2017 Officers
President, Karine St-Pierre
Vice President – Programs, Vacant
Vice President – Recitals, Emily Sinclair
Vice Presidents – Student Auditions, Theresa Cardinale and Pamela Hicks
Membership Secretary, Vacant
Treasurer, Lee Strawn
Recording Secretary, Nanette McGuinness
Correspondence Secretary and Newsletter Editor, Rachel Michelberg

Karine St-Pierre, DMA

Montreal-born soprano Karine St-Pierre is an active performer, voice instructor, and researcher. She recently completed a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Voice Performance and Vocal Pedagogy at the University of Toronto, under the supervision of Professor Lorna MacDonald. She holds a Master of Music degree in Voice Performance and Vocal Pedagogy from the University of Toronto, and a Bachelor of Music degree from the Université de Montréal.

As a performer, Ms. St-Pierre has sung numerous roles including Illia in Idomeneo (Mozart), Annina in La Traviata (Verdi), Stella in La fille du tambour major (Offenbach), Gabrielle in La vie parisienne (Offenbach), Fleurette/Hermia in Barbe-Bleue (Offenbach), Bella in Paganini (Lehar), Princess Stasi in The Csardas Princess (Kalman), Huguette in Pas sur la bouche… (Yvain), and Délicia in Madame (Christiné) with Summer Lyric Opera Theatre, the Théâtre lyrique de la Montérégie, the Théâtre d’art lyrique de Laval, and the Productions Belle-Lurette. As a soloist, she has performed in recitals in France and across Canada. In 2014, she premiered the cycle Quatre chansons québécoises by composer Matthew de Lacey Davidson in Toronto. She has recorded several songs by French Canadian composers Calixa Lavallée, André Mathieu, Maurice Dela, Clermont Pépin, and Serge Garant for the Canadian Music Center’s audio library. Last summer, she attended the Académie Francis Poulenc in France, where she studied with French repertoire expert François LeRoux, pianists Jeff Cohen and Christian Ivaldi, and the conductor Nicolas Krüger. She has studied with distinguished artists such as Warren Jones, Martin Katz, Thomas Grubb, Russell Braun, Tom Diamond, Lena Hellström-Färnlöf, Stuart Bedford, Wendy Nielsen, Liz Upchurch, Mary Morrison, and Stuart Hamilton. She is the recipient of the University of Toronto’s Eleanor and Gerald Copeland Graduate Fellowship, the Alexander and Carolyn Drummond Graduate Fellowship in Voice Performance, and the Sidney Pulley Graduate Fellowship in Voice. She is also the recipient of numerous scholarships from the Fondation de soutien aux arts de Laval, and of two excellence awards from the Théâtre d’art lyrique de Laval.

As a versatile voice pedagogue, Ms. St-Pierre teaches students of all ages and levels. She has held the positions of voice instructor for the Toronto Chamber Choir and for the Canadian Opera Company’s Summer Youth Intensive Program. For several years, she was teaching assistant for the undergraduate vocal pedagogy and French mélodie courses at the University of Toronto, and was nominated for the TATP Teaching Excellence Award for her work. She is also an active adjudicator for voice festivals.

Ms. St-Pierre’s research activities focus on French-Canadian songs for voice and piano, for which she developed the Pedagogical Guide to the Interpretation of Nineteenth-Century French Canadian Songs for Voice and Piano. This project was supported by a doctoral scholarship from the Government of Quebec’s Fonds de Recherche – Société et Culture. She has presented her research at conferences across Canada, and has appeared as a guest presenter for French operatic repertoire at the Canadian Opera Company.

Ms. St-Pierre is honoured to be serving as president of the San Francisco Bay Area Chapter of NATS. She is a founding member of the University of Toronto’s Student Chapter of NATS, for which she served as president. Professional affiliations include the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS), The Voice Foundation, the Canadian Music Centre, and the Canadian University Music Society.

Emily Sinclair, DMA
Vice President – Recitals

Soprano Emily Sinclair, DMA, is an active performer and pedagogue. Her voice has been hailed as “sweet and strong” and “alluring” by the New York Times. She has performed with opera companies across the United States, including Central City Opera, Opera Colorado, Kentucky Opera and DuPage Opera.

Emily recently made her West Bay Opera debut in the roles of Suor Genovieffa and Nella in Puccini’s ​Il Trittico.​ ​At the Caramoor International Festival, she sang Roggiero in Rossini’s ​Tancredi​ opposite Ewa Podles, and covered Sumi Jo as Elvira in ​I Puritani. In concert, Emily has performed with the San Francisco Choral Society, the Littleton Symphony, and at Weill Recital Hall in New York, among others. She is a regular member of the Grant Park Music Festival chorus, and can be heard on their recent recordings “The Pulitzer Project” and “Songs of Smaller Creatures”. Emily was a Regional Finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, and has been awarded prizes by the Gerda Lissner Foundation and Washington International Competition. She was in the young artist programs at Tanglewood, Central City Opera and Utah Festival Opera, and an Adams Fellow at the Carmel Bach Festival.

Emily received a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Colorado in Vocal Performance and Pedagogy, and holds additional degrees from Northwestern University, Manhattan School of Music and Yale University. While at the University of Colorado, Emily served as Assistant Conductor/Chorus Master on several productions, and developed and taught a class on Opera Role Preparation. She presented her work on developing the class at the 2013 National Opera Association Conference. Emily was honored to be chosen as a 2014 NATS Intern, where she worked with Mary Saunders Barton on musical theatre techniques.

Emily is currently the head of the voice area at University of California, Santa Cruz, where she teaches individual lessons and vocal repertoire. She conducted a reduced version of Hansel and Gretel at UCSC in 2016, and is the current conductor of the Temple Beth-El choir. Emily also has a private studio in Santa Cruz, and gives frequent masterclasses and choral clinics in the Bay Area.

20140611-092944-34184529.jpgTheresa Cardinale,           Vice Presidents – 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

Nanette McGuinness, PhD 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.

If you are a member of SFBAC NATS interested in joining the board, please contact us at