With Strength & Joy

With Strength & Joy
Monday, May 29, 2017
7:00 PM
David Geffen Hall, Lincoln Center
William Powell, Guest Conductor
Antonio Vivaldi: Gloria
Featuring Distinguished Concerts Orchestra and Distinguished Concerts Singers International
Pepper Choplin, Composer/Conductor
Pepper Choplin: Psalm 23: A Journey with The Shepherd (Lincoln Center Premiere)
Featuring Distinguished Concerts Orchestra and Distinguished Concerts Singers International
Contact us about this concert and future performance opportunities.

Participating Ensembles:

Auburn University Choirs
Vestavia Hills United Methodist Church New Life Singers
Chelsea High School Choir
Greensboro Day School Chorus
The St. Margaret's Chancel Choir and Motet Ensemble
Asbury United Methodist Singers
Wake Forest Baptist Church Chancel Choir
Zion United Church of Christ Chancel Choir
First Baptist Church Sanctuary Choir of Jonesboro, Arkansas
Wake Forest United Methodist Church
Seaside United Methodist Sanctuary Choir
Clemmons United Methodist Church Chancel Choir
Ponca City Festival Singers
Community United Methodist Church Choir
Adult Choir of Bonsack Baptist Church
Thrasher Memorial United Methodist Church Sanctuary Choir
Singers of Shelby
Gooding Community Choral and Orchestra

Auburn University Choirs

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Dr. William C. Powell
William C. Powell, professor and director of choral activities at Auburn University, teaches choral-related courses and conducts the Chamber Choir, Concert Choir, Men's Chorus, and Gospel Choir. His has conducted performances regionally, nationally and internationally. Powell also adjudicates choral festivals, and he has presented sessions for American Choral Directors Association, National Association for Music Educators, and others. His music is published by Hal Leonard, Oxford University Press, and Gentry Publications, which will release “The William Powell Choral Series” in 2017. He holds degrees from Alabama State University, Westminster Choir College, and Florida State University.

The Auburn University choral program consists of seven different choirs: Chamber Choir, Conductors’ Chorus, Concert Choir, Gospel Choir, Men’s Chorus, Women’s Chorus, and University Singers (show choir). Throughout its history, members of the Auburn University Choirs have performed throughout various parts of the United States, Europe, and Russia. They have produced recordings, and have appeared on national television, radio, and other mass media outlets, and they have premiered works by nationally-recognized American composers. Collectively, the AU Choirs perform approximately fifty concerts each year, reaching thousands of audience members annually.

Vestavia Hills United Methodist Church New Life Singers

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Quint Harris
Quint Harris is the Director of Music & Arts Ministries at Vestavia Hills United Methodist Church in Birmingham, AL where he directs the Chancel Choir, Bell Choir, and Youth Choir as well as supervises the music staff. Prior to Vestavia Hills UMC he was the Director of Music Ministries at Paradise Valley United Methodist Church in Phoenix, AZ. He has a Bachelor’s in Music Education from the University of Mississippi and a Master’s in Music Education from the University of Alabama. Throughout his career Quint has directed on the Middle School and High School levels as well as part-time and full-time church music ministry. Quint is currently enrolled in the DMA Program in Choral Conducting at the University of Alabama under the artful guidance of Dr. John Ratledge, DMA.

The New Life Singers at Vestavia Hills United Methodist Church is a 35 member Youth Choir that serves VHUMC and the surrounding Birmingham area through leading in worship, providing artistic concerts, and singing for local assisted living facilities and community events. The choir has an almost 40 year tradition of quality choral singing. The singers take an annual tour to a different location throughout the USA each May. This is the choirs second tour to NYC.

Chelsea High School Choir

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Kay Dick
Kay Dick is currently in her fifth year as director of choirs and choral music teacher at Chelsea High School in Chelsea, Alabama where the choirs have grown exponentially under her direction. Her choirs regularly receive superior ratings at contests and festivals and she founded Out of the Blue Show Choir in 2015. She holds a bachelor degree in music education from Louisiana College, a master's in church music from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and is currently working on a PhD in music education at Auburn University. She serves as Chairperson of Chelsea High School's Arts Department and as Membership Chair of the Alabama chapter of American Choral Directors Association.

