GABRIEL LÖFVALL, Artistic Director, is a conductor, pianist and tenor who grew up listening to the sounds of the tango in his native Argentina. Born in the city of Mendoza, he graduated from the National University of Cuyo and sang with the Boys’ Choir there, as a youth, under Marcelo Coltro. He studied piano with Dora De Marinis.
Gabriel moved to the U.S. in 1997, where he attended the Hartt School of the University of Hartford and received a Masters of Music in piano performance under Luiz de Moura Castro, and later, a Masters in Choral Conducting, under Dr. Edward Bolkovac. He is currently pursuing a Doctorate in Choral Conducting from the same school.
Gabriel has taken his music to many different corners of the world: Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, England, Portugal, Spain, Hungary, and the U.S. With flutist Gonzalo Cortes, he formed Duo del Sur, a chamber music ensemble mostly devoted to the research and dissemination of South American contemporary music. He co-directs the vocal ensemble Vallis Musicae, a community chorus that meets regularly for seasonal performances and international tours.
Gabriel was the assistant conductor for The Main Street Singers of New Britain. He currently serves as the Director of Music for St. Patrick-St. Anthony Church in downtown Hartford.
LAURIE ELLINGTON, Junior Choir Director is a conductor, vocalist and music educator with over 30 years’ experience in music. Her passion lies in making great music fun and exciting to young singers through choral and band music, musical theater, and as a private coach and teacher.
Originally from Darien, CT, Laurie moved to the Northwest Corner in 2007 to teach at the Hotchkiss School, where she was Choral Director for seven years. She has also taught at Torrington High School, Housatonic Valley High School, The Berkshire School, Salisbury Central School and is now the Choral, Band and General Music teacher at Sharon Center School in Sharon, CT.
Prior to moving back to CT, Laurie lived with her husband and son in Germany, where she was sought-after singer and Artistic Director of two theater companies.
Laurie holds a Bachelor of Arts from Harvard and a Master’s of Music Education from Boston Conservatory.
KAREN SOVAK, Training Choirs Director, is a native of Schenectady, New York, and comes from a family of musicians – instrumentalists, choral, band and orchestra conductors, and church organists. Karen majored in Music Education at SUNY Potsdam and pursued further musical studies with several choral and instrumental ensembles. Karen also indulged her love of the visual arts and pottery-making, with classes at SUNY Albany and then at the Corcoran Art School in Washington, D.C. where she also began her career teaching young children at the Rudolf Steiner School in Falls Church, VA.
In 1972, Karen and her husband returned to the Northeast, settling in a picturesque historic farmhouse in what was then rural Avon, CT. Karen and several friends founded the Spinners/Weavers Group Project, a medieval style guild for fabric artists at the Farmington Valley Arts Center. To escape the encroaching suburban sprawl of metropolitan Hartford, Karen and George moved to Winsted, CT where Karen established herself as a private teacher of flute and saxophone, and founded the College Recorder Consort.
Beginning in 1988, The Children’s Discovery Center in Winsted, CT became the happy recipient of Karen’s considerable creative, teaching, and organizational talents. As Head Teacher and Director, Karen expanded this arts and language-based program for pre-school children, winning National Accreditation for the school’s innovative, experiential curriculum.
Karen has been singing in Gaudeamus since the ensemble’s founding in 1991 and has worked with Paul Halley at his recording and music publishing company Pelagos, as General Manager from 1998- 2003 and was the Executive Director of Joyful Noise from 2003-2006. Karen continues as Director of the Chorus Angelicus Training Choirs, helping very young people to explore and rejoice in their emerging musical potential, and has also returned as Director/Head Teacher of the Children’s Discovery Center in Winsted.