Dr. James Kallembach, Director

Alex Manchester, President
Pascale Boonstra, Tour Chair
Alexis Wolf, Logistics Chair

Madeleine Wonneberger, First-Year Representative
Ella Hester, Publicity Chair
Allegra Steenson, Social Chair

Soprano Alto Tenor Bass
Juliana Freschi Meghan Elliott Chase Leito Jack Barbey
Pascale Boonstra Kelly Liu Alex Manchester Gabriel Blanco
Ella Hester Nicole Sergiwa Sam Russo Jonah Fleishhacker
Alexandra Patzakis Lauren Torian Ryan Simeon River MacLeod
Allegra Steenson Kim Vance Mark Schachner Luis Rubio
Lucy Teaford Alexis Wolf Alex Manchester Ruishi Zhang
Anneke Thorne Laura Brawley   Myles Hudson
Ann Chandler Tune      
Madeleine Wonneberger      
Gwyneth Cross      

 Dr. James Kallembach (Director of Choral Activities and Senior Lecturer in Music) conducts Motet Choir along with the University Chorus and Rockefeller Chapel Choir. Prior to his appointment, he was Assistant Director of Choirs at Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana, and served as Assistant Director of the Richmond Symphony Chorus. He has also served as Director of the Kokomo Symphony Chorus and as Artistic Director of the Grande Prairie Singers. Kallembach holds a doctorate of music degree in choral conducting from Indiana University, Bloomington. He has studied conducting with Paul Hillier, Jan Harrington, Carmen Téllez, Melinda O'Neal, and John Poole; he has also studied composition with Sven-David Sandström, Augusta Reed Thomas, Claude Baker, and Don Freund. Still an active composer with ongoing performances, his work has been premiered at the 1997 ALEA III International Composition Competition and published by Corda Music in the United Kingdom. He was Artistic Director for the Sounds of Faith documentary concert that recently aired on Chicago PBS. At the 2009 Oregon Bach Festival he lectured and conducted workshops and premiere performances for several composers participating in the festival. He has written for Opera News and the Choral Journal (October and November 2010). James has conducted the premiere of works by William Bolcom, Marta Ptaszynska, Sven-David Sandström, Robert Moran, Shulamit Ran, and James MacMillan (Spring 2011) among others. He is currently working with Swedish composer Sven-David Sandström to form the Choral Institute of Chicago, an organization dedicated to promoting vocal music, especially choral music, of young and established composers. He has taught at Chicago since 2005.


 Pascale Boonstra(Tour Chair) is a second- year majoring in Chemistry. Chicago-bred & deepdish pizza-fed, she grew up in the South Loop and is always up for an afternoon visit to Trader Joe's there! Outside of Motet, Pascale writes and edits for The Triple Helix magazine on campus. She also enjoys procrastinating her weekly psets by eating, doing skincare, and talking about eating and skincare. She loves getting input/ suggestions for Motet's winter 2019 tour, so don't hesitate to reach out if you have ideas (or if you wanna hit up TJ's together)!

 Juliana Freschiis a third-year Sociology major. She is an alto-turned-soprano, having moved up one vocal section every year since she joined the choir. She hasn’t sung alto II yet, so she looks forward to possible reassignment in her senior year. Her favorite note is E5.

 Ella Hester (Publicity Chair) is a fourth year double majoring in History and Creative Writing (Nonfiction). In addition to singing, she plays the bass, is Managing Editor for the Chicago Shady Dealer (UChicago's Only Intentional Humor Magazine), organizes for the Student Library Employment Union (SLEU), a brother of Alpha Phi Omega, and is an editor for Chicago Journal of History.

 Alexandra Patzakis is a first-year from sunny Pasadena, California, and she will never become accustomed to the snow and cold weather! She hopes to major in Political Science and minor in Human Rights. Alexandra serves as the Events Logistics Chair of Alper House, is a board member of the UChicago Hellenic Student Association, and is an Events Ambassador for the Institute of Politics. In her free time, she loves cooking and baking, exploring Chicago and trying new restaurants with friends, drinking four cups of coffee a day, following the LA Kings, reading political articles in The New York Times, CNN, and the LA Times, and discovering new academic interests.

