Conservatory of the Arts
The Conservatory of the Arts forms young musicians by providing opportunities to collaborate with professional musicians.
Concert dates for the 2017-18 COA Season
All concerts are on Sundays at 3:00 p.m. at St. Mary’s Visitation Parish in Elm Grove, WI.
Christopher Berry, organist
B.M. University of North Texas, Organ Performance
M.M. University of Kansas, Organ Performance
Premier Prix First Prize Diploma from the Conservatory of Reuil-Malmaison
Christopher Berry has performed in prestigious venues throughout the United States and Europe, including Belgium, Czech Republic, England, Italy, France, and Poland. His performance venues have included Notre Dame Cathedral, La Madeleine and St. Sulpice, Paris; St. Vitus Cathedral, Prague; and St. Peter’s Basilica, Rome. A laureate of numerous international organ competitions, Mr. Berry studied at the University of North Texas, the University of Kansas, and the Conservatoire de Reuil-Malmaison, France. In demand as a performer, improviser, accompanist and teacher, Mr. Berry is also the Music Director and Organist at the Basilica of St. Josaphat in Milwaukee, WI.
Julie Cucunato, pianist
B.M. Wisconsin Conservatory of Music, Piano Performance
M.M. Michigan State University, Piano Performance
After completing the degree requirements in mathematics and science at Mount Mary College and accepting a job with the DEA in Chicago, Mrs. Cucunato decided to take some summer private piano lessons at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music and as a result, was strongly encouraged to pursue a degree in piano performance, teach piano at the WCM and be the private pedagogy student of the renowned pedagogue, Adelaide Banaszynski. Mrs. Cucunato then went on to receive a graduate degree in piano performance studying with the winner of the first Van Cliburn Competition, Ralph Votapek, who was also a former student of Adelaide Banaszynski. Speaking of her former students, Liberace was also one of her students! After graduating and years of teaching piano, Mrs. Cucunato founded and directed The Adelaide Banaszynski School for Piano Studies which flourished for several years until she entered the world of Catholic Church music and ten years later founded and became the director of Musicā Oramus with the mission of bringing glorious music to the Holy Mass.
B.M. University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Guitar Performance
M.M. Indiana University, Guitar Performance
P.D. Indiana University, Guitar Performance
Louis Cucunato is a classical guitarist, arranger, and composer from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He studied piano at the age of 6 and switched to the guitar around 13. He studied classical guitar with Elina Chekan in the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee Pre-College program and was a teaching assistant at the UW-Milwaukee Suzuki Pre-College Workshop in 2009. He received his B.F.A. from UW-Milwaukee in Classical Guitar Performance cum laude under the guidance of Rene Izquierdo. At the age of 18, he won second place in The Society of American Musicians Guitar Senior Division Competiton. He is a local teacher and performer, and has even performed previously in the St John’s Cathedral Concert Series in summer ’13 with his sister (violin). He has played in master classes for some of the most internationally-renowned guitarists and musicians which include Benjamin Verdery, Marcin Dylla, Lorenzo Micheli, William Kanengiser, Deniz Azabagic, Carlos Rafael Rivera (composer), and Jakob Lindberg (lute). He just finished he graduate studies at Indiana University Jacobs School of Music with a Masters Degree and Performer Diploma with three years experience of teaching at a college level.
Click here to read more about Louis and hear some of this work. https://musicaoramus.org/louis-cucunato/
B.M. Luther College, Vocal Performance
M.M. Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, Vocal Performance
Julie Shiely is a native of Brookfield, WI. Previous to her advanced education, she made her professional debut in the Skylight Music Theatre’s production of White Christmas. She, also, was very involved at First Stage Children’s Theater performing in multiple mainstage shows as a young performer. Julie received her B.A. in Music from Luther College in Decorah, IA. While at Luther, she performed as Mae Jones in Kurt Weill’s Street Scene and Despina in Mozart’s Cosí fan tutte. Julie completed her M.M in Music at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. At SIUC, Julie had a dual focus in opera and musical theater. She performed as Mother in Ragtime, Fiordiligi in Mozart’s Cosí fan tutte, and Rosalinda in Die Fledermaus. She, also, won SIUC’s Concerto Competition in 2014 and performed Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915 with the university orchestra. Julie made her professional operatic debut at the Southern Illinois Music Festival, where she sang the soprano solo in Mozart’s Coronation Mass and Alisa in Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor. Currently based in Chicago with her husband, Julie performs regionally and teaches private voice. For more information on Julie: JulieShiely.com
B.M. Indiana University, Violin Performance
M.M. Northwestern University, Violin Performance
In 2002 at the age of 14, Mrs. Williams won both the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and Menomonee Falls Orchestra Concerto Competitions. As the winner of these competitions, she performed Sarasate’s Ziguenerwiesen with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E Minor with the Menomonee Falls Orchestra. During her pre-college and undergraduate studies, Mrs. Williams studied with Professor Mimi Zweig at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, which is where she earned her Bachelor of Music. After receiving a full tuition scholarship to Northwestern University, she pursued a Master of Music under the direction of Professor Almita Vamos. While studying for this degree, she was chosen by Professor Vamos to learn and perform John Corigliano’s Red Violin Chaconne for Mr. Corigliano; she received rave reviews from the composer at her performance. After graduating with a Master of Music at the age of 22, Mrs. Williams became a member of the Madison Symphony Orchestra from 2010-2012 and joined the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra for its 2012-2013 season. She serves on the Board of Directors for Musicā Oramus and has been involved in the sacred music project since its inception in 2010. Mrs. Williams lives in Elm Grove with her husband, Andrew, and four children Robert, Evelyn, Abigail and Maria.