Latin, [sɛrˈviːre], verb, present active infinitive
1. to serve
Servire is a professional vocal ensemble that is also a service organization. All of our projects are made possible through partnerships with local charities, offering a unique voice and call to action towards their mission. We hope that through our education outreach, benefit concerts, and hands-on service activities, we can help foster stronger connections within communities in need while presenting a high level of musical artistry in our performances.
With a mission focused on localized philanthropy, Servire is hoping to travel around the country building bridges and making a difference within already existing communities. We hope that, through our projects, we will leave a lasting effect by creating new relationships within communities between organizations in need and those that are able to help them.
Servire is led by Executive Director, Christopher Short, from Raleigh, North Carolina (left) and Artistic Director, Andrew Whitlow, from Savannah, Georgia. (right)
A native of Greenville, South Carolina, Jessie Haarala holds her Bachelor’s of Music degree in Vocal Performance from Furman University (2016), and her Master’s from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music (2018). She’s had the privilege of performing various repertoire from art song to oratorio to opera; however, since completing her studies and settling in the Charleston area, Jessie has focused her attention on the beauty industry. She now works as a licensed cosmetologist at 843 Beauty Collective in Goose Creek, South Carolina. Jessie still loves performing and has been able to participate not only in Servire, but also in The King's Counterpoint and Cantores Charleston as a mezzo soprano section leader and soloist. You can also hear her in the choir at Old Saint Andrew’s Parish Church and in upcoming engagements with Vox Regis, a professional vocal ensemble of 10 members primarily based in the South East. In her free time, Jessie’s hobbies include crafting, traveling, and spending quality time with friends and family.
Elizabeth Stovall received her Bachelor’s Degree in Vocal Performance from East Carolina University in 2017 and her Masters degree in Voice Performance from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville in 2019. Currently, she serves as lecturer in voice at UNC-Wilmington where she teaches full time. Some of her recent operatic roles include: Frasquita in Bizet’s Carmen, Serpetta in Mozart’s La Finta Giardiniera, and Susanna in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro. She will take on the role of Papagena in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte with Opera Wilmington next summer. In 2014, she was crowned Miss North Carolina and went on to compete in the Miss America competition where she was awarded a non-finalist talent award. While competing in the Miss America system, Beth promoted her platform: Inspiration Art. In addition to speaking to thousands of students across the state of NC, she also spoke to legislators about the importance of arts education on the House floor in Raleigh. Her passion for arts education is still a very important part of her life, and she plans to continue performing professionally and teaching voice for as long as she can.
Originally from Danville, Virginia, Jodi received his Bachelor of Arts in Music from Furman University, studying bel canto style operatic singing under Ms. Tamara Matthews. While at Furman, Jodi was a member of many different music groups, including the Furman Singers, Chamber Choir, and Jazz Ensemble, among many others. From winning his university’s talent show, to performing in beautiful cathedrals around the world, and even co-founding an early music a cappella choir, Jodi’s vocal pursuits have afforded him many unique opportunities for musical growth. A former first chair All-Virginia saxophonist, Jodi enjoys performing in local bands, finding voice-over work, and watching NFL football in his spare time.
Sullivan Hart, tenor, is an avid singer of choral, oratorio, and art song repertoire. He has performed as a featured soloist with the Furman University Orchestra, the New England Conservatory Chamber Singers, and the Lowell Youth Orchestra. His recent oratorio experience includes Mozart’s Coronation Mass, Handel’s Messiah, and Britten’s Rejoice in the Lamb. In 2019, Sullivan was a soloist in the world premier of Robert Kyr’s Resurrection Oratorio with the choir of Boston University’s Marsh Chapel. An active ensemble singer, Sullivan was a member of the 2019 VOCES8 US Scholars program and has enjoyed multiple engagements with Boston’s Handel and Haydn Society. Sullivan holds music degrees from Furman University and the New England Conservatory of Music. His teachers include Kevin Wilson, Ian Howell, Carole Haber, and William Thomas.
Sandra, a native of Atlanta, Georgia, enjoys performing a wide variety of repertoire, including choral music, early music, operatic, and concert repertoire. Sandra has greatly valued her training at summer institutes such as the Festival Lyrique de Belle-Ile-en-Mer, the Yale-Norfolk Chamber Choir Institute, the International Baroque Institute at Longy, and Duke Chapel's Chorworks. On the stage, she has recently performed the roles of Cherubino in Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro and Le Prince Charmant in Viardot's chamber operetta, Cendrillon. During her master's degree, Sandra was selected a winner of The Ohio State University Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition, the Wilson Vocal Competition, the regional NATS Artist Awards competition (Great Lakes), and the Graduate Vocal Achievement award. Sandy holds her bachelor's degree in vocal performance from Furman University and master's degrees in voice performance and voice pedagogy from The Ohio State University, where she studied voice under Dr. Scott McCoy.