The CHHS choral program has experienced exponential growth and continues to win awards and receive superior ratings at contests and festivals. Members of the group have performed with the Alabama Allstate Choir, ACDA Young Voices, at Disneyworld and Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida , as part of the 2016 International Day of Peace originating in Kenya, Africa, and on two European tours of the Alabama Ambassadors of Music. The program's mixed ensemble Out of the Blue was a featured choir for the 2016 University of Montevallo Festival of Choirs and competed in the ACDA Alabama State Show and Jazz Choir Festival, Captial City Classic, Diamond Classic, and the Southern Showcase. CHHS choral students are extremely involved in their school and community participating in band, basketball, cheerleading, dance team, football, peer helpers, student government, scouts, soccer, track, and many others. They regularly perform at ballgames, parades, county fairs, and businesses across the community.

Greensboro Day School Chorus

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Samantha Saake
Samantha Saake has been the Choral Director at Greensboro Day School for two years after recieving her Bachelors in Music Education from UNC Greensboro and teaching in Randleman, NC for two years. Samantha also sings with the Bel Canto Company in Greensboro, North Carolina. Samantha is a private voice teacher and music director for musicals in the community including Shrek, Footloose, and I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change.

The Greensboro Day School Chorus participate in MPA, a choral festival, All State Chorus, NC Honors Chorus, Wingate Choral Festival,and Music in the Parks. They are consistantly rated in the Excellent and Superior ratings for each event. They sang with DCINY in Carnegie Hall in 2015.

The St. Margaret's Chancel Choir and Motet Ensemble

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James R. Fitzpatrick
James R. Fitzpatrick serves as director of music at St. Margaret’s Church (Episcopal) in Annapolis, Maryland. He also conducts the Heritage Harbour Chorus of Annapolis and serves as Resident Music Director for the Annapolis Shakespeare Company. He studied composition with Frederick Werle at The Mannes College of Music in New York City. His works as a composer include The Chartered Course (Commissioned by the City of Annapolis on the occasion of the city’s 300th Anniversary), multiple sacred works, and musical scores for theatrical productions of Twelfth Night, Alice in Wonderland, and a children’s musical Never Pull a Thread.

The St. Margaret’s Church Chancel Choir and Motet Ensemble provide music for worship and special concerts for one of the oldest congregations in the United States. Originally formed around 1658, the congregation was recognized officially as St. Margaret’s Westminster Parish in 1692. The Church’s history closely interweaves with the establishment of the Colony of Maryland and subsequent state. The music program at the church encompasses four choirs, two instrumental groups, an acclaimed concert series, and support of several professional arts organizations including Infinity Theatre, The Church Circle Singers, and the Renaissance Singers of Annapolis.

Asbury United Methodist Singers

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Candace Syman-Degler
Candace Syman-Degler was hired at Asbury almost 20 years ago. She gradually took over as music director and started the Asbury Singers as an alternative to a traditional church choir. The group's competence, confidence and numbers have grown as they practice and perform every Sunday. The opportunity to uplift and brighten people's days with fun music is something that Candace and her Singers treasure!

The Asbury Singers, who provide lots of music every single Sunday, were so inspired by their Lincoln Center experience in 2015 that they started a new group: The Asbury Singing Club. The Club includes community members who like to sing SATB music. It meets in a private home for an hour and a half every week; and they sing all kinds of music (including Pepper Choplin's). Many say the experience of singing with other people is the highlight of their week!

Wake Forest Baptist Church Chancel Choir

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Bryant L. Moxley
Bryant Moxley has served as Minister of Music and Worship at Wake Forest Baptist Church since 2014. He is a graduate of Ouachita Baptist University and The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary where he was mentored by Dr. Paul Hammond, Dr. George Keck, Dr. Milburn Price and Dr. Maurice Hinson. Mr. Moxley has served congregations in Virginia and North Carolina and previously served as Music Department Chair at Bluefield College in Bluefield, Virginia. Mr. Moxley is an active professionally as a clinician and adjudicator for regional festivals, camps and conferences and is a member of ACDA and the Hymn Society of America.

The Chancel Choir of Wake Forest Baptist Church is a 50 voice ensemble that provides music for two weekly services, seasonal concerts and community events. This non-auditioned choir consists of adults from all walks of life with various levels of formal training. The choir is united in its commitment to choral excellence and faithfulness in worship leadership as it presents worship music from diverse genres. The Chancel Choir has hosted Composer Weekends with Pepper Choplin, Benjamin Harlan and Joseph Martin and its members have commissioned anthems from various composers including Pepper Choplin, Jay Althouse and Sophia Pavlenko.

