Meet The The Chorale


Leanne Magnuson Latuda

Artistic Director

Leanne Magnuson Latuda has more than 25 years of professional performing, choral directing, and teaching experience.  She has a Master of Music Degree from the University of Illinois and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Business Administration from Augustana College, where she was a Presidential Scholar and graduated cum laude.

Leanne is a mezzo-soprano and has sung professionally with opera companies, musical theaters, and choral ensembles, and has performed locally as a soloist with the St. Louis Symphony, The Bach Society, and the Masterworks Chorale.  In addition, Leanne has taken voice lessons and given concerts under Chris Armistead at Washington University.

When not involved in music, Leanne and her husband, Frank, are busy raising their three children and a menagerie of pets.



Ruth Stith

Accompanist

Ruth Stith is an adjunct faculty member of Saint Louis University and the Community Music School of Webster University, where she teaches class piano, piano ensemble, and applied piano lessons.  She also is an accompanist for the St. Louis Children's Choir and is director and accompanist for the children's choir at Central Presbyterian Church in Clayton.  Before moving to St. Louis in 2004, Ruth was an adjunct artist teacher of piano and theory at Vanderbilt University, as well as staff accompanist.

Ruth has a Master of Music degree in Piano Performance from Southern Illinois University–Edwardsville and a Bachelor’s Degree in Piano Performance from Vanderbilt University.  Ruth lives in St. Louis with her husband and three young children.


Meet our Season 21 Young Artists

Young Artist Awards are given to women of exceptional potential and ability. The women must have or be pursuing a degree in music and must also be planning for a professional career in music. In addition, our Young Artists must be able to sing solos with the Chorale on recordings and in venues such as the Sheldon Concert Hall. We also call upon our Young Artists to lead sectional rehearsals and help their fellow singers learn their parts. The entire Chorale benefits from their knowledge, leadership and musical gifts.

 

Erika Cockerham

Erika Cockerham, mezzo-soprano, could not be more excited to join the SLWHC as a Young Artist!  This is her first year singing with the Chorale and she is honored to be part of such a wonderful group of women.

Erika was the first of seven children born into an extended family of hilarious, eccentric, expressive, loud, ever musical, unconditionally loving, and dedicated people.  Her life with them has shaped her into the passionate person and musician she is today.  A deep love for music, instilled in her from the age of 7 when she began playing the piano, was ardently cultivated by her parents and grandparents.

Erika has a BFA in Musical Theatre, and aside from pursuing a performing career in opera and theatre, she runs a private studio where she teaches voice, piano, and acting and coaches auditions in St. Louis County.  She currently studies voice with the amazingly gifted teacher and performing artist Martha Hart at Webster University.  She also plays the piano for Overland Christian Church each week.  When not singing or teaching, Erika enjoys making quilling artwork and other crafts, reading, traveling, fitness, and Bible study.

Beth Davey

Beth Davey, mezzo-soprano, is the vocal music teacher at Iveland Elementary in Overland, MO.  Originally from Cape Girardeau, she graduated in May 2012 from the Conservatory of Music and Dance at the University of Missouri–Kansas City with a Bachelors Degree in Music Education.  As a UMKC student, Beth enjoyed singing in numerous university choirs as well as a part of both vocal and choral conducting recitals.

Beth studied voice with renowned mezzo-soprano Aiden Soder and, as a choral artist, has sung under the direction of Robert Bode, Charles Robinson, Ryan Board, and Joseph Flummerfelt.  She holds membership in the American Choral Directors Association, the American Orff-Schulwerk Association, and the National Association for Music Education.

Beth is in her third season with the STL Women’s HOPE Chorale (her second as a Young Artist) and feels very blessed to be part of such a positive, intentional, and change-seeking organization.  While not teaching or singing, Beth enjoys hiking, camping, traveling, watching documentaries, writing music, and losing herself in a good book.

Sarah Shulman

Sarah Shulman, soprano, is in her second year of graduate school at Maryville University pursuing her passion for music therapy.  She has always loved music and helping others:  she is meant to be a music therapist.  Sarah is a proud native St. Louisan but spent an amazing 4 years at The University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign where she graduated with a Bachelor of Music degree in 2014. Throughout her years as an Illini, she was in Alpha Epsilon Phi, an Illinois Rip Chord, a leader in Colleges Against Cancer, and an active member in Jewish life on campus.

In addition to working toward her masters, she teaches and is a youth group advisor at Congregation B'nai Amoona and works as a manager at Myseum.  When Sarah is not in class or working, you can find her spending time with her family and friends, watching good movies, reading good books, being outside (if it is nice weather), or gawking at and then playing with babies, children, and dogs.  This is her first year singing with the SLWHC; she is extremely excited and honored to receive a Young Artist Award.

Jessica Tobin

Jessica is from St. Louis and is attending Maryville University where she is currently in her fifth year studying music therapy.  This is also Jessica’s fifth year singing with the St. Louis Women’s HOPE Chorale, in which she has sung both soprano and alto.

Jessica had lead roles in each of her 4 years of high school musicals.  She was the 2009 Hancock Place High School Most Valuable Singer and qualified for solos and ensembles in district and state music festivals each year.  In addition, Jessica has performed the National Anthem at GCS Ballpark, high school, and university athletic events and is a soloist in her church choir.

Jessica is honored to have received her third Young Artist Award and enjoys singing with such a wonderful group of inspiring women.

Meet our Board of Directors!