Founder, Artistic Director, and Conductor:
Dr. Michael Robert Patch
Dr. Michael Robert Patch holds a Doctorate of Musical Arts in Conducting from the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance. He also has a Master of Music degree in Choral Conducting from San Francisco State University. And he holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree in K-12 Choral Music from the UMKC Conservatory.
Dr. Patch has had a diverse and artistically robust conducting career. He began as a high school Choral Music Educator in Scottsbluff, NE. In his first year all ensembles took superior ratings at district music contests, and his swing choir took first place at Nebraska regionals. In addition, nine of his students were selected to participate in the Nebraska All-State Honor Festival.
In the San Francisco Bay Area Dr. Patch was the Artistic Director and Conductor of the Oakland-East Bay Gay Men’s Chorus. Within a short time of his appointment to OEBGMC, he facilitated collaborations with many other organizations in Northern California, including the Oakland-East Bay Symphony, San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus, San Francisco and Oakland Pride Festivals, and many other community and LGBTQ performing arts organizations. He directed OEBGMC at the international GALA Festival in Miami in 2008. He conducted the National Anthem for the first ever Golden-Sate Warriors LGBT Night. He also prepared singers for a production of RENT. A high point of Dr. Patch’s tenure at OEBGMC was when he directed the chorus during a nationally televised ceremony in which excommunicated LGBTQ clergy were reinstated to the Lutheran Church.
Dr. Patch also worked as an Interim Professor and Director at San Francisco State University. While there, he conducted all choral ensembles, including the Women’s Chorus, University Chorus, and Chamber Choir, and taught Advanced Musicianship. While previously working toward his Master’s degree at San Francisco State University, Dr. Patch was appointed as the Graduate Teaching Assistant for the Choral Department. He taught multiple sections of Class-Voice/Music Appreciation, and he directed the Women’s Chorus and was the Assistant Director for the University Chorus and Chamber Choir.
Dr. Patch became the Artistic Director and Conductor of the Kansas City Women’s Chorus in 2013. During his short but effective appointment at KCWC, he helped to move the organization to new levels of professionalism and musicality.
He has conducted a number of workshops, including church conferences and multiple high school events. He has been a guest clinician, focusing on vocal production and choral artistry, with groups ranging from high school ensembles to symphonic and semi-professional choruses. He has experience as Music Director of many stage productions, including musical theater, opera, oratorio, and ballet. Since 2001, Dr. Patch has held a number of church music positions, including classical, contemporary, bells, and children’s music. He has also commissioned a number of choral arrangements and new choral works.
In 2017, Michael received an honorable mention with The American Prize in Conducting—College/University Chorus Division. In 2014, he coordinated and conducted a performance of Mendelssohn’s Elijah, which included members of 10 community and church choirs, combined with the Kansas City Civic Orchestra and professional soloists. Dr. Patch has conducted a large number of choral-instrumental works, and has prepared dozens of choral masterworks. In addition, he has prepared and conducted hundreds of octavos over the length of his career. Dr. Patch has successfully planned and executed several choral tours, and is highly skilled at managing the complex administrative details involved in such large-scale ventures.
While working toward his Doctorate at the UMKC Conservatory, Dr. Patch studied under the direction of Dr. Robert Bode. He was Graduate Teaching Assistant for the top ensemble, and was also the Director of a select undergraduate chamber choir, the university-wide choir, and the opera chorus. He created a community concert series to bridge the musicians at the Conservatory with the community.
Dr. Patch has worked with Dr. Robert Bode, Dr. Eph Ehly, Dr. Charles Robinson, Dr. Gustavo Halley, Vance George, David Xiques, and Charles Bruffy. He has also had an extensive performance career, singing with choirs of all shapes and sizes, including the Grammy Award- winning Kansas City Chorale, Kansas City Symphony Chorus, Pacific Mozart Ensemble, and the Oakland Symphony Chorus. Dr. Patch’s voice can be heard on a Grammy-nominated recording of Rheinberger’s music, performed by the Kansas City Chorale, and as a soloist and chorister for a recording of Elinor Remick Warren’s music, performed by the Pacific Mozart Ensemble.
Principal Accompanist and Pianist:
John Livingston has worked extensively as a collaborative pianist, getting his start at the age of 13. Since then he has had a continuous stream of collaborative experiences ranging from choirs, to musical theatre, to college instrumental lessons and recitals, and more.
In 2009, Mr. Livingston partnered with a local community theatre company, Pentacle Theater, in their production of “My Fair Lady”. Hooked by this initial foray into musical theater, Mr. Livingston continued to work with Pentacle Theater on 6 of their following musical productions. During this partnership, his talents were developed as both a rehearsal and performance pianist for musical theater. Beyond this work, John continued to strengthen his reputation as an accompanist, working with local middle and high school choirs. Notably, he accompanied West Salem High School’s choir in their 1st place performance in Oregon State High School Choir competition in the year 2013.
Being accepted to the University of Missouri-Kansas City in 2013, John studied Piano Performance under the highly-sought after tutelage of Dr. Robert Weirich, earning his Bachelor’s of Music degree (cum laude) in 2017. During his undergrad John worked closely with singers from all the voice studios which culminated in being asked to play Stravinsky’s famously difficult aria “No Word from Tom” from The Rake’s Progress at commencement ceremony in the Kauffman Center. John was subsequently accepted into the Master’s program at UMKC and was awarded one of the Opera Accompanying graduate assistantships. John has served as rehearsal pianist for Hänsel und Gretel, Poulenc’s La voix humaine, Ravel’s L’enfant et les sortilèges, Mozart’s La finta giardiniera, and Johan Strauss Jr.’s Die Fledermaus. During his time at UMKC, along with all the work with singers, John also incorporated extensive instrumental accompanying, playing for lessons and recitals for cellists, violinists, oboists, trombonists, and more.
During his Master’s, John also began a relationship with the Lyric Opera of Kansas City, playing for their Opera to Go program and subbing as a vocal coach for their Resident Artists. In the same vein, John performed with new opera company in Kansas City, Opera 180 for their premier production “Bon Operatit!” in April of 2018. John is also a founding member and principal accompanist of Choral Spectrum, a LGBTQ and supporting choir which is the first of its kind in Kansas City.
Besides his undergrad work with Dr. Robert Weirich, John has had masterclasses with esteemed teachers including Gilbert Kalish, Alon Goldstein, and Margot Garret. John recently completed his Master’s degree at UMKC having studied with the 2013 Van Cliburn third prize winner, Sean Chen.
John’s relationship with the Lyric Opera led to him being chosen to be the Resident Artist Coach/Accompanist for the KC Lyric Opera’s 2019-2020 season. John also serves as Adjunct Faculty at Avila University where he teaches collaborative piano and serves a staff accompanist.