Sarah Asmar joined The Music Series as Managing Director at the start of the 2018-2019 season. As a vocalist, she was hailed for “her radiant and robust singing” by the Washington Post and given praise for “her crystalline soprano” by The Minneapolis Star Tribune. Ms. Asmar has been seen on operatic and concert stages across the country. Her operatic roles include Ofelia in Faccio’s Amleto with OperaDelaware, Gilda (Rigoletto) with Baltimore Concert Opera, Yum-Yum (The Mikado) with Hawaii Opera Theatre, Zerlina (Don Giovanni) with Sarasota Opera, Musetta (La Bohème), and Desdemona (Otello) with Opera Southwest. She has also performed with Boston Lyric Opera, Opera Boston, Opera Idaho, Skylark Opera, and Ohio Light Opera. On the concert stage, Ms. Asmar is honored to have appeared with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra in Mendelssohn’s Symphony #2, the New Haven Symphony Orchestra in Handel’s Messiah, and, most recently, the Alabama Symphony Orchestra for Handel’s Messiah, and Vivaldi’s Gloria. Ms. Asmar was a New England Regional Finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and was awarded First Prize and the Roger Wertenberger Audience Choice Award in the Harold Haugh Light Opera Vocal Competition. Sarasota Opera awarded her the Bradenton Opera Guild’s Helen Jepson Dellera Fellowship Award. Sarah began her musical studies as a violinist. She holds both a Bachelor of Music in violin performance and a Master of Music in voice from Boston University. In addition to maintaining her own private voice studio, she is currently teaching at Loomis Chaffee in Windsor, CT and served on the faculty at The Hotchkiss School from 2012-2015.
Frank R. Zilinyi joined the staff of The Music Series at South Church as its 3rd Artistic Director at the beginning of its 2021-22 season. Mr. Zilinyi also serves as Director of Music at South Congregational-First Baptist Church in New Britain, Connecticut. In 2019, he became the 6th Artistic Director of the Mystic River Choral, where he leads an intergenerational choir in pieces ranging from miniatures to masterworks, spanning repertoire from the middle-ages to today. He is also Director of The University of Bridgeport’s University Singers.
In addition to his directorial roles, Mr. Zilinyi is an active organ recitalist, having presented concerts in many of the major organ venues in the northeast. He has received numerous awards and recognitions for his playing, including the 1st prize in the Agnes Fowler Organ Competition and the Strader Organ Scholarship at the University of Cincinnati. Mr. Zilinyi also serves as Co-dean of the Greater Bridgeport Chapter of the American Guild of Organists.
A New York City Native, Mr. Zilinyi has performed with the Choir of The First Presbyterian Church in the City of New York, The Oberlin College Choir, The Oberlin Musical Union, The Oberlin Baroque Orchestra, The Kronos Quartet, Malcolm Dalglish, The Connecticut Chamber Choir, The Meetinghouse Chorale, The CCM Philharmonia and Concert Orchestra, and the Farmington Valley Chorale.
Mr. Zilinyi completed his musical studies in Organ, Conducting, and Keyboard Pedagogy at the Oberlin Conservatory (B.Mus.) and the College Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati (M.M.). He has studied organ William F. Entriken, Roberta Gary, Marie-Louise Langlais, Andrew Reisinger, and James David Christie. His conducting teachers include Hugh Floyd and L. Brett Scott.