Daniel Koplitz, artistic director & tenor—is a soloist, ensemble singer, and conductor based in Milwaukee. In the spring of 2018, Daniel graduated summa cum laude from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with a BA in vocal performance. During his studies, he had emphases in linguistics, choral conducting, and music history, and has furthered his education by attending various programs such as the Madison Early Music Festival, the Boston Early Music Academy, and the Amherst Early Music Festival. His solo credits include Autumn in Purcell’s The Fairy Queen, the cantor in Franz Michael Haydn’s St. Leopold Mass, and the tenor soloist in Vivaldi’s Magnificat. In addition, Daniel is a private voice and piano instructor at the Wauwatosa School of Music, a section leader and soloist at St. John’s Cathedral, and the director of the children and youth choir at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church. Currently, he is seeking out graduate programs with the intention of obtaining a Ph.D in historical musicology.
Deme Hellwig, soprano— is a graduate of Lawrence University with a BM in Vocal Performance. She has performed the roles of first Maid (Street Scene), Mrs. Splinters (The Tender Land), and Jenny Diver (The Beggar's Opera), as well as many roles in opera scenes performances while studying at Lawrence University. Since moving back to Milwaukee in June 2018, she joined the All Saints’ Cathedral Choir and APERI ANIMAM. It is her hope to continue professionally in her passion for early music performance.
Jackie Willis, administrative director & alto—serves as the administrative director of APERI ANIMAM, and is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where she received a BFA in vocal performance. She has performed in numerous roles around the Midwest, including Hecuba (La Didone) with the Haymarket Opera Summer Course, Third Lady (Zie Magic Flute) with Milwaukee Opera Theatre, First Witch/Enchantress (Dido & Æneas) with UWM Opera Theatre, and Chorus (Tales of Hoffman) in a collaboration with Milwaukee Opera Theatre and Skylight Music Theatre. She has also enjoyed participating in the Madison Early Music Festival the last three years.
Elizabeth Smith, soprano—earned a degree in vocal performance from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. She was recently invited back to Iowa for a third season with American Gothic Performing Arts Festival to perform as Hansel in a children’s adaptation of Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel. Elizabeth has also performed as Pamina (Die Zauberflöte) and Lucy (The Telephone) with UWSP opera. Since moving to Milwaukee in 2016, she has benefitted from the city’s diverse arts community, performing with many local organizations and festivals.
Xai, composer in residence & soprano—a senior at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee where she is double majoring in music composition & technology and vocal performance. Studying composition under Amanda Schoofs, Xai creates primarily experimental vocal works that often include electronics and utilize extended vocal techniques. Xai also studies a wide variety of vocal styles and eras of repertoire with Wendy Rowe. She views every musical opportunity as a chance to grow and has found invaluable experience through her work with APERI ANIMAM.
Katelynn Jeffries, alto—is currently working toward a degree in music education at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Under Dr. David Hoffman, Katelynn studies numerous styles of solo vocal repertoire and has performed as a featured soloist in the UWM Vocal Arts Festival. She hopes to learn as much as possible about early music during her tenure with APERI ANIMAM, giving her the ability to efficiently teach the style and share the love and enchantment that she feels for it with future students.
Jennifer Grokowsky, marketing director & alto—serves as the marketing director for APERI ANIMAM. recent roles include Mimì (La Bohéme), Antonia (Les Contes d’Hoffmann), and Anita (La Périchole) with UWM Opera Theatre, and Ensemble (Carmina Burana) with Milwaukee Opera Theatre and Skylight Music Theatre. She has also appeared as the soprano soloist in Kile Smith’s Canticle with Bel Canto Chorus and in Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy with the UWM Symphony Orchestra and Choirs. Jennifer was named runner-up in the UWM Symphony Orchestra Concerto & Aria Competition and holds music degrees from UW-Eau Claire and UW-Milwaukee.
Jennifer Jakubowski, alto—holds a degree in exercise science from Carroll University and is currently pursuing a licensure in Massage Therapy and Therapeutic Bodywork from Blue Sky School of Massage. Jennifer's love for early music has led her to perform with numerous groups in the Milwaukee area including the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra Chorus, The Master Singers, Music by the Lake Singers, and the Concord Chamber Orchestra. For the past six years, she has attended the Madison Early Music Festival, gaining exposure to early music from across the world.
Crawford Wiley, lecturer & tenor—is the Director of Liturgy & Music at St Jude the Apostle Parish in Wauwatosa, WI, where he directs the parish choir and choristers and presides over the 2009 Schantz organ. A native of Naples, FL, he completed his Master's of Sacred Music in Organ Performance at the University of Notre Dame under the instruction of Prof. Craig Cramer. Besides singing tenor in APERI ANIMAM and the Milwaukee Chamber Choir, Crawford is an ardent bibliomane, devout member of the Chicago Art Institute and a lover of the Yosemite.
Austin Bare, tenor—is currently completing a BA in vocal performance at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. he has performed as The Sailor (Dido & Aeneas), Don Gomez (La Périchole), and in numerous opera scenes performances with UWM opera theatre. Outside of UWM, he has appeared in roles such as the Lamplighter (The Little Prince) and Mitch Mahone (The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee). In november 2016, Austin took part in the Wisconsin NATS Regional Auditions, placing second in the junior men’s division.
Sam Mullooly, bass—graduated summa cum laude from Illinois Wesleyan University in May 2016 with a BM in composition. As a self-published composer, Sam has written a multitude of operatic, choral, symphonic, and singer-songwriter works. His first full-length opera American Spring premiered in Milwaukee in august 2017 with two sold out performances. Sam currently works for Hal Leonard Publishing as music editor of the Shawnee Press School choral division and the Henry Leck Creating Artistry Series. In his spare time, he runs an independent review blog on new music and continues to compose, arrange, sing, and do anything creative that comes to mind.
Brett Sweeney, bass—has called Milwaukee “home” for almost a decade. He received his BFA in vocal performance from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and has had the pleasure of taking part in various projects pre- and post-grad. Some favorite performing credits include Cochenille/Frantz/Pitichinaccio (Tales of Hoffmann) in a collaboration with Milwaukee Opera Theatre and Skylight Music Theatre, Bitelle (La Cage aux Folles) with Skylight Music Theatre, and Hedwig (Hedwig and the Angry Inch) with All In Productions. Brett is also an AmSAT certified teacher of the Alexander Technique and an instructor of voice with Maestro Makers.
Colin Han, bass—is a recent graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with a degree in information science and technology and is currently pursuing a career in software development. After also completing a music minor, he retains a passion and drive to create music through local performing groups such as APERI ANIMAM. He appeared in UWM’s productions of Dido & Aeneas and La Périchole and participated in the 2018 Madison Early Music Festival. Colin expresses a deep appreciation of APERI ANIMAM’s dedication to musicianship and ensemble discipline.
Joseph Krohlow, historical linguist & bass
—studies vocal performance and linguistics at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, with the intention of pursuing an operatic performing career. He has performed as Pédro (La Périchole) and Spirit (Dido & Æneas) at UWM, and the understudy for Christopher Melody in Sam Mullooly’s opera American Spring. Joseph serves as the historical linguist for APERI ANIMAM, and has been a part of the ensemble since its inception in 2017.