Helios is made up of seven strong, artistic leaders who strive to find the unsung heroes of polyphony, and illuminate their works with a modern aesthetic. Together, the members of Helios collaborate to bring to light compositions from before 1700. Each Helios singer has unique knowledge and talents, and they work together to bring new insight to the music they perform.
Danya Tiller, Soprano
DANYA TILLER is a founding member of HELIOS. She is the Artistic Director of the Phoenix Girls Chorus, a five choir non-profit organization for young women now in its 33rd season. Danya earned a B.M. in Piano Performance and M.M. in Choral Conducting from the University of Alabama, and is A.B.D. for the D.M.A. in Choral Conducting from the University of Oklahoma. A native of Knoxville, Tennessee, she has performed with ensembles including the Santa Fe Desert Chorale, New Orleans Opera, the Oklahoma Philharmonic Symphony, Santa Fe Pro Music Chamber Orchestra, Santa Fe Opera, American Bach Series, The Phoenix Symphony, and St. Martin’s Chamber Choir, and she has toured extensively with her choirs worldwide. Danya is also Associate Director of Music at Mountain View Presbyterian Church.
Nina Garguilo, Soprano
Originally from Memphis, NINA GARGUILO has been performing and teaching in the Phoenix area since 2011. Most recently, she performed as Sarah in Harrower Opera's Ballad of Baby Doe, and has performed roles including Despina (Così fan tutte) Lauretta (Gianni Schicchi), and Maria (West Side Story). In the summer of 2013, Nina sang the title role in Das Tagebuch der Anne Frank at the Mittelsächsisches Theater in Freiberg, Germany. While obtaining her Bachelor’s degree at the University of Mississippi, Nina was a member of the Mississippi Early Music Ensemble. She completed her DMA in Vocal Performance at ASU in 2017, and took her research of American Southern music to New York and Brooklyn. Nina finds joy in exploring performance practices, styles, and dialects in music. Nina teaches music and voice at Phoenix College and seeks to promote American Opera, Art Song, and Broadway repertoire in her own work as well as in her teaching.
Stephanie Stickford, Alto
STEPHANIE STICKFORD is an Ohio native. She earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in music business and a Master of Arts degree in music education from The Ohio State University. She moved to Phoenix to attend graduate school at ASU, and earned a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in music education. Over the course of her career, she has taught choir and music appreciation at all levels, delivered presentations at state and national music education conferences, taught private voice and piano, served as a church musician and soloist, performed bedside concerts for hospice patients, and sung with jazz big bands and combos. Stephanie currently teaches choir and general music at Pinnacle Peak Elementary School in the Paradise Valley School District.
Josef Curtis, Tenor
JOSEF CURTIS is from Orem, Utah. He holds a B.M. in Vocal Performance from BYU and an M.M. and D.M.A. in Vocal Performance from ASU. As a graduate student, Josef performed in numerous opera roles and served as a teaching assistant to the voice faculty. As a soloist, Josef enjoys performing with Solis Camerata and the Phoenix Chorale. He has also performed with True Concord Voices and Orchestra, the Phoenix Symphony, Arizona Musicfest Festival Orchestra, and the Tempe Wind Ensemble. Josef is an enthusiastic teacher, he currently teaches music history courses and voice lessons at Central Arizona College, and has recently joined the voice faculty at Phoenix College.
Kenny Miller, tenor
KENNY MILLER is a founding member of HELIOS. He is an oratorio soloist, as well as recitalist specializing in British and American art song. Kenny actively promotes new works and has premiered compositions of Jody Rockmaker, Gunther Schuller, Kendra D’Ercole and Evan C. Paul. He is co-founder of ArtSong Rising, whose mission is to promote art song throughout the Southwest and has performed recitals throughout Arizona, California, and Colorado. He holds a Master of Music Performance and Pedagogy and a Doctor of Musical Arts in Vocal Performance from ASU. Kenny is the Director of Choral Activities and Coordinator of Voice Studies at Phoenix College where he is also the Honors Program Director.
Michael Tallino, Baritone
MICHAEL TALLINO earned a M.M. in Opera Performance from Arizona State University and a B.M. in Music Education from University of Alaska Anchorage. Michael was born and raised in Alaska, performing choral music and opera in Kodiak and Anchorage before pursuing further study in a warmer climate. Recent credits in Arizona include concert performances with the Scottsdale Philharmonic, Passion Project: Opera! in Tucson, and oratorio and solo work in churches throughout Phoenix. In Alaska, Michael maintains strong ties, recently performing Schaunard in La bohème with Anchorage Opera, and other recitals and performances.
Toby Vaughn Kidd, Bass
TOBY VAUGHN KIDD is a founding member of HELIOS. He received his B.M. and M.M. in Vocal Performance degrees from NAU, where he performed with NAU Opera and as concert soloist. As a student he received vocal instruction from Judith Cloud, sang with the internationally touring Shrine of the Ages choir, and founded a Student NATS chapter at the Flagstaff campus where he served as president for two years. His professional debut as a soloist was with Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra’s performance of Bach’s Mass in B Minor in 2011. Currently, Toby works at the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts at ASU, sings at Pinnacle Presbyterian Church in Scottsdale, and is also a member of the Arizona Opera Chorus.