Board of Directors

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Mark Rimple

Mark Rimple

President – 2024/2025

Mark’s Rimple has been praised for his “transparent…” and “extraordinary sensitive” lute playing.  He has appeared with Trefoil, The Newberry Consort, The Folger Consort, Severall Friends, Piffaro, Tempesta di Mare, Les Délices, and Blue Heron, among many other groups.  As countertenor and lutenist, he has recorded the music of the ars subtilior with Trefoil and The Newberry Consort, Renaissance broken consort music with Seven Times Salt, and daring new music with Cygnus Ensemble and Network for New Music.  As a composer, he often writes for early instruments.  His works have been featured by the 21st century consort, ChoralArts Philadelphia, counter(induction, Mélomanie, The ISCM Chamber Players, and Parnassus.  He is a specialist in early notation, particularly the notation of the ars subtilior, and has written articles on early theory, composition, and poetry/literature.  Mark holds the rank of Professor in the Department of Music Theory, History and Composition at The Wells School of Music at West Chester University of Pennsylvania, where he teaches composition, counterpoint, theory, aural skills and the collegium musicum among other courses. 

Catherine Liddell

Catherine Liddell

Vice President – 2024/2025

Catherine Liddell is much in demand for her sensitivity and skill as a continuo player on theorbo and lute and has appeared with many of the leading period instrument ensembles in the U.S., including the Handel & Haydn Society, Boston Baroque, the Seattle Baroque Orchestra, Apollo’s Fire, and the New York Collegium.

Cathy co-founded and performs regularly with Ensemble Chanterelle and with Charivary. A frequent participant in the Aston Magna Festival, she has also performed in the Boston Early Music Festival and the Northwest and New England Bach Festivals.

Cathy has nurtured a special interest in 17th Century French lute music for many years, recording music by Jacques Gallot and others for Centaur Records. She is also editor of a volume of sacred music for lute, available through Lyre Publications.

Brandon Christensen

Brandon Christensen

Board member

Brandon is a professional musician, and an amateur lute player. After a doctorate in violin performance from Stony Brook University Brandon worked in academia for 20 years, finishing as a tenured professor of violin and chamber music at Southeast Missouri State University. While there he was active in the early music scene, performing as a baroque violinist with several regional ensembles. After leaving academia to start a private studio in Durango, Colorado, Brandon was finally able to act on his long-held desire to pick up the lute. As a board member he hopes to promote the interests of and improve LSA resources for beginners and adult amateur players.
Jimmy Mora

Jimmy Mora

Board member since 2023

Jimmy Mora started his studies in classical guitar with Ryuhei Kobayashi at the National Conservatory of Music in Guayaquil, Ecuador and continued his studies in classical guitar in New York City with Daniel Wolff and Mark Delpriora. Eventually, Mr. Mora drew inspiration to learn the renaissance lute with Patrick O’Brien and later basso continuo, baroque guitar, and 19th century guitar.

In 2005, Mr. Mora received an Artists International Award for his New York debut recital at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. From 2017 to 2018, he studied baroque guitar with Xavier Díaz Latorre at the Royal Conservatoire of Brussels. From 2020 to 2023, he studied theorbo and basso continuo with Dr. Jason Priset. In 2019, Mr. Mora performed with The New York City Guitar Orchestra, directed by Jason Sagebiel, at Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall.

Mr. Mora’s experience in performing early music has included opera productions at the Madison Early Music Festival, Amherst Early Music, and the Baroque Opera Workshop at Queens College. He has also performed with the Montclair Early Music directed by Dr. Jason Priset, and the New York Continuo Collective directed by Grant Herreid at the Boston Early Music Festival.

Today’s Pat O’Brien’s legacy influenced many performers, as well as supporters of the early music in the United States and in many countries. My connection to Lute Society of America (LSA) started with Pat, which later enabled me to meet performers of early music and through LuteFest as a work study. Currently, he serves as a caretaker in the New York area for the LSA Lute Rental Program. Since 2023, Mr. Mora has served in the LSA Board of Directors.

Laudon Schuett

Laudon Schuett

Board member since 2023

Laudon Schuett is a lutenist and early music specialist. He has been called “a masterful performer…[and] a brilliant educator” (Classical Voice of North Carolina) with “immaculate articulation and sensitive phrasing” (Fanfare). In addition to performing and expanding the solo repertoire, he formed the lute song duo BEDLAM with Kayleen Sánchez. They have toured the United States and recorded two albums, “BEDLAM” (2015), and “Died for Love” (2017), both for Soundset Recordings. BEDLAM will be releasing a Christmas album in 2024. Laudon also has a solo album of his own compositions called “Dedications: New Works for the Lute” (2022) on Navona Records and a book called “The Art of Lute Playing” which was published by Mel Bay in 2022. He can also be heard on the recently released soundtrack for the Netflix film “Rustin,” playing lute on the track, “I Ne’r Didst Dream.” Laudon earned his D.M.A. in Early Music under Paul O’Dette from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY.

James Louder

James Louder

Board member since 2021

James Louder is a retired organbuilder living in Montreal, Quebec. James started life playing the classical guitar, but in time had to admit he was unlikely to have a career. He turned instead to another musical love, the pipe organ—not as a player, but as a builder. He apprenticed with the Swiss-Canadian organbuilder, Hellmuth Wolff, and spent the next forty years building tracker-action pipe organs. With his organbuilding days behind him, James now has returned to plucking—a musical circle closed, perhaps? With no ambitions as a player, his woodworking and instrument-making skills have led James to an avocation in lutherie.

