Meet Our Soloists

Giovanni Formisano


Giovanni Formisano Is a native of Torre del Greco (Naples) Italy. Mr. Formisano began his vocal training in the USA and was quickly recognized for his sense of legato and for specializing in the Classical Neapolitan repertoire. Winner of the “Talents of the World” voice competition in Boston, Mr. Formisano was featured in a tribute concert in honor of world renowned baritone Dimitri Hvorostovsky at Carnegie Hall, alongside the world recognized mezzo soprano Nino Surguladze, and many others. His most recent roles and concerts include the Solo Tenor in the Giuseppe Verdi’s Requiem with the Paul Madore Chorale; the role of Alfredo in Verdi’s La Traviata with Opera Providence; the Young Gypsy in Rachmaninoff’s Aleko with the Commonwealth Lyric Theater; Camille in Lehar's The Merry Widow with Opera Providence, and Rodolfo in Puccini's La Boheme with Boston Opera Collaborative. Mr. Formisano has also been the tenor soloist in Beethoven’s 9th Symphony at Amherst College, and sung major roles with Center City Opera in Philadelphia, Opera del West, Commonwealth Opera, Connecticut Grand Opera, Cape Cod Opera, Lowell House Opera, and the Longy School of Music. In addition Mr. Formisano has participated in major musical programs such as the Key West Symphony program directed by Donna Roll and the well known New York Summer Opera Scenes directed by Joshua Greene (assistant director of the Metropolitan Opera).


Mary Jane Febonio

Principal Cellist

Mary Jane Febonio grew up in Ohio where she studied cello at the Baldwin-Wallace College preparatory division and the University of Mount Union where she received her Bachelor of Music degree.  She taught music in the public schools both in Ohio and Massachusetts and maintained a private studio for many years.  Mary Jane is a member of the Cape Ann Symphony, North Shore Philharmonic, and Salem Philharmonic.  She was a founding member of the Chamber Orchestra of Cape Ann and has previously appeared with the Gordon College Symphony, the Paul Madore Choral and the Orchestra on the Hill. Long a fan of chamber music, she has performed with various trios and quartets and is currently a member of the String Quartet of Wheelers Point.  She also belongs to the North Shore Chamber Music Society and performs with them frequently.


Katie Hoyer

Mezzo Soprano

Katie Hoyer is a Boston-based mezzo-soprano who has studied with Jane Bryden, Dominique LaBelle, and Kendra Colton. Katie has performed throughout the Greater Boston Area with Brookline-based Winsor Music, and currently serves as the alto section leader and soloist at St. Michael's Church in Marblehead, MA, under the direction of Dr. Douglas Major. Katie has appeared as a soloist in Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater, Vivaldi’s Gloria, Mendelssohn’s Hear My Prayer, Vaughan Williams’ Five Mystical Songs, and as a founding member of the Summer Chamber Music on the Hill series in Marblehead, MA. Katie enjoys the collaborative work of chamber music and has performed in and co-created innovative programs including a duet recital of Israeli art song with her partner, soprano Alicia DePaolo, as well as Music, Love and Friends, a recent partnership with Baltimore-based Trio Giocoso. In August 2018, Katie performed in and co-produced Advocata Nostra, a benefit concert for Refugee Immigration Ministry which featured music written for the Blessed Virgin, culminating in Charpentier’s Litanies a la Vierge for six voices and chamber ensemble. Upcoming appearances for the 2018-2019 concert season include a duet recital with baritone John Petre-Baumer, featuring the piano transcription of Elgar’s Sea Pictures, and the premiere of Douglas Major’s song cycle on the poetry of Nathaniel Hawthorne with soprano Sarah Hunter with Dr. Major accompanying. Katie is a graduate of Smith College in Northampton, MA, and was the 2013 winner of the college’s Concerto Competition and recipient of the Judith Raskin Memorial Prize for the outstanding senior voice student.


Robert Lehmann


Robert Lehmann is Professor of Music and Director of Strings Studies and Orchestral Activities at the University of Southern Maine School of Music where he conducts the Southern Maine Symphony Orchestra and the Portland Youth Symphony Orchestra. In addition to his duties at USM, he is Music Director of the North Shore Philharmonic Orchestra, and the White Mountain Bach Festival in New Hampshire. He holds degrees in Violin Performance from the University of the Pacific, the Eastman School and Boston University and has been a fellow at the American Academy of Conducting at the Aspen Festival and at the Conductors Institute at Bard College. Dr. Lehmann has concertized as violinist and conductor, in his native Mexico, throughout the US, Puerto Rico and in Europe and Ukraine. He has been of frequent guest conductor with the Portland Symphony, Portland Ballet, and has conducted All-State and Festival Orchestras from Maine to California and Hawaii. He has also been an adjudicator the National Orchestra Festival at the ASTA National Convention. Prior to his appointment at USM, he was Music Director of the Mozart Society Orchestra at Harvard, and on the conducting staff of the Greater Boston and the Empire State Youth Orchestras. He is first violinist of the Meliora Quartet and concertmaster of the Opera Maine and the Choral Art Society. He is in demand as a performer, conductor, teacher and adjudicator and is listed in Who's Who in American Music. His CD, “Chamber Music for Strings by Manuel M. Ponce” was issued by Centaur Records in 2009. He has given numerous word premieres including Elliot Schwartz's' "Concerto VI: Mr. Jefferson" and Portland Ballet’s “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”. His 2012 performance of Mahler's Symphony No. 3, was named the top performance event of the Portland concert season by the Portland Press Herald. Recently, he conducted the Portland Ballet's Victorian Nutcracker and made his guest conducting debut with the Greensboro Symphony and lead two performances of Stravisnky's seminal 'Histoire du Soldat' with Venti Cordi. Next season includes a return engagement to conduct the Portland Symphony Orchestra and Portland Ballet. A recently completed sabbatical resulted in numerous performances and orchestral workshops in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico as well as in Mainz, Köln-Portz, Ramstein, Leipzig-Polenz, Germany, and Paris, France. Dr. Lehmann primarily plays a 2014 Benjamin Ruth (Swampscott, MA) violin and resides in Scarborough, Maine with his wife Kim, a violist with the Portland Symphony Orchestra, and their two sons, Eric and Alex.



Ed Fritton

Principal Bassoonist

Ed Fritton received a Bachelor and Master of Music Degree from Indiana University where he studied with Leonard Sharrow. He served in the U.S. Army Field Band in Washington D.C. and after returning to civilian life performed with the Jalapa Symphony Orchestra in Vera Cruz, Mexico. During his subsequent 35 plus years in the Boston area, Mr. Fritton has performed as principal bassoon and soloist with the Salem Philharmonic, North Shore Philharmonic, and Wellesley Orchestra. He has also played with various other groups including Walden 51, Thayer Symphony, and Concert Singers of Lynn. He has also enjoyed teaching bassoon for the Lexington Public Schools and the Rivers School Conservatory in Weston.