Ad Astra Music Festival

Est. 2014 in Russell, Kansas



Matthew Anderson has been praised for the warm tenor voice and polished musicality he brings to oratorio, opera, and musical theater. An accomplished interpreter of the music of Bach, Matthew sings regularly as a soloist in Boston’s renowned Emmanuel Music Bach Cantata Series. He appeared at the Aldeburgh Festival as a soloist in the Saint Matthew Passion and spent several summers at the Carmel Bach Festival, where he was featured as a Virginia Best Adams Fellow and aria soloist in the Saint John Passion. Matthew is a two-time prizewinner in the American Bach Society Competition and winner of the second prize in the Oratorio Society of New York Solo Competition, in which he also won the Westenberg Award for 18th Century Stylistic Interpretation.

Recent performances from Matthew’s varied repertoire include Handel’s Acis and Galatea (Damon) with the Mark Morris Dance Group; Bach’s Coffee Cantata with Boston Baroque; Mozart’s Requiem with the National Chorale at Avery Fisher Hall; Stravinsky’s Renard at Tanglewood and the Mostly Mozart Festival with the Mark Morris Dance Group; Handel’s Messiah with the Masterwork Chorus at Carnegie Hall; John Harbison’s Winter’s Tale with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project; Britten’s Serenade with Discovery Ensemble; Bach’s Saint John and Saint Matthew Passions (Evangelist) at Princeton University, and Britten’s Les Illuminations with The Orchestra of Indian Hill.

He has sung with conductors Masaaki Suzuki, Nicholas McGegan, Paul Goodwin, Harry Christophers, Martin Pearlman, John Harbison, Craig Smith, Julian Wachner, and Laurence Cummings. Mr. Anderson spent two seasons as a vocal fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center and was a Lorraine Hunt Lieberson Fellow with Emmanuel Music. Matthew is a Lawrence, Kansas native and resides in Boston, where he studied Classics at Harvard and voice at the New England Conservatory.

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Megan Pachecano returns to the Ad Astra Music Festival, having previously performed Michal in Handel's Saul and the Soprano solos in Mozart's Requiem. Other concert appearances include Handel's Messiah and Israel in Egypt, Mozart's Mass in C minorCoronation Mass, and Exsultate, jubilate, Haydn's Lord Nelson Mass and Little Organ Mass, Purcell's The Fairy Queen, Boismortier's Don Quichotte chez la Duchesse, and Villa-Lobos’ Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5, singing with the Helena Symphony, Astoria Symphony Orchestra, Round Rock Symphony Orchestra, Westminster Choral Festival, and the Orchestra of New Spain. Operatic highlights include Adina (L’elisir d’amore), Norina (Don Pasquale), Susanna (Le nozze di Figaro), Zerlina (Don Giovanni), and Anne Page (Sir John in Love), working with such companies as Odyssey Opera, Opera Company of Middlebury, Salt Marsh Opera, and New Rochelle Opera. She has been featured in concert with the Caramoor Festival, Dallas Symphony Orchestra's Soluna Festival, and Opera Theater of Connecticut at the Sanibel Festival, and presented a recital with the Odeon Theater. Megan can be heard as a soloist on the Naxos recording American Choral Music. She holds a bachelor's degree in voice performance from The University of Texas at Austin and a master's degree in classical voice from Manhattan School of Music. This coming season she sings Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte with LoftOpera, Cinderella in Into the Woods with St. Petersburg Opera, and makes her Metropolitan Opera debut in Beethoven's Fidelio.



Katelyn Mattson-Levy, soprano, has been recognized as an artist of great passion and sensitivity. Most recently, she appeared as The Mother in Amhal and the Night Visitors with Opera Kansas and as a guest artist at Clarke University. Katelyn is a two-time award winner of the Metropolitan Opera's National Council Competition at the district level, first place recipient in the National Opera Association Competition, and a finalist in both the International Contemporary Opera Competition and Liederkrantz Foundation Competition. Operatic roles include Contessa Almaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro, Micaela in Carmen, Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni, Mimi in La Bohème, Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte, Lady Billows in Albert Herring, and Rosalinda in Die Fledermaus. On the concert stage, Katelyn has proven herself a recitalist of the highest caliber, described as "...performing with deeply emotional perspective" by the Bellingham Herald. Katelyn has performed with the Des Moines Metro Opera, Cincinnati Opera, Illinois Symphony Orchestra, Musica Sacra of Cincinnati, Chicago Chamber Orchestra, Southern Illinois Music Festival, and the Bellingham Festival of Music. Katelyn received her training at Wichita State University, University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance, and Cincinnati-College Conservatory of Music. She is a native of Sterling, KS.



