MOZART MEALOR MARTIN: Music of Joy and Sorrow

MOZART MEALOR MARTIN: Music of Joy and Sorrow
Monday, Feb 15, 2016
7:00 PM
Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage, Carnegie Hall
Vance Y. George, Conductor Laureate
Mozart: Requiem
Featuring Distinguished Concerts Orchestra and Distinguished Concerts Singers International
James Jordan, Guest Conductor
Paul Mealor, DCINY Composer-in-Residence
Mealor: Stabat Mater
Mealor: Jubilate Deo (World Premiere)
, World Premiere
Featuring Distinguished Concerts Orchestra and Distinguished Concerts Singers International
Joseph M. Martin, Composer/Conductor
The Music of Joseph Martin
Featuring Distinguished Concerts Orchestra and Distinguished Concerts Singers International
Penelope Shumate, Soprano
Krysty Swann, Mezzo-Soprano
Yungbae Yang, Tenor
Jeremy Milner, Bass
Contact us about this concert and future performance opportunities.

Participating Ensembles:

American International School Choirs, Vienna Austria (Austria)
Oakland Symphony Chorus (CA)
Reno Philharmonic Chorus
Springfield Community Chorus
Stuyvesant High School Concert Choir (NY)(NY)
Auckland Youth Choir
Cambridge Chorale
Cheshire Fire & Rescue Choir (UK)
Fort Myers High School Greenwave Singers (FL)
The Arkleston Singers
Ulster University Choir
Chancel Choir (MO)
First United Methodist Church of Uvalde (TX)
Laguna Beach, California, United Methodist Church
Lakewood United Methodist Church
Sanctuary Choir
Sounds of the Southwest Singers
St. Luke's United Methodist Church Sanctuary Chor (FL)
Sunny Lane UMC Sanctuary Choir / Heartland Voices
Valley Grove Baptist Church

American International School Choirs, Vienna Austria (Austria)

Kathy Heedles is Middle and High School Choral Director for students at the American International School in Vienna, Austria. She has previously taught in two Iowa schools and the American School of Honduras. She has enjoyed sabbatical leave with the Vienna Boys Choir and has conducted and accompanied choirs all over the world. A native of Bennett, Iowa, she studied at St. Ambrose University and the University of Iowa. She has taught at AISV since 1986. 

The American International School of Vienna, Austria, is very valued and supported. The Choral, Band, and Orchestra programs have classes during the normal rotation with other academic courses and students need two years of the arts to graduate. Our students come from 60 nationalities and choir is for everyone who signs up, not audition only.

Oakland Symphony Chorus (CA)

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Dr. Lynne Morrow
Dr. Lynne Morrow became Music Director of the Oakland Symphony Chorus in 2005.  During her tenure, the scope of the chorus has expanded to include contemporary, international, and neglected works along with traditional choral repertoire.  She conducts the Chorus' performances of major works with a variety of musical styles.  She prepares the Chorus for performances with the Oakland Symphony, the Oakland Youth Orchestra, and other Bay Area orchestras.  She also hosts outreach programs, such as Summer Sing-Ins and Spirituals Workshops.  Dr. Morrow received a Grammy nomination for her work with the Pacific Mozart Ensemble, with whom she has also recorded two CDs of Dave Brubeck’s choral music.  Since 2001, she has directed the Voice and Opera/Music Theatre Programs at Sonoma State University.  Dr. Morrow strives for a visceral connection to music, presenting works from every corner of the musical arts in fresh ways, to reach the widest possible audiences.

The Oakland Symphony Chorus enriches its community through high quality musical performances and educational workshops that raise appreciation and understanding of choral music, while providing opportunities for people who love to sing.  Established in 1958, the Oakland Symphony Chorus has been recognized as one of the East Bay’s finest choirs and a premier resource for continuing education in the choral arts.  Heralded as the symphony chorus of the East Bay, the Chorus performs regularly with its partners, the Oakland Symphony and Oakland Symphony Youth Orchestra, as well as a variety of other fine area orchestras.  The Chorus also holds educational workshops to raise appreciation and understanding of choral music, while providing opportunities for people to sing masterworks from the choral repertoire.

