selechas t
Sackets Harbor Vocal Arts Ensemble
...enhancing the quality of life in the North Country by promoting the performance and presentation of quality music...


Our Music Leadership
About Us





Who are we?

Now a regional choral group, The Sackets Harbor Vocal Arts Ensemble was first formed in 2006 with a group of 17 singers. We presented smaller works at the United Presbyterian Church of Sackets Harbor with guest singers such as Robert Mack, one of the founders of Opera Noire in New York City, and Kenneth Weber, baritone from Los Angeles with opera experience across the country. In 2008, the SHVAE joined with the Trinity Festival Singers to present Handel's "Messiah" as part of the Trinity Concert Series.

Since 2006, we have grown to a group of 55 to 60 singers from Central and Northern New York, presenting works with orchestra and professional soloists. Since our inception, we have presented to Northern New York the voices of Christine Donahue, soprano; Bruce Sledge, tenor; John Cheek, bass baritone; Mark Rucker, baritone; as well as Central and Northern New York talents of Jill Pearon, soprano; John English, tenor; Evgenyia Krachmarova Sotirov, mezzo soprano and Elizabeth Bouk, alto. Other works we have performed include Brubeck's "La Fiesta del la Posada"; Mozart's "Requiem"; Honegger's "King David"; J. S. Bach's "Magnificat"; and, in 2012, Mendelssohn's "Elijah." By continuing to present major as well as smaller works, the SHVAE brings to the north country a musical experience for our audience as well as our singers, generally associated only with larger venues.

Our founding director

Richard Probert was the founding music director of the SHVAE. He is adept at both vocal and instrumental conducting. His conducting experience ranges from children's choruses to professional performing organizations. He retired from SHVAE in the spring of 2017.

Richard led many college choruses and church choirs, produced and served as music director of chamber opera and music theater, staged choral performances and has taught singing. He received Rockefeller Foundation support for conducting study and holds music degrees, with continued studies at several conservatories of music. He holds a Certificate in Higher Education from Carnegie Mellon University and has served as a tenured professor of music as well as department and division chair at several colleges and universities.

Richard is a published author. He wrote "Archie's Way" with Lyons Press, a Readers Digest selection. He is a contributing writer for SAIL magazine and has published articles in numerous professional journals. An active blue water sailor, he is a Merchant Marine officer who holds a 50-tone Masters License.

In addition to singing and conducting, Richard is a Professor of Entrepreneurship and Emerging Enterprises with a specialty in Creativity and Innovation at the Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University. He lives in Sackets Harbor with his wife, Dr. Carmelita Britton, a pediatrician.





Sackets Harbor Vocal Arts Ensemble
Handel's "Messiah"
December 20, 2008
Trinity Episcopal Church