Valerie Chaussonet is a French language maven and artist in the Austin Texas area. She has provided French language coaching and instruction to the TEMP singers for over 15 years. In addition, she manages an art studio, often shows in local and regional galleries, and holds French speaking and cooking afternoons at her home.
Award-winning director, international performer, and recording artist Daniel Johnson has been the artistic director of the Texas Early Music Project since its inception in 1987. Johnson has performed and toured both as a soloist and ensemble member in such groups as the New York Ensemble for Early Music, Sotto Voce (San Francisco), and Musa Iberica. He can be heard on various recordings for Koch International, Foné Records (Rome), Amherst Festival Productions, and the Texas Early Music Project label.
Johnson was the director of the UT Early Music Ensemble, one of the largest and most active in the U.S., from 1986-2003. In 1998, he was awarded Early Music America’s Thomas Binkley Award for university ensemble directors. He is also the recipient of the 1997 Quattelbaum Award at the College of Charleston. Johnson teaches master classes in performance practice and also serves on the faculty, staff, and the Executive Advisory Board of the Amherst Early Music Festival. He has been on the faculty of the Texas Toot since 1994.
After studying voice with Ms. Gilda Cruz-Romo at the University of Texas in Austin, Jenifer Thyssen has turned her focus to early music, continuing her vocal study with Ms. Sylvia Gallo of Austin and stylistic coaching with Mr. Daniel Johnson, director and founder of Texas Early Music Project (TEMP). Jenifer has had the privilege of studying under such notables as Julianne Baird, Jennifer Lane, Howard Crook, and Drew Minter, leading to her particular interest and specialization in music of the Baroque period.
Jenifer was honored with an award for Best Female Classical Singer by the Austin American-Statesman’s Austin Critics Table Awards 2003. Her popularity among concert-goers has afforded her a considerable reputation for thrilling and beautiful performances, earning her many opportunities to perform throughout Texas.
Jenifer has had the privilege of singing with some of the top early-music performers in the nation: Laurie Young-Stevens, violin, Saskia Coolen and Frances Blaker, recorder, Tom Zajac, multi-instrumentalist and Stanley Ritchie, violin. Jenifer also had the privilege of performing the Texas debut of the recently “rediscovered” Handel Gloria with Laurie-Young Stevens, concertmistress, who performed in the world debut of the piece.
You may hear her on The Bonny Broom and Other Scottish Ballads, Texas Early Music Project’s first recording, and various other concert recordings of TEMP productions. Jenifer resides in Austin, TX.