Judge Bios

Dance Judges

Maria Mosina

Maira Mosina was born in Moscow and graduated from the Bolshoi Ballet Academy in Russia.  Upon graduation Maria joined the Bolshoi Ballet Grigorovich Company and immediately was chosen for principal roles.  She toured the world appearing on all major European, American, African and Asian stages.  In 1995, Maria was invited by Colorado Ballet to join as a leading principal dancer.  She performed all major parts in classical productions and also had the chance to show her talent in neoclassical, modern and contemporary choreographed master pieces.  Maria was a featured dancer on the cover of Dance Magazine and has bee featured in other magazine articles.  She holds a bachelor’s degree in methodology and pedagogy from Moscow State Academy of Choreography.  She is also an active ballet instructor throughout the United States.  She participated as a master teacher and judge for the Youth American Grand Prix.  Maria performed leading roles in all major productions as a member of the Company, as well as a guest artist with many other festivals, galas, and companies.  After 21 seasons as a principal dancer with Colorado Ballet, she retired at the end of the 2016/2017 season.  She has now joined the artistic staff of the company.

Patricia Renzetti

Patricia began her career with Ballet West of Salt Lake City before moving to New York then Europe. Patricia was the prima ballerina for the Colorado Ballet for twelve years as well as a senior soloist in the London Festival Ballet (now English National), principal dancer for Scapino Ballet of Holland, the Iranian National Ballet, and the Tampa Ballet.  She appeared as guest artist with the Estonia National Ballet, Israel Ballet, and Teatro Communale of Florence, Italy.  As the Academy Director of the Colorado Ballet Academy, she began the second company, Colorado Ballet II.  Patricia earned her MFA in Dance from the University the Universtiy of Iowa.  And then an MA in Counseling Psychology from the University of Colorado at Denver. She also was the Associate Director of Ballet Ariel from 2005-2011. She worked as a Counselor at Lost and Found Family Counseling Center from 2006-2011. After four years working in Salt Lake City, she returned in 2015 and became Ballet Mistress for Ballet Ariel as well as a Ballet Teacher for Winifred Harris’ Performing Arts Academy, Your Soul’s Movement.

String Judges

Zo Manfredi

Zo Manfredi has enjoyed much success as a performer and teacher in Canada and across the United States. She is currently Teaching Artist of Violin and Viola at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa and Assistant Music Associate of Violin at Grinnell College. In August 2015 she received her Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of North Texas under the direction of renowned pedagogue, Julia Bushkova, where she was awarded both a Teaching Fellowship and Teaching Assistantship.

Dr. Manfredi regularly performs with the Quad Cities Symphony Orchestra, Des Moines Symphony, Abilene Philharmonic, and Cheyenne Symphony. Dr. Manfredi is also a promoter of contemporary music and was recently invited to joined the Iowa-based contemporary ensemble, Durwood, a group that seeks to educate and inform its audience about lesser-known contemporary works as well as commission new works by living composers from around the country.

Dr. Manfredi’s current performing groups also include her duo, the Manfredi/Gasworth Duo with violist and colleague, Michelle Gasworth. Since their debut in 2014, the Manfredi/Gasworth Duo has been giving performances predominantly in the Chicago metro-area, where they founded and currently direct the David Adler Center for the Arts Chamber Music Camp along with cellist, Ross Gasworth. The camp seeks to cultivate and foster the collaborative and leadership skills necessary to perform chamber music for young students between the ages of 8 and 14 years old. In addition to these performing opportunities, students are introduced to eurhythmics and varying levels of music theory to supplement their education. Enrollment within the chamber music camp is in high demand and the Duo is currently working on additional projects to expand these opportunities in other geographic areas.

Dr. Manfredi is originally from Billings, Montana and currently resides in Loveland, Colorado with her husband, Matt.

