Music in May Artists

Artists performing as part of the Music in May series.


Gentlemen Dreadnought is the combined effort of Clint Birtzer and Derek Johnson. In 2006, after years of playing rock-n-roll, Derek Johnson helped form the bluegrass band The High 48s. Derek went “full time” in 2011 when he joined Monroe Crossing where he maintains a very busy schedule performing throughout the USA, Canada and Europe. The two enjoy the simplicity of a duet where they have fun exchanging guitar licks, but what Clint and Derek enjoy the most is the way their vocals merge together in “brother duet” like harmony. Whether picking out blazing bluegrass numbers, singing heart breaking old time country songs, or harmonizing on traditional gospel tunes these two established and seasoned musicians put on a great show in any setting.


Katherine Henly Photo of Katherine Henlyhas been praised for her captivating and affecting portrayals in genres ranging from opera, to musical theater, jazz, and pop throughout the United States and abroad, soprano Katherine Henly has performed with LA Opera, Washington National Opera, Hawaii Opera Theatre, Charlottesville Opera, Virginia Opera, The New York Musical Theatre Festival, The New York International Fringe Festival, The O’Neill National Music Theater Conference, and at The Royal Opera House in Muscat, Oman.  As a young artist, she spent her summers with Utah Festival Opera, Charlottesville Opera, and The Glimmerglass Festival. As a soloist, Ms. Henly has performed with Utah Lyric Opera, Utah Valley Symphony Orchestra, The Ramsey Wind Symphony, Palisades Virtuosi, Worcester Symphony Orchestra, Camerata New York, in concert at Mechanics Hall and Carnegie Hall. 


She made her off-Broadway debut as Elsa in Sheldon Harnick’s musical Dragons at The York Theatre Company, and can be heard on the studio recording with Tony Award winner Michael Cerveris

The 2018-2019 season included her European debut and role debut as Rose Maurrant in John Fulljames’ critically acclaimed production of Street Scene with Oper Köln, conducted by Tim Murray. In the 2019-2020 season, Ms. Henly made her Messiah debut in New York City, as the soprano soloist with Camerata New York, conducted by Richard Owen. The spring of 2020, she was scheduled to make her role debut as Musetta in Peter Rothstein’s award-winning production of La Bohème with Theater Latté Da in Minneapolis; the production has plans to return.  Most recently she performed in Saint Croix Valley Opera’s streamed Opera on the Virtual River in the summer of 2020, and can be seen online in The Sky Where You Are, the new Maria Thomson Corley opera commissioned by An Opera Theatre and streaming online as a part of Decameron Opera Coalition’s Tales From A Safe Distance (; and also in Preludes: Lyrics & Lyricists a new five-part online series filmed on the historic 92Y stage in Manhattan ( She is a graduate of Ithaca College (B.M.) and Brigham Young University (M.M.).


Photo of Christian Moreno Cova

Pianist, composer, and bandleader Christian Moreno Cova is a rising force in Minnesota’s jazz scene. Born in Caracas, Venezuela, Moreno Cova has received praise for his innovative compositions and arrangements, bringing traditional Venezuelan influences into the modern jazz idiom. Along with leading his own group, Moreno Cova performs as a sideman in the Twin Cities and Duluth jazz scenes, and is earning his Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies from the University of Minnesota, Duluth where he studies with Ryan Frane.