Meet our founders:
Kendra Wieneke, co-founder and executive artistic director
Kendra Wieneke, mezzo-soprano, created Patchwork Project in hopes of developing a new platform for song recitals, one that reflects the unique fabric of musical America. With a pulse on contemporary music and a commitment to accessibility, she is dedicated to creating a larger space for art song within the classical music dialogue. She believes strongly that the diversity of our country’s music creates an opportunity for connection for all audiences, and has set out to curate concerts that are meaningful and enjoyable for everyone, from the classical music newbie to the most avid art song fan.
She is a proud alumna of the Eastman School of Music, where she earned a BM and an MM under the unmatched tutelage of Jan Opalach and Carol Webber. She made her professional debut as the alto soloist in J.S. Bach’s Magnificat in D with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra in 2013, and appeared frequently with Eastman Opera Theater, including as the title role in G.F. Handel’s Serse in performances coached and conducted by Grammy Award-winning lutenist, Paul O’Dette. Other favorite performances include singing the role of Anne in the collegiate premiere of Jake Heggie’s To Hell and Back and the role of Bianca in Benjamin Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia. She was also thrilled to bring Rossini’s rarely performed cantata Giovanna d’Arco to the stage as part of her graduate recital.
She hails from Illinois and currently resides in Northwest Florida, where she works as a freelance singer, teacher, and administrator. In her spare time, she enjoys yoga, running, cooking, and hanging out with her adorable pup, Johann Sebastian Chewbacca, known to friends as Chewie, who is learning to tolerate her singing.
Will Berman, co-founder and managing artistic director
Lyric baritone Will Berman is sought after for operatic, oratorio, and recital work throughout the United States and Europe. On the operatic stage, he most recently performed the role of Corporal Nym in Bronx Opera’s production of Vaughan Williams’ Sir John in Love. In 2015 he made his role début of the Count in Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro with New York’s Manhattan Opera Studio. Also in 2015 Berman reprised the role of Papageno in Mozart’s The Magic Flute in Weimar, Germany. He has also made his début with the Natchez Festival of Music, singing the roles of Samuel in The Pirates of Penzance and the Official Registrar in Madama Butterfly.
Will is also an experienced performer of choral music. He currently maintains the position of bass section leader in the professional choir at the Church of Our Saviour on Park Avenue in New York. He is featured on their first recorded release, Hark! A Thrilling Voice is Sounding. With Westminster Symphonic Choir, he has been in performances of Handel’s Messiah with the New York Philharmonic, Mahler’s 2nd Symphony with the Berlin Philharmonic, and Brahms’ Requiem with the Philadelphia Orchestra. Will was also a featured soloist with Westminster Choir on their 2013 Winter Tour and in their residency at Spoleto USA.
Offstage, Will can generally be seen going for a run or some combination of cooking and eating. He has been perfecting Ina Garten’s roast chicken for years. Will also enjoys sampling craft cocktails or settling for his classic – a Grey Goose Cosmo.
Will holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the Eastman School of Music and a Master of Music degree from Westminster Choir College. He is also an alumnus of the OperaWorks Emerging Young Artist Program. He currently studies with Metropolitan Opera soprano Sharon Sweet. Born and raised in Hastings-on-Hudson, NY, he currently resides with his partner in New Brunswick, NJ.
Friends of Patchwork Project:
Katherine Bruton, soprano // Chicago, IL guest artist
Madeline Cain, soprano // Rochester, NY guest artist
Sarah Jenks, piano // Barrington and Chicago, IL collaborative pianist
Pamela Stein Lynde, soprano and composer // New York City guest artist
Renée Vogen, horn // Chicago, IL guest artist
Mun-Tzung Wong, piano // Hastings-on-Hudson and New York City collaborative pianist
Wei-Han Wu, piano // Rochester, NY collaborative pianist