Zion United Church of Christ Chancel Choir

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Judith L White
Judith White received a bachelor of science in music education from Capital University Conservatory of Music, Columbus, Ohio. She pursued graduate studies at Xavier University, Cincinnati, Ohio. She taught choral music at Norwood Middle and High School. Later she became choir director at Zion UCC. For 6 years she was a member of the Cincinnati May Festival Chorus under the direction of Robert Porko and James Conlin. Judith founded and directed the Norwood Community Chorus that won a Silver Award at the 2012 World Choir Games. She was inducted into her high school Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame in 2012.

The 18-member Zion United Church of Christ Chancel Choir is excited about participating in the upcoming 125th Anniversary celebration of its Church. The chorus has a long history of singing a wide variety of sacred anthems, and Pepper Choplin has long been one of their favorite composers. The members participated in the 2012 World Choir games in Cincinnati and received a silver award for their performance.

First Baptist Church Sanctuary Choir of Jonesboro, Arkansas

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Robin Martin Yates
Robin M. Yates is a 45 year veteran Choral Director and Private Voice Teacher. She has taught grades K-12 with an emphasis in secondary vocal music education. She maintains a private voice studio in Jonesboro, Arkansas. For more than 20 years her singers from school choirs and private voice have been chosen for all-region, all-state, southwestern ACDA Honor Choirs, and National ACDA Honor choirs. Her emphasis is taking a natural voice and helping to make it a beautiful trained instrument. For 18 years Robin was Director of Music Ministries at First Baptist Church in Jonesboro, Arkansas. She was in charge of directing the Sanctuary Choir and many other ensembles., In addition to these duties, she also was in charge of planning the music for three weekly worship services. Robin earned the Bachelor of Music in Education degree as well as Master of Music from Arkansas State University. Additionally, she has studied under world renowned Choral Conductors to include; Eph Ehly, Anton Armstrong, Charlene Archibeque, Howard Swan, Paul Salamunovich, Charles Hirt, Weston Noble, Robert Shaw and her professor and mentor Alfred Skoog.

The First Baptist Church Sanctuary Choir of Jonesboro, Arkansas is a traditional worship choir that has been singing together for many years. With many ages spanning, from 20 to 82, the choir’s voices are a beautiful blending of each age group. The choir has 70 members enrolled with an average attendance every Sunday of approximately 45 voices. Handel’s “Messiah”, Vivaldi’s “Gloria”, and Dubois’s “Seven Last Words of Christ” are some of the great choral works the choir has performed. Having performed with the Delta Symphony Orchestra, Christian vocalists Larnelle Harris, and Sandi Patti, are also some of the favorite performances of this choir. In the spring of 2016, The First Baptist Church of Jonesboro’s Sanctuary Choir performed Pepper Choplin’s work “Our Father” in the First Baptist Church Sanctuary with the Orchestra of the church. The choir loves leading the congregation in music in the Traditional Worship Service.

Wake Forest United Methodist Church

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Elsie Shuler
Elsie Shuler has been Music Director at Wake Forest UMC for 17 years. She is also a Music Educator in the North Carolina Public School System. She is in her 34 year and has taught all levels of K-12 music. Currently she teaches at Heritage Middle School in Wake Forest, NC where she directs 5 choirs and teaches General Music. Her school choirs have sung at Carnegie Hall, Paris, France, Disney World and sang back up for Josh Groban and Clay Aiken. She is a member of National Association for Music Education and the American Choral Director's Association. Mrs. Shuler is a former member of the Cleveland Orchestra summer choir in Cleveland, OH and the NC Master Chorale in Raleigh, NC. Mrs. Shuler earned her BME at the College of Wooster in Wooster, OH and her MA from the Ohio State University. Elsie is married to Bill and they have one daughter and 3 grandchildren.

This year is the second time the WFUMC Covenant Choir has participated in DCINY. The choir enjoys singing music by composer, Pepper Choplin. In December 2016 they joined seven other Raleigh, NC churches to sing Choplin's newest Christmas Cantata, "Go Sing it On the Mountain". In addition to Sunday services, WFUMC Covenant Choir has sung the National Anthem for the Durham Bulls Baseball team.

