An ambitious and daring artist and producer, Margaret McNeal challenges patriarchal values ingrained in classical music through innovative, subversive performances. She works to destabilize preconceptions of gender by presenting dynamic representations of women in performance with the belief that art is inherently socially relevant; a powerful catalyst for new ways of Seeing and Being.
With an expansive and eclectic pool of collaborators, Margaret has sung and contributed text to contemporary chamber ensemble works, improvised to David Lynch short films, writhed on the floor in an ensemble of dancing musicians, sung for an experimental folk-rock project, groaned and yodeled for Lucy Shelton, and performed Terry Riley’s In C (once in a fifty-piece ensemble led by Stuart Dempster; once in a chamber ensemble with crayons and paper strewn across the gallery floor). She and her castmates in Lawrence’s improvised micro opera Expressions of Acceptance, which dealt with issues of community isolation and inclusion and was directed by Copeland Woodruff, won third place in the Division I National Opera Association 2015-2016 competition. As soprano, Co-Founder, and Artistic Director of Lilith, she commissioned works from Brad Wells (Roomful of Teeth), Shara Nova (previously Worden; experimental-rock moniker My Brightest Diamond), Joanne Metcalf, and JP Merz, producing and performing an interdisciplinary recital work, all while still an undergraduate.
Margaret holds a B.M. in Vocal Performance from Lawrence University Conservatory of Music, with focus on 20th-century and contemporary music, collaboration, and non-traditional performance practices. She is a 2015 SongFest Young Artist alumna and loves Louise Bourgeois, goddess iconography, textile art, and tea houses.
Minneapolis, Minnesota-based multiple woodwind specialist Dylan Younger regularly performs with ensembles in a wide variety of musical styles including classical (chamber and orchestral), jazz, rock, funk, ska, avant-garde, Dixieland, opera, and musical theater. Dylan received his B.M. in Clarinet Performance from Lawrence University in June of 2016 with a heavy emphasis on studying and performing on woodwind instruments. In addition, he devoted much time at Lawrence to the study and practice of music education and pedagogy.
At home in the world of musical theater and opera, Dylan has performed on multiple woodwinds in numerous productions of varying styles and eras. He has frequently performed with the College Light Opera Company, a summer theater company in Falmouth, MA. In February 2016, he played clarinet for the nationally recognized Lawrence University production of The Beggar's Opera. He played clarinet, saxophone, flute, and oboe for a production of 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee in April 2016 and is engaged to play reeds for a 2017 production of Flower Drum Song with Park Square Theater. Visit dylanjyounger.com for more information.
With a passion for cross-collaboration and gnarly experimentation, Kyle Stalsberg is an emerging contemporary-classical violist based in New York City. Performing with chamber ensembles including Levels and Lilith, Stalsberg advocates strongly for the promotion and study of living composers. Within the 2015-2016 year, Kyle received funding from the Alyssa Paul Maria Fund and the Chandler Endowment, which assisted in commissioning works from acclaimed composers such as Andrew Cole, Lawton Hall, and Evan Williams. He was also selected as a recipient of the Mellon Grant for his project, "Songs of Survivors: How Music Empowers Marginalized Communities," a proposal for which he was also named a semi-finalist for the prestigious Watson Fellowship. As a cross-collaborative performer, Kyle enjoys working with a variety of artists and genres, including engagement in contact improvisation and the visual arts. This year, Lawrence University's micro-opera, "Expressions of Acceptance," an opera entirely based on improvised material, was awarded 3rd Place, Division I, under the direction of Copeland Woodruff in the National Opera Association's Opera Production Competition. A Wisconsin native, Kyle received his Bachelor of Music in Viola Performance at Lawrence University’s Conservatory of Music, where he studied under the tutelage of Matthew Michelic. Currently, he is a candidate for the Masters of Music in Viola Performance at New York University, studying with Artist Faculty Karen Ritscher.
Whether tackling Per Nørgård's marathon percussion solo I-Ching, playing percussion with the singer-songwriter group Riverbug, or performing Marimba Spiritual with the Lawrence University Percussion Ensemble, Dan Reifsteck loves to explore the different worlds of percussion and is passionate about performing new music. As a member of the chamber quartet Slipstream, Dan has commissioned over a dozen composers including John Mayrose and David Werfelmann. He was a member of Lawrence University's percussion ensembles that won the Percussive Arts Society’s World Percussion Competition in 2014, as well as a Student Downbeat Award for Outstanding Performance in the College Undergraduate Latin Jazz Ensemble category. In the summer of 2014, he was an intern at the Center for Deep Listening led by world-renowned composer Pauline Oliveros. Dan graduated from Lawrence University in June 2015 with a Bachelors of Music in Percussion Performance in the studio of Dane Maxim Richeson.
Jon Hanrahan is a fledgling polyhypenated Brooklynite fresh out of Lawrence University’s Conservatory of Music. In 2015, Lawrence awarded Hanrahan with the Marjory Irving Prize for excellence in piano performance. During the week, he is an assistant producer for Q2 Music’s Peabody Award–winning podcast “Meet the Composer.” On the weekend, he is chef garde manger for Brooklyn Heights’ “Colonie.” He received his Bachelor of Music magna cum laude for his studies in Piano Performance under the direction of Michael Mizrahi and his special focus on new music, fringe musicology, opera, radio, and marathon trivia contests.