Clara Longstreth, Music Director
Clara Longstreth is the founder and Music Director of New Amsterdam Singers and has led the group for its past 53 seasons. Under her direction, NAS has become known as one of the premier avocational choruses in New York City. Of Ms. Longstreth’s programs, Allan Kozinn wrote in The New York Times, “When a director takes up the challenge of building a cohesive program around a broad theme, we are reminded that programming can be an art.” And in June, 2018, Times critic Anthony Tommasini wrote, “You think von Karajan’s 35-year reign at the Berlin Philharmonic and Eugene Ormandy’s 44-year association with the Philadelphia Orchestra were impressive runs? Well, at a concert on Wednesday night [May 30, 2018], Clara Longstreth concluded her 50th season as music director of the 70-member New Amsterdam Singers….Ms. Longstreth conducted with undiminished energy and focus.”
Ms. Longstreth studied conducting with G. Wallace Woodworth at Harvard University and with Richard Westenburg at The Juilliard School, from which she received her Master’s Degree. She also studied with Amy Kaiser and Semyon Bychkov at the Mannes College of Music, and with Helmuth Rilling at the Oregon Bach Festival. Ms. Longstreth has been a frequent adjudicator at choral conferences, and was selected to present a lecture-demonstration on “Adventures in Programming” at the Eastern Division Convention of the American Choral Directors Association. In 2009 she received an Alumnae Recognition Award from Radcliffe College for her founding and longtime direction of New Amsterdam Singers. Ms. Longstreth has also served on the faculty of Rutgers University, and as a guest conductor of the Limón Dance Company, the Mannes College Orchestra, and the popular Messiah Sing-In performances at Avery Fisher Hall. She has led the chorus on 17 international tours.
T.J. Barnes, Assistant Conductor
T.J. Barnes, native to Buffalo, NY, is a NYC-based conductor, educator, performer, pianist, and arranger. He is the current Director of Music at Flushing High School, the original NYC high school, where he revived and developed programs in Chorus, Piano, Guitar, and Music Appreciation.
T.J. is an alumnus of the Aaron Copland School of Music, holding a Bachelor’s of Music in Vocal Performance and graduate certification in NYS K-12 Music Education. Some performance credits include Papageno in Die Zauberflöte at Queens College and Joe Hardy in Damn Yankees at the Kupferberg Center of the Arts. He also served as Music Director of the Queens College iTones coeducational a cappella group, writing numerous pop SATB arrangements including their award-winning set at the 2019 ICCA Northeast Regional Semifinal Championships.
T.J. is also a recipient of the first Maurice Peress Memorial Award in conducting and a national recipient of the American Choral Directors Association’s 2019 Next Direction Collegiate Leadership Award.
Pen Ying Fang, Accompanist
Pen Ying Fang has performed widely in the New York and Philadelphia metropolitan areas, building an extensive repertoire of solo and chamber music. Currently, she serves as a coach and accompanist at Westminster Choir College, where she has worked with many prominent artists and renowned voice programs such as the CoOPERAtive summer program and the Florence Voice Seminar in Italy. As an accompanist she has also performed and toured with several choirs from the New York area, in which capacity The New York Times has praised her performances as “vivid” and “deft.” In 2018 Pen Ying was honored to be a featured performer in a Philip Glass opera workshop in North Adams, MA.
Pen Ying is a native of Taiwan, where she began studying piano at age 5. There she attended an experimental music-focused grade school until moving to the United States. Here she studied with Paul Hoffmann and Barbara Gonzalez-Palmer, earning a BM and MM in Piano at Rutgers University.
Stefanie Izzo, Manager
Stefanie Izzo is a classically trained soprano, educator, nonprofit administrator, and longtime resident of Queens, NY. She received an M.A. in vocal performance from the Aaron Copland School of Music at CUNY Queens College and a B.M. from NYU. Stefanie has been hailed as possessing a “gorgeously rich and full sound” for her work in opera and musical theatre. Her performance of Maria in West Side Story with St. Petersburg Opera was deemed “ideal in every way,” and garnered a Theatre Tampa Bay Award nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Musical. She made her off-Broadway debut in 2012 as Monica in Menotti’s The Medium, and her international debut in 2011 as Adina in L’Elisir d’Amore with Musica Viva Hong Kong. Other recent performances include Anne Trulove in The Rake’s Progress with the String Orchestra of Brooklyn, soprano soloist in Haydn’s Mass in the Time of War with Astoria Choir, Carmina Burana with the Queens College Choral Society, and Mrs. Hayes in Susannah with St. Petersburg Opera, now available on DVD from Naxos.
A frequent collaborator with living composers, she can also be heard on Sunny Knable’s Song of the Redwood Tree, recently released on MSR Classics. She has performed leading roles in Candide, Die Zauberflöte, Così Fan Tutte, Postcard from Morocco, and the premieres of Bruce Saylor’s The Image Maker and My Kinsman, Major Molineux. In addition to operatic repertoire, Stefanie devotes a significant amount of her time to art song, particularly that of female composers, and maintains an active concert schedule in the NYC area. She is a co-founder of the chamber ensemble The Astoria Music Project, and works as the Manager of Education Partnerships at the Metropolitan Opera. Website
The board of the New Amsterdam Singers is responsible for the overall operation and management of the chorus. Board members are elected by the membership of the chorus.
Michelle Neary, President
A. Robert Pietrzak, Vice-President
Orren Alperstein, Treasurer
Robin D. Beckhard, Secretary
Ellen G. Stark
Donna W. Zalichin
Susan H. Perkins
Gwendolyn D. Simmons
Paul Alan Levi
(as of November 2020)
Robin D. Beckhard
Jaime C. Leifer**
Timothy H. Sachs**
William A. Simpson
*Chamber Chorus Member
**Chamber Chorus only