Adam Stich, Artistic Director & Conductor
Dr. Adam Walker Stich, Artistic Director for ProMusica Arizona, joined PMAZ in June 2011. Dr. Stich is also currently the Director of Choirs at Scottsdale Community College. There he directs the Concert Choir and Jazz Vocal Ensemble and teaches classes in aural perception, conducting and the humanities.
He did his undergraduate studies at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida. There he received a Bachelor of Arts degree with a double major in Music and Theatre. Upon completion of his undergraduate studies, he earned an assistantship at the University of South Carolina, where he completed a Master of Music and the Doctor of Musical Arts in Conducting. While at the University of South Carolina, he was the Director of the Honors College Choir, the Graduate Vocal Ensemble and the Men’s Chamber Choir. He studied conducting with John Sinclair and Larry Wyatt.
Prior to his position at Scottsdale Community College, he spent two years as Instructor of choral music at Eastern Illinois University conducting the University Mixed Chorus and the Music Theatre and Opera Ensemble, and teaching Interacting with Music and Beginning Conducting. As a certified music teacher, and committed educator, Dr. Stich spent five years in the public school system of South Carolina at the middle and high school levels teaching beginning strings, band and varying levels of choral ensembles. With his extensive expertise and engaging personality, Dr. Stich is also in demand as a clinician and guest conductor. He lives in Phoenix with his wife, Ashley, and their two children.
Patti Graetz, Assistant Chorale Conductor
Bringing more than 30 years of experience, Patti Graetz is a professional choral and orchestral conductor, solo performer, voice teacher and piano teacher. Her passion for a cappella choral music began in junior high which led her to attend Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota where she was a soloist in the Concordia Choir under the direction of Paul J. Christiansen. From there she went on to pursue a career in opera, singing in twenty-one operas in three seasons with Houston Grand Opera. Highlights of her career include singing with Joan Sutherland in Anna Bolena, opening the new opera house in Houston with Placido Domingo and Mirella Freni in Aida, singing the role of “Musetta" in La Boheme with Arizona Opera with eight days notice, and singing the title role of Tosca with Opera Ft. Collins. In addition, she sang many recitals and concerts with leading orchestras in the US and Australia.
In the midst of her operatic career, she was also a performing artist with Phoenix-based professional ensembles “Opera-tunity” and “The Royal Renaissance Singers”, was head of the voice departments at Arizona School for the Arts from 1998 - 2002 and the Arizona Conservatory for Arts and Academics for its inaugural year in 2003 - 2004 before moving to Australia in 2004.
In Australia, she was a featured soprano soloist with Australian Music Events, conducted the Murray Conservatorium Choir and was a teaching artist-in-residence at the Murray Conservatorium. For eleven seasons she was the principal vocal teacher/coach for Opera Scholars Australia young artist program and for the last four of those years, taught in tandem with renowned soprano Yvonne Kenny.
After returning to Phoenix in 2012 Patti looked for ways to extend her musical career. In 2013 she developed a new concept, The Music Bus, a mobile, “classroom on wheels” for teaching keyboard and other instruments at student locations. After a trial run in 2014 The Music Bus, equipped with 8 digital pianos, launched in the West Valley in March 2015 to acclaim from media, city and school arts programs.
Arash Ertefai, Assistant Orchestra Conductor
Arash Ertefai is in his first season with ProMusica Arizona and serves as Assistant Orchestra Conductor. He also serves as the Director of Orchestras at BASIS Chandler where he teaches over 200 students from grades 5-12.
Prior appointments include Assistant Conductor of the Northern Arizona University (NAU) Orchestras, Music Director of the Flagstaff Chamber Players, Assistant Conductor of the NAU Academy Orchestra, and Apprentice Conductor of the Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra. Arash completed a Master of Music degree in orchestral conducting from NAU, and was mentored by some of the fields leading experts, including Neil Varon, Mark Gibson, Sasha Mäkilä, and Daniel O’Bryant. During his time at NAU, he conducted full performances of four operas including Le Nozze di Figaro and Trial By Jury as well as countless symphonic concerts. He has conducted orchestras across the country and around the work including, the Yakima Symphony Orchestra, St. Michel Strings (Finland), Pärnu City Orchestra (Estonia), and the String Orchestra of Brooklyn, among others.
Arash is also an accomplished violinist who has spent time performing with many of the orchestras throughout Northern Arizona as well as many in the valley. He studied violin with Dr. Louise Scott and Shelley Rich at NAU and has played in master classes for many leading musicians such as Elena Urioste, The Harlem Quartet, Fritz Gearhart, and Steven Moekel. He currently performs with the Zenith Quartet, a quartet he founded in 2015 upon returning to the Phoenix area.
Karen Taylor, Accompanist
Karen Stephens Taylor is in her 11th season as accompanist for Promusica Arizona Chorale and Orchestra. She earned a Bachelor of Music degree in piano pedagogy from Brigham Young University in 1987. She is currently a graduate student at ASU, pursuing a Master's degree in organ performance, under the instruction of Dr. Kimberly Marshall. Mrs. Taylor holds the position of Organ Scholar at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, where she is mentored by Dr. Erik Goldstrom. She is also a harpsichord student of Dr. Guy Whatley. She performs with other local studios, organizations, churches, and ensembles on the organ, piano, and harpsichord. She is a mother of six children and grandmother of three.