Reno Philharmonic Chorus

Jennifer Tibben Web Photo
Jennifer D. Tibben
Jennifer Tibben serves as the conductor of the Reno Philharmonic Chorus, since its founding in 2007. Additionally, she is the Artistic Director of Bella Voce, a select community women’s choral ensemble in Reno. She is currently the director of choirs at Damonte Ranch High School, the district’s only Performing Arts Center, conducting four choirs, conducting the musical, and teaching AP Music Theory. She received her MM in Vocal Performance from the University of Nevada, Reno in May 1997. She received her BA from Gustavus Adolphus College, May 1992, with majors in music and biology.

The Reno Philharmonic Chorus, under the direction of Jennifer Tibben, performs with the Orchestra during their regular Classic Season as well as their Christmas and summer pops concerts. The Reno Phil Chorus is a volunteer, auditioned ensemble. Recent performances include Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Vaughan William’s Sea Symphony, as well as the world premiere of Gandolfi’s Chesapeake: Summer of 1814, commemorating the 200th Anniversary of the Star Spangled Banner. The Reno Phil is northern Nevada’s largest performing arts organization. Led by music director Laura Jackson, the professional orchestra and constituent ensembles perform approximately 60 concerts for over 50,000 people each year.

Springfield Community Chorus

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Kenneth Olsson
Kenneth Olsson received his Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from Ithaca College. Ken appeared with Opera Theatre of Weston, served as Musical Director for Main Street Arts, and had appeared with Raylynmor Opera, where he was Assistant Conductor. Ken is the Music Director of the Springfield Community Chorus, West River Valley Chorus and Nordic Harmoni. Ken had been a featured artist with Tri-Cities Opera, The Summer Savoyards and Northeast Pennsylvania Opera, the latter of which Ken was Artistic Director. Ken was musical director for Elmira College Theatre productions and was an Assistant Conductor for Syracuse Opera.

The Springfield Community Chorus, founded in 1967, had been an integral part of the artistic community of central Vermont. The chorus is a non-auditioned group of about 50 singers, who have delighted audiences with their wide variety of musical offerings. The chorus has appeared with the Vermont Symphony, under founding director Victoria Lemay, singing great choral works such as Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Haydn’s The Creation and Mozart’s Requiem. Kenneth Olsson is the current musical director, the fourth in the chorus’ nearly 50-year history. The chorus continues to offer singers the opportunity to share their joy of singing with the community.

Stuyvesant High School Concert Choir (NY)(NY)

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Holly Hall
Liliya Shamazov is a conductor, pianist, and a music educator. She holds degrees in piano performance (Conservatory of Music at Brooklyn College), music history (MA), and school administration (M.S.). She is the recipient of multiple awards, including Conservatory of Music (Brooklyn College) Scholarship, Harvey Lichtenstein Prize in Performing Arts, Laurence Dilsner Memorial Award for choir directors and music educators, Choral Award (Brooklyn College), and John Challener Award in Piano. Mrs. Shamazov has worked with choruses for over 15 years, singing, accompanying, and conducting. She was the assistant conductor and pianist of the NYU Chorale (2013-14) and has been the assistant conductor of choruses at Stuyvesant High School (NYC) since 2005.
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Holly Hall
A dramatic soprano, Holly Hall has had a distinguished career as an opera singer, concert performer, conductor, and music educator. She has performed with various opera companies including the Vienna State Opera, New York City Opera, Seattle Opera, and Opera Tampa. She has appeared in concert/recital at Carnegie Hall, the Cleveland Museum of Art, Trinity Church, Bruno Walter Auditorium, NYCO’s VOX Series, the New York Symphonic Arts Ensemble, and the Rochester Philharmonic. Her roles include Tosca, Gutrune and the Third Norn (Götterdämmerung), Freia (Das Rheingold), Helmwige and Gerhilde (Die Walkure), Giulietta (Les Contes d’Hoffmann), Chrysothemis (Electra), Female Chorus (The Rape of Lucretia), and Minnie (La Fanciulla de West). Ms. Hall holds a Master of Music degree in Voice from the Manhattan School of Music, in addition to degrees from Cleveland State University and Randolph-Macon Woman’s College. She has been a recipient of awards from the Wagner Society of New York and the Musicians Club of New York. She is also the recipient of outstanding teaching awards from the Stuyvesant High School Alumni & Friends Endowment Fund, University of Chicago, and Dartmouth College. Previously, Ms. Hall directed the NYU Chorale and is currently in her 24th year as the Choral Director of The Stuyvesant High School Choruses. 

