Soloists at First Presbyterian Church of Royal Oak

First Presbyterian Church of Royal Oak is extremely blessed to have an accomplished and talented professional quartet who assist in leading worship. These singers participate in and provide support to our Chancel Choir. Their leadership provides nurturing guidance, which significantly enhances the proficiency of our choir. Additionally, the soloists alternate weekly and provide an anthem during the Offertory. Their contributions to our worship service are immeasurable and are greatly appreciated by our congregation.

Clodagh Earls, Soprano

Recognized for her vocal warmth, charming stage presence, and vibrant personality, Canadian soprano Clodagh Earls is a young artist to watch as she bursts onto the North American operatic and concert scene. Ms. Earls recently made her MClodagh Earlsichigan Opera Theatre debut in Frida, and has performed in various musical theatre and opera productions throughout the United States, Canada and in Europe. In 2014, she debuted in the coveted role of Königin der Nacht, in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, under the baton of Maestro Grzegorz Nowak, at the prestigious Miami Summer Music Festival, in Florida. Ms. Earls joined the 2014 Michigan Opera Theatre Chorus for the incredible production of Puccini’s Madame Butterfly, under the baton of Maestro Stephen Lord. As an apprentice artist at Michigan Opera Theatre for spring 2015, Ms. Earls performed in the company premiere of Robert Xavier Rodriguez’s Frida, Lehar’s The Merry Widow, and Gounod’s Faust. In May 2016 at FPCRO, Ms. Earls sang the role of Eve in the critically acclaimed North American premiere of Jonathon Dove's church opera The Walk from the Garden. Ms. Earls holds a Master of Music: Voice Performance from the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Music, and a Bachelor of Music: Honours Voice Performance from the University of Western Ontario. Mentors of Ms. Earls include Canadian soprano Frédérique Vézina and Dr. Cynthia Hoffmann of The Juilliard School. She is now being coached by American tenor Curtis Peters. Ms. Earls resides in Birmingham, Michigan.

Julie Anne Smith, Mezzo Soprano

Julie Anne Smith

Julie Anne Smith has been a vocal music teacher in the Berkley Schools since 1998. She has extensive experience directing and singing operetta and musical theatre, including directing Operetta Workshop at the Detroit Opera House. Ms. Smith received her Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education from Eastern Michigan University and her Master of Music in Conducting from Oakland University. Her teachers include Wendy Bloom, Leonard Riccinto, Michael Mitchell and Edith Diggory. She continues to sing extensively as a freelance soloist, and is a member of the Michigan School Vocal Music Association and the American Choral Directors Association.

       Ms. Smith is also a Gilbert and Sullivan scholar and has directed and conducted five G&S operettas at the Detroit Opera House with her dear friends, Joseph Jackson and Wendy Bloom. Mr. Jackson and Ms. Smith continue their collaboration in the Berkley Schools thanks to the Berkley Choir Boosters, who raise money for the Choirs to have a regular staff accompanist.

       In addition to her conducting and performing, Ms. Smith was also chosen to work for the International Baccalaureate Organization as a site evaluator, workshop leader and as a school consultant. IBO selected thirty MYP (Middle Years Programme) applicants in all of the Americas to attend training in San Juan, Puerto Rico in the summer of 2007. Ms. Smith was one of two music educators in all of the Americas to receive this honor.


Curt Peters, Tenor

Curt resizedTenor Curt Peters received his Masters degree in Voice Performance from the University of Michigan School of Music, where he studied with internationally acclaimed soprano Lorna Haywood. Following his graduate work at the University of Michigan, Mr. Peters continued his studies with world-renowned voice teacher and clinician Richard Miller at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. Active both in opera and concert work, Mr. Peters has performed as soloist with many groups throughout Michigan, including recent appearances with the Windsor Symphony, the Detroit Oratorio Society, the Livonia Symphony, the Flint Symphony, the Royal Oak Symphony, the Plymouth Symphony and the Metropolitan Detroit Chorale. Active as tenor soloist here at First Presbyterian Church of Royal Oak for more than 25 years, Mr. Peters resides in Livonia with his wife Becki and his two sons, Christian and Caleb.


Blair Mellow, Bass/Baritone

BlairBlair Mellow is a professional actor, singer, recording artist and vocal instructor. He has been performing on stage and in concert halls for over twenty years. He received his Bachelor of Music and his Bachelor of Arts in Theater Performance from Oakland University, where he currently teaches in the Music Prep Division of the Department of Music, Theater and Dance. He is a voice-over artist who has been recording for the last ten years. He has been a soloist in the Chancel Choir at First Presbyterian Church of Royal Oak since August of 2012. He currently lives in Royal Oak.

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