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Meet Dermot, Max, Kara, and Laura

Dermot Kiernan holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Music (majoring in performance on the Classical Accordion) and a Master’s Degree in Medieval Music Performance and Musicology from The National University of Ireland, Maynooth.  During his time at University, Dermot sang with all three of Dublin’s Cathedral Choirs in and several ensembles, including Schola Cantorum Dublinia, The University College Dublin Choral Scholars, Resurgam and The Dublin Bach Singers. He has appeared as a soloist at Dublin’s National Concert Hall and The Royal Dublin Society. From there he joined the post-Masters Degree program at the University of Paris-Sorbonne.
In 2009 he was appointed choir leader of the Aontas Choral Ensemble as part of the internationally acclaimed music group, Celtic Woman. For six years he toured worldwide with the show and featured on several of their CD and DVD recordings as well as their PBS TV specials.
Since moving to Los Angeles in the summer of 2013, Dermot has worked with many prestigious ensembles in the city and currently sings with the Los Angeles Master Chorale, the choir of St. James in the City, the LA Schola and the Clarion Singers.

Max Miller grew up in Phoenix and graduated from Arizona State University with degrees in Music an Medieval British History. After ten years of performing early music and musical theater on Broadway in New York City, his love of Disney brought him to LA where he now brings Walt Disney Studios’ films to theaters all around the country. He is grateful to get to still have a fulfilling musical life here at St. James.

From her earliest years, Kara Morgan has been singing and entertaining. She received her Bachelor of Music degree in vocal performance from Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois. Kara subsequently spent two years in France studying voice at the Conservatoire de Nancy where she was awarded the Médaille d’Or in 2004. In 2005 Kara was selected to join the Maryland Opera Studio where she performed the roles of Sophie in Massenet’s Werther, Anne Sexton in Conrad Susa’s Transformations and Rose in the World Premiere of John Musto’s Later the Same Evening. Her love of both early music and new music has lead her to collaborate with such companies as Washington D.C.’s Opera Lafayette, the Great Noise Ensemble, Chantry, the Aspen Music Festival, the Alliance for New Music-Theater, Ensemble Vocatrix and the Clarion Singers. Beyond the concert hall, Kara is also an actor and comedic performer. In 2012 Kara moved to Los Angeles to perform musical comedy within the heart of the entertainment industry. She currently hosts the Kara Morgan Show and studies comedy improv at the Groundlings Theater and School. 

Southern California native Laura Smith Roethe holds a B.M. in Vocal Performance and a B.A. in Germanic Studies from Chapman University, where she graduated summa cum laude.

Smith Roethe performs frequently throughout the area with groups such as the Los Angeles Master Chorale, St. James-in-the-City Episcopal Church, Horizon Music Group, Lark Musical Society, Golden Bridge, LA Schola, and has appeared as a soloist with numerous chamber groups in the greater Los Angeles area. Smith Roethe has also sung extensively in Europe, most notably with the Palestrina Ensemble of Munich, appearing frequently at Alterpeterkirche, Heilig Blut Kirche, Damenstiftskirche, and can be heard as the alto soloist for the ensemble’s recording of Palestrina’s Canticum Canticorum (Bayrische Rundfunk, 2012). Other recordings include Verdi’s Messa da Requiem and Mahler’s Symphony #8 with Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Los Angeles Master Chorale’s Festival of Carols, as well as numerous sacred recordings for Gothic Records. She can be heard in numerous film scores, including Secret Life of Pets 2, Transformers, Jumanji, Wreck-It Ralph 2, Smallfoot, Bumblebee.

She has worked with notable conductors in the U.S. and Europe including Zubin Mehta, Sir András Schiff, Xian Zhang, Lionel Bringuier, Grant Gershon, Bramwell Tovey, Michael Tilson Thomas, Charles Dutoit, and Susanna Mälkki. In 2014, she performed at the American Choral Directors Association regional conference with the Inspiravi Chamber Choir and has also appeared in several opera roles, including Clara in Signor Deluso and Despina in Cosi fan tutte. Smith Roethe appeared as the alto soloist in Handel’s Messiah with the Los Angeles Master Chorale and in Fern Hill at the Broad Stage and in Tan Dun’s Water Passion at the Ravinia festival. She was featured most recently as the alto soloist in Vaughan Williams’ Mass in G.