Performer Bios | Yale Camerata: Praise, Peace, and Hope

André Thomas is visiting professor of choral conducting and interim conductor of the Yale Camerata. He recently retired from Florida State University, where he was Owen F. Sellers professor of music, director of choral activities, and professor of choral music education. He received degrees from Friends University (BA), Northwestern University (MM), and the University of Illinois (DMA). He is in demand as a choral adjudicator, clinician, and director in North America, Europe, New Zealand, Australia, Asia, and Africa. He has conducted choirs at conventions of the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) and the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA). He has conducted the Birmingham Symphony Orchestra in England, the Berlin Radio Choir and the North German Radio Choir in Germany, the Netherlands Radio Choir, the Bulgarian Radio Choir and Orchestra, the Charlotte Symphony, the Tallahassee Symphony, the People’s Liberation Orchestra in China, and the Czech National Symphony. Thomas has been honored with distinguished achievement awards by the African Diaspora Sacred Music, Chorus America, ACDA, the National Collegiate Choral Organization, and the Florida Music Educators Hall of Fame. He is the current president of national ACDA.


Concert and recording artist Nathaniel Gumbs is a native of the Bronx, and currently serves as the director of chapel music at Yale. As a recitalist, he has performed throughout the United States and abroad. Gumbs was acclaimed in the New York Times for playing “deftly and feelingly” on his duo recording with bass-baritone Dashon Burton. The Diapason recently recognized Gumbs as one of 20 organists under 30 years old for outstanding achievement in organ performance and church music. Gumbs has also served as the director of music and arts and church organist at Friendship Missionary Baptist Church in Charlotte, North Carolina. His teachers have included Steven Cooksey, David Higgs, and Martin Jean, and he holds degrees from Shenandoah Conservatory, Yale University, and the Eastman School of Music.


Ethan Haman, from Fremont, California, studies organ at Yale with Jon Laukvik and is the organist of Noroton Presbyterian Church in Darien, Connecticut. He graduated from the University of Southern California with a BM in organ performance, studying with Cherry Rhodes, and in composition, studying with Morten Lauridsen, Andrew Norman, Donald Crockett, Sean Friar, and Daniel Temkin. At USC, Haman was organist for both Knox Presbyterian Church in Pasadena and the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, as well as an improvisation instructor for the San Francisco Peninsula Organ Academy. He took four organ and improvisation study trips to Lyon and Paris on scholarships from USC and the SFPOA. Haman enjoys recording organ videos for YouTube.


Albert R. Lee is the inaugural director of equity, belonging, and student life at the Yale School of Music. He comes to Yale from the University of Nevada, Reno, where he was associate professor of voice and opera; he has also taught at Troy University and Lincoln University. At universities across the United States he has delivered lectures such as “American Art Song: Reframing and Reforming the Canon” and “The Musical Legacy of Langston Hughes and the Harlem Renaissance.” Lee has performed as a recitalist and in oratorio and operatic settings with such ensembles as the Philadelphia Orchestra, Collegiate Chorale, Jupiter Symphony Chamber Players, National Chorale, Reno Philharmonic, Cincinnati Opera, Opera Las Vegas, Opera Steamboat, and Palm Beach Opera. He appears as a featured soloist on Sinfonia da Camera’s recording of George Walker’s Lilacs, for voice and orchestra. A native of New Haven, Lee earned a BM from the University of Connecticut, an MM from Juilliard, and a doctorate from Florida State University.


An accomplished keyboardist, Michael Lukin holds an AMusA in piano performance and an AMusA and LMusA in organ performance from the Australian Music Examinations Board, winning the A. J. Leckie Memorial Award for the best diploma candidate in Western Australia in 2015. Having served as the assistant organist of St. George’s Cathedral from 2016 to 2019, Lukin earned a bachelor’s degree from the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts in 2019, where he specialized in conducting and historical keyboard performance. Lukin is presently in the second year of his master of music in choral conducting at Yale University, where his studies are supported by the 2020 Western Australian Postgraduate Fulbright Scholarship.


Greer Lyle is a Carrollton, Georgia, native and a soprano in the Yale Opera program. She made her professional debut in 2018 as a Gerdine Young Artist with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, where she earned the Gaddes Career Award and an invitation to return as a Gerdine Young Artist in 2019. In 2021 Lyle was a semifinalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. Her previous awards include first prize in the 2017 Atlanta Music Club Scholarship Competition, Encouragement Awards at the 2017–2020 Georgia and Arkansas District Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, and an Encouragement Award at the 2018 Pro-Mozart Society of Atlanta. Lyle’s upcoming projects are the Yale Opera Gala and Handel’s Alcina. She is currently a student of Gerald Martin Moore.


Conductor and soprano Maura Tuffy currently serves as principal assistant conductor of the Yale Camerata under the direction of André Thomas. As a soloist, she has performed with groups such as the USC Thornton Wind Ensemble and USC Thornton Percussion Ensemble. Tuffy was one of eight conductors selected to participate in the 2019 national ACDA Undergraduate Conducting Masterclass. Tuffy earned her bachelor’s degrees in vocal arts and choral music from the University of Southern California. She holds a master of music in choral conducting from the Yale School of Music and is currently pursuing a master of musical arts, also at Yale.


Founded in 1985 by Marguerite L. Brooks and conducted by André Thomas, the Yale Camerata is a vocal ensemble sponsored by the Yale Institute of Sacred Music. The group’s singers are Yale graduate and undergraduate students, faculty, staff, and experienced singers from the New Haven community. The Camerata performs a widely varied spectrum of choral literature, with a specific commitment to recently composed choral music. It has collaborated with the Yale Glee Club, Yale Philharmonia, Yale Symphony, Yale Band, Yale Chamber Players, Yale Collegium Musicum, New Haven Chorale, and the orchestras of Hartford, New Haven, and Norwalk. The ensemble has also performed for Yale Music Spectrum and New Music New Haven. The Camerata has been heard on Connecticut Public Radio and on national broadcasts of National Public Radio’s program Performance Today, and has performed at a national conference of the National Collegiate Choral Organization and a regional conference of the American Choral Directors Association. Guest conductors have included Marin Alsop, Simon Carrington, Matthew Halls, David Hill, Sir Gilbert Levine, Sir Neville Marriner, Nicholas McGegan, Erwin Ortner, Stefan Parkman, Grete Pedersen, Krzysztof Penderecki, Helmuth Rilling, Jaap Schröder, Robert Shaw, Dale Warland, and Sir David Willcocks. With the Institute of Sacred Music, the Camerata has commissioned and premiered works of Martin Bresnick, Daniel Kellogg, Robert Kyr, Ingram Marshall, Tawnie Olson, Stephen Paulus, Daniel Pinkham, and Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, among others. The chorus has sung first performances of works by many composers, including Kathryn Alexander, Aaron Jay Kernis, Robert Sirota, and Francine Trester, and regularly programs student works.


The Yale Institute of Sacred Music is an interdisciplinary graduate center dedicated to the study and practice of sacred music, worship, and the arts. Institute students receive rigorous training for careers in performance, church music, pastoral ministry, the academy, and much more. The Institute sponsors several choruses, including the Yale Camerata and Yale Schola Cantorum. As a major arts presenter in New Haven, it offers a full schedule of concerts, art exhibitions, literary readings, lectures, conferences, and multimedia events during the year. For updated listings, visit the website at


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