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Art by Lee Letourneau 



FRIDAY - JUNE 7, 2024 | 7:30PM



The Henderson Symphony Orchestra’s 37th Season celebrates the 200th anniversary of the premiere of Beethoven Symphony No.9.  

Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, also known as “Choral,” was the first symphony to incorporate the human voice and text to this music form. Its choral part, called “Ode to Joy” is probably the most famous classical music of all times. It celebrates the human kind and calls for a revolution based on Joy, Kindness and Love.  

The HSO is proud to welcome Southern Nevada Musical Arts Society on stage for the performance, which will feature soloists Athena Mertes, Ashley Stone, Michael TK Lam and DongMin Byeon. Learn more about them below. 

About the Southern Nevada Musical Arts Society (SNMAS)

The Southern Nevada Musical Arts Society (SNMAS) has been making beautiful choral music since 1963, founded as the Las Vegas Musical Arts Workshop by Strip performer and Las Vegas journalist Bill Willard. The early conductors performed a variety of repertoire including two musicals “Oklahoma” and “Carousel.” The Workshop’s performance venues included hotels on the Las Vegas Strip.

After being under the direction of several conductors, Douglas R. Peterson became the full-time director of the workshop in 1968 and served as its music director and conductor for 52 years. As music director, Maestro Peterson provided singers and instrumentalists with the unique opportunity to perform the world’s greatest choral/orchestra masterworks and enriched the lives of Southern Nevada concertgoers for over 5 decades!

In the early 1970s, the Las Vegas Musical Arts Workshop was renamed the Southern Nevada Musical Arts Society to better represent musicians from cities outside of Las Vegas.

Randy Pagel served as guest conductor during the 58th and 59th Seasons starting in 2022, continuing the tradition of performing great choral masterworks with performances of the Brahms Requiem, Mozart Requiem, and John Rutter’s Requiem, and Gloria. SNMAS welcomed Randy Pagel as the full-time music director for their 60th Anniversary Season!
SNMAS is the oldest continuously performing organization of its kind in Nevada. 

Poised for its 60th season, the organization’s mission statement remains the same — to promote and perform quality choral and orchestra masterworks, musical productions, and chamber concerts consistent with a strong community and educational outreach in Southern Nevada.

Athena Mertes


Athena Mertes, is one of the Valley’s most celebrated sopranos, whose opera and concert credits include Marie (The Daughter of the Regiment), Mimi (La Bohème), Musetta (La Bohème), Despina (Cosi Fan Tutte), Gretel (Hansel and Gretel), Lucy (The Telephone), Zerlina (Don Giovanni), Gianetta (L’Elisir d’Amore), Morgana (Alcina), Pamina (Die Zauberflöte), Abigail (The Crucible), Nella (Gianni Schicchi), Waldvogel (Siegfried) and soprano soloist in Vivaldi’s Gloria, Handel’s Messiah, Brahms Requiem, Mozart Requiem and Honegger’s King David. She has performed as a guest soloist with the Burbank Philharmonic, Las Vegas Philharmonic, Henderson Symphony, Opera Las Vegas, Vegas City Opera, Lexington Opera Outreach and the Southern Nevada Musical Arts Society. Some of her recent credits include Sylvia in the World Premiere of Behold the Man, Zelda in the West Coast Premiere of Ghosts of Gatsby and Alice B. Toklas in the West Coast premiere of Ricky Ian Gordon and Royce Vavrek’s 27 with Opera Las Vegas and she portrayed Mimi in Vegas City Opera’s La BoDead. 

She is also the Chorus Master of the Opera Las Vegas Youth Chorus and the Director of Choirs at Thurman White Academy of the Performing Arts where she has 400 students. In 2020, she received the Teacher of the Year Award from Magnet Schools of America and is also a National Board-Certified Teacher. In March of 2024, her Choir was featured at the American Choral Directors Association Regional Conference in Pasadena, California and in April of 2024, her contemporary a cappella group was featured at the National Magnet Schools of America Conference in New York City.

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Ashley Stone


Known for her warmth and empathy, mezzo-soprano Ashley Stone is a regular artist around the valley. Locally she’s performed with the Las Vegas Philharmonic, the Composer’s Showcase, the Las Vegas Sinfonietta, and Opera Las Vegas with whom she performed Beatriz in the world premiere of Behold the Man by Paul Fowler and Andrew Flack. 


Follower her main-stage debut with San Antonio Opera as Kate in The Pirates of Penzance, her performance credits include Grandma Mills (The House Without a Christmas Tree), Mother (Hansel and Gretel), Mother (Amahl and the Night Visitors), Mrs. Noah (Noyes Fludde), Lucia (Cavalleria rusticana), Dame Quickly (Falstaff), Old Lady (Candide), Principessa (Suor Angelica), Meg (Little Women), Suzuki (Madame Butterfly), Cherubino (Le nozze di Figaro) and Rose (The Secret Garden).


She currently directs student recruitment for the UNLV College of Fine Arts, and has earned her Doctorate from Indiana University and her Masters from the Eastman School of Music. 

Michael TK Lam


Michael TK Lam, Tenor, completed his Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV), and currently serves on the voice faculty of the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR). Originally from Hong Kong, He graduated from the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire (RBC) with a MMus in Vocal Performance, as well as an MA in Music Education from University College London (UCL). Michael made his New York debut in the summer of 2022 when he joined the young artist program of the dell’Arte Opera Ensemble, where he performed Monteverdi’s Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria and Lucero’s Juana. He also played the role of Sextus in the British premiere of Gounod’s Polyeucte in London. Recent engagements include roles in operas written by Mozart, Donizetti, and Britten, as well as the tenor soloist in Bruckner’s Mass in F minor and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9. Awards include first place in the New England Music Festival and first place in the graduate division of NATS in Las Vegas. 

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Dongmin Byeon


A native of Chang-won, South Korea, Dongmin Byeon has been praised for his rich and powerful baritone, as well as his ability to embody dramatic and comic characters on the operatic stage. He made a debut with LA Opera(LA Opera Connects) for the opera “On Gold Mountain” by Nathan Wang in 2022. Byeon is a talented opera singer known for his leading roles in productions such as Mozart's "The Magic Flute," Donizetti's "L'elisir d'amore," and Puccini's "La Bohème." He has performed with UNLV Opera and starred in Rossini's "Le Comte Ory." This summer, he will play the role of Don Giovanni in an opera with VIMA and perform Beethoven's Mass in C Major with the Southern Nevada Musical Arts Society.

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