Stuyvesant High School’s Choruses number approximately 300 singers drawn from the international community of Stuyvesant, encompassing grades 9 through 12. Students accepted into Concert Chorus and/or Concert Choir commit themselves through senior year. Repertoire is varied, representative of masterworks and pieces from the popular canon. The choruses frequently perform with the orchestra. In recent years, the choruses have sung selections from Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy and Mass in C, Mozart’s Requiem and Coronation Mass in C, Handel’s Messiah, Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem, Borodin’s Polovetsian Dances, Vasks’ Dona Nobis Pacem, Five Mystical Songs of Vaughan Williams, Haydn’s Creation, Rutter’s Requiem, Orff’s Carmina Burana, as well as other works. Under the direction of Ms. Holly Hall, the choruses were invited to perform in multiple venues: Federal Hall for the opening session of the U.S. Congress (2002), Central Park for the 9/11 commemorative concert (2002), Yankee Stadium, a special Citizenship Ceremony with U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao, and for Governor Pataki on the Intrepid. In June 2014, the Stuyvesant Concert Choir received a Gold Award (Level VI) at the NYSSMA Festival. The choruses have performed Handel’s Messiah (2013) and Verdi’s Messa da Requiem (2015) with the Distinguished Concerts International New York (DCINY) under the baton of maestro Jonathan Griffith.

Auckland Youth Choir

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Lachlan Craig
Lachlan Craig completed his BMus in Performance Voice at the University of Auckland studying with Dr. Morag Atchison, and also winning the Pears-Britten Scholarship for Singing. He completed his Honours Degree in Choral Conducting and Pedagogy with Dr. Karen Grylls gaining First Class Honours. Lachlan studied at The Choral Music Institute at Oxford University in July 2015 under Dr. James Jordan and James Whitbourn and is currently completing a Master’s degree in Performance Voice.  He is also a member of Voices NZ Chamber Choir, The University of Auckland Chamber Choir and the Freemasons NZ Opera Chorus. 
Lachlan holds a full-time studio teaching position as Director of Choirs at Saint Kentigern College. The choral programme at the College caters for over 250 singers in six ensembles, and Lachlan’s choirs Kentoris and Menasing have successfully gained entry to the Big Sing Finale in 2013, 14 and 15 gaining Gold, Silver and Bronze Awards.  Lachlan is regularly in demand as a choral clinician, conductor, adjudicator and soloist.

The Auckland Youth Choir has a strong presence in the community and is regularly in demand for Civic, Corporate and Professional events.  The choir is a major part of the youth music scene in Auckland and the choir gained an international reputation under the conductorship of Terence Maskell when it won music competitions in Sydney and Melbourne in 1993 and 1994 respectively.  Terence was Musical Director for 9 years until he moved on in 2001 to establish the now highly respected Graduate Choir.  Subsequent conductors have been Stuart Weightman, Claire Caldwell, Iain Tetley, Rachel Young, Rostislava (Ronnie) Pankova-Karadjov.  Under its current director Lachlan Craig - the choir has enjoyed immense growth in numbers and momentum.  The choir was set up in 1984 because it was felt there was a need for such a choir to provide choral training at a time when it was not provided in all schools, and to bridge the gap between school-leaving age and the more adult choirs.  The current choir is designed for high school students, tertiary students and young professionals who all want to continue singing.  

