Iva Jean Ambush - Featured Artist 2012

One critic described her as "a spell-binding professional, who rivets attention with her magnificent, clear and articulate voice."

Iva Jean Ambush is a wonderful interpreter of the Great American Song Book. She founded Ambuscade, which is a group of teachers and educators who enjoy the balance of performing and a family life. They have performed at the Mid-Atlantic Jazz Festival, International Association of Jazz Educators Conference, In The Streets Festival, Frederick's 4th of July Celebration (3 years in a row), the East Coast Jazz Festival, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and more. Ms. Ambush and Ambuscade have covered complete weddings including the Ceremony, Cocktail Hour, Dinner, and Dancing portion and she has been the Mistress of Ceremony (MC) for religious ceremonies, weddings, fashion shows, etc. This is a testament to her leadership and versatility. They can perform anything from "Crazy" by Willie Nelson, "Come Sunday" by Duke Ellington, to "At Last" by Etta James/Beyonce and everything in between including original pieces! Iva will be accompanied by pianist Terry Marshall.

Civil Strings - Featured Artist 2011

Civil Strings is made up of Cindi K. Martin, Jean Provine, Donald Maclean, and Kunie DeVorkin.


Cindi K. Martin graduated from University of Central Florida with a bachelor's and master's in Music Education. She currently teaches instrumental music (band, orchestra, piano, and guitar) at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School. She is also a cellist in the illustrious McLean Orchestra.


Violinist Kunie DeVorkin came from her native Japan to study with Broadus Earl at Yale University School of Music where she earned a Master of Music degree. In the 1970s, she was a member of the New Haven Symphony Orchestra. Recently retired as the director of Advertising Operations at The Washington Post, she continues to play as much chamber music as possible.


A graduate from Oberlin with a degree in music, Don Maclean plays avidly in the DC Metropolitan area and is currently with the McLean Orchestra. Don has also served as Principal Viola of the Friday Morning Music Club Orchestra (Avanti), and plays chamber music frequently with friends and in performance. He believes in the power of music to bring people together.


Jean Provine received her master’s degree from Boston University and spent several years in Boston playing and teaching. Subsequently, she played with the Seoul Philharmonic and the Durham Sinfonia in England where she lived for twenty three years free-lancing and teaching.   She has a studio in College Park and plays with the National Philharmonic and several other area orchestras and chamber groups.


photo credit: Bill Longshaw

Michelle Jacobeen - Featured Artist 2010

Michelle Jacobeen is a gifted and versatile mezzo-soprano who received a Bachelor’s in Music with a Major in Musical Theater and a Minor in Vocal Performance from The Catholic University of America. Michelle also attended the London Dramatic Academy and trained with some of the most respected performers, directors, and choreographers in London. She has had master classes with famed performers such as Dame Judi Dench,Dame Maggie Smith, and Brian Stokes Mitchell. Her musical theater and opera performances include Jesus Christ Superstar, Damn Yankees, Guys and Dolls, The Secret Garden, South Pacific, Hello Dolly, On the Town, Me and My Girl, La Traviata, and Amahl & the Night Visitors. Michelle has also performed in Bernstein’s Mass in the Kennedy Center Opera House and as a soloist on the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage. She has also performed as a soloist for numerous choirs, churches, jazz bands, a cappella groups, weddings, various special events, and has taught at several acting camps and schools. Michelle currently performs as a soloist and teaches voice and acting lessons from her studio in Alexandria. In her spare time, Michelle enjoys boating, wakeboarding, playing volleyball, and spending time with her husband. For more information about Michelle, please visit her website at www.michellejacobeen.com.

Acoustic Stew - Featured Artist 2009

Acoustic Stew is the guitar duo of Joseph Koenig and Michael Sirotniak, who are both natives of Northern Virginia and graduates of Bishop O’Connell High School in Arlington. Their unique style of music can best be described as original, eclectic, instrumental, acoustic guitar fusion that blends elements of classical, jazz, flamenco, and folk. Since 2002, Acoustic Stew has been performing in mostly informal settings, including various events at Catholic parishes in the Diocese of Arlington and the annual ArtsFest Festival in Solomons, MD. They are very grateful and honored to have been invited to perform at this year’s St. Cecelia’s Arts Festival.


“The aim and final reason of all music should be nothing but the glory of God and the refreshment of the spirit.” (Johann Sebastian Bach)


photo credit: Craig Spieing

Matthew Alderman Studios - Featured Visual Artist 2009

MATTHEW ALDERMAN is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame's distinguished classical design program and a noted expert and frequent speaker on traditional liturgical planning, church furnishing design and sacred art.  Recently, he completed designs for an extensive range of furnishings, including a forty-foot-tall altarpiece, for the historic restored Catholic proto-cathedral of Vladivostok, Russia.  He is the illustrator of the Liturgical Training Publications edition of the new English-language Roman Missal and is also serving as a classical design consultant for the proposed St. Paul University Catholic Center in Madison, Wisconsin, with RDG Design and Planning as the architect of record.  His designs, writing and original illustrations have been featured in such publications as Sacred ArchitectureFirst Things,  Antiphon: A Journal of Liturgical Renewal, The Living Church, and many others, while his original illustrations are in collections from California to Austria. For more information, please visit matthewalderman.com


photo: Saint Cecilia, ©2009 Matthew Alderman

Off the String Cello Quartet - Featured Artist 2008

If they could be any animal, Mauricio Betanzo would be a Honey Bee, Loren Westbrook-Fritts would be a lion, Anna Psitos would be a red fox, and Cindi Kornhaus Martin would be a cardinal.  And they all play the cello.
photo credit: Shuttershock