Director of Music
Rob oversees the music program at Saint Cecilia and also serves on the faculty at Brandeis University as associate professor of the practice of choral music. At Brandeis University Rob oversees the vocal program, conducts the Brandeis choral ensembles, teaches conducting and choral methods, and serves as the performance track adviser for vocalists. Rob has served on the faculties of Dartmouth College, Pomona College, Claremont Graduate University, and Mount St. Mary’s College. He holds degrees in conducting, piano, and voice from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Temple University, and the University of Southern California. Additionally, he served as director of music for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. An active commissioner of new music, Rob has given several world premieres of works for both orchestral and choral forces. He served as counsel to the New Hampshire Council on the Arts and is the past president of the Eastern Region of the American Choral Directors Association.
Thomas Mellan is a French/American organist, composer, pianist and harpsichordist. In 2012 as Young Artist of the Year, he performed in the 23rd Organ Festival at St. Eustache in Paris, his debut recital. In 2018, he performed on the international organ festivals of Lille and St. Antoine l’Abbaye, in France. He gave the Ukrainian premiere of Messiaen’s Livre d’Orgue during an artistic residency at the Organ Hall in Lviv in the same year. In 2020, he was the first person to arrange and record Chopin’s 12 Études, Op. 10 on pipe organ.
His compositions have been performed across America, Europe and Asia. His works include chamber and orchestral works, virtuoso works for flute and clarinet, boundary-pushing music for the pipe organ and a 35 minute set of polyphonic, serial inventions for solo violin. He received his Bachelor and two Masters degrees (Organ: 2019, Composition: 2020) from the USC Thornton School of Music. He studied organ with Cherry Rhodes and Jean Guillou, counterpoint with Neal Desby and Morten Lauridsen and composition with Frank Ticheli, Andrew Norman and Donald Crockett.
Kayleigh Bennett is a Boston based mezzo-soprano vocalist and voice/piano teacher. She received her Masters in Vocal Performance with a concentration in opera at New England Conservatory, where she studied with Jane Eaglen. She received her Vocal Music Education and Music Performance majors from Moravian College, where she studied with Megan Durham and Suzanne Kompass.
In 2019, her 115-page academic article on the operas of Puccini was granted honors and is currently displayed in Reeves Library. In 2021, she performed the role of Lena in Svadba, a Serbian, a capella opera by Ana Sokolović. Ms. Bennett was invited to sing the role of Mrs. Ford in The Merry Wives of Windsor by Otto Nicolai with the Up North Vocal Institute for their 2019 season. She has performed as the soprano concert soloist in Arvo Pärt’s Stabat Mater, Christopher Tin’s Calling All Dawns, Leonard Bernstein’s Mass, and Ariel Ramírez’s Misa Criolla.
Tyler Cesario is a graduate student at Boston Conservatory studying Vocal Pedagogy and Opera. Graduating from Westminster Choir College in 2017 with a Bachelor’s in Music Education, Tyler has held positions as soloist/cantor at St. Paul’s in Princeton, NJ, paid chorister at the Episcopal Church of Princeton University, choral conductor of the First Presbyterian Church in Pitman, NJ and general music/choir/band teacher at National Park Elementary School. Tyler has been the tenor soloist in many major works including Bruckner’s Requiem and Te Deum, Mozart’s Missa Brevis in B flat, and Handel’s Messiah. He is extremely honored to be a part of the musical program at Saint Cecilia.
Harrison was raised in McDonough, Georgia with a multi-instrumental upbringing. He ultimately decided to focus on vocal studies and obtained a bachelor’s degree in music performance from The University of Georgia’s Hugh Hodgson School of Music. While at UGA, Harrison studied primarily with Dr. Gregory Broughton, but worked with and performed for Director of Opera Frederick Burchinal, Opera Coach Kathryn Wright, Director of Choral Activities Dr. Daniel Bara, and Associate Director of Choral Activities Dr. J.D. Burnett.
Harrison’s most notable performances at UGA include performing on stage along with The King Singers and Voces8 as well as in UGA’s productions of Don Giovanni, Don Pasquale, Le Nozze di Figaro, and Il Barbiere di Siviglia. Harrison also sang as a soloist with the Atlanta Baroque Orchestra in their joint concert with the UGA Hodgson Singers of Bach’s St. John Passion as well as many other Hodgson Singers concerts. Since moving to Boston in August 2021, Harrison has been taking lessons from New England Conservatory faculty member Michael Meraw, and is working at MSPCA’s Angell Animal Medical Center in Jamaica Plain.
Originally from Marietta, Georgia, Emma Robertson is currently pursuing her master’s degree in Vocal Performance at the New England Conservatory of Music where she studies with Michael Meraw. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Music Performance from the University of Georgia where she studied with Dr. Elizabeth Johnson-Knight. Emma has been awarded numerous accolades over her active singing years, including being invited to coach with Nate Raskin, an opera coach on faculty at the Met, and being granted a semi-finalist spot in for the Lindemann Young Artist Development program. In July 2021 Emma performed L’Elisir d’amore with Opera Maine. She is a studio artist with the company for the 2021-2022 year. Ms. Robertson has performed in opera ensembles and performed/studied roles such as Pamina (Die Zauberflöte), Susanna (Le nozze di Figaro), Sophie (Werther), Cleopatra (Guilio Cesare), Marzelline (Fidelio), and Gianetta (L’Elisir d’amore). She has performed as Barbarina (Le nozze di Figaro) with the Aquilon Music Festival and Young Artist Program, and more recently as Berta (Il barbiere di Siviglia) with the UGA Opera Department.