Alberta Barnes is orignally from Boise, Idaho and began playing the violin at a young age. She continued her study of the violin at Lawrence University and graduated magna cum laude from the Conservatory of Music in 2009 with a degree in violin performance. While studying under the instruction of Wen-Lei Gu, Alberta also played in numerous chamber ensembles, local symphonies, and was co-concertmaster of the Lawrence Symphony Orchestra. After finishing her undergraduate studies, she worked toward a master’s degree in theology at Franciscan University of Steubenville, briefly living in Rome and studying at the Pontificia Università San Tommaso. She is currently a SHAR Apprentice and lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She plays regularly at a local Italian restaurant and performs as a part of the SHAR Apprentice Ensemble.
Joseph Chapman was born in Charlotte, North Carolina. He attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he earned a B.A. in English and creative writing and the University of Virginia where he earned a Master of Fine Arts in poetry writing. Before joining the web department at SHAR, he taught writing part-time for the University of Virginia, the University of Michigan, and Semester at Sea. His honors include the Ann Williams Burrus Prize in Poetry (2005), a Henry Hoyns Fellowship (2005-2006), and an Academy of American Poets prize (2007). From 2007 to 2008, he served as poetry editor for Meridian magazine, and his poems and reviews have appeared or are forthcoming in Boston Review, The Cincinnati Review, Best American Poetry 2012, and elsewhere. He lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan with his wife Julia Hansen.
Nerissa Nields has been a member of the legendary folk band The Nields since 1991. She has toured North America, been on major labels, shared stages with 10,000 Maniacs, Suzanne Vega, Indigo Girls, The Band, and James Taylor (to name a few), played to tens of thousands from stages all across the continent and has passionate fans all over the world. Between the Nields and her duo with sister Katryna Nields, she has made sixteen CDs. She is the author of three books, most recently All Together Singing in the Kitchen: Creative Ways to Make and Listen to Music as a Family (Shambhala/Roost Books 2011). With her sister Katryna, she is the co-creator of HooteNanny, early music programs for children 0-10 and their grown-ups, and HooteNanny Guitar, a program for parents to learn to play guitar with and for their children. She lives in Northampton, Massachusetts with her husband Tom and their two children. Photo by Sarah Prall.