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Ensemble Altera is dedicated to fostering a greater awareness of and engagement with all forms of choral and group singing within local and global communities. In fulfillment of this mission, the ensemble will present physical and virtual concerts; record audio and video albums; conduct educational outreach in schools, at conferences and through broadcasts; and will tour nationally and globally. The guiding principles informing each of these endeavors are a commitment to the highest artistic and pedagogical standards of performance and teaching, the healing power of music, and the essential and enduring role the arts play in representing and understanding the human condition.

A chamber choir of "seamless ensemble perfection" (The Boston Musical Intelligencer), ENSEMBLE ALTERA was founded to be the beating heart of professional choral music in the United States. Led by internationally celebrated countertenor Christopher Lowrey, the group has quickly become known for thoughtful programming, passionate performances, and tireless advocacy for the importance of ensemble singing in the broader music culture.


Recent programs include A Christmas Present, a sumptuous collection of seasonal music written in the new millennium, Dazzling Light, an exploration of illumination in the physical and metaphysical worlds, Sure on this Shining Night, featuring American choral music of the last century, and a boldly reimagined chamber version of Handel's Messiah, co-presented with Newport Classical.


Throughout its short history, Altera has received universally rave reviews, creating "some of the best choral singing by an American choir". Upcoming projects include A New Song: Psalms for the Soul, charting a survey of the Psalms of the Hebrew Bible, in all their dizzying variety, and Feminine Voices, featuring works by female composers for treble voices arrayed around Britten's Ceremony of Carols. Additionally, in 2024 Altera undertakes their first tour, to Texas, makes their debut at Carnegie Hall in Brahms' Requiem, with the Orchestra of St. Luke's, and releases its first commercial album, The Lamb's Journey, on Alpha Classics.

Deeply committed to championing new works and lifting up new voices, over the past few seasons Altera has premiered works by Motshwane Pege, Toby Young, Joanna Marsh, Daniel Gledhill, Zuzanna Koziej, and Michael Garrepy. In addition to performing, Ensemble Altera undertakes an extensive education and outreach program. Such activities include clinics and interactive presentations with school students in a variety of settings, with a particular focus on opening musical horizons to those from underserved backgrounds. Additionally, Altera has a profound faith in the healing power of music both in and out of the concert hall, and is proud to offer its complete recorded music library free of charge in collaboration with select partners in music therapy.


"The Lamb’s Journey' was sublime. Impeccable blending, perfectly in tune, and a rich and diverse repertoire featuring a great mix of composers both ancient and contemporary. This choir is going places. I’ll never miss a concert!"

- Audience Member

"Rising at times to a passion capable of overwhelming; it also moved the audience to demand more."

- The Boston Musical Intelligencer

Chris Lowrey.jpg

Director / Countertenor


Director Christopher Lowrey was born and raised in Johnston, RI, and trained at Brown University, the University of Cambridge, where he sang under Stephen Layton with Trinity College Choir, and the Royal College of Music. In addition to conducting, he enjoys a dynamic international solo career as a countertenor, working at some of the world’s leading opera houses and concert platforms, including the Metropolitan Opera, Royal Opera House, the Philharmonie de Paris, The London Symphony Orchestra, and this season he will be making his debuts with Theater an der Wien, The National Symphony Orchestra, Opera Australia, and The Grange Festival in the UK.

Roster of



Clare Brussel

Eleonore Cockerham

Judah Coffman

Agnes Coakley Cox

Rachel Garrepy

Jolle Greenleaf

Barbara Hill

Jess Huetteman

Katelyn Grace Jackson

Elijah McCormack

Rebecca Myers

Camila Parias

Janet Stone

Alissa Ruth Suver

Sarah Yanovitch-Vitale


Julia Cavallaro

Rhianna Cockrell

​Janna Critz

Kristen Dubenion-Smith

Andrew Leslie Cooper

Olivia Kleyla

Kimberly Leeds

Sylvia Leith

Christopher Lowrey

Clare McNamara

Ashley Mulcahy


Andrew Bearden Brown

Dann Coakwell

Christian Crocker

Mark Garrepy

Brad Kleyla

Nicholas Madden

​Oliver Mercer

Steven Soph


Kelly Cossey

Michael Garrepy

Nicholas Halar

Harrison Hintzsche

Joesph Hubbard

Craig Juricka

Amory Kisch

Enrico Lagasca

Edmund Milly

Andrew Padgett

Bodie Pfost

Christopher Talbot

​Simon Whiteley

Thou Yang

Board Members

Michelle Caetano, Cumberland, RI

Michael Garrepy, Warwick, RI, Artistic Advisor & Acting Vice President

Tim Harbold, Boston, MA

Simon Holt, Stonington, CT, Chair

Phyllis Hoffman, Boston, MA

Gregory J. King, Baltimore, MD

Jared Kornblatt, Boston, MA

Christopher Lowrey, Johnston, RI, Artistic Director

Donna Lowrey, Johnston, RI, Secretary

Mark Meyer, Dallas, TX

Trevor S. Neal, Newport, RI

Reverend Janet Cooper Nelson, Providence, RI

Charles Oliver, Attleboro, MA, Treasurer

Dwight E. Porter, Stoneham, MA

Camilla de Rochambeau, North Kingstown, RI

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