Seaside United Methodist Sanctuary Choir

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Kathryn M. Parker
Kathryn M. Parker is a gradute of Campbell University with a degree in Music Education. She has taught music in several schools as well as private piano and organ lessons and directed choirs for over 40 years. She is the mother of 3 wonderful adults who have gifted her with 6 beautiful grandchildren. She and her husband, Phil, currently reside in Sunset Beach, NC.

Although Seaside Unithed Methodist Church is a relatively young church (only established 27 years ago), it boasts an extensive Music Ministry program. Over the last several years, the Sanctuary Choir has grown to over 100 members. It hosts 3 large concerts eah year (Christmas, Easter and a Red, White and Blue) for the community. This past Christmas, we welcomed 1,250 guests to the Christmas cantata. Under the direction of Mrs. Kathyrn Parker, the choir continues to grow and to reach out to and minister to our community.

Clemmons United Methodist Church Chancel Choir

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Carol Covington
Carol Covington presently serves as the Director of Music and Worship Arts at Clemmons United Methodist Church where she oversees large and small handbell ensembles, choral groups and a graded children's choir program. This is the second DCINY event in which the Clemmons Chancel Choir has participated. Carol studied choral methods and pedagogy at Elon University where she received a degree in piano performance.

The 45-voice Chancel Choir at Clemmons United methodist Church provides worship leadership at CUMC's 11:00 worship service. They collaborate with the church's other worship arts groups for general worship, Christmas, and Easter presentations. They've enjoyed Pepper Choplin Composer Weekends and joining with other area choirs in the presenting of works by Choplin and other composers.

Ponca City Festival Singers

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Joycelynn G. Davidson, MSM
Joycelynn Davidson is currently serving as Director of Music at First United Methodist Church and the Festival Singers of Ponca City, Oklahoma.  In the fall of 2013, Joycelynn revived a long-standing tradition of “Meet the Composer” at FUMC. Composers that recently have been invited include Mark Hayes and Pepper Choplin. Joycelynn studied organ at Centenary College of Louisiana before completing her master’s degree in Choral Conducting at Perkins School of Theology, SMU, Dallas, Texas. She has served in the United Methodist Church for thirty years. Among her past projects, Ms. Davidson has directed many children’s musicals, handbell choirs and concerts, vocal retreats, and cantatas.

Festival Singers of Ponca City performed together for the first time in February of 2015, with Pepper Choplin at First United Methodist Church. As a direct result of this performance, Choplin invited the choir to participate in the World Premiere performance of his at Lincoln Center Memorial weekend, 2015. Mr. Choplin was invited to return to Ponca City, February of 2016. Again, the Festival Singers received an invitation to NYC to sing Choplin’s cantata “Psalm 23” which at that time was not even written. Sixteen of the members of Festival Singers are making the trip to participate in this performance.

Community United Methodist Church Choir

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Dr. Martha Springstead
Dr. Martha Springstead is a graduate of Mount Union College, where she received a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education. She has taught in Morocco and Ohio, in addition to her 32 year career in Virginia Beach. Dr. Springstead received her Master’s Degree in Music Education from Shenandoah University in 1999, and received her Doctor of Musical Arts in Music Education in 2008. She was named Teacher of the Year 2002 for Larkspur Middle School, a Distinguished Teacher at Landstown High School in 2012, and has three times been included in “Who’s Who Among American Teachers”. Dr. Springstead has served as accompanist and guest conductor for All-City and district choral events, and has also been an adjudicator for various district and all-state choir events. She is the Director of Choral Music at Landstown High School, where her choirs have consistently received Superior ratings at District Festivals and competitions; and has served as Director of Music for Community United Methodist Church for 26 years.

Community United Methodist Church has had a long and varied music ministry. With four adult choirs, youth and children's choirs, handbell choirs, an orchestra and a praise band, something is offered for everyone. This year, the church has opened a Music Academy, specializing in pre-school music education using the Orff method. An annual choir retreat allows the members of the adult choir to interact with clinicians. We are pleased that Pepper Choplin has visited us on several occasions, and we are honored to have been invited to participate in this event.

