"The Sparrow Initiative" name came about through a couple happy discoveries. The phrase "I hope" in Latin is "spero," which is pronounced like "sparrow," which just so happens to be a singing bird. As singers who are looking to use our voices to convey messages of hope and initiate change, the Sparrow Initiative felt like a perfect fit.
Meet The Team
Alyssa Wills, soprano, holds an MM in Vocal Arts from USC and a BM Vocal Performance degree from the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music at California State University, Long Beach. Ms. Wills has been honored to be a District Winner in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. With a passion for community engagement, she is the founder of The Sparrow Initiative, a performance group that presents spiritually uplifting material to have a positive impact on the community. Their most recent projects include a video concert, Songs of Comfort and Hope, and a fundraising concert for victims of human-trafficking, A Woman’s Voice. Ms. Wills’ concert work includes a program of songs and letters of Emily Dickinson through Pasadena’s Boston Court Emerging Artist Recital Series, performances with the Los Angeles-based Opera Buffs, Inc., The Industry, and the Palm Springs Opera Guild, including the role of Micaëla in the Opera Buffs' gala fundraiser, Carmen in Concert.
On the opera stage, Ms. Wills has most recently premiered the role of CEO in The Janitor, written by William Doyle and produced by LTD Opera and El Camino College. She has also been seen in the role of Mother in Lyric Opera of Orange County’s Hansel and Gretel, Marcellina in a tour of Figaro's American Adventure with LA Opera's Outreach and Education Program, Fiordiligi in LTD Opera's inaugural performance of Mozart's Così fan tutte, Ariadne in Strauss' Ariadne auf Naxos at the USC Thornton School of Music, Lady Billows in excerpts of Britten's Albert Herring with the TMC Orchestra as a fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center, Countess in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro with the Bob Cole Opera Institute at California State University, Long Beach, as well as numerous opera scenes at the Aspen Music Festival.
As a teacher, she has run her own private voice studio for more than ten years. Currently, she enjoys her position as a teacher with the Classical Voice Conservatory at the Orange County School of the Arts. www.alyssawills.com
Amy Joy Stephens
Amy Joy Stephens, soprano, is a passionate performer of opera, oratorio, and recital music. Notable operatic performances include: Norina in Don Pasquale, Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, Cendrillon in Massenet's Cendrillon, Countess Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro, Antonia in Les Contes d’Hoffmann, Mabel in Pirates of Penzance, and Nella in Gianni Schicchi. On the concert stage, Ms. Stephens is a three-time soloist with The Los Angeles Bach Festival and has performed Bach's Magnificat, Johannes-Passion, and Mass in b minor with the Festival Orchestra and Choir. She has also been seen as the soprano soloist for such major works as Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem, Duruflé's Requiem, and Vivaldi's Gloria.
Ms. Stephens was named a District Winner in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and advanced to the Western Regional Finals where she received an Honorable Mention Award. Other notable awards include: Grand Prize Winner in the Three Arts Vocal Competition in Cincinnati, OH, First Place in the California Women's Chorus Vocal Scholarship Competition, First place in the Opera 100 Vocal Competition, Opera Buffs Grant Recipient, and a winner in the American Educators of Italian Origin United Voice Competition. She received her B.M. in Vocal Performance from California State University Long Beach and her Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance from The College Conservatory of Music at The University of Cincinnati. Ms. Stephens is a committed music
educator and has served on the vocal faculty as a Graduate Voice Assistant at The College Conservatory of Music at University of Cincinnati and as a Voice Professor at The Bob Cole Conservatory of Music at California State University Long Beach.
Ms. Stephens maintains a private voice studio in Orange County as well as serving on the voice faculty at California Baptist University. www.amyjoystephens.com