Kristen Murdaugh, mezzo-soprano, is a voice researcher, teacher, and performer of opera, oratorio, and art song. With a passion for contemporary repertoire, her recent performance credits include the role of Estelle in John Musto’s Later the Same Evening as well as the contralto solos in the world premiere of Christopher LaRosa’s oratorio Joshua. She is currently completing her PhD in Voice Science at the Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst Wien in Vienna, Austria, while also working as a Pre-Doc Voice Researcher at the Universität Mozarteum Salzburg, and continuing to teach voice privately. She holds a Master of Music Degree in Vocal Pedagogy from the New England Conservatory of Music and a Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance and German studies from Furman University, graduating both institutions summa cum laude. Her recent papers, lectures, and conference presentations include: Correlating Perceptual and Spectral Aspects of Chiaroscuro in Singing; In-Person or Virtual: Assessing the Impact of COVID-19 on the Teaching Habits of Voice Pedagogues; That’s What He Said: Gender Bias in the Fundamental Models of Sound Perception; and in 2017, she presented a TEDx Talk titled, Talking about Talking: The Science of the Voice. Kristen is a member of the Voice Foundation, Pan-American Vocology Association, National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS), and serves on the NATS Boston Board. In rare moments of spare time, she enjoys drinking coffee, reading, and dreaming of one day adopting a cat.
Andrew is a conductor and tenor with interests ranging from sacred chamber music to barbershop. He holds a B.M in Church Music and a M.M in Choral Conducting from Furman University and East Carolina University respectively. During his master’s degree, Andrew studied vocal pedagogy extensively and authored “Vocal Scientist at the Podium: A Choral Methodology Based in Vocal Science” as his master’s thesis. Andrew has held several directorship positions including past duties as Music Director of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Rocky Mount, NC and his current position as director of choirs at Calvary Day School in Savannah, GA. As an undergraduate student, he organized and musically directed multiple benefit concerts of Renaissance choral music that raised money for various charitable organizations in need. This combined interest later led to his co-founding of Servire Chorus, of which he currently serves as artistic director. Andrew has been featured as a soloist throughout the southeast. His solo work in Benjamin Britten’s Hymn to St. Cecilia and Edward Bairstow’s Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silent was featured in the album “Appear and Inspire,” a professionally recorded album of the ECU Chamber Singers by Gothic Records. Whitlow has also enjoyed experiences at Duke Chapel including appearances in the Duke Bach Cantata Series and Chorworks Early Music, with whom he recorded and presented the premier modern haute-contre performance of “Sitivit anima mea” from DeLalande’s Quemadmodum desiderat cervus. He has appeared as a soloist at Christ Church Episcopal Savannah and as a staff singer at the Cathedral Basilica of St. John the Baptist in Savannah, GA, where he has performed as the tenor soloist in Mozart’s Requiem and Handel’s Messiah.
Kerby Baier is a graduate of East Carolina University where she obtained her Master of Music in Vocal Pedagogy and Voice Performance. Previously she graduated from Furman University with a Bachelor of Music. She has performed the roles of Belinda in Dido and Aeneas, Blanche in Dialogues of the Carmelites, Anne Egerman in A Little Night Music, Poppea in The Coronation of Poppea, and most recently Portia in Something Rotten. She has sung with the East Carolina University Chamber Singers, Furman Singers, and the Furman Chamber Choir. Currently, Kerby teaches voice and serves as the Coordinator of Music Programs at a school of music in Chapel Hill, NC. She is extremely grateful to be a part of Servire.
Jonathan Murphy is Lecturer of Opera and Collaborative Piano at Georgia Southern University, his undergraduate alma mater. He is also a graduate of the University of Tennessee, where he was a member of the Knoxville Opera Studio, and the University of Oklahoma, where he was a Weitzenhoffer Opera Fellow. Among Jonathan’s operatic roles are Don Ottavio (Don Giovanni), Pylade (Iphigénie en Tauride), Peter Quint (The Turn of the Screw), Nemorino (L’elisir d’amore) Elvino (La Sonnambula), Ferrando (Cosí fan tutte), Nerone (L’Incoronazzione di Poppea), Sam Kaplan and Lippo Fiorentino (Street Scene), and the title role in Stravinsky’s Mavra. As an opera coach, he has prepared roles and operas for performances at the Metropolitan Opera, Dallas Opera, San Francisco Opera, San Diego Opera, and Santa Fe, among others. Among the international artists with whom he has worked are Samuel Ramey, Leona Mitchell, Robert Hale, Clifton Forbis, Kurt Ollmann, William Powers, and Jay Hunter Morris. Jonathan's concert work includes Mozart’s Mass in C Minor, Dubois’ Seven Last Words of Christ, Mendelssohn's Elijah, Vivaldi’s Gloria, Saint-Saëns’ Oratorio de Noël, and the Requiems of Mozart and Verdi. His 2019 performance as tenor soloist in Craig Hella Johnson’s Considering Matthew Shepard was broadcast on Michigan Public Radio. In his sixth year as Musical Director and Conductor for Georgia Southern Opera, Jonathan has prepared and conducted numerous productions, including Don Giovanni, Ward’s The Crucible, and Weill’s Street Scene, as well as L’Orfeo (Monteverdi) and La Rondine (Puccini). Projects this Fall include Finzi’s A Young Man’s Exhortation and Vaughan Williams’ Songs of Travel with tenor Dominic Armstrong and Respighi’s La Bella dormente nel Bosco. Jonathan is an extremely active collaborative pianist and recitalist and also serves as Music Director at Trinity Episcopal Church, Statesboro.