 Allegra Steenson is a 4th year Environmental Science major and a soprano. She likes to spend her free time rock climbing, painting, exploring Chicago, wishing she was settled down enough to have a pet, and looking at cool bugs. After graduation she plans to spend a gap year gaining research experience and avoiding being an adult before heading to grad school (location TBD).

 Lucy Teaford is a first year soprano in choir. She is a biology major with plans for a career in medicine. She was born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska, so yes, she is used to the cold! She now lives in Jannotta House, and she loves UChicago so far!

 Anneke Thorne is a third year sopralto from Iowa City, Iowa. She is majoring in biology, biochemistry and chemistry and hopes to pursue pharmacology research. She has helped facilitate wellness at UChicago since her first year through the WellCzar program and Student Health Advisory Board, and she is also involved with South Asian fusion A cappella. In her free time, Anneke can be found cooking up a storm in her kitchen, formulating plans to steal her brother’s dog, or goofing off with her roommates in their apartment. Her favorite summer activity is getting a break from lab work by going camping with her family in Northern Minnesota.

 Ann Chandler Tune is a third year from Charlotte, North Carolina, double majoring in Psychology and Latin American & Caribbean Studies. She has been a soprano in Motet since first year. When not in class, at Motet rehearsal, or teaching health education classes in local high schools, you can find her at most dance-related activities—zumba class, bachata practice, salsa night, study-break, dancing in her apartment, etc... When she has free time, she enjoys cooking strange new recipes while blasting Latin American pop, reggaeton, Broadway, or opera. Ann Chandler has successfully fled to a different country for every Chicago winter so far, so she may need to ramp up her dance routine to stay warm when she is in Chicago all winter to write a thesis next year!

 Madeleine Wonneberger (First-year Representative) is a first-year Political Science major and East Asian Languages and Civilizations minor from the DC area. Though technically a first soprano, she prefers the term "aspirational alto". When not singing in Motet, she can be found practicing piano, editing public policy podcasts, watching Chef's Table, or monopolizing the table by the best heat vent in Harper.

 Gwyneth Cross (Webmaster) is a third-year Anthropology major from Southern Illinois (though they forgive those people who ask them if they're from Chicago). They have been in Motet Choir for three years now and think that the choir has only gotten better every year. Outside choir, they volunteer with Black and Pink Chicago, work for the Admissions office, and play a lot of board games.

Did not submit bio: Joelle Blankson

Did not submit a bio: Joelle Blankson

Back to top


 Meghan Elliott is a senior (citizen) from Tucson, Arizona, majoring in psychology and minoring in neuroscience, and planning to eventually pursue a doctorate in clinical psychology. She currently works in two different labs, one studying sleep, the other studying loneliness... so basically the college experience in a nutshell. When she's not holed up in a lab or spending time with brains, she can be found singing in the choir to keep herself sane, taking voice lessons with Patrice Michaels, watching a ridiculous amount of Netflix, and hiding from the cold under layers of fuzzy blankets. Other hobbies include being the Mom Friend (TM), making truly awful puns, and eating chocolate in its various forms.

 Kelly Liu is a second-year double majoring in Economics and Comparative Human Development. She's a massive foodie and can be found lurking around Hyde Park restaurants - or sipping bubble tea in the Reg. She's also a big fan of Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones and Harry Potter.

 Nicole Sergiwa is a first-year alto majoring in Neuroscience. Hailing from a small town in Indiana, she enjoys rowing with UChicago Crew, and is a member of Delta Gamma. Her favorite band is Queen.

 Lauren Torian Lauren is a third year Alto who is triple majoring in Music, Anthropology, and Comparative Race and Ethnic Studies. As a Chicago native, she’s really loving the snow and the cold! When she’s not singing with Motet, you can find her making cappuccinos in the Library cafe or writing music in Goodspeed. She’s also a member of the a cappella group Voices and is currently the music director for the upcoming 10th weekend show Fun Home. Go catch a show!!

