Featured Artists

David Mellnik, conductor, received the Bachelor of Music Degree in vocal performance from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, attended the Manhattan School of Music on full scholarship where he studied with Margaret Hoswell, and earned the Master of Church Music with a Minor in Vocal Performance from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. He remains the only master’s level student to have been awarded both the Honors Award Certificate in Vocal Studies and the Performer’s Certificate in Voice from Southern Seminary. Rev. Mellnik is a four-time Regional Finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Auditions, a regional winner of the National Association of Teachers of Singing audition, and a three-time winner of the North Carolina Federation of Music Clubs audition.

David has appeared with symphony orchestras and opera companies in Vermont, Kentucky, New York, North Carolina and Florida. He is an active member of the NC Master Chorale Chamber Choir. This is his twelfth season serving the Cary Community Choir as its Director. David lives in Cary, and serves St. Luke United Methodist Church in Sanford as the Coordinator of Worship and Christian Music. David can be seen with the NC Master Chorale Chamber Choir in Joy of the Season in Meymandi Concert Hall on December 10th, Romance in the Air, on February 15th at Peace College, and as Dido in Dido and Dido and Aeneas.

Helen Wong, soprano, sang in the Cary Community Choir in 2012 as a chorister where she met the soprano soloist Christine Weidinger, a world renowned opera star. She has been studying with Weidinger since. Helen was a member of NC Opera chorus. She soloed in the Appalachian Winter Christmas Cantata with the professional Festival orchestra at Hope Valley Baptist Church in 2014, and performed a solo recital at Pullen Memorial Baptist Church in August 2016. Helen is an IT project manager and the president of Cary Community Choir. She is grateful for the love and support from her dear husband and mother, her teacher Christine Weidinger and accompanist James Esterline.

Evelyn McCauley, alto, singing actress, director and producer with several Triangle organizations that span opera, choral music and musical theatre. Roles include Helen, Three Sisters Who Are Not Sisters; Cathleen, Riders to the Sea; Mrs. Nolan; The Medium; Phoebe, Yeomen; Buttercup Pinafore; Ruth, Pirates; Mad Margaret, Ruddigore; and Rocky Horror, The Narrator. Recordings include Vashti in Esther (an original musical), and Daphne in Thespis (the 14th extant G&S opera as realized by Alan Riley Jones). She sings most recently with NC Master Chorale and Chamber Choir, Duke Evensong, Voices of a New Renaissance, St. Stephens Episcopal, Carolina Ballet and NC Symphony, is an active recitalist and soloist, and avid arts advocate. She shares a home with her husband Lance and two fur babies, Phoebe and Winston.

Jianghai Ho, tenor, is a graduate student in vocal performance at DePaul University, where he studies with Michael Sylvester. He is scheduled to appear as Rinuccio in DePaul Opera Theater's winter 2016 production of Puccini's Gianni Schicchi. Jianghai has appeared most recently as Orfeo in Monteverdi's L'Orfeo, Abraham Kaplan in Kurt Weill's Street Scene, and Dr. Blind in Johann Strauss II's Die Fledermaus with DePaul Opera Theater. He has also performed with the Duke Vespers Ensemble in Dietrich Buxtehude's rarely-performed Membra Jesu Nostri at the Boston Early Music Festival. Born in Johor Bahru, Malaysia, Jianghai first discovered his passion for opera under the tutelage of Professor Susan Dunn at Duke University, where he graduated with a bachelor's in music and biology. He studied with Christine Weidinger before attending DePaul University, and also holds a Ph.D. in Neurobiology from Duke University.

Steven Thomason, baritone, is honored to return to Cary once again to sing the Bass solos for the Cary Community Messiah. Mr. Thomason has performed solos for many churches and venues in Central and Eastern North Carolina, including the bass solos in the Campbell University Messiah production, and the role of the Beast for the NC Ballet in their original production of "Beauty and the Beast". As a student, he competed in the NC NATS vocal competition, placing second in his category. He is currently in the MACM program at Campbell University Divinity School, where he is focusing on Worship Studies. Mr. Thomason serves at First Baptist Church Wilmington as their Minister of Traditional Worship, and has just returned from New York City’s Lincoln Center, where the FBC choir participated in a premiere concert of Pepper Choplin's Christmas Cantata: "Go Sing It On the Mountain". Steven grew up in Cary at Greenwood Forest Baptist Church, and fondly remembers singing with the Cary Community Messiah as a teenager!

June Burbage, freelance collaborative pianist, has a wide range of performance credits, among them NC Theatre productions as keyboardist, NC Opera as rehearsal accompanist and music in our schools productions, Music Director for Playmakers Repertory Company, and chamber concerts with such venues as Chamber Music Raleigh, Cherry Hill Concert Series, and Weymouth Center. She began her career as a member of the Meredith College Piano Faculty, and still maintains a small studio for piano study and vocal and instrumental coaching. Ms.Burbage earned a Master of Music in Performance degree from UNC-CH and did post graduate study at Accademia Chigiana in Siena, Italy. While at UNC-CH she served as a co-editor of Performance Practice: A Bibliography, originally published by Columbia University Press. She has performed as piano soloist with NCS, and the UNC-CH and Brevard Music Center symphony orchestras.