Verdi REQUIEM

Verdi REQUIEM
Sunday, May 24, 2015
8:30 PM
Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage, Carnegie Hall
Jonathan Griffith, DCINY Artistic Director and Principal Conductor
Verdi: Requiem
Featuring Distinguished Concerts Orchestra and Distinguished Concerts Singers International
Penelope Shumate, Soprano
Claudia Chapa, Mezzo-Soprano
John Pickle, Tenor
Christopher Job, Bass
Contact us about this concert and future performance opportunities.

Participating Ensembles:

The Cecilia Choir of Aarhus University
Bemidji Chorale
Camerata Singers
Canterbury Choral Society
Huntsville Community Chorus
The Newman Singers
Southland Singers
Stuyvesant High School Concert Choir
Sutton Valence Choral Society
Vocal Spotlight (OH)
The Wellington High School Chorus
West Torrance High School Aristocracy

The Cecilia Choir of Aarhus University

Sune Aaes-Jørgensen is studying musicology at the University of Aarhus, Denmark.
The Cecilia Choir of Aarhus University uses one week per year to master a musical masterpiece to honor Saint Cecilia. It consists of musicology students from Aarhus University and it has been a tradition at the University for many years now.

Bemidji Chorale

Patricia Mason
Patricia Mason
Patricia Mason is a semi-retired music teacher and create Bemidji Chorale in 1979. She earned her Master’s degree in Music Education at the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, Minnesota. Pat is active in national and state music associations, including the Minnesota Music Educators Association and the American Choral Directors Association of Minnesota, in which she has held the position of Northwest Chair. She is also active in various community music endeavors, and is a very active Minnesota State High School Music League Adjudicator and Clinician. Pat was the 2012 recipient of the Bemidji "Friend of the Arts" award, for her longstanding support of the arts in Bemidji.
The Chorale began rehearsing in 1979. It was the brainchild of Lyle Jewel and a small group of area music educators who wanted to provide an opportunity for area vocalists to come together to sing challenging choral literature, and also provide another quality concert venue for the Bemidji area. The Chorale rehearses from September to May, presenting concerts the first week in December and on Mother’s Day in a wide variety of styles from different music periods, and a larger classical work with the Bemidji Symphony Orchestra and Bemidji State University Choir.

Camerata Singers

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Scott E. Anderson

Scott Eric Anderson conducts the ISU Chamber & Concert Choirs, the Camerata Singers, and teaches Choral Conducting, Choral Methods, and voice. Dr. Anderson has received Idaho State University’s Master Teacher and Outstanding Public Service awards on three occasions.  He was awarded the Idaho State University Alumni Association’s Faculty Achievement Award in 2011, and Idaho State University’s Distinguished Public Service Award in 2013.
Anderson received the Bachelor of Arts in Music from Whitworth College, the Master of Music from Westminster Choir College, and the Doctor of Musical Arts from the Conservatory of Music at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.  He has studied conducting with such eminent teachers as Eph Ehly, Joseph Flummerfelt, Allen Crowell, Frauke Hassemann and many others.
Choirs under Dr. Anderson’s direction have traveled throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, and South America.  As Director of Choral Activities at Idaho State University, Anderson has led the Idaho State University Chamber Choir or Camerata Singers on performance tours of more than 22 countries over the past two decades.  He led the Camerata Singers on a performance tour of Spain and Portugal in July, 2013.  Dr. Anderson conducted the ISU Chamber Choir (one of six invited University choirs) in performance at the Northwest Division Conference of the American Choral Directors Association in Seattle, Washington in March, 2014.  Anderson conducted the Idaho State Civic-Symphony, the Camerata Singers, and the ISU Concert Choir in performances of the Verdi REQUIEM in April 2014.
Anderson serves as the Artistic Director of the Idaho International Choral Festival where choral groups from around the world join together in Pocatello, Idaho for a week of choral performances, conducting master classes and artistic and cultural exchange. He has conducted more than 100 choral festivals, including All State Festivals, Regional MENC or ACDA Honor Choirs in 16 states and Canada. He has served the American Choral Directors Association in state, divisional, and national offices, and has been featured as guest conductor, lecturer and teacher throughout the United States and abroad.
The 100-voice Camerata Singers of Pocatello, Idaho, USA is a symphonic choir under the direction of Dr. Scott E. Anderson, Director of Choral Activities at Idaho State University. Founded in 1968 by Chilton Phoenix and Ferris Edgley, the choir has performed almost every major choral work in its thirty-five-year history as well as numerous shorter pieces including motets, carols, and opera choruses. Two of the original sixteen voices still sing in the choir today.

