Who We Are
We are an inter-generational group of women who enjoy spending time together, making music, and sharing it with the community.
2019 -2020 Season: The Oak City Voices season starts in August and finishes in May.
Requirements for membership:
1) A basic knowledge of reading music (pitches and rhythms), musical terms, and musical concepts. If you are rusty and/or need assistance, we are available to help.
2) A Willingness to volunteer and serve on various committees as needed
3) A Willingness to practice between rehearsals as needed to learn your part
4) Access to email and the Internet. (We e-mail files and updates).
5) Age 17 years or older.
Dues for the 2019-2020 year are $100, which cover rehearsal and administrative costs. In addition, you will pay for your own music, the price of which will be determined at the beginning of each season. Financial assistance may be available on a very limited and case by case basis (please explain your situation in your application). Dues are payable by cash, by personal check payable to Oak City Voices, or via PayPal. You probably already own the clothing described in our dress code. Dues (or your first installment) must be paid at the first rehearsal of the season.
A native of Greensboro, Russell McKinney is the Minister of Music for St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Cary, North Carolina where he oversees the entire program and personally directs seven of the eight ensembles. The St. Paul’s Choir released its first CD, “A Babe is Born” in the fall of 2017 under his direction. McKinney is also currently active in NC as bass trombonist. He is the bass trombonist of the North Carolina Opera Orchestra in Raleigh and the Piedmont Triad Jazz Orchestra in Greensboro. He is a frequent guest musician with the North Carolina Symphony, as well as the Greensboro and Winston-Salem Symphonies and plays in orchestras for many of the top tier ensembles in the Triangle. McKinney is a composer and arranger and has an ongoing publishing relationship with Cherry Classics, Ltd.
McKinney spent 22 years as the bass trombonist of the Utah Symphony Orchestra, one of the nation’s few full-time professional orchestras. As a tenured member of the USO, he participated in many commercial recordings and television broadcasts, local and national, including the Opening Ceremonies of the 2002 Winter Olympics. During his time in Utah, he also served as Music Director for Mount Tabor Lutheran Church, ELCA followed by eight years as Music Director for the historic First Presbyterian Church of Salt Lake City. There he founded the Community Concert Series that was anchored by the FPC Choir and included performances by top local ensembles and nationally recognized groups, such as the Concordia College Choir and the North American Welsh Choir. Many performances of the First Presbyterian Choir under McKinney’s direction are on YouTube.
McKinney was also the Music Director for the Westminster College Chamber Orchestra at Westminster College in Utah for two seasons until leaving Utah. He taught applied low brass lessons at several institutions including the University of Utah, Snow College, and Brigham Young University in Provo and gave trombone master classes at Universities across the nation. Since his return to NC, he has presented master classes at Appalachian State University, the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
McKinney has performed as guest bass trombonist with Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the National Symphony of Washington, D.C., and the Kennedy Center Orchestra, and in recent seasons with the Alabama Symphony Orchestra and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.
A faculty member at the Eastern Music Festival in the late 80’s, he returned in 2017 as a guest faculty and performer for part of the Festival.
McKinney is a past board member for the Triangle Brass Band and currently serves on the board of the Raleigh Concert Band. He is married to Linda, a paralegal and soprano, and they have three grown children and one grandchild.
Martha Bass Abernethy holds degrees from both Oberlin Conservatory and the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, and is a former faculty member of Meredith College.
Martha also pursued a second career in commercial real estate leasing and management for approximately 30 years, working for Capital Associates, a local boutique office developer, as well as CBRE and Avison Young, both of which are international third-party real estate companies. She currently teaches courses in property management and real estate for both Wake Technical Community College and the Building Owners and Managers Association.
Having retired from full-time real estate work in 2016, Martha is happy to be playing music once more, and especially to be associated with Oak City Voices!
Board of Directors
April Giancola - President
Susan Silverio - Vice President
Bill Lampley - Treasurer
Lauren La May - Secretary
Rusty McKinney- Artistic Director
Learn more about our members!
Carol Doyle - "I love to travel!"
Priscilla DeLuca - "I once won a 'Prettiest Feet' contest!"
Corinne Kadlec - "I speak Spanish."
Jane Wilhoite - "As an Army brat who moved often, I went to 10 different schools from kindergarten - 12th grade."
Judith Hillman - "I love thoroughbred horse racing - Kentucky Derby, Preakness, etc."
Melanie Bunn - "I spent a semester in London during my junior year of college."
Charlotte Galamb - "I'm creating a line of greeting cards & I have a dual citizenship with Canada"
Susan Beschormer - "In my previous life, I was a church organist for 33 years in Maryland and Nebraska."
Donna Niedzwiecki - "I'm a 3rd degree black belt in Taekwondo."
Lauren La May - "I love badminton."
April Giancola - "I have been writing plays and won the Cary Playwrights Forum Play Slam in April 2018."
Barb Sawyer - "I have always loved horses."
Emma Aronow - "I sang at Carnegie Hall!"
Barbara Barnett - "When fairly new to playing golf, I parred Hole #5 at Pebble Beach golf course."
Carleen Durbin - "I'm a clown!"
Janet Egan - "I currently sing with two choral groups and when I am not rehearsing or performing with them, I'm out singing karaoke!"
Margot Wuebbens - "I only wear the color blue."
Lynn Silvious - "I am a former Army officer."
Liz Avery (aka Queen of Everything) - "I have been known as the Fairy Dog Mother, but both of my dogs are brats."