Timothy Parsons, countertenor and conductor, is active as both soloist and ensemble member in the New York City choral scene, having performed with the Clarion Music Society, the Saint Thomas Fifth Avenue Choir of Men and Boys, the Choir of St. Ignatius Loyola, the Oratorio Society of New York, The Cathedral Choir of St. John the Divine, Canticum Scholare and weekly with the Schola Cantorum of St. Agnes. Past performances have included Bach’s St. Matthew’s Passion at Saint Thomas Church and Clarion’s Russian Christmas program at Trinity Wall Street. Timothy will make his Bargemusic debut with the Clarion Music Society in a concert of the music of Bach, Pärt, and Kurtag. Timothy also sang as a member of the vocal ensemble during the annual Film Night at Tanglewood with the Boston Pops under the baton of John Williams and with the New York Philharmonic as part of their 360 series presenting scenes from Don Giovanni at the Park Avenue Armory. As a soloist he has been seen at the Manhattan School of Music as Udolin in Schubert’s The Conspirators, where he was praised by Opera News for his “high register” and at the Amherst Early Music Festival, where he performed Arsace in Scarlatti’s La Principesse fedele

Timothy has a particular interest in the development and performance of new works, having performed world, U.S, and New York premieres at MSM and at Carnegie Hall with the Oratorio Society of New York, Distinguished Concerts International of New York (DCINY), and the Manhattan School of Music Chamber Choir, of which he is a founding member. He recently conducted that ensemble in two performances of Veljo Tormis’ Sügismaastikud. Additionally, he conducted two world premieres under the auspices of the MSM composition department. In 2011, he premiered Thomas Stumpf’s song-cycle Drei Mondlieder, written for him. Timothy holds a bachelor’s degree in classical voice from the Manhattan School of Music and was a candidate for the Master of Music in Choral Conducting, studying with Kent Tritle. 



Deemed "excellent" by the New York Times and hailed for his "warm" and "voluminous" sound by the South Florida Classical Review, baritone Dan Moore is a sought-after performer of both solo and choral classical music. Recent solo appearances in the past year include Bach’s Mass in B minor with both the REBEL Chamber Ensemble of NYC and the Symphony Orchestra of Augusta, the Fauré Requiem with The Chorus of Westerly and Festival Orchestra, Handel’s Israel in Egypt with the St. Thomas Choir of Men and Boys and Concert Royal, Vaughan Williams’ Five Mystical Songs (Trinity Church on the Green, New Haven), and Schubert’s Die Schöne Müllerin accompanied by Kevin Koai, piano (Scarsdale, NY), among others. He has also performed throughout the US and Asia with ensembles including Grammy-nominated ensemble Seraphic Fire, Clarion Society, Desert Chorale, Spire Chamber Ensemble, The American Baroque Orchestra, and Yale Schola Cantorum (including concert tours in Japan, Singapore and Burma). Since September 2014, Dan has been on the regular roster of the world-renowned Choir of Men and Boys at St. Thomas Church Fifth Avenue in New York, singing five services per week. Dan received his Bachelor of Music degree at Temple University, where he studied under baritone Dr. William Stone and bass-baritone Eric Owens. He completed his Masters of Music degree at the Yale School of Music in December 2013, where he worked with tenor James Taylor. While at Yale, he also received a certificate in early music, oratorio and chamber ensemble from the Institute of Sacred Music.


Ad Astra Chamber Choir

Aani Bourassa, Nini Marchese, Shelby Matlock, Alexandra Rome, Melody Barton, Katie Bruton, Jessica Kerler, Mike Miller, Michael Davidson, Christopher Hilger, Nathan Hilger, Mark Lucas, Francis Williams, John Bitsas, Lucas DeJesus, John Irving, Johnny Matlock


Ad Astra Festival Orchestra

Michael Cervantes, concertmaster; Allison Lint, violin 1; Manda Deagen and Jasmine Cortez, violin 2; Shokhrukh Sadikov and Julius Adams, viola; Benjamin Cline and Alyssa Aubuchon, cello; Andrew Book, bass; Brad Dawson, trumpet 1; Aaron Hoffman, trumpet 2; Breanna Ellison, horn 1; Renetta Dawson, horn 2; Greg Stead, oboe 1; Josh Kellerman, bassoon 1; Max Holman, harpsichord; César Cañón, organ



Alex Underwood, conductor

John Irving, assistant conductor, choral preparer

Renetta Dawson, orchestra contractor

Nathan Hilger and Alex Underwood, staging