In recent years the choir has performed the Mozart, Brahms and Verdi Requiems; masses including Mozart’s Mass in C major, Schubert’s Mass in G, Puccini’s Messa di Gloria, and Ramirez’ Misa Criolla; Handel’s Messiah; Mendelssohn’s Elijah; Haydn’s The Seasons; the Bach Magnificat; Vivaldi’s Gloria, Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms; Poulenc’s Gloria; Kodaly’s Te Deum; Orff’s Carmina Burana, Mahler’s 8th Symphony and numerous shorter pieces. 

The Camerata Singers touring choir is composed of a combination of community members from Southeast Idaho, in the northern Rocky Mountains, and students from Idaho State University. They are accompanied by Adonna Drake.  Camerata Singers have previously toured in the British Isles, Austria, Denmark, Italy, Slovenia, Sweden, and Germany.  Dr. Anderson led Camerata Singers most recently on a two week concert tour of Spain and Portugal in the summer of 2013.

Canterbury Choral Society

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Randi Von Ellefson
Randi Von Ellefson is Director of Choral Activities and Professor of Music at Oklahoma City University (OCU) and serves as Artistic Director of Canterbury Choral Society.  He began his work in Oklahoma City in 2004 after working at the University of Chicago, (IL), Whitworth University, (WA) and Bethany Lutheran College, (MN.)
He holds degrees from Texas Lutheran University, the University of Minnesota and the D.M.A. from Arizona State University.  He is a founding member of the National Collegiate Choral Organization (NCCO) and has served as its President as well as Treasurer.  He has also been President of the American Choral Directors Association’s Northwestern and Central Divisions.  
Dr. Ellefson has conducted a wide variety of university choruses as well as the Spokane Symphony Chorale and the Elgin Choral Union.  He has worked at Lutheran and Presbyterian Churches and currently is the adult choir director at Chapel Hill United Methodist Church in Oklahoma City.  
In 2011, he led an ensemble from Canterbury Choral Society on a tour in China.  In the summer of 2014, he and seventy singers from Canterbury will join other choirs for concerts in Paris and at Normandy commemorating the 70th Anniversary of D-Day.  
Founded in 1969 at All Souls Episcopal Church with 60 singers, Canterbury’s mission now extends all over the state of Oklahoma and into national and international locations.  The 145-member Adult Chorus is the largest of its kind in the state of Oklahoma. All singers are auditioned volunteers, most with extensive musical and stage experience, coming from all over the state of Oklahoma and representing a wide variety of professions. The Adult Chorus routinely collaborates with sister arts agencies like the Oklahoma City Philharmonic and Oklahoma City Ballet. The Adult Chorus has made many public appearances aside from its concert season. It was featured prominently during the National Prayer Service, A Time of Healing, memorializing the victims of the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. In the summer of 2002, it embarked on its first international tour performing in three of England’s most famous cathedrals. In celebration of Oklahoma’s Centennial, Canterbury was invited to perform on the opening and closing Centennial Spectacular concerts held at the Civic Center and then Ford Center with notable stars that come from Oklahoma.  Also in honor of the Centennial, a new work for chorus and orchestra was commissioned for Canterbury’s concert season from internationally renowned composer Stephen Paulus.  Dedicated to a wide array of choral music from the great masterworks to jazz and Broadway music, collaborations have included a season concert featuring the Dave Brubeck Quartet, World Harmonies concert with World Neighbors and their bazaar in the lobby, 10% of all ticket sales from a season concert going to the American Red Cross after Hurricane Katrina, and Music of Comfort: Haitian Relief Concert with all donations going to the American Red Cross for help in earthquake relief efforts in Haiti . 

Canterbury Choral Society and the Oklahoma City University Bass School of Music share a unique partnership through the creation of two joint artistic positions and through their vision of forming a Center for Choral Excellence. Other collaborations include a shared choral music library, students performing with the Adult Chorus on selected concerts and student participation in Canterbury adult and youth programs as conducting and staff assistants. 

Canterbury Youth Choruses (CYC), is the youth choral program of the Canterbury Choral Society.  Through its diverse curriculum, CYC enhances the singing skills and musical literacy of children who love to sing with vocal music training and performance opportunities, while striving to deepen each child’s understanding of life and culture through ensemble singing. In Fall 2014, CYC has expanded into two satellites in Moore, OK:  Moore East Chorus and Moore West Chorus.  

