Susan Winckler, Assistant Director
Susan Winckler, Assistant Director for the Chorale, is a charter member of the Mountainside Master Chorale. Throughout the years, Ms. Winckler has been very active in the Chorale serving as President, Tour Coordinator and Wardrobe Manager among many other duties.
Ms. Winckler attained her B.A. in Music from Dominican University in San Rafael, California, and her M.A. in Music Theory and Composition from the University of Hawaii. She is presently Music Director for Pilgrim Congregational Church in Pomona and also served as soprano soloist there from 1981-1988 soloing in such works as the Brahms and Verdi Requiems.
Ms. Winckler has been organist and/or Choir Director for various local churches including La Verne Church of the Brethren; Grace Lutheran, Glendora; Cucamonga United Methodist, Rancho Cucamonga; and St. Madeleine's, Pomona. Ms. Winckler has conducted numerous major choral works with full orchestra including the Verdi Requiem, Mozart's Coronation Mass, Puccini's Messa di Gloria and Requiem by Andrew Lloyd Webber. She was a long-time member of and Assistant Director for the Louis Rondfeldt Chorale and also directed the Claremont Chorale from 1978 to 1981.
Ms. Winckler, presently retired from teaching in public schools for 33 years, was choral director for Rancho Cucamonga, Chaffey, and Ganesha high schools. She has also taught Latin, mathematics, and art. Lately, in addition to music, she has been expressing her creative skills through ceramics and jewelry making.
Robin Billings-Reyes, Section Leader / Staff Singer
Robin Billings-Reyes holds B.A. and M.A. degrees in Music from the University of California, Riverside. She is currently Director of Music for the United Methodist Church of Cucamonga, where she has worked for over 40 years as organist, choir director, and music director. Robin enjoys all aspects of choral music, has sung for the opening ceremonies of the 1984 Olympic Games in LA, was part of the pre-Olympic cultural Olympiad in Greece (2004), and has performed in Carnegie Hall (2005), and the Sydney Opera House (2006). Robin came to MMC in 2008 as alto section leader, and is excited to be working with the soprano section this season. In addition, Robin works at Wayne Ruble Middle School in Fontana as a sixth grade teacher, and sings with the chamber group Choralescence
Laura Dickinson, Staff Singer
In 2017, Laura won three Grammy® awards for her work as a music producer and vocal contractor. In 2018, Michael Bublé's Nobody But Me album received a Grammy® nomination, which Laura was honored to work on as vocal contractor and featured vocalist. She sang the Emmy®-winning Sofia The First theme song with Ariel Winter, serves as vocal contractor and vocal producer on Elena of Avalor (two Emmy® wins) and is perhaps best known for her extensive work on Phineas and Ferb.
Selected credits include The Little Mermaid Live, Perfect Harmony, Paul McCartney’s Egypt Station, Frozen II, Phineas and Ferb the Movie: Candace Against the Universe and Lady & the Tramp for Disney+, Ralph Breaks The Internet, The Secret Life of Pets 2, American Horror Story, American Housewife, The Nun, The Christmas Chronicles, American Gods, Wonder Park, Call Of Duty: Black Ops 4, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, War For The Planet Of The Apes, Sing, the Pitch Perfect franchise, Justin Timberlake & Chris Stapleton’s Say Something music video, A Christmas Story Live, Modern Family, Son Of Zorn, Supernatural, and commercials for KFC, Maybelline, Target, and Priceline.
Selected vocal directing and contracting credits include Michael Bublé's love world tour, Dolly Parton’s upcoming Netflix musical Christmas on the Square, Matt Groening’s Disenchantment, Willie Nelson’s My Way and Summertime albums (both Grammy® winners), Engelbert Humperdinck’s holiday album Warmest Christmas Wishes, Milo Murphy's Law, Elena Of Avalor, Sofia the First, and Amazon's The Last Tycoon. Laura has opened for many artists including Tony Bennett, Lyle Lovett and Bob Newhart. www.lauradickinson.com @ElsieLaura
Karen Wootten, Staff Singer
Karen S. Wootten, Lyric Coloratura Soprano, has been in choirs and performing solos since the age of 4. She has studied voice since the age of 12. Born and raised in Upland, CA, Karen has a strong connection with our local musical community.
Karen was a member of the Mountainside Master Chorale at its inception in 1994 under founder and director, Bruce Rogers, and served as a soprano staff singer. She returned to Mountainside Master Chorale in 2017. Additionally, Karen performed with the Los Angeles Master Chorale for the 2000-2001 season under conductor, Paul Salamunovich. Between the years 1994 and 2000, she sang under director, Dwayne Condon, as a member of the Glenkirk Evensong Choir and served as soprano section leader for Glenkirk Sanctuary Choir in Glendora, CA. Karen has worked as a studio singer and also competed in choral and vocal competitions, including the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod in Wales and has sung professionally for various performing groups. She has also performed the National Anthem for both our local Rancho Cucamonga Quakes and Ontario Reign teams.
Karen has a Bachelor of Arts in Music with emphases in Vocal Performance and Music Education from Azusa Pacific University and continues to perform in multiple settings. She is known for having a pure tone vocal quality, adaptability to perform in many settings, and a wide vocal range. Karen also enjoys playing the piano as well as composing and has taught private lessons in voice and piano. She resides in the city of Rancho Cucamonga with her husband and two children.
