Music Conservatory of Illinois

Meet our Voice Faculty!

Chungers Kim

Voice Faculty

Chungers Kim has established himself as a vibrant presence in the Chicago classical music scene since he moved to the city in early 2012. As a Music Director and vocal coach, he is very active in playing for numerous rehearsals, shows, and recitals, conducting and directing various choirs in the communities, and teaching vocal music and theory to potential music lovers throughout the city. He directed and conducted many beloved Broadway shows such as Beauty and the Beast, Guys and Dolls, The little shop of Horrors, Shrek the Musical, and The Sound of Music.

Mr. Kim is also an active concert soloist and opera singer. He has appeared as Masetto in The Floating Opera Company’s performance of Don Giovanni at The Bohemian National Cemetery. Other roles include Don Pasquale from Don Pasquale, Leporello(cover) from Don Giovanni, the Watchman from Maskarade, and Schaunard(cover) from La bohème. On the classical concert setting, Mr. Kim sang M. Haydn’s Te Deum with VOX3 Collectives and Lakeview Orchestra, Handel’s Messiah with St. Croix Valley Orchestra, as well as J.S.Bach’s Cantata BWV131 and F.J.Hadyn’s Te Deum with UW - River Falls Concert Choir.

As a young musician, he had the privilege of being involved with the Minnesota Chorale, with whom he had the opportunity to work with highly acclaimed conductors such as Osmo Vänskä, Nicholas Kraemer, Andrew Litton, and Dr. Kathy Saltzman Romey. Currently, Mr. Kim studies with W. Stephen Smith.

Tzu-Jung Jennifer Wang

Voice and Piano Faculty

Taiwanese Soprano, Tzu-Jung Jennifer Wang is passionate about collaboration and continues to explore the vast music styles in different cultures. She appeared as Barbarina in the Chicago Summer Opera production of Le nozze di Figaro and sang in Taiwan’s National Hall for the Peabody New Star Recital this past Summer. As a choral artist, she enjoys working with the Presbyterian Church of Barrington as a section leader. Tzu-Jung holds a B.F.A. in Voice Performance from Tunghai University in Taichung, Taiwan, and M.M. in Voice Performance & Pedagogy at the Peabody Institute of The Johns Hopkins University where she received George Castelle Award and Charles P. Sachs Scholarship— She currently based in Bloomingdale, IL. Tzu-Jung loves taking strolls and being immersed in nature.


Tzu-Jung’s teaching emphasizes building trust through clear communication and gaining confidence through exploration and solidification of students' techniques.

Ryan Frenk

Voice Faculty

Ryan Frenk is a singer-actor praised by the Houston Chronicle for “his voice clear, sweet, and cutting all at once.” 

Credits include: Luke Sheridan (Double Vision, Chicago New Musical Fest.), Raj/Utkarsh (Working, Main Street Theatre), Peter (Jesus Christ Superstar, Bayou City Theatrics- Broadway World Houston nomination), Elder Gleaton (Susannah, Opera Fort Collins), the 2022-23 chorus roster of Opera Colorado (Rigoletto), The Magician (Consul, Transgressive Opera Theatre), NVA Commanding Officer (Amelia, Regional premiere, Moores Opera Center). Equally comfortable as an ensemblist, Ryan was a soloist and chorister in the premiere of Journey of The Heart: A Christmas Oratorio both in concert and studio recording in 2022 and 2023, was a member The Marion Consort, debuting at the Milwaukee Early Music Now! Festival in 2019, and was a singer and board member of Cantare Houston for the 2013-15 seasons.

Ryan has taught students for ten years and has learned this: everyone can sing. We work together to unlock the singer’s self-confidence, while also working on the practical skills behind singing: matching pitch, sight-reading music, breath support, style, history, and professionalism. Students of his have been serious performers who’ve gone on to get music degrees, to adults that just need a creative outlet. The skills beyond singing we develop in our lessons are highly transferable to any walk of life.

Ryan holds a Master of Music in Vocal Performance and Pedagogy from University of Colorado Boulder 2023, a Bachelor of Music from the University of Houston (2013), and is a graduate of the Houston Grand Opera High School Voice Studio (2009).

Catarine Hancock

Voice and Piano Faculty

Catarine Hancock is a mezzo-soprano originally from Lexington, Kentucky. She is a recent graduate from Indiana University, where she earned her master’s of music, studying with Jane Dutton. She earned her bachelor’s of music in vocal performance from the University of Kentucky. While at Indiana University, she performed Third Lady in the 2021 production of The Magic Flute, and originated the role of Margot Frank in the world premiere of Anne Frank in 2023. She has performed the role of Hansel in Hansel und Gretel at the Trentino Music Festival in Italy, as well as Rebecca Nurse in The Crucible and Zita in Gianni Schicchi, both with University of Kentucky Opera Theatre. She is the 2nd Place Undergraduate Winner of the 2017 Alltech Vocal Scholarship Competition, and a semi-finalist in the 2020, 2021, and 2022 Orpheus Vocal Competition. She has had 12 years of classical voice training, as well as several years of experience singing musical theatre, and nearly a decade of piano experience. She is also a skilled choral musician, having sung with prestigious ensembles such as UK Chorale, Indiana University’s NOTUS, and Chicago Chamber Choir. Her teaching philosophy is centered around building a strong foundation that can then be adapted to any genre. 

