appearing as Grace Farrell in Annie, Glinda in The Wizard of Oz, Charlotte in Charlotte’s Web, Mrs. Bucket in Willy Wonka, performing in My Fair Lady, Les Misèrables, and most recently, Frog and Toad. Her stage and theater credits include work with Bloomington Early Music Festival Opera, IU Opera Theater, Bloomington Music Works, and College Light Opera Company. An IU Jacobs School of Music graduate, Maria has performed as a member of and soloist with the Bloomington Chamber Singers, New Art Voices, Voces Novae, early music ensemble Anima Fortis, and Bloomington Pops, as well as with Apollo’s Voice and the Indianapolis Symphony.