Directors and Coaches

Dr. Chris Ludwa, Artistic Director; Conductor – Festival Orchestra, Choir and Musical

(231) 225-8877 •

Newly named Assistant Professor of Music at Kalamazoo College and Artistic Director of the Kalamazoo Bach Festival, Chris has served as Artistic Director of Bay View Music Festival since 2007. Prior to his appointment in Kalamazoo, he served as Director of Performing Arts and Ensembles for Cuyahoga Community College in Cleveland, OH before accepting the position of Music Director for The Federated Church from 2014-2017. He also served for 10 years as Artistic Director of Encore Vocal Arts in Indianapolis, Conductor of Bloomington Pops and Bloomington Symphony, and is founder of Kaleidosong, a professional vocal sextet.

Sarah Stone, Stage Director (S.O.A.R.S.)

A founding member of the S.O.A.R.S. program, Sarah Stone returns for her fifth season at the Bay View Music Festival. Mainstage credits include Titanic, Falstaff, and Così fan tutte. The Petoskey News Review states her work is “fast paced, full of action, tightly as well as imaginatively her typical style”, and “It doesn’t get any better than this!”. Stone currently serves as Chair of Fine Arts at the Kentucky Country Day School in Louisville, KY.

Galia Backal, Stage Director and Choreographer (West Side Story)

Galia Backal is a director of new works, plays, dance theatre, and musicals. She received her BA in Directing from Pace University and has worked with The Drama League, Samuel French, Atlantic Theatre Company, La MaMa, The Broadway League, Theatre for a New Audience, The Tank, Standard Toykraft, TADA Theatre, and the Roundhouse. This past October her immersive, devised theatre piece A Very Girly Story was seen at Emerging Artists Theatre's New Work Series Festival. In November 2017, she was the Assistant Director for The Drama League's Benefit Gala Honoring Steve Martin.

Galia acted as director and creator for collaborative works including One Day Older (Theatre Row), Silence (The Tank), Nightcap (Match:Lit Theatre Company), and If I Dare (Layton Studios). Other productions include Gruesome Playground Injuries by Rajiv Joseph (Schaeberle Studio Theatre), July 7, 1994 by Donald Margulies (Schaeberle Studio Theatre), Macbeth the Musical (DTASC Festival), God's Country by Steven Dietz (DTASC Festival), Buried Child by Sam Shepard (DTASC Festival), Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All To You by Christopher Durang (NSLC at the Manhattan Theatre Club Studios), and Dinner with Friends by Donald Margulies (DTASC Festival).

Adam Rineer, Music Director - Musical (West Side Story)

Adam is a Philadelphia/NYC-based music director, composer/lyricist, and pianist. He has worked as a music director all around the Northeast region, NYC, and for Norwegian Cruise Lines. His work as a songwriter has been featured in the New York Musical Festival (NYC) and A Little New Music (LA). One of his songs for the award-winning musical web series, Merce, was named the "World AIDS Day 2017 Anthem" by Poz Magazine. His new musical, The Naked Truth, written in collaboration with librettist/lyricist/producer Ian Connor is currently in development and has had two NYC readings. Adam received his B.A. in Music with a performance emphasis in piano from Millersville University of Pennsylvania and completed additional studies in songwriting and film scoring through Berklee College of Music. He is currently pursuing his M.F.A. in Musical Theatre Collaboration (Composer/Lyricist Concentration) at Temple University of Pennsylvania.

Quentin Madia, Assistant Director/Choreographer (West Side Story)

Madia is a New York and New Jersey-based director, choreographer, and designer. Directing/Choreography Credits include: Two Star Motel (The Dare Tactic) , Bonnie and Clyde (TDT), Little Women (NJ Rep),  ...Spelling Bee (NJ Rep), Blood Brothers (NJ Repertory Theatre), Gathering Sparks (GenWhy, International, Thailand), Rent (NJ Rep Theatre), and more. Tech Production Credits: Tennessee Williams 1982 (Off-Bway, Projections), Embodi(ED) (Girl Be Heard, HERE Arts Center, Proj.), Our Class (dir. Cosmin Chivu, Proj), 4.48 Psychosis (TDT, Projections & Lights), Fires in the Mirror (TDT, Projections & Lights), and more. Pace University Directing, International Performance Ensemble. Quentin also works at The Drama League (Development Associate), Dixon Place (Production Manager), and is the Executive Director of The Dare Tactic, a non-profit theatre company in NYC.

Caroline Duffin, Stage Manager (West Side Story)

Caroline Duffin is a New York-based Stage Manager. She is excited to be working with the Bay View Music Festival. She has interned for the Alley Theatre and is the Technical Director of The Dare Tactic. She has production stage managed for other performances in New York, including Implied Consent with the Badass Lady Productions, Two Star Motel and A Roller Rink Temptation with The Dare Tactic, and Marie Antoinette and Machinal with Pace University. She is thrilled to be a part of this production.

Casey Robards, Opera Conductor

Casey Robards has given recitals throughout the United States, Europe, Central and South America and Asia.  She gave her Carnegie Hall debut with baritone Christiaan Smith, performing a program of Top 40 pop songs sung as original art song arrangements. Her repertoire includes art song, opera, musical theatre, gospel and popular vocal music, string, brass and wind. In 2017, she served as associate music director of the University of Kentucky world premiere of “BOUNCE: The Basketball opera” co-produced with Ardea Arts.

