One of the world’s brightest and most beloved vocal ensembles, Westminster Choir has been a Spoleto Festival USA fixture since the inaugural season in 1977. Now led by Dr. Joe Miller, the Westminster Choir continues to be a Festival highlight—and their concerts in Charleston’s historic sanctuaries as well as its grand concert halls routinely sell out.
Ever wonder who the individual voices are that make up this exquisite ensemble? In fact, the members are students at Westminster Choir College, an elite music conservatory that’s part of Rider University in New Jersey. We got to know one such singer, Jessica Huetteman—a graduate student and choir member—who will be making her Spoleto debut this season. See her sing Bach’s St. John Passion, Joby Talbot’s Path of Miracles, and a mixed program with selections spanning Claudio Monteverdi to Stephen Leek.
What do you study at Westminster?
I will graduate with a Master of Music (MM) in voice performance and pedagogy in May 2019.
What’s the craziest place you have ever performed?
We performed in the cloisters of a museum in Reggio Emilia, Italy. It was a windy night, so the choir had dirt and leaves blowing in our faces the entire performance.
What’s the best type of cheese?
Goat cheese! It’s so versatile. I could eat it with anything.
Genre you wish you could break into:
Jazz! I lived with a bunch of vocal jazz majors in my undergraduate years and am fascinated by it.
Current Netflix, Hulu or Amazon binge?
I just finished watching “Russian Doll” and still have no idea what I just watched.
Musician (of any time period, today included) you’d most like to meet:
It’s a toss-up between J.S. Bach and Thom Yorke of Radiohead. They’re quite different, but both genius in their own ways.
What is your Zodiac sign—and do you read your horoscopes?
I am on the Gemini-Cancer cusp. I used to identify more as a Gemini, but as I get older, I feel myself becoming more of a Cancer. I don’t read my horoscope, but I have read a lot about my sign.
What’s the most played song on your phone or Spotify playlist?
“Dive,” by Beach House
Don’t miss Jessica singing with the Westminster Choir at St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church as well at the Charleston Gaillard Center for two different performances: Bach’s St. John Passion (in concert with the Spoleto Festival USA Orchestra and the Charleston Symphony Orchestra Chorus) and the contemporary, ethereal choral work, Path of Miracles.
Photos at top: (L to R) Jessica Huetteman, photo by Rosalie Toupin; Westminster Choir, Spoleto Festival USA Orchestra, and Charleston Symphony Orchestra Chorus in concert in 2018, photo by William Struhs