Clara Cavitt, alto

An original member of Maple Jam, Clara Cavitt began her musical studies with the violin, eventually moving on to the piano, folk guitar, and a brief stint with the organ in college. She sang in high school and college choruses, occasionally composing for college competitions, and played violin in the high school orchestra for four years. She still enjoys composing and arranging in her spare time. In addition to singing with Maple Jam, Clara performs with the Vermont Choral Union and the VSO Chorus. She and her life partner, Paul Mattos, reside in Jericho, and enjoy cooking, hiking, gardening, snowshoeing and watching movies.

 

Karen Chickering, soprano

Karen is a Vermonter by choice, having moved here from Chicago in 1987. One of the original members of Maple Jam, she also sings with the VSO Chorus, Oriana Singers and over the years in other groups including Counterpoint and Friends, Melisma, Bella Voce, Musica Propria, and the Bluegrass Turkeys. After earning a degree from Northwestern University in church music and organ, she promptly put it to good use in multiple restaurants in the Chicago area. Resistance is futile. Her other passions include cooking, biking, kayaking, gardening, feeling the Bern, and traveling to New Zealand for quality time with her brother and nephew. She lives in Waltham with her husband Paul and his harmonicas. 

 

Vikki Day, alto

Vikki inherited the a cappella harmony gene from her father: a 2-time champion barbershop quartet bass who was recently inducted into the Barbershop Harmony Hall of Fame. Vikki has been continually singing in one group or another since she was 14 years old. A native Chicagoan, she and her husband Allan, a piano technican, moved to Vermont in 1990. Vikki is one of the original members of Maple Jam.  In the past, she has sung with Oriana Singers, Vermont Symphony Orchestra, Root7 and still sings and travels with Bella Voce Women's Chorus of Vermont and the Burlington Choral Society. Vikki is epecially proud that the singing gene was passed on to her daughter Emily who is enjoying a successful career as the lead singer and manager of a popular band (shameless plug!) in the San Francisco Bay area. When she's not singing, Vikki is a free-lance graphic artist. She and her husband live in Williston.

 

Jose Schmidt, bass

Born and raised in the really Deep South (aka Argentina), Jose Schmidt sang his way through Engineering School with the National Symphony Chorus. After immigrating to Canada in '87, he sang with the Cantata Singers of Ottawa until 1991. He moved to Vermont in 1996 and joined the VSO Chorus upon wife Maria's encouragement ("please find something to do outside the house"). Besides the VSO Chorus, he has sung with Melisma, Celestial Sirens, Oriana, Counterpoint and Syrinx before finding his true musical home in Maple Jam. Jose is one of the original members of Maple Jam. More recently, Jose has sung with Cafe Noir cabarets, Green Mountain Opera Festival chorus as well as small ensembles and and solo recitals. During the day, Jose is a software engineer with dealer.com. He and Maria have two children: Jeffrey and Stephanie. 

 

Alexandra (Alex) Tursi, soprano

Family legend has it that Alexandra Tursi got her musical start at the age of 7, when she entertained riders on the No. 6 downtown train by singing the overture to "The Nutcracker" a cappella all the way to Lincoln Center. Since then, Alex has performed with the Cornell University Chorus; Cornell University's "After Eight," an all-female a cappella group; the Cornell University World Music Choir; the Vermont Symphony Orchestra Chorus; as well as with Lyric Theatre and Stowe Theatre Guild. She is a 2005 graduate of Cornell University and social media strategist at Fletcher Allen Health Care, where she directs social media programs and campaigns. She also speaks and writes regionally and nationally about social media. She still loves to hum the overture to "The Nutcracker" -- just not on public transportation. 

 

Maarten van Ryckevorsel, tenor/vocal percussion

Though he started out playing rock guitar in his high school garage band, Maarten's musical interest quickly switched to jazz while attending Leiden University in his native Netherlands. He gigged on guitar, drums, bass guitar, banjo and harmonica before co-authoring a musical and presiding over the orchestra pit. Since landing in Burlington, Maarten has sung with the Vermont Choral Union, the Burlington Choral Society, the Vermont Symphony Orchestra Chorus and jazz a cappella group Calloway Taxi. His wife Sarah enjoys attending Maarten's performances, although she insists on being called a roadie rather than a groupie. 

 

Andy Warner, baritone

Andy Warner began singing at an early age in the wilds of central Ohio. Attending Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota, he was a founding member of the vocal jazz group Nightfall and earned a BA in music. Naturally, he followed this by working as a pilot for many years. Eventually, he got the flying bug out of his system (more or less) and moved to Burlington in 2008. Since then he has resumed his musical life, studying voice with Bill Reed and singing with the Burlington Choral Society. He is employed by the Vermont Oxford Network as their resident Bartholomew Cubbins, and enjoys boatbuilding, fountain pens, and dusting off his viola and classical guitar. 

© Maple Jam 2019

sweet a cappella jazz!

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