Huntsville Community Chorus

Billy Orton
Billy Orton
Billy Orton has brought great energy and creativity to HCCA since 2002. He conducts the 150-voice Symphonic Chorus and the select 30-voice Chamber Chorale, which he founded in 2004. Under Billy’s direction TheChorus has grown in numbers as well as artistic impact. Billy’s convivial approach to music has brought a wide range of collaborators onto HCCA stages, adding exciting flavors to the repertoire. His gift for creating powerful concert experiences has made him known as a musical leader who brings people together. Billy is also minister of music and worship at Huntsville’s First Baptist Church.
The Huntsville Community Chorus Association (HCCA), established in 1946 and incorporated as a non-profit all-volunteer community choral organization, is Huntsville Alabama's longest-continuing performing arts group. HCCA strives to offer the best in choral music and musical theater through various groups: The Symphonic Chorus, The Chamber Chorale, Children’s Chorale, Youth Chorale, and other ensembles that perform throughout the year. Our community outreach includes mentoring relationships with experienced performers and craftsmen in all aspects of musical performance and production. HCCA provides learning opportunities for children and young adults through member scholarships and sponsorships of the Children’s Chorale and Youth Chorale.

The Newman Singers

Sally Mears
Sally Mears
Sally Mears read Music at Merton College, Oxford, UK, and studied conducting part-time at the Guildhall, London. She teaches piano and singing in Abingdon, near Oxford, and sings with Fiori Musicali in Northamptonshire. In 2013 she wrote the Abingdon Passion Play and was co-MD. She plays the cello and has accompanied James Bowman the countertenor on two occasions as his continuo cellist for African charities. Her latest triumph was conducting Carmina Burana in Oxford Town Hall in November 2014.
 
The Newman Singers were founded in 2010 by their conductor Sally Mears. They are a large ad hoc chorus who only come togetehr for special events such as charity concerts for the Kianda Foundation. They performed Edward Elgar's 'The Dream of Gerontius' in Dorchester Abbey, and Benjamin Britten's War Requiem in Oxford Town Hall. Recently they provided the piccolo coro (semichorus) in Carl Orff's Carmina Burana. Members are appointed by personal recommendation and we sing for pleasure, as well as to raise money for charitable causes.
 

Southland Singers

Elizabeth Turner
Elizabeth Turner
Elizabeth Turner became the director of the South High School, Torrance, CA. choirs in 2005. Prior to that she was one of the elementary music teachers in Torrance, traveling between four schools. Liz was born and raised in Mississippi, and attended college in Houston, Texas. At Houston Baptist University she received a BA in Music Education and Organ. After teaching for a year in Houston, she came to California where she directed church choirs and taught piano for more than 30 years. In the 1998-1999 school year, she began teaching in Torrance.
The Southland Singers are known throughout the Southern California South Bay region. They are called on to perform at area events during the holidays and throughout the school year, including the Mu Phi Epsilon “Musical Mosaic” concert. They have participated seven times in the Los Angeles Master Chorale High School Choral Festival directed by Grant Gershon. At Southern California Vocal Association festivals they usually win Superior ratings. This is their first trip to Carnegie Hall.

Stuyvesant High School Concert Choir

Holly Hall
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 has directed the NYU Chorale and is currently in her 23rd year as the Choral Director of The Stuyvesant High School Choruses. 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. She performs regularly at St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Cathedral (NYC). Mrs. Shamazov has worked with choruses for over 15 years, singing, accompanying, and conducting. Last year, she was the assistant conductor and pianist of the NYU Chorale and has been the assistant conductor of choruses at Stuyvesant High School (NYC) since 2005.
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. Last year, the Stuyvesant Concert Choir received a Gold Award (Level VI) at the NYSSMA Festival.

Sutton Valence Choral Society

Bryan Gipps started conducting at a very early age and twice won places on the prestigious conducting course at the Royal Academy of Music, London, which enabled him to study under Maurice Miles.  Bryan had already come under the influence of Sir Malcolm Sargent and conducted a different work each week whilst in his final year as an Exhibitioner at The King’s School Canterbury.   Bryan has been the conductor of Sutton Valence Choral Society for eleven years, and, apart from increasing the membership from under 40 to over 100, he has taken his Choral Society to Rochester Cathedral to present a sell-out performance of Beethoven’s Choral Symphony, and, in 2014, a sell-out performance of Verdi’s Requiem in Canterbury Cathedral.  Bryan is also conductor of The Old Barn Orchestra, an orchestra which has grown in confidence with him at the helm, and it now performs with flair and great musicality.
Before taking up the freelance lifestyle he enjoys now, Bryan worked in Public Schools (USA=Private Schools) for many years, mainly as Director of Music.  Now, along with his commitment to OBOS and SVCS, Bryan is Director of Music at St Dunstan’s Church, Cranbrook, founder and leader of the Beresford Ensemble, Head of Strings at The King’s School, Rochester, Artistic Director of the Egerton Music Festival, and a Lay Clerk at Rochester Cathedral, with which choir he has toured Germany, Holland and America, and sung with the choir for the BBC; he is also Artistic Director of the Egerton Music Festival.
As a professional violinist, he has performed in London venues such as the Royal Festival Hall and the Royal Albert Hall and led for the major orchestral, musical and oratorio repertoire. Awarded the Sir John Goss Exhibition by the Royal College of Organists he studied the organ under Dr Douglas Hopkins at the Royal Academy of Music.  Bryan was a chorister under Dr Lumsden (later Sir David) at New College, Oxford. 
As well as supporting local hostelries and following architectural and bibliographic interests, Bryan’s spare time is dedicated to music and his impressive music room at home is often the setting for concerts and recitals. 

