I Hear America Singing: The Music of Andre Thomas and Greg Gilpin

I Hear America Singing: The Music of Andre Thomas and Greg Gilpin
Sunday, Mar 19, 2017
8:30 PM
Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage, Carnegie Hall
Greg Gilpin, Guest Conductor
Greg Gilpin: Music for Young Voices (Children's Choirs and Middle Schools)
Featuring Distinguished Concerts Singers International
André Thomas, Guest Conductor
Jeffery Redding, Director
The Music of André Thomas
Featuring Distinguished Concerts Orchestra and Distinguished Concerts Singers International
Contact us about this concert and future performance opportunities.

Participating Ensembles:

Ambassador Choir of the Alabama Choir School
Crowley ISD Honor Choir
Vocal Students of Bridget Warren
Pine Crest School Concert Choir and Middle School Chorus
Canto Voce
The Choral Society of West Georgia (GA)
Discovery Canyon Varsity Choir
Chancel Choir, First Presbyterian Church of Kirkwood
Chamber Choir of the Alabama Choir School
Christchurch City Choir, New Zealand
Sanctuary Choir, First Baptist Church, Stephenville, Texas
West Orange High School Concert Choir

Ambassador Choir of the Alabama Choir School

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Doff Procter
Doff Procter holds Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Vocal Performance from the University of Alabama and the Cleveland Institute of Music, plus an Artist Diploma from the Music Conservatory in Geneva, Switzerland. He has sung ninety leading lyric baritone and tenor roles from opera, operetta, and musical theatre across the US and nine European countries. Procter's most recent appearances were the title role in Sweeney Todd, Captain von Trapp in The Sound of Music, as baritone for Orff's Carmina Burana and bass in Bach's B-Minor Mass. He is also currently the Director of Music programs at Christ Episcopal Church.

The Ambassador Choir is comprised of extremely talented 5th-8th graders chosen by competitive auditions around the area. The music they perform each year is a representation of the best composers and folk music from the last 500 years, including some popular titles from the 21st century. In the spring semester each year, they travel to perform in and explore different cities nationally and internationally. In May of 2015, the Ambassador Choir traveled with the high school Chamber Choir on their thirtieth anniversary trip to Japan for nine days of music-making, fun and collaborations with young Japanese musicians!                 
                

Crowley ISD Honor Choir

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Kathy Chiles
Kathy Chiles is the founding director of the Crowley I.S.D. Honor Choir, organized in 2001. Under Ms. Chiles’ direction, the Honor Choir has been selected three times to perform for the Texas Music Educators Association’s annual convention. Her choirs consistently win Grand Champion and Best in Festival in state choral competitions. In 2006 and 2010, her choir performed in Carnegie Hall.
She taught elementary music for five years and junior high choirs for 18 years. Her choirs have been awarded numerous UIL Sweepstakes. She has served as an adjudicator and clinician. She is a member of ACDA, TCDA and TMEA.

The Crowley I.S.D. Honor Choir consists of 5th and 6th grade students from the Crowley School District. The 110-voice choir has been awarded every major honor in the Texas music community. The young singers enjoy performing in all venues, from classical to popular music. The Honor Choir has performed at Texas Rangers games, Celebrity Cutting Horse Shows, Stockyards Christmas, ICE at the Gaylord Texan, and Disney World. Under the direction of Kathy Chiles, the choir performed in Carnegie Hall in 2006, 2012, and 2017. The choir performed at the Texas Music Educators Association in San Antonio, TX in 2004, 2006 and 2010.

Vocal Students of Bridget Warren

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Bridget Warren
Bridget Warren began piano lessons at age 7 and continued her music study through choir and vocal lessons. At 16, she taught voice and piano at a local music store. She was accepted at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. At UArts, she received the Vocal Faculty Award and earned a Bachelor's Degree in Vocal Performance and Master's Degree in the Art of Teaching Music Education. She was accepted as a student performer of the Bel Canto Institute program in Florence, Italy. She is currently the Head Choir Director at Dr. Dixie Melillo Middle School in Houston, Texas.

