Our Cantors

“The cantor’s role as a vocalist is to both sing the responses as the Psalmist, and to lead the singing of the hymns and acclamations of the liturgy. They do this with beautifully trained voices and are sensitive in their leadership without overshadowing the role of the singing of the faithful gathered for Mass.”

Jennifer Cress Riley

Jennifer Cress Riley, Lyric Soprano

Jennifer has enjoyed multiple years working as section lead and cantor with the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception. With a B.S in Vocal Performance and an M.S. at the University of Denver, she also has experience studying throughout the world including vocal institutes in Italy, Austria, and throughout the U.S. Throughout Denver, Jennifer now works as a professional musician singing roles with Denver Immersive Opera, the Denver Opera Collective, Opera on Tap and also has years of music writing and performance experience in popular music, jazz, and musical theater.

Stephanie Ambrose

Stephanie Ambrose – Mezzo-Soprano

Stephanie is pursuing graduate studies at the University of Denver’s Lamont School of Music. Over her undergraduate career at Xavier University, Stephanie participated in opera scenes, performed the national anthem before basketball games at the Cintas Center, played the role of Martha in Spring Awakening, sang internationally at the American Musicological Society Conference in Vancouver, and performed in Salzburg, Austria. Most recently, Stephanie performed as Marcellina in Lamont’s production of Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro. She is a soprano section leader/soloist in the Cathedral Basilica Choir as well as cantor.

Emily Spirk

Emily Spirk – Mezzo-Soprano

In 2013, Emily won the University of Arizona’s 40th Annual President’s Concerto Competition. Emily has performed the roles of Vera Boronel in The Consul, La Zelatrice in Suor Angelica, Zita in Gianni Schicchi, Dorothée in Cendrillon, and Alma March in Mark Adamo’s Little Women. Emily graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Arizona with a BM in Vocal Performance studying with Faye Robinson. In 2015, she obtained a MM in Vocal Performance from the UMKC Conservatory of Music studying with Dr. Anne DeLaunay. During the 2016 Season, she sang in the opera chorus for Austin Opera. Currently, Emily sings with the Opera Colorado chorus, Opera on Tap – CO, and as a cantor and section leader at the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception.

Alec Michael Powell

Alec Michael Powell

Alec is a proud graduate of the Eastman School of Music (Bachelor of Music ‘11) and Boston University (Master of Music ‘16). Alec has nearly 10 years of experience as a choral section leader and soloist in the world of sacred music. By day he teaches vocal music at Rocky Mountain Prep elementary in Aurora. He assumed the duties of Cantor and Tenor Section leader in the fall of 2017in the Cathedral Basilica music program. When he’s not teaching young musicians or singing at the Cathedral, Alec enjoys composing and performing musical theatre and operatic repertoire.