Adult Choir of Bonsack Baptist Church

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Rev. Barry Green
Barry Green has served as Minister of Music at Bonsack Baptist Church, Roanoke, Virginia, for 21 years. A graduate of Gardner Webb University (BA, Music Education) and The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (Master of Church Music), Rev. Green leads a music ministry with over 450 active participants, spanning three-year-olds through senior adults.

The Adult Choir is part of a large and growing music ministry of Bonsack Baptist Church, Roanoke, Virginia. The 100-voice choir, under the 21-year direction of Rev. Barry Green, has sung major works and programs at Carnegie Hall, the Lincoln Center, and at Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C. In 2013, the choir hosted a joint performance with the Annie Moses Band. In addition to providing worship leadership for two Sunday morning worship services, the choir presents three major productions each year, including a Composer's Weekend in the fall.

Thrasher Memorial United Methodist Church Sanctuary Choir

Josh O'Dell currently serves as Minister of Music at Thrasher Memorial United Methodist Church in Vinton, Virginia. He holds a Master of Music in Choral Conducting from Messiah College, Bachelor of Science in Music from Radford University, and a Church Music Certificate from Virginia Wesleyan College. In addition to his responsibilities at Thrasher, Josh conducts the Roanoke Valley Homeschool Senior Choir and the Lakeside Singers of Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia. He has served as a clinician for worskhops in Choral Methods and Worship Leading as well as serving as an adjudicator for Virginia All-District and All-State Chorus.

The Thrasher Memorial United Methodist Church Sanctuary Choir has a long-standing tradition of excellent choral music. We have been blessed to professionally record several CD's with our outstanding church orchestra. Our Orchestra and Choir lead in 11 AM Worship each week as well as present several concerts a year as part of our Fine Arts Series. The Choir has been known to perform at several off-campus locations, including Historic Bruton Parish Church in Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia. The Choir also participates in many local events including our Annual Patriotic Concert for the Town of Vinton, Virginia.

Singers of Shelby

Dr. Andrew Roby serves as Minister of Music at First Baptist Church, Shelby, NC. The church's music ministry includes seven choral ensemble for various ages. Andrew is President-Elect of the North Carolina American Choral Directors Association, and serves as an adjunct faculty member at Gardner-Webb University. Previously he served as Chair of the Department of Music and Director of Choral Activities at Union University. He has also taught at Shorter College (GA) and Asbury College (KY). He was awarded the Doctor of Musical Arts degree by the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he studied conducting with Milburn Price and John Dickson.

The Singers of Shelby are choristers from First Baptist Church and Poplar Springs Baptist Church, Shelby, North Carolina. These groups most recently performed a concert of music by Pepper Choplin under the baton of the composer.

Gooding Community Choral and Orchestra

Rick Strickland has a BA Music Education from University of Idaho 1977 and was Music Director in public schools from 1977-1991. Some of his accolades include: Principal Cellist Magic Valley Symphony 1985-present, Music Director and Praise Band Leader Gooding United Methodist Church 1995-present, Music Director and founder Gooding Community Choral and Orchestra 2003 to present. Private Cello teacher 1981-present. Guitarist and vocalist in various rock and roll and country music groups, recording artist on albums Swank and Strickland, "Dreaming My Way Cross the Camas Prairie Tonight" and Braun Brothers "Old Cowboy Blues". Real Estate Broker at Strickland Real Estate 1991 to present. Lives outside of Gooding with wife Sharon and 3 free-range dogs.

Gooding Community Choral and Orchestra began as the choir at the Gooding United Methodist Church. This group performed at the local Festival of Trees fundraisers for several years. Gradually others joined our group and in 2003 we changed the venue to the Gooding Schubert Theater and added a small orchestra, members of the Magic Valley Symphony. We performed at this location 2003 and 2004. The Theater became unavailable in 2005, so that year we performed in various churches. In 2006 the Walker Center Auditorium became our venue. In 2012 we were granted a 501(3)(C) designation and through grants able to acquire choir risers, staging, and a cargo van. In 2013 we performed our first Easter Cantata at the Gooding Methodist Church, now our venue for the Easter performances. In 2010, there was a new Charter School established, the North Valley Academy, complete with a string program. These student string players have become an intregal part of the Choral and Orchestra. Our schedule includes 3 perfomances of Christmas Cantata and 3 performances of an Easter Cantata each year, setting the mood for these sacred times of the year.