The Vocal Students of Bridget Warren is an ensemble comprised of middle school voices located in the Houston Metro area. They've performed for the Pasadena (TX) Chamber of Commerce, a regional Holiday Tour and made multiple appearances performing the National Anthem for a number of Rice University sporting events, including a nationally televised football game.
 

Pine Crest School Concert Choir and Middle School Chorus


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Joanna Craik
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Allison Mair
Joanna Craik and Allison Mair
Joanna Craik has been a choir director for 26 years, eight of those years at Pine Crest School. She is currently the director of the grades two and three Cool Cats Chorus and the grades four and five Concert Choir. In addition to directing choirs, Ms. Craik teaches Lower School general music classes and voice lessons. Ms. Craik's students are consistently selected for All-State and National Honors Ensembles, and she is an active member of NAfME (National Association for Music Education), ACDA (American Choral Directors Association), FEMEA (Florida Elementary Music Educators Association), and FVA (Florida Vocal Association).

Allison Mair has been teaching at Pine Crest School for the past 10 years and is currently the director of the Middle School Chorus. Under Mrs. Mair's leadership, students maintain a rigorous choral performance schedule, including several yearly choral performances, as well as a full-length musical theater performance. In addition to directing choir and teaching voice lessons, Mrs. Mair is also an active member of NAfME (National Association for Music Education), ACDA (American Choral Directors Association), FEMEA (Florida Elementary Music Educators Association), and FVA (Florida Vocal Association) and has had students selected each year for participation in various choirs at a state, national, as well as international level.

The Pine Crest School Concert Choir and Middle School Chorus consist of 92 singers in grades four through eight who exude a true passion for music. The school's thriving choral program exists through the continuous support of adminstrators Dr. Dana Markham, Mr. David Clark, and Mr. Lawrence Mellone. The two choirs are led by Joanna Craik and Allison Mair, and are accompanied by Melissa Clark and Tennison Hubbard.

Canto Voce

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Jacob Oxley
Mr. Oxley is in his fourth year as the director of the Antigo High School Choirs. He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin - Whitewater. He is a classical performer and is involved with Barbershop Quartets and Choruses throughout the United States.

Canto Voce is an auditioned choir of 24 singers from the Antigo School District. The choir was formed two years ago in an attempt to provide a higher level performing ensemble for the students of Antigo. The choir specializes in acapella music and has a wide range of styles that they specialize in.    

The Choral Society of West Georgia (GA)

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Elizabeth Biggs
Elizabeth W. Biggs is the founder and artistic director of The Choral Society of West Georgia. She was a music educator with the Troup County School System for 28 years, teaching elementary, middle, and high school choral music. Biggs holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from the Converse College School of Music and Columbus State University in vocal performance and choral music education. She is the discipline expert for the Alabama Institute for Education for the Arts. Biggs has been a member of Cantus Columbus, a professional vocal ensemble, and is active in the Georgia Music Educators Association and the American Choral Directors Association.

Now in its tenth performing season, the Choral Society of West Georgia, based in LaGrange, GA, is comprised of two ensembles, The LaGrange Civic Chorale and Bel Canto LaGrange, A Women's Vocal Ensemble, performing three concerts yearly. The Society offers excellence in choral music through varied and eclectic repertoire and programming. Both groups perform throughout the West Georgia and East Alabama areas. All members of the Choral Society are community volunteer singers, ranging in age from 17 to 75.

Discovery Canyon Varsity Choir

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Dr. MaryAnn Brilleslyper
MaryAnn Brilleslyper received the D.M.A. in Choral Music from Arizona State University in 1997. She has performed twice at Carnegie Hall
with the late Robert Shaw and with two European choral tours. Dr. Brilleslyper has been a music educator for twenty five years in Indiana, Arizona, and Colorado. Currently she is director of choirs atDiscovery Canyon High School in ASD20 in Colorado Springs and also serves on the staff at Tri-Lakes United Methodist Church, where she directs the Adult Sanctuary Choir. Dr. Brilleslyper was awarded the 2013 Colorado Springs Choral Educator of the Year by the Colorado Springs Chorale. 