Caroline LeGrand, originally from Durham, North Carolina, currently lives in Atlanta, Georgia. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Music from Furman University in 2017, where she was a member of several choral ensembles, namely Furman Singers, Chamber Choir, Chancel Choir, and The Twelve Peers. She is a recent graduate of Mercer University where she received her Master of Divinity. While there, she completed a 70-page Master’s thesis, in which she researches and discusses the interaction of music and the Eucharist and their ability to create egalitarian community together. The thesis is titled, How Can Music Assist in the Subversive Intent of the Eucharist? She is currently the Worship Coordinator at her alma mater, McAfee School of Theology, where she crafts and leads weekly community worship. She is honored to be a part of Servire, joining in its mission to sing and serve.
Colin Harrison was raised and currently resides in Savannah, GA. He attended Georgia Southern University and received his Bachelor's of Music Education in 2017. He is currently teaching in his fifth year at Coastal Middle School as the chorus and music teacher, where his students consistently receive excellent and superior ratings. Mr. Harrison sings bass and baritone with Servire and is a Bass Section Leader for St. John's Cathedral Basilica. In addition to early music and classical choral music, he also enjoys singing in the style of barbershop quartets and directs a local barbershop chorus, 13th Colony Sound in Savannah.
Christopher Short is from Raleigh, North Carolina. Christopher graduated in 2019, Magna Cum Laude from the East Carolina University School of Music as a double major in Vocal Performance and Music Theory/Composition. Upon graduating, he received the ECU School of Music’s Award given to the "Most Outstanding Graduating Senior" in the area of Music Theory, Composition, and Musicology. Christopher has traveled internationally as a choral musician and soloist, performed regionally in a variety of operatic and oratorio performances, and is an award-winning composer. He holds staff positions at Duke University Chapel in their Vespers and Evensong choirs. Christopher has toured and recorded internationally with the acclaimed East Carolina University Chamber Singers as well as the Christ Church on Capitol Square Choristers and Lay Clerks. In addition to his ensemble work, Christopher has also appeared regionally in a variety of concert and oratorio performances. His most recent seasons included appearances as the baritone soloist in the Fauré Requiem and Duruflé Requiem, bass soloist in Handel’s Messiah at Duke University Chapel, with the Raleigh Bach Soloists, and as a bass soloist in the Duke Bach Cantata Series. For the past two years, Christopher has been a member of the US VOCES8 Scholars program. Throughout the season, he spends time working with and learning from the internationally acclaimed ensemble as well as employees of the VOCES8 Foundation, learning the VOCES8 Method for educational outreach work, and playing a part in furthering the mission of the VOCES8 Foundation. In addition to his performing, Christopher serves on the Board of Directors for the Philharmonic Association, as the Education Assistant for the North Carolina Symphony, and as the Executive Director for the emerging vocal ensemble, Servire. In his free time, Christopher has a passion for cooking extravagant meals, traveling, spending time with his dog, and watching his favorite sports teams.
Sophia Odiorne, MT-BC, is a North Carolina native who graduated from East Carolina University with a BA in Music Therapy. While at ECU she was an active member of the internationally acclaimed East Carolina University Chamber Singers. Sophia currently lives in Hendersonville, North Carolina where she works as a private practice board-certified Music Therapist specializing in geriatric care, as well as a hospice bereavement coordinator providing grief counseling and anticipatory grief support to families of hospice patients. Sophia also maintains a studio of private voice and piano students with a local music school in East Flat Rock, NC.
Henry Branson began his musical education at the age of nine singing with the North Carolina Boys Choir. He received a BM in music education from Furman University and completed his MM in choral conducting from East Carolina University. Branson’s primary interests lie in early music. While at Furman, he directed The Twelve Peers, a student ensemble dedicated to the performance of early and contemporary music. At ECU, his master’s project consisted of editing and performing Charpentier’s Messe pour les trépassés with a period orchestra. Branson has completed many editions of polyphonic music (including Dunstable, Ockeghem, Tallis, Sheppard, and Victoria). He most recently completed a performing edition of the Michel-Richard deLalande grand motet, Quemadmodum desiderat fontes, which received a premiere performance at the Chorworks Young Artists Summer Course – a program which he founded alongside Philip Cave. In August 2018 and 2019 he attended the Yale School of Music Norfolk Chamber Music Festival as a conducting fellow under Simon Carrington. Branson currently serves as Director of Music and Arts at Aldersgate UMC in Durham. He also serves as a staff singer at Duke University Chapel, where he sings in two ensembles and performs in the popular Bach Cantata Series.