Michael Linert

Michael Linert enjoys a varied musical career primarily as a singer in choirs, operas, and art song recitals; as a Baroque and modern cellist in solo, chamber music, and orchestral settings; and as a strings teacher. He is known for his engaging, impassioned performances as well as his demanding, organized, and inspiring teaching approach. He has performed as vocal soloist with the Carnegie Hall Chamber Chorus, the Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra, and the Indianapolis Symphonic Choir, and as principal cellist with the Commonwealth Opera, QV Ensemble, and the Tafelmusik Baroque Summer Institute.  As an educator, Mr. Linert currently serves as the performing arts department chair, director of orchestras, and assistant director of choirs at Westminster High School in Colorado where he received a 2016-2017 Teacher of the Year Award from Westminster High School and a 2017 Exemplary High School Teacher Award from the American String Teachers Association. Some of the musicians with whom he has taught or coached have gone on to win positions with professional, regional, and youth orchestras, and others have been accepted into national music schools. In addition, Michael has premiered works by Chinese, Australian, Armenian, and American composers, and his own compositions have been sold in and performed on three continents. Most recently, the documentary “Medic!,” including Michael’s original musical score, was added to the permanent collection in the Library of Congress American Folklore Center. Please visit www.michaellinert.com for more information.

Piano Judges

Sylvia White

Sylvia White, Nationally Certified Teacher of Music (NCTM), holds the Permanent Professional Certificate of Music Teachers National Association (MTNA} at all levels, the Advanced Professional Certificate of Colorado State Music Teachers Association (CSMTA) at all levels, and was named Certified Teacher of the Year for CSMTA in 1993.  In March  of 2008 at the MTNA National Conference in Denver in, she was honored as an MTNA Foundation Fellow.  Her students have been winners, alternates and finalists in numerous competitions and many have gone on to pursue careers in music. She has adjudicated festivals, auditions and concerto competitions throughout Colorado.  In addition to CSMTA auditions and MTNA state and divisional competitions.

Sylvia earned the Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Performance, with honors from the Conservatory of Music at Capital  University in Columbus, Ohio and did further study with Agi Jambor of the Peabody Conservatory of Music in Baltimore, Maryland, and at the University of Colorado, Boulder.  She maintains an independent studio in Arvada.

Gretchen Palmer

Gretchen Palmer is a partially retired piano teacher of 55 years.  She studied at Minnesota State University under Dr. Edward Epple.  She has also studied with Anna Silber and Everilde Stroebel.  Gretchen has judged for the National Piano Guild for 20 years in many states.  Gretchen has a degree in Music Education with further study in Music Therapy.

Drama Judges

 Jane Archuleta

My undergraduate degree is from William Penn University in Oskaloosa, IA.  I have a double major in English education and Speech/Communication/Theatre with a minor in Psychology education.  My Masters degree is in Creative Arts in Learning from Lesley University.  In addition I am a member of ITS, EdTA, and CATTE.

I have been an educator for the past 28 years, 25 of which have been at Brighton High School in Brighton, CO.  When I started there I was tasked with starting a Theatre program.  Currently, I teach 6 different levels of Theatre classes, Honors English 9, produce 4 production a year, and sponsor our school’s state Thespian society.  In addition I am a district 27J elective teacher mentor and an English department coordinator as well as the lead teacher on our district Performing Arts Frameworks curriculum committee.

Vocal Judges

Angela Long

Angela Long started formal vocal lessons when she was 11 years old. She took voice lessons throughout high school and college. She can and does sing any genre of music.  She attended the University of Colorado at Boulder after high school and received her bachelors degree in music education. She was part of the Barbara Doscher vocal studio while in college and her degree emphasis was vocal performance and general music.

Angela started a career teaching in the public schools in 1983 and did so for several years. She taught in the inner city at schools where there was no formal music program. She enjoyed watching her students open up and enjoy music.  Angela joined The Musicians of St. Clare, a volunteer choir that was formed for World Youth Day in 1993. She was fortunate to premier the World Youth Day theme song “We Are One Body”.  She continues to perform with this group and has been on seven tours of Italy to sing for the Vatican and the Pope.  She also performed with the Opera Colorado, the Colorado Symphony Chorus, the Denver Opera Company, and Colorado Choir.  She taught privately in the past.

