Lauren Clay Tompkins
Lauren Clay Tompkins, soprano, has been a cantor and section leader at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Richmond, VA since 2015. A Richmond native, Lauren is no stranger to area congregations, having held several similar positions at St. Benedict Catholic Church and St. Matthew Episcopal Church. Love of music has brought her beyond the doors of the church into the wider community as a soloist for concerts for the Richmond Chapter of the American Guild of Organists, and as a member of several professional ensembles, including the Schola Cantorum at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Richmond, VA and the Virginia Chorale of Norfolk, VA.
In 2018, Lauren was awarded a singing fellowship for the Yale Summer School of Music/Norfolk Chamber Music Festival (Norfolk, CT), as part of the Chamber Choir and Choral Conducting Workshop under the direction of Simon Carrington. She also won 2ndPrize in the adult category at the 2017 Virginia NATS Competition. Specializing in Early Music, she studied voice with Nancy Zylstra and Penelope Jensen at Oberlin Conservatory’s Baroque Performance Institute. Lauren earned her BA in International Studies, with a minor in Italian, from Virginia Commonwealth University.
Louise Gallagher is an alto in the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart Parish Choir and Schola Cantorum. Louise has sung in a number of choirs and small ensembles including School Choirs, Church Choirs and an all-women acapella ensemble, and The Music Group of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA., directed by Sean Deibler. After moving to Richmond from Philadelphia in 2011, Louise has been the alto in the Virelai Quartet and alto/soprano II member of the River Road Church Chancel Choir. She is a Cantor for weddings and funerals at Saint Bridget Catholic Church in Richmond, VA., where she is also employed as the Music Administrator. Louise is an oil painter of realism and has trained under instructors such as contemporary artist, Quita Brodhead, and artist of realism, Marisa Magat. Louise holds a degree from the University of Pennsylvania in Clinical Psychology.
Michael Kotrady, baritone, has been a presence in Virginia’s classical music community for over three decades. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Richmond, where he studied with the late James Erb. He has appeared as a soloist and chorister with numerous ensembles, including the Richmond Symphony, Virginia Symphony Orchestra Chorus, eighth blackbird, and The Virginia Chorale. Michael served for many years in the choir of Richmond’s historic St. Paul’s Episcopal Church and is a staff singer for Congregation Beth Ahabah. His childhood musical studies were with violinist-conductor Jorge Gardos, himself a student of Zoltán Kodály. Michael currently studies voice with Dr. Jennifer Cable. He has been employed since 1997 by wine importer Kysela Père et Fils.