Dr. Adam Stich
Dr. Adam Stich is in his fifth season as Artistic Director and Conductor for ProMusica Arizona (PMAZ), after having spent one season as the Co-Artistic Director. Under his artistic leadership, PMAZ has enjoyed extensive artistic expansion and development. Since his tenure began, PMAZ has performed at notable locations across the Phoenix metro area including: The Orpheum Theatre, Phoenix Art Museum, Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, Herberger Theatre, and Camelback Bible Church. Programming has included unstaged musicals and operas, video game music, and renowned guest performers. Known for innovative programming and expressive conducting, Dr. Stich has been a guest conductor and clinician at multiple clinics across the Valley and has presented to the American Choral Directors Association and Arizona Music Educators Association state conferences. PMAZ has received multiple awards for programming, including a $5000 Arizona Commission on the Arts Art Tank grant for The Unpredictable Adventures of Henry Hicklebee, which Dr. Stich and his wife co-wrote. PMAZ was also recognized as a finalist for the Phoenix Mayor’s Arts Awards in 2015.
In addition to his work at PMAZ, Dr. Stich is in his seventh year as the Director of Choral Music at Scottsdale Community College where he conducts the Concert Choir and Jazz Vocal Ensemble as well as overseeing two other choirs. He also teaches Conducting, Private Voice, Music Theory, and Aural Perception courses as well as serving as an academic advisor and faculty senator. Dr. Stich also sits on the Arizona Executive Board of the American Choral Directors Association where he is the repertoire and resource chairperson for two-year colleges.
A native of the Southeast, Dr. Stich went to high school at the prestigious Davidson Fine Arts School and holds undergraduate degrees in theatre and music from Rollins College. He was awarded a graduate assistantship and received a Master’s and Doctorate in Music from the University of South Carolina. He taught public school chorus, orchestra, and band in South Carolina for five years before his first college faculty appointment at Eastern Illinois University. He has studied conducting with Larry Wyatt, Carol Krueger, and John Sinclair. He lives in Mesa with his wife, two children, and three dogs.
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.
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.
Helen was born and raised in the Netherlands. In 2000, her family moved to a small town in Iowa. In 7th grade, she started to accompany her grade school choir, which sparked her interest in accompanying. In high school, she became the accompanist for the Siouxland Boys Choir, toured with them, and recorded 12 CDs. She also served as a local church organist. During high school and college, she was the rehearsal and performance pianist for many musical and opera productions such as Oklahoma!, the Sound of Music, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, and Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte.
Helen moved from Iowa to Arizona and graduated from Northern Arizona University with a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance with an emphasis on accompanying. She went on to complete her Master of Music degree in Collaborative Piano from Arizona State University. During her years of study, she had the opportunity to participate in many masterclasses, including those led by Jeffrey Swan, Dmitry Rachmanov, and Zuill Bailey. Helen has studied privately with Prof. Rita Borden, Dr. Walter Cosand, and Prof. Russell Ryan. She is currently a music faculty adjunct at Grand Canyon University and teaches piano at Kat’s Artist Tree.
Yvonne Dolby is the Executive Director for ProMusica Arizona and oversees the business, marketing, and development operations. Prior to joining ProMusica Arizona in 2011, she served on the Anthem Country Club Communication Committee and the Anthem Veterans Memorial Planning Committee. She also worked with a team of communication professionals to create the North Valley Posse communication plan, website and brochure, and she served as website administrator for the Anthem Community Council. Yvonne has numerous articles on a variety of topics published in magazines, newspapers and online, and she has received both a Service Award and Citizen Award from the community for her contributions.
Prior to moving to Arizona in 2004, Yvonne worked for 12 years as General Manager of a privately-held business that sold shipping containers to industrial clients. She holds a BA in Communications from California State University, Fullerton where she graduated with honors.