She has a passion for young singers and believes any young person can sing. It’s just a matter of finding out how they learn best. She believes in challenging young singers and making them stretch out of their comfort zone when they perform and she loves providing opportunities for them to do so.  She currently lives in Thornton with her brother, Christopher, her daughter, Virginia, her two dogs and her cat.

Steven Aguilo-Arbues


Argentinian-American Steven Aguilo-Arbues enjoys his roles as a conductor, vocal coach, repetiteur, and recitalist.  His love for opera has led him to work with Central City Opera, Sarasota Opera, Opera Colorado, The Atlanta Opera, Crested Butte Music Festival, and the Miami Music Festival.  He has also served on the faculties of the Manhattan School of Music, Centro Studi Lirica in Italy, Metropolitan State University of Denver, and Colorado State University in Fort Collins.

Currently, he is Conductor and Director of School Programs for Denver’s Inside the Orchestra and conductor of Boulder-based choir The Renaissance Project (specializing in Renaissance a cappella choral music).  He has also coached and worked with singers that have won regional and national finalist titles in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.  In January of 2018, he returns to Sarasota Opera as Program and Music Director of the Studio Artists.  Mr. Aguilo-Arbues holds a Master of Music degree and Professional Studies Certificate in collaborative piano from the Manhattan School of Music.


Carma Romano-LaMorte

Carma Romano-Lamorte began her musical education in the San Francisco Bay Area under such noted conductors as Maestro Vincenzo Giannini and Hugo Rinaldi of the San Francisco Opera.  Her early liturgical education was in the Dominican tradition,  with the Dominican Congregation of San Rafael, and at the San Domenico School.  After secondary school, she entered the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music in Ohio, where she held a double major in violin performance and choral conducting, studying with members of the New Hungarian String Quartet, and with famed choral conductor Daniel Moe.

After a summer fellowship at the Aspen Music Festival in Colorado, graduate school took her to New York, where she was enrolled at Sarah Lawrence College and the Julliard School.  She studied violin with Dorothy Delay, and was a member of the Sixten Ehrling Conductors Master Class at Julliard.  She studied counterpoint with noted American composer David Diamond, and choral conducting with Harold Aks.  In 1977, Romano-LaMorte made her first appearances in Switzerland and Austria as assistant conductor of the Sarah Lawrence College Choir.  That same year, she won the Choral Conductors Prize at the International Bach Festival in San Moritz, Switzerland.  The jury was chaired by Sir Neville Mariner, with whom she completed post-graduate study in London.

Romano-Laporte came to Colorado in 1978 to spend the next four years on the music faculty at the University of Northern Colorado.  Moving to Denver in 1982, she became active as a violinist in area orchestras and music festivals.  In 1991, she accepted the invitation to become Director of Liturgy for the Archdiocese of Denver.  In 1993, in addition to forming the Musicians of Saint Clare, Romano-LaMorte was Liturgical Director for Catechesis for World Youth Day, administering the liturgies at twenty catechetical sites, for 150,000 participants, in eight different languages.  Since 1996, the Musicians of Saint Clare has been an independent non-profit corporation.  The Choir maintains a busy yearly concert schedule, as well as international tours and pilgrimages, including Christmas 1999 in Saint Peter’s Basilica, Rome, for the opening of the Jubilee Year 2000, in the presence of His Holiness Pope John Paul II, and Easter 2002 at the Vatican.  In November, 2003, she prepared the Musicians of Saint Clare for a performance of the Mozart Requiem in Rome, under the direction of Paul Salumunovich with the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra.  Other international engagements have included a concert in the Sistine Chapel, and a concert for the Festival of Music and Sacred Art, in Rome.

From 2000-2006, Romano-Laporte held the podium of the Golden Concert Choir, a civic chorale dedicated to the performance of major classical choral works for the community of Golden and surrounding Jefferson County, Colorado.  She lives in Golden, Colorado, with her husband Andrew Laporte, who is a tenor in the Musicians of Saint Clare.