Ariel Pisturino, Staff Singer
The Los Angeles Times hailed soprano Ariel Pisturino as “an impressive young discovery,”
after seeing her professional debut performance as Nancy T’ang in Long Beach Opera’s
production of Nixon in China. An enthusiastic advocate of contemporary works and
collaborations with composers, Ariel performed the role of Lover in The Industry’s nationally-
acclaimed production of HOPSCOTCH and created the role of Laurie in Mark Abel’s premiere opera Home is a Harbor, released on Delos Records. She collaborated with Abel once before on his song cycle Five Rilke Songs on the album Terrain of the Heart, also for Delos Records. Most recently, Ariel created the role of Rosina Brandram in a newly written Gilbert and Sullivan review, Hail Poetry, with Opera a la Carte. Most recently, she premiered a new song cycle, Dewdrops, by long time friend, Alex Miller.
Propelled by her interest in promoting new works, Ariel co-founded the performance troupe Chamber Opera Players of LA and the new music summer concert series unSUNg, focusing on new and unknown vocal music. Highlights of her work with Chamber Opera Singers of LA
include her commission and premiere of the opera The Last Silent Voice by George N.
Gianopoulos, and a performance of Ned Rorem’s Three Sisters who are not Sisters. Other
contemporary performance highlights include her performances with Long Beach Opera as
Witch 1 in Bloch’s Macbeth, the premiere of an electronic opera, The Master and Margarita by Russian composer, Gamma Skupinsky and the premiere of the oratorio Circular 14: The
Apotheosis of Aristides by Neely Bruce in remembrance of Aristides de Sousa Mendes, who saved thousands during the Holocaust.
Ms. Pisturino not only performs new works but also lends her creamy legato to traditional roles such as Donna Elvira, Fiordiligi, Micaëla, and Second Lady. She has also been heard as the soprano soloist in the Brahms Requiem, Fauré Requiem, Mozart’s Mass in C Minor and Requiem, and Rutter Gloria.
An avid language student, Ariel is a dedicated Italian student and attended the Russian Opera Workshop to study the Russian language and perform the role of Tamara in Rubenstein’s opera, The Demon.
Ariel holds a Masters degree from the University of Southern California, Thornton School of
Music, a Bachelors degree in Music from Northern Arizona University, and is an OperaWorks alumna. Born in San Francisco but a native of Kingman, Arizona, she now resides with her bass-baritone boyfriend and three kitties in sunny Los Angeles.
Sarah Alonzo, Staff Singer
Sarah Alonzo is an alto staff singer with Mountainside Master Chorale and has been a part of the ensemble for the last 4 years. Sarah grew up in sunny Southern California, where she's lived and breathed choral music for the last 12 years of her life.
She received her Bachelor's of Arts degree in Vocal Performance from the University of La Verne where she studied under Carol Stephenson and Johnathan Mack. During her undergrad, Sarah was a part of the University Chamber Singers, Chorale, and Barbershop programs. She then furthered her education at Azusa Pacific University where she earned a Master's in Music degree in Choral Conducting. While at APU, she sang in Bel Canto, University Choir, Masterworks Choir, and the world renown Chamber Singers. She has taken voice lessons with Phillip Webb as well as conducting lessons with Dr. John Sutton, Dr. Irene Messoloras, and Dr. John Simons. She was also the Graduate Assistant conductor for Dr. Simons and Dr. Sutton, and acted as a Graduate Assistant for Michelle Jensen. She has toured and conducted across the United States as well as South America with various choirs from APU.
Currently, Sarah is taking her love of education and choral music to it's highest potential and is the Choir Director for Arrowhead Christian Academy in Redlands, CA. Sarah hopes to instill the same passion and love for choral music in her students.
Steven O'Donnell, Staff Singer
Steven O'Donnell has sung choral music with numerous ensembles in both California and Germany and has collaborated in concerts, opera, musical theater and recordings with leading international conductors such as Lawrence Foster, John Mauceri, Helmuth Rilling and Mario Venzago. He was an inaugural ensemble member of Orange County’s Opera Pacific. O’Donnell is a resident member of the Los Angeles based Gilbert and Sullivan repertory company Opera a la Carte where he has sung the role of Box in Cox and Box, and The Defendant in Trail by Jury, and is a Choral Scholar at First United Methodist Church of Pasadena. A California native, Steven attained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music at California State University at Fullerton
Scott Ziemann, Section Leader / Staff Singer
A Northern California native, Baritone Scott Ziemann is emerging as a noted artist in the Southern California vocal community having been called “a vocal talent worth catching…a brilliant tone, secure and resonant.” Scott has performed around the nation touring with Pacific Chorale under the direction of John Alexander. He also performs regularly in opera and musical theater. This year alone Scott has sung various roles in productions of The Rake's Progress, Abduction from the Seraglio, The Merry Widow, and Susannah with Pacific Opera Project and Pasadena Opera. Scott is a lover of choral music as well, having been a staff singer with Pacific Chorale for 10 years. He has been able to sing some of the most incredible repertoire at the highest musical level. As a concert soloist Scott has sung the Baritone solo in Orff's Carmina Burana and Faure's Requiem. Scott is excited and grateful to be a part of the Mountainside Master Chorale and is looking forward to the upcoming season.