Highly-skilled singing veterans make up The Salvatones, a professional vocal ensemble with a passion to perform and an appetite for excellence. The group, directed by Daniel Brondel, is produced by Salvatonic Inc, founded by President/CEO, Salvatore Diana. Salvatonic Inc provides top quality singing talent, such as The Salvatones and singing event production for a range of events including private parties, corporate events, benefits and galas, concert series, and recordings of existing as well as newly composed works. Launched in October 2010, The Salvatones made their professional debut just one month later as part of the Paul Creston Award Celebration. As part of the evening, The Salvatones premiered original settings of The Sidewalks of New York and Lullaby of Broadway arranged by Artistic Director Daniel Brondel.
Versatile musician, Daniel Brondel, Artistic Director for The SALVATONES, is also the Associate Director of Music at Saint Patrick's Cathedral in New York City. He performs solo recitals in the United States and France, and has also appeared as soloist in piano concertos of Mozart and Rachmaninoff, and organ concertos of Poulenc and Jongen. He made his Weill Recital Hall (Carnegie Hall) debut in 2010 as narrator in a performance of Erik Satie's Sports et divertissements. Mr. Brondel has recorded and appeared regularly as countertenor soloist (Schnittke's Requiem and Bach's B-minor Mass) with Grammy-Award-winner Paul Halley, and has sung with the Gentlemen of the Choir of St. Thomas Church Fifth Avenue. He has performed extensively in oratorios of Bach and Handel, and in opera, notably the lead of Oberon in Benjamin Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream. Praised for a colorful timbre and an exceptionally wide vocal range, he is featured as solo sopranist in Aural Borealis, a CD recording by award-winning Publick Musick. Mr. Brondel is the Founding Artistic Director of the Cathedral of Saint Patrick Young Singers, the first auditioned youth choir at the Cathedral in over fifty years, which performed in the presence of Pope Benedict XVI during his visit to New York City in April 2008. Following the televised prayer service led by the pontiff at St. Joseph's Seminary in Yonkers, Mr. Brondel was heard playing organ works of Bach for several minutes on the worldwide television broadcast. Daniel Brondel plays Masses each week that are broadcast live on SIRIUS XM Satellite Radio. He is also the Associate Director of the Cathedral Choir, and he manages the organ recital series and the visiting choirs concert series. A graduate of the Eastman School of Music, Mr. Brondel holds a Master of Music degree in Organ Performance. At Eastman, he did further doctoral work in organ and musicology, and studied voice. He earned a Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Performance cum laude from Georgia State University, Atlanta. During his entire college career, he was a singer and French-diction coach for the Grammy-Award-winning Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chorus and Chamber Chorus, directed by Robert Shaw. Recipient of a grant from the Theodore Presser Foundation, several prestigious academic fellowships, and winner of various piano competitions, Daniel Brondel also won the First Prize at the 1996 Arthur Poister Competition and the Second Prize at the 1996 National Young Artist Competition in Organ Playing of the American Guild of Organists in New York City. A native of southern France, Mr. Brondel has lived in the United States since 1988. He is a member of the American Guild of Organists, of the Conference of Roman Catholic Cathedral Musicians, and served for five years on the Board of Directors of Schola Cantorum on Hudson, a choral organization based in Jersey City and Manhattan.^
Joanna Johnston began her professional singing career at the age of 18 as the youngest member of the Dale Warland Singers, a 40 voiced ensemble based in St.Paul, MN. She was the Regional winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and National Finalist. Her extensive operatic career included premieres by Stephen Paulus ("Summer") & Daron Hagen ("Shining Brow") and performances at New York City Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, Spoleto Festival USA, Madison Opera, Berkshire Opera. Joanna concertized with many orchestras such as the Minnesota Orchestra, St.Paul Chamber Orchestra, Cincinnati Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, New Jersey Symphony and numerous conductors including Edo de Waart, Leonard Slatkin, George Manahan, Spiro Argiris and Zdenek Macal. She is a Shoshana Foundation recipient and winner of numerous competitions including Liederkranz, Schubert Clubs, National Association Teachers of Singing, Center for Contemporary Opera and made her Carnegie Hall recital debut in 1999. Joanna currently resides in New York City with her husband Michael and their son William.^
A vocalist, percussionist, composer and arranger, Dorian Lake has extensive musical experience in many styles and genres. Everything from Jazz (he has many original songs as well as experience singing in vocal and instrumental jazz groups), to Classical (trained at Wagner College, Staten Island, he has composed several pieces for Concert Band, Choir and solo voice, as well as being a member of Schola Cantorum on the Hudson, and the Head Cantor at St. Paul's Episcopal Church), Opera (performing roles such as Figaro, Don Alfonso, and debuting the character of Sor Giuseppe in the new Opera Il Negozio di Campagna) to more popular genres (a founding member of the band Heavy Weather, which has released two albums since 2008, as well as writing and arranging many songs in the styles of Blues, Soul, Funk and Rock). No stranger to the stage, Dorian has also been in two productions of the play Hair, and an actor in the off-Broadway play Sid's Dream. With his wide range of interests and abilities, his experiences has allowed him to perform in such diverse venues as Carnegie Hall, the New Jersey Performance Art Center and St. Patrick's Cathedral to B.B.King's, The Bitter End and the former CBGB's.^