In 2019 when the LSA’s Lute Rental Program expanded into Canada, James was asked to manage the comings and goings of lutes north of the border. A year later James agreed to take on the same work for the Lute Rental Program as a whole. Recently James has assumed the program’s administrative duties as Lute Rental Program Director. With his election to the LSA’s Board, James Louder is eager for the challenges facing the Lute Society of America, as we consolidate our organization and expand our scope in the years ahead.

Anna F. Porcaro

Anna F. Porcaro

Board member since 2022

Dr. Anna F. Porcaro began playing classical guitar as a teen and while in college, a music professor introduced her to the lute. Since then, she has enjoyed soloing, accompaning and performing in ensemble with a variety of instrumental and vocal soloists. During her time at Brigham Young University, she played lute for the Baroque Ensemble (directed by organist Dr. Doug Bush). While at the University of North Carolina, she played lute and archlute for the Baroque Ensemble (directed by viola da gambaist Brent Wissick).

She organized an early music faculty ensemble while on faculty at the University of Dayton and was also actively performing and had an active private guitar studio. At Wichita State University, where she is currently an administrator, she has performed with local ensembles and accompanied soloists both on guitar and lute.

She earned a Ph.D. in Musicology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she studied early music under Dr. John Nádás, Dr. Tim Carter, and Joshua Rifkin. She has published articles and reviews in American Music, Lute Society of America Quarterly, Notes, The Choral Scholar, and for Ashgate Press, Salem Press, and Oxford University Press.

Jason Priset

Jason Priset

Board member

Based in New York City, Jason Priset performs in the United States and internationally. He has appeared through the Chamber Music Society of Detroit, Early Music New York, and the Riverside Symphony including performances in Manhattan and Barcelona, Spain. As an international artist Jason has appeared in concerts in Spain, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Jason holds a Doctor of Musical Arts (D.M.A.) from Stony Brook University and a post-doctorate degree from Escola Superior de Música de Catalunya (ESMUC) in Barcelona, Spain and specializes in historical guitars and lute. He has studied with James Piorkowski (State University of New York at Fredonia), Jerry Willard (Stony Brook University), Xavier Diaz-Latorre (ESMUC) and Pat O’Brien. Dr. Priset is currently serving as Executive Director for the Lute Society of America (LSA) summer festival, faculty for Amherst Early Music (AEM), and faculty for Montclair State University in New Jersey.

Outside of degree programs, Jason has studied under and worked with some of the greatest guitar and lute players of this generation. The list includes; Pablo Cohen, Eduardo Eguez, Lucas Harris, Nigel North, Paul O’Dette, Luca Pianca, Raphaella Smits, Stephen Stubbs, Benjamin Verdery, Jason Vieaux, Andrew York, and Luis Zea.

Neal Z. Shipe

Neal Z. Shipe

Clerk

Neal is known for his sensitive performance of 17 th century Scottish lute music. His unique arrangements of this repertoire on the seldom heard oprano lute have drawn him into the folk scenes of the midwestern and eastern United States. Neal attended The University of North Carolina School of the Arts. At UNCSA, he received the Aaron Shearer Scholarship for Guitar and took a Bachelor of Music.

Neal’s passion for performance ignites when he shares his journey into early music in common everyday settings. Often found in bookstores, record shops, farmers markets, or coffee houses, Neal’s performance is community focused. He recently presented a live, four-part concert series of Scottish lute music in collaboration with KKFI, 90.1, Kansas City Community Radio. In 2021, Neal was selected as a featured artist for Early Music Missouri’s concert season. In Fall of 2022, Neal performed in the 25th annual Carrboro Music Festival.

His passion for serving the community and research have blended into career in library services over the last decade. Neal has held positions with the Kansas City Public Library, The Bernard Becker Medical Library at Washington University in St. Louis, and currently with Duke University’s Rubenstein Rare Book and Manuscript Library.

Garald Farnham

Garald Farnham

Treasurer

I first joined the LSA in 1976 and became active in 1986 attending my first lute fest/seminar at Oakland University. I was bookkeeper/treasurer from 1992 until 2015 when I stepped down. I stepped back into the role in October 2021 and have been training the future bookkeeper, Anna Willson, who sings and studies lute with me.

I am a professional musician with degrees in Music Education. I studied voice, acting and dance in New York City, plus lute with Patrick O’Brien for 15 years. I have been a musical director/musician/actor in a dozen Equity productions of Shakespeare’s plays. Because of this lifetime passion, I have created a digital file of Renaissance arrangements for every song in Shakespeare’s plays which I am donating to the LSA. I have performed and toured live in Renaissance attire with my lute in almost every type of venue imaginable: small concert halls, the New York Stock Exchange, the World Trade Center, Great Adventure, department stores, discos, libraries, classrooms, Renaissance and street fairs, and hundreds of private living rooms. I have been featured in Humans of New York for my street performing, having busked in Central Park for 50 years. My not-for-profit organization is Good Pennyworths, Inc. and as a quartet, duo or soloist have given many performances over the last 35 years.