top of page

Zorzal Music Ensemble was founded in 2001 in south-central Pennsylvania by Artistic Director Lynn Gumert under the sponsorship of the Pommerian Early Music Guild. Founding members included Carlos Fernández, Marta Robertson, Lynn Gumert, and Edythe Sarnoff. The group is now based in central New Jersey.

Core Members

Lynn Gumert

(Artistic Director, Soprano, Recorders) is a composer of modern music and a performer of early music. She studied recorder with Eve Legêne, Emily Samuels, and Scott Reiss, and voice with Camilla Williams, Sudie Marcuse, and Janiece Jaffe. She researches, reconstructs, and arranges all of Zorzal's repertoire. Her research areas include women composers, gender in popular culture, Sephardic music, and early music from Spain and Latin America. For more information about her work as a composer, please visit her website at

Carlos Fernández

(Tenor, Percussion, Guitar) is Director of the Center for Latino Arts and Culture at Rutgers University. He holds a B.M. from the Catholic University of America, an M.A. in Ethnomusicology from Indiana University-Bloomington, and a Ph.D. in Folklore at IU-Bloomington. His research areas include Latin American popular devotions and artistic performance.

Collaborative Artists

Kate Chen

(Soprano) received her Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in music from Wellesley College, where she served as the student director of the Wellesley College Madrigals and performed with the early music ensemble, Collegium Musicum. She has taught elementary piano and currently teaches voice. She is an instructor in Westminster Conservatory’s Early Childhood and Voice Departments and has directed the Choral Readiness program at the Conservatory since 2006. Ms. Chen holds Level 1 Kodaly certification and is a member of NAfME. She is the Children’s Music Minister at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, where she also co-directed the World Music Camp, a 2006 recipient of the SWAM Grant from Choristers Guild.

Megan Helvering

(Mezzo Soprano) is an experienced and passionate freelance musician. In New Jersey, she has performed as hornist with the Central Jersey Symphony Orchestra, Sinfonietta Nova, the Plainfield Symphony, and the Trenton Symphony. Previously, she performed with the Kansas City Civic Orchestra, the Lincoln (NE) Symphony, the Kansas City Wind Symphony, and the Sunflower Brass (KS). Megan also is an accomplished educator and vocalist. Megan lives in Princeton Junction with her husband, R. Douglas Helvering.

R. Douglas Helvering

(Baritone, Percussion) is a highly active composer, conductor, and educator. His music has been featured at all of the major choral national and regional conventions as well as at prestigious venues worldwide including the historic Carnegie Hall in New York City. He is a dedicated music educator, serving as adjunct assistant professor at the famed Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ. A passionate conductor, he is also often called on to lead ensembles from the podium. Dr. Helvering currently serves Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Princeton Junction, NJ as Minister of Music. His music has been widely acclaimed by performers, scholars, and audiences around the world for its artistry and emotional appeal. For more information, please visit his website at

Bob Ramos

(Drums, Percussion) holds a Masters in Musicology from Rutgers University. He is the instructor of the "Music in the Caribbean" course for the Latino and Hispanic Caribbean Studies Department at Rutgers. Sponsored by the Center for Latino Arts and Culture, he has performed with and managed the Rutgers Salsa Band in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. Currently he performs, records, and teaches privately in the tristate area, including a Salsa Percussion class at the Scarlet Mambo Dance studio in Highland Park, NJ.

Hanka Speldova


Janet Walker

(Violoncello) began the study of piano at age four, and cello, her preferred instrument, at ten. She studied with Julianne Shaw, member of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and Professor of Music at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and with the Fine Arts Quartet. She played with the Racine Symphony (Wisconsin) for several years. Since 1992 she has been a regular player with the Highland Park Recorder Society and Garden State Sinfonia, and she has played with Musica Dolce since 2002. She is professor in Comparative Literature at Rutgers University.

bottom of page