Mr. Cornfoot is a sought out pianist, vocalist, and educator through Memphis and the Mid-South area who passionately seeks to build community around music. He is the Director of Music Ministries for Evergreen Presbyterian Church, where he directs the choir and provides music for Sunday worship services, and he oversees the handbell ensemble and children’s music. Through Evergreen, Mr. Cornfoot also leads the Memphis chapter of Beer + Hymns, a national movement to reclaim public spaces for public singing; he was a featured panelist for Beer + Hymns at the 2018 Wild Goose Festival in Hot Springs, NC. Mr. Cornfoot also operates his own private piano and voice studio, featuring over 20 talented musicians of all ages and abilities. In addition to singing with BealeCanto, Mr. Cornfoot is a section leader and assistant director for the Rhodes MasterSingers Chorale, and in 2012, he was selected as a featured soloist for the ensemble’s tour of Salzburg, Vienna, and Prague. Mr. Cornfoot previously held a teaching post at Rhodes College, where he offered courses in music history, global music cultures, and directed the Rhodes Chamber Singers and Rhodes Women’s Chorus.
Mr. Cornfoot received the Bachelor of Arts in music from Rhodes College, where he studied voice with Dr. Diane Clark and Dr. Sean Cooper, piano with Dr. Tom Bryant, and conducting with Dr. Tim Sharp. He received the Master of Music in choral conducting from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where he studied conducting with Dr. Carole Ott and Dr. Welborn Young, and voice with Dr. Nancy Walker. When he isn’t making music, you’ll find Jim enjoying a pour of bourbon with good friends, then negating it the next day lifting weights.
Marcus King is a graduate with a bachelor's degree in Music Education, cum laude, and a masters in Vocal performance from the University of Memphis. In January 2009, he portrayed the role of Zodzetrick in Opera Memphis's production of Treemonisha. In the summer of 2009, he premiered the John Baur opera Magdala at the Chautauqua Institute in Chautauqua, NY in the role of St. Peter. He also participated in the AIMS program in Graz Austria where he made it to the finals of the annual Aims Meistersinger Competition. In 2013 he made his European debut in Norfolk, England as Demetrius in the Yorke Trust Summer Opera production of Britten’s Midsummer Night’s Dream and in 2014 rejoined the company as Ubalde in Gluck’s Armide. Last year he joined the Opera Memphis Midtown Opera Festival as Mr. Gobineau in Menotti’s The Medium and returned this year in the role of Aeneas in Dido and Aeneas. In December of 2014, he traveled to Japan as a soloist in the New York based professional touring group, D&P Joubert LLC/ The Glory Gospel Singers. This summer he will be a young artist in residence for the Utah Fesitval Opera & Musical Theatre. There he will cover the roles of Jake in Porgy and Bess, and Coalhouse Walker in Ragtime. He will perform the roles of Guccio in Gianni Schicchi and Stevedore in Il Tabarro.
Richard Townley is an attorney with the law firm of Ballin, Ballin & Fishman, P.C., in downtown Memphis, where he practices primarily in civil litigation, personal injury, domestic relations, and criminal appeals. He earned his J.D., magna cum laude, from the Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law at the University of Memphis in 2009. Prior to his law career, he attended the University of Missouri in Columbia where he earned a Bachelor of Music degree, cum laude, in piano performance in 1991, and a Master of Music degree in composition in 1994. He attended graduate school at Duke University in Durham, N.C., where he earned the Ph.D. in composition in 2000. He has served as organist/choirmaster at Roman Catholic and Episcopal churches in Missouri, North Carolina, and Tennessee, and currently serves in that capacity at St. Philip Episcopal Church in Lakeland. Dr. Townley is a Fellow of the American Guild of Organists and a two-time winner of the S. Lewis Elmer Award for the highest certification score in the nation.