Cheryl Ryder, co-founder of Blue Heron with Noël Bisson and Scott Metcalfe, has been artistic and managing director of Canto Armonico since 2005. The mostly student group sings under the direction of Simon Carrington and Ulf Wellner, and has made two German tours in recent years with concerts in castles, churches, and a special appearance in the Praetorius-Tage in Creuzburg, Michael Praetorius’s birthplace, in a concert broadcast on Wartburg Radio in Eisenach. Cheryl studied music at Dana Hall School, Wellesley College, and Harvard University, and credits Professor Owen Jander and the early instrument collection at Wellesley for her enduring interest in early music. Participation in the thriving organ scene at Harvard, Wellesley, and the New England Conservatory led to several European organ tours with organist-musicologist Harald Vogel, with introductions to many unknown early instruments in East German villages. Concurrently, from 1978 to 2011 she was privileged to sing in the professional choir at the Church of the Advent during the tenure of Edith Ho, with much exposure to chant, liturgy, and music especially from the Renaissance and early baroque eras. Cheryl was interim music director during the 2015-2016 year at Boston’s First Lutheran Church, where she remains in its choir and serves as substitute organist and program note annotator for the Bach Vespers series. She is also the founder and executive director of the quadrennial Boston Bach International Organ Competition, which debuted in September 2018 with three rounds of playing by the 16 contestants and marvelous concerts by the international jury from Germany, Canada, Japan and the United States.