 Kim Vance is a first year hoping to double major in Fundamentals and Law, Letters & Society. In addition to Motet, she enjoys singing acapella and hopes to compose music. Her other passions include cats, mariachi, getting into arguments, and really dark chocolate.

 Alexis Wolf is a third year student in the College studying Hebrew Bible in the Comparative Literature and Jewish Studies departments. She has been involved in instrumental and vocal music since she was young through orchestra, choir, musicals, and other formal and informal ensembles. Alexis is also involved with the literary magazine Sliced Bread as well as teaching ACT prep classes and private tutoring. She is excited to make music as a part of this wonderful ensemble and to coordinate its events and performances as Logistics Chair!

Did not submit a bio: Laura Brawley

Back to top


 Chase Leito is a first year Public Policy and Sociology major originally from Tempe, AZ. He is also a tenor in the Run for Cover all male A Capella group and is a vocal coach for high school students as part of the South Side Free Music Program. Aside from music, Chase is part of the African-Caribbean Student Association. loves dancing and loves to discuss politics. He loves being a tenor because he gets to hit high notes all day long and suffer the humiliation of voice cracking at least twice a day.

 Alex Manchester is a fourth-year math major. They are a tenor, and have served as the president of the board for the past year. They are looking forward to starting graduate school in math this fall. They are from Waynesboro, Virginia, which sits in the Shenandoah Valley next to the Blue Ridge Mountains (which are almost entirely in Virginia no matter what John Denver says). They are a giant Star Trek fan, and are always interested in entertaining ridiculous fan theories.

 Sam Russo Sam is a first year majoring in biological chemistry and computational and applied math. He is from Brookline, MA and sings tenor. When you can’t find Sam in Motet Choir, he can be found traveling, sailing, playing ice hockey, or eating around Chicago.

 Ryan Simeon Ryan is a second year CAAM major in the college. Outside of Motet, his main extracurricular focuses on campus are winning by forfeit in IM sports and perfecting his timing on when to caffeinate before a midterm.

Did not submit a bio: Mark Schachner

Back to top


 Jack Barbey is a 4th year Statistics Major in the College. He serves as the Bass Section leader for Motet (not that they ever need it, given that Basses are always perfect). He has been singing with Motet since the beginning of his tenure at UChicago, and has also spent time singing in Rockefeller Chapel Chorus and Make A Joyful Noise Acapella Group. Outside of rehearsal, he also spends time with German Club, the Catholic Students Association, and working at the Center for Data Science and Public Policy.

 Gabriel Blanco is a second year Global Studies major, focusing on health. He is originally from Fort Lauderdale FL, but now lives in Charlotte NC. Aside from choral singing, his musical interests range from hip hop to indie rock. He enjoys spending time with friends and listening to music. Gabriel is currently a baritone, but has been known to sing bass when an extra voice is needed.

 Jonah Fleishhacker is a first year CS major originally from San Francisco. His other musical interests include jazz trumpet and trombone, barbershop quartets, campfire guitar, and mediocre saxophone. Besides music, Jonah enjoys rock climbing, amateur astronomy, pool, fantasy baseball, and exploring nature. He was very proud of being a baritone until James turned his world upside down and made him a bass.

 River MacLeod is a 3rd year psychology major who sings bass 2. He started singing in his church choir when he was still a soprano 1 and has continued to sing both in choirs and musical theater productions ever since. Outside of singing, he enjoys doing ceramics and reading Harry Potter.

 Luis Rubio is a first year from Washington, D.C. currently residing in I-House and avoiding the freshman 15 because of it. He intends to major in Linguistics with a focus on Semitic languages and double minor in Computer Science and the Arabic Language. In his free time, you can find him sneezing in the Regenstein stacks, learning Tibetan syllable structure, or saying something stupid.

 Ruishi (Richie) Zhang is a third year in the college pursuing a double major in Philosophy and Biology. He is from Beijing, China and has continuously performed in vocal groups since the age of 6. He has been a bass in Motet Choir since 2017.

Did not submit a bio: Myles Hudson

Back to top

All headshots except Juliana's, Ruishi's, Alexis', Chase's and Dr. Kallembach's are courtesy of John Barbey Photography. Thanks so much, Jack!