Cambridge Chorale

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Julian Wilkins
Julian Wilkins is a versatile, dynamic and inspiring conductor, organist and pianist, working worldwide with prestigious musical organizations including the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO) and its choruses: BBC Proms Youth Choir, and the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. He is the Music Director of Cambridge Chorale, CBSO Youth Chorus, University of Birmingham Chorus, and Phoenix – a Cambridgeshire-based youth choir organization – and Associate Conductor of CBSO Chorus. As a respected mentor and choral consultant, Julian teaches at the University of Birmingham, Birmingham Conservatoire, and for the Association of British Choral Directors.

Cambridge Chorale is a dynamic vocal ensemble from the UK, committed to performing music at the highest level. The choir performs a wide range of repertoire, from choral classics by the great composers through to challenging contemporary works by composers such as O’Regan, Whitacre and Gjeilo. Celebrating the choir’s 20th anniversary in 2014, works by young Cambridge composers Alex Woolf and Ed Zanders were commissioned and premiered. Cambridge Chorale has produced a number of critically acclaimed recordings, most recently ‘Songs and Sonnets’, a disc of Shakespearean texts set to music by composers including Mäntyjärvi, Martin, Shearing and Paul Mealor. www.cambridgechorale.org.uk

Cheshire Fire & Rescue Choir (UK)

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Ruairi Edwards
Ruairi Edwards is a conductor, arranger, accompanist and theatre keyboardist working across the UK. A Warwick University First Class Honours graduate in Politics and Economics, he decided to pursue a freelance music career in 2011 and has remained in-demand since. Having gained Associate Artist apprenticeships with the country's leading choral conductor David Lawrence, Ruairi now conducts three choirs of his own. Ruairi's relationship with the Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service choir began in 2013 where he was their accompanist for their BBC appearance. With this choir he has toured the UK appearing in some of the country's biggest concert venues.

In 2014 Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service Choir appeared in BAFTA nominated BBC TV series and have since made numerous appearances throughout 2014/2015 including performance at Birmingham Symphony Hall, Bridgewater Hall Manchester, and Liverpool and Chester Cathedrals. It is the only fire and rescue service choir in the UK and regularly performs at national fire service events, for example, the Annual Fire Service of Thanksgiving at the National Arboretum, Spirit of Fire Awards. During this trip to New York the choir will fulfil their long held dream of singing a tribute to fallen firefighters at the 911 Memorial Plaza.

Fort Myers High School Greenwave Singers (FL)

Matthew Koller is the choral director at Fort Myers High School where he leads seven ensembles. His choirs perform frequently throughout the community and have consistently earned superior ratings at their music performance assessments. He serves assistant director of the Fort Myers Symphonic Mastersingers and has helped prepare Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, Verdi's Requiem, and Brahms' Ein Deutsches Requiem. Matthew has also guest conducted for Gulfshore Opera. Matthew is a graduate of Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ. He has studied choral conducting with James Jordan, Joseph Flummerfelt, and Andrew Megill.

Greewave Singers is the premiere choral ensemble at Fort Myers High School. They have performed several master-works including Schubert's Mass in G, Britten's Rejoice in the Lamb, and Berstein's Chichester Psalms. They have worked with conductors Trent Brown, Jeff Faux, Tony Thornton, Joe Miller, and James Jordan. In 2014 they released their CD, "The Ties that Bind Us", which is available on iTunes. They recently performed for the President's Concert to open the Florida Music Educators Association conference. In March 2016 they will perform Brahms' Ein Deutsches Requiem with the Fort Myers Symphonic Mastersingers and the Gulf Coast Symphony Orchestra.

The Arkleston Singers

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Ken Paterson
Ken Paterson sang and learned to play violin and subsequently viola while at school. He played in a local amateur orchestra in Paisley and later led them as conductor for five years. Ken has also sung bass (occasionally tenor!) in many choirs over the years, including The Arkleston Singers - he took over as Musical Director of The Arkleston Singers in 2005. In addition, he enjoys arranging music and playing in chamber music groups (eg string quartets). His musical activities have occasionally been restricted by his real work as a hospital physician specialising in internal medicine, diabetes and clinical pharmacology!