Dr. Robards is Lecturer/Vocal Coach at the University of Illinois and Head of Collaborative Piano at the Bay View Music Festival where she serves as conductor/coach/pianist for the vocal young artist programs. Casey held prior faculty appointments at Indiana University, Oberlin Conservatory (postdoctoral) and Central Michigan University. She is interested in the intersection of music and social justice and has led benefit recitals for Musicambia, a non-profit organization that creates music conservatories in prisons.

Robards attended the Tanglewood Music Festival (04, 05), receiving the Henri Kohn Memorial Award.She has a DMA in Vocal Accompanying and Coaching from the University of Illinois.

Olivia Ragan, Stage Manager/Assistant Stage Manager

Olivia Ragan is a New York-based Theatre Artist committed to sharing stories that challenge social constructs and societal expectations, especially those regarding women. Stage management credits include Pippin (New Millennium Prod. Co.) and Ratcatcher (Marymount Manhattan College). Assistant directing credits include Relentlessly Pleasant (dir. Jake Lipman), Company (dir. Julianne Boyd), Speech and Debate (dir. Jessica Holt), The Boys From Syracuse (dir. Emily Clark), Tartuffe (dir. Ellen Orenstein). She has worked as a Core Company apprentice with the Orchard Project and as an intern in the Artistic Department at The Drama League. She also co-directed the Musical Theater Conservatory in several cabarets the summer of 2017.  Support young artists and accelerating new work is both an inspiration and a privilege. Olivia holds a Bachelors in Theater Arts from Marymount Manhattan College.

Nick Gisonde, Stage Director (SOARS and Mainstage Opera)

Nick Gisonde is a stage director, fight coordinator and actor. He will be returning for his fourth season as co-stage director for the SOARS program in the summer of 2019. Nick recently directed Cosi fan tutte for North Shore Music Festival. He directed a workshop of Macbeth, which led to a full production of the play at the Secret Theatre in Queens, New York for Endless River Arts. Nick staged the premiere of Shakespeare Cabaret, a series of songs based on Shakespeare's monologues written by Emmy Award winning composer Glen Roven, accompanied with scenes from the plays. The program featured Soprano Risa Renae Harman and pianist Casey Robards at Central Michigan University. The program will be performed this year at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. He co-directed a production of Pierre Corneille's El Cid for the Pendragon Ensemble in New York.

Nick has coordinated fights and stunts for film, theater and opera for over 25 years. He has been the resident fight coordinator for The Bay View Music Festival since 2001. He was a cast member, fight captain and assistant to fight choreographer J. Steven White for the 1998 Tony Award Winner, A View from the Bridge, directed by Michael Mayer and starring Anthony LaPaglia and Allison Janney. Nick has collaborated with acclaimed opera director Crystal Manich on many productions as fight coordinator and stage violence consultant for such companies as Boston Lyric Opera, Tulsa Opera, Pittsburgh Opera, and Opera Omnia in New York City. He choreographed the fights for George Cederquist's modern edgy staging of Carmen for the Bay View Music Festival. Other Bay View credits include Falstaff, Cosi fan tutte, La Boheme, Don Giovanni and Kiss Me Kate. He staged the fights for the Off Broadway play, Beautiful Thing at the Cherry Lane Theatre.

Theresa Harrington, Youth Theater Director
Who am I? I am a cottager who has been teaching grades 1-8 for the last 27 years in Ohio, Illinois, and now sunny California. Currently I teach English in a middle school in Venice, where I am also the vice principal and director of theater arts. I really enjoy theater but more importantly, I love seeing children get opportunities to be creative and independent in their artistic expressions. I have been married to my husband Michael for 25 years and have a 23-year-old named Ryan who is starting graduate school in the fall.

Everett McCorvey, Director (American Spiritual Intensive)

Dr. Everett McCorvey is a tenor soloist, conductor, and professor of voice. He is the founder and music director of the American Spiritual Ensemble, the director and executive producer of University of Kentucky Opera Theatre, and president of Global Creative Connections, a production and management company for musical and theatrical events. Dr. McCorvey is also the artistic director of the National Chorale for the 2014-2015 season.

Mariah Boucher, Coach

Active as a chamber musician, and vocal coach, Mariah Boucher frequently performs in recitals featuring singers and instrumentalists, and has been a featured soloist with orchestras performing the concerti of Mendelssohn and Ravel. She has joined with chamber partners Dennis Carter, Lisa Raschiatore, and Jennifer Goltz to perform at the art space Trinosophes. She has worked closely with composers Michael Daugherty, Gabriela Lena Frank and Evan Chambers premiering and exploring new music. As an opera enthusiast, Mariah has performed and coached Puccini’s La Boheme, Humperdinck’s Hänsel und Gretel, Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore and Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte.

Alex El-Mohandes, Music Festival Office Coordinator

Alex will be a junior in the fall at Elon University in North Carolina. She is an Arts Administration major with minors in Communications and Art History. Alex spends her time serving as the Vice President of Public Relations for Elon's Panhellenic community as well as being an active member of the Tri Delta sorority and the Alpha Kappa Psi professional fraternity.

Who am I? I am a cottager who has been teaching grades 1-8 for the last 27 years in Ohio, Illinois, and now sunny California. Currently I teach English in a middle school in Venice, where I am also the vice principal and director of theater arts. I really enjoy theater but more importantly, I love seeing children get opportunities to be creative and independent in their artistic expressions. I have been married to my husband Michael for 25 years and have a 23 year old named Ryan who is starting graduate school in the fall.

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The Bay View Association is located just outside of Petoskey, Michigan on the shore of Little Traverse Bay.

1715 Encampment Ave
P.O. Box 583
Petoskey, MI 49770

Phone: 231-347-6225