Christopher Fashun is an incredibly diverse and versatile conductor, educator, and performer. An Assistant Professor of Music at Hope College, he serves as the Director of Orchestras, the Music Director of the Brazilian Music Ensemble, teaches applied percussion, and is an Instructor of Instrumental Music Education.
In addition to his activities at Hope College, Dr. Fashun is an active guest conductor, clinician, adjudicator, and percussionist. Notable engagements have included the Holland Symphony Orchestra, Elkhart Symphony Orchestra, St. Ambrose University Community Symphony Orchestra, the University of Iowa Philharmonia and All-University String Orchestra. Dr. Fashun has conducted the Symphony String Orchestra at the Iowa IMEA Conference for the All-State Iowa Junior Honors String Orchestra Festival Concert and the Midwest Mennonite Festival Orchestra and Concert Band. He has served on the music faculties at St. Ambrose University and Goshen College and has directed orchestras, wind bands, jazz ensembles, percussion ensembles, and drum lines at the secondary level.
A passionate educator, Dr. Fashun’s versatility and eclectic background allow him to work in areas of orchestral, percussion, and world music. As a conductor, he is frequently invited to guest conduct, clinic, and adjudicate orchestras at the professional, collegiate, and secondary levels. His expertise and knowledge in Brazilian music serve general music educators and elementary schools alike. As the founder and music director of the Hope College Brazilian Music Ensemble, Dr. Fashun presents frequently at music education conferences and the Brazilian Music Ensemble performs educational outreach assemblies for elementary schools during the academic year. He has concentrated his study of world percussion in Brazilian and Afro-Brazilian music and dance over the past 15 years. Most notably, his teachers include Mestre Mario Pam, Mestre Jorge Alabe, Michael Spiro, Mark Lamson, Curtis Pierre, Jorge Martins, and Scott Kettner.
Most recently, Dr. Fashun was a 2018 recipient of a U.S. Postdoctoral Fulbright Award in All Disciplines and will be living and researching Afro-Brazilian music in Salvador da Bahia in 2019. His project will focus on the dissemination of Afro-Brazilian music and culture in the city of Salvador da Bahia.
An accomplished percussionist and violist, he has several years of orchestral and chamber music experience and has enjoyed success in both areas as a soloist by winning three concerto competitions, one on viola and two on marimba.
His research in conducting combines developing musicianship from the podium and health and wellness for music educators. When he’s not making music, he is either cycling, paddle boarding, or practicing Pilates and enjoying the fabulous beaches in Holland with his wife and daughter.
Debra Bordo, mezzo-soprano, has wide ranging experience in vocal
music in both classical and pops settings. Trained at the University of
Wisconsin-Platteville, she has taught vocal music at all public-school
levels while enjoying an active performing life.
Ms. Bordo’s musical theater roles include Nellie in South Pacific, the
Mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors, Sister Mary Amnesia in
Nunsense, Zita in Gianni Schicchi, and Eva Peron in Evita, as well as
a number of Gilbert and Sullivan operettas.
As a concert soloist, she has performed the music of Bernstein,
Ellington, Handel, Mozart, and Vaughan-Williams. As a soloist with
the Akron Baroque chamber orchestra, she was featured in
performances by a number of Baroque masters. Her ensemble
repertoire has included works by Mozart, Bernstein, Brahms,
Beethoven, and Orff.
In February of 2020, she was the featured soloist with the Richmond
Symphony Orchestra (IN) singing five Old American Songs by Aaron
Copland. She debuted Love, As Time Goes By, a medley of love songs
through the years, also with the RSO, in 2011.
A public-school teacher since 1987, Ms. Bordo is the director of
secondary choral music with Lake Local Schools in Uniontown, Ohio.
She directs Voice Blue, Opus One, Seventh and Eighth Grade Choirs,
and Reflections show choir, as well as producing all aspects of a
Broadway musical production each year.
She graduated in May 2014 with her Masters degree in vocal
performance at The University of Akron studying with James
Mismas. In her spare time Deb enjoys traveling with her husband
Guy, cooking, baking, crocheting, and reading.