Jillian Pashke Durant, soprano, is staff soprano section leader and cantor at The Cathedral Basilica of St. John the Baptist. She has performed in the Friends of Cathedral Music concert series over it’s past four seasons and for Sunday services, weddings, and special liturgies since 2012. As an independent artist Jillian has most recently performed the role of Abigail Williams in Robert Ward’s The Crucible as a guest artist with the Georgia Southern Opera, Handel’s Messiah with Butler Presbyterian and Savannah State University Choir, and was a soloist and ensemble member in both the Unitarian Universalist Church concert series and the First Presbyterian Music with a Mission concert series. She has also performed locally as the soprano soloist for Orff’s Carmina Burana with Savannah Arts Academy Orchestra and Chorus, portrayed the Novice in Savannah Music Festival’s production of Suor Angelica, and was a quarter finalist contestant in the American Traditions Competition where The Savannah Morning News said of her performance “As the sole local contestant, Jillian Pashke… definitely had the audience in her hand.”
She holds a Bachelors and Masters Degree in Vocal Performance from Georgia Southern University where she performed in various operas and musicals. Favorite roles include Cinderella in Into The Woods, Dorabella in Cosi fan tutte, Dinah in Trouble in Tahiti, Mabel in Pirates of Penzance, Ciesca in Gianni Schicchi and Mary in The Devil and Daniel Webster, among others. While at Georgia Southern she also performed the solos in Beethoven’s Mass in C with the Southern Chorale and presented numerous recitals of art song and arias.
Jillian was the recipient of multiple awards from both GANATS and SERNATS throughout her school studies including the Cheryll Boyd Waddell award in 2011 for best recorded submission. She has studied in Young artist programs including Harrower Summer Opera hosted by Georgia State University and The Sherrill Milnes Voice Studio hosted by the Savannah Voice Festival.
Jillian has a passion for sharing the art of song and performance with young singers and maintains a private voice studio for students varying in age from middle school to adults and is a founding member of The Voice Co-op.
Nancy Thornock, soprano, completed her musical training at Pacific Lutheran University where she studied voice with Mira Frohnmayer and sang with the Choir of the West under the direction of Dr. Richard Sparks. Nancy has been an active soloist and section leader for the past 20 years in three Cathedrals and most recently with St John’s Episcopal Church in Olympia, WA. Nancy has performed with the Columbus Bach Ensemble, Lancaster Chorale, Columbus ProMusica, and several other professional ensembles.
Gerald Seminatore, tenor, has built a multi-faceted career as a performer and music educator. He began his professional career as a chorister in acclaimed ensembles such as Boston’s Handel and Haydn Society and Emmanuel Music, where he received intensive training in sacred music, with a special emphasis on the vocal music of J.S. Bach. After completing graduate work at the University of Cincinnati, Gerald was engaged as a soloist by a number of opera companies and orchestras in both the United States and Germany. His teaching activities have ranged from beginner voice classes to work with graduate students and mentoring rising professional musicians. Most recently, he completed a two-year visiting professorship at Georgia Southern University.
Cyril Durant, baritone, is a native of Statesboro, Georgia. Durant has received his BM, and MM in vocal performance at Georgia Southern University. During his studies there, he performed many roles with the Georgia Southern Opera, to include Figaro in Le Nozze di Figaro, Guglielmo in Cosi fan tutte, Betto in Gianni Schicchi, as well as premiering the role of Tommy Banks in the opera A scholar under siege.
In January of 2012, he made his professional debut with Opera Fayetteville in Fayetteville, Arkansas as Friedrich Bhaer in Mark Adamo’s Little Women. Durant has also had the pleasure of being a part of professional performance and training organizations Opera in the Ozarks, and the VOICExperience. In March 2015, Cyril Durant made his festival debut in the Savannah Music Festival, as a part of the Savannah Voice Festival’s production of Gianni Schicchi in the roll of Guccio. Outside of the operatic stage, Cyril performs frequently as a singer-songwriter and is a multi-instrumentalist. One of his most notable projects is his work with Soul/Funk ensemble Those Cats, in which he has two professional albums, as well as a hosts of EP’s and live sessions in his discography. He has also performed as a keyboardist and vocalist with Wood and Steel, and is a founding member of the group Prime Real Estate.
When Cyril is not performing, he works as an instructor of music. He currently serves as the Modern Music instructor for Benedictine Military School. Of these accomplishments, Cyril is most proud to be the husband to Jillian P. Durant, and farther to their baby Ezra James.
Colin Harrison, bass-baritone, is a music educator in Savannah, GA where he was raised. Harrison received his Bachelor’s of Music Education from Georgia Southern University in Statesboro. He currently teaches choral music and beginning piano to students at Coastal Middle School. He has been teaching for 3 years with a strong focus on music literacy. His choral students consistently receive excellent and superior ratings in both performance and sight-reading.
