Alto Section Leader Carrie Biesiadecki loves singing- her first on-stage performance was “Wide Open Spaces” in her third grade talent show, and she has never looked back! Carrie is a mom to 3 year old and 1 year old daughters, and her husband Todd is a musically-gifted engineer who she has been with since 8th grade. Carrie’s background is in choral music and elementary music education, and she has taught publicly and privately since 2012. Carrie currently owns, operates and teaches for @halfpintharmonies, a music center that offers early childhood music and movement classes. She has a degree in music education from Schwob School of Music in Georgia and hopes to pursue her masters in choral conducting in the years to come.
Carrie began singing with PCS in 2014 and was a soprano core singer for three years until she started her family, and has been an active board member and singer since. Along with being alto section leader, Carrie is especially looking forward to assisting with conducting the choir this year. She’s also excited for our fundraising event, Intermezzo! “Our fundraising events have always been one of my favorite nights of the year- live vocal music in an intimate setting, good food, good wine, good folks to talk to…what more could you ask for? But Intermezzo is gonna take it up a few notches and I can’t wait to experience it! Plus…everyone needs a little Billy Joel sung into their life!”
When asked about the importance of community music, Carrie said the following “Community and music are almost synonymous. Music is such an integral part of the human experience, you can’t separate the two. Because, even when one is playing their instrument alone in their room for only their own ears to hear, the music transcends them to a place of togetherness. Whether that togetherness is felt spiritually or in a memory or fantasy.”
Bass Will Munster is a happily married father of five who you can usually find at one of his kids’ activities. His journey started in Pittsburgh in the 70s, and yes, he is a fan of the Steelers and Pirates! Will has degrees in physics from Thiel College, civil engineering from Case Western Reserve and an MBA from Wake Forest. After working as a financial controller in Cleveland and the Piedmont, he started his own company in 2017. AM Erectors is a great source of pride for him, and he is thrilled that it can sponsor groups like PCS!
Will began singing as a young child in church, but his first serious singing came at age fifteen when he performed Handel’s Messiah with the Woodland Hills Community Choir. He progressed to singing with the Jr Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh and then the Mendelssohn Choir. While in high school, Will played tenor saxophone in the marching band and bassoon in the orchestra. During that same time, Will began playing organ at a local Lutheran Church. He then began taking private organ lessons, culminating in a public organ recital at a church in Pittsburgh. Along with singing for PCS, he also sings with the Winston-Salem Symphony Chorus. He is also considering joining the Piedmont Opera Chorus in their upcoming fall production of Beethoven’s Fidelio.
Will originally sang with PCS in the late 90s under the direction of Jamie Albritten, and PCS’s performance of Schubert’s Mass in G in 2019 marked his return to the group. He also joined the board of PCS in 2019. When asked about the importance of community music Will said, “Whether we realize it or not, music is all around us. One might say there is a soundtrack to our lives. Seeing folks exposed to this for the first time is great! Pachelbel, Handel, Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Rossini, Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, and many others have written music that most folks today would instantly recognize. Helping them to realize this while broadening their musical tastes is the goal. PCS achieves this by programming a mix of approachable works beside more complex works and offers this at no charge to the audience!”.
Tenor Section Leader Chris Heckman
Chris is a musician of many talents- and has been tenor section leader at PCS since 2013. He received his B.M. in Music Composition from Florida State University, an M.F.A. in Film Music Composition from UNC School of the Arts and his Ph.D. In Music Composition for Visual Media from UCLA. He currently teaches Film Music Composition in the School of Filmmaking at UNCSA, is a freelance composer, writing for independent films, commercials, video games, ballet and contemporary dance. He is the organist at Ardmore Moravian Church, and performs in the Winston-Salem area on piano and keyboards and occasionally with the WS Symphony.
Because of his love for movie music, one of Chris’ favorite holiday tunes is John Williams’ score from Home Alone (1990). However, his favorite tune from our upcoming PCS concert is Eric Whitacre’s Lux Arumque. Chris said the following about the piece, and we couldn’t agree more! “I remember how magical it was to hear this for the first time. Though I was not particularly familiar with Whitacre at the time, I was tremendously inspired by his use of harmony, particularly how he builds dense yet wondrous tonal clusters to aurally depict the word “lux” Latin for “light”- admittedly I later studied his work in greater detail and may have incorporated one or two of his techniques into my own compositional style! Lux Arumque is, in my opinion, one of the most beautiful choral works ever composed. It is not to be missed!”
Artistic Director Jayson Snipes
Jayson Snipes became Artistic Director of Piedmont Chamber Singers in 2015. He is a native of Winston-Salem, NC, and received a B.M. in Music Education, and M.M. in Choral Conducting from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro where he studied organ, voice, and conducting. Jayson was conductor of The Moramus Chorale from 2008–2015, a non-auditioned mixed chorus that specializes in performing early music of the early American Moravian tradition and was the choral director at Lexington Middle School from 2012 until December 2016. Currently, he serves as Director of Traditional Music at Maple Springs United Methodist Church in Winston-Salem.
It is hard for Jayson to pick a favorite piece from the upcoming concert, but he said the following-“I think the piece that stood out to me the most was “Love: Then and Still,” because I think its story is something that anyone can relate to. While it talks about a specter stealing joy, we don’t know exactly what it is – the loss of a child? Parent? Another loved one? And, while for a short time you may be robbed of joy, wounds heal.” What is he most excited for in our upcoming season?
“PCS has made some exciting changes, starting last year with offering our concerts free of the charge of admission so more people can experience them, and this year with the change of our fundraising event. I am excited to see our audience, make connections, and for the excitement and momentum we have right now to continue!”