The Varsity Choir, from Discovery Canyon High School (Academy School Distrcit #20) in Colorado Springs, is one of seven choirs at the high school. Varsity students also partipate in a wide variety of performing arts, All State Choir,  sports and student senate. Many of Varsity choir students performed in this year's production of Addam's Family, the Musical, which was awarded top state honors. This is Discovery Canyon's second performance in Carnegie Hall. We appreciate all who supported us to get us here and all the practice that went into making this performance one of a lifetime!      

Chancel Choir, First Presbyterian Church of Kirkwood

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William Stein
Bill began serving First Presbyterian Church of Kirkwood as Director of Music Ministries on May 1, 2006. At First Presbyterian, Bill is the church's Organist, and conducts the Chancel Choir, Chancel Ringers, Middle School Ringers, Chorister Choir, and Church Orchestra. At First Pres he has led major works for choir and orchestra such as Handel's “Messiah”, Vivaldi's “Gloria”, Lauridsen's “Lux Aeterna”, Durufle's “Requiem”, Haydn's “Seven Last Words of Christ”, Poulenc's “Gloria”, Dubois' “Seven Last Words”, and the “Gloria” by John Rutter. Bill led the Chancel Choir on a tour of Scotland and England in October 2010, performing at St. Gile's Cathedral (Edinburgh), Coventry Cathedral, York Minster, and St. Paul's Cathedral in London. He was an active member of the church's Organ Committee, and is very proud of the congregation's vision and and commitment that led to the installation of the Casavant Frères Pipe Organ in the Fall of 2013. Bill was the featured soloist in October 2014 of a program of four concertos for organ and orchestra on the new instrument, performing works by Handel, Rheinberger, Albinoni, and Guilmant. He serves as Artistic Director of the church's Con Spirito Concert Series, currently celebrating its 15th season. He was a member of the Steering Committee which planned the American Guild of Organists' 2015 Regional Convention. Bill has also
served on the Executive Board of the Saint Louis Chapter, American Guild of Organists, and is one of the hosts of the AGO's radio program The King of Instruments, aired every Sunday evening on the Radio Arts Foundation. He is an active conductor, recitalist and accompanist.

The Chancel Choir is the principle music ensemble at First Presbyterian Church. They lead music at the 11:00 worship service each Sunday, as well as at Holy Week, Easter, and Christmas. They perform 2 major concerts each year, and past performances include settings of the "Gloria" by John Rutter and Francis Poulenc and settings of the "Requiem" by Maurice Durufle, Gabriel Faure, and Dan Forrest. Other performances include Ola Gjeilo's "Sunrise Mass", Morten Lauridsen's "Lux Aeterna", and Dubois' "Seven Last Words of Christ". The Chancel Choir completed a successful tour of Scotland and England in 2010, performing in several cathedrals, including St. Giles in Edinburgh and St. Paul's in London.
 

Chamber Choir of the Alabama Choir School

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Doff Procter
Doff Procter holds Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Vocal Performance from the University of Alabama and the Cleveland Institute of Music, plus an Artist Diploma from the Music Conservatory in Geneva, Switzerland. He has sung ninety leading lyric baritone and tenor roles from opera, operetta, and musical theatre across the US and nine European countries. Procter's most recent appearances were the title role in Sweeney Todd, Captain von Trapp in The Sound of Music, as baritone for Orff's Carmina Burana and bass in Bach's B-Minor Mass. He is also currently the Director of Music programs at Christ Episcopal Church.

The Chamber Choir is the flagship choir of the Alabama Choir School's five choirs. These extraordinary high school musicians sing the finest in choral literature each year and many members have come through the ranks of the School with as many as ten years of singing experience in the younger choirs. In the spring semester each year, they travel to perform in and explore different cities nationally and internationally. In May of 2015, the Chamber Choir traveled with the Ambassador Choir on their thirtieth anniversary trip to Japan for nine days of music-making, fun and collaborations with young Japanese musicians!    

