2014-16 Officers
President, David Dehner
Vice President – Programs, Molly Rosen
Vice President – Recitals, Emily Sinclair
Vice Presidents – Student Auditions, Theresa Cardinale and Pamela Hicks
Membership Secretary, Cinda Thomas
Treasurer, Lee Strawn
Recording Secretary, Nanette McGuinness
Correspondence Secretary and Newsletter Editor, Rachel Michelberg

dehnerDavid Anthony Dehner, DMA,

My voice teachers have included Jim Burns, Virginia Horton, Stephen Cary, Dina Foy, and Marilyn Mims; conducting teachers David Horton, Raphael Bundage, Sandra Willets, John Dickson, and James Jordan; and voice pedagogy teachers Ronald Turner and Thomas Cleveland.

My Carnegie conducting debut occurred in 2008 in the Distinguished Concerts International New York Excellence in Education Series. My choirs and soloists have performed in France, Italy, England, and Austria. I have prepared singers for premiers at the Lincoln Center and Disney Hall. My students and alumni can be heard choral and solo performances including Monte Vista Concerts, Community Concerts, Recitals, San Jose Opera, West Bay Opera, Cincinnati Opera, Chicago Summer Opera, Musica Viva!, Guided Imagery Opera NYC, Opera Fusion: New Works, PRiMA Theater, Sight and Sound Theater, Barn Theater, Cabrillo Stage, Christian Youth Theater, and numerous community companies.

My students have received numerous awards and recognitions; including the state record number of Gold Medals and Commands for the California Music Educators Association State Solo/Ensemble Festival; Carmel Bach Festival Young Artist Awards, SFBAC NATS, Association of Christian Schools International Cal-Hawaii Musicale Festival, an alumni Semi-Finalists in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, Christian Pursell and the 2015 Grand Prize winner Metropolitan International Music Festival, Devony Smith ; my choirs consistently receive Unanimous Superiors Ratings with CMEA, and a large number of my students are accepted into CMEA CCS and American Choral Directors Association Honor Choirs.

My students have been accepted into a number of major Conservatories and Schools of Music including; Juilliard, Cincinnati, Bard’s, Eastman, Bob Cole, San Francisco, Roosevelt, Westminster, Oberlin, Manhattan, Marymount, Boston Conservatory, Berkley College of Music, Boston University, Oklahoma and others.

My studio masterclasses have partnered with; The Metropolitan Opera Guild, Acting For Singers, Broadway League, Steinhardt School, MVCS Vocal Techniques, and others. My Masterclass instructors have included Marilyn Mims, Suzanne Mentzer, David Gordon, Harolyn Blackwell, David Ostwald, Cheryl Anderson, Emily Sinclair, Robert White, Frank Schiro, Tara Rubin, Shari Anderson, John Talberg, Layna Chianakas, Cinda Thomas, and others.

My performance career included tenor and/or baritone soloists with numerous organizations in oratorio works, opera, musical theater and recitals; Huntsville Opera, Huntsville Community Chorus, Lee University, Southern Seminary, Louisville Orchestra, Moscow Conservatory, Kingsway International, Alkahest Artists, Chattanooga Boys Choir, and others.

I have received recognitions, awards and scholarships from Teen Talent, Huntsville Community Chorus, NATS, Southern Seminary, Lee University, The Grammy Foundation, United States Congress, California Legislature, and others. I have serve on boards and committees for the American Choral Directors Association, California Music Educators Association, Church Music State Boards in Kentucky and Alabama.

I currently am Director of Vocal Arts at Monte Vista Christian School. I have served on the Faculties of Lee University, Southern Seminary, Boyce College and Bethany University. I have enjoyed serving as a clinician for numerous organizations including ACDA, CMEA, private voice studios, numerous community and church organizations. My vocal pedagogy concepts are grounded in Bel Canto with research in vocology and voice science.

My wife, Ruth and I live on the central coast of California near beautiful Monterey Bay.

I am honored to serve the San Francisco Bay Area Chapter as president. The NATS organization and its members have shaped my pedagogical ideas, my technical ideas, and my passion for the art of singing.

