Dr. Carlton Monroe
Director of Music
Dr. Monroe is Director of Music at St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Terrace Park, Ohio, where, in addition to leading an active choral program for children and adults, he established and conducts the Bach Ensemble of St. Thomas, a professional ensemble of instrumentalists and vocalists who perform services, concerts and educational retreats centered on the music of J. S. Bach. He is the Director of Choral Activities for the Poco a Poco Music Festival in Streator, Illinois.
As a conductor and music educator he has taught at every level from elementary to college, including positions at Ursuline Academy and Walnut Hills High School in Cincinnati, Miami University (OH), and Georgia College & State University. He received his Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. He has previously served on the boards of the Cincinnati Choral Consortium and was a regional chair with the Association of Anglican Musicians. He currently serves on the board of the Burden Foundation, which supports the work of the Burden Museum and Gardens in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He lives in Cincinnati with his wife Jennifer, contrabassoonist with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, and their children Jack and Catherine.
Jason M. Gunnell
Associate Director of Music & Organist
Jason Gunnell is currently completing a Doctorate of Musical Arts in Organ Performance at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. A native of Idaho, Jason received his Bachelor of Musical Arts at Brigham Young University-Idaho, studying with Daniel Kerr, James Drake, and Darwin Wolford. He received his Master of Music in Organ Performance and Church Music from the University of Kansas, studying with James Higdon. Jason taught courses in Music Theory and Organ Lessons at the collegiate level. Jason has performed in masterclasses with organists of renown such as Ken Cowan, Paul Jacobs, Peter Richard Conte, Fred Swann, Clay Christiansen, and Richard Elliott. Jason won the 2011 Strader Organ Competition held in Cincinnati, Ohio and was a finalist for the post of Tabernacle Organist of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Salt Lake City, Utah, in 2017.
Jason has extensive experience as a church musician and organist, serving in churches in Idaho and Missouri before coming to St. Thomas. Jason also actively serves in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in many music capacities and has served in the Church of Jesus Christ in music capacities for over 30 years. Jason has played in and performed in many venues throughout the United States and Hungary. Jason actively recitals in the famed Mormon Tabernacle and the LDS Conference Center in Salt Lake City, Utah as a Guest Organist at Temple Square, playing on the world famous V/206 Aeolian Skinner Organ in the Mormon Tabernacle and the V/130 Schoenstein Organ in the Conference Center. Jason is also a member of the Bach Ensemble at St. Thomas, performing major organ works and cantatas of J. S. Bach.
Jason currently lives in Cincinnati with his family. He is happily married to his wife, Kate. They are the parents of seven young boys, Grant, Mitch, Brigham, William, Clark, Russell, and Hyrum.
soprano Choral Scholar
Hayley Maloney is a soprano hailing from Clifford, Pennsylvania. She is based in Cincinnati now and has been working here with the Cincinnati Opera Chorus for the past two summers. She graduated from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music studying under William Mcgraw. While there she sang the role of Laura Gates in the Midwestern premier of Tale for a Deaf Ear by Mark Bucci. She consecutively placed 1rst, 2nd, and 3rd in the CCM Undergraduate Opera Scholarship Competition for three years running. She also has sung multiple concerts with the Bach Ensemble of Saint Thomas, including the soprano solos in BWV 132, and BWV 26. When not singing, she enjoys reading and playing guitar. She is very excited to be singing her first Messiah with Saint Thomas.
alto Choral Scholar
Carolyn Ramseur, mezzo-soprano, recently moved to Cincinnati from Manhattan where she has worked as a musician for the last four years. After receiving her Master’s Degree from Wichita State University she appeared as an Apprentice Artist with Bel Canto at Caramoor in both the 2016 and 2017 seasons, performed in Montemezzi’s L’amore dei tre re, Respighi’s La Campana Sommersa, and Literes’ Los Elementos with New York City Opera, and also appeared in solo work around the region with The Church of the Holy Trinity and Career Bridges. In 2018 Ms. Ramseur debuted the role of Giannetta in City Lyric’s production of L’elisir d’amore and made her directorial debut with Grace Theatre’s showcase in May, where she taught voice. Most recently, she appeared as Rosina in the Little Orchestra Society of New York’s performance of Il barbiere di Siviglia and as Maria Crevallo in Garden State Opera’s The Silk City. Previously Ms. Ramseur graduated magna cum laude from Sewanee: The University of the South where she served as the Soprano Section Leader of the University Choir.
Alto Choral Scholar
Polish American mezzo-soprano Matilda Smolij is a third-year undergraduate voice student at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music under the tutelage of Dr. Gwen Coleman. Matilda has performed the roles of Cherubino in The Marriage of Figaro by Mozart in Morelia, Mexico; Third Lady and Third Spirit in The Magic Flute by Mozart in Cincinnati, OH and Austin, TX; Lolette in La Rondine by Puccini in Arezzo, Italy; and as a Spirit in A Midsummer Night’s Dream by Mendelssohn in Lafayette, Louisiana. Her awards include Young Arts winner in voice 2020, Houston Saengerbund Competition winner, and HSPVA John E. Guida scholarship winner. Matilda has also performed a solo fundraising recital to raise money for the Polish American Symphony Orchestra’s youth music school in Chicago, Illinois as well as a recent solo Polish language recital in collaboration with the Consulate General the Republic of Poland in Houston.
tenor Choral Scholar
Ryan Montgomery is a tenor studying voice performance at the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati. A Cincinnati native, Ryan began singing with the Cincinnati Boy Choir as a child, and the May Festival youth chorus while in high school. At CCM, he has been a featured performer, singing the roles of Mayor in the undergraduate opera (Opera d’Arté) production of Benjamin Britten’s Albert Herring, the German Soldier in Mark Bucci’s Tale for a Deaf Ear, and Eisenstein in Johann Strauss’ Die Fledermaus. He was also the tenor soloist in Rossini’s Petite Messa Solennelle in 2017. In 2019, Ryan was a Young Artist for the Bach Ensemble of Saint Thomas in Terrace Park Ohio. He also sang solos and art songs by Franz Liszt in a performance of his Via Crucis. Ryan has his B.M. in voice performance from CCM, and will be graduating in the spring with his M.M. in voice, also at CCM.
Bass Choral Scholar
Hailing from Saint Paul Minnesota, Erik Nordstrom brings a rare combination of laser-beam focus and calm sincerity to every performance. Erik earned his Bachelor’s degree from Lawrence University, and is currently studying with Tom Baresel at CCM, working toward his Master’s degree. In his free time he enjoys fishing and mountain biking.