Christchurch City Choir, New Zealand

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John Linker
A native of Princeton, Illinois, John Linker holds both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in music where he studied organ and harpsichord. He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the University of Cincinnati. Prior to coming to New Zealand, John was Organist & Choirmaster of the Church of the Good Shepherd in Lexington, Kentucky, where the choir programme flourished during his 14 year leadership. John has now brought his extensive musical expertise and energy to New Zealand where he is able to enjoy the country’s unique outdoor lifestyle along with his family.

The Christchurch City Choir has a long and proud tradition of civic choral performance including symphonic works, New Zealand compositions and frequent collaboration with the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra. Handel’s ‘Messiah’ and a version of the British ‘Last Night of the Proms’ are annual fixtures. Our representative group of four singers collectively represents 25 years of service to the City Choir, with diverse backgrounds including classical choral work, jazz, barbershop, and opera. With one of our members having attended a workshop with Dr Andre Thomas, the team is excited to be bringing home the experience of American gospel music.

Sanctuary Choir, First Baptist Church, Stephenville, Texas

Michael W. Beaty has served as the Minister of Music at First Baptist Church in Stephenville, Texas since May, 2005. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Huntingdon College in Montgomery, Alabama and a Master of Music degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Ft. Worth, Texas. He previously served as the Minister of Music at First Baptist Church in Gilmer, Texas and First Baptist Church in Mt. Vernon, Texas. He is married to Lori Henderson Beaty and they have four children: Will, Lauren, Matt and Brad.

The Sanctuary Choir from First Baptist Church in Stephenvlle, Texas leads in worship at the church each Sunday. They also present the annual Stephenville Christmas Festival, the first Sunday in December. The Choir made their Carnegie debut on November 23, 2007, singing in the program American Gospel Music with The American Festival Symphony and as a part of The American Festival Chorus under the direction of Eric Dale Knapp. They have made two CD recordings entitled House of Praise, 2006 and Joy in the House, 2008.

West Orange High School Concert Choir

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Jeffery Redding
Jeffery Redding, Director of Choral Activities at West Orange High School, Winter Garden, Florida, has led his choirs in performances at State, Regional, and National conventions of the American Choral Directors’ Association (ACDA). Nationally, Dr. Redding is in demand as a guest conductor and lecturer. He has conducted the ACDA National High School Honor Choir, the Central Division ACDA Honor Choir, the North Central Division ACDA Honor Choir, the Eastern Division ACDA Honor Choir and All-State and Honor choirs in over Thirty- Five States. In 2015, and 2016 he guest conducted Disney’s Candlelight Processional at Epcot. Dr. Redding was awarded the R. Wayne Hogoboom Distinguished Service Award for dedicated service, leadership, and excellence by the Florida Chapter of ACDA in November 2015. Dr. Redding holds a Ph.D. in Choral Conducting/Music Education and an M.M.E., both from Florida State University, and a B.S. in Music Education from Florida A&M University.

West Orange High School Concert Choir is a sixty-four-member auditioned choir comprised of tenth through twelfth grade men and women under the direction of Dr. Jeffery Redding. In 2006, Concert Choir sang at the American Choral Directors Association Southern Convention in Charleston, and in 2007, they sang at the National Convention in Miami. Also, in 2006, they performed and were awarded atthe Days of International Choir Music in Verona, Italy. Most recently, Concert Choir performed at the Florida State ACDA Convention in 2015, and Bel Canto performed at the Southern Division ACDA Convention in 2016. In 1999 both Concert and Bel Canto choirs were featured choirs at the Florida Youth Chorale in Carnegie hall with conductor Eph Ely. In 2000, they represented Florida at the National Festival of the States in Washington, D.C., and were honored to perform at the ACDA Florida Convention. In 2001, the choirs received the first place honors at the Heritage Festival of Gold at Riverside Church in New York City. In 2002 it performed at the ACDA Southern Division Convention in Charlotte, NC, and in the 2002 Music Celebration Tour, giving concerts in Tallahassee, Atlanta, Washington, D.C., and Williamsburg. The choirs received top honors at The Heritage Festival of Gold in 2003, 2004, and 2007 and toured Salt Lake City and Las Vegas in 2008.