Current Positions:
Director of Vocal Arts, Monte Vista Christian School
Vocal Instructor, Dehner Voice Studio
Choral Director, Coastal Community Choir and Compass Church Celebration Choir

B.A., Lee University; M. A. Middle Tennessee State University; D.M.A. Southern Baptist Theological Seminary School of Church Music and Worship; Graduate Fellowships with Marilyn Mims (voice) and Mozelle Sherman (acting); Post Graduate Studies from University of Alabama and Westminster Choir College (Oxford Institute); Grammy Semi-Finalist Educator of the Year 2015 and Quarter-Finalist 2017; California League of High Schools Educator of the Year 2013; California Legislature Certificate of Recognition; Music Educator of the Year the Recording Academy – San Francisco Chapter 2015.

20140611-092944-34184529.jpgTheresa Cardinale, Vice President of Student Auditions
I have been singing as a professional mezzo-soprano for 25 years and teaching voice for 22 years, mostly in the San Francisco and Berkeley areas. I have studied and performed many different styles of music: classical, musical theatre and standards and bring a wide range of repertoire, languages and styles to my teaching.

I hold a Master’s degree in Vocal Pedagogy from Holy Names University in Oakland. These intense studies trained me in numerous and current approaches for working with each individual voice. I am sensitive and astute in assessing the varying needs of the people who come to me for help.

My students are instructed in the basic technical aspects of singing, such as body alignment, breath management and control, vowel production, diction, focus of tone and range expansion. They also learn refinements such as smoothing out register shifts, increasing flexibility and ease of tone production and phrasing. We also work on the art in singing: dramatic expression and interpretation and we apply these components in the study of art song, opera, standards, early music, and musical theatre.

Adults and youngsters comprise my vocal studio. Along with beginning students, I also teach more advanced-level singers, church cantors, choral directors, musical theatre performers, high school students, members of the San Francisco Symphony Chorus, members of community choruses and church choirs. I have also worked with a few pop singers who have benefited from learning basic technique to maintain a healthy voice. I believe strongly in performance practice and audition preparation and have offered performance opportunities, including recitals, studio classes and workshops. I also encourage students to participate in recitals, competitions, and master classes of other teachers. Some of my students have entered college as voice majors, or have had principal roles in school and community productions, or have been chosen to sing solos with local performing groups. I feel that I am effective and supportive in the developmental process of singers.

I have worked with many high school students from the East Bay Piedmont Childrens Choirs, Head Royce School and College Preparatory schools. Outside my own studio, I have been invited to conduct occasional vocal workshops and master classes with community choruses and church choirs. I have also been an adjudicator for competitions and scholarship auditions with these organizations: East Bay Opera League, Pacific Musical Society, Contra Costa Performing Arts, and Redwood Chapter NATS chapter and of course our own SFBAC Singing Festival.
MM Vocal Pedagogy, Holy Names University, Oakland, CA,
BS Speech Pathology, State University of NY at Albany,
Private Voice Lessons: Major Vocal Teachers: Cheryl Keller, Maria Louisa Cioni (in Milan), Barbara Aurora, Janet Parlova, Edwin Barlow
Undergraduate Music Studies: San Francisco City College, S F State Univ. and San Francisco Conservatory
Advanced Learning: Attendance and Participation in Professional Conventions and Workshops
Acting: ACT’s Summer Training Congress and Private Lessons


imageCinda Thomas, Membership Secretary

An expert and highly experienced teacher of singing, vocal pedagogue, and director of operas and musicals, Dr. Cinda Thomas has been a member of NATS since 1987. 1987 also marks the year of Dr. Thomas’ first academic position at The Henderson State University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas where she taught voice, vocal pedagogy, vocal diction, ear training and sight singing, and opera workshop. Several years later she joined the faculty of Cornell College in Mt. Vernon, Iowa where she continued teaching voice, vocal pedagogy, vocal diction, and opera workshop. A move to Baltimore, Maryland brought adjunct voice positions with The Peabody Preparatory, The Morgan State University, and The University of Baltimore, Baltimore County in Baltimore, Maryland. It was also in Baltimore that Dr. Thomas began to teach independently, opening her own voice studio, in addition to her adjunct vocal positions. Specializing in classical and musical theater singing styles Dr. Thomas is known for her ability to teach a healthy vocal technique to most if not all singing genres.

