MEET THE MUSICIANS
In We Sail On In Darkness
Ruth has been active as a music director, vocal instructor and mentor for over 35 years. She holds an undergraduate degree in vocal music education from Eastern Illinois University and a Master of Music in Choral Conducting Performance from the University of Texas at San Antonio. She is founding director of Spirit Sounds which has vocal music projects at the San Antonio Missions and local hospitals. For fourteen years Ruth served as Founding Executive Director of Benissimo Music Productions, a Texas non-profit producer of professional vocal music ensembles including Voci di Sorelle, a twelve-voice acappella women’s group specializing in early music and world music, The Copperleaf Quintet, an early music vocal chamber group and Blue Penny, a female American Roots Music duo. Also an active researcher, composer and arranger, Ruth’s work has been performed by various ensembles and choirs. She has been a member of the music faculties of The University of Texas at San Antonio and Our Lady of the Lake University, served as Chorus Master for San Antonio Opera, and as Associate Conductor of the San Antonio Choral Society.
From her first experience of We Sail On In Darkness, Ruth has been captivated by the vision for bringing the play to full stage production. She is absolutely delighted to be part of making this vison a reality.
Peter Breithaupt is an ethnomusicologist, music performer, educator, and public folklorist based in San Antonio. A Ph.D. candidate in ethnomusicology at the University of Texas at Austin, Pete studies local and global music cultures of Tanzania. His research has been supported by Fulbright-IIE and the Presser Foundation. Pete is currently a lecturer at the University of Texas at San Antonio where he teaches courses on world music and applied percussion. He recently worked for Texas Folklife, a statewide non-profit organization dedicated to preserving and presenting Texas's diverse cultures and living heritage. Pete maintains an active professional life as a percussionist, drummer, and banjo player. He performs regularly with the San Antonio Philharmonic and the Mid-Texas Symphony.
Valerie Jeannin (mezzo-soprano) is graduate of Trinity University in which she received two degrees, a Bachelor of Music in Music Education and Master of Arts in Teaching in Music. She is currently an Elementary Music and Middle School Choral educator in San Antonio. She also sings with local choral groups such as the San Antonio Chamber Choir and the Parish Choir at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church. She has performed various roles including Dido in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas at Trinity University, the title role of Ravel’s L’enfant et les sortilèges at Opera in the Ozarks at Inspiration Point, and Ciesca in Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi at the Yunnan Opera Festival in Kunming, China. She has also sung in various opera choruses and premiers various newly composed works of local composers. She studied with Chia-wei Lee, Richard Novak, and Melinda Brou.
"A composer of facility and imagination, the kind to whom both performers and audiences respond" (The New York Times), composer and oudist Ethan Wickman's music has been performed in venues around the world. He has received grants and commissions from Barlow, Meet the Composer, the American Composers Forum, the Wisconsin Music Teachers Association, the Utah Arts Festival, Music in the Loft, Fulbright and others. He was awarded the Jacob Druckman prize for his orchestral work Night Prayers Ascending at the Aspen Music Festival, first place in the Utah Arts Festival Chamber Commission Competition, and was a finalist in the 25th ASCAP Rudolf Nissim Orchestral Composition Competition.
He is Professor at the University of Texas at San Antonio. From 2015-2020 he was Executive Director of the Barlow Endowment for Music Composition at Brigham Young University. A co-founder of the world folk music ensemble, Viatorum, he studied oud with Egyptian virtuoso Ramy Adly.