Honoring the Pursuit of Perfection
Talented musicians deserve acclaimed judges.
The Caroling Competition secures some of the brightest and best musical people in our community to judge this event each year. They willingly devote five nights from their busy holiday schedule to the fair and equitable adjudication of this Competition.
JORGE ARCILA, (bass, stage director, diction and style coach, opera expert) is a powerful singing actor with a special affinity for the basso buffo repertory. In the words of a critic, Mr. Arcila creates “wonderfully deep characterizations of great common sense”. Associations include: Teatro Teresa Carreño, Sinfónica de Puerto Rico, Sinfónica de Venezuela, Orquesta Simón Bolívar. Mr Arcila has been Professor of Diction and Style at the University Institute of Musical Studies, and the José Angel Lamas Conservatory in Caracas. He holds a Master of Music in Performance from CUNY, and a Modern Languages and Translation degree from Universidad Central de Venezuela. A successful vocal pedagogue, Mr. Arcila teaches at Barry University, at the New World School of the Arts and privately in Miami and New York City. He is the Artistic Director of The Opera Atelier.
ANTONIO ARROYO, (Tony) has always been a lover of choral music. Educated in Spain bythe Salesian Brothers, he studied guitar, violin and mandolin. He is an active member of both his school and church choirs and participated in numerous competitions throughout the country.
YVONNE BARCLAY is a multi-faceted musician. Born in Cuzco, Peru, she studied piano with Eduardo Pimentel and Jorge Delgado, a disciple of Claudio Arrau in Chile. She studied cello with Prof. Andre Benoit and guitar with Jean Peirre Sirois. She has played with the Ibanez Chamber Music Group, Miami Symphony and the Orquestal Cuzco.
JUDIE BERGER, a graduate of Queens College, City University of New York, received a Master in Music Education from FIU. She taught music in Miami-Dade Schools for 20 years and was inducted to the Music Educator’s Association Hall of Fame. A piano teacher for nearly 50 years, she’s been an accompanist for both High School and Middle School Bands and Choruses, and also for the Superintendent’s Honors Keyboard Concerts. She served as a judge for both choral and keyboard evaluations. Many of her students are accepted into All-State.
RAFAEL DE GUZMAN first started singing and acting in public at the age of 9, as a member of the children’s chorus of the Metropolitan Opera’s Touring Company in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He studied voice under Maria Justina Pereira de Aldrey. He has performed on stage, television and nightclubs in San Juan, Boston, and New York. His Broadway Theatre credits include lead roles in Musical Comedies: Fiddler on the Roof, Camelot, Oliver, On A Clear Day, Fiorello, The Roar of the Greasepaint The Smell of the Crowd, 1776, The Rothschilds, Applause, Man of La Mancha and in numerous Zarzuelas and Operettas.
WILLIAM QUESENBERRY (Bill) has been a musician since the age of 6, when he first conducted a rhythm band. He began playing trumpet in 5th grade and played in the band through Senior High at Coral Gables. His choral career (he’s a second tenor-baritone) began when he joined the chapel choir in college because there was no band.. Since 1997 he’s been singing in various church choirs, as well as the Civic Chorale of Greater Miami where he still performs regularly. He’s also performed in the Berkshire (MA) Choral Festival, in Vancouver and in Prague, Czech Republic. In 2012 he joined the Second Avenue Jewish Chorale and performed in the Jewish Choral Festival in the Catskills for two summers. For the last four years, he has been singing with the professional High Holy Day ensemble at Temple Bet Shira. Bill is a native Miamian, and lives in Coral Gables with his wife, Melissa.
GISELLE ELGARRESTA RIOS professor, conductor, vocal and choral consultant, earned her Master’s in Voice and Doctorate in Conducting from UM. She made her debut as the first Cuban-American woman to direct in Carnegie Hall in 2006, and since then has had many international conducting engagements. As Assistant Professor of Music at Barry University since 1996, she is coordinator of their music program. Dr. Rios is the Soprano Soloist for Temple Israel and St. Augustine Catholic Church. Her memberships include the College Music Society, National Assn. of Teacher’s of Singing and the American Choral Director’s Association.
KEVIN RUTLEDGE, graduated Howard University where he performed with the University Civic Chorale. With a Master of Music from UM, his internship was at the Duke Ellington School in Georgetown. Fine Arts Chair at Miami Northwestern Senior until 2008, he was Lead Teacher of the Performing and Visual Arts Center and taught Piano, Choir, and Music Theory. He’s been honored three times as Teacher of the Year. Active in church music for 30 years, he is Music Director for Universal Truth Center, served as Musical Director for the Urban League’s Inner City Children’s Choir and Greater Miami Boys Choir. An adjunct faculty at MDCC, he founded the Music Business Institute, an educational forum dedicated to the fundamentals of the Music Industry.
CHARLES VITALE An oboe major, he received his bachelors degree at FSU, and his masters from FIU. He taught music and science in Miami Dade County Public Schools for 35 years before retiring in 2011. He was director of band and orchestra at Citrus Grove Middle School before moving to Palm Springs Middle School to teach science. During his tenure at Palm Springs, he started a choir that was recognized for their outstanding music proficiency They competed in the Caroling Competition annually beginning in 1995.
TERESITA WESSELS, educated in Havana, Cuba, took lessons in music, guitar and voice at an early age. Life gave her many opportunities to share musical experiences with composers and musicians both in Cuba and Spain. She participated in many musical events and with children’s choruses in South Africa, Mexico, Nigeria, New York and Holland. Now a permanent resident of Coral Gables, she is a member of the choir at St Thomas The Apostle Church.
DR. CANDACE WICKE, is best known to Miami audiences as the award winning director of Our Lady of Lourdes Academy where she taught from 1991 until 2001. Under her direction the Lourdes Choir performed for Popes and Princes. In 1994 she took the Choir to Lourdes, France to perform for the anniversary of the Miracle of Our Lady of Lourdes. he is the founder, president, and executive director for the Continuo Arts Foundation and conducts the Continuo Arts Intergenerational Choral Ensembles including; Children’s Chorus, Chanticleers, Singers, Continuos!, Civic Chorale, Seniors Sing and Sonaré! She is committed to procreating the arts through performance, composition, education, and to fostering patronage for musical advancement and exposure. She resides in Westfield, NJ with her husband and two teenage boys and is a graduate of the University of Miami and Evangel University, majoring in vocal and instrumental performance, music education, and conducting.