While in Maryland, Dr. Thomas began to train to become an Alexander Technique teacher in Philadelphia, with the Alexander Alliance, an Alexander Technique Teacher training school with Martha and Bruce Fertman, graduating in 2001. She became a member of The Alexander Technique International in 2002 and completed an advanced Alexander Technique teacher training course with John Nicholls in New York, The Carrington Way of Working, in 2005. Dr. Thomas has also studied Alexander Technique with Elisabeth Walker, student of F.M. Alexander, and her daughter Lucia Walker, Michael Frederick and Lyn Charslen Klein of the Alexander Training Institute of Los Angeles, Dale Beaver (Ohio State University), Meade Andrews (Westminster Choir College), Robyn Avalon (Alexander Alliance Southwest), Jessica Wolf (The Art of Breathing), and Barbara Kent (The American Center for the Alexander Technique).

Presently, Dr. Thomas lives in Santa Cruz, where she has her own studio, teaching private voice and individual Alexander Technique lessons, a brief walk away from the ocean. Dr. Thomas also teaches onsite Alexander Technique workshops and has presented many workshops to colleges, universities, conservatories and music organizations throughout the US. Dr. Thomas, born and raised in Ohio holds a Bachelor of Music in Music Education and a Master of Music in Vocal Performance from The Ohio University and a Doctor of Music in Vocal Performance from The University of Georgia.

Nanette McGuinness, Recording Secretary 

Hailed in the press for her “creamy golden tone, “glorious soprano,” and “magnetic stage presence,” soprano Nanette McGuinness has performed as a soloist in operas, oratorios, and concerts on two continents in ten different languages, in roles that include Mimì, Freia, Desdemona, Countess Almaviva, Micaela, Foreign Woman (The Consul), First Lady (Magic Flute), Musetta, Anna (Le Villi), Fiordiligi, Nella, Despina, Lauretta, and Miss Silverpeal, with the Silesian State Opera (Czech Republic), Mission City Opera, Trinity Lyric Opera, Opera San Jose (Opera-in- the-Schools), West Bay Opera, Berkeley Opera, Livermore Valley Opera, and Pocket Opera, among others. Highlights of her concert engagements include the premiere of Ludtke’s Christmas Suite with Joann Falletta and the San Jose Symphony, Mahler’s Fourth SymphonyStabat Mater (Rossini), Vesperae solenne (Mozart), Requiem (Fauré), Chants d’Auvergne (Canteloube), Gloria (Vivaldi), Lord Nelson Mass (Haydn) and Handel’s SolomonSamson, and Messiah, with groups that include the Palo Alto Philharmonic, S.F. City Chorus, Solano Community Symphony, West Marin Festival Singers, Solano Choral Society, Contra Costa Chorale, Monterey Peninsula Choral Society, and The Handel Opera Project.

A passionate advocate of chamber and contemporary music, McGuinness is the co-director and co-founder of the new music group Ensemble for These Times (, with which she has toured to Eastern Europe over the past few years. McGuinness has commissioned, performed and recorded the world premieres of a number of works, including several on her first CD with the Athena Trio of music by 19th and 20th century women composers, Fabulous Femmes (released on Centaur Records and described in Chambermusic Magazine as “perfect for the song-recital lover). Her third CD—Surviving: Women’s Words, released in 2016 and also on Centaur—was reviewed in as “passionate “ and “highly compelling,” and in American Record Guide as “fascinating” and “compelling,” and has been submitted for consideration for the 59 th Grammy Awards.

A 2010 Teaching Artist for the S.F. Opera Guild, McGuinness earned her BA in Music from Cornell University, MM in Vocal Performance from Holy Names University and MA and PhD in Music (specializing in musicology) from UC Berkeley. She has studied acting at A.C.T. and OperaWorks, and her voice teachers have been Jane Randolph, Elizabeth Mannion, Julia Monroe, Vicky Van DeWark and Diane Gilfether. She maintains a private voice studio in the East Bay.

The professional association for Bay Area voice teachers