In addition to teaching in the public-school setting, Colin also works in the community. He can be found directing the community chorus, 13th Colony Sound, with a focus in barbershop quartet and chorus singing for all genders. Colin has a passion for the close harmonies of barbershop music and has competed in quartets at the international level. In 2016, Harrison co-founded, directed, and led the Southern Gentlemen barbershop ensemble from Georgia Southern to an international first place prize at the “Laurea Mundi Budapest” Festival of Choral Music in Budapest, Hungary. He also teaches private voice lessons to students of middle school age and older.
As a performer, Colin sings bass with Servire (an up-and-coming choral ensemble of 12 singers from the southeast). This ensemble specializes in singing early music as well as more modern unaccompanied choral selections. Servire, which means “to serve”, has a mission to give back to the community through their music, education and awareness, and charitable giving. In 2019, Servire hosted a benefit concert in Durham, NC. The concert raised over $1000 to support the Urban Ministries of Durham. Servire has also served as the performing ensemble for Duke University’s ChorWorks program under the direction of Phillip Cave, founding member of the Tallis Scholars. ChorWorks has given Colin the opportunity to sing early French Baroque music accompanied by period instruments.
Braelyn Snow, mezzo-soprano, has been singing at the Cathedral for four years with the Schola Stella Maris chant choir and is excited to be joining the Cathedral staff singers. She performed and competed in choirs and ensembles throughout high school and sang during her undergraduate studies with the University Singers at Indiana Wesleyan University. During her time in Savannah, she has also canted at Christ Church Anglican’s Compline services and has done solo performance work around town. Braelyn has taught various art and music courses at the Habersham school for three years and has taught private piano lessons. She has participated in several musical theatre productions, performing on stage and working on set and costume design. She believes music is the language of heaven.
Sharon Mays, soprano, is a teacher and musician in her hometown of Savannah, GA. After receiving her Bachelors of Music in Church Music from Samford University she went on to Cambridge University where she earned a Master of Music in Choral Studies. She spends her summers at St. John’s College completing a Masters of Arts in Liberal Arts, deepening her love of the great books. Coming from a family of musicians, she sang in choirs from an early age, most notably the Samford University A Cappella Choir (Philip Copeland), the Cathedral Choir at the Cathedral Church of the Advent (Fred Teardo), and the Chapel Choir of Selwyn College, Cambridge (Sarah MacDonald). She currently teaches upper school Latin and is the Choir Director at The Habersham School.
Andrew Whitlow, tenor, is a conductor and tenor with interests ranging from sacred chamber music to barbershop. He holds a B.M in Church Music and a M.M in Choral Conducting from Furman University and East Carolina University respectively. Andrew has held several directorship positions including past duties as Music Director of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Rocky Mount, NC and his current position as director of choirs at Calvary Day School in Savannah, GA. With a dual interest in philanthropy and music, he has organized and musically directed multiple benefit concerts of Renaissance choral music that have raised money for various charitable organizations such as Save the Children. Andrew has been featured as a soloist throughout the southeast, including appearances with the East Carolina University Chamber Singers, Chorworks Early Music, the Duke Bach Cantata Series, and at Christ Church Episcopal in Savannah, GA.
Jonathan Murphy, tenor, is Lecturer of Opera and Collaborative Piano at Georgia Southern University, his undergraduate alma mater. He is also a graduate of the University of Tennessee, where he was a member of the Knoxville Opera Studio, and the University of Oklahoma, where he was a Weitzenhoffer Opera Fellow. Among Jonathan’s operatic roles are Don Ottavio (Don Giovanni), Pylade (Iphigénie en Tauride), Peter Quint (The Turn of the Screw), Nemorino (L’elisir d’amore) Elvino (La Sonnambula), Ferrando (Cosí fan tutte), Nerone (L’Incoronazzione di Poppea), Sam Kaplan and Lippo Fiorentino (Street Scene), and the title role in Stravinsky’s Mavra. As an opera coach, he has prepared roles and operas for performances at the Metropolitan Opera, Dallas Opera, San Francisco Opera, San Diego Opera, and Santa Fe, among others, including Tosca, Fidelio, Moby Dick, Tristan und Isolde, Siegfried and Götterdämmerung, Le Nozze di Figaro, Don Giovanni, Turandot, and Otello. Among the international artists with whom he has worked are Samuel Ramey, Leona Mitchell, Robert Hale, Clifton Forbis, Kurt Ollmann, William Powers, and Jay Hunter Morris. Jonathan’s concert work includes Mozart’s Mass in C Minor, Dubois’ Seven Last Words of Christ, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Vivaldi’s Gloria, Saint-Saëns’ Oratorio de Noël, and the Requiems of Mozart and Verdi. His 2019 performance as tenor soloist in Craig Hella Johnson’s Considering Matthew Shepard was broadcast on Michigan Public Radio. In his fifth year as Musical Director and Conductor for Georgia Southern Opera, Jonathan has prepared and conducted numerous productions, including Don Giovanni, Ward’s The Crucible, and Weill’s Street Scene, as well as L’Orfeo (Monteverdi) and La Rondine (Puccini). Jonathan is also an extremely active collaborative pianist and recitalist.