Bass Salvatore Spataro earned degrees in both music and mathematics from Dartmouth College, where he also served as a teacher of music theory. Mr. Spataro's passion for singing grew as a member of the Dartmouth College Chamber Singers with international tours in Italy, Germany and Austria. Later, while living in Switzerland, he was also a member of Schmaz – the gay men's chorus of Zurich – where he performed at major venues in both Zurich and Lucerne. He developed his vocal work as a singer in Schola Cantorum on Hudson, an independent mixed-voice choral ensemble, and served a term as treasurer of the group's Board of Directors. Sal also performed with Chantez!, an a cappella quartet, at various venues in the New York metropolitan area. He currently resides in northern New Jersey.^
Salvatore Diana is a native New Yorker and current Manhattan resident. His education at Wagner College formed the foundation of his passion and advocacy for the arts and honed his skills as a vocal and choral artist. While at Wagner, he earned a degree in vocal performance, toured extensively with the college choir, and performed as a soloist. He sang extensively with the Wagner College Concert and Chamber Choirs and performed in numerous productions, including the roles of Danilo in The Merry Widow, and Hoffman in Tales of Hoffman. Salvatore has since appeared with the Liederkranz Opera Company, in Manhattan, in such roles as Paquillo in La Perichole, and Jenik in the Bartered Bride. Sal has performed throughout the United States and Europe as an ensemble singer and featured soloist for opera companies, concert series, and choirs including two years with Saint Patrick's Cathedral Choir in New York City, ten years with Schola Cantorum on Hudson. Sal is currently soloist and section leader at St. John's-in-the-Village Episcopal Church. His oratorio work has been particularly well-received, especially for his multiple appearances as soloist for Bach's Magnificat, and Handel's Messiah and Judas Maccabeus. Sal brings a unique perspective to every artistic endeavor given his extensive professional background in marketing and advertising enabling him to "fuse the business of the arts with the art of business." He has contributed this unique confluence of influences with high profile activity in the choral field having served as board member for the Cathedral of Saint Patrick Young Singers and as Board Chairman of Schola Cantorum on Hudson(SCH) from 2005-2010. Fulfilling his desire to continue helping choral organizations advance and achieve their potential, Sal serves Chorus America as faculty member for its renowned and highly in-demand Chorus Management Institute. Always seeking avenues to create opportunities for artists and redefine experiences for audiences, Sal has founded Salvatonic Inc with the goals of expanding the performing market and delivering innovation to the choral arts field. The first manifestation of this goal is the launch of "The Salvatones" in which Sal is thrilled to collaborate and create with such exceptional and experienced vocal talent.^
Michelle Repella is an active choral and opera singer in the greater Tri-State area. Her love for these two genres in particular are what propelled her to attend Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ for voice and music education studies. While at Westminster, she studied under Faith Esham privately, and while a member of the prestigious Symphonic choir, sang under the batons of Maestros Joseph Flummerfelt, Neeme Jarvi, and Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos. Ms. Repella also sang on the national tour of A Royal Christmas, starring Andrea Bocelli and Denyce Graves. Ms. Repella also held post in the professional choir of St. Bartholomew's Church, NYC, and was fortunate enough to do several recordings and many concerts while there. She also is a member of Anam Cara, based out of Philadelphia, PA, which has recorded three albums under the GIA label, focused in premiering new choral works. Ms. Repella continues to study and sing operatically, most recently having sung La Zia Principessa in Puccini's Suor Angelica with Trinity Opera, NYC. In 2009, Ms. Repella was accepted into the Intermezzo's Elardo Young Artist Program, which was held in Bruges, Belgium. For a month, she studied with Marishka Wierzbicki and Patricia McCaffrey, and coached under J. David Jackson, Andrew Wise, and John Lidal. She sang in the European Premiere of Marc Adamo's opera "Little Women" as Cecelia March. The premiere was held in Bruges' Stadsschouwburg theater in the heart of the city. Ms. Repella has also sung chorus for the Princeton festival for several seasons, as well as New Jersey Opera Theater and Regina Opera. Ms. Repella continues to study and love the field, and works hard to maintain a good balance between her love of choirs and solo work.^
Mary Ellen Assue, soprano, is a Silver Spring, Maryland native whose experience has led her to travels abroad where she gained her first professional music contract performing in a jazz duo in Otsu, Japan . Since returning to the United States, she has worked as a studio singer for commercial work throughout the U.S. As a jazz vocalist, Mary Ellen delves into the rich American songbook of jazz standards as well as maintaining close working relationships with current jazz composers. She has performed with esteemed organizations such as the Duke Ellington Orchestra and has been awarded by Down Beat Magazine. On the operatic stage, she has performed the roles of Belinda (Dido and Aeneas), Despina (Cosí fan tutte), Madame Herz (Der Schauspieldirektor), and Lakmé (Lakmé). She has recently performed the roles of Blonde (Die Entführung aus dem Serail) and Papagena (Die Zauberflöte) with Opera Colorado. Ms. Assue is committed to contemporary music, and is delighted to have premiered the roles of Alba in Robert Rodriguez's La Curandera for Opera Colorado and Alice in Evan House's Man: Biology of a Fall in New York City. Her concert repertoire includes Bach's Mass in B Minor and St. Matthew's Passion, Handel's Messiah, and Mozart's Coronation Mass. Critics have applauded her performance of Clara's famous aria, "Summertime," in Fresno Grand Opera's production of Porgy and Bess: "Her voice soared with the music, never straining to reach the high notes, never grounding out at the bottom. She sang with so much hope."^