The Arkleston Singers, from Paisley, Scotland, came together in 1979 as a fundraising group for a trip to the USA by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra Chorus. When the fundraising was over, the Singers continued to perform for their own enjoyment and the pleasure of others. A small mixed voice chamber choir, we sing a variety of styles of music, either ''a cappella'' or accompanied by chamber instrumental ensemble. Our recent programmes have principally consisted of works by living composers, including René Clausen, Gwyneth Walker and Mark Sirett from this continent. In May 2015, we performed Paul Mealor's beautiful ''Crucifixus''.

Ulster University Choir

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Dr. Shaun Ryan
Shaun Ryan is Subject Director for Music at the Ulster University Music Division, Magee College in Derry, Northern Ireland; he has been conductor of the University’s Choir and Chamber Choir since 1999.  As a pianist, Shaun has always enjoyed performing chamber music and has performed extensively, including at the Queen Elizabeth Hall on London’s Southbank, with the Dalriada Piano Trio.  In addition to directing the University’s Choir and Chamber Choir, Shaun was Conductor of Larne Choral Society from 2002 to 2005, has worked with the Chapel Choir of Trinity College Dublin and The Dublin Gospel Choir, and has acted as bass-section coach and rehearsal conductor with the Ulster Youth Choir.  In 2006, Shaun was Musical Director for UTV’s opening ceremony of The Special Olympic Games, broadcast from the Odyssey Arena, Belfast.  His work in musical theatre has included conducting Schoenberg and Boublil’s Les Misérables and the Vivian Ellis Prize-winning opera by Laurence Roman, Ulysses – a Musical Odyssey, which toured Ireland and was subsequently featured on London’s Southbank.  In recent years Shaun has worked with the Ulster Orchestra, the London Southbank Sinfonia and St Andrews Chamber Orchestra, and he has conducted the combined chamber choirs of the Universities of Ulster and Aberdeen, with internationally-acclaimed composer, Paul Mealor, in performances across Northern Ireland and Scotland.

The Ulster University Choir has gained considerable popular and critical acclaim for its distinctive and dramatic performances presented in beautiful ecclesiastical settings. Shaun Ryan, Senior Lecturer in Music and Choral Director, has been instrumental in developing the reputation of the Choir over the last fifteen years. The Ulster University Choir plays a significant role in contributing to the community that extends across the North West region of the island of Ireland. The group regularly contributes to charity fund-raising; BBC Children in Need, The Samaritans, Action Cancer, Hands that Talk, Macmillan Cancer Support, St Vincent de Paul Society/The Salvation Army Christmas Toys Appeal and Foyle Hospice are some of the organisations that have been helped through the Choir's charity concerts. The Choir has been the focus of numerous T.V. and Radio broadcasts. In 2013, to mark Derry/Londonderry UK City of Culture 2013, the Ulster University Chamber Choir was featured on BBC Songs of Praise and UTV's Lesser Spotted Culture. In 2014, as part of the Sing Out series on BBC Radio Ulster, John Anderson presented a feature on the Choir's Spring Season of concerts and recorded for broadcast performances from the last concert in that series. The Ulster University Choir has also featured regularly on Highland Radio and BBC Radio Foyle. In 2012, the Ulster University Choir performed at a welcome ceremony for the State Visit tNorthern Ireland of State Councilor of China, Liu Yandong; the event was attended by the First Minister and Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland. The Choir has also performed for President Bill CLinton on his 2014 visit to Derry/Londonderry.

Chancel Choir (MO)

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Carolie Owens
Carolie Owens retired from teaching music in the public schools in St. Charles, MO after 32 years of service. She has sung with the Missouri Choral Society as a soloist and choir member and has done solo work with the St. Charles County Orchestra. Carolie has also had the priviledge to sing in a trio with the St. Louis Symphony. Mrs. Owens feels honored to be the Choir Director at First United Methodist Church in St. Charles.

The St. Charles First UMC Chancel Choir sings for 2 services on Sunday mornings as well as special concerts throughout the year. The 60 member choir is committed to high performance standards and enjoys singing a varied repertoire from many of the finest composers of our time. The Chancel Choir is honored to sing at Carnegie Hall with one of our favorite composers, Joseph Martin.