 
Sutton Valence Choral Society was founded in 1990 by the Director of Music at Sutton Valence School, an independent private school in Kent which was itself founded in 1576.  The choir now has separate charitable status but retains strong links with the school and local community both in our home village of Sutton Valence and in the nearby county town of Maidstone.
The choir has nearly 100 singers of all ages and with a wide variety of musical experience.  Three concerts a year are focussed mainly on standard classical choral repertoire, with a summer concert of lighter music and, of course, Christmas Carols.
During its 25 years, the choir has grown steadily in size and musical prowess. Recent highlights include performances of Beethoven’s Choral Symphony in Rochester Cathedral and, in 2013, a performance of Verdi’s Requiem in Canterbury Cathedral to a sell-out audience of nearly 1000.
On Sunday 9 November 2014, Remembrance Sunday, we commemorated the 100th anniversary of the First World War, with a performance of Karl Jenkins The Armed Man in our local town centre church, in collaboration with German choir Ars Nova from Hamburg.   
After the Carnegie Hall performance, we return to England to prepare for the choir’s 25th birthday party - a concert in the Old Royal Naval College Chapel, Greenwich, London.  The date for that celebration – July 4th! 

Vocal Spotlight (OH)

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Donnalynn Laver
Vocal Spotlight, under the direction of Donnalynn Laver, is a dynamic choral ensemble. Their passionate performances are comprised of diverse genres...a cappella to Big Band, classical to Broadway classics and today's most contemporary hits. Committed to serving their community, Vocal Spotlight has been successful in raising thousands of dollars for charity through their annual Christmas concert series. Their unique sound is derived from the diverse musical backgrounds of its members, the individual talents possessed by each, and the zest which exceptional music brings to each singers life. Members bring decades of professional experience and lifelong dedication as they entertain audiences young and old.
A zealous advocate of the performing arts, Donnalynn Laver serves as Musical and Artistic Director for Vocal Spotlight. Classically trained in voice, piano, organ and woodwinds, she received undergraduate degrees from Nyack College and Southern Adventist University. Career highlights include singing under the direction of Derric Johnson in Walt Disney World Productions, "Voices of
Liberty," the world famous eight part harmony a cappella group. In and out of the Director's role, Donnalynn is a vibrant ambassador for music and an inspiring leader, drawing singers and audiences into music with an approach that is compelling and uniquely her own.

The Wellington High School Chorus


A native of East Greenwich, Rhode Island, Chase is a graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music and the University of Connecticut.  He has conducted ensembles of all ages and experience levels, from elementary schools to professionals, including multiple youth orchestras, magnet arts schools, and various ensembles at Harvard University. Equally at home in both orchestral and choral music, his ensembles have performed extensively throughout both the United States and Europe. 
The Wellington High School Chorus has a long history of excellence in South Florida.  The program has performed both nationally and internationally, most recently at Carnegie Hall in 2011 and Ponce, Puerto Rico in 2013.  In their hometown of Wellington (Florida) they keep an active performing schedule and regularly earn superior rating at choral festivals around the region. 

West Torrance High School Aristocracy

Kathleen Johnson
Kathleen R. Jensen
Kathleen Jensen has taught choir at West H.S. in Torrance, CA for 29 years. The advanced choir (Aristocracy) has performed at Carnegie Hall (NYC), Lincoln Center (NYC), Dorothy Chandler Pavilion (LA), and TV’s “Good Day L.A.” Kathleen teaches three choirs, Music Theory AP, and Piano/Guitar. She also directs a community choir, L.A. Vocal Core. Kathleen holds a B.A.-Music Education (Trinity College, D.C.) and a M.A.-Humanities (CSU-Dominguez Hills). Her awards include: Outstanding Young Educator (City of Torrance), Teacher of the Year (West H.S.), Arnold Plank Teacher of the Year (Rotary Club) and Excellence in the Arts Award (City of Torrance).
Aristocracy (the advanced choir at West H.S.) and has a tradition of excellence. Entrance into this group is through rigorous audition. The group performs styles from classical to jazz which is an education and a joy to the students and their audiences. Under the direction of Kathleen Jensen they have performed five times at Carnegie Hall and three times at Lincoln Center. The Aristocracy also does a great deal of performing in the local community, appearing on TV’s, "Good Day, L.A." and at the Disney Concert Hall. Aristocracy is proud to represent their school and to spread the joy of music in this, their sixth appearance at Carnegie Hall.