Elijah McTiernan

Piano, Voice, and Acoustic Guitar Faculty

Elijah McTiernan is a singer, multi-instrumentalist, and theatre artist born and raised in the Greater Boston area. They graduated from The University of Maine with a degree in music education and has since worked as a professional stage actor, music director, and stage manager for Non-Equity and Equity theaters such as Reagle Music Theatre, Moonbox Productions, Firehouse Center for the Arts, and most recently since moving to Chicago, PrideArts. Elijah sang with UMaine's premier choir, The University Singers, for four years as a tenor. They also sang with their premier male acapella group, The Maine Steiners, for one year. With classical, musical theatre, and pop/rock training, Elijah has a diverse pool of vocal material to pull from. 
Elijah has been playing piano since the age of 8 and specializes in lead-sheet performance and music theory. They have also added guitar, bass, accordion, kalimba, saxophone, and percussion to their repertoire. Elijah has taught a wide range of students aging 4-28 and is a strong believer in music as a lifelong adventure. They have taught classroom, workshop, and private lesson environments, all with the goal of sharing their passion and enthusiasm for music with those around them.

Grace Ryan

Voice and Piano Faculty 

Grace Ryan is a music teacher from Bartlett, Illinois. A music education and vocal performance student at DePaul University, she is well-versed in operatic and classical singing, and has a love for musical theatre and Disney music as well. Grace is currently completing her music education degree by student teaching for K-12 general music and choral classrooms in Chicago Public Schools and the surrounding suburbs.

Sol Adam Lehman

Voice and Piano Faculty

Sol Adam Lehman is a countertenor and an emerging artist within the Chicago area. They enjoy exploring the human experience through the works of a range of composers, including Handel, Britten, Philip Glass, and Duparc. In their work, Lehman hopes to expand what the countertenor voice is known for, bringing its beauty to many styles beyond the Baroque and Modern. 

Lehman was born and raised in Wichita Falls, Texas. A chance recital they attended in their hometown opened Sol up to the possibility of the countertenor voice. It was then that they knew the ultimate direction of their artistic life. 

Their recent roles include Ottone/Handel’s Agrippina with Chicago Summer Opera, Raphael/Jonathan Dove's Tobias and the Angel, and the live premiere of Chicago Healthcare Worker in David Shenton's On Call: Covid-19. In addition to opera, Lehman is involved in music theatre. Their roles include one of two ‘ladies’ in Cabaret and Chip Tolentino in the 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

Lehman holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music from Austin College. They hold a Masters of Music in Vocal Performance and Arts Administration from Roosevelt University where they studied with Mark Crayton

Nora Harstford  

Piano and Voice Faculty

Nora is a vocalist and music teacher with roots in jazz, folk, and contemporary music genres. Originally from Madison, Wisconsin, Nora spent her formative years attending rock music camps, participating in musicals, and performing vocal jazz competitively. After moving to Chicago, Nora attended the Chicago College of Performing Arts to earn a Bachelor's of Music. Recently she has performed around Chicago including venues like the Jazz Showcase, Fulton Street Collective, Jazz Union League Club, and much more. Her teaching mission is to create a welcoming and expressive environment for her students to grow and learn. 


Tiffany Melvin 

Piano and Voice Faculty

Born in Kalamazoo, MI, Tiffany Melvin holds a Bachelor's of Music focused in vocal performance and music education from Roosevelt University in Chicago, IL. As a performer, she is trained in the classical vocal technique, but her roots lie in music theater and jazz. She has been singing and performing since the age of 4! Tiffany's theatrical resume contains more than 30 roles ranging from Belle in Beauty and the Beast, to Lucy from The Beggars Opera. She has participated in masterclasses with notable composers and coaches such as Jake Heggie and Martin Katz. She has placed in multiple competitions such as NATS and Classical Singer. Tiffany has a strong passion for performance but also for her students. As an educator, Tiffany encourages exploration in the world of music. Her educational motto is "To build musicians that are literate, expressive performers and conscious consumers of ALL kinds of music." 

Joy Yelenosky                      

Piano and Voice Faculty 

Joy Yelenosky has been involved in various prestigious international music programs from an early age.
Joy received a full scholarship during her certification in Piano Performance from the “Conservatorio Julian Aguirre” in Argentina, where she took part of summer intensive training and annual examinations. She has been an active participant at the Florence Opera Seminar (Italy), the Torgau International Artist Workshop (Germany), and the Stonybrook International Piano festival of New York (NY) and worked at several professional organizations as a choir soloist/singer, sectional leader, language repetitor and accompanist at the piano. She was selected as a Young Steinway Talent to perform a full piano solo recital at the age of 16. Joy also has a passion for languages and has studied and worked at intensive language schools based in Germany and Paris (France),
Joy is not, however, only tied to one style of music; in high school, Joy was a member of one of the country’s top Vocal Jazz ensembles that traveled to Mexico and many states and participated as a soloist at multiple festivals. Music has connected Joy to people all over the world and she’s looking forward to inspiring her students to reach for their dreams and musical goals as well. Joy obtained her Classical Voice Performance degree at the Chicago College of Performing Arts (CCPA at Roosevelt University) and is currently working on her Marter's degree in Vocal Performance at Notre Dame University.