First United Methodist Church of Uvalde (TX)

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Susan Lovelace-Gerrish
Susan Lovelace-Gerrish has been Director of Music Ministries at FUMC Uvalde, TX since 1996, directing UM church choirs and handbell groups since 1980. She is certified as an Associate in Music Ministry in the United Methodist Church, having successfully completed the requirements at Church Music Summer School at SMU Perkins School of Theology. Susan conducts the Uvalde Community Choir and has led the group in several community wide events.

Averagig 30-35 members, the Chancel Choir of FUMC Uvalde sings during two Sunday worship services.The group performs Easter and Christmas musicals each year. On alternate years, it is a tradition to present Joseph Martin's Song of the Shadows to the community on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday. The Chancel Choir is the core choir for the community choir and participates in several special events each year.

Laguna Beach, California, United Methodist Church

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Brent Argo
Brent Argo, Choir Director Brent Argo has been the Choir Director at the Laguna Beach, California, United Methodist Church since the fall of 2013. Prior to being named choir director he served as the director of the church’s handbell choir for 12 years. Brent has had a lifelong long love of sacred choral music and passionately believes that music can speak to people in ways that the spoken word cannot. It is his sincere desire to lead the choir as a vital ministry of the church, bringing music that is inspirational, praiseworthy, and glorifying to God!

​The Chancel Choir of the Laguna Beach, California, United Methodist Church leads the congregation in worship each Sunday from September through June of each year, with special musical presentations at Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter. In addition, the choir performs an annual concert in June of each year. We have a varied repertoire including hymn arrangements as well as traditional and contemporary anthems.

Lakewood United Methodist Church

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Greg Gathright
Greg Gathright is a native of Texas and has served as a director of music in public schools and churches. He has been a guest conductor with the Cypress Symphony as well as Director of Music at Lakewood United Methodist Church for the last 6 years. He is a member of the Texas Music Educator's Association and Texas Choral Director's Association. Greg is a graduate of Sam Houston State University with degrees in music education, photography, and a doctorate in Educational Leadership.

The Chancel Choir of Lakewood United Methodist Church is a 65 voice ensemble and has been in existence for nearly 40 years. The choir has recently performed such major works and the Faure Requiem, Vivaldi Requiem, Robert Ray Gospel Mass, Handel's Messiah and others.

Sanctuary Choir

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Parke L. Deans
The Reverend Parke L. Deans is Minister of Music and Worship at Abingdon Baptist Church, Abingdon, Virginia. He holds a Bachelor of Music in Music Merchandising from the University of Miami and a Master of Church Music from the School of Church Music in Louisville, Kentucky. Parke has served churches in Charlotte, North Carolina and various locations in Georgia. He plays trombone in the Stateline Wind Symphony of Bristol. He also sings with the Virginia Baptist Male Chorale. Parke has toured internationally in Panama, Germany, and Italy. Professional associations include American Choral Directors Association and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia.

The Sanctuary Choir of Abingdon Baptist Church provides excellence in choral music for Sunday worship services and extended works for Christmas and Easter. They have performed in the National Cathedral Washington, DC for a Labor Day Concert and tribute to 9/11. They have also performed The Seven Last Words of Christ by Dubois with combined church choirs in Southwest Virginia. Numerous works by Joseph Martin are in their repertoire including: Appalachian Winter, A World of Christmas, The Question, What Did the Star See, The Journey of Faith, The Life of My Song, Legacy of Service, and Feast Upon the Memory.

Sounds of the Southwest Singers

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Matt Deller
Matt Deller is from Glendale, Arizona and is the founding director of the now 100 member Sounds of the Southwest Singers community choir and the newly formed Sounds of the Southwest Chorale, who perform year-round. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in communications and music performance from Central Washington University. Matt also performs as a percussionist in the North Valley Symphony Orchestra and directs the Peoria Presbyterian Church choir. He has been a guest conductor for both choral and orchestral performances locally, nationally and internationally. He frequently participates in mentoring conducting workshops, most notably in New York City and Oberlin, Ohio.

The Sounds of the Southwest Singers community choir is located in Glendale, Arizona. As a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization they are directed by founding director Matt Deller, and are solely supported by individual and corporate donations along with concert honorariums. Their members have performed with well-known musicians, composers and conductors, and have been honored to perform in Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Disneyland, California Adventures, and Pearl Harbor, and toured Germany, Austria and the Vatican in Rome. Next summer they are scheduled to sing in England and France. The Sounds of the Southwest Singers are open to anyone who loves to sing!

St. Luke's United Methodist Church Sanctuary Chor (FL)

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Amy Martin Cole
Amy Martin Cole has lived and worked as a singer, vocal coach and choral director in the Orlando area for over 30 years. She came to the area to work for Walt Disney World, and still sings there part time in the world famous a-capella group, The Voices of Liberty. She has sung on many choral demos for Shawnee Press/Hal Leonard publications, with Joseph Martin as producer, and is thrilled to sing at Carnegie with her firne dholding the baton! She is currently the director of the St. Luke's United Methodist Sanctuary Choir in Windermere, Fla. The choir boasts a membership of over 90 people. 

St. Luke's United Methodist Sanctuary Choir is an ensemble that has supported the ministries of St. Luke's for over 30 years. The choir boasts over 90 members and sings works ranging from Bach to the Beatles. Mission trips have included visits to Washington, DC and New Orleans and the choir has frequently added their voices to benefit concerts for charities and other organizations. Just minutes down the road from Orlando's major theme parks, many of our members are involved in the entertainment and tourism industries. This will be our first time to sing at Carnegie Hall, and we are excited to be part of this great concert!

Sunny Lane UMC Sanctuary Choir / Heartland Voices

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Chris Moore

Chris Moore has served as Minister of Music at Sunny Lane UMC since 1996.  He was raised in the community he now serves, Del City, OK.  While still commuting to college, Chris joined the staff as a youth music assistant, and in 2015 celebrated his 20th anniversary in ministry. Chris has been blessed with music ability and leadership skills that consistently bring glory to God. He continues to expand the musical horizons of these groups and connect audiences with a beautiful message of hope. Mr. Moore is grateful for the wonderful people who make up these groups, and considers it a great gift to serve in ministry with all of them.

The Sanctuary Choir of Sunny Lane UMC blesses congregants through all of their musical presentations and offerings. The choir also stays busy taking their music beyond the walls of the church and into the surrounding communities. This group continually lifts up the name of the Lord - and together - they have a wonderful time accomplishing this task. Heartland Voices has been directed by Mr. Moore since 2001. When this PTA sponsored community choir started in 1953 it was known as The Mother Singers. Through the years much has changed, but the group sharing their love of singing continues. This group faithfully brings encouragement and entertainment to listeners and plans to continue this tradition - hopefully, for  another 63+ years.

Valley Grove Baptist Church

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David Smith

David A. Smith is Minister of Music and Worship at Valley Grove Baptist Church in Knoxville, Tennessee, where he has served since January of 2013. Previously, Mr. Smith has served churches in Kentucky and Tennessee.  He is a graduate of Carson-Newman College, where he studied conducting with Dr. Eric Thorson, and also attended the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky.  He earned the Master of Worship Studies degree from the Robert E. Webber Institute for Worship Studies in Orange Park, Florida in June, 2014.  In addition, Mr. Smith sings with the Tennessee Baptist Chorale, and frequently serves as a clinician / adjudicator at area music festivals. He and his wife, Cindy, have two grown children.   

The Valley Grove Baptist Church Celebration Choir, from Knoxville, Tennessee is comprised of approximately 65 singers, and is the primary choral ensemble of the Music and Worship ministry.  In addition to singing in the main worship service each week, the Celebration Choir prepares and presents special programs at Christmas, Easter, and other special times throughout the year. This is the first opportunity for the Celebration Choir to